On the bus in Israel, I had a chance to hang over a more sustained chunk of time with Scoble and Craig Newmark, two super well known bloggers (Scoble has1,600,000 links in Google; Craigslist has 28MM), and I learned something I didn’t know before: these two A-listers are A-listers at least partly before they give some of the best customer service I’ve ever seen.
Yep, Scoble is online all the time with people who reach out to him: tweets, comments, trackbacks, posts. He pitches and catches with hundreds of people around the world, commenting and engaging in a way that means each person feel recognized.
And Craig, it’s no different–Craig’s passion is customer service, as he likes to say, and while a chunk of that is scrubbing the myriad forms of Craigslist, I’d bet he’s just as committed to responding to the non-profits, the community folk, and the local folks who have something to say to him.
In other words, one of my take aways here is that these guys have intensified their stature through the one to one exchanges they have with people, and while these touches are not neccessarily visible, they make a huge difference in building and maintaining the connections.
Interestingly, I heard the same things about Mike Arrington from Israeli entrepreneurs when I was in Israel–Over and over again, Mike’s name came up as someone people had spoken with, engaged with, learned from–so much so that I started to wonder how much Mike really sleeps.
In other words, in watching these folks in action, I realized while you build your reputation and your network through doing great blog posts, you can solidify and deepen it through true engagement with your audience, a lesson the best customer service reps–and the companies they support–have know for a while.