On Twitter and Listening

spinvox Several months ago, Christopher S. Penn told me that I should use SpinVox to convert my voicemail into text. I thought it was a good idea, but I was using another product entirely for another different reason. But the other day, I tweeted something on Twitter about deleting hundreds un-listened-to (what’s the right way to say that?) voice mails. It was just me blabbing into the wind that I had too many voicemails and had decided to throw them away.

Except that James Whatley was listening. It turns out that the @whatleydude is also the “social media chap” for SpinVox, and while other people offered me a kind and understanding, “Dude, that’s a lot of voice mail,” James heard opportunity. (There’s word that Pat Phelan had something to do with this, too, but that’s unsubstantiated).

James set me up with a trial SpinVox account, sent me the information (customized for me) on how to configure my account for my specific carrier, and got me on my way. I set the service up in a few minutes, and then had my wife make a few test calls. It’s pretty cool.

As a review, this is like, months and months (years?) late. The product has been out for a while. But whatever. If you want to try something interesting, SpinVox is a speech-to-text voicemail translator, and it worked pretty darned good for me. I plan to keep using it for a while and see how it changes the way I do business. (Thanks for that, James!)

If You Are a Business

Are your customers online? Well, I say yes to most folks. If so, are you listening to blogs, to Twitter, to other sources of information? HOW are you listening?

I use a lot of free tools to scan the web and pay attention. I use Technorati, Google Blogsearch, and Twitter Search to name a few.

There are other tools. One is Radian6. I worked with them on a series of Twebinars (twitter meets webinar), and the last of these comes up Tuesday the 19th at 2PM (tomorrow as I’m writing this). The details are here. I’m doubly thrilled because CEO Marcel Lebrun is going to join me live in the studio to talk with folks about the importance of listening.

If you’re a business, do what James Whatley did with SpinVox did and listen. Do what Marcel Lebrun calls “listening at the point of need.” And build your business around your customers’ needs and not the other way around.

What do you think? Have you seen examples of this?

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