Where are all Customer Reference folks online?

As I move closer to the Customer Reference industry in anticipation for my speech, I’ve been working with Bill Lee the organizer to help him and his crew develop an Web Strategy to unite Customer Reference practioners online, in between physical events.

Question: Where do Customer Reference Managers hang online?

In my quest to learn more about this group, I searched Technorati, Google, and a few others sources. There really wasn’t that much activity to be found of these online communities.

I’ve a few theories of where these groups are:

1) We’re under the impression that these groups primarily meet in person, and are involved in private groups such as Yahoo or Google groups.

2) They don’t consider themselves “Customer Reference Practioners” but may relate to groups such as; Word of Mouth, Sales Support, Customer Loyalty, Customer Advocacy, Community Marketing, or other groups

3) They don’t communicate online, which I find unlikely

4) You tell me.

We want to join these groups, chat with them, and learn from them as this industry expands. If anyone out there could please share where you know or think these groups of Customer Reference professionals are, please leave a comment, thanks.

  • I think that’s one of the reasons that Bill created his blog…to give CR folks a place to go.

    The situation is replicated in many environments, i.e. where do event planners hang out? or any specialized group that isn’t a tech crowd.

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  • I have a felling the answer may be disappointing. Those ‘professionals’ that you refer to are probably, (my opinion) not in any groups. By definition they are self motivated types that do not conform well to those group situations.

    I think the ones who get it are already here. What do you think ?

  • I think you should ask the question “how many are there”. I would suspect NOT more than 1000 people at the peak call themselves “customer reference professionals”.

    Why: Mostly high tech and very few other industries relies on customer references, only companies over $1 Billion in revenues can afford to have a full time staff of customer reference professionals. Most other companies this is a part of the product management team’s night job.

    There are not too many to go around.

  • Thanks everyone for all these comments, I’d have to agree with the consensus, there’s just a few Customer Refence folks, and they may not need/want to share online, or they are involved in other groups.

    Let’s keep watching “Voice of the Customer” or “Customer Advocacy groups”

  • Hanka

    Hi to all, at first apologizing for my English. I am not very happy Dell customer with short experience at Dell forum, where is helping customer to customer (most of them have trouble with Dell products) and Dell’s moderators are puting there news as “Which gaming program would you like on our products” which maked me angry…

    I think that company as Dell is promoting not only best products but also best service to customers and have fulfield agreements…

    Thank you, Hanka