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Ginger Conlon | March 30, 2012
Customer strategists today face an ever-increasing plethora of challenges across every aspect of the customer experience. While attending the Gartner Customer 360 Summit in Orlando, I asked a number of industry insiders to share their opinions and advice on four of the many hot topics facing customer experience professionals right now. Find out what they had to say: Read more »
Guest Blogger: Megan Burns | March 30, 2012
I just published Forrester's fourth annual report "The Business Impact of Customer Experience" using updated data from the 2012 Customer Experience Index. Once again the news is good for companies hoping to get a financial boost from their efforts to improve customer experience. In all of the industries we modeled the revenue benefits of a better customer experience range from $31 million for retailers to around $1.3 billion for hotels and wireless service providers. Read more »
Guest Blogger: Howard Lax | March 29, 2012
Marketers and marketing consultants all too often make the mistake of equating customer loyalty with customer experience. Whether out of laziness or sloppiness, this is a critical miscue in the measurement, analysis, and management of customer loyalty and experiences. Read more »
Cynthia Clark | March 29, 2012
Have you ever stopped to think how many brands impact your life on a daily basis? Starting from your morning coffee, the transportation you use to get to work, your phone and the network that it operates on, all the items on your desk--the list goes on and on. And when you have a problem with any one of the products and services that you use, you expect the company to be responsive when you contact it, listen to you, Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | March 28, 2012
Mobile is no longer about the phone; it's about being connected. In fact, in some countries there are more mobile subscriptions than there are people (Mobile Marketing Association). Additionally, it takes 90 minutes for the average person to respond to an email, but it takes 90 seconds for the average person to respond to a text message ( Read more »
Anna Papachristos | March 27, 2012
Parents always tell their children to disregard what others think--to march to the beat of their own drum. But for businesses across the board, from fledglings to old timers, consideration of how others perceive the company's products and services can mean the difference between success and failure. One way many companies are getting insight into that perception is by asking how likely customers are to refer friends or associates. Read more »
Tom Hoffman | March 27, 2012
1to1 Media's Tom Hoffman speaks with Dave Capuano, Vice President of Marketing at Vovici, a Verint Company, about different approaches for engaging today's empowered customer. Read more »
Elizabeth Glagowski | March 26, 2012
Social media is an enigma to many executives. Its prevalence can't be denied and all companies should use it as a critical interaction channel. Sites like Facebook, Twitter, Foursqure, Pinterest and others take away the barriers to direct interaction with customers and prospects. The challenge comes from using social media in a strategic way that has a financial impact, not just as a "nice to have" initiative. Many companies are looking for best practices in how to best use social Read more »
Ginger Conlon | March 23, 2012
Gaining and retaining customer loyalty is no easy feat. Customers are often "loyal" based more on convenience than emotion, which means given a better option their loyalties will change as quickly the weather on a Florida afternoon. Loyalty programs help bolster retention, but they're not a magic bullet for fostering attitudinal loyalty. Earlier this week at Loyalty 360's Loyalty Expo 2012 several speakers shared research findings that reveal just how fickle consumers can be. They also shared challenges and opportunities Read more »
Guest Blogger: Tony Ventrice | March 22, 2012
While social media alone creates buzz around your brand, it's gamification that drives engagement across your online community. That's why many enterprise marketers are turning to gamification to measure and influence consumer behavior on their brand-owned Web and mobile sites. By accessing behavior metrics and understanding customers' specific actions that are tied to key business objectives, you can determine how individual users are interacting with your site's content and what drives customer engagement with your brand. This knowledge can be Read more »
Cynthia Clark | March 22, 2012
Loyal customers are an asset that companies need to look after. Just because someone loves your brand today doesn't mean he won't defect to a competitor if he finds a better deal. It is therefore essential for organizations to work hard to keep their clients enthusiastic about them. Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | March 21, 2012
One thing most likely on every marketer's mind today is integrated marketing. With ever-emerging customer channels and communications devices, marketers find themselves in a constant race to implement effective strategies, processes, and technologies that link communications across channels, ensuring consistency and personalization. In return, they want the complete view of the customer--a picture into their cross-channel behaviors and a guide to what influences them on their journey to purchase. Read more »
