Great YouTube Idea: A "Ya'll Come Back Now, Ya Hear!" Video

For years now, Cheap Trick has been giving us brilliant marketing advice - for free, to boot! "I want you to want me."

Now, this is like one of those "Faces or Vase" optical illusions. Some of you out there may have thought that I meant *we* are the ones that should be doing the wanting. And, absolutely, that is what we should be doing: getting people to not only buy whatever we're selling, but to truly want it.  

That's all well and good, but the real power in this notion is thinking of the reverse: our customers are the ones who want to be wanted. They want to be thanked, appreciated, told how great they are, regaled with stories of how much they mean to us, and reminded of what special little snowflakes they all are. Good customer service, at its core, does exactly that: never wavering from the notion that customers, more than anything, deserve to be valued and wanted by the companies they chose to do business with.

But too often - especially in social media - we get caught up in getting people to do stuff for us (like this, comment on that, share, RT, watch, click, etc etc etc) and we lose sight of what we can do for them - thank them, appreciate them, and show them genuine ways that we care about them.

So hats off to Lee University, for this charmingly unpolished, authentic to the bone video of school president Paul Conn telling students that he can't wait for them to come back to campus.

I couldn't embed a Facebook video - click on the photo and the video will pop up!

I couldn't embed a Facebook video - click on the photo and the video will pop up!

It's not easy to come across as completely salt of the earth in 60 seconds or less, but President Conn pulls it off with flying colors, what with his golf cart, classic mustache, and devastating use of the phrase "bummer in the summer." 

A lot of things work here - it's rough enough around the edges that it doesn't feel like marketing, President Conn is an incredibly good sport who clearly doesn't put on airs, and it's an unexpected, sincere message: telling students that they are valued and they are missed. It sounds so obvious, but take a minute and try to remember the last time you told your students that you loved them and that you missed them. I know I haven't any time recently, and that makes me a bit sad.

To pull something like this off you'll need a president that has both some personality and a small ego, not an easy combination to find. Maybe a popular faculty person or other leadership person could do it, but there's something about having it come from the top that makes it special.

Kudos to Lee University, and also a tip of the cap to Paul Conn... good stuff! 

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