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Tom Hoffman | December 31, 2013
When we look back at 2013, there were a number of key developments which had a profound impact on marketing organizations. Location-based marketing, social media engagement, real-time marketing, just to name a few. Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | December 30, 2013
The importance of delivering an optimal customer experience cannot be overstated. This year saw some notable blunders. Here are five that I believe stood out the most. Read more »
Guest Blogger: Vanessa Saulsberry | December 27, 2013
While most people looked ahead to 2014, I did exactly the opposite. I reflected on some of my more sour moments and realized what I learned from them. Typically I'm the most jovial customer, but in a brazen spree of outrage and deceit I did some things that I can't take back, so this is my moment of penance: Read more »
Cynthia Clark | December 26, 2013
Customer feedback is essential for organizations that can use these insights to determine what's working and what needs to be changed within their organization. Recognizing this, many companies are making an effort to collect a good amount of customer feedback that will help them make the necessary improvements to their service efforts. Read more »
Anna Papachristos | December 25, 2013
It's practically impossible to avoid the evils of our existence during the holiday season. From news reports about brawls at the mall, to the Humane Society's gut-wrenching commercials, we can see that all isn't merry and bright no matter how many lights we rig up outside. Even this year's holiday programming highlights how far we've distanced ourselves from the ideals that once rang from the rafters all season long. Read more »
Tom Hoffman | December 24, 2013
We've all had to endure long wait times for visits at doctor's offices. And while making an appointment for a medical condition isn't the same as experiencing a delay in service at a bank or an auto repair shop, it can be just as infuriating - sometimes more so. Perhaps this is because so many of us feel undervalued when we're forced to wait while other patients who arrive after we do are seen first. It also doesn't help that Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | December 23, 2013
Whether it's the airlines embracing mobile to assist customers, a bad-boy company promising to make over its service standards, or the launch of new technology that will change how consumers pay for everyday retail goods, these 10 customer experience incidents will change the course of how organizations deliver customer experiences. Read more »
Cynthia Clark | December 19, 2013
We're right in the middle of the holiday season and like every other year, organizations are trying their utmost to make the most out of holiday cheer to encourage consumers to make purchases or at least to remain top of mind. Read more »
Anna Papachristos | December 18, 2013
While many consumers are scrambling to purchase last-minute gifts, others are plotting and planning their holiday travel itinerary. But travelers aren't the only ones preparing for the rush at the airport. Many travel businesses are now using Big Data, behavioral trends, and text analytics to adjust their operations accordingly. Read more »
Tom Hoffman | December 17, 2013
Old school salespeople like to pride themselves on their ability to close the deal through their interpersonal skills and sales savvy. They're often the first to admit that they've done their homework to gain a deeper understanding of the needs and interests of a particular client or prospect in order to deliver on what the client is looking for. But increasingly, forward-thinking sales leaders and their teams are relying on customer and prospect data along with the use of analytics Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | December 16, 2013
As 2014 approaches, business leaders everywhere are making their New Year's resolutions, targeted and prioritizing specific goals to help improve the omnichannel customer experience, increase customer loyalty, and ultimately advance their businesses. For many, two resolutions will appear at the top of their lists: to convert more leads into sales and to better understand and manage Big Data. Read more »
Guest Blogger: Sam Stern | December 13, 2013
Earlier this year, I spoke with Kathleen Cattrall, Interim Chief Experience Officer, at VCA Animal Hospitals about the company's customer experience transformation efforts. VCA is a publicly traded company (fittingly, their NASDAQ ticker symbol is WOOF) that owns and operates more than 600 pet hospitals in the U.S. and Canada. Its work to create more customer-centric hiring processes features in my latest report, "How to Hire and Onboard Customer-Centric Employees." Read more »
Cynthia Clark | December 12, 2013
Remember a time when customers were exposed to organizations almost solely through television commercials, newspaper and magazine ads, and mailings? Today, brand mentions seem to be thrown at us from all directions. Open your inbox and there are a handful of promotions, click on a website and advertisements pop up on the side. Read more »
Anna Papachristos | December 11, 2013
Starbucks has become the unofficial official refueling station of the holiday season. Yes, it's quite likely that you will spend more time waiting in line for a peppermint mocha whatchamacallit than you will for any of the must-have items on your shopping list. Yet, while standing in line for an overpriced, holiday-themed beverage may be frustrating to many, for those with simple tastes, the experience can be rather comical and mildly entertaining. Read more »
Tom Hoffman | December 10, 2013
Thanks to behavioral shifts and technological advancements, marketing is undergoing a dramatic evolution. Historically, companies have tried to sell as many products as possible to customers, either through direct mail campaigns and other techniques. Then, as digital channels began to emerge, marketing leaders would attempt similar batch-and-blast campaign approaches through email, mobile, etc., often resulting in disjointed messages that carry little context about the customer and their needs. But with so much information that's now available about customers through the Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | December 9, 2013
It's that time of year again when goal-setting for the year ahead and reflections on decisions rendered become routine. Business leaders everywhere are no exception, as now is the time to look ahead at ways to stand out from the competition and enhance the customer experience. Read more »
Guest Blogger: Harley Manning | December 6, 2013
Last month it was my pleasure to host Forrester's Customer Experience Forum EMEA in London. The theme for the event was "boost your customer experience to the next level," which we picked because we know that attendees of our events are at widely (sometimes wildly!) different levels of customer experience maturity. Read more »
Cynthia Clark | December 5, 2013
Navigating the healthcare system can be challenging and intimidating for individuals and changes that are currently taking place can make it even more confounding. Read more »
Anna Papachristos | December 4, 2013
From Black Friday to Cyber Monday, the past week has been filled with nothing but advertisements and promotions galore. Fifty percent off this, 25 percent off that--it's enough to make your head spin! But for Photojojo, the photography fanatic's online destination, garnering attention was not just a gimmick. It was borderline genius. Read more »
Tom Hoffman | December 3, 2013
A major event for my family over the past several months was my mother's decision to sell her house and move to an independent living facility. There were a lot of moving parts associated with this move, including putting mom's house on the market, selecting an independent living center that met her needs, deciding which furniture and belongings would be moved to her new residence, packing, scheduling the shut off of her utilities, etc. Add it up and it can Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | December 2, 2013
So you've survived Black Friday--the long lines, the impassible parking lots, and the in-store brawls over door buster sales. It's time to settle into a comfy chair, or close your office door, and start shopping online on this Cyber Monday. Read more »
Cynthia Clark | November 28, 2013
The holiday season has officially started and brands are doing their utmost to attract customers to their stores--whether brick-and-mortar or online--to spread the cheer by spending their cash. Read more »
Anna Papachristos | November 27, 2013
Thanksgiving has always been a convoluted mess. Our predecessors plundered the Native American land, the occasion wasn't recognized as an official holiday until 1863, and I'm not even certain as to why we specifically target turkeys for the main course. But one thing's for sure--"thanks" and "giving" no longer go together like peanut butter and jelly. Read more »
Tom Hoffman | November 26, 2013
There are numerous benefits for guiding (note: not forcing) customers to use self-service channels to resolve an issue they may be encountering or to find answers they're seeking. Certainly one of the most popular reasons for ushering a customer to a self-service channel is cost - live call center support can cost between $6 to $12 per call while a web self-service interaction can cost a company less than 10 cents to support, according to Forrester Research. In addition, a Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | November 25, 2013
As a growing number of retailers are opening their doors on Thanksgiving, a handful are bucking the commercial trend and staying closed, respecting employees and their families and attracting positive word of mouth in the process. Nordstrom, Costco, Ross Stores, TJ Maxx, Marshall's, Burlington Coat Factory stores, Sam's Club, and BJ's Wholesale are choosing not to encroach on America's family centered holiday by remaining closed on Thursday. Read more »
Guest Blogger: Kerry Bodine | November 22, 2013
B2C financial services provider Ally Bank and B2B professional services firm PwC Australia took home top honors in the design category of Forrester's first annual Outside In Awards. In our recent report, Amelia Sizemore and I describe how--despite vastly different business models and target customers -- Ally and PwC followed strikingly similar approaches: human-centered design processes that involved a collaborative kickoff stage, extensive research, contributions from customers and multiple parts of the business, and numerous iterations of prototyping and testing. Read more »
