If you live in Northwest Montana, you know that one of the things we “cling to” is high school sports.
I live in Columbia Falls, a town of about 4500 people. Our arch rival is Whitefish, a town of about 6000 people.
While our towns are changing, Columbia Falls has historically been the blue collar industrial hub of Northwest Montana, with several lumber mills and a large aluminum plant (now closed). Whitefish, on the other hand, started off as a lumber and railroad town and transformed itself over the last 70 years into a ski resort town that has become known for the ski mountain, palatial lake homes – as well as the railroad depot.
Both towns are changing as the economy (and our country) has changed over the last 20 years. Today, both towns are homes to technology, public relations, marketing and/or internet-related firms with national and/or international markets.
But one thing hasn’t changed. The rivalry between the high school teams.
Making a connection
All of this sets up the story for an email I received yesterday.
Due to a setting in Google Calendar, I was having a problem with syncing Google calendars with calendar software on my Mac, which is called “BusyCal”.
I emailed the company and thanks to a handy option in the software they provide, some diagnostic info about my calendar was sent to their support staff.
A short time later, I received an email with instructions to check a few things.
The email closed with this comment:
It could also be that you are from Columbia Falls and we’ve designed the product to specifically notice that and cause issues. Moving to Whitefish will solve all your problems… (Whitefish, Class of ’83…)
With this brief comment at the end of an already helpful email, Kirk has taken our connection from a brief, distant tech support relationship to a friendly rivalry.
It’s a great illustration of how simple it is to create a real connection with a client.
Business is Personal.
Think about how you and your staff can create personal connections with your clients.
UPDATE: 3 days after posting this column, the Columbia Falls Wildcats won their 4th state boys basketball title in 9 years. A month earlier, the Columbia Falls Wildcat Speech/Debate team won their 11th state title since 1991 and their 6th in a row. While it’s “only sports”, there are important lessons being learned in Columbia Falls about what it takes to succeed – even outside the classroom.