Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Creative Customer Engagement that Delights

I met a new and fascinating person through LinkedIn this week. He works for a major telecommunications supplier and is focused on customer experience. At one point, the discussion turned to creative techniques to reach customers. We each shared an example that stuck us as truly creative ways to deliver a message. These happened a few years ago, so they faded from memory a bit. That conversation brought them both back to each of us as we shared. It's worthwhile to raise awareness of them again, as they are both truly creative methods to educate and persuade.

Photoshop: Have you listened to dry tutorials or evangelistic videos when trying to learn tools like Photoshop? There is an award-winning video series called You suck at Photoshop, launched in 2008. It is hilarious. The key item is that it introduces concepts in Photoshop in a very digestible form and shows plausible use cases. The videos do all this in an incredibly humorous, albeit politically incorrect, fashion. I have two favorite episodes. The first is cloning techniques as he retouches a photo to remove a wedding ring. The second is paths and masks as a wedding ring is prepared for auction. Almost everyone I know who has watched these videos has learned new functionality from it.

Google Chrome: Chrome launched in 2008. But it was the way that it launched that was most interesting: they described the architecture of a browser in a comic book. The comic went viral as it explained complex technology in a compelling and engaging fashion. The author's story and links within it tell much more.

We all aspire to deliver information and reach our audience. It's difficult to cut through the clutter and noise of out everyday lives. These two efforts certainly achieved that, even if "You suck" was not a vendor-driven effort.

I started this post a few days ago, but have since discovered a new book that talks about little things that make a significant difference with customers. The book is "What’s Your Purple Goldfish?", with its associated website and blog. The first line of the book description is "How do you stand out in a sea of sameness?". The two examples above certainly broke through the barrier of sameness to stand out.

I'm going to listen to his seminar next week, buy the book and consider how to stand out in the future.


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