Cynthia Clark | November 21, 2013
With just a week until Thanksgiving, retailers are in full swing preparing for what is the busiest time of the year. These next weeks can make or break a business and most organizations are striving to make sure it's the latter. Read more »
Anna Papachristos | November 20, 2013
Big Data continues to befuddle marketers, and those in the retail sphere are no exception. With consumer information constantly flowing into the organization, it can be rather difficult to keep everything under control and remain vigilant in case concerns arise. But, as Don Patrick, president of Infogroup Targeting Solutions, says, without proper data hygiene practices and analytics, Big Data is no more valuable than the sum of its parts. Read more »
Tom Hoffman | November 19, 2013
As companies continue to adopt state-of-the-art technologies and techniques in their contact center operations, this has provided terrific opportunities for organizations to make improvements to the customer support experience. But, generally speaking, reality hasn't quite met this promise. Some areas where organizations continue to underachieve with multichannel customer support include providing agents the ability to obtain a single view of the customer. Meanwhile, despite the level of investment that companies are making in extending self-service capabilities to customers, there continues Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | November 18, 2013
Each year it seems as though the holiday shopping season starts earlier and earlier. This year is no exception. Given that it's the shortest shopping season with only 27 days between Thanksgiving and Christmas, many consumers have already been hitting the malls and browsing online for deals. Read more »
Guest Blogger: Sam Stern | November 15, 2013
Last month, I delivered a webinar about digital CX teams in the post-PC era. I described the importance of having a clear strategy for the digital customer experience and how it should align with the overall customer experience vision in non-digital touchpoints. I shared examples of how companies hire and train essential in-house skills like journey mapping and storytelling to avoid overreliance on partners. And I talked about how companies should take an ecosystem approach to organizing their digital resources. Read more »
Cynthia Clark | November 14, 2013
It's the most wonderful time of the year. Or so goes the song. But with so much hype around the holidays and expectations being so high, retailers had better deliver on their promises of a great customer experience or any business relationships they forge will wither in the New Year. Read more »
Anna Papachristos | November 13, 2013
With each passing day, the official holiday season grows closer and closer. While malls are already playing Christmas tunes and department stores are all decked out in twinkle lights, the true rush has yet to begin. Soon, Black Friday deal-grabbers and last-minute shoppers will flock to the store and clutter the aisles, while others will hop online to research sales and avoid these crazy crowds. But, as shoppers seek an ideal parking spot, marketers are out to find new ways Read more »
Tom Hoffman | November 12, 2013
Net Promoter Score (NPS) - which measures the likelihood of a customer to recommend a company a friend or a colleague - has provided businesses with a lot of benefits since it was first introduced by Fred Reichheld, Bain & Company, and Satmetrix in 2003. It's a simple, understandable metric that enables executives to easily determine the relative health of a company's relationships with its customers. Because it's so simple and easy to understand, it has also played a significant Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | November 11, 2013
Marketers readily believe that Big Data is a key enabler of personalization. However, according to a recent report conducted by the CMO Council, personalization of interactions is only happening at the marketing campaign level with email, direct mail, the Web, and social media engagements. In fact, some 65 percent say frontline resources do not have access to social media intelligence to leverage in personalized outreach. This has resulted in deficiencies in the delivery of real-time, account-specific customer insight that can Read more »
Guest Blogger: Harley Manning | November 8, 2013
Design is, without a doubt, the sexiest of the six customer experience disciplines. So when we talk about CX design at Forrester, our favourite example comes from a really sexy industry: water utilities. Read more »
Cynthia Clark | November 7, 2013
Consumers are at the receiving end of countless advertising messages that are coming to them from all directions. Every time they switch on the television, open a magazine, turn on the radio, or click on a search engine page, they are coming face-to-face with marketing messages. Read more »
Anna Papachristos | November 6, 2013
Before the latest technologies introduced the joys of self-service, the contact center was our only true method for troubleshooting and issue resolution. Notorious for its lengthy wait times and frustrating interactions, calling the customer service hotline remains a last resort for most, even to this day, for most appear ill-equipped for the connected, impatient consumer of today. Read more »
Tom Hoffman | November 5, 2013
1to1 Media's Tom Hoffman speaks with Sarah Mcelwee, Vice President of Client Operations at KBM Group, to discuss the factors that are influencing how the customer support experience should be monitored and measured. Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | November 4, 2013
During Facebook's Q3 earnings call on Wednesday, CFO David Ebersman quietly announced a decrease in teenage daily users during the quarter, especially with younger teens. Read more »
Guest Blogger: Kerry Bodine | November 1, 2013
In 2011, the executives at Bertucci's, a 30-year-old restaurant chain in the US Mid-Atlantic and New England regions, faced a big problem: The restaurant had become nearly invisible to younger generations of diners. Bright lighting and rows of faux-leather booths beckoned parents with messy young children -- not ever-shifting groups of young friends on the move. And its traditional table service felt increasingly irrelevant for diners who wanted to get in and get out -- or park themselves for hours Read more »
Cynthia Clark | October 31, 2013
Culture is important for organizations. Not only does culture impact how the organization works internally, but it also has an effect on how a company is seen by outsiders, including customers and prospects. Read more »
Anna Papachristos | October 30, 2013
Big Data can be rather scary. With vast amounts of structured and unstructured data flowing into the organization each day, analyzing and utilizing this information can be quite daunting. Yet, for those who collect prospect and customer data for Big Data's sake, the noise can be deafening. Many recognize the need to deliver Big Data in the right context at the right time to the right people, but they don't know where to turn to bring this information to action. Read more »
Tom Hoffman | October 29, 2013
1to1 Media's Tom Hoffman speaks with Mariann McDonagh, Chief Marketing Officer at inContact, about how proactive customer outreach is changing along with best practices for personalizing the customer experience. Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | October 28, 2013
It's no secret that mobile is changing the traditional marketing funnel and transforming the way customers interact at every stage throughout the customer journey. Mobile has propelled us into an environment that not only allows us to express a need through any device at any time, and also one that has customers expecting a contextually relevant response to those needs. Read more »
Guest Blogger: Paul Hagan | October 25, 2013
A customer experience ecosystem map is a visual technique that connects end-to-end customer processes to the ecosystem of employees, partners, capabilities, processes, technology, information and interfaces involved in delivering the experiences. Without these maps, companies regularly perform "blind-man-and-the elephant" exercises in which different silos of an organization see only parts of the customer's experience related to their own jobs. A customer experience ecosystem map breaks down this tunnel vision to help systematically improve or re-design experiences to deliver value. Read more »
Cynthia Clark | October 24, 2013
It is no secret that customers expect personalized interactions from the companies they do business with, but business leaders often wonder whether there's a limit to how personalized they can get. How can they make sure not to cross the line between the targeted interactions that customers want while not appearing intrusive? Read more »
Anna Papachristos | October 23, 2013
For years, brands referred to the contact center as the "cost center" of their organization. With their focus geared toward short-term ROI, many were reluctant to spend money on improvements because they neglected to consider sales beyond the brick-and-mortar store or website. Such companies failed to take full advantage of their customer service agents, for they were not trained as sales agents, thus missing the opportunity to nurture relationships, encourage repeat purchases, and upsell during interactions. However, as the contact Read more »
Tom Hoffman | October 22, 2013
1to1 Media's Tom Hoffman speaks with David May, Director, Contact Center for Lafayette, LA at the Schumacher Group regarding approaches that healthcare companies will need to take to become more customer centric as the Affordable Care Act leads to greater competition for the business of individual consumers. Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | October 21, 2013
Modern-day CRM started its roots in the 1960s with the "4 P's" marketing framework--product, price, place, and promotion. Any relationship marketer who has been at their craft since the 1980s knows that this structure eventually became the foundation to describe companies' focus on understanding individual customer segments and delivering personalized service and marketing engagement strategies. Read more »
Cynthia Clark | October 17, 2013
It is human nature to want to be treated as an individual. Armed with data, savvy organizations have been able to turn online interactions into truly personalized communications that cater to the individual needs of each customer. Read more »
Anna Papachristos | October 16, 2013
