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Theresa Quintanilla
Houston, TX
Founder at SteadyCRM.com
Interests: CRM, customer relationship management, marketing, loyalty, innovation, business books, houston's image, blogging, new york, marketing trends
Recent Activity
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Listening to one's customers is not a simple thing. The questions, the context, the objectives we have color the entire process. The article below by Steve Blank does a great job differentiating the Lean Startup approach from Design Thinking. Both approaches can lead to strong and productive customer ties, if we are aware of our objectives. However, every listening initiative has to recognize its own agenda, which could be hidden by corporate double-talk or biases on the part of the people running the show. If we approach our customers with an open heart and view them as collaborators, we have... Continue reading
Reblogged 4 days ago at QViews
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In managing sales people, we have to examine their behavior separately from the limits and resources we've provided. Sales people can only be accountable within their span of agency. Agency is an interesting term which is cropping up more and more in two arenas, employee management and storytelling. In these contexts, it means 'possessing the means of acting,' or more losely, power. Power, of course, is a loaded term, but think of the simple physical definition of 'being able to perform.' Agency is an important concept in storytelling because it's a required of both heroes and villains. Few people can... Continue reading
Reblogged 6 days ago at QViews
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I'm embarrassed to be such a quitter. I quit my last job, as I have many before. I have quit many entrepreneurial projects as well. I do know what my mission is. I connect people through data. The people are important, and the data help us find and connect with them. If I am true to my mission I will find better ways to realize it. Owner Magazine: How to Navigate the Tough Times, 2014-Aug-1 by Renee Fishman When I’m going through a rough time, and all logic and reason tells me to quit and find a new venture, my... Continue reading
Reblogged 7 days ago at QViews
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Sometimes I feel run ragged from keeping up with all the different groups I belong to. But instinctively, I know that have a wide range of connections is vital to growth. Focus is important but limiting. We have to position ourselves to grow in new directions. Edge Perpsectives: Where Do You Stand? The Shifting Ground of Strategy, 2014-Jul-29 by John Hagel Where you’re positioned in expanding business ecosystems matters a lot. If you’re on the periphery, with few connections to players in the fragmented part of the economy, good luck. If you’re at the center of a growing cluster of... Continue reading
Reblogged Sep 8, 2014 at QViews
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I highly recommend this entire article by Ted Leonhardt on how creatives can stop caving in when they feel vulnerable and use the feeling to establish human connections. Twenty years ago, the accusation that I was "taking business too personally" nearly wrecked my life, until I realized it's an advantage to everyone that I take my work personally. My work is much better for it. We can stand up for the work, as well as for ourselves. Dexigner: Worth It, Using Creative Vulnerability to Enhance Expertise, 2014-Jun-1 by Ted Leonhardt Creatives are more open to their personal vulnerabilities. Our work... Continue reading
Reblogged Sep 2, 2014 at QViews
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I confess I haven't had time to read the most recent book from Chip and Dan Heath, Decisive, but I've looked at the workbook, and it's clear they've done a good job of compiling the latest wisdom around decision making from Daniel Kahneman and others. I'm going to read it soon, and let me know if you'd like to work through it together. USA Today: A witty guide to good decisions, 2013-Apr-18 by Kerry Hannon Here's a sampling of the Heath's insightful advice. • It's easier to spot a narrow frame from the outside–watch for it as a decision adviser.... Continue reading
Reblogged Sep 1, 2014 at QViews
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Collecting information about customers has gotten easier than ever, but much of what's collected is just easy-to-get and not easy-to-use. Keeping data clean and useable is expensive and you better know why you're maintaining it. O'Reilly Radar: A Good Nudge Trumps a Good Prediction, 2014-Jul-18 by Simon Chan In this case, I was going to buy cereal and milk anyway, regardless of the accuracy of the prediction. Although my customer experience is probably improved, I do not necessarily buy more stuff. If the aim is to increase sales, the metric should, for example, focus on how well the model can... Continue reading
Reblogged Aug 14, 2014 at QViews
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With Slack all over the news, the death of email is being trumpeted again, but the more you read the more you realize Slack, Asana, and Convo are targeting intra-company email, not the inter-company email flow which is tracked by CRM applications. For the development of business relationships between customers and suppliers, email will still be important. Capturing the the flow of social messages such as LinkedIn updates continues to be the real challenge for CRM. Tunguz blog: The Great Unbundling of Email, 2014-Jun-16 by Tomasz Tunguz of Redpoint Ventures These dedicated apps [Slack, etc.] enable users to win their... Continue reading
