Weekly News Roundup

Customer Strategy
Customer Experience
A look at what's happened this week in the customer experience space

Mergers & Acquisitions

-- Capgemini Consulting Partners with Badgeville to Apply Gamification to Improving Business

Bringing psychology and technology together through the use of gamification, Capgemini Consulting, the global strategy and transformation consulting organization of the Capgemini Group, and Badgeville, a gamification and behavior management platform, announced a partnership to accelerate gamification techniques in organizations undergoing digital transformation. The partnership is intended to help businesses reach objectives such as increased collaboration, workforce efficiency, and customer loyalty by engaging, motivating, and rewarding customers and employees. By using techniques used in popular games, such as achievement levels and reward systems, to help change employee and customer behavior, companies are able to create an engaging, innovative base in the behavioral shifting process.

-- Clarabridge Partners with Gnip for Monitoring of Real-Time Social Media

Enabling customers to collect, analyze, operationalize, and measure social media data in real time, Customer Experience Management provider Clarabridge, Inc. partnered with Gnip, a source for social media data. Clarabridge will provide access to real-time social media data as a member of Gnip's Plugged In program, which will enable customers to more efficiently analyze customer feedback. Clarabridge has early access to Gnip data sources, new product features, and improved collaboration opportunities.

-- Infor Acquires Orbis Global for Enhanced CRM Capabilities

Infor, a supplier of enterprise applications and services, has acquired Orbis Global, provider of cloud-based marketing resource management software. The acquisition will enhance Infor's recently introduced Customer Interaction Hub by allowing controlled customization of messages through user-friendly templates and faster decision making for multi-channel marketing campaigns


-- Accenture Survey Reveals Consumer Feedback on Customer Service

Revealing consumer feedback on marketing, sales, and customer service, the global management consulting, technology services, and outsourcing company, Accenture, released its eighth annual Global Consumer Survey. The survey showed that company switches are up 5 percent compared to 2011, as one in five customer switched providers this year. However, 85 percent of those surveyed say their service provider could have done something differently to have made them stay loyal. The main reason for switching was frustration with broken promises; the provider giving a different experience than what was originally promised, and 78 percent say they are likely to switch providers when they encounter such broken promises.

Among the frustrations that make consumers more likely to switch are:

  • Having to contact customer service multiple times for the same reason
  • Dealing with unfriendly customer service agents
  • Being on hold for a long time when contacting customer service

The survey revealed that the highest rises in switching were among wireless phone providers, Internet service providers, and retailers. More than half of respondents say they might have remained loyal if they had been rewarded for doing more business with their provider, and half say it is extremely important for customer service people to know their history so they don't have to repeat themselves each time they call. The survey concludes companies need to improve the overall customer experience.

-- Epsilon Survey Reveals Consumer Channel Preferences

Epsilon, which delivers direct-to-customer connections that drive business performance, released the annual 2012 Channel Preference Study revealing differences in channel preferences of mobile and non-mobile users. The study shows that approximately half of mobile device users prefer digital communications, and direct mail is the preferred channel to reveive brand communications in almost every product and service category for U.S. and Canadian consumers.

Key findings include:

  • 80 percent of U.S. consumers surveyed are not yet interested in receiving location-based mobile offers during, or after, a visit to a brick-and-mortar store.
  • 3 percent of U.S. and Canadian consumers use mobile QR codes.
  • U.S. tablet users are 50 percent more likely, on average, to prefer receiving information via email compared to those without smartphones or e-readers.
  • 73 percent of Americans and 62 percent of Canadians said they receive a lot of emails that they don't open.
  • About half of U.S. and of Canadian consumers said they pay more attention to postal mail than email.

-- LivePerson Study Reveals Holiday Shopping Habits

According to a survey released by LivePerson, provider of customer engagement solutions, digital channels, and tools are showing an impact on holiday shopping. The survey shows that 63 percent of respondents are planning to do the majority of their holiday shopping online. The majority starts their shopping before Thanksgiving, and 23 percent plan to do their shopping during the first two weeks of December.