There's something inherently magical about your first "big girl bed" (or "big boy bed" if you're of the male variety). But when you awake to a busted spring--on your birthday, no less--it's hard not to find yourself back in the throes of reality. After nearly 20 years, my beautiful mattress decided to remind me I'm no longer a child, sending one lone coil jutting through the material and straight through my heart. (Yes, that may sound melodramatic, but the spring Read more »
Tom Hoffman | October 15, 2013
Last week, I had the good fortune to moderate a panel discussion on creating memorable customer experiences at inContact's annual user conference, ICUC 2013. During the discussion where we examined some of the components that are needed to generate exceptional customer experiences (people, processes, technology, and metrics), one of the panelists, Amy Latzer, Chief Operating Officer at 2-1-1 Los Angeles County, made a terrific recommendation for contact center leaders to better understand what it's like to be an agent - Read more »
Guest Blogger: Kerry Bodine | October 11, 2013
Service design is critical to customer experience (CX). (If you're not sure why, please check out my post from earlier this week called Service Design: The Most Important Design Discipline You've Never Heard Of, and then come back and continue reading.) But what exactly is the relationship between the service design and CX? And how does the field of user experience (UX) factor into this picture? Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | October 10, 2013
When 1to1 Media launched the first Customer Champions program back in 2004, the goal was to shine a light on the people within companies of all sizes who are making a difference in moving their organizations' customer experiences forward. Read more »
Cynthia Clark | October 9, 2013
Customers have high expectations and only organizations that deliver on these high expectations will be successful. When delivery falls short of their expectations, customers will simply vote with their feet and go to a competitor. Read more »
Anna Papachristos | October 9, 2013
When it comes to customer service, retailers are constantly searching for new techniques to personalize the shopping experience, catering to the specific individual, not the masses. However, this modern mindset seems to fly out the window when we speak about Millennials. This group of young consumers--myself included--rarely seems to warrant the same attention, as we are seen as a single entity, one often deemed mysterious, narcissistic, and lazy. Yet, while this definition appears to be widely accepted, what most retailers Read more »
Tom Hoffman | October 8, 2013
In observance of Customer Service Week this week, it's important to recognize and reward those people who make such a difference (mainly positive, we hope) to the customers they serve. Before acknowledging any and all customer service agents or other employees who serve customers so dutifully, please consider the following: Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | October 7, 2013
Today marks the start of Customer Service Week where thousands of companies will honor and award their employees in an effort to boost morale and celebrate those committed to delivering exceptional customer service. In an effort to encourage continuous improvement for companies' service organizations beyond October 11, I'm making the following recommendations. Read more »
Guest Blogger: Harley Manning | October 4, 2013
How's this for a challenge? Imagine you're the president of one of the largest economy hotel chains in America. Your goal: deliver a consistent, high-quality on-brand customer experience across all of your properties. Read more »
Cynthia Clark | October 2, 2013
Delivering great customer service is not an option for organizations to succeed. It is a must. Customers, after all, vote with their feet and will be very quick to stop doing business with an organization that doesn't deliver the service they expect. Read more »
Anna Papachristos | October 2, 2013
Like milk and cookies or peanut butter and jelly, in an idyllic world, the CMO and CIO walk hand-in-hand. But, as mobile technology becomes an undeniable player across industries, research predicts that CMOs will soon spend more on IT than the CIO, causing much tension throughout the enterprise. Such changes are destined to reshape the dynamic within many companies, thus posing a threat to the customer experience as the C-suite struggles to balance power with strategy. Read more »
Tom Hoffman | October 1, 2013
A few weeks ago when I attended CRM Evolution 2013, much of the buzz was about the omnichannel customer experience. As you might expect, a central topic of discussion was around breaking through the data silos that exist between different channels and enterprise functions that can inhibit the omnichannel customer experience. But as industry leaders and practitioners have discovered, the key to success isn't just about integrating customer and operational data across the enterprise. While technology integration is important, it's Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | September 30, 2013
In 1993 when Don Peppers and Martha Rogers, Ph.D., wrote The One to One Future, the content was groundbreaking. Their radical theory of selling more goods to fewer people revolutionized marketing. Read more »
Guest Blogger: Harley Manning | September 27, 2013
We all felt extremely lucky to score Harit Talwar as a speaker for Forrester's Forum For Customer Experience Professionals West, which is coming up on October 9th and 10th in Los Angeles. Why lucky? It's for two main reasons. Read more »
Cynthia Clark | September 26, 2013
Social media might have been born out of humans' need to communicate with friends, to remove geographical boundaries, and share information with loved ones. But it has long moved on to become an important tool for organizations, and the more savvy ones are leveraging it to interact with their customers. Read more »
Anna Papachristos | September 25, 2013
While The Beatles may understand that money can't buy love, in many organizations, leaders cannot comprehend the fact that not all employees are motivated solely by the zeros at the end of their paycheck. For most workers, satisfaction and happiness comes from loving the work, not the payout. While monetary incentives are certainly welcome, those dollar signs are often secondary, as employees value quality of life above all else. And, as Robin Rotenberg of BASF, says, the happiest employees--those that Read more »
Tom Hoffman | September 24, 2013
Under the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, all Americans are required to have healthcare insurance by 2014 or face financial penalties. What this means for healthcare insurers or "payers" as they're referred to is that somewhere between 30 million to 50 million people are expected to flood into the market seeking healthcare insurance directly from providers and the majority of these people haven't had health insurance before. Which begs the question: how prepared are payers to deal with Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | September 23, 2013
Just when we thought Big Data couldn't get any more confounding, the accelerated adoption and use of mobile payments continues to make analyzing customer data even more challenging. Instead of resisting these changes, marketers, data analysts, and customer experience leaders must look closely at the added benefits that providing mobile payment options to their customers will afford them. Read more »
Cynthia Clark | September 18, 2013
Last week I heard a story that struck a chord. I was told that some time ago, British soccer player Wayne Rooney walked into a real estate agent's office dressed down in jeans and a hoodie. The receptionist made the assumption that he was not able to afford buying a property and didn't treat Rooney as a potential customer. Read more »
Anna Papachristos | September 18, 2013
To gain the advantage in today's competitive market, brands must work to understand the customer experience. By understanding each individual's journey, companies can then integrate relevant insights and evolving strategies to create an atmosphere that nurtures relationships. But, as businesses begin to recognize the need to "walk in the customer's shoes" and develop an inside-out approach, an increasing number of organizations are appointing chief customer officers (CCOs) to ensure that the customer experience is considered by all departments throughout the Read more »
Tom Hoffman | September 17, 2013
Over the years, there have been quite a few technologies that have emerged that offer the double threat of strengthening the customer experience while improving operational efficiency. These include self-service tools, mobile field service applications, and systems used to support crowdservice forums. Add inContact's new outbound predictive dialing system to the mix. Read more »
Guest Blogger: Harley Manning | September 13, 2013
A few months ago I had the pleasure of seeing Tom Feeney speak about customer experience at an event in Boston. I was fascinated by his story of how Safelite went from a company that put shareholders first, to one that put employees first. The reasoning behind this move: Highly engaged employees will deliver a great experience, which will improve business performance and ultimately make everyone happy (including shareholders). Read more »
Anna Papachristos | September 11, 2013
Football season has arrived, bringing with it an array of fervent fantasy football fans. Just as the National Football League kicked off its 2013-2014 season last Thursday, men and women across America joined the excitement by diving into the 2013-2014 Pro Fantasy Football season. Yet, while sports bring these friends, family, and colleagues together, football season--and fantasy football leagues in particular--open up opportunities for marketers and advertisers to engage with fans, as well. Read more »
Cynthia Clark | September 11, 2013
There is no debate over the fact that smartphones have revolutionized the way customers make product choices. For a while, customers were able to do their research online before making a purchase. Read more »
Tom Hoffman | September 10, 2013
Customer experience leaders often talk about the importance of having highly-engaged employees who take pride in their jobs, admire the companies they work for and, above all else, are committed to delighting customers. And while all of these are admirable goals for organizations to aspire to and for company leaders to achieve, the reality in today's workplace is that many employees feel overwhelmed by crushing workloads as hiring remains weak. Meanwhile, stagnant wages and declining employee benefits packages continue to Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | September 9, 2013
