Program Setup

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Setting up a program from scratch can be daunting. Referential uses a series of proven steps, including the development of a stakeholder matrix, defining the program’s mission and scope; creating process flowcharts; choosing the right advocacy tools; determining the number of required advocates based on the program’s delivery goals; defining metrics and reporting needs; program naming; launch planning, etc. In addition, we can develop program documentation; gather data on existing advocates; set up and configure a reference management system and/or advocacy hub; as well as load any existing data.

There's no such thing as an 'average' sized program; we can start as small or as large as you need, and scale with you as the program evolves. It’s challenging to accurately forecast the growth profile of any program but we can always provide the optimal level of resources as things gain momentum. Depending on your goals, we can expand or contract accordingly, and bring in specific expertise as it's required; we have the capabilities to do everything you need or we can just help out in focused areas in which you may require supplemental assistance. We have an efficient cost structure that is invariably far more favorable than the expenses typically associated with using fully-loaded permanent employees.

 

Recruitment

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Known by a number of names – recruitment, validation, qualification, nomination screening, filtering, onboarding – this is the process by which potential customer advocates are contacted to establish what types of activities they personally find most value in participating. Referential understands that this outreach has to be handled with the utmost care and professionalism because it can be a tipping point where your most valuable asset – your customers – either agree to step forward and join you or shy away. We have a proven track record of success in this delicate area. In addition, we can provide you with a gap analysis of the advocacy coverage across your business, industry and geographic sectors. We also can solicit nominations for new advocates among your sales, support, consulting, product marketing, press relations and industry analyst groups.

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Fulfillment

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Fulfillment is the process by which a selected customer is offered an opportunity to participate in a specific advocacy activity, resulting in a perfect match. Many of our clients need assistance in this on-going process for requests especially where a simple self-service search is not sufficient. Referential offers services spanning from supplementing existing advocacy programs’ staff to owning all fulfillment for your program. We are skilled at finding the best matched advocates – while monitoring their participation to ensure they perceive value in the activity and to avoid overuse – and following up afterwards to ensure program satisfaction, documenting any lessons learned for improved matches next time.

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Metrics & Reporting

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Having the right program statistics can make all the difference when determining budget, fighting for resources or even having an elevator conversation with your CEO. Referential has built its reputation, and stands out from the competition, by delivering with innovation and excellence in this area. Our clients’ advocacy programs have flourished after we equipped them with proof of the positive impact they are delivering to their stakeholders. We can help you establish the right reporting structure and timeframes; assist with data gathering and report delivery; develop custom reports from your chosen tools; assemble dashboards; and develop presentations focused on a statistical analysis of your program. This is an area where we can assist you in showcasing your program’s true value and help you really excel.

Our Customer Advocacy Program Metrics Review has been designed for our clients with an existing program.  We focus on how effectively your program uses data, compare yours to other programs, and give you specific actions to harness the enormous value of the information you already capture.

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Materials Creation

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There is a wide array of customer-related materials – also referred to as assets, collateral, deliverables, or evidence – that can be developed to support your company’s advocacy needs. Referential has tremendous experience across all types of materials: videos, case studies, success stories, award nominations, multi-media pieces, ROI reports, slide presentations, webinars, etc. Depending on your needs, we can assist you in specific areas or handle the complete process; from individual one-off pieces to the production of hundreds of unique assets across the year. 

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Data Management

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For any customer advocacy program gathering the right customer data, maintenance of that data, and ongoing customer record integrity checking are critical for success. From spreadsheets to complex reference management databases, Referential can help ensure you are collecting all of the information necessary to facilitate sophisticated reporting and provision of metrics, as well as continually refining the search and match processes; all while maintaining flexibility and scalability as your company evolves. We have extensive experience in migrating data between repositories should you need help. We believe that our expertise in Microsoft Excel(R)  and VBA is unrivaled in the industry and we have a commensurately wide range of Excel-related services to assist you.

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Strategic Consulting

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Over the years we’ve been involved in a lot of programs – we’ve learned what works and what to avoid. We believe that every successful program requires the creation of a solid foundation; with well-defined processes, correctly set expectations, and metrics that enable you to measure and refine. We collaborate to provide highly tailored strategic advice to help you optimize your whole program or individual elements.

We can review the performance of any or all of your processes; showing comparisons with similar programs and working with you to define how best to address aspects that would benefit from further optimization.

Our engagements range from highly structured stakeholder assessments, through to evaluations of the performance and productivity of individual team members. The benefits of having objective feedback can be immense: We always begin with an informal, exploratory conversation – let us know if you’d like to chat!