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Customer Reference Programs: Win Big Advocates

Your customers are among your most valuable assets. By being included in your press and marketing materials, they bring your products and services to life, quantifying the return on investment and building your credibility with sales prospects.

Since 1994, Big Sky has created and implemented successful customer reference programs for industry giants such as Adobe, Apple Computer, Fujitsu, Hewlett-Packard, Microsoft, Netscape, and Sun Microsystems, as well as for small and mid-sized companies. Unlike other agencies, we look at the entire customer lifecycle and handle all aspects of a customer reference program, from strategy through management and execution.

Here's our approach:

Program Assessment

You can rely on Big Sky’s experience and best practices to ensure the success of your customer reference program. We begin by assessing the effectiveness of your existing program, fully reviewing its processes and systems and examining the needs of your key stakeholders. We then identify areas for development and change, and recommend a revised approach and next steps.

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Program Strategy, Planning, and Infrastructure

We can work with you to streamline the workflow of your customer reference program, putting an infrastructure in place that will ensure its smooth-running execution, and support for reference requests.

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Program Management

Think of Big Sky as a member of your extended staff. On an ongoing basis, we provide strategy refinement, counsel, and communication with your team, evaluation of program participants to ensure effective engagement of references, and support for reference requests.

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Research and Relationship Development

Big Sky works with you to identify and build relationships with suitable customers and engage them in your reference program. Our experience enables us to evaluate all candidates and recommend the optimal, most mutually beneficial level of participation for each customer.

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Content Development

To support your customer reference program, Big Sky offers complete content development services. Our team is versatile, highly skilled, and exceptionally professional. You can trust us to represent you responsibly and knowledgeably to customers during interviews, the approval process, and other interactions and to deliver stories, media briefings, bylined articles, solutions papers, slide libraries, press releases, and other materials that are thorough, accurate, compelling, and on-target. We can work within established formats and styles or help you develop project templates and parameters.

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Total Support

Better than any other agency, Big Sky understands all the elements of a successful customer reference program and the direct impact it can have on your business. We have the strategic and tactical experience to guide you at every step, from managing your overall program to coordinating the smallest details. We offer 360-degree support that you won’t find anywhere else.

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Understanding the Customer Lifecycle

The key to a successful customer reference program is developing relationships and results that benefit you and your customers alike. To ensure that success, we get to know your customers. We look at where they are in their lifecycle with your company, working with them when it’s most appropriate and mutually advantageous.

New customers, for example, might be candidates for press releases announcing sales wins, while established customers might be the subject of media pitches or case studies featuring a significant return on investment. Customer involvement might be relatively simple, such as granting a press interview or being profiled or mentioned in an annual report. Or it might be more complex, such as participating in an analyst ROI study, serving as a reference for a product launch, being filmed for an event video, or collaborating with a ghost writer to develop a contributed article. Regardless, it is always our goal that customers understand and value your reference program, and that they are as happy with your company at the end of the activity as they were at the beginning.

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“The Big Sky team is incredibly professional, easy to work with and they have tremendous rapport with our customers. They’ve created a strategic customer program for us that positively impacts the goals of our executives, sales team and PR. We are very happy to recommend Big Sky to others.”

Richard McCormack,
Senior Vice President, Marketing
Fujitsu Computer Systems Corporation


“The talent and expertise that Big Sky has brought to Adobe’s customer program is invaluable. Their ability to understand our business, build relationships with our customers, and engage them in our PR activities has had a tremendous impact.”

Rebecca Michals,
Public Relations Director,
Adobe Systems Incorporated