I didn't think there was a single marketer on the planet who hadn't taken seriously the viral effect that being unresponsive in social media can have--a painful reminder exemplified by United Airlines and Dominos Pizza. When an angry and creative customer took to social media because of a broken guitar and raunchy employees uploaded videos of themselves doing disgusting things to a sandwich, the lack of response was worse than no response at all. Read more »
Guest Blogger: Kerry Bodine | September 6, 2013
In July, I delivered a webinar about customer experience innovation. I explained that in order to create innovative experiences that drive differentiation and long-term value, companies need to triangulate on consumer needs, the business model, and the brand. I received several great questions during the call, and I thought it would be worth answering them again (in brief) here: Read more »
Cynthia Clark | September 4, 2013
Change can be daunting. It is, many times, easier to stick to the status quo rather than make an effort to bring about a change, irrespective of how necessary this is. Read more »
Anna Papachristos | September 4, 2013
If you get the chance to go to the movies this weekend, you might want to consider seeing Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg's final installment in the Three Flavours Cornetto trilogy, The World's End. Though seemingly focused on the main character's determination to reclaim his youth by dragging his old friends along for a nostalgic pub crawl, one cannot ignore the social implications of this science fiction comedy. I don't want to pack this post full of spoilers, but for Read more »
Tom Hoffman | September 3, 2013
1to1 Media's Tom Hoffman speaks with Daryl Travis, Founder and CEO of Brandtrust, about different ways that social science disciplines can be used to gain a deeper understanding behind customer sentiment and motivations. Read more »
Guest Blogger: John Dalton | August 30, 2013
Recently I witnessed a bit of design magic. I was reviewing some research with a customer experience colleague who suddenly realized that he'd left some notes on his laptop, which was tethered to his desk. Knowing that he just started using Evernote, I suggested he sign into his account on his iPhone (which never leaves his side) and get his notes there. Read more »
Cynthia Clark | August 29, 2013
They say the devil is in the detail. And in fact, it's the little details that can make a difference between a great customer experience and one that is just ok. Read more »
Anna Papachristos | August 28, 2013
When Facebook announced its plan to enable hashtags, many may have thought the popular social network was simply hopping on the bandwagon. With Twitter and Instagram being notorious for hashtags, Facebook users were already tagging posts and statuses to no avail, allowing the network ample opportunity to extend its reach even further by embracing the popular trend. Yet, while hashtags enable users to engage in conversations and interact with the rest of the Facebook community, this tool also provides brands Read more »
Tom Hoffman | August 27, 2013
1to1 Media's Tom Hoffman catches up with Steve Chirokas, Vice President of Marketing at VoltDelta, about different techniques that companies can use to support customers who use multiple channels to interact with their organizations. Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | August 26, 2013
This week many children in the U.S. will return to school. They'll don new shoes and clothes, and come equipped with a fresh stock of school supplies. But many lucky parents avoided standing in long lines and arguing with their kids this back-to-school season. Rather than enter physical stores to buy their children's new back-to-school items, many parents for the first time bought their back-to-school items from the comfort of their sofas. Read more »
Guest Blogger: Paul Hagan | August 23, 2013
Firms must actively engage external vendors and third-party partners to deliver a unified customer experience (CX). Why? Because partners across the supply chain influence the quality of customer interactions. Sometimes these partners are the face of your company on the front lines in the form of agents, dealerships, value-added-resellers (VARS), distributors, and outsourced call center reps or technicians. Alternatively, they might act behind-the-scenes in the case of suppliers, outsourced credit or risk services, or billing and invoicing vendors. These Read more »
Cynthia Clark | August 22, 2013
Customers want great content. Whether it's images, video, or text, having the right content can make the difference between a successful organization and one that struggles to grab and retain customers' attention. Read more »
Anna Papachristos | August 21, 2013
Often times, when you can no longer find what you're looking for in the store, the item you desire still exists online. One simple search can yield numerous results. However, when I began my journey to find another pair of my favorite sunglasses, I never expected to get caught in such an unpleasant "web" of confusion. Not long ago, I purchased a new pair of Vogue sunglasses from Sunglass Hut. But, by the time I decided to purchase a backup Read more »
Tom Hoffman | August 20, 2013
Eric McKirdy is global customer care manager at Ask.com, a Q&A web search engine. Eric isn't just the customer care manager - he's the entire team. He also has the seemingly gargantuan task of providing customer support for Ask.com's nearly 200 million monthly users all by himself. Eric's circumstances are even more remarkable considering he had no prior customer service experience before joining Ask.com in late 2010. But yet he seems to handle his colossal responsibilities with aplomb, thanks in Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | August 19, 2013
What's more effective at growing customer loyalty--loyalty card/points programs or everyday low prices? A growing number of grocery chains are opting for low prices. Earlier this summer, grocery chains Acme, Shaw's, Albertson's, Star Market, and Jewel-Osco, all made the decision to ditch their customer loyalty programs for everyday low prices. Read more »
Guest Blogger: Harley Manning | August 16, 2013
It feels like this summer is flying by. Although it seems like yesterday when we put on Forrester's Customer Experience Forum East in New York City, it was actually back in June. And now our Forum For Customer Experience Professionals WEST in Los Angeles is just eight weeks away. Read more »
Cynthia Clark | August 15, 2013
The concept of showrooming has become ingrained in customers' shopping habits. Since customers rarely leave their homes without their mobile phones, it's easy to research an item and make comparisons while still in the store. Read more »
Anna Papachristos | August 14, 2013
Once upon a time, in the not-to-distant past, parents began teaching their children manners at a very young age. Children learned to respect their elders, be kind to others, and behave properly in public. But, as many restaurants are beginning to notice, parenting appears to be headed down a different path, leaving these establishments no choice but to take drastic action in response. Read more »
Tom Hoffman | August 13, 2013
A few months ago while attending the ForeSee Summit in Ann Arbor, Mich., I had the good fortune to hear ForeSee president and CEO Larry Freed share the company's rationale for developing the Word-of-Mouth Index (WoMI), a next-generation of Net Promoter Score (NPS). While NPS is focused on measuring a customer's likelihood to recommend based on a zero to ten point rating scale, WoMI goes more in depth in examining a customer's likelihood to recommend or to discourage. For instance, Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | August 12, 2013
Today's rapid proliferation of digital channels has put the need for constant, relevant content front and center for marketers. But many lack the time and resources necessary to create impactful content marketing. Read more »
Cynthia Clark | August 8, 2013
Customers have high expectations. But sometimes they just expect what they were promised, what they are, after all, paying for. What customers certainly don't want is to be caught in the middle between two companies. Read more »
Anna Papachristos | August 7, 2013
For Bryan and Jordan Silverman, brothers and co-founders of Star Toilet Paper, inspiration came from the place many people get their best ideas--the bathroom. During the summer of 2010, the two brothers embarked upon their journey to bring advertisements, like those from the applications on one's phone, to life in physical form via toilet paper. Based on the notion that many are looking to read while in the restroom, the brothers recognized this untapped opportunity, inevitably bringing their concept to Read more »
Tom Hoffman | August 6, 2013
In the latest sign that government is striving to become more citizen centric, the U.S. House of Representatives has passed a bill that would set government-wide customer service standards. The bill, which was sponsored by two Texas congressmen, Henry Cuellar (D) and Michael McCaul (R), would require the Office of Management and Budget to set customer service standards, including targets for response times. If it's passed into law, the proposal would also establish a specialized team for helping agencies that Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | August 5, 2013
A few years ago, speech analytics, relatively unknown both within the contact center and across the enterprise, was perceived as a risky investment. Today, with clear and present ROI through the identification of customer insights, speech analytics is turning contact centers in profit centers. Read more »
Guest Blogger: Randy Heffner | August 2, 2013
What if you could look over the shoulder of every one of your customers as they used your mobile apps, web pages, kiosks, and other digital channels? What could you learn? How might you use what you learn to dynamically adjust your digital experiences? In the days when web applications were king, this type of insight was doable with simple web analytics and similar tools. Today, continual experience optimization is much more difficult because of: Read more »
Cynthia Clark | August 1, 2013
