by Gene Alvarez | May 8, 2009 | Comments Off
The other day in my blog, I asked my followers to vote. The vote was for me to tweet or blog. Additionally, I posted a link that asked my Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, and Plaxo friends to “Please read my blog”. What I found out from this little experiment was interesting. Putting aside people saying I was shamelessly plugging my blog or accusing me of being lazy because I like to tweet over blogging, I found that almost no one was willing to leave the community they were in to reply or comment.
Instead, All but two of the replies were within each persons “home” community, now this test may not have followed the rules of scientific testing but it still pointed out to me that people have an affinity to stay “home” online.
So can this mean that organizations seeking to create their own communities instead of taking part in existing ones are going to fail? Alternatively, do they need offer a clear value proposition, purpose and benefit to the user to draw them into the organization’s community? What is your view?
Category: Web and CRM Tags: Communities, CRM, e-commerce, eCRM, Social Software
by Gene Alvarez | May 5, 2009 | 3 Comments
OK, I admit it. I prefer to Tweet. There it is out. I have said it. I know I have not been the best and most diligent blogger and for my readers/followers I must apologize. I find Tweeting from my mobile device a much easy way to let my followers know what I am up too than blogging. Blogging requires me to sit down, write, edit and post while Tweeting is short and sweet. Therefore, I thought I would ask for your opinion on this matter. So if you want tweets respond with the word “tweet” and if you prefer blogging, respond with the work “blog” and your comments are welcome in either case. Let’s see where we go from here.
Here is the link to my twitter page http://twitter.com/galvar60 please join in following me.
Category: Web and CRM Tags: Blogging, CRM, Social Software, Tweet, Twitter
by Gene Alvarez | April 3, 2009 | 4 Comments
What a week! As the economy goes up and then back down, I am finding that more clients are concerned about thier web sites customer experience. I am not just talking about business-to-consumer (B2C) organizations. I am seeing business-to-business (B2B) organization looking to the web as a way to improve sales, build brands, work well with partners and much more. Many are asking questions like How to improve my partner portal? How do I offer a more B2C sales environment like some of the top B2C sellers for my partners? We want to run promotions, campaigns, product recommendations, self-service sales process such as configurator price and quote. I believe we will see more pressure on B2B organizations to offer a rich internet customer experience instead of old green screens over the web. Do you agree?
Category: Web and CRM Tags: CRM, ecommerce, eCRM, partner portal, partner relationship management, PRM
by Gene Alvarez | March 26, 2009 | Comments Off
In between all that I had to do today; I couldn’t help but watch the Whitehouse online “Open for questions” voting. Although some question such as health care were no surprise. One topic I didn’t expect as the top question was the legalization and taxation marijuana. Moreover, I was surprised that is ranked the highest in three sections (Budget, Financial stability and Green Jobs and Energy) of today’s agenda.
When I viewed the results I could not help but smile at this use of the web to gather and monitor what is on the public’s mind only to discover it may not be something you are ready to address or want to address.
This use of ‘crowd scoring” can only show that Governments and enterprises will need to learn a new set of skills on how to manage the gathering information about their products and services via the web.
With this “crowed scoring” come the problems of handling the good opinions with the bad and more importantly the unexpected controversy.
Will the Whitehouse speak on this topic since it placed as the top question in three sections of today’s poll? Only time will tell reveal this answer. But for enterprises that seek to do the same thing with their customers – remember if you ask for input be prepared to deal with the unknown.
How do you feel about this? Should enterprises ask their customers “How are we doing?” so directly? Is this the death of the focus group? What are your views? Should I take my own advise?
Category: Web and CRM Tags: CRM, eCRM, Social Software, Web 2.0
by Gene Alvarez | March 21, 2009 | Comments Off
Ever wonder why e-commerce sales for your organization aren’t as high as you think they should be? Well I can tell you one possible reason the shopping to check out process could be harder than just driving somewhere to buy the item. For example, I own two GPS devices for my cars and I wanted to update the maps since they needed it and the device recommended the update.
I go to the site register my products and next I have to go through a process that makes tax forms look like fun. I have to have the site scan for my device after the request to hook it up, however they already know what I have since I registered the products and they are in the “My Products” tab of my account.
After waiting for the device check, two maps set are recommended so I pick one and to make sure I have the right maps I read all the tabs and find out the first recommended product does not support by my devices. I hit the back button and repeat the process for the next product and find it supports my devices. Next, I put the product in the cart and proceed to checkout (30 minutes at this point).
During the check out process I notice that the 10% discount that I was told I would get for registering my product isn’t apply and that I need a code that I did see or was not told to save for my purchases. Now I have to restart the process to see if I can find the code for the discount (at this point I feel like Frodo in Lord of the Rings). I can’t find the code so now I go through the whole process again to purchase what I need (swearing that when the devices I own die that I will buy the competitors products sight unseen) after paying 10% more than I had too and then being charged for shipping.
Imagine what sales could be like if this was the process – sign into your account, select your devices from the “My Products” tab that has a link that reads “update maps” suggest the right product from the beginning and automatically apply the unclaimed discount to the cart and take me to check with address information pre-loaded from my account (remember I registered) and take me to check out – time should be <5 minutes to do this. Also why do you need my phone number plan on calling me soon? Also, if you wonder did I try calling the number on the site, I did they were closed.) So is your site shopping process like this one? Send me your URL if you feel up to the challenge.