Reblogged Aug 11, 2014 at QViews
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This morning I attended a meeting hosted by the Center for Houston's Future encouraging input for the upcoming Cultural Plan being written for the city. The Arts & Cultural Heritage Indicator Report from the Center was distributed. Most of the people attending were arts organizers rather than just artists or citizens. These were the people with the most at stake in the Cultural Plan which will be written over the coming year. As long as I've been following Houston's struggle to develop as a major art center and to change its image as an energy-focused center of commerce, most of... Continue reading
Posted Aug 7, 2014 at QViews
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In the fall of 1995, Fast Company magazine arrived in my mailbox with the cover that said, "Work is personal. Computing is Social. Knowledge is Power. Break the Rules." It was a breakthrough moment for me, frustrated by my corporate career and trying to figure out how to make work more meaningful. For me, work is personal expression. My purpose is to pull personal relationships into the front of business. I couldn't have figured that out without releasing my creativity. And it will take every ounce of creativity I have to realize my purpose. Yes Magazine: 10 Things Creative People... Continue reading
Reblogged Aug 6, 2014 at QViews
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I know many freelance developers who are good business professionals. One of the ways I can tell whether or not they want to be a business owner is whether or not they want to stick with Highrise as a contact manager. Basecamp is a more fully developed platform than its little brother, Highrise. Everyone knows that. Highrise is built to be a convenient way to keep track of contacts. Features for 'deals and cases' do not add up to a true customer relationship management system. If you love your customers more than your code (or other creative output), you need... Continue reading
Posted Aug 4, 2014 at QViews
Here's an entertaining presentation from Bob Moczydlowsky about how entertainers have made social media rich and exciting. So how can we make social media a better place? Let's treat it like a gift! Be sure and listen to the end to hear the heartwarming story about Kid Rock. Continue reading
Reblogged Jul 31, 2014 at QViews
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Sometimes we have to fight the current in order to stay connected with people. They are probably not swimming away from us, just drifting, not trying to stay connected. We have to be the one doing all the work to maintain the connection. One of the wrong ways to do it is with the 'just checking in' email or phone call. Fortunately, there are many different ways we can do it right. Hendrik de Vries has some good statistics about the problem as well as some strategies for avoiding it. Mingle Media Marketing blog: Avoid the "Just Following Up" Email,... Continue reading
Posted Jul 25, 2014 at QViews
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The graphic below emphasizes how customer expectations have changed because of social media. But users of CRM tools have drastically changed their expectations as well. It's becoming more and more important that the CRM tools you are using pull all the relevant social media accounts and posts into the customer view. When choosing a CRM tool, look at the social media being used by your customers and make sure it can be integrated into the workflow. MyCustomer.com: Fanhub's Socially Inspired CRM Infographic, 2014-Jun-17 by Jessica Carter Continue reading
Reblogged Jul 21, 2014 at QViews
Whether we are are looking for an assignment or a job, we have to find a problem to solve. By the time a job description or RFP is written, the pain point that created the need has been obscured. Many more layers of "nice to have" skills and whistles have been added. The experience required to solve the problem has been pre-supposed, often inaccurately. No questions are posed to the applicant. How to find a place to contribute? We have to become curious with every professional we meet. They love to talk about their work. We don't inquire about titles... Continue reading
Reblogged Jul 19, 2014 at QViews
Face-to-face networking has always been a big part of my life, even though I'm very introverted and drained by busy meetings. Michael Katz does a good job of reminding us how to make the most of it. The problem we solve is... "we're not getting as much as we could from our customers." 'As much' could refer to repeat sales, loyalty, referrals or profitability. We're positioned to fix those problems. At Steady CRM, "We get loyalty." Blue Penguin Development: What Problem Do You Solve?, 2014-Jun-19 by Michael Katz If you want to win at the word of mouth game, you... Continue reading
Reblogged Jul 18, 2014 at QViews
PayPal's early path may well have changed the face of entrepreneurship, but the agile/lean lessons are not what inspire me. When building teams we often spend so much time worrying about skills and experience that we forget that trust and commitment come first. TechRepublic: How the 'PayPal Mafia' redefined success in Silicon Valley, 2014-Jul-5 by Conner Forrest The PayPal Mafia is often referred to as a "network" of people, but Thiel is hesitant to describe what PayPal achieved as the work of a network. "I prefer the word friendship to networks, and I think the critical piece was that some... Continue reading