The spike in the popularity of ecommerce has impacted brick-and-mortar stores in more than one way. Not only are these retailers challenged to compete with others outside a set geographical boundary, but ecommerce has also revolutionized customer expectations. Read more »
Anna Papachristos | July 31, 2013
Growing up, we often become accustomed to particular brands because of our family's own attachment. Certain families prefer Pepsi over Coca-Cola, while others enjoy McDonald's more than Burger King. In my family, when it comes to Bologna, we've always relied on Deutschmacher. (No, that's not spelled O-S-C-A-R.) That is, until our local supermarket stopped carrying our beloved bologna brand. Read more »
Tom Hoffman | July 30, 2013
I was recently out of state and was overdue for an oil change so I pulled into a Jiffy Lube where I was visiting and had the car serviced there. My overall experience there was rather unremarkable. But there was one distinguishing moment when the mechanic recommended I get the tires rotated that got my own wheels rolling about prior experiences with car mechanics - both good and bad - and just how much customer trust plays into their relationship Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | July 29, 2013
Tapping into voice of the customer feedback is an essential step in understanding customers' needs and then aligning engagement strategies, products, and services around the data. Read more »
Cynthia Clark | July 25, 2013
Customer feedback is an incredibly precious resource that organizations should be tapping into, understanding, and then leveraging insights to make changes within their systems. While many companies understand this, the challenge is turning a theoretic concept into an actionable strategy that leads to business benefits. Read more »
Anna Papachristos | July 24, 2013
Between politicians at the podium and talking heads on television, most of what the public knows about the Affordable Care Act (ACA) hails from the headlines. But, in less than one year, millions of Americans age 18-64 will be seeking healthcare coverage independently for the first time with little information to guide their decisions. And, as the "2013 Consumer Health Care Market Report" by The Agency Inside Harte-Hanks highlights, many insurers are not yet prepared to handle the projected number Read more »
Tom Hoffman | July 23, 2013
I've just returned from a vacation with my family on the Delaware shore. It turned out to be a great trip. However, it started off on a rough note. On the way to our vacation destination, we attended a family party in New Jersey that was hosted by my nephew and his wife. While we were at the party, my daughter and her boyfriend left early to attend a Taylor Swift concert. The original plan was for them to meet Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | July 22, 2013
Sales departments face many challenges today. Finding qualified leads, the need to win more proposals, getting a detailed view into the pipeline, and obtaining a cross-channel view of prospects and customers are just few of the obstacles that prevent sales teams from effectively closing leads. Read more »
Guest Blogger: Harley Manning | July 19, 2013
Does a big bank care about customer experience? And if so - why? Those are the fundamental questions answered for Wells Fargo by its CMO, Jamie Moldafsky, at Forrester's Forum for Customer Experience Professionals in New York on June 25. Read more »
Cynthia Clark | July 18, 2013
Contact centers provide an essential service and are often the first point of contact for customers who need to ask a question or require help. What happens during a contact center interaction can shape a customer's lasting impression of the company. Read more »
Anna Papachristos | July 17, 2013
Back in 1964, Bob Dylan released his third studio album, and the sentiment still holds true today--the times, they are a-changin'. Yet, while people's habits and behaviors continue to evolve alongside technology's rapid advancement, the digital world may be growing too fast for many businesses to keep up. Know as Digital Darwinism, this phenomenon highlights the conflict between brands and their environment, and the difficulties that arise for companies trying to maintain the same pace as their consumer base. As Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | July 15, 2013
Many marketers who have ventured down the path of A/B testing will never veer off course. They've come to realize and reap the benefits of applying data-driven decision-making as well as the consequences for not approaching each campaign and website design with an analytical eye. Read more »
Guest Blogger: Kerry Bodine | July 12, 2013
These are extraordinary times. Of course, I'm not the first person to say these words. That's how JFK kicked off his man on the moon speech in May 1961. He also said (slightly paraphrased), "We choose to go to the moon in this decade -- not because it is easy, but because it is hard." It's an inspirational line, but come on. The real reason that JFK decided to put a man on the moon wasn't because it was difficult. Read more »
Cynthia Clark | July 11, 2013
It is no secret that customers have become dependent on their mobile phones. According to research by The Pew Internet Project, as of May 2013, more than 90 percent of American adults had a cell phone and almost 60 percent own a smartphone. Read more »
Anna Papachristos | July 10, 2013
Not long ago, my mother and I embarked upon a shopping trip. Because most malls lack individuality--no, there does not need to be two Sunglass Huts under one roof--we explored the usual suspects. We perused the stores for worthwhile buys and great deals, but to no avail. It was not until we entered Gap that my mother finally found something that hit her eye. Read more »
Tom Hoffman | July 9, 2013
As customers expand their use of different channels to satisfy different needs, many companies continue to build out their support capabilities across various channels, including social. As companies gain more experience with social support, many contact center leaders are trying to strike a balance between the expectations that customers have for problem resolution and response times and what's practical from a costs and resource standpoint. In doing so, it's important to look at the big picture when it comes to Read more »
Elizabeth Glagowski | July 5, 2013
Innovation is a hot buzzword of the time, but what does it really mean? According to Forrester's Kerry Bodine, 62 percent of companies drive innovation via technology. But she says that should be only part of the story. At the Forrester Customer Experience Forum in New York last week, Bodine defined customer experience innovation as "the creation of new customer experiences that drive differentiation and long-term value." The word technology is not present, she explained, because it shouldn't be the Read more »
Cynthia Clark | July 4, 2013
Customers have high expectations. Not only do they expect the brands they do business with to provide them with the best products and service, but they want companies to go above and beyond the line of duty and really Wow them with a fantastic experience. Read more »
Anna Papachristos | July 3, 2013
Many learn by doing, while others learn by example. For small businesses, success not only depends upon getting one's feet wet, but also gathering insight and advice from those that have come before. For House of Steep, a tea house and foot sanctuary located along the Lee Highway in the Washington, D.C. area, community plays an integral role in offsetting the peaks from the pitfalls. Read more »
Tom Hoffman | July 2, 2013
1to1 Media's Tom Hoffman speaks with Steve Kraus, Senior Director of Product Marketing at Pegasystems about the key themes that emerged from the PegaWORLD 2013 event, including the need for companies to become more agile and flexible in their approach to delivering on what customers are looking for. Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | July 1, 2013
The path to customer maturity often seems more like a long and winding road with many stops and starts, detours, and bypasses. The laundry list of things that can go wrong in designing, implementing, and managing the processes and strategies that comprise the successful execution of the customer experience is endless. Read more »
Guest Blogger: Harley Manning | June 28, 2013
Way back in January I spoke at the Luxury FirstLook conference put on by Luxury Daily in New York (a terrific event, by the way). Several of the other speakers intrigued me. One, in particular, gave a speech that I immediately wanted to bring to attendees at our own Customer Experience Forum: John T. A. Vanderslice, the global head of luxury and lifestyle brands at Hilton (those brands being Waldorf Astoria and Conrad). Read more »
Cynthia Clark | June 27, 2013
Customers' buying journeys have changed from the linear ones of the past. Instead, many customers are hopping from on channel to another while considering a purchase. In fact, it has become very common for a customer to start the buying journey online, researching a product or service and making a shortlist of companies he is interested in doing business with. Unless it's an impulse buy, it's very rare for customers to walk into a retail store before having done their Read more »
Anna Papachristos | June 26, 2013
Marketers and IT professionals constantly express their concern over Big Data, yet they neglect to realize that consumers are being bombarded by information, as well. From Facebook and Twitter, to email and text messages, the average human cannot seem to escape the ever-present flow of words and images. Whether we're reading articles or watching YouTube videos, one bit of content usually trickles into another until we have distanced ourselves so far from our initial intent that we cannot even remember Read more »
Tom Hoffman | June 25, 2013
1to1 Media's Tom Hoffman speaks with Alan Trefler, the founder and CEO of Pegasystems about his forthcoming book entitled "Customerpocalypse" where Trefler describes an emerging generation of customers who want to control the conversation with companies and how the empowered customer poses a real threat to the future viability of many organizations. Read more »
Guest Blogger: Harley Manning | June 21, 2013
When I talk to people at automotive companies, they're always interested in what Audi is doing. In part, because Audi is Volkswagen Group's (VW Group's) main profit driver, contributing about 40 percent to VW Group earnings. And in part it's because when you talk to Audi owners -- like John Vanderslice, global head of Hilton's luxury and lifestyle brands -- you get an earful of how much they love the brand. Read more »
