Users Are People Too

Just ran across my new favorite #loveyourcustomer hack!

Back in the video days of Seesmic it was very easy to ‘humanize’ our users. They were real talking faces streaming down our screens all day long. I got to know many of them very well. Literally watching them laugh and cry, some at their lowest moments without hope, others during a wedding ceremony or the first moments with a new child. We flew from around the world to cram ourselves into a basement in the middle of winter, just to hang out with each other. So many of these people are still my good friends today.

For many companies, however, it is not that easy to see the people behind the usernames. Especially not on such a consistent and personal basis. But, no worries, Joe Heitzeberg came up with a wonderful solution:

How do you take a team that’s swamped with work and make them become incredibly customer focused overnight? … Every day, print out a few hundred new user photo thumbnails and post them on the walls.

[ via currentlyobsessed.com ]

  • We humanize our Network Creators with http://creators.ning.com. One of the Guidelines there is to use a real name or nickname, which means it is a community of real(ish) people, rather than one network name talking to another network name. I like to think it keeps conversations there more civil as well. 🙂
    Laura

  • We have a photo booth in our lobby, and when we get geocaching visitors at the office we ask them to use the photo booth. They keep a photo and we keep a copy (and a digital copy is saved on our network). The photo we keep goes up in the lobby for other videos and our employees to see.

    We also ask visitors to bring a souvenir coffee mug from their area when they visit. All of our coffee cups have a story, and we drink a lot of coffee.

  • We humanize our Network Creators with http://creators.ning.com. One of the Guidelines there is to use a real name or nickname, which means it is a community of real(ish) people, rather than one network name talking to another network name. I like to think it keeps conversations there more civil as well. 🙂
    Laura

  • We have a photo booth in our lobby, and when we get geocaching visitors at the office we ask them to use the photo booth. They keep a photo and we keep a copy (and a digital copy is saved on our network). The photo we keep goes up in the lobby for other videos and our employees to see.

    We also ask visitors to bring a souvenir coffee mug from their area when they visit. All of our coffee cups have a story, and we drink a lot of coffee.

  • Laura, I am definitely a huge fan of the community you have created for your network creators (not to mention all the other networks you have enabled). I think this is definitely a very simple second step for a company. What I love about the idea of printing off pages of avatars is almost any business can do that *this very minute* and start down that path.

  • Hey Jeremy, I think this is the first time we've chatted on here… so, nice to meet you and thank you for your comment. I love the photobooth idea. Similar to what I was saying to Laura, I feel like that is definitely a great next step for businesses once they start down that path. Hopefully they will take 5 minutes to post pictures of their users all over their walls, and then dive deeper into the ideas you and Laura bring up.

  • Laura, I am definitely a huge fan of the community you have created for your network creators (not to mention all the other networks you have enabled). I think this is definitely a very simple second step for a company. What I love about the idea of printing off pages of avatars is almost any business can do that *this very minute* and start down that path.

  • Hey Jeremy, I think this is the first time we’ve chatted on here… so, nice to meet you and thank you for your comment. I love the photobooth idea. Similar to what I was saying to Laura, I feel like that is definitely a great next step for businesses once they start down that path. Hopefully they will take 5 minutes to post pictures of their users all over their walls, and then dive deeper into the ideas you and Laura bring up.