“Customer to Customer” and the legend of Kachiwachi


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Often I ask clients to describe their multi-channel capabilities. Most start by focussing on the channels that they own and control like their contact centre, their web site, their field sales force. CRM taught us to think that way. But customer’s don’t necessarily abide by those rules. For many customers, peer to peer is often the first channel they use to interact with an organisation and it is certainly the channel that they trust the most. We all use the customer-to-customer channel to ask what our friends think, recommend a local supplier or fix a problem with a product (see my post on outsource your marketing, sales and service to your customers).
Recently I attended the Lithium launch event in London and I was introduced to Kachiwachi. Kachiwachi is not a buzzword or a new fangled management practice from Japan. Kachiwachi is an individual and a customer of Logitech who interacts on Logitech’s customer support forum. In the last few years Kachiwachi has posted around 40,000 comments on Logitech’s customer support forum and has earned the status of “Logi Legend”. Since June 2006, when he joined the forum he has posted an average of around 900 comments per month, or 45 per working day. If Kachiwachi worked for Logitech he would probably be as productive as a part time customer support agent!
If each customer problem takes an average of 2 posts to fix, then by my reckoning KachiWachi has helped around 20,000 logitech customers fix problems with their webcams, speakers, mice etc. I’d guess that Logitech might have expected to pay around $3-5 per contact if they had fixed those problems themselves, so, in effect Kachiwachi has single-handedly saved Logitech between $60-100k over the last few years (minus of course a share of their customer support forum build and run costs).
In addition, through his advice, Kachwach has most likely influenced the Loyalty of many of the Logitech customers that he has helped. We know from an abundance of research that customers who have a problem that is fixed to their satisfaction and more loyal in the long term than customers who never complain. Kachiwachi has also almost certainly driven several successful cross and up-sells on Logitech’s behalf. I’m pretty sure that people trust his advice more than they do a corporate press release or product sales pitch.
It doesn’t take many active contributors like Kachiwachi to build a successful customer-to-customer channel. The challenge is finding out what contributors perceive as important to engage their services. For some it’s personal brand and status, others are product enthusiasts (like Apple or Harley Davison fanatics), others may want material rewards. If you can find out what customers and your contributors want to get out of their communities and forums, then you stand a chance of finding a Kachiwachi and building a vibrant community. For the moment though, let me add my Kudos to the 484 votes Kachiwachi has currently received!

Disclaimer and disclosure – I’ve never worked with either Logitech or Kachiwachi so the cost savings I reference are purely hypothetical. If either would like to be interviewed for a follow up piece though please feel free to get in contact! 

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Laurence Buchanan
Laurence is CEO of EY Seren and leads EY’s global Customer & Growth practice. He works with clients to help them re-imagine growth through human-centered design, innovation and the transformation of Marketing, Sales & Customer Service functions. He is a recognized authority on digital transformation, customer experience and CRM, he has worked across a wide range of sectors, including telco, media, life sciences, retail and sports. He received an MA in Modern History from the University of Oxford.


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