There are some really great ideas out there on how you interact with your customers. Some companies survive because customers have no choice but to rely on them. The power and gas companies tend to fall into this category. However, most companies have competition, often fierce, that is actively trying to crush them and take their market share. These companies have to work hard to keep their edge and draw customers. There are some people out there with truly original, innovative, and sometimes radical ideas on how to do this (we are of course among them but today I want to point out some additional resources).
This site is written by Kathy Sierra, Bert Bates, Elizabeth Freeman, and Eric Freeman. They talk about quite a few topics, and often skew toward a developers perspective but they make a quite a few astute observations about interacting with customers, or “users” as they are more likely to call them. I stumbled across their writing a few weeks back and have been devouring their archives. Business types should definitely take the time to read what these four have to say.
James Archer writes on Strange Brand and while there are fewer articles than the previous site there are a some insights and I’m hoping we’ll see more articles out of James providing insights into marketing and branding.
Garrett Dimon started this site recently to focus on good writing and content on websites. Go to this site and follow the links to find sites with good writing. The cold truth is that most businesses fail to appreciate the importance of good writing on their websites and it is hurting them. Good writing is defined differently depending on the context but that doesn’t mean there is no such thing as bad writing. Notable Words is dedicated to recognizing those that do it right. Be that guy.
Sig challenges your ideas on management, leadership, rules, customers, marketing and more on this site. I don’t agree with all of it, but it challenges common assumptions and makes you think about what you do in your business and why you are doing. Worth looking at if you are brave enough for some real introspection.
I’ll try to follow up with more resources that are useful to business types looking to improve how they use technology, interact with customers, and run their businesses. I’m a geek so I spend the majority of my time looking at code tips and new technologies but this type of material is needed for balance and the proper application of all my neat tricks to solving business problems. Enjoy the summer reading.