Customer intelligence

Leisa says: “If you’re smart enough to look for customer intelligence (who’s stopped buying what), then be smart enough to respect a customer’s intelligence.”

Spot on! I’ve had experiences like this in the past. What’s worse is when some rep asks you why you’re leaving, then you tell them, and you just know they’ve not actually taken any interest in what you’ve said, and probably because there’s absolutely nothing they can do about it anyway… If you ask – be prepared to back it up and respond.

Better still, take the time up-front to ask your customers what they want, then build a better service – just like Freshview have done with the billing component of their new MailBuild service. They proposed some ideas, asked for feedback. Got 500 responses, and recrafted their offering based on that feedback. I can see a lot of happy customers coming…

On a complete side note: I was interviewed by the AFR today about Campaign Monitor, Freshview’s other product. I’m constantly impressed by the service, and Freshview’s customer service and approach to things – so it was an easy interview to do 😉

Local Cooling

Evan points to a Windows-based power management app, Local Cooling. Apart from providing some useful settings, it shows the theoretical energy savings and also “phones home” to show the aggregate saving of all Local Cooling users.

Great idea! Nice work – plus I learnt these little factoids (I’m yet to verify):

More than 30 billion kilowatt-hours of energy is wasted because many of us simply forget to shut down our computers when we’re not using them. If we could just improve the efficiency of how we use our PCs, the savings in energy costs would be over $3 billion dollars! The CO2 emissions from just 15 computers are equivalent in energy terms to the gas consumption used by one car.

Doreen Bindon… farewell

On Saturday, 16 Dec 2006 at 1.15pm, my nan passed away after more than 92 years of living. I heard on Thursday from my family that she wasn’t doing very well, so I flew up to Caloundra to see her late on Friday. We spent Saturday morning with her and I was there when she passed.

I don’t want to say too much here (I’m sure you can understand). But I did want to pay my respects and mark her passing here, given so much else of my life is captured on this little piece of cyberspace.

Goodbye Nan – travel safe. You will be dearly missed…

Earth Hour

On Friday, WWF, Fairfax and the City of Sydney announced an event called Earth Hour. The basic premise is that on March 31, all Sydney-ites are encouraged to turn their lights off for one hour between 7.30 and 8.30pm as a statement of action relating to climate change.

I’ve been reading some of the reaction in blogland and three themes seem to emerge: 1. that the time of year is wrong; 2. that big events like this don’t achieve much; or 3. that those damn greenies just want us to go back to the stone-ages (i.e. live in darkness).

On point 1 – it is true that there is a fine window on March 31 for the night to come in after 7.30pm – but there were many, many factors at play in deciding the date, and March 31 was the best fit given all those things (mother nature, of course, does play the most important role in choice of time – the impact will be greatly reduced if it’s not actually dark).

On point 2 – the point of the event is to help people understand the link between energy use and global warming, and that their actions, collectively, can make a big difference. Commentators are right to point out that 1 hour is not going to see a huge difference in energy consumption. But the event is not the end in itself – it is a means to an end, and it is in that sense that the team at WWF (myself included) hope for success. Will the event achieve that? Who knows. But we’re certainly working towards it.

On point 3 – if they actually listened to what we have to say, they wouldn’t be saying this 😉 It’s not about going without – it’s about being smarter in how we use energy, and not wasting it. Regular readers of this blog will know what I think about it. But I doubt the naysayers are regular readers of this blog 😉

Please consider signing up for the initiative if you haven’t already to show your support for an alternative, sustainable, future.

I’d be delighted to hear your feedback (good or bad) – any questions I’ll try to answer as best I can…

Another show on 28 Dec

Just a quick note to say that in addition to the Fuzu gig with The Devoted Few at Gasworks on 28 Dec, I am performing a solo acoustic set at Mars Hill Cafe in the afternoon (partly as a promo for the gig in the evening).

There’ll be a cross-over of songs that we’ll be playing in the evening, but with very different arrangements. If you can make both, I’ll probably be doing dinner somewhere around there before setting up for the Gasworks show, so lemme know if you’re interested in hooking up…

No excuses left…

WWF and CSIRO yesterday jointly launched a new report called The Heat is On.

I haven’t had a chance to read it yet (been on annual leave moving into our the apartment), but there’s a fair buzz around here about the report. From the press release launching the report:

The report was two years in the making and is the result of a coalition of Australia’s leading energy and transport stakeholders – including Rio Tinto, BHP Billiton, Xstrata Coal, Westpac Banking Corporation, Alcoa World Alumina Australia, Woodside Energy and the Australian Automobile Association.

The report features modelling by CSIRO and ABARE that reveals Australia can make deep cuts to its greenhouse gas emissions in concert with the international community with little impact on the economy.

Contrary to popular belief, the report shows that overall household energy will be more affordable in 2050 than it is today.

This, on top of the Stern Review of previous reports on the topic should finally put lie to the argument that taking the necessary steps to reduce our carbon emissions will destroy the economy.

This, plus the continued public and political momentum behind addressing global warming will hopefully tip the government into action. Only time will tell…

P.S. just a reminder to those that don’t know, I work for WWF-Australia, but the views expressed here are my own, and not necessarily those of my employer.