A Followup: Don’t just Recognize the Suck. Suck less.

[Originally posted on NewCommBiz]

Yesterday I wrote a post about Recognizing the Suck.  After some reflection, I think that post is incomplete.  To wit:

It’s not enough to recognize the suck.  You must suck less.

Social tools are one part of an overall circle of influence, not a replacement for anything.  That said, they’re also the cheapest, easiest way to figure out what people think sucks about your company.

That said, it’s not enough to just listen, acknowledge or even apologize. You must suck less.  Awhile ago, on my own blog, I wrote a post about how media companies need to STFU and GBTW.  This resonates now more than ever.

Social Media is a tool to identify the suck. If you’re not willing to use this data take a hard look at what sucks about your company, and address what your customers are identifying as their needs, prepare for a long hard slog toward obsolescence.

Now, I’ve worked for a few big companies, so I understand that it’s faster to turn around a speedboat than an ocean liner. This is not an excuse for not doing anything, or ‘letting things work themselves out’.

Take one step.  Take it seriously.  This is not business camp.  This is not ‘oh how cute, these little people think they know what’s best for our big company with our fancy legacy and our letterhead’.

We decide whether you have a job or not.  We decide whether to use our voices to say “Just got a pair of Etymotic headphones and I really love them.”  or “Just got a pair of Philips headphones and they didn’t work, right out of the box.”  And you know what? People listen to us, because our intent is pure.  Our friends trust us more than you. The people we connect with online trust us more than you.

This is the real secret.  It’s what Meg said, what I’m thinking I may not have captured in the last post.

“If you make a crappy product and treat your customers badly, all the “connecting” and ‘conversation’ in the world won’t save you”

Suck less.

You can do it.

We want you to do it.

Just do it.