I feel sorta "random" today so I'm going to jot down some random thoughts and ideas that have been either observations or tidbits.
- YAY CMC - I want to send a major shoutout to Customer Management Community. They simply don't get enough attention in the United States for their consistently interesting work, and very well organized site. I've never written for them, don't know a soul over there personally (my bad) which is unusual for me, but they have done some excellent work on things like public sector CRM (see this report on governments redefining marketing in the UK); customer service; some very good industry software/SaaS analysis; very good work on customercentricity and just a multitude of other things. I think if they have any weaknesses its that they don't focus enough on the emotional and behavioral side of the transformation to the experience-focused customer that we're seeing pretty acutely now and they need to do a lot more with that. They are fine when it comes to process and metrics. Generally, they are a winner all around and, though based in the U.K. with a strong Euro-flavored dollop in their tea, they are a site that American audiences need to pay attention to. Thank you, Stuart Lauchlan.
- THE "DUH" FACTOR #1 & #2 - Amdocs came out with a study on February 13, called "The Customer Experience Survey" which pretty much validates what some of us have been saying all along (so, of course, it must be accurate and right). It found that "both consumers and businesses say that they are more likely to stick with a telecom provider based on the quality of the customer experience than on the cost of its service." Another conclusion? Customers want more control over that experience "Self service also continues to grow in importance. More than three out of four consumer respondents asked for online access to their account to handle administrative tasks such as reviewing and paying bills." Money wasn't the issue, nor was paying for new services. Control and the experience were. Good for Amdocs. Finally a technology company survey done with some meaningful questions. I don't know Amdocs all that well but I've tracked them enough to know that they are on the path to recovering some of the ground they lost after the Nortel Networks acquisition. This survey was very smart so it now puts them back on my radar so watch the blog for something on them some time in the future (how's THAT for vagueness?) I don't have enough current knowledge of their products or services to make any definitive judgement - though ordinarily that lack of knowledge that doesn't stop me!
- GEE THANKS, I DIDN'T REALIZE I WAS THAT STUPID - I like CRM Daily most of the time. They and CRM Buyer keep me up with the latest CRM news and some of their authors (especially the incredible Louis Columbus at CRM Buyer) are neat-o writers. But when I read articles like this one from the CRM Daily on January 31, 2006 "CRM Resolutions for the Year Ahead" I can only wonder things like, "why do I exist?" I begin to wail loudly, knash my teeth and tear some follicle-based protein from from my increasingly thinning hairline. Listen to this one. This is CRM Daily's anonymous writer's advice for 2006 to all you apparently clueless CRM practitioners out there. Resolution #1 - Evaluate the integrity of your data. Resolution #2 - Take stock of your current CRM solution. Resolution #3 - Plan now for the year ahead. Does it really take a CRM expert to tell you these things? If it does, then here are some resolutions for you personally. Resolution #1 - Make money this year. Resolution #2- Make sure that you and your family eat food as close to daily as you can. Resolution #3 - Treat yourself to something once in awhile. Resolution #4 - What-EVER.
- YOU'RE IN THE FACEBOOK GENERATION - Sasha Cohen won the silver medal for her woman's individual figure skating performance last night. She deserved it. She fell once in the beginning of her performance and then nearly fell again about 10 seconds later. But she hung tough and skated elegantly and just picked herself up and got back in the race (Tha's a Frank Sinatra reference - The song? "That's Life"). That gave her a sweet #2 finish. Her maturation from being a youthful hothead to a smart young, articulate woman is both obvious and welcome. But her victory isn't the reason for this musing. After the competition was over, this 21 year said something that made me pause, not because she used buzzwords that were cool to me (though they were). Instead, what made me stop in my tracks was her reflecting on the "four minutes out of her life" that she skated last night I think with this unpretentious, unrehearsed thought, she expressed how her generation actually thinks so CRMers take heed. Here's her quote: "Ultimately, a medal just signifies what youve accomplished. My focus is not on the medal. Its the experience and the process." Not bad, Sasha. Those of you reading this can make of it whatever you want to. But don't ignore the thinking that went into her comment. She ain't alone in it.
Not CRMish Stuff
These really are my code words for talking about the Yankees or philosophy or something just arcane so one thought on each.
- Let's start by looking at the Yankees, arguably my favorite subject. You can check what I say in my Yankees box over on the right side of this blog but I have to tell you something. At first, I was really wary of Johnny Damon, the Yankee, because of his committments but he is trying SO hard to fit in, reporting early, trying to say the right thing and working overtime to be a "teammate" that I'm starting to like him, even though I think he's being too propitiatory. That said, we have one powerful team this year and when Randy Johnson can even be relaxed in front of the NY media during the early days of spring training, then the world spins, the tectonic plates shift toward the Yankees. Thus, the only disruptive innovation that I will be concerned with during the summer will be the disruptions of sleep that the Yankees will cause the diehard Red Sox, White Sox and Oakland fans (their teams are my picks for the other two division winners and the wild card - though maybe the Indians or the Blue Jays rather than the Red Sox).
- I find that when I muse over things blog-related or not, I often think about a question which could be a bummer for some -one that has been a concern of moral philosophers since the 18th century" such as Immanuel Kant and GWF Hegel: What actions should we take in our lives that are in accordance with the Highest Good? How does that constrain us? Or does it NOT constrain us and instead provide us with increased freedom? That leads me to wondering that if I'm doing what I think is good for goods sake and it seems to work against my own interest, is this good? OR On the other hand, if I do something strictly out of a sense of duty and don't believe in it, but it has a good result or result for The Highest Good, was it good - for me? Which boils down to the difference between self- interest and selfishness. It also identifies the conundrum of how you reconcile freedom and necessity. All of this is why I have no friends anymore, and I presume when you're done reading this, no blog readers either (you're probably thinking "where's the sex part?") Actually though, all of these questions impact the way I conduct business because they impact my moral and ethical code - which means, of course, how I'm currently conducting my life. That's why I think about them sometimes. This is one of those days.
- Just to not leave you on an existential note, here's a joke from one of my favorite comedians:
Mitch Hedberg:"I'm a hard act to follow, because when I'm done, I take the microphone with me".
(PG) Thank you. Thank you very much. I'll be here all millennium