Do you ever stalk your customers?

I've shifted any 'From the Floor' posts from my other blog to here. I figure the separation is better this way. I was going through emails and notes earlier this week and realised that I had enough questions from the floor to keep me busy for a few months or so. That made me think I should probably make more of an effort to address them as quickly as possible. I will try to update weekly. Once I've been through all of your questions, though, this blog will disappear. It would be crazy to keep it after it's served its purpose. I'm not an expert. I don't ever consider myself to be. I'd be afraid of anybody who said they were. I think, though, that I'm in a little bit of an unusual position with my role in that it allows me the freedom to play, develop and explore social media on behalf of our organisation in a way that perhaps others can't. Really, though, I'm just a dorky girl, standing in front of the interwebs, asking it to give me MOAR fandom feels. (Yes, I did just use and abuse a well known line from Notting Hill).

Query: Do you ever stalk your customers?
Quick answer: Yes.

More thoughtful answer: Heck yes, and so I should. A part of my job is to be aware of who's talking about the organisation, how, and in what context. I don't mean that I'm hunting them down in cyberspace and paying personal visits to their home, or obsessively watching every single message they post to wherever. That would be creepy. I am many things, I'm just not sure creepy is one of them. (Yet?). I've set up a number of searches and alerts to let me know where the organisation is being talked about in online spaces. (You really do NOT want to see my categorised RSS feeds because they are crazy hella busy and there are squillions of them). The tone of the conversation, or the types of questions being asked, will determine how I answer, or even if I answer at all. You can't respond to everything, in fact I don't think you should. Certainly, though, there are instances when you do need to jump in on conversations. If you don't, ever, then you're doing it wrong. These are just a few examples of when I would push my way in on discussions: to correct misinformation, to answer questions about our services, to respond to feedback, to let people know I'm taking their feedback to the people in our organisation who can make changes, and even to hear firsthand what does or doesn't work and how. If my listening in on people talking about us means that people end up with the right information then, yes, I'll continue to stalk them. Most especially if it makes our services more relevant to customers. Wouldn't you?

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