After my rant about the hard to open packaging of the Pilot pen I bought two weeks ago tomorrow in the Seattle airport, Pilot responded by email (see previous post) and promised to send me some samples for taking the time to write. Well, they made good on their promise and sent not one, but three standard-sized pens, one mini pen and three packages of ink refills. Totally not necessary and unexpected.
What was more meaningful was their commitment to pass the idea along to their marketing team for consideration in new product development. I think they meant it.
It's great to see companies like Pilot (and Continental Airlines, see yesterday's post) who get involved in a two-way dialogue with their customers. I'm reflecting back to 2007 when TIME Magazine chose "YOU" as the person of the year, and Ad Age chose "THE CUSTOMER" as the agency of the year, that same year. It's easy to forget that just a few short years ago companies and brands as big as these typically didn't take the time to respond to most comments. The world has changed, customers really are in control and hats off to those who get that.
I know I will stay on the hunt for it, and will continue to share news and reviews of it here. So go forth and listen to and talk with your customers, the good and the mad!