Thursday, November 29, 2007

Sitòfono Social: because relationships matter

Sitòfono is undergoing a major restyling, these days.
We realized that relationships between a firm and a customer cannot be just "phone calls". After all, the phone call is just the medium to achieve a result.

In the Real world, customers notice you on a printed ad, look for you in the yellow pages, get your name by some friend's advice. Anyway, since customers are usually located in the same place, they are naturally bound to move within a limit.
Time passing by, they will notice you again, and get information which is persistent and durable. They will remember you, and you have somehow captured their attention.

But what happens on the Web? People move, literally flock from a content to another. The very same happens on e-commerce sites, or "online shops": customers are like a frenzy swarm, some bounce on your website and do not come back again.
Customers have to cross a lot of barriers on your site.

  • The first "shield" is distraction: customers can go off track if they don't get a clear focus
  • The second barrier is lack of comprehension: do they understand clearly what they are looking at? Can you assure them that they got the message?
  • The third barrier is lack of persistence: will they come back the next day?
  • The fourth barrier is mistrust: can they judge a book by its cover? Don't they need direct contact to be assured that you are a trusted person? Visual contact will be the best, but even voice contact can make the difference
  • The fifth barrier is hesitation: when facing the payment form, they can get scared, or they need some more information that hasn't been found on the website. At least, it wasn't noticed before
People need direct contact to resolve uncertainty and to dissolve some of these barriers.
Sitòfono addressed very well the barriers that involve direct contact, like hesitation, mistrust and lack of comprehension.
But now, with the new "social" features, Sitòfono becomes a tool which engages your customers in a more social-oriented behavior: your visitors can give advice about your website to their friends, bookmark the call-back button for future reference, share the URL on the most common social bookmarking tools...
In word, they will remember you.

Luca Filigheddu published a great review of Sitòfono with the new social features, check it out!

If you want to discuss about the new features with me,
just call me

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Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Google Android for Italy? It seems so

It seems that there is a feeble possibility that Google Android Developer Challenge will be for Italians as well.
The news, in Italian, has been published also by, the most read Newspaper and the most visited news site in Italy.

Guido Scorza, a researcher in the IT field of law, suggests that Google can work around the limitation, because the Italian norms and rules for prize challenges allow easier set up for creative and engineering challenges.

What Guido Scorza worries about is that neither Google, nor the Italian government took a clear action upon the matter, giving the impression of superficiality and talking the talk without walking the walk.

Of course his blog writing is done during commuting times, therefore is approximate and partial (so it is mine). He states clearly this fact in a post scriptum, because he talks the talk and walks the walk. And, anyway, nobody pays him to look for alternatives and workarounds in this matter.

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Thursday, November 15, 2007

Google Android Developer Challenge not for Italians

You know the news about Android, don't you?
Check the android developers blog
We're really looking forward to seeing all the amazing applications that developers will create on an open mobile phone platform. In fact, you may even want to enter your application into the Android Developer Challenge -- a USD$10 million challenge sponsored by Google to support and recognize developers who build great applications for the Android platform

Nice, I want to participate. Because Italians do it better.

Yes, Italians do it better, and the original way. When there is a competition on innovative products, we are able to cut ourselves out in a sweep. The ADC FAQ page states that:
The Android Developer Challenge is open to individuals, teams of individuals, and business entities. While we seek to make the Challenge open worldwide, we cannot open the Challenge to residents of Cuba, Iran, Syria, North Korea, Sudan, and Myanmar (Burma) because of U.S. laws. In addition, the Challenge is not open to residents of Italy or Quebec because of local restrictions.

Local restrictions for challenges and prizes are mainly bureaucratic:
  • Register your prize challenge to three public administrations. You've to fill up a separate form for each one
  • You need a notary. Well, in Italy you needed a notary even to sell your bike, recently this procedure has been simplified.
  • Just to let you know, prize challenges cannot damage Italian government's monopoly on ability games and gambling.
  • Last but not least: you need to give a cautionary 20% of total prizes to Italy's government. It's called "to bail out", it translates "I do not trust you've got that much", doesn't it?

More information on this thread

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Saturday, November 10, 2007

Italians do it better. But via e-mail!

I am not talking about the sexual performances of Italians (at least, those self-proclamated latin-lovers that tell tales of great effort and sacrification), but the customer attitudes at calling a call center, help desk, or something that keeps you "holdin'on a sec".

According to this report (ItNews, Italian), people prefer e-mail offline contact when engaging with a potential seller, or when they are asking for support or assistance.

Alternatively, they'll consider the possibility of being recalled in ten minutes, but they are fed up with long queues in the jungle trees of IVRs.

The key point is: if somebody wants to talk with you, it's because he/she wants immediate contact. If you cannot engage him/her instantly, better say "I'm sorry, I'll call you back in a while". And recall him with a smiling tone!

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