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.