Thanks and Season's Greetings From the PlanetFeedback Founder
by Pete B. - Posted Sat December 22, 2007 @ 12:00 PM
As the original founder of PlanetFeedback, I just wanted to express a heartfelt thanks to all the members of this community for your excellent and always-spirited contributions this past year.
I'm very excited about the progress we made in 2007. Importantly, many major companies and brands are now actively contributing answers, commmentary, and responses directly on our site, or with our letter writers. We expect this to increase dramatically in 2008.
I'm also extremely please with the progress of our PFB-sponsored blogs, especially Shoppercast.com and Mommage.com. Mommage.com in particular has really carved out a unique identity and niche in the "conversational space," and the team is incredibly dedicated to its development and growth. Several other topical blogs are in the works, including one dedicated to travel, so let us know if you want to participate or co-lead, or even spearhead a blog we haven't thought about. A most enthusiastic thanks to all of you who either led, co-led, or contributed at some point with our blog experiment.
I'm quite mindful of the fact that not everything is perfect with the main PlanetFeedback site; moreover, that there are a number of legitimate "complaints" about PFB sit functionality that we are just not doing a good enough job addressing. Honestly, they make me cringe, and we need to address them within our limited resources, or just set proper expectations upfront. That said, we do have improvements in store for 2008, and we're even bringing back a scaled down version of the PlanetFeedback ratings system.
Lastly, I wanted to let the PlanetFeedback community know -- well before I sound the megaphone to other parties -- that I have a book coming out (with Random House) entitled "Satisfied Customers Tell Three Friends, Angry Customers Tell 3000." (The subtitle: "Running a Business in Today's Consumer Driven World." It important for every member of this community to know that PlanetFeedback.com inspired many of the book themes, and on a number of occasions I refer to or cite actual letters on PFB that highlight unique issues companies and brands must address, from employee training to tech support to billing processes. The last eight years of reading your letters, and analyzing the aggregate results (especially things like "pass along" or "sharing letters"), have taught me volumes about the unique dimensions of consumer loyalty and word-of-mouth. And yes, I've learned a great deal about what types of feedback "crosses the line," and triggers self-correcting push back from the community.
My primary audience is companies, brands, and business leaders, and my core message is not terribly different that what we articulated in the PlanetFeedback Mission statement(we called it the "Manifesto" in the edgier dot.com era): "We will help consumers reward companies that serve them best. Consumer feedback positive and negative is inherently productive. Consumers want value, and they will provide loyalty in return."
Across the web, consumer expression and power is dialing up in ways we never anticipated when PlanetFeedback mailed its first letter. This is putting a huge premium on listening and responding to consumers, as well as taking into account the "word of mouth" that emanates from both good and bad experiences with products and services. Put another way, since 1999, we've all been on the bleeding edge of a very important movement, and I can't even begin to tell you how much I look forward to your contributions in the months and years ahead.
Viva Consumer! Always.
- Pete Blackshaw
(My wife Erika, who came up with original concept for PFB after a horrendous airline scheduling incident, also remains enthusiastic about the exciting road ahead.)