Cynthia Clark | June 20, 2013
Social media has changed the way we communicate. It has also altered the way we get information from our peers rather than the more official channels. Read more »
Anna Papachristos | June 19, 2013
Just as brands need consumers to purchase their goods and services to stay afloat in today's competitive market, social networks would be nothing more than online ghost towns without the people who populate these pages with their thoughts and experiences. But, while social media offers consumers an outlet for their opinions, such channels also open up the opportunity to build relationships that exist beyond the company's traditional offerings and cultivate the strong trust and loyalty behind brand advocacy. Read more »
Tom Hoffman | June 18, 2013
1to1 Media's Tom Hoffman speaks with Larry Freed, President and CEO of ForeSee, about the company's impetus for developing the Word of Mouth Index and the business benefits it can provide to companies that use it. Read more »
Elizabeth Soltesz | June 17, 2013
I spent the past two days at the Corporate Social Media Summit in New York City, hearing from companies like Dunkin' Donuts, Chobani, Adobe, General Mills and others about how they have built and continue to build their social media strategies. While every speaker provided insight on how to maximize each social channel- what made my heart skip a tweet was Adobe Director of Strategy Jeff Feldman's concept that social doesn't equal social networks. What a groundbreaking concept for this Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | June 17, 2013
Last year had experts calling BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) trend, "the hottest trend of 2012." This year as companies start to embrace this ever-growing culture, they're now figuring out how to manage the BYOD's security and application delivery, as well as employee productivity. Read more »
Guest Blogger: Kerry Bodine | June 14, 2013
Firms crave differentiation. But the truth is that even companies with dedicated time and budget for customer experience innovation focus most of their efforts on two things - whatever their competitors are doing and whatever the latest technology enables them to do. When companies blindly add shiny new features or trendy technologies to their mix of customer experiences, they're innovating just for innovation's sake. Read more »
Cynthia Clark | June 13, 2013
Today's customers have high expectations. They have become used to doing business with best-in-class organizations and expect any company they interact with to give them the same great experience of great brands like Amazon and Zappos. Read more »
Anna Papachristos | June 12, 2013
Facebook has revolutionized the way consumers interact with friends, family, and brands. But, just as these shoppers have incorporated the social network into their daily routines, companies must also work to make social media an integral part of their customer strategy. For Migros, winner in the Social and Mobile Engagement category of this year's Gartner & 1to1 Media CRM Excellence Awards (EMEA/APAC region), Facebook now represents the key component behind the brand's interactive loyalty program. Read more »
Tom Hoffman | June 11, 2013
Customer attrition rates vary from one industry to the next. Certainly one industry where customer churn is particularly high is among mobile telecom carriers, where annual attrition is nearly 40 percent, according to DMG Consulting LLC president Donna Fluss. There are several reasons for this - including widespread competition, quality issues, as well as customer dissatisfaction with questionable charges. One mobile carrier -- Greek mobile telecommunications operator COSMOTE - is succeeding at retaining customers by personalizing offers to its customers Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | June 10, 2013
Plato said knowledge is the food of the soul. For companies aiming to engage intelligently with their customers, knowledge is the appetizer, main course, and dessert. Without knowledge about their customers, companies can't understand their needs, preferences, or buying histories and therefore are unable to deliver the most optimal service strategies as a result of that deficit. Siloed information, multiple customer channels, and legacy systems continue to threaten knowledge's stronghold in organizations. Read more »
Anna Papachristos | June 7, 2013
Though many companies are product or service driven, customers remain at the heart of every operation. In most instances, consumers have numerous options when it comes to the companies they interact with, and in today's increasingly competitive market, price no longer reigns as the deciding factor--customer service trumps all. Read more »
Cynthia Clark | June 6, 2013
Data is everywhere. According to IDC, in 2010 more than 1.2 zettabytes of digital data was generated globally in 2010, and the amount of data generated each year is expected to reach almost eight zettabytes in 2015. Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | June 5, 2013
I recently came across an interview with Amazon Chairman and CEO Jeff Bezos, in which he was quoted this: "What's dangerous is not to evolve...You have to have a willingness to fail.... It's not enough to just listen to customers; you have to invent on their behalf." Read more »
Tom Hoffman | June 4, 2013
1to1 Media's Tom Hoffman speaks with Eric Feinberg, Senior Director of Mobile, Media & Entertainment at ForeSee, about effective ways for using data and analytics regarding customers' mobile behaviors to identify opportunities for improving the mobile customer experience along with the elements of the mobile customer experience that matter most to customers. Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | June 3, 2013
Sometimes employees do stupid things that negatively affect the customer experience. And sometimes the leadership of those companies can flip a potential disaster into a positive public relations coup, gaining positive customer sentiment as a result. Read more »
Guest Blogger: Paul Hagan | May 31, 2013
At some point after their companies find-and-fix the low-hanging fruit that create problems for customers, customer experience leaders hit a wall. That wall is the outdated operational models upon which most companies were built. These models were conceived decades ago, based on the existing capabilities and constraints of the day, when the primary vehicle for value was tied up in the product/service itself. Within these operating models, firms have worked to optimize processes like marketing, sales and distribution focused on Read more »
Cynthia Clark | May 30, 2013
Employee training is a necessity for organizations to make sure that their staff members do their job well, ensure good customer service, and help towards business success. But there are also times when the right training can make a difference between life and death. Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | May 29, 2013
Good customer service is difficult to come by these days, but even more elusive is fun service. Some companies like Southwest Airlines and Zappos rely on laughter to stand out from the competition. In fact, Zappos, famed for its customer service that goes the extra mile for customers, has created a company culture that instills having fun on the job. One of Zappos' core values is, "Create Fun and a Little Weirdness," which includes 10 principles, among them, "Deliver WOW Read more »
Tom Hoffman | May 28, 2013
There are dozens - perhaps even hundreds - of companies that sell marketing automation tools and services. At 1to1 Media, we're constantly interviewing executives from marketing automation providers to discuss industry trends, the challenges being faced by their clients, along with new features and functionality being offered through their tools and services. The leaders from these companies often share great advice for other companies to become more customer-centric. Sometimes we are privileged to see this in action. Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | May 27, 2013
There are many management styles and advice available to business leaders today, but maybe none as pertinent as lessons from Sir Terry Leahy, former CEO of Tesco and author of Management in 10 Words. Read more »
Megan Burns | May 24, 2013
Forrester has just released the latest version of an annual favorite: "How Companies Improved Their CXi Scores, 2013." As we do each year, we compiled a list of brands whose scores went up five or more points in our Customer Experience Index over the past year (in this case, between 2012 and 2013). We asked CX leaders from those brands if they'd be willing to tell us what they did to drive those improvements. Finally, we synthesized their answers into Read more »
Cynthia Clark | May 23, 2013
Organizations that don't invest in personalizing the customer experience, whether online or within their brick-and-mortar stores, are going to be facing an uphill journey to keep up with their competition. Read more »
Anna Papachristos | May 22, 2013
"If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all." Mothers may be fountains of wisdom, but in today's social world, Facebook and Twitter encourage many to rebel against the astute words of yesteryear. Though many bite their tongue in person, they rush to social media to vent their frustration, as offline interactions become online conversations. But, as Simon Palmer, chief technology officer at Empathica, highlights, negative feedback that can be used to uncover areas of weakness Read more »
Tom Hoffman | May 21, 2013
1to1 Media's Tom Hoffman speaks with Greg Sherry, Vice President of Marketing at Verint, about successful approaches for blending social into customer support, including effective techniques to scale for social customer care. Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | May 20, 2013
The key to success is often the ability to adapt to change. When it comes to showrooming, trying out products in stores and then ordering them from online competitors that charge less, some retailers are realizing the importance of not only adapting to this change, but also embracing it. Read more »
Guest Blogger: Kerry Bodine | May 17, 2013
At Forrester, we define customer experience as how customers perceive their interactions with your company. Over the past few years, my colleagues and I have written a lot about the perceptions piece of that definition. Here's a quick overview: Customers' perceptions occur on three different levels, which we collectively refer to as the customer experience pyramid. At the base of the pyramid is "meets needs." Do customers perceive that you've met their basic needs and provided value through the interaction? Read more »
