When worlds collide

My passion for writing and helping people to communicate effectively is matched – maybe even exceeded – by my love of cycling, so it’s pleasing to notice those worlds harmoniously colliding every now and then.

I heard about a company called Shutt Velo Rapide on the road.cc website (where you’ll find my other blog – you know, the one about preparing for this June’s Land’s End to John O’Groats bike ride…the one you’ve probably already sponsored me for).

Someone on road.cc was singing the praises of Shutt VR’s clothing, specifically their range of Sportwool jerseys. I had a question about the availability of one of these jerseys and sent an email via their website. Within a day I’d received a helpful reply from Simon Warren, the managing director, which was followed up by several more equally helpful messages from Simon and Peter Bragg, the sales and marketing director.

So I bought a jersey – and a gilet, because I was feeling good about the company.

Then I found Shutt VR on Twitter and on Facebook and started following them. I was pleased but unsurprised to see that they use both channels exactly how they should be used. The Twitter feed maintains a genuine dialogue with people and promotes special offers, website developments, new products and the like. And the Facebook page has generated a growing virtual community with its mixture of company-related information and general cycling-related content.

When I lost my gilet last weekend I mentioned it on Twitter (I know that sounds strategic, but I promise it wasn’t – I was just venting) and within minutes I’d been offered a discount on a new one, which I eagerly snapped up on the spot. It arrived today.

All my experience with the company tells me that Shutt VR is the real deal. They come across as informal, amusing, generous and self-deprecating, but they’re clearly knowledgeable, efficient, responsive and reliable too. It doesn’t hurt, of course, that it’s a small and young company, so it’s relatively easy for them to be responsive and for the people in charge to conduct personal conversations with customers rather than having to hire someone to manage such conversations for them.

But that should take nothing away from what Shutt VR has achieved in a very short time through good communication. They’re well on the way to building a superb brand and they’re doing it in a way that’s as simple as it is cost-effective.

The principles of good communication are really straightforward: be authentic, be inclusive and be crystal-clear – and do it promptly. It’s amazing how quickly some companies lose sight of that. But it’s also very gratifying to see it done properly.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, April 28th, 2010 at 3:46 pm and is filed under News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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