WHEN IN DOUBT, LEAVE IT IN
So where’s the catch with introducing and implementing a customer activation program? There really isn’t one, unless, of course, you doubt your own integrity or your customers’ ability to self-police and regulate without being lured to the dark side of bias, manipulation, and coercion. Disclosure and transparency are not optional; they are critically vital components of any program that uses any kind of formalized financial or bartered compensation. There’s an inherent danger to paying (pun not intended) lip service to both of these; they’re almost becoming clichés in today’s corporate environment. Clearly, any superficial understanding or execution against these core tenets is unacceptable.
For this reason, any program must be supported by vigilant compliance and auditing, including guidance and policing related to:
• Vetting of all guidelines under development
• Recommendation of new policies and policy revisions that conform the highest standards of transparency and disclosure
• Signoff from the legal department where and when necessary
• Real-time and intense feedback loops designed to integrate new learning into ongoing policies
• Contingency and scenario planning
• Course correction
• Policy training for internal stakeholders and/or outside moderation, using community management partners
• Dedicated (human) resources to monitor the program, with a zero-tolerance approach to abuse and fraud
You’ll also want to introduce two more critical words ...