Category: Web and CRM Tags: CRM, e-commerce, ecommerce, eCRM, Web Sales, Web Selling
by Gene Alvarez | March 13, 2009 | Comments Off
I was surfing through some of the midday news items online and came across the story of the Girl Scout that used a facebook with Youtube to sell cookies and that caught my eye. It seems as though the Girl Scouts themselves are not ready for online selling but that this little girl (with the help of her dad a web designer) was ready to sell as many cookies as she could so her troop could go to summer camp.
This little scout and her dad like any good renegade salesperson didn’t wait for her organization to give her the go ahead to use the web. Instead, she just did it.
Now the fun part is that the local council asked her to take down the online order form like any larger organization would try to shut down a renegade practice (e.g., Don’t expense your cell phone, or SFA tool that you got on your own). However, this in turn put the practice in the national spotlight which from a marketing prospective is a big bang for very little bucks. (It sure made me want the cookies.)
Now where else have we seen this before? Remember when your web site was a back room operation or maybe your company is experimenting with social software like facebook and YouTube. Do you think your organizations is like the Girl Scouts where innovation at a grassroots level is stopped or are you free to try something new?
Category: Web and CRM Tags: e-commerce, ecommerce, innovation, Web 2.0, Web Customer Experience, web sites, Website
by Gene Alvarez | February 24, 2009 | Comments Off
Well after a bout with laptops that were either stepped on by a fellow traveler or died while in front of a client. I’ve finally back online with yet another loaner until my laptop reachs full health. Anyway, I’m at our mobile and wireless show and one of the keys words on attendee lips is mobile apps and linking them to an organizations web strategy. My session on this appears to be well received by the attendees so I’m wonder what my readers think about this in a down economy. Would you send money on a mobile application for selling in 2009?
Category: Uncategorized Web and CRM Tags: Add new tag, CRM, e-commerce, ecommerce, eCRM, m-commerce, mobile, mobile commerce
by Gene Alvarez | December 16, 2008 | 2 Comments
Well I finally got my new laptop after my old one died, so I’m back to trying to catch up with everything including my blogging.
I know we all have been hearing about the slow holiday sales but I couldn’t help think that there are shoppers out there using their smart phones for price checking. Whether it is using your G1 to scan an UPC code and look it up on Google or pinging a web site via your phone browser, I believe this year we will see that consumers will have used their phones to check prices and product reviews as part of their overall decision process. So has anyone reading this blog done this already? Did you double check a price? Did you look up product reviews before buying? Or did you even end up buying online because you phone helped you find a better deal? Activities like these will take us into a whole new world of e-commerce in which the smart phone enables organizations to reach consumers in context of their shopping. In fact you may want to read my note on the topic. Important First Steps to Context-Aware E-Commerce (G00160334), 07-OCT-2008
Category: Web and CRM Tags: Add new tag, CRM, e-commerce, eCRM, m-commerce, mobile, Web and CRM
by Gene Alvarez | December 1, 2008 | 2 Comments
As I was watching the varying reports on Black Friday come across the news over the weekend, and the chatter of Cyber Monday followed, I began to wonder how much of this was just good promotion versus the hype typically associated with these events, especially Cyber Monday. One of the foundational tenets of Cyber Monday is that employees will use their organizations’ high-speed access to shop online. However, I can’t help but think that high-speed access has become commonplace in the home and even on smartphone devices like the iPhone and Blackberry. So why wait till Monday to shop – unless it is only for a price break that is available only for that day? Therefore, my vote is that while Cyber Monday may be a great sound bite for the media and a great promotion for retailers, it no longer has much to do with a shortage of Internet access. What do you think?
Category: Web and CRM Tags: CRM, e-commerce, ebusiness, ecommerce, eCRM, online shopping
by Gene Alvarez | November 12, 2008 | 1 Comment
Well I had written about my adventures of using the CT DMV site to guide me through registering a vehicle so when I went to register the second vehicle I had fewer problems with the DMV and some new ones with a bank.
I had paid off my motorcycle in 2000 however my old NY state title showed a lien, so when I went to DVM and showed the title with a lien from one defunct bank and a letter of loan satisfaction from yet another defunct bank the DVM said I would need a letter of merger stating all of these banks were one in the same to complete the registration.
Well, I first needed to find out who owned the second defunct bank. Subsequently, I googled my way to that answer then I called that bank and after pushing buttons and speaking a bunch of information I got to a person who looked for my information and could not find it.
So as a good agent they transferred me to the auto department to see if they had more information. However, after redoing all the answers to get to a person that person said they were not the auto department and then transferred me to a dead phone line.
Consequently, I went back to the web and searched the site for first defunct branch address that was on the title and luckily it was still a working branch of the new bank, then I found the automotive loan 800 number and called and got to a person who was able to send me the letter I needed.
But this time the web saved me from more transfers to nowhere and found who I had to deal with phone number.
I guess we’ll be seeing more of this, due to all the bank takeovers. So hold onto that paper work – you never know when you’ll need an address to link it all together.
Category: Uncategorized Tags: CRM, eCRM, Web and CRM, Web Customer Experience