In Sydney, Flamingo hosted a consortium of VRM companies on Wednesday, held its official launch on Thursday and put on a Customer Experience unconference on Friday. (That’s one shot from it above. The full set is here.) The consortium included people representing (in alphabetical order) Customer Commons, Flamingo, Geddup, Meeco, MyWave, ProjectVRM, Respect Network, and Welcomer . Some of us, myself included, wore a number of those hats at once.*
Here are a few links.
- Stuart Corner in the Sydney Morning Herald: In the future, customers, not companies, will run the relationship
- Caitlin Fitzsimmons in BRW: Catriona Wallace Launches Startup Flamingo
- Adam Bender in TechWorld: Her Fashion Box personalises customer retention
- Ray Shaw in ITWire: The key to customer retention is a pink bird
- Christopher Jay in Financial Review: Government clients to have more personalized experience (behind a paywall)
A focus of many conversations in Sydney (especially at the unconference) was customer experience, or CX, a buzzterm Wikipedia currently describes (with “issues,” the box above it says) this way: “Customer experience (CX) is the sum of all experiences a customer has with a supplier of goods and/or services, over the duration of their relationship with that supplier.” A VRM corollary to that angle is “Customer experience is also about how the company experiences the customer.” Or how the government experiences the citizen. Or how the organization experiences the member. The source of those was @CatrionaWallace<, CEO of Flamingo. It was also very much in line with conversations last Summer in New Zealand with Geraldine McBride (@GeraldineGlobal) of MyWave. (@JoePine, co-author of The Experience Economy, was also there and contributed to those conversations.)
Various combinations of VRooMers also met with three different government agencies, all of which were eager to support GRM (government relationship management) by citizens, and to learn as much as possible about how that’s being done in the U.S., the U.K. and elsewhere. Two of those meetings happened in Canberra, where we were led within and between meetings by Kevin Cox of Welcomer. In Melbourne we also got quality time with Rohan Clarke (@GeddupRC) of Geddup, who also arranged an interview at PBS 106.7 on the overlapping subjects of VRM and community radio in Australia. Pieces of that should be coming online soon.
One VRM outfit I’m bummed to have missed was 4th Party, which sources The Intention Economy, and says “Fourth parties are trusted agents that help consumers interact with multiple vendors on the consumers’ terms.” Since we’ve been talking about fourth parties for several years, it’s great to finally see the term put to good use.
Much more happened, and will continue to happen, than I’m reporting on here. I’m just in a hurry right now to get something up while it’s fresh in my mind and all the browser tabs are open.
*I’m on the Flamingo board (and have relationships with other VRM companies as well), but I don’t play favorites. I want everybody to win, and work toward that goal.