Other findings include:

  • 68 percent of those surveyed expect to spend the same amount or more money this holiday season compared to last year.
  • 65 percent expect to use their tablets for online shopping and consider the tablet as one of their primary devices for online shopping.
  • For reading product reviews, Twitter is the favored channel.
  • Facebookis the go-to network for finding discounts.
  • Pinterestis preferred network for researching gift ideas.
  • 40 percent of respondents using social media this holiday shopping season plan to use Twitter and Facebook to interact with companies.
  • Live chatis thepreferred channel of communicationfor receiving customer service during the holiday season.
  • 50 percent of respondents say it's important for a company to have a mobile app or amobile-optimized website.

-- NewVantage Partners reveals Fortune 1000 Big Data Usage

NewVantage Partners, a consultancy focused on guiding business and technology executives in the creation of solutions that harness the power of their data, has revealed a survey showing Fortune 1000 trends regarding Big Data usage. The study finds that a top priority for Fortune 1000 C-Suite executives is accelerating the speed at which they can get to a decision, or "Time-to-Answer." The primary reason businesses invest in Big Data is to enable data-driven decision making, and 85 percent of the Fortune 1000 C-suite executives questioned already have Big Data initiatives launched. Of the respondents selected, 85 percent distributed file systems (Hadoop, Grid) while 45 percent remain with traditional relational databases. The majority of respondents noted that "Big Data is already part of the advanced analytics toolbox."

-- SundaySky Reveals Survey on Online Video

Revealing U.S. online video industry trends and metrics, the 2012 State of Online Video U.S. Research Report by SundaySky, creator of SmartVideo, has been released. The study shows that online video consumption has outpaced TV consumption. Among the highlights are:

  • 43.5 billion content videos were viewed in December of 2011.
  • Cisco Systems reports online video accounts for 56 percent of consumer web traffic in 2012, up from 51 percent in 2011.
  • 33 percent of marketers will spend on mobile video ads.
  • The average text email open rate is 11 to 22 percent. When 'video' is added to the subject line of marketing related emails, open rates rise up to 30 percent.
  • Tablets and mobile devices delivered $21 billion of mobile commerce sales in 2012, accounting for about 9.2 percent of all ecommerce sales this year.
  • Typically, a short-form video designed for communication to a mass audience is viewed with a 50 percent completion rate. Viewers will spend 2.5 times more time watching a slightly longer short-form video if the content is personally relevant to them.
  • Seven of the top 10 U.S. cable operators and telecommunication providers are pursuing customer care strategies that involve the delivery of personalized video bills to their customers.
  • Forty-eight of the top 50 online retailers feature videos on their websites.

Technologies Developments

-- Aprimo Enhances Marketing Management Solution

Enabling marketers to better engage with customers, Aprimo, provider of cloud-based digital and integrated marketing management, released a new version of its integrated marketing management solution. Aprimo Marketing Studio(AMS) 8.8 is designed to improve productivity through fewer clicks and streamlineddata entry. The solution includes a variety of enhancements designed to improve operational efficiencies, featuring new installation and deployment tools to make migration faster, and support for new languages. The program incorporates social media input via Aprimo's Social Adapter, allowing marketers to capture customer preferences based on social network data.

-- Autonomy Releases Marketing Performance Suite

Allowing marketers to attract, understand, and engage customers in real time, the Autonomy Marketing Performance Suite has been released by HP company Autonomy, a software company that helps organizations process unstructured data. The suite is designed to help businesses optimize marketing spend and increase market share and revenues across multiple channels. The suite automatically recognizes concepts, patterns, and ideas in unstructured, human information, and provides contextualized, multichannel experiences that help customer engagement.

-- eGain Releases Customer Engagement Solution

Allowing businesses to proactively engage customers with unified auto chat, video, voice, and cobrowse capabilities, eGain, provider of multichannel customer engagement solutions, released SuperChat, part of the eGain 11 customer enagement cloud. The customer collaboration solution enables consumers to hop across media channels or use them together. Businesses can set up rules and offer contextual assistance without IT guidance.

-- Findaway World Asks Tweeters to Contribute to Audiobook

Findaway World of the audiobook industry is asking Twitter users to come together and create the first holiday audiobook, #Jinglebook, written entirely on Twitter. Twitter users will tweet at #Jinglebook while contributing to a holiday story to be recored and digitally released in late December. Findaway World will donate $1 worth of Playaway product per Tweet to schools affected by Hurricane Sandy, which is up to a total donation of $10,000. The campaign will begin on December 5 with a video introduction narrated by Cleveland comedian Mike Polk Jr. Access to the final story will be free through Findaway World's Catalist Digital mobile audiobook app.