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Guest Blogger | September 30, 2009
While Ben Bernanke has been raising our hopes that the recession is "very likely over," we're noticing a change in the conversations that we're having with marketers and vendors alike. These conversations seem to reflect that the economy is getting stronger, purse strings are loosening, there's greater talk of RFPs and vendor evaluations -- this week alone, our team had inquiries about vendor selection with marketers in insurance, retail (and it's almost Q4!), travel, pharmaceutical, and telecom. So, while we're Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | September 30, 2009
At 1to1, we know the tremendous amount of time and money companies spend pursuing prospects, and on average only 20 to 40 percent of leads convert. In this economy, organizations need to implement lead management strategies and solutions with proven ROI, actionable analytics, real-time results, and scalability. Read more »
Guest Blogger: Jeanne Bliss | September 29, 2009
Beloved companies decide differently than everybody else. Acutely aware of how their every action impacts how customers feel and respond to them, they take the time to make purposeful decisions about the contacts they have with customers. First and foremost, the beloved companies decided to believe. They believe their customers and they believe their employees. And they practice this first by suspending cynicism. Trust and belief are cornerstones of their relationships. By deciding to trust customers, they are freed from Read more »
Elizabeth Glagowski | September 28, 2009
We here at 1to1 Media often discuss the importance of trust in the business-customer relationship. Companies that can create a trust-based relationship will see value over the long term. In financial services these days, however, it's a tricky situation. Consumers in general are wary of banks, insurance companies, and other financial services firms after living through bailouts, sub-prime chaos, and shuttered branches. Even the so-called "good guys" have been lumped into the bunch, and it's hard to overcome the untrustworthy Read more »
Guest Blogger | September 25, 2009
Even though customer experience is viewed as a seminal force that will eventually drive contact center ops, there are far too many opinions in the market on how to realize it. Should customer experience be measured as first contact resolution in the center, should it be measured through well-oiled service factors like handle and wait times, or do we really need to look deeper? I was in conversation with a veteran ops leader and we poked through a few perspectives. Read more »
Ginger Conlon | September 25, 2009
Mobile devices today are always on and always on hand, so how does an organization get attention on its customers' smart phones? Gartner research vice president Gene Alvarez asked and answered that question during his presentation on e-commerce in a wireless world during the recent Gartner CRM Summit. According to Alvarez, by 2012, 30 percent of smart phone users will browse the Web to shop, resulting in 3 percent of the smart phone population conducting e-commerce transactions using their phones. Read more »
Jeremy Nedelka | September 24, 2009
The impact on customer experience from social media technologies is not un-measureable. Difficult to measure, yes, but not impossible. Recently we've finally seen data that supports using customer communities, blogs, and social networks to improve customer service and tie the improvements to bottom-line metrics. Now the question is becoming "do you measure social media ROI" rather than "can you measure social media ROI," and research suggests most companies don't. Read more »
Ginger Conlon | September 24, 2009
I just got off the phone with a customer service representative from Delta, and couldn't help but shake my head in disbelief. I called to cancel a reservation and was completely put off by the fact that there is a $150 "penalty" to change my ticket. That's a story within itself. The reason I was surprised was this: Even though I was clearly annoyed by the absurd penalty, the agent made not one, but two cross-sell offers. Two! Read more »
Guest Blogger: Harley Manning | September 23, 2009
The customer experience team at Forrester is currently updating our Web site review methodology, which will get us to Version 8. I'll write more about that in a subsequent post but I wanted to get it on the table (or in the blogosphere - pick your metaphor) by way of explaining why we've been looking at which version of what browser to use as our default for conducting research. In trying to answer that question we had one of our Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | September 23, 2009
Marketers may be facing shrinking budgets, but a new study shows greater accountability best practices and closer collaboration between marketing and finance despite having less resources. Read more »
Guest Blogger | September 22, 2009
During hard times it's even more important to keep your customers. Markets have shrunk and competition for remaining customers is becoming more intense. But, it's possible to add customers during hard economic times if you are very good and consistent in what you do. I have always believed that the secret to keeping and adding customers goes beyond having the best product and service. There is nothing more compelling than sharing your customers' fundamental beliefs and values - and authentically Read more »
Elizabeth Glagowski | September 21, 2009
Customers are gaining more control of the relationship with almost all businesses they frequent. Even a stoic and reserved industry like banking has relaxed its stringent operations in favor of meeting customer needs. Umpqua Bank in the Northwest U.S. took the idea to new heights by redesigning almost every aspect of the branch to serve multiple needs of its customers. Read more »
Ginger Conlon | September 18, 2009
CRM is becoming a dead topic, asserts RightNow Technologies CMO Jason Mittelstaedt. "The moniker and category are dated and tired," he said when we spoke about customer strategy trends during the Gartner CRM Summit. Customer experience and social media are two growing areas executives are and should be focused on today. "Customer experience is the higher calling," Mittelstaedt said. According to Mittelstaedt, the big challenge is the question of customer experience ownership: Should it be one person or a group? Read more »
Ginger Conlon | September 18, 2009
"Do you know who your customer advocates are and how much their recommendations are worth to your organization?" Lithium CMO Sanjay Dholakia posed that question rhetorically when we were discussing social media trends during the Gartner CRM Summit. "The wall is coming down between on and offline," he said, citing as an example Barnes & Noble, whose retail sales of specific books increase when customers discuss those books it its online community. He also noted that companies should track the Read more »
Jeremy Nedelka | September 17, 2009
