Posts Categorized: Customer Relationship

Email Subjects are Irrelevant, Only Sender Matters

Posted by & filed under Customer Relationship, Email.

An email comes from you mom, your sister, your BFF. Does it matter what the subject line says? No, you open it right up. I suspect there are some commercial organizations you feel the same about. In my house, it’s DailyCandy, BabyCenter, Joyent, Amazon, our insurance agent, accountant, etc. Any one of those organizations could […]

Kill Me Now

Posted by & filed under Customer Relationship.

“Always always always give us a button to allow us to do the worst thing you can imagine. The alternative is that we’ll end the relationship and then blog our complaints about you out loud, no matter how petty it makes us look.” – David Weinberger

It Only Makes Sense if You Only Sell Ads

Posted by & filed under Customer Relationship, Marketing, Television, Worst Practices.

“Except for one thing. There’s no ringtone for sale. Just like there were no bathrobes a couple weeks ago. Or Dundee statues before that. Or Timberlake boxes. Or Timberlake box song ringtones” – Doodledee Heck, TikiBar TV understands this: “Rather than charging a micropayment for your show, sell fans a nice fancy mug!” – Dave […]


Posted by & filed under Customer Relationship.

“We’re talking about relieving vendors of the need to do complex guesswork about what customers want…We’re talking about flattening the power relationships between vendors and customers, for the good of both.” – Doc Searls

Building Communities is Building Commerce

Posted by & filed under Customer Relationship.

Lots of conversations this weeks about building online communities: forums, weblog networks, mailing list, what have you. All with organizations having a vested, commercial interest in growing a community. While they expressed skepticism about a community gathering around their commercial interest, I wasn’t concerned. It’s already happening.A group of people somewhere are already talking about […]


Posted by & filed under Customer Relationship.

“People who care about what they eat go somewhere on purpose. People who don’t care, go close or cheap.” – Seth Godin Related: This is an important tipping point in Second Life’s history, as there are approximately THREE efforts to build alternatives, using open source and less expensive technology. – Eric Rice

Don Norman – ‘User’ is Derogatory

Posted by & filed under Customer Relationship.

“Psychologists depersonalize the people they study by calling them ‘subjects.’ We depersonalize the people we study by calling them ‘users.’ Both terms are derogatory. They take us away from our primary mission: to help people.” – Don Norman Individuals. All of us. Alone together. Even though we hide behind organizations, keyboards, and words – we’re […]

What’s the Opposite of an Edge Case?

Posted by & filed under Comic, Customer Relationship.

Stowe Boyd and Eric Rice have been taking about the problems of 37Signal’s Basecamp. I find Stowe’s the most interesting (verses Eric’s ‘nobody uses it anymore’). Stowe says Basecamp is great for small businesses, but it breaks down when small businesses collaborate – there’s no out-of-the-box way to connect accounts on a per-project basis. “if […]

If It Weren’t For The Customers

Posted by & filed under Advertising, Customer Relationship.

“I believe media companies are afraid of interacting with their audiences, because they (mistakenly) believe that their audiences are made up of people just like them — resentful, mean spirited, backbiting, hostile egomaniacs with inferiority complexes who, if given the opportunity, will spout their opinions without regard or respect for anyone but themselves.” – Terry […]

The LunchTrain

Posted by & filed under Cluetrain, Customer Relationship.

While at Sun this week, I shared an inspiring conversation with Rick Levine, co-author of Cluetrain Manifesto. It was a nice reminder that; relationships take commitments. new problems require new solutions. advertising dollars are better spent elsewhere. Thanks Rick.

Share You OPML, Exposing 1% of Your Audience

Posted by & filed under Customer Relationship, Metrics, Share Your OPML, Thought of the Day.

According to the Feedburner widget 53,657 people are subscribed to 746 of those people are also sharing their opml. That’s 1.4% overlap. If you’re running a tech startup, thanks to Share Your OPML, you now know which 746 people to talk with first. Coincidently, I’ve talked to a bunch of ecommerce, direct-to-customer organizations over […]

Where Are Your Customers Going To Be Tomorrow?

Posted by & filed under Customer Relationship.

Today, perhaps a small handful of people are skimming 300+ RSS feeds on their laptops, publishing podcasts and blogs, etc. Tomorrow that number will be more. Next week that number will be more. Next year, etc. If there’s anything I took away from a childhood in rural Wisconsin, it’s when hunting, you aim for where […]

Loving the Market – Hating the Marketer

Posted by & filed under Customer Relationship.

