smart car follow up

I spoke with Andrea from smart center La Vista today.  

Andrea informed me they have 3 employees at her store and one man was at the Expo this weekend.  He had a great weekend, met a lot of people and answered a lot of questions.  She did say perhaps he was on a bathroom break when I came by.  Or maybe he was talking to other vendors.  This was their first trip to an event like this in the area and these vendors are the kind of people that are their customers.  I did explain I was there from at least one to three thirty Sunday and kept coming back to look for the sales rep – and never found him.  
I asked her to leave a comment on the blog perhaps explaining that.  She declined.  It is not their policy.  As long as they have a conversation with the customer (me) and its good, that is their directive.   She did say it was too bad I blogged about the experience before calling them.  
I think with the advent of usage of social media by everyday blokes like me – things are going to be a lot more transparent.  Not in a big brother kind of way.   But in a take pride in what you do way – we are all watching.  
I also asked Andrea what social media tools they use.  She did say they have a blog.  Amanda is the brand manager for her company.
Let me say that I LOVE THE SMART CAR!  I’m sure that one day I will have one.  And that day will be this year.  
I also think that the smart car people could be more proactive and be on twitter.  Check out @cavan at the Des Moines Register.  He addresses questions people may have, he works with bloggers in Iowa.  Or @bestbuyremix – Keith Burtis is always available to address any questions or issues about Best Buy. 
 Some of the biggest car companies are on twitter and are using it as a vehicle to talk to customers, fight misconceptions and drive people into the showroom.  @AdamDenison is the Chevrolet guy on twitter. @ScottMonty  is from Ford. @Alicia_at_Honda is the woman from Honda.   Check out Mashables Top 40 Best Twitter Brands.  
I think every retail kind of business should be on Twitter.  But hey, that’s just my opinion.
What do you think? 
image courtesy of kazze at via creative common license 


  1. GeekMommy on April 1, 2009 at 3:02 am

    I think that if Andrea is going to continue as the Brand Manager for their company she’s going to have to get rid of the notion that people will call before blogging a negative experience…

    Still, I don’t know that I agree that every retail business should be on Twitter. National businesses? Well, if they’re not going to Twitter – they at least need to be using a listening tool like Radian6 to monitor the conversation about their name. But local businesses? Twitter would be a waste of time better spent elsewhere.

    STill – great followup! 🙂

  2. keith burtis on April 1, 2009 at 4:12 am

    Deb this is a great post! I ‘ll tell you what my theory is. Social media amplifies everything. If you are the type of company that has a record of bad customer service, treats employees like cattle and waits years to pay vendors; social media is probably a bad place to be.

    On the other hand if you have a great company culture and you believe in the strength of good and people; social media might be the best place for you to be.

    In my limited knowledge of ‘Smart Car’ I think they would make a perfect company to embrace social media tools. They are environmentally friendly, seems to have a great outlook and could easily embrace community.

    True Story: The other day I was walking through my local shopping mall and saw one of these ‘Smart Cars’ in the middle of the mall. I stopped, because I had never seen one up close. I walked all the way around the vehicle, admired the styling, the space inside, the price, and left a good size puddle of drool on the floor next to the vehicle. (I wanted one!)

    My question is this. What are they paying to have that vehicle parked in the mall with no attendants near by to answer questions? How are they embracing a community of loyal and passionate users? How do they continue to stay top of mind. (Until this post I had forgotten about the car)

    I am betting that for what it cost to keep that vehicle in an upscale mall that they could generate much more useful buzz and create a really cool creative social media campaign for the same money. ‘Smart Car’ has a really unique opportunity to embrace and enable their fans with the use of social media tools.

    I hope they do it! I hope they call me or email me and ask me to be part of what ever they decide to do! I think these cars are super cool and I’d love to learn more about them!

    Thanks for this Deb.
    Keith Burtis

  3. Deb Brown on April 1, 2009 at 11:22 am

    Keith –
    I know, I love that car too! I also would be honored to be involved with some cool creatize social media buzz as well. I did find about 10 pages on facebook regarding smart car. I don’t know if any of them are ‘official’ though.
    Let’s see if they jump into the pool!

  4. Deb Brown on April 1, 2009 at 11:28 am

    Geek Mommy,
    I get excited about twitter (can’t you tell?) because I have such a positive experience on it. I have a national business and twitter puts me in front of new people. Now -I’ve met 5 new people locally too on twitter.
    The learning curve for Twitter can be a steep. I guess you just have to decide which tools are going to work for you.
    Thanks for the comment!

  5. imjustagoyle on April 1, 2009 at 12:00 pm

    I heard a story the other day here in Tampa about “abandoned” smart cars. People order them online and when they are delivered to the dealership, they never come to get them. My parents have a smart car and they love it! Hope you get yours soon too! Here is a pic I think you will like:

  6. CREATIVEGoddess on April 1, 2009 at 4:17 pm

    The first time I saw one up close was in London 2 Christmases ago. What we loved was the fact that one didn’t have to parallel park, they could park w/their front bumper to the curb and STILL fit!!

  7. Deb Brown on April 1, 2009 at 7:34 pm

    Imjustagoyle – what, they pay the $99 to design it and then never go pick it up? Crazy huh? and that is just the BEST picture! thanks for dropping by….

    CreativeGoddess – I know! how cool would that be in a big city? glad to have your visit!