It’s not about your number of Twitter followers or Facebook friends, Seth Godin told me yesterday at the Inc. 5000 conference in Washington DC. Seth kindly agreed to a one-minute interview yesterday after his mainstage appearance with Tom Peters, moderated by AmEx OPEN president Susan Sinnott.

The two “gurus” got into a good-natured yelling match on several topics, including customer service (“Your standards are way too low!” Seth screamed at Tom), the loyalty of employees vs. customers and growing your business.

(I love Seth’s new green glasses.)

The following is re-posted from the Inc. 5000 conference blog  #inc500

Seth Godin and Tom Peters got into a friendly shouting match yesterday under the bemused eye of moderator Susan Sobbott, who hosts the AmEx OPEN Forum for small business.

The three were the mainstage attraction before lunch on Friday Sept. 19, 2008.

Susan posed some great questions about leadership, customer service, the loyalty of employees vs. customers, and controlling your brand.

The customer service question (“True or False? Technology has killed customer service”) prompted the screaming.

The Web makes for great customer service, Tom said, citing Amazon’s recommendations feature and how easy it is to book a flight online.

It’s not just about the technology, Seth said, citing the horrible experience of present day air travel. “Customer service is now for things that go wrong… your standards are way too low!” “Where,” Seth asked, “is the box where you check to pay more. I’ll pay more and you’ll be nice to me? Where is that??”

Below Seth reprises an answer to a question from the audience: “Is social networking important for small business?”