Wednesday, March 26, 2014

What's your Customer Referral Value?

In a world of increasing automation relationships will have greater and greater value.
The human touch across the digital void... matters.

That's something that's recognised as customer referral value gets dialled up alongside customer lifetime value as CRM has become more and more Social CRM.

So. I thought. Surely there has to be a website where I can type in my creds and find out what my customer referral value is? And if there isn't surely there should be one? And if there was one... wouldn't that trigger new business models?

The likes of Kred and Klout seem to me built for marketing (of self and of brands). And in any event they only tell me what my value is at a very general level - a level which is of little value to companies (or ourselves).

Both the companies - and ourselves - find more value in understanding our value in a particular context - and there is no 'influence measurement tool' which has taken on that complexity yet.

My value to company x (which I love, advocate online and off, submit feedback to but purchase infrequently due to the nature of the product) is substantially higher than to company y (who I loathe, bitch about and couldn't care less if it fails, but from which I have to purchase frequently). That's the distinction from Customer Lifetime Value.

But we must also put influence in context - make it specific. My 4500 twitter followers may make me relatively influential in my small world of open business and social media strategy, but it gives me little power to turn the human tide about (for example) which black cocktail dress you should wear next Christmas.
Imagine if we could use such dimensions (value as a contributor/participant/advocate in this specific context) to generate a real-time Customer Referral Value.

Why not then have dynamic pricing online. I log in and my price (thanks to my CRV discount) is 50% what you pay; Offers to engage in co-creation projects are directed to me; I'm treated as if my participation with your company means something to you. You over deliver. You build a relationship with me.

Then I use my relationships to bring you more people like me. I select these, without waste, without spam, based on what I know about them (not what you would like to know about them, but cannot yet).
And you support my judgment by upping their CRV when I've brought them to you.

This model acknowledges that customers know each other better than companies do - and rewards them for it and supports them in using that. Customers managing each other - for their shared benefit.
So what we need is a CRV engine which genuinely balances customer and company need.

Kred and Klout may have missed a trick.

The rate of change is so rapid it's difficult for one person to keep up to speed. Let's pool our thoughts, share our reactions and, who knows, even reach some shared conclusions worth arriving at?