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Plinky blog prompt offers great CRM lesson

06/12/2011

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Customer relationship management (CRM) — especially the customer care platform — relies heavily on engaging customers via carefully scripted conversations. Creating the tree can be cumbersome, engaging, and as challenging as anything you’ve done since the SATs, GREs, etc.

Why? As the copywriter, you have to map out the entire conversation, and develop copy for every potential response. Sure, just ask a question — but what type of question: closed- or open-ended? The plink that prompted today’s post contains a significant (or very calculated) error.

Closed-end questions, prompt quantitative, situational response.

Closed-end questions can be answered in finite terms. For example:

  • Yes
  • No
  • Other

These are great directional questions in qualifying a lead, need, or service channel in helping a potential or actual customer. They are often used to screen and channel calls to the right care agent.

Open-ended questions prompt qualitative, experiential response.

These are especially important for building engaging dialogue that is micro-customized to individual client needs and concerns. CRM systems prepare especially for these. In addition, social media is also well prepared to optimize the customer experience.

So, whether you’re mapping the engagement — or scripting the copy — just be sure review, analyze, and test your answers before you publish the question.

Don’t get caught in an embarrassing moment like this one from Plinky.

This blog post prompter sends bloggers weekly prompts for writing blog posts. Recently, the question was asked:

Plinky.com prompt

Watch those closed-end questions!

What’s the problem with this plink?

The thought begged an open-ended question. Why? Answer “no” and it means you don’t blog. If you don’t blog, you wouldn’t be receiving or even be aware of Plinky. Get it? Asking a different closed-end generates better response.

Here’s an alternative: Are you on blogging hiatus?

This closed-end question assumes a negative that prompts an open-ended discussion. Bloggers could post:

  • “Yes” and cry why;
  • “No” and salute their creative java, or
  • “Other” and belabor their procrastination.

See? These question-tree models are very interesting, indeed.

What’s your experience with writing customer relationship management content?

Please share any tips or CRM success stories here. As you can see, commenting is easier than ever — sign in with your Twitter or Facebook ID. (Of course, subscribing, bookmarking, and sharing with friends is also nice.)

Best,

E.

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