I'm devoting this issue to projects we're working on to strengthen the reference community, to help you do everything from raising your professional profile, to getting better at your job, to finding a new one!
And below my signature are announcements about upcoming events and various reports and surveys.
-- Share Your Success Story
At our Customer Reference Forums, we regularly hear from reference pros who are doing great things with their programs. But, I'm convinced that there are many great accomplishments we DON'T hear about and I'd like to change that. Spreading such stories is not only good for the reference community, but also for your growth and standing in the profession.
If you're doing something remarkable with your program -- perhaps you've solved some problem that's been nagging you for months, or found some way to enlist support for your program from an unexpected source, or found new ways to engage your customer references that's providing exceptional mutual value. If so, let us know! Share! Let's get your story out there. Best place to start is by sending me an email with a brief description of what you've been doing.
-- Share Your Video
Hey, everyone else is doing it, why can't we? How many people on MySpace have high quality, professionally produced videos to share? If you've created a customer video that's really cool and has gotten great response, show it off. Raise it's visibility! I'll gladly help you:)
-- Share Your Job Info
If you're hiring, let me know. Customer Reference Forum is expanding our informal job exchange service and putting up an honest to goodness job board. It wasn't easy! But, for now, the service is free so feel free to post your job. Here's the url:
On the other hand, if you're looking for a job, bookmark our new job board postings and check it from time to time, at
-- Share Yourself in Person!
We have a group of reference pros that meet regularly in the Bay Area (San Jose). It's proven to be a durable, ongoing group for regular best practice sharing. Another group is thinking of forming to meet further north, in either San Francisco or Menlo Park. If you're in that part of the Bay Area and would like more info, please contact Lara McGurk at SunMicrosystems (Lara.McGurk@Sun.com). This is currently open to reference pros only, however, they may be open to having vendors drop by to present from time to time.
All the best,
NEW EVENT: CAB EXCHANGE SUMMIT
If you run or work with customer advisory boards - or are thinking about starting a CAB - join us in October. Top CAB managers from leading global firms will show how to develop, run and reap the rewards of a world class CAB program. For more information, please click the following: http://www.cabexchange.com/event/.
Btw, if you know of someone in your organization who works with CAB's, please feel free to forward this email to them.
OUR NEXT CUSTOMER REFERENCE FORUM
. . . will be next February, in a (warm) location yet to be determined:) We expect to have a place picked soon and to open registration in the Fall.
REPORT: LEVERAGING CUSTOMER REFERENCES
120 reference pros provide tips for addressing key challenges -- all revolving around the question of how to leverage your references. Issues addressed include: getting your most prized customers to participate in a reference program; getting customers to reveal measurable benefits; making better use of customer intelligence; developing customer communities; and integrating with sales. For more information and to purchase the report, please click here.
REPORT: BEST PRACTICES IN 3 KEY AREAS OF REFERENCE MANAGEMENT
Learn how leading reference professionals measure the value of a reference program, gain executive support for their program, and recruit customer references. For more information and to purchase the report, please click here.
REPORT: 43 TIPS FOR IMPROVING YOUR REFERENCE PROGRAM
Provides quick ideas and out-of-the-box thinking from experienced reference pros on issues such as making the business case for a customer reference program and scaling a reference program. For more information and to purchase the report, please click here.
SURVEY: CUSTOMER REFERENCE MANAGER CAREER SURVEY
Learn about the salaries, prospects for career advancement the strength of the current job market for customer reference managers and much more. This survey contains important information both for reference professionals and for hiring managers seeking to establish or ramp up a customer reference program. For more information and to purchase the report, please click here.
SURVEY: CUSTOMER REFERENCE PROGRAMS SURVEY
Learn how more than 70 leading reference programs are organized, allocate budgets and headcount, establish growth targets, interface with and incent sales, and much more. For more information and to purchase the report, please click here.