Tuesday, 14 October 2008

Global Customer Reference Survey 08

I think it's time to see what customer reference professionals are thinking: Globally (not just North America), Clientside AND Agency (not sure why agencies are excluded from so many areas when they have a large proportion of Global advocacy experience). This means sharing what we do with everyone; competitors included.
Going to be interesting but I am up for it!

Customer Reference Professional? you can participate here

Wednesday, 20 August 2008

Customer Vigilantes

Nice article on Customer Vigilantes (the dark knights of word-of-mouth) on SWOM

Thursday, 17 July 2008

more on metrics

Reference programmes have grown up over the last couple of years; full-circle measurement is now possible (for sales activities) and I am very pleased indeed with how far we have come. One of the 'groundhog day' conversations in customer reference land is measuring the use of case studies.

Not easy.

Personally I do not subscribe to formulas such as 'X number of downloads really equates to Y number of views' however it's also clear that marketing, sales and customers do not download a case study every time it is used.

Privacy rules prevent a technology solution (quite right too) however I see case study use as one of the last unquantified areas of programme ROI.

Hang on, what about Analyst, Press and Event activity measurement? any ideas? (non-formula based)

Tuesday, 8 July 2008

Customer Reference Forum 09

The dates for the 09 Customer Reference Forum have been announced, these are February 17-19, 2009. This event will be held in Berkeley, California (If the venue is the same it will be the third time at this location; highly recommended).
Merv Adrian from Forrester will be giving the keynote on the impact of Social Media.

More as I have it.

Wednesday, 21 May 2008

Customer Reference Manifesto

I'm a big fan of changethis and often read the manifestos they help to create. This is a site with integrity and all about spreading new ideas.

I have submitted a proposal for a manifesto about how customer reference programmes are moving from collateral to community, and how they can be measurable in the process.

I can only write this if enough people vote for it so if you want to know more (or vote for it) please goto my manifesto submission. thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday, 9 April 2008

SWoMies of the world unite

Just in case you have not see this it's the WoM community from Jackie Huba and Ben McConnell called the Society for Word of Mouth. Cool stuff.

Friday, 28 March 2008

I blog for cash

Having a successful blog and carrying advertising is one thing, readers are intelligent enough to know the difference.

Paying bloggers on a per-post basis to endorse products?

This is wrong on all sorts of levels. Lazy thinking and a bad idea, no matter companies such as payperpost dress it up with 'blog about the things you love' and request 'disclosure'.

Old marketing thinking; come on, we can do better than this.

Thursday, 21 February 2008

You are not alone

Had a great time at the 2008 customer reference forum. There were some common themes such as ROI and metrics plus Web2.0 however the biggest theme for me is that companies large and small share the same issues.

We heard about global companies that survive with just 4 reference managers and self-service models and also a company that had 95 reference managers and agency assistance too.

It was also good to see a non-IT/Telco company there (Private jet travel) and to see how the trend for negative references (prospective customers wanting to connect with companies that have terminated vendors which they are currently considering) is becoming real.

Monday, 18 February 2008

Back again

Have returned to sunny (actually not so sunny) Berkeley for the spring customer reference forum; around 120 reference professionals so lots of opportunity to share knowledge.

ROI seems to the single biggest agenda item this year; I will be posting updates from the event of the next couple of days.

Tuesday, 12 February 2008

Free Magenta!

It's old news however I was reminded of it when coming across this great site commenting on Deutsche Telekom's registration of the colour magenta at the European Brand Office (ANP). Very creative.

DT's subsidiary T-Mobile uses this colour and was concerned that its brand recognition would suffer if other brands used it.

I first thought this was a joke however it gets worse. The colour registered is RAL 4010 and only for the telecoms &IT/online sectors however DT has been sending 'cease and desist' letters and there is a reclaim magenta! petition too.

I have a thing for green 82b000 used in our inEvidence logo; you've been warned.

Monday, 11 February 2008

Have we amazed you?

Needing some new keys we went into a shoe repair/key cutting shop in our local town; the sort of place with all sorts of crazy tools, spinning wheels and a nostalgic smell of glue and polish.

While there I noticed the post-paid cards on the front of the counter, 'Have we amazed you?' and 'Sorry you had a problem'. Both of these cards carried the shop code and used 'the ultimate question' and 1-10 Netpromoter scoring system.

Not only this but there was a sign above the counter that said that although they are all about service not to tip them but place a donation in the box for a children's charity, which they would then double.

Very impressive thus far and good to see Netpromoter in action. As it happens two of the keys do not function so let's see if this company lives up to this early promise!

Wednesday, 6 February 2008

EBay removes negative feedback ability for sellers

Whoa! It's great to see that EBay is getting to grips with its feedback system, removing the ability for sellers to leave negative feedback (see my previous post) but is this the answer?

I am torn here; communities allow people can give their positive or negative point of view however something needed to be done; this is a good pragmatic solution to a real issue, but is it community?

The BBC has an audio interview on this topic with EBay's Richard Ambrose here

Sunday, 3 February 2008

The Truth about Customer References

Every now and then I come across this article. It's getting a little old now but relevant if things reference-shaped are of interest to you.

It discusses a topic of great importance to any reference programme; that customer advocacy should be freely given and the result of a great customer experience (or maybe I think it supports this view as I share it).

Written by Sally Scalet and published in CIO magazine in 2002, it's still worth a read.

Tuesday, 29 January 2008

Why companies need female managers

Interesting article about Helen Fisher's research and speech at the World Economic Forum in Davos.
If you understand gender differences in the way our brains develop and behave it will help you hire the right people, improve teamwork and can apparently grow a company's bottom line.
She says "Having only men or women on your team would be like hopping on one foot instead of walking".

Monday, 21 January 2008

Back in Berkeley

Only a month or so until the next customer reference forum in Berkeley.

Looking forward to seeing familiar faces and meeting fellow reference geeks old and new.

We will be keeping a daily diary of the highlights from this event (from a reference geek perspective)

See you there?

Monday, 14 January 2008

Word of Big Mouth

With the biggest mouths in the capital, the London cabbie (taxi driver) is known for having opinions on just about anything, and eager to share them with you!

A UK company has decided to harness cabbie power, working with the tourism authority of Thailand to provide a free five-day trip to Bangkok for cabbie Driver Adrian Torlin, who is now only too keen to tell his captive audience about his experience.

He said "I thought Bangkok was great, and if I thought it was not good I would be telling people this too".

This is super; while Facebook advertising and paid WOM is gets such bad press the tourism authority of Thailand has so much faith in their 'product' they are risking all.
This is authenticity without control.
Apparently the average cab ride lasts 16 minutes; imagine how much good or bad WOM a London cabbie can squeeze into a quarter of an hour.