Customer retention: update 3

For this to make sense you do really need to read my last two posts on customer retention… or you can just not and read on here but it might be a bit muddling… quick update:

We know about the 301 and 410 redirects and switching these on permanently is sensible. Hansard and The National Archives (TNA) are being superstars in a) accepting our proposed solution for parliamentary questions that contain answers which link to the current FCO site and b) harvesting the whole of our site before we cut-over – to sit forever behind TNA wall and remain available in perpetuity should any queries arise.

Next question was about the blogs. Obviously we need to keep the stuff that we have and we need to ensure that RSS feed readers will obey 301 and 410 redirects. I am assured that this is the case – relief all round!

So far so simple.

Now it is my turn to tackle the comms. I got hold of a Nedstats report of our top 1000 referrers – but anyone can get this info from Google reverse linking – and:

1. Deleted everything after the first 150 referrers (this was because when I looked, there were so many dupes after the first 150 it was silly)

2. Deleted all search engine referrals (we are handling them with redirects and xml sitemap)

3. De-duped the remaining sites

4. Categorised them into: (a) those that we owned, (b) those that we are associated with (in this case domains) and finally (c) private sector sites such as Expedia etc

5. Stopped to admire beautiful and small list of key referrers

6. Created key messages for each group


Now all I have to do is:

  • create a standard by which the success of customer retention can be measured
  • talk to the Press Office about all offline comms/printed matter and assess the size of the task there – do we need to reprint anything?
  • Wrap up all that I have done these last two weeks and precis it, with detail of whom I have spoken to and what we need to do next in each case

I feel strangely inadequate. What started as a dramatic and scary task has broken down into something beautifully simple. I shall update you all at the end of my fortnight.

4 responses

  1. If you’re redirecting things anyway, why does there need to be any comms? I mean, it’ll just work: why does anyone need to know that you’re redirecting links?

    The same with reprinting things. You don’t need to. The redirects take care of everything. And the success rate is easy too. It’s just how many 404 errors you get. And you can fix those as you go, too, so after a month or so you’ll have 100% coverage.

  2. Yes indeed it will – the comms would be more about reassurance – i.e. don’t panic, we have changed loads of stuff but we are still looking after you – you will still get to the information you need.

    With the reprinting, there are going to be url changes – therefore printed matter will need to reflect this, but yes, old urls will work.

  3. In which case, I bow to your wisdom, beauty, charm, and firmness of fetlock. A lot of palaver, though, for something that really ought to have been issue number one for the team changing the cms. Hey, let’s rebuild the website in a way that completely breaks it! Top plan! Trebles all round!

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