Monthly Archives: November 2014

What We Read This Week, Black Friday 2014 Edition:

Slimmer selection than usual this week, still some worthwhile readings:

Why customer pain can be good for business – The author suggests a different way of thinking about pursuing excellence in service interactions (My Customer)

Are You Deliberate with Your Customer Strategy or Just Taking a Chance? – looks at building a customer experience culture within the company and the questions to ask in order to make it happen (My Customer)

IBM Works To Bring Engaging Consumer Experiences To B2B Organizations – From my former employers at Big Blue, dynamic customer experiences are now possible in B2B environments (Todd Turbo)

What we read this week, 21 November 2014:

The concept of customer success may be strange to some of us coming from the on-premise enterprise technology side. This post from Totango, and more importantly, the Forrester report it points to do a pretty good job at explaining the concept and pointing to the leading players.

Knowledge-Centered Support – The Methodology That Really Works – (Atlassian)

How to Reduce Waste with Process Mining – I recently came across the concept of process mining, courtesy of a coursera course Process Mining: Data science in Action. From the course description: “Process mining bridges the gap between traditional model-based process analysis (e.g., simulation and other business process management techniques) and data-centric analysis techniques such as machine learning and data mining.” From what I have seen so far, it uses event data (think your CRM’s or case tracking system’s audit trail) to analyze process bottlenecks and dependencies. I will provide additional reviews of the concept and the course when it ends, but if you have some time check it out, it is free.

The 7 Laws of Customer Success – More on customer success and the mindsets driving this rapidly growing discipline (gainsight).

How Do People Get New Ideas? – written in 1959 by Isaac Asimov and only recently published, this article discusses the conditions for creativity (MIT Technology Review).

What we read this week, 14 November 2014:

How can a customer journey lead to data enlightenment? – Mapping and instrumenting the customer journey through the company’s multiple touchpoint, and some ket points to consider (

Predicting Customer Lifetime Value – decisions about customer tier and service levels are frequently driven by the ability to predict customers’ lifetime, or long term, value. Frequently this prediction is based on past experience, “our best customers will continue to be our best customers.” The article describes a statistical model used to analyze those predictions and the challenges in doing that. Key quote: “We found that best customers continued to be best customers at a much lower rate than we expected […] If a significant proportion of future best customers comes from past poor customers, you risk losing them.” (Kellogg Insight)

How to Get People to Like You: 7 Ways From an FBI Behavior Expert – several helpful tips on creating rapid rapport with strangers (Time)

Are these the five biggest hurdles to successful customer service? – a good summary of common customer service failures in execution and management (

Don’t Be a Metrics Slave – Support organizations are highly instrumented organizations and easy to measure, and frequently metrics are used poorly to the detriment of all involved. This article points to several common pitfalls I have seen a number of people fall into frequently (Enterprise Irregulars)

What we read this week, 7 November 2014:

Welding with Autodesk CEO Carl Bass – How many CEOs do you know who can do their endusers’ job? (The Financial Times, subscription required)

Tailor Your Presentation to Fit the Culture – many of us managing global organizations often face communication challenges when implementing initiatives across multiple locations. This post discusses some of the deep cultural foundations behind that. I have to admit that I was skeptical before reading the post, but found it enlightening and worth sharing (Harvard Business Review Blogs Network)

Two Worlds Colliding: How LinkedIn Could Take On Salesforce – Considering how critical CRM systems are to every customer facing organization, what impact would supporting customers with additional linkedin input have? (Techcrunch)

Firestone Did What Governments Have Not: Stopped Ebola In Its Tracks – on preparation for crisis (NPR)

10 Ways to Spot Great Teachers (and Avoid Crummy Ones) – on what makes an excellent teaching experience (The Talent Code, link via FTWORKS).

Two articles about the current and future states of enterprise technology – The Future of Enterprise IT: An interview with Geoffrey Moore (CIO) and The Harsh Reality Of The New Enterprise World by Gainsight CEO, Nick Mehta (techcrunch) – articles offer distinct perspectives on the industry and are definitely worth your time