Reblogged Jul 16, 2014 at QViews
To benefit from experience we have to make sure its incorporated into our plans and perspectives. We have to keep changing constantly in response. Our plans have to evolve. Even our values. Brainpickings: 20-Year-Old Hunter S. Thompson's Superb Advice, 2013-Nov-4, Excerpted by Maria Popova Every man is the sum total of his reactions to experience. As your experiences differ and multiply, you become a different man, and hence your perspective changes. This goes on and on. Every reaction is a learning process; every significant experience alters your perspective.... As I see it then, the formula runs something like this: a... Continue reading
Reblogged Jul 15, 2014 at QViews
To defend our business, we have to keep improving, but many of us don't want the anxiety of testing new things. As Steve Blank points out, we don't have to go out on a big dangerous limb. If we keep our improvements small and get them in front of customers immediately, we'll know if we're on the right track. Xconomy: Keep Calm and Test the Hypothesis, 2014-Jun-23 by Steve Blank A proper MVP, Blank argued in that video, is a prototype with the smallest possible feature set that still shows potential customers how your idea can help them. Once you... Continue reading
Reblogged Jul 14, 2014 at QViews
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I confess that well-deserved pity for Hachette authors has not led me to boycott Amazon. (Hachette can take care of itself.) As a book lover, Amazon has done more to improve my quality of life than any traditional publisher. Kindle, wish lists, free shipping for the patient, excellent search capabilities, a sound recommendation engine, and many other little conveniences have made me a better book buyer. And I hope the authors are grateful for that. I tried Prime for one year and came to the conclusion that it led me to buy books too impulsively. I prefer to space out... Continue reading
Reblogged Jul 10, 2014 at QViews
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Customers have many ways to rate your service. Are you giving them the opportunity to bond with you or to victimize you? Recently, I had to meet some friends at a bar I'd never seen. So to set my expectations, I decided to look at the reviews on Yelp. I was surprised to see how many people had blown up minor service errors into major attacks. I'm willing to bet they wouldn't have looked the bartender or bar owner in the eye and said the same thing. They would have been forced to deal with their mutual humanity. Take every... Continue reading
Reblogged Jul 8, 2014 at QViews
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Good CRM is either a habit or a struggle. Customer relationship management is not actually management. In the 1990's "crm software," such as ACT! for the personal computer and enterprise-based systems such as Brock provided a way to proactively manage data for selling. These software products were tools for businesses that wanted to be systematic, even automated, in their sales activities. Many of the features designed then are now built into our email and accounting software. Establishing a process, computer-driven or not, to keep up with your customers and support them in a reliable, proactive manner will make it unnecessary... Continue reading
Posted Jul 7, 2014 at QViews
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In all human beings, loss aversion can lead to enormous distrust. In other words, if someone has cheated you, you are likely to become distrustful of everyone. This behavior is not only irrational, it's incredibly damaging. As co-workers, we must keep on trusting in order to work effectively. I recommend that if you are cheated, you share your grief. Don't bottle it up because it will make you too cautious. Blaming is also poor behavior, so focus on how bad it made you feel, and other people will be sympathetic. Use that emotional support to trust again. NY Times: Why... Continue reading
Reblogged Jun 26, 2014 at QViews
When employees are able to make contributions on the job which make sense to each of them, then compensation becomes a straightforward matter of fair play. Experience Matters: CX Tip 7 - Motivate employees with intrinsic rewards, 2013-Sep-25 by Bruce Temkin Companies often try and force employees into doing things by slapping on metrics and measurements. While these types of extrinsic rewards can change some behaviors, they can often cause conflicts and lead to unexpected consequences. When Staples put in place a goal for $200 of add-ons per computer sold, some store employees stopped selling computers to customers who didn’t... Continue reading
Reblogged Jun 23, 2014 at QViews
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Most companies do many things to attract attention, then fill a customer need. Sadly, that puts them on an eternal treadmill. Unless you work first to establish a strong bond with the people you want to serve, everything else is just flailing around. Your company must be built out of interaction with customers. You know what they can become. They know whether or not what you provide is helping. Neither of you can ever really know what the other sees, so you have to communicate regularly. And as the provider, your company must be open to whatever communication channel works... Continue reading
Posted Jun 21, 2014 at QViews