Social Media Networking with Customers Explained

August 16, 2008

Lee Lefever’s CommonCraft website offers a succinct take on how social media help businesses network with customers. If you haven’t seen his paperworks video technique for explanation I recommend viewing the video below. We’ve used Lefever’s work before to explain twitter and its relevance to collaboration.

Visit Lefever’s website and take some time to review the work. It is a unique approach to visual explanation.

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Is a Social Network on Your Foot?

August 7, 2008

The social networking capabilities of Web 2.0 technologies provide numerous opportunities for product and service providers to engage customers. Two interesting examples of companies reaching out to engage their customers come from the footwear industry, specifically Nike and adidas. Some of you may already know about these two examples. However, the difference in social networking strategy between the two is worth thinking about.
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Empathic Research Methods and Design Strategy

July 20, 2008

Adam Silver, a Strategist at Frog Design, recently wrote an insightful article, “Calculated Design”, in the company’s online magazine — design mind. I want to discuss the article because it touches on several key issues relating to innovation and designing products and services for the experience of users/customers. Adam notes that as globalization and digitalization emerged in the 1990s the trend resulted in product and service interfaces with more culturally diverse and geographically distributed audiences and a fragmented market. The combination of these forces led designers to search for new methods to augment artistic intuition. Considerations of form and function also required attention to feel, features, and interactivity attuned to the needs, wants, and beliefs of specific users/customers.

As Adam observes, ethnography was one of the first new methods incorporated by design research to meet these challenges in the market. However, he thinks ethnography is, on its own, unable to provide the kind of information needed to validate product and service ideas across wide audiences. Read the rest of this entry »


Personas and Market Segmentation

June 9, 2006

I started reading The Persona Lifecycle by John Pruitt and Tamara Adlin over the past week, all 700 plus pages. The book provides a detailed overview of how to use personas, though mostly focused on interactive applications such as web design and software. I cannot review the whole book here, largely because of its length, but also because it does not seem like a book the authors designed for people to read through. It is more like a nicely woven set of concepts, practical insights, and toolkits around the topic of personas. In addition, it provides five original contributions, as individual chapters, by well-known authorities in user centered design. Read the rest of this entry »


Customer Experience Management vs. Self-Orientation

January 3, 2006

“The best companies find ways to tune in to customers’ voices every day,” The Three “Ds” of Customer Experience

Focusing on how to engage customers in dialogue, how to converse with customers is among the greatest challenges, and opportunities, facing companies today. Conversing with customers requires a focus on their experience with existing products and services as well as the design of new ones. It means developing business processes to deliver products and services that are not self-oriented, but customer-oriented; not inside-out, but outside-in.

Customer Experience Management (CEM) is a term used by many people to describe the methods for developing customer-orientation instead of self-orientation in business processes. CEM is one of those terms offering something to lots of different people. As a result, it is sometimes confused with the very services it claims to offer management advice on applying. A recent series of posts on LivePath provide an interesting discussion on what makes CEM different from CRM, User Experience Design, and Experiential Marketing. If you employ these buzz words in describing the services your company offers, I strongly encourage a close reading of these posts by Leigh Duncan. Although I might quibble with some of the distinctions made within each functional area of CEM that Leigh outlines, the overall strategy for making sense of what CEM offers is sound.

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Open Innovation, Self-orientation, and Customer Dialogue

November 1, 2005

Booz, Allen, Hamilton recently reported on their Global Innovation 1000 research in “Money Isn’t Everything.” We briefly mentioned the report here. However, the findings are significant enough that an indepth discussion is needed.

So, why do I think the findings of the research are significant? Read the rest of this entry »


Break the Golden Rule with Customer Dialogue Support

October 25, 2005

A customer dialogue approach to customer support differs from traditional service models in at least one critical way. The most basic difference is that a customer dialogue approach insists that businesses perform better in the market when they minimize the self-orientation of their business processes and maximize their customer-centeredness. Yet, a customer-centered business strategy requires more than being nice to customers. Read the rest of this entry »