Thursday, February 14, 2008

It Looks Like Somebody is Minding the Fresh & Easy Corporate Blog A Bit Better of Late

On January 21, we wrote in this piece, "Click, Click: Who's Minding the Fresh & Easy Corporate Blog," that it had been over five weeks since Fresh & Easy neighborhood marketing chief Simon Uwins or one of his staffers has made a post on the corporate blog, which the retailer designed and has used as one of its "marketing and communication tools."

Further, in the January 21 piece we suggested that blogs are great extensions of a retail storefronts in terms of being used as an electronic marketing and communications device. However, just like actual retail storefronts, which become a minus rather than a plus when they are neglected, so too do corporate blogs become a negative rather than a positive tool when they are neglected. [Read our January 21, 2007 piece here.]

We are pleased today though to see, after checking the Fresh & Easy corporate blog, that the frequency of posts from either Mr. Uwins or one of his staffers has increased considerably after we wrote that piece on January 21. [We aren't saying we had anything to do with this occurance. Rather, that its just nice to see it happening since it's something we wrote about.]

Since we wrote the piece on January 21, there have been three posts, each about a week apart. The latest post was on February 8, six days ago. That means in keeping with this every seven days or so interval it looks like the corporate bloggers has now established, a new post should be coming from Uwins and company in the next few days.

If you read our January 21 piece, you will notice we suggested that in the name of good communications, the corporate blog should publish some type of new news or information at least once a week. Again, we are pleased to see that's about the frequency of updates since we wrote our piece.

Finally, in our January 21 piece we talked about the fact the corporate bloggers don't answer reader questions in the comments section of the the blog. Specifically, we noted the December 14 blog posting in which there are three questions from readers who took the time to "talk back" to the bloggers. [See the questions here.] However, the Fresh & Easy corporate bloggers haven't even taken the time to reply to the readers--and perhaps Fresh & Easy store customers'--questions.

As of today--February 14--those reader questions still haven't been responded to by Uwins or one of his staffers. This is poor customer service. It only takes a couple minutes to respond--and those couple minutes could create a store customer, not too mention word of mouth praise for the marketing team.

We would hope the Fresh & Easy corporate bloggers answer those questions and make it a policy from now on to respond--even with a single sentence--to any questions asked in the reader comments section of the blog.

Marketing is everything a retailer does. It's store-level, and cyber-level as well. Corporate blogs, like retail stores, need to be kept fresh. Regular updating, interesting selections, graphics (in-store and online) and good two-way communication are all key. We're pleased to see the post-January 21 face-lift at the Fresh & Easy corporate blog. If Mr. Uwins and company can improve the blog's customer service level by taking the time to respond to reader questions in the comments' section, we might just be able to call it a complete refurbishing. We will be watching closely.

Note: Fresh & Easy Buzz is an independent blog and has no affiliation with Tesco or Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market in any way, shape or form.

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