“Dependency breeds resentment. Marketers resent consumers, because marketers are dependent on consumers.” – Dave Rogers Dave nails a mentality that’s troubled me for years. Whether marketers and their customers or agencies and their clients. There’s an underlying resentment rampant in the ‘creative’ world – and I just don’t get it. Part of it feels like […]

A Use Case for Identity XML – Demographic Surveys

Posted by & filed under Customer Relationship, Identity, Intention Economy, Metrics, Research.

Stowe Boyd’s running a reader survey. I’ve followed Stowe from Get Real to /Message and thought I’d check out the survey. Standard demographic stuff; age, gender, household income, zip code, employment status, profession, internet usage, etc. Those common questions attempting to build an anonymous picture of people without actually getting involved with them. Reading through […]

We Are All Silos

Posted by & filed under Customer Relationship, Security.

Another day, another MacLeod (the word I’m using to describe my heavy-handed, Hugh MacLeod-inspired imagery). How many login/password combinations are you (or your browsers) remembering? Aside from the security issues inherent in having multiple keys around the web, each login/pass is another barrier to adoption, integration, usability, and usefulness. Customers are the silo, not publishers […]

Two Tips for Cingular to Improve Customer Service

Posted by & filed under Cingular, Customer Relationship.

I caught Matt Ritchel’s Suddenly, an Industry Is All Ears bit in NYT on how Cingular is trying to improve their customer service. On page two of the article, Ritchel identifies two small, yet high impact changes Cingular could make to dramatically improve their customer service experience: “There is also a timer that tells the […]

Save Your Customers A 39 Cent Annoyance

Posted by & filed under Customer Relationship.

Ironically, since the USPS raised the postage for a first-class letter to 39 cents, I’ve found myself with more outgoing mail. Both Netflix and my bank provide postage paid envelopes for my correspondence with them. So, it surprises and annoys me when I have to hunt down a stamp for things far more important than […]

Distribution is Marketing

Posted by & filed under Customer Relationship, Marketing, Unconference.

When we podcast the 2005 MIMA Summit – someone suggested we restrict access to the recordings. They’d be correct if the value of the conference was in the sessions. It’s not. The value is in the hallway conversations, the handshakes, business card exchanges, and direct personal interactions. The sessions themselves are strictly the focal point, […]

We Need to Build More Parks Not More Prisons

Posted by & filed under Customer Relationship, Employee Relationship.

Smarter people than I can debate the title of this post literally, I’m using it as a metaphor for web development and customer relationships overall. Vendors don’t have full control over their customers. Never did. Best they can do is encourage, support, and remove obstacles impeding their customers’ success. Especially if the vendor wants to […]

What if Your Customers Took Over Your Company’s Blog?

Posted by & filed under Blogging for Business, Customer Relationship, Weblogs.

The Work Better Weblog is 2 years old this month. To celebrate, I’m starting an experiment in multi-author business blogs, community-building, and transparency – each Working Pathways client gets posting access. That’s right – if you’ve hired Working Pathways, you automatically receive a login and password to publish whatever you’d like to the Work Better […]

The Difference Between Consumers and Customers Part Three

Posted by & filed under Customer Relationship, Thought of the Day.

I’ve always found the Cathedral and Bazaar metaphor compelling. Movie theaters, newspapers, television, radio, magazines are all cathedrals. The publishers place an artificial separation between them and the audience/consumers/eyeballs/gullets for their complete, discrete, highly-produced artifacts. One-size fitting all. Weblogs, Wikis, Bulletin Boards are bazaars. Down in the dirt. Personal connections, relationships, conversations, building-blocks. Each new […]

Lawyers That Get Niche Publishing and Podcasting

Posted by & filed under Best Practices, Customer Relationship, Marketing, Podcasting.

Some of you may remember the 6-part series I did with Parsinen Kaplan Rosberg & Gotlieb P.A. over at the First Crack Podcast. For your convenience, I’ve consolidated all the PKR&G podcast conversations including 2 bonus conversations that didn’t make the original series. This week PKR&G came out with their annual lifestyle magazine, “Perfectly Legal”. […]

On Measuring What Matters

Posted by & filed under Customer Relationship, Metrics, Podcasting.

I’ve been itching to see Dave Slusher’s reaction to the Audible Wordcast announcement and he didn’t disappoint. “What matters to me are the number of sensible comments, the other shows that quote me, the number of people that came up to me and talked to me at PME and told me they enjoyed the show. […]

A Consumer Moratorium

Posted by & filed under Customer Relationship.

Today, Doc pointed to Tim Jarrett saying (emphasis mine): “As I’ve mentioned before, I want a moratorium on the word consumer—both because it is disrespectful and because it builds bad thinking habits in companies that sell to ‘consumers’”. Smart, clued-in companies can signal they respect people by eradicating the word ‘consumer’ from their vocabulary (and […]