February 2007

Company relationships are like a marriage

by Andy Polaine on February 26, 2007

Before and After Relationship - from Kathy Sierra

Kathy Sierra over at Creating Passionate Users just made a brilliant comparison of customer relationships to personal relationships. She points out that many customer relationships are like bad marriages. Everything starts off rosy, then it all goes wonky:

This is such a big bowl of wrong. I don’t understand this in personal relationships, and I don’t understand it in business-to-customer relationships. Shouldn’t you treat the people you’re in a relationship with better than you treat anyone else?

It is completely true of course, though not easy to do in personal relationships either (and isn’t “a big bowl of wrong” a great phrase?). But there are so many terrible examples of companies getting this wrong, shouldn’t some of them be listening?

As Joris points out in the trackbacks to Kathy’s post:

[There are a] lot of books and papers on CRM. All complicated theories on how to combine business strategies with analytical workflow applications, that are all focused on customer retention.

Today Kathy explained it to me in plain english and clear pictures. Just keep flirting with your existing customers, as much as you do with potential customers.

If you can’t do it yourself, go hire a service design firm – they’re the people who grew tired of being asked to make pretty stuff for your rubbish products and services and decided to do something about it.

(Image from Creating Passionate Users).

Inane Searches

by Andy Polaine on February 24, 2007

Sometimes I trawl through Playpen’s stats to see how people find me. (Yes, yes, navel gazing – don’t tell me you don’t do it too). Anyway, I always find the search phrases amusing and I noticed a bit of a trend:

  • i hate carphone warehouse
  • why i hate mobile phone
  • i hate working in a mobile phone shop

Then there are those that are simply odd/funny:

  • what do you call those playpens at the park? [who puts a query like that into a search engine?]
  • top hat and tails for hire
  • tv vs internet
  • woman in short leg cast
  • why people feel emotional
  • scary photographs
  • bauhaus stolen
  • hit and run accident finchley road
  • drunk

It makes sense why they ended up here. But I don’t suppose they stayed long.

Why do I blog this? It’s Saturday afternoon and I’m procrastinating. Give me a break.

Zeitguised Interview

February 24, 2007

<img src=’http://www.polaine.com/playpen/wp-content/uploads/2007/02/zeitguised_lg.jpg’ alt=’Zeitguised’s The Zoo’ /> I interviewed crazy animation duo, Zeitguised, for the last issue of Desktop. I’ll post it here once my three-month buffer from Desktop’s publishing date is over, but in the meantime you can read it over at the Desktop website.

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February 24, 2007

Following on from those thoughts about the Nintendo Wii, I noticed an Engadget re-blog of a Chicago Tribune story about folks in a retirement home getting into Wii Bowling. They’re having tournaments now in the home. “People have no fear of picking up a remote control, but they’re hesitant to pick up a video game […]

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Omnium software released as Open Source

February 23, 2007

Last night the new v4.0 Omnium software that runs all of the Omnium projects, such as the Omnium Creative Network and the forthcoming Creative Waves 2007 (as well as all of COFA Online’s courses ) was released as a beta. It is a massively upgraded version, although much of the effort, as always, has gone […]

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Periodic Table Table

February 22, 2007

Theodore Gray now has a whole range of the most beautiful Periodic Table posters for sale. Gray is well known for his wooden Periodic Table, erm, table.   But what caught my eye delving a bit deeper are his interactive displays. Each element has a touch sensor which brings up information about the element. Basic […]

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Poke Wins With Cock

February 20, 2007

Thought that title might get your attention. Congratulations to Poke for their Digital Design – Commercial win at the Design Week Awards 2007 with Cock-A-Doodle. The Cock-A-Doodle is a very amusing and well put together piece of Flash fun with a good cause – I wrote about it a while back (these design awards are […]

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Backup iTunes online with Bandwagon

February 20, 2007

I’ve been struggling with separate iTunes libraries on different machines for a while now and I also made a stupid command line error a few weeks back which nearly obliterated my iTunes library (and everything else on my machine). I had to go through a very tedious restore process and then even more tediously get […]

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Magic Mirror

February 20, 2007

The Big Space have created a Magic Mirror for retail environments. It utilises RFID tags and a rear projection onto a mirror (and, of course, magic) to blend the style challenged customer’s image with style tips, product information and sometimes elements that “simply serve to provide an emotional link to the product brand…” I’m looking […]

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Interview with United Visual Artists

February 19, 2007

I wrote a little while back about UVA and onepointsix’s installation at the V&A called Volume and it generated some discussion about the work. I asked the UVA boys a bit more about it and here is the resulting interview: AP: I really enjoyed Volume, it’s very mesmerising and it also brought up some thoughts […]

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