Friday, April 30, 2010

Can video games help prepare you for college?

Can video games help prepare you for college? They can if you are seeking a bachelor's degree in video game design. George Mason University, located near Washington DC, is one of the latest universities to offer a degree in video game design. Students are flocking to the program which includes courses such as Culture and Theory of Games, as well as computer programming and motion arts classes.

Other universities offering video game design programs include The Art Institutes, DeVry University, and the Minnesota School of Business.

Click here for more information on the GMU program.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Social Selling/Servicing: Use your customer web/call center/text/in person interactions to learn something about the customer

Frankly do you really want to be listed as the worst customer service company by Consumerist? -- "Results of ‘Worst Company in America’ Vote By Jennifer Saranow Schultz"

Read this too: Bill Snyder writing in Business Week "Tech Vendors Admit Service Stinks"

Hello all! There is a solution -- consider training your front-line person to learn how to listen and understand what the prospect or the customer is saying? Is it time for all of us to resort to social selling/servicing mode of operations?

What is social selling/servicing?

To me, social selling/servicing is a web-enabled way to deliver whatever that you are doing -- whether it be selling (from "As Seen on TV"(TM) to airplane carriers) or servicing -- deliver it in an affordable fashion but remember here the customer defines how they want to be sold or to be serviced. Affordable is your benefit. But sorry! you no longer get to define what you sell or service.

In this new world, the prospect or the customer defines the critical-to-quality (CTQ) characteristic of the entire interaction that they will have with you. Specifically, they first define the route of the interaction either calls or chats or texts or emails or simply reaches out to us in person. To them, you and your company is one entity.

Recently, I saw this SlideShare Presentation: Social Business Design: web 2.0 NYC. I found the article a bit long but it evoked the image about an eco-system that cannot be managed with putting out a scripted, monotonic act on the web or phone. Scripts and complying with laws are essential "must-haves" Kano characteristics. But to sustain and delight your prospect and customer -- evolution from "must-have" status must occur.

Your salespersons, call center agents, chat agents, (Aruns/Susans/Michaels/Lisas/Davids/Priyas -- whoever signs on):

-- Are they ready to manage any interaction whatever route the prospect or the customer reaches out to you? Or have you created silos within your organization by routing using the source as the reason for routing?
-- Have they learned about the prospect or the customer before they start their interaction?
-- Have they been trained to process and manage all the digital and non-digital bits of information about the prospect or the customer?
-- Do they have a perspective about the prospect or the customer after they learned something about the person they are about to interact with?
-- Are they working towards defined goals of customer learning? Have you defined measures of success for the customer listening and learning strategy?
-- What are their customer listening and learning strategy and tools and process?

So! As you can see -- you -- my friend (and I) have to start by learning about our prospects and our customers before you (and I) start these interactions.