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Bruce:

I actually contacted people who have worked with me in the past -- they were the right people. The company decided to change its policy, or to have one, and just applied it in a blanket fashion.

Yes, I am asking people to do something radical. I'm asking them to think independently, to take the initiative when listening, and to have a more collaborative approach. There is an effort effect.

BTW -- ING Direct started it by broadcasting that they were happy to host business networking events at the cafe'.

Valeria,

What you're really asking is for people to completely change the way they work; and that is a very difficult task.

For the last 20(?) years there has been discussion on "customer centric" organizations, but is that really how people spend their time? The community/blog/etc capabilities that have come to the fore recently make this easier to happen TECHNOLOGICALLY, but not EMOTIONALLY. A lot of people (unfortunately I include myself) are still more oriented to the industrial age.

Using the new tools forces people out of their comfort zone. It means that every person should probably have X amount of their time committed to the community. Instead, it is still left to Customer Service, Marketing, summer interns, tech-oriented folks, etc...

For ING; that means that with random calls you weren't able to hit the "right" person. The people you touched thought "not my job", instead of taking the initiative to contact the proper person....everybody sells!

That first hurdle is sooo difficult to overcome. However, with a little effort there can be amazing benefits.

Steve:

You know what's saddest? I sent ING Direct links to the positive posts I wrote on them at FC Experts and this blog. No response. I contacted them 3 times through different people in communications before I sent an email directly to the CEO. No response.

I then called and left a message, and that's when I got the brush off. You couldn't buy that kind of publicity. And no response.

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