Tuesday, 6 November 2007

He who pays the piper

At every gathering of customer reference professionals the conversation inevitably will touch on one subject:

"We need more reference customers; should we run an incentive programme?"

There is no easy answer to this one; I for one believe in incentivising busy sales teams but not in "payment for praise" and see this as fastest way to damage the integrity of any programme.

Rewarding and recognising amazing advocates is another thing entirely; value exchange is what reference communities are all about, not dangling carrots.

Do what's right long-term and concentrate on making it easy for customers to become advocates, then to make their advocacy as effective as possible.

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