Cynthia Clark | May 16, 2013
Our lives have started to revolve around our mobile phones. Our phone is almost always on our side. Most of us sleep with it on our bedside table, using it instead of an alarm clock. It's the first thing we reach out for when we wake up and we carry it with us wherever we go. In fact, how many times have you turned back after realizing you've forgotten your mobile phone? Read more »
Anna Papachristos | May 15, 2013
Technology continues to evolve each day, but unlike children, we do not document this growth with pencil marks on our doorframe. We measure technology's lifecycle through tweets, apps, and upgrades. But, just as teenagers test their boundaries, technology frequently pushes the envelope when it comes to innovation and creativity. In Huggies' case, the latest gimmick truly hits below the belt. Read more »
Tom Hoffman | May 14, 2013
1to1 Media's Tom Hoffman speaks with Brian Shepherd, President of Customer Strategy and Technology Services at TeleTech, about the Big Data and analytics discussions that attendees at the Gartner Customer 360 Summit recently shared in San Diego along with strategies for tackling the key challenges faced by companies. Read more »
Guest Blogger: Paul Hagan | May 10, 2013
A chemical manufacturer with a solid customer listening program noticed an uptick in complaints about pricing. Unlike many firms, which would take the comments at face value and take action accordingly, this company first stepped back and reflected on its strategy: It sold premium chemical for advanced applications targeted at particular industries, so it surmised that the company shouldn't see this kind of feedback. It conducted some root cause analysis, talking to those customers. It learned that some distributors were Read more »
Cynthia Clark | May 9, 2013
An effective salesforce is compulsory for business success. Savvy organizations are investing heavily in their sales team to make sure that they close as many deals as possible. Forward-thinking business leaders are constantly looking at new technologies that will help their sales teams do a better job. Many organizations, for example, are leveraging mobile technologies and social media to improve their sales effectiveness and improve the company's bottom line. Read more »
Anna Papachristos | May 8, 2013
There's a distinct difference between hearing and listening. While most companies hear what their customers are saying about the brand via social media, very few truly listen to the problems at the core of customer sentiment so they may act upon such feedback to improve experience. Social insight presents companies with an interesting and educational look into how customers interact with and perceive the brands they do business with, yet most companies remain at the starting stages of strategic expansion, Read more »
Tom Hoffman | May 7, 2013
Last week while I was attending the Gartner Customer 360 Summit in San Diego, I had the opportunity to attend a workshop that was focused on best practices in enabling great customer experiences. The session started with each of the 30 attendees sharing anecdotes about the most exceptional customer experiences they'd received and why they meant so much to us. Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | May 6, 2013
In the Big Data world in which we live, business intelligence has become a big market. Companies that have deployed integrated analytics platforms and emphasized real-time data analysis to better understand customer behavior have gained a big advantage from doing so. For Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment and AAA, winners in this year's Gartner & 1to1 Media CRM Excellence Awards, adoption and successful deployment of customer analytics has not only become a competitive differentiator, but also a mechanism for delivering Read more »
Anna Papachristos | May 3, 2013
When it comes to providing the best service experience possible, the customer defines success. Though many companies approach service and support as just another metric to be maximized, those that emphasize quality over call times differentiate themselves from the competition and excel in customer satisfaction. For Cisco and Cigna, winners in the Customer Service Optimization category of the 2013 Gartner & 1to1 Media CRM Excellence Awards, superior service isn't simply a goal to be attained, but also a foundation on Read more »
Cynthia Clark | May 2, 2013
Today's customers are interacting with their chosen brands over multiple touchpoints. This phenomenon provides a huge opportunity for companies to have a more in-depth communication with their customers. Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | May 1, 2013
Today we announce the winners of the 2013 Gartner & 1to1 Media CRM Excellence Awards. I've been with 1to1 Media since the inception of the awards and have seen it evolve into what it has become today: An international program that recognizes customer experience leaders--companies that have taken chances and have overcome adversity to advance their customer-centric practices forward. Read more »
Tom Hoffman | April 30, 2013
1to1 Media's Tom Hoffman speaks with Matthew Storm, Director, Innovation & Solutions at NICE Systems, about different ways that companies can verify customer behaviors such as an intent to recommend a company or their plans to stop doing business with an organization based on sentiment they may have expressed in a survey or in social media. Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | April 29, 2013
Each year, the Gartner & 1to1 Media CRM Excellence Awards are given to end-user organizations that have implemented successful customer strategy and CRM initiatives. These awards spotlight excellence among organizations that take a customer-centric approach to improving their business performance and have proven results from doing so. Read more »
Guest Blogger: Harley Manning | April 26, 2013
As an avid personal investor I'm often appalled by cable shows that report on the markets as if they were non-stop sporting events. Seriously, how many people care how the NASDAQ or the Dow are doing on any given minute of any given day? But apparently there are enough day traders out there that noon reports from the floor of the New York Stock Exchange are as compelling as half-time reports during the NFL playoffs. Read more »
Cynthia Clark | April 25, 2013
The best brands represent more than just a purchase to their customers. Instead, the most successful organizations are able to really connect with customers who understand what the brand really stands for. Read more »
Anna Papachristos | April 24, 2013
No matter where you choose to sit on a train, there will be a time when each seat goes backward or forward. But, just because every car's situated in this fashion does not mean that the rail line's policies and practices should be, too. When it comes to Amtrak's ticketing procedures, some methods have taken off with great speed and determination, while others have stalled out at the station. Read more »
Tom Hoffman | April 23, 2013
1to1 Media's Tom Hoffman speaks with Jennifer Waite, product marketing manager at inContact, about the steps that companies can take to provide customers with support in social channels, including best practices for delivering the kind of support that customers are seeking. Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | April 22, 2013
As consumer mobile adoption continues to increase, people's expectations of how companies should connect and engage with them have also changed. Read more »
Cynthia Clark | April 18, 2013
Nobody likes writing that check to Uncle Sam, making April 15 an unpopular day with workers across America. Last Monday several organizations tried to bring some cheer into taxpayers' day with a number of offers. Across the nation, Arby's was giving away curly fries, while Cinnabon was offering two free bites. A list of offers featured on Forbes includes special tax day-themed cocktails, a New York restaurant that's picking the tax on diners' bills, and even special holiday packages. Read more »
Guest Blogger: Kerry Bodine | April 18, 2013
Of the six disciplines in Forrester's customer experience maturity model, design is probably the least understood. It's is not taught in most business schools (although this is starting to change at institutions like Stanford and the University of Toronto). It's also not widely practiced in most companies outside of specialized groups that focus on digital touchpoints. And so it remains a mystery to most business people. That's a shame, because design is an incredibly valuable business tool -- and it's Read more »
Anna Papachristos | April 17, 2013
Companies are in a constant state of courtship. Though each first encounter may only be brief, they must put forth much effort to nurture that initial spark and kindle the potential flame. Each customer represents another chance to develop a long-term relationship, but communications often only come in intermittent bursts at first. If that first transaction proves positive, the brand in question may just warrant a repeat purchase--maybe even lifetime loyalty if all goes well! Read more »
Tom Hoffman | April 16, 2013
Ultimately, any employee that has an interaction with a customer is responsible for some aspect of that customer's experience. In great companies, a focus on the customer is something that everyone takes to heart, whether it's a janitor, a receptionist, a contact center agent, or the CEO. Yesterday I was reminded of a heartwarming example of this from someone who strives to do right by the customer not because they're told to or that it's part of some corporate doctrine Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | April 15, 2013
You know the importance of aggregating, analyzing, and acting on your voice of the customer data, but with continually emerging channels, VOC practices become increasingly challenging to carry out. An organization with cross-departmental ownership of VOC, sophisticated data collection and analytical methods in place, and the commitment from the C-suite to communicate the importance of acting on VOC must be in place for real results to occur. Read more »
Guest Blogger: Adele Sage | April 12, 2013
Voice of the customer data is alluring. Once you start to collect customer feedback, there's always something more you could be gathering. You think: What else can I learn? What else are customers saying and thinking? Where else are they saying it? You want to know more. Read more »
Cynthia Clark | April 11, 2013
With different devices available, today's customers are interacting with the brands they do business with in a multitude of ways. Further, devices are no longer used solely for a single purpose, but are many times having multiple uses. Read more »
Anna Papachristos | April 10, 2013
While social networks have been around since the now forgotten days of MySpace and Friendster, today's most popular sites continue to gain momentum as social media evolves. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest have grown into engagement platforms that allow consumers to interact with their friends, family, and favorite brands regularly. But, as these social interactions begin to blossom, companies have begun to value and utilize social tools as part of their customer care efforts. Read more »
Tom Hoffman | April 9, 2013
Last week while attending the Inbound Marketing Summit in New York, I had the good fortune to sit in on some terrific presentations from a variety of industry thought leaders. One of them, Rick Bakas, the founder of Bakas Media, gave a great presentation on best practices for building a mobile-focused inbound marketing strategy. Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | April 8, 2013
The success of marketers everywhere is increasingly tied to the use of analytics and Big Data, with the goal of correlating campaign success to real business results. No longer are marketing departments simply thought of as creative machines, as their responsibilities now reach a broadening scope of channels and tasks that range from tying social media success to business ROI and delivering mobile messaging where it matters most in the customer's buying journey. Read more »
Cynthia Clark | April 4, 2013
Customer loyalty is precious and highly sought by organizations. Business leaders know that loyal customers are not only going to come back to do business with that brand, but will also likely recommend that firm to their friends, family, and social media connections. Read more »
Anna Papachristos | April 3, 2013
Though showrooming continues to draw much discontent from brick-and-mortar retailers across the board, many have conjured up their own ways to fight back. Just last week, one Reddit user posted an image (also below) from the window of an unnamed store. The sign warns customers that the store will begin charging anyone who enters the establishment a $5 fee. If the customer makes a purchase before leaving, the $5 will then be deducted from their total. This tactic, clearly designed Read more »
Tom Hoffman | April 2, 2013
Walmart is considering a relatively new approach to same-day package delivery for online customers to help it gain an edge on pure online retailers such as Amazon where store customers would serve as couriers to deliver items to the homes of online customers in return for store credits. Although the concept raises a host of legal, regulatory, and privacy issues, it wouldn't be the first time that a company used a crowdsourced delivery network. Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | April 1, 2013
More and more marketers today are incorporating their loyalty programs and campaigns as part of the overall customer experience. They're replacing "channel" with "customer," analyzing Big Data to drive individual loyalty programs that stick, and leveraging gaming mechanics to engage customers in new and innovative ways to drive loyalty. Read more »
Guest Blogger: Harley Manning | March 29, 2013
It disappoints me when customer experience professionals at B2B companies won't even consider CX practices from business-to-consumer companies. Sure, B2B firms can learn a lot from other B2B firms: Cisco has an amazing voice of the customer program, Boeing does great work conducting field studies of their customers, and Adobe has a notable CX governance practice. But unless B2B customer experience practitioners want to run the CX race with one foot in a bucket, they should also learn strategy from Read more »
Cynthia Clark | March 28, 2013
There is no doubt that mobile has become a major part of our lives. As I mentioned in an article earlier this week, the fear of being without a mobile phone is such a reality that our friends across the Atlantic have coined the word nomophobia--a phobia of being without a mobile phone. Read more »
Anna Papachristos | March 27, 2013
Perhaps I'm addicted to the chips and salsa. Or maybe it's the friendly service. Either way, Chili's Grill & Bar never fails to satisfy (in my opinion). But, for one young Utah girl and her family, Chili's went above and beyond to make sure their needs were met with the utmost compassion. Read more »
Tom Hoffman | March 26, 2013
The amount of data that's being generated today is simply staggering. Thanks to the explosion in machine-to-machine (M2M) data, social, customer, and other data types, the amount of digital information created annually is expected to grow by a factor of 44 between 2009 and 2020, according to EMC. For business leaders that are struggling with how to get started with using Big Data, the $64,000 question is often "Which data should I be using?" A better question to ask which Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | March 25, 2013
A well-aligned strategy serves as the building blocks of a company's products and services, and eventual growth. But that doesn't just mean that a company's marketing messaging or customer service must be consistent across channels; it also means that an organization's marketing must align to the actual products and service it delivers. Read more »
Cynthia Clark | March 21, 2013
The customer experience doesn't end with a transaction. Instead, that's just the beginning and customers expect organizations to continue delivering an outstanding experience even after they have made a purchase. Read more »
Anna Papachristos | March 20, 2013
Just one week ago, as white smoke billowed from the Sistine Chapel, millions of people took to Twitter to express their joy and excitement over the election of Pope Francis. With nearly 130,000 tweets per minute, citizens across the globe welcomed the new pope, the first elected since the advent of the smartphone, the tablet, and Twitter. But it wasn't until the smoke cleared that we could finally see technology's impact on our lives in just eight short years. Read more »
Tom Hoffman | March 19, 2013
I find it bewildering whenever I interact with a company and, seemingly, the left hand of the organization doesn't seem to know what the right hand is doing. Have you ever encountered this? Let me share a recent interaction I had with my bank to illustrate this. Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | March 18, 2013
"Truly elegant design incorporates top-notch functionality into a simple, uncluttered form." -David Lewis I consider myself a design devotee. Not of high-end fashion, but the kind that lends itself to functional and seamless customer experiences. So much so that I'm not only in constant pursuit of flawless customer experiences, but I also take note of imperfect ones that stick out like a sore thumb. Read more »
Guest Blogger: Adele Sage | March 15, 2013
There's no question that executive support can make or break a voice of the customer program. With an executive (or several) on board, VoC teams can get the funding and tools that they need to succeed. And VoC leaders from Forrester's 2012 Voice of the Customer Awards almost unanimously gave others the advice to build executive support. Read more »
Cynthia Clark | March 14, 2013
Forward-thinking business leaders recognize the value of their loyal customers and are striving to find new ways to reward their most loyal customers. Savvy organizations are using their loyalty programs to differentiate themselves from the competition. Read more »
Anna Papachristos | March 13, 2013
Though the Better Business Bureau may "start with trust" at its core, for the council's Southern California chapter, the journey ended in expulsion. Built upon honesty, the BBB works to protect every consumer's best interests by making sure companies across industries uphold the highest standards and keep true to their promise. But when an ABC News investigation uncovered this hidden "pay to play" culture, the BBB determined that this chapter did not maintain the very standards this organization commands. Read more »
Tom Hoffman | March 12, 2013
In so many respects, the odds are stacked against a big box electronics retailer like Best Buy. Armed with the equivalent of a computer in their hands, today's mobile shoppers are able to compare product prices while shopping in brick-and-mortar stores with online retailers such as Amazon and then purchase online. A recent study by Empathica reveals that 55 percent of smartphone owners use their mobile devices to check prices while shopping in-store. After watching its sales and profits erode Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | March 11, 2013
In our ultra-connected world, in which your 3-year-old is adept at using an iPad and your mother now texts you photos of her cats, marketers are in constant pursuit of the Holy Grail that will help to leverage this digital explosion. With more devices and more audiences comes added pressure. Read more »
Guest Blogger: Paul Hagan | March 8, 2013
Over the past seven years, Forrester has observed the trend of companies putting in place a senior executive responsible for leading customer experience efforts across a business unit or an entire company. Whether firms call them a chief customer officer (CCO) or give them some other label, they are sitting at the highest levels of their companies and exist in both B2C and B2B companies as diverse as GM, UnitedHealth, Fidelity, Level 3 Communications, and Eli Lilly. Read more »
Cynthia Clark | March 7, 2013
Customers have become accustomed to receiving great service from the companies they do business with. Brands like Amazon and Zappos have spoilt us into expecting great service from every other organization we do business with. This means that bad service is no longer tolerated, and if we don't have any other choice, we let everyone know that we don't like doing business with a particular company. On the other hand, it takes a lot more than good service to wow Read more »
Anna Papachristos | March 6, 2013
When consumers choose to do business with any given company, they do not just invest their hard earned dollars, but their trust, as well. Every time customers share their credit card information or personal identification numbers, they enter into an unspoken agreement--the consumer promises to complete the transaