More On Where “Social” Fits Between Customer and Vendor

Interesting take on how social media have affected the early stages of a
relationship with a customer.  Slides 8 and 13, in particular, show an
interesting contrast between the "old" way of cramming things down a customer's
throat, vs. at least one view of how that interaction has changed as a result of the fact that we are all significantly better informed as customers before we ever even pick up the phone the first time.

(via Axel Schultze)

Link to presentation

Selling Out

Two things to read on the "how social media intersects with sales" front today.  

1)  "How Social Media Are Ruining Your Lead Qualification Strategy." Here's the salient bit, from Charles Green.

"CRM systems used to capture all the dialogue—between seller and customer.  Only now, they’ve realized that was only 5% of the real dialogue.  The other 95% of the real dialogue happens between customers."

 2)  From Transactions to Community, which looks at the phenomenon from a slightly different perspective, and arrives at a similar place.

#crm #vrm

An Awesome Way To Get People To Share Your Story

Sunset-chuck-revellEmotional, awe-inspiring stories are more likely to be shared online, says John
Tierney of the New York Times.  In his column Will You Be
E-mailing This Column? It's Awesome
, Tierney cites a study done at the
University of Pennsylvania that finds the following:

"More emotional stories were more likely to be e-mailed, the researchers
found, and positive articles were shared more than negative ones. Longer
articles generally did better than shorter articles, although Dr. Berger said
that might just be because the longer articles were about more engaging topics.
(The best way to test that, he said, would be for The Times to run shorter and
longer versions of the same article that would be seen by different

Surprising articles, like one about free-range chickens on the streets of
New York, were also more likely to be e-mailed — which was a hardly a surprising
discovery, of course. But the researchers also kept finding popular articles
with a quality that went beyond surprise.

“If I went into my classroom dressed up like a pirate, that would be
surprising, but it wouldn’t be awe-inspiring,” Dr. Berger said. “An article
about square watermelons is surprising, but it doesn’t inspire that awed feeling
that the world is a broad place and I’m so small.”

Building on prior research, the Penn researchers defined the quality as
an “emotion of self-transcendence, a feeling of admiration and elevation in the
face of something greater than the self.”

They used two criteria for an awe-inspiring story: Its scale is large,
and it requires “mental accommodation” by forcing the reader to view the
world in a different way.
" (emphasis added)

That last line was the one that really hooked me.  At an intuitive level, I
think we all get this, yet it's not immediately apparent why.

Doc Searls has written quite a bit over the years on the concept of
"authority," linking the meaning of the word to its root, author.  In
2007, he wrote:

"What we call
'authority' is the right we give others to author us, to enlarge us."

I think that's the link.  If we've read (or seen, or heard, or experienced)
something that has changed us, perhaps we feel a need to share that change with
others.  Furthermore, if we have allowed ourselves to be authored…again,
literally, we've allowed ourselves to be written to…that means we have
interacted with something that is, at some level, larger and
more powerful than ourselves.

And that's awesome.

photo: chuck

The Big List of Social Business Presentations from the Social Media Executive Summit

Last week, I participated in the outstanding Social Business Executive Summit.  In case you weren't able to attend in real-time, here are links to every slide and presentation from the three-day event.  Social media FTW!

Session 1: May 25, 8-9 a.m. PDT [slides]

The CEO's Challenge: Creating and Leading a Profitable
Social Business Strategy

The world has changed. Are you ready to deal with the Social Customer?
Our opening speakers will share insights and real-world examples to
inspire you to lead you organization to success!

John Todor, The Whetstone Edge

Social Strategies for Adapting to the New Normal

, Social Media Academy

Executing a Social Business Strategy

Christopher Carfi, Cerado

Trends to Watch in Mobile and Social Business

Session 2: May 25, 10-11 a.m. PDT
— Sponsored by Marketo

Transforming Marketing to Listen, Influence and Drive
Sales-Ready Leads

In case you were wondering, the days of 'spray and pray' marketing are
over. Learn how social marketing can help you engage, build your brand
and yes, still generate valuable leads for the sales force.


Understanding Stakeholder Brand Perceptions

, Marketo

Marketing Optimizations to Create More Sales-Ready Leads and Drive

Mitch Lieberman, Comity Technology Advisors

Building Trust to Engage B2B Prospects Online

Session 3: May 26, 8-9 a.m. PDT
— Sponsored by RightNow


Best Practices to Create Online Communities to Engage
Customers and Increase Loyalty

Creating successful online communities requires a whole lot more than
just a web site. Learn the different options and how to bring your
community come to life to create business value.

, Leader Networks

A Strategic Framework for Success

Tatyana Kanzaveli, Social CRM World

Types of Communities in the Digital Ecosystem

Jason Mittelstaedt, RightNow Technologies

RightNow and the Social Customer Experience

Session 4: May 26, 10-11 a.m. PDT
— Sponsored by InsideView

Transforming Sales to Align with Social Buyers and Close
More Deals

Can sales be social? Sure, but not just by using social media with
yesterday's sales tactics. Learn new social sales models to increase
sales performance with social buyers.

, Smart Selling

Creating a New Social Sales Model

Umberto Milletti, InsideView

Customer 2.0: Finding New Buyers in the Era of Social Media

, Social Media Academy

Pioneers Using Social Selling Techniques

Session 5: May 27, 8-9 a.m. PDT
— Sponsored by Jive

Best Practices to Create a High-Performance Organization
with Employee Collaboration

Join this session to explore new tools and strategies for using social
media with your employees. Learn how internal collaboration can
dramatically improves overall business performance.

, Chess Media Group

Integrated Approach to Tools, Culture and Adoption

Nathan Rawlins, Jive

How Employee Communities Increase Collaboration And Productivity

Adrienne Corn, VENTUS

Maximizing Social Media Use in Human Resources

Session 6: May 27, 10-11 a.m. PDT
— Sponsored by Genesys

Transforming Customer Service/Support to Profit from the
Wisdom of Crowds

Social support communities can help you engage with customers to solve
problems and co-create solutions. Put your customers to work to help
each other, while improving your bottom line.

John Moore, Swimfish

Engaging Customers with Support Communities

Eric Tamblyn, Genesys

Transforming Tribal Communities and Knowledge into Customer

Bob Thompson, CustomerThink

Getting the ROI from "CrowdService"

If You Continue To Send Emails To The CEO, A Cease And Desist Letter May Be Sent To You

Wow.  AT&T customer Giorgio G. sent two inquiries to AT&T's CEO Randall Stephenson, and received a threat of a Cease and Desist letter for his effort.  The back story:

Giorgio writes:

"Today I decided to voice my displeasure with the AT&T Wireless
new and “improved” data plans directly to the CEO.  This was the 2nd
email in as many weeks (I wanted to see if they’d bump up my phone
upgrade eligibility date given that I spend $110/month with them and
their normal customer service reps are powerless in this regard.)  

To my surprise, I received this voicemail (click on the “click to
play” link above to hear it) from AT&T’s executive response staff.
 The gist is:

Thanks for the feedback, and if you bother our CEO again, we’re
going to send you a cease and desist letter. 

Wow.  I was expecting a “hey thanks and so long” at best.  So what
did I send that was so offensive?  Here it is:

Thanks for making the switch to a Sprint HTC
Evo an even easier decision.  I don’t think even Steve Jobs can spin 2GB
for $25/month as a good thing for the consumer.  I may not use 
2GB/month today, but the point of these devices (iPad 3g, iPhone 4G,
etc.) is that we’ll be able to do more and your network either can’t
handle it, or you’re just trying to squeeze more money out of your
customers.  The $15/month 200MB plan is just a crappy anchor price that
makes the $25 plan look like a better deal than it really is, given that
the $30/”unlimited” plan goes away.

 Please don’t have one of your
$12/hour “Executive Relations” college students call me – I’ve found
them to be generally poorly informed ( readers know more
than they do about AT&T) and they have little  authority to do
anything sensible. 

This is simply a soon-to-be former customer


Giorgio G.

So in the end, I’m definitely switching to the HTC Evo, and
cancelling my iPhone & iPad 3G AT&T services – I don’t want to
give my money to a company that is bothered by its customers, and
threatens them legally to prove it."

Listen to the voicemail that Giorgio received here.

AT&T has since apologized, but holy cow, guys.  C'mon.

hat tip:  susan steade at GMSV