« Whoa | Main | Diet Coke. Mostly water. »

Five Forces of CEM

Customer experience management is a misnomer, in the sense that a customer experiences your company or branded product within a context that you only partially control. But certainly it's worth looking at what creates these perception and decision-driving contexts.

Hence, I've developed a complement to Porter's Five Forces, which I call the Five Forces of CEM. (They are a cornerstone of CEM strategy that I teach in seminars around the world. Next up: London. Then Hong Kong.)

Among those five forces are networks of trusted opinion represented by friends, experts and -- to some extent -- bloggers. Another set of forces are trusted networks of FACTS -- libraries, ePinions (the pricing side), CNET and so on. Well, facts and opinion blur. And nowhere do they blur so mightily as on wikis, which support the editing and publishing of content from often anonymous and opposing authors.

Hence the recent controversy surrounding volunteers editors of Wikipedia content. These editors are not interested in facts. They want to change them, or hide them. And when these editors represent corporate interests, they obviously are trying to influence these forces that impact customer perceptions and decision making.

What they are forgetting is my rule of MIB. Manage what you can and should. Influence what you cannot manage -- or should not manage. And when bad things happen, balance what is said with an authentic response (based perhaps on facts, or contrition, for example. Sometime you have to "open the kimono" (as crisis communications experts call it) and show corporate details that have not been scrubbed clean.)

What corporations such as Diebold and Fox News have done is to leave fingerprints on edits that deleted or altered factual material on Wikipedia. Even if you dispute a fact on Wikipedia (or anywhere else), as a corporation your behavior, if detected, will tell your customers more about who you REALLY are than anything you claim otherwise. So, Diebold and Fox thought they could manage history. At best, they could only influence it, which they should have done by leaving alone battles they could not win, or posting opposing points of view on the online community-driven encyclopedia. Now that their manipulation of Wikipedia entries has been proven, they're left having to balance out the bad news.

Here is an interesting bit on the topic from Keith Oberman, who interviews a Wired editor about what all this means.

Reader Comments

There are no comments for this journal entry. To create a new comment, use the form below.

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>