My Top 10 Favorite Posts of 2009

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Wow, what a year! We started the year in the depths of the Great Recession, with bank bailouts and a new U.S. president making headlines. And finished a turbulent year just short of historic change in our health care system, while Tiger disappointed many fans (including this one) with his “transgressions.”

Throughout the year, nearly 200 CustomerThink authors generously shared their insights on what could be done to tackle today’s problems, while preparing for better days ahead. In all, we had about 1300 posts (blogs and articles) that were viewed 1 million times by our site visitors. Amazing!

It’s not easy to pick the top 10 posts for an entire year—less than one tenth of one percent of all posts. To do so, I gathered candidates from our highest rated and most viewed lists, and looked for those that really engaged our community in a healthy debate. Here are my 10 favorite posts of the year.

10. Thought Leaders: PLEASE tell me something I DON’T know!
Andy Rudin’s disappointment with a local panel discussion he attended stirred up a heated discussion about thought leadership. Required reading for would-be thought leaders, and their followers.

9. Is the “Experience Economy” Contracting Towards Irrelevance?
Jon Picoult kicked off a challenging year by asking, and answering, the tough question: Does a focus on customer experience make any sense in a recession?

8. Can You Hear Me Now? Top Five Voice of Customer Pitfalls
In a very busy year of writing for me, this article—written as an “open letter to my suppliers”—was my favorite. Because listening to, and acting upon, the voice of customers is crucial to any customer-centric business.

7. Stop Cutting Prices! Retain Customers with Four Types of Experiential Value
Customer strategy expert Jim Barnes writes about what customers value, and how delivering four “softer” types of value can reduce the need to cut prices to retain customers.

6. Sales Managers May Cry, But I Like a Recession
No pain, no gain. Frank Hurtte explains how recessions can drive change, create opportunities and reveal real leaders.

5. Why Businesspeople Use Twitter: Tales From the Trenches
Despite Twitter’s stunning growth, real business success stories were elusive. John Todor’s profiles of five Twittering executives came along at just the right time.

4. Customer Experience Management: 10 Best Practices to Create Real Business Value
Shaun Smith, one of world’s leading CEM authorities, writes a phenomenal article about how to avoid CEM becoming a fad.

3. Social CRM – a dead end?
Ever the provocateur, Axel Schultze’s post stirred up the year’s most intense discussion on what Social CRM means and where it’s going.

2. The Extended CRM Application Ecosystem: Value, Risk and the Future of Social CRM
Bill Band’s article summarized the year’s best research on the business value of 19 different applications. And provides the first glimpse of the business potential of Social CRM.

And my favorite post of the year is …

1. A Manifesto for Social Business
Graham Hill synthesizes business, social, and technology trends in fifteen themes that will drive successful businesses in the future. Hint: it’s not just about using social media.

Thanks again to our fabulous authors for contributing to CustomerThink in 2009. See you next year!

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