As I sat at the Word of Mouth conference run by womma listening to Andy Sernovitz, a few light bulbs illuminated. First, Andy’s passion for the ethical approach to WOM resonated with me – can we get our profession to help people buy what they want/need rather than ‘persuade’ them with misleading information.
Second, I feel strongly – and talk about – the user (and in this blog I’ll use customer and user as synonyms) experience for products, services I use and things I care about. The whole experience, including things such as how hard it is to buy X, or how does a company expect me to work out how to use the product with instructions like this – or big sin #1 in my book, how did you think I was going to break into your product when it’s encased in plastic armor (Logitec, phone companies, take a bow) that only submits to very sharp scissors and brute force.
And finally (they taught me at school never start a sentence with ‘and’: that gives you clues about where, when and how much impact my education had on my behavior) where does all this brand stuff fit? Why don’t companies get that every interaction with ‘their’ brand impacts my view. Yes, Mr CEO, even the driver of your vehicle who cuts me or someone else up on the highway. Every interaction, every touchpoint, every person – and we often talk as though it’s ALL people, when it’s not – affects me in some small way. It can, of course, be positive – but most often we hear the bad. I’ll try and point out both. And also (twice in one paragraph!) the ridiculous.
So that’s what you’ll see here.
My personal aims are to have a point of view (instead of demonstrating my excellence in fence sitting), to have passion, and to try and change some of the things that need to be changed – especially if it is a person’s perception. So why do I care about this stuff? I’m a long time professional marketer and sales guy, working for the longest time on the fringes of high tech, currently VP of sales and marketing with The Open Group. I’m in Oakland, California and as a friend says I wasn’t born here, but I got here as quick as I could. I’ll try and bring the quirky sense of humor (if you understand, you’ll be able to explain the title), and the perspective of being born and brought up in Europe to bear in these observations.
So this is where it all starts. Stand by for the coffee rant, what I love (and the few things I don’t) about American Airlines, good and bad customer support (and why the smart companies (take a bow, HP) are realizing that support is an added value, not a cost center and bringing them back to their home country. And more…….. Much more.