Weekly News Roundup

Customer Strategy
Customer Experience
A look at the technology developments and research reports announced this week in the customer experience space


Survey Shows Small Business Owners See Value in Social Media

Recent data from Constant Contact, Inc. indicates that small businesses are increasingly seeing the value of social media platforms across the board, and, in particular, LinkedIn and Twitter. Eighty percent of respondents surveyed in December said they conduct social media marketing and, when asked which social media platform was the most effective for their organization, the always-dominant Facebook won out at 82 percent. More notable was the fact that 29 percent said LinkedIn was effective for their business, an increase of 19 percentage points compared to a similar Constant Contact Small Business survey last spring, and 25 percent said Twitter, a rise of 18 percentage points from last spring.

Customers Using Mobile in Local Business Search

More than half of all mobile device users use their Internet browser primarily for search, the sixth annual Local Search Usage Study carried out by Neustar Localeze, 15miles, and comScore found. The study analyzed the behavior, attitudes, and intentions of online local business searchers, and found that searches on mobile devices in the U.S. grew by 25 percent between March and November 2012, while searches on the PC dropped by 6 percent year-over-year in November 2012. The study showed that smartphones and tablets are increasingly being used to search for local businesses, with almost 86 million people seeking local business information on their mobile phones just in the U.S. The researchers found that more than half of customers who conduct local business searches, which are geographically constrained to a particular location, use mobile phones to search while on the move. More results can be found on this blog.

Product Releases

Single Commerce Platform Launched by hybris

Commerce platform provider hybris announced the release of the hybris Commerce Suite, a commerce platform that gives B2B and B2C organizations omnichannel capabilities on a single technology stack. The suite has new functionality that supports the cross-channel consumer and in-store business tools to manage a number of functions, including the ability to buy online and pick up the item in store. Businesses can now design, develop, and deploy advanced commerce solutions more quickly and over more channels.

MindTouch Launches Product Experience Platform

MindTouch launched its new product experience software application that provides web-based self-help, knowledge-as-a-service, user driven machine learning optimization, and dynamic content organization with conditional and personalization capabilities. The cloud-based software features the LightSpeed Content Framework, which delivers multichannel product help so content can be collaboratively authored in a web-based environment that allows subject matter experts from across the organization, along with external partners and customers, to contribute their knowledge. The HelpRank feature analyzes end user and support agent behavior across all customer channels, continuously improving both search results as well as the organization of knowledge within the LightSpeed framework.

Zendesk for iPad Puts Customer Information in Managers' Hands

Cloud-based customer service software provider Zendesk has announced a native iPad app aimed at increasing the number of mobile customer service teams who must stay informed about their customers and performance anytime and anywhere. The new Zendesk for iPad app includes a leader board that gives managers a quick glance at metrics, including customer satisfaction, solved tickets, response time, and the productivity of customer support teams. Ticket activity reveals details and trends in the volume of new tickets and the efficiency and quality of agents' responses to them. Further, first response provides an interactive dial to see how long it took to respond to customer inquiries. The app also includes customer history both at a company or consumer level, allowing service teams to have a more complete view of previous interactions and better address customers' individual needs and preferences.

Zoho Announces CRM Upgrades

Zoho has announced major updates to its CRM platform which aim to effectively and easily manage emails related to sales reps' clients. For example, its new feature called BCC CRM will enable users to automatically associate any email to the right customer record inside Zoho CRM in just seconds. Zoho's MailMagnet mobile app intelligently scans an inbox and notifies a sales person on his mobile device as soon as any email from their prospects and customers appears.