Does Offline engagement equal Online engagement?

At lunch today I paused to reflect on how offline engagement with customers relates to the online experience. This was largely due to an experience I had at a certain fast food outlet whilst getting a burger (looking at YOU McDonalds!). Cruised through drive-through, had a warm welcome when placing the order and paying and then onto the pickup window. This is where the experience changed. The team member, as I believe they are called, asked how my day was, almost as though he was reading off a script. No eye contact or interest in the reply. Now this doesn’t bother me, I tend not to engage with the operator but it did get me thinking… is this how McDonalds also act online?

I looked them up on Facebook. Only one account that I can see of note, a global one that has limited content but it looked so pretty! This seemed to compare to the real-world experience; nice store front but poor follow-through. So off to Twitter. A lot of accounts to choose from, found the New Zealand one (@MaccasNZ). Really impressed with the profile page, easy access to other contact information on the left, bright red branding and best of all a lot of conversations with customers. And conversations that were not just about pushing products but about talking to people. This is obviously different from the Facebook experience which in fairness is a global page.

So I am now interested to investigate more local businesses and see if there is a link between their offline engagement and their online personas. My initial thoughts are there will be no real difference; poor service offline will equal poor service online.

Anybody have any examples already of where this is the case, or where it is the total opposite?

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