Despite recent coverage of major organizations backing away from social media, avoiding it like the plague, there is some hope. The Air Force, not necessarily the first group you'd think of when it comes to online innovation (although many other types of innovation do come to mind), is fully embracing social networks, Twitter, and other online tools to build its brand and connect with servicemen, servicewomen, and citizens. Read more »
Guest Blogger: Bruce Temkin | September 16, 2009
In a new Forrester Research report called Service Seekers Are More Loyal Than Price Seekers (based on a survey of about 4,600 US consumers), we analyze the loyalty of four consumer segments that I've previously discussed. The report examines the loyalty of these segments across 12 industries: airlines, banks, wireless providers, credit card providers, hotels, insurance firms, Internet service providers, investment firms, health plans, PC manufacturers, retailers, and TV service providers. Across all industries and consumer segments, I analyzed three Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | September 16, 2009
The CMO Council and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce launched an initiative yesterday that not only makes sound business sense, but it's also socially beneficial. The Pause to Support a Cause campaign aims to create a global community of millions of research-ready and receptive panelists to participate in online surveys and market research. It's expected to direct as much as 10 percent of the $18.9 billion spent on market research worldwide to thousands of non profits. Read more »
Guest Blogger | September 15, 2009
What do you do when your business process has turned escalation into SOP? With my son's sixth birthday around the corner, I recently found myself headed to the local "big box" book retailer for a copy of Roald Dahl's Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator. We'd enjoyed reading Charlie and the Chocolate Factory aloud over vacation, and I knew he was looking forward to the next installment. The book was easily located and I proceeded to check-out. Purchase in hand, Read more »
Elizabeth Glagowski | September 14, 2009
A year ago today, financial services firm Lehman Bros. collapsed, triggering a 500-point drop in the stock market, the toppling of other businesses considered "too big to fail," and signaling the start of the worst recession in modern times. Now, a year later, have businesses learned that short-term gain and isolated profit motives aren't sustainable? Read more »
Ginger Conlon | September 11, 2009
How do you win customers' attention and loyalty? Know them and be relevant. That was the straightforward advice Acxiom's Chris Marriott gave earlier this week during its Global Marketing Performance Series event on social media marketing. "Leverage the information you have about customers to personalize communications," he said. Marriott, vice president and general manager for Acxiom's Digital Marketing Services' Eastern Region, also advised attendees to: Build strategies around customers (not just products or services) Find more people who look/act like Read more »
Guest Blogger | September 11, 2009
With no recommendation engine, graphical improvements, or image search, Craigslist is a website stuck in the past. And while business best practices often include heavy investment in sales, marketing, and customer service, Craigslist eschews these functions--yet continues to grow its revenues. What makes Craigslist a "classifieds killer" and how is it able grow its business with little attention to the customer experience? Read more »
Jeremy Nedelka | September 10, 2009
I admire Wikipedia for trying to create a common knowledge database that everyone could access and participate in, but ultimately the site learned what politicians and sociologists realized long ago: when left to their own devices, people can't be trusted. Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | September 9, 2009
Email marketing is an easy yet powerful tool in bringing home a huge volume of traffic to your website, and email opens doors to many marketing opportunities. But a new study shows that companies are not taking full advantage of their email campaigns. Read more »
Guest Blogger | September 8, 2009
Warning: Default decisions and actions, although seductive when chosen and not always easy to recognize, can be lethal to your success. First, perhaps it's best to define default. It occurs when you have chosen--operative word, chosen--not to make a decision or take an action that would help you move forward in achieving what you want in business, in your career, or in your personal life. Many companies lose market viability because of a default mind-set that results in default behavior. Read more »
Guest Blogger | September 4, 2009
I know, most people hate hype. In a post-bubble economy, hype it's a four letter word. But I love it. I'm no advocate of projecting unrealistic expectations on every new, shiny thing. But, hype can be used for good. Hype is a marketer's dream. It takes advantage of our human inclination toward curiosity about the new and unusual. Hype can give a brand enough exposure to sustain it until it can stand on its merits, build a reputation, and move Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | September 3, 2009
Companies today are challenged with how to make operations efficient while delivering value to the customer. The answer to both of these customer management questions hinges upon effective collection, analysis, and deployment of your organization's customer feedback. Read more »
Guest Blogger | September 2, 2009
This Monday I had a series of calls with marketers evaluating campaign management solutions. After the economic slowdown I am starting to see a steady renewal of interest in marketing technologies. The questions ranged from: "How is campaign management different from marketing automation?" to "How much do the various modules cost to implement?" to "What's the on-demand market look like?". But by far the most commonly asked question was about the integration of outbound (batch) and inbound (real-time in the Read more »
Guest Blogger | September 2, 2009
In Management Rewired, Charles S. Jacobs tells us that brain science has confirmed what many of us have long suspected: We each live in a reality of our own making. As Jacobs points out, this isn't just a philosophical issue; it impacts the way we do business. Arrogantly (or innocently) assume that your customers experience the world in the same way that you do, and you'll find your actions unlikely to produce the results you expect. We all talk about Read more »
Jeremy Nedelka | September 2, 2009
If you've read an article on recently, you may have used the "share" button that allows you to re-post the story on sites such as Digg, LinkedIn, Mixx, Reddit, and Twitter. This sharing feature, and its accompanied list of social media websites, is common in today's online world. Nearly all news sites, and many e-commerce sites, give customers the option to share content with friends. In the past few months, though, I've noticed that on more and more sites Read more »