Ginger Conlon | March 21, 2012
Wyndham Hotels is among the brands that have embraced social commerce and put reviews right on its site. According to Senior Vice President of Loyalty Marketing Robin Korman, the company is the first hotel brand to have done so. Read more »
Tom Hoffman | March 20, 2012
In most respects, there's not a lot of common ground between a regional water utility and a multinational logistics giant. But one thing that does unite the Las Vegas Valley Water District and FedEx is their respective passion for using customer analytics to improve the customer service experience. Read more »
Cynthia Clark | March 19, 2012
Having the right customer data is essential for organizations to provide the most personalized and relevant customer experience. Harry Rosen Inc. and McAfee have both bolstered the data in their CRM systems to improve their sales efforts while delivering a better customer experience. Their efforts have landed them among the winners of the Gartner & 1to1 Media CRM Excellence Awards, in the sales effectiveness category. Read more »
Ginger Conlon | March 19, 2012
How do you make a company that sells a commodity like energy stand out? How do you get customers to recognize you, select you, and stay with you? TXU Energy focuses on four basic brand builders: be trustworthy and transparent, customer centric, innovative, and dependable. Read more »
Ginger Conlon | March 19, 2012
Only 25 percent of customers feel "very loyal" to their preferred brands, according to Tim Suther, chief customer and strategy officer at Acxiom. Worse, 25 percent feel no loyalty at all. How can companies build customer loyalty in this time of customer promiscuity? During his presentation at Loyalty 360's Loyalty Expo 2012 this morning, Suther offered these five tips: Read more »
Elizabeth Glagowski | March 19, 2012
It's common knowledge that customer focus leads to revenues. So why don't more companies implement customer strategy? They are knowingly leaving money on the table, yet many continue to do it rather than risk facing the "devil they don't know." Read more »
Ginger Conlon | March 16, 2012
We all know that social is the shiny object in business today. Why are organizations so focused on social? According to Gartner the top reasons are to strengthen relationship with customers, enhance brand awareness/preference, share information and ideas with customers, supplies, and partners, establish an interactive relationship with customers, and increase revenue. These are all valuable goals, but they must tie to specific, measurable outcomes. According to Gartner Research Director Adam Sarner, "businesses must connect the dots of social CRM Read more »
Ginger Conlon | March 16, 2012
All too often sales teams rely on outdated, unreliable, incomplete information. This makes for poor decision making, Gartner Research Vice President Tiffani Bova said during her presentation at Gartner Customer 360 this morning. Sales organizations need to improve data quality, validity, and quantity to improve their performance. Having the information and acting on it also means being consistent with how and why you use it, she said. Read more »
Anna Papachristos | March 16, 2012
Community brings people together, uniting them based on their common bonds. With social outlets readily available all across the Internet, connecting with likeminded individuals is merely a click away. Yet, while most companies focus on the company/customer side of social engagement, many neglect to embrace customer interactions with other customers as a means to enhance the customer experience. Read more »
Guest Blogger: Bruce Temkin | March 15, 2012
In the recently published 2012 Temkin Experience Ratings, we rated the customer experience of 206 companies across 18 industries based on a survey of 10,000 U.S. consumers. This research provides a great benchmark of customer experience, as it compares companies with their industry peers as well as with companies from other industries. Read more »
Cynthia Clark | March 15, 2012
A great after-sales experience is essential. Not only do customers want to ensure that the product or service they've just purchased works as expected, but they also want the company they bought from to be there to answer questions or help them with any problems. Read more »
Ginger Conlon | March 14, 2012
CRM is in the spotlight. According to a recent Gartner survey of CEOs, respondents rated CRM as a top priority in terms of avenues for growth, followed by e-commerce. Similarly, Gartner found that increasing customer acquisition, customer satisfaction, and revenue are the top three CRM goals for 2012. During their opening keynote at the Gartner Customer 360 Summit this morning, Gartner's Gene Alvarez, research vice president, and Ed Thomson, vice president and distinguished analyst, shared 10 CRM-related trends to watch Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | March 14, 2012
Is your customer experience where it needs to be? If not, your business may be missing valuable opportunities to boost customer satisfaction and improve retention. Worse yet, you may soon be facing critical problems. Read more »
Guest Blogger | March 14, 2012
CRM as a concept has been around for a long time. And many firms have undertaken not just one, but several, CRM initiatives. As such, Gartner has looked at how CRM evolves and developed generational models that explain the changes in thinking and emphasis that we see. Read more »
Tom Hoffman | March 13, 2012
I've recently been following a discussion thread on LinkedIn on declining consumer sentiment about customer service along with the causes of this (e.g. lack of agent training). While there's no simple answer to this, here are a few points to ponder. Read more »
Guest Blogger: Paul Hagen | March 12, 2012
In our continuing research on the emerging role of the Chief Customer Officer (CCO), we recently looked at the kinds of authority their firms vest in them to drive change across the organization. This authority can affect the activities they do, the composition of the teams that report into them, and the budgets they control. For firms considering putting this kind of senior customer experience leader in place, Forrester has identified three archetypal models that characterize the most typical modes Read more »
Ginger Conlon | March 12, 2012
Site design, personalization, and key performance indicators (KPIs) are not getting the attention they deserve in terms of the online customer experience, according to Kevin Cochrane, Adobe's vice president of product strategy and solution marketing. "When people think of the online customer experience, they're focused on the design and 'sexiness' of their website. They don't do enough research into who their customers are and what they're trying to accomplish. Not all customers are looking for the same thing," Cochrane told Read more »
Ginger Conlon | March 9, 2012
Today I made a purchase that I was compelled to make. It wasn't something I needed or had planned to buy. But I had to have it. Read more »
Anna Papachristos | March 9, 2012
Customers may seem high maintenance, but in fact their high expectations are warranted. Every penny counts in today's economy, so consumers worldwide have come to expect nothing but the best from the companies they choose to purchase from. They expect only the best possible customer experience available, and rightfully so, says Bruce Temkin, managing partner at Temkin Group. Read more »
Cynthia Clark | March 8, 2012
Have you ever walked into a second-hand store, picked up an item, and wondered where it's been before and if there's an interesting story behind it? Britain-based charity Oxfam is using technology to tell the story of the second-hand items sold in some of its stores. Using QR codes, Oxfam is creating a link between a product's previous owner and its retail shoppers in an attempt to make the shopping experience more interesting and to sell more donated products. Read more »
Guest Blogger: Karine del Moro | March 7, 2012
The noise around voice of the customer is growing. In fact, the balance of 2012 will see an increase in the impact of VoC strategies on customer engagement and loyalty. Not surprisingly, technology, marketing, and customer care service providers are all fighting for their piece of the VoC revenue pie. Read more »
Tom Hoffman | March 6, 2012
Rising investments in marketing automation have resulted in increasing overlap between the roles of the CMO and the CIO. Gartner predicts that by 2017, CMOs will be spending more on IT than CIOs. Indeed, a growing number of CMOs and other business leaders are circumventing the IT organization when acquiring technology to support their function in order to move faster on deployments and avoid lengthy architectural and compliance reviews. Read more »
Elizabeth Glagowski | March 5, 2012
UK supermarket chain Tesco has always been afforded a reputation for providing a positive customer experience. But new competition, along with growing customer expectations, a down economy, and a lack of customer focus have taken its toll on the retailer. The company announced today that it would add 20,000 jobs over the next two years, boosting its workforce by 7 percent. Many of those jobs will be created in the customer service department. In these days of automation and cost Read more »
Ginger Conlon | March 2, 2012
Whenever I see a Chevy Camaro my heart rate revs up. Seriously. If I'm driving and see one parked, I slow down to ogle it. If I'm on the highway and see one up ahead, I'll try to catch up with it to check it out. I'm so struck by them that I feel like I'm cheating on my Ford Mustang whenever I gaze longingly at that sleek masterpiece of a muscle car. Read more »
Guest Blogger: Molly Hoffmeister | March 1, 2012
Imagine this. You decide to follow one of your favorite brands on Twitter and moments later, you experience the briefest jolt of excitement when you see that said brand has sent you a direct message on Twitter. Yet instead, you find the most generic marketing message conceivable: "Thx for following. We'd love to have you as a fan on our Facebook page, too..." Womp, womp. Read more »
Cynthia Clark | March 1, 2012
People's actions are driven by emotions. And that includes their purchasing behavior. Whether we're buying an everyday item that we need, like a carton of milk, or something we desire, for example, a designer handbag, emotions play an important part in the process. Read more »