As Halloween is upon us, and because RO is in its spooky thirteenth year (what?) since our founding, we thought we might raise the hair on the back of your neck with some horror stories of reference management mishaps that I have been collecting over the years and from some of you recently!

Yes, we are all human…..or ARE WE? BWA HA HA HA HA


Our first story comes from our Vaults of Vampire Video, who shares the heart stopping terror of realizing that her laptop video camera was streaming live feed of her English Terrier’s private part grooming, while she was attempting to recruit a new reference customer.

Our next tale of nail biting terror, comes from someone, who, prior to the implementation of system emails, accidentally hit the Reply All response to an email thread that included the reference customer AND the prospect, with the text acronym of “WTF?!?!?!”  We all know that that stands for wisdom, truth and fidelity, right?   EEEEEEEEEEKKKKKKKK!

Tales of Mis-Translation come from and EMEA customer, who set up a case study call with a presumably professional translator, who repeatedly swore in Portuguese after not being able to make the recording feature on the conference call work appropriately.

If you dare to walk in someone’s else shoes, you might get a WIN by going the extra mile for a prospect, as Mary Ketter of JDA did in this reference site visit:

“Sending a prospect into a JDA customer warehouse for a half-day tour and two hours before we are notified that the prospect has to have steel toed shoes.  We had waited months for this customer to concede to this visit and the prospect was chomping at the bit to see their facility – everything was contingent on these shoes (four pairs!!!!).  A quick Google in the area to find steel toed shoes (and the correct sizes).  We purchased them and had them delivered to the hotel where the prospect was staying!  It sounded like it was easy, but it wasn’t easy and we were all sitting on the edge of our seats until we heard that the prospect was in and with the right gear!  By the way, it was a win for JDA!”

And from our own (and my) crypt of customer reference ghost woe, when we began audio interviews in our infancy, we used inline devices to record.   Much to my horror and Dan Montoya’s consternation, all of my audio interviews had a ghostly echo in the recordings.   We did everything, short of calling in the infamous Ghostbusters to solve this paranormal artifact…….only to discover that it was coming from my GLADE PLUG-IN SCENT FANS!

I have heard many, many other stories in my thirteen years of customer coffin, I mean, conversations, but would LOVE to entice you, my pretties, with a $25.00 Starbucks gift card for a submission of ANOTHER RIVETING TALE OF REFERENCE MANAGEMENT!!!!  Submit your story to me at

Lisa Hoesel
Lisa Hoesel is the Director of Customer Conversation at RO Innovation. As one of RO’s original employees, and with decades of experience in the customer marketing space, Hoesel has honed her skills and expertise as a customer advocate practitioner in a variety of different verticals. She is a thought leader in all aspects of customer conversations and diligently strives to instill the best face-to-face customer interactions in a digital dialogue.