Posts Tagged ‘crm’

Real Customer Conversation: &

I can’t stand getting a customer support ticket # and an automated response these days. The new way of support is get me in direct contact with the product manager of the the product I am using. If the product manager wants to build a better product and actually hear first-hand impressions on a daily/weekly basis then they must engage in conversation with their users. Two new customer communication sites have received lots of press recently that allow an employee to represent themselves within the company forum on steroids: and Both are hosted solutions with getsatisfaction having an API that you can get your web developers on to hook into your systems.

  • is used by companies like Microsoft, Yahoo!, Twitter, and Paypal.
  • Users can submit questions, share ideas for new features, report issues, or just talk within the discussion board.
  • Moderators of each company’s getsatisfaction web site are noted as employees so you know who you are talking to.
  • They have a feature called overheard which will scour Twitter for any mention of your brand and bring back the conversations for you (the employee managing the site) to respond to.
  • You can have different boards for different products and services
  • Free service right now for companies. I signed up for a Ribbit account a few months ago when I was consulting for them in under 10 minutes.

  • is used by companies such as, McDonalds, and Apple.
  • It’s designed more for suggestions (duh) rather than reporting errors. For example, if you are an avid fan of a particular product and you are dying for a new feature that will save you tons of time – is the place to find your company’s page and suggest it.
  • Ability to follow discussions so every time you login you can see if anybody has responded to the suggestion.
  • For users to suggest it is free and you can create a profile to manage the suggestions you are following.
  • For companies to have their own suggestion box the price is the following: $49/month, $495/year (2 months free), or for a non-profit $49/year. 30-day free trial is available.

With any of these two services, it is a complete change in communication for your customer support team as well as how your product managers would interact with customers. Training folks on how to respond to customer complaints, suggestions, or issues in a public forum (yes all the data is public) will need to be done. Dealing with a public forum where customers can reporting issues with your products is different and the old school way was to have a password-protected support site. Times have changed in the support world and you the company need to be open with any issues and respond to them efficiently. or can help you with that but it is a culture change and job responsibility change for the product manager to really engage with.

Have you tried out either services? How do you converse with your customers in a public forum? Add a comment to this blog entry.
-Randy Ksar


Real-life Benefits of Ribbit for Salesforce

Ribbit for Salesforce

I’ve been testing out a brand new service from Ribbit called Ribbit for Salesforce that has awesome voice to text features, click to call via their web-based phone, and all using my existing AT&T Nokia n95.  Here are the cool features that I think you would enjoy:

  • Receive a text transcription of the vmail message that was left by my co-worker Don (especially helpful when I ignore his call and I can multi-task within my meeting)
  • If I am on a business trip and still want to take phone calls from my 408 number I just need to load up and take the calls via the Ribbit for Salesforce web phone. My mom doesn’t need to remember the country code to call me in Italy just my regular phone number. 
  • To keep track of all the voice mails from my client “A” in, I can just drill-down into that lead detail page and listen to the vmails and view the text transcription for the past few months — very useful!!
  • Say I’m at my house (which has notoriously bad cell phone signal) I can login to and take the phone call via the Ribbit for Salesforce web-phone 
Pretty darn helpful in terms of productivity!  It makes me think of when Apple announced their visual voicemail via AT&T — that was cool and revolutionary. Using Ribbit’s API developers can re-create that experience into whatever application they use. might be boring to non-sales folks but I tell you this first proof of concept of Ribbit’s voice platform and api usage will start a “plethora ” (that word just popped into my head) of embedded voice applications.  Check out the below video of Ribbit for Salesforce to see the cool features I mentioned above and leave a comment:


Randy Ksar

rksar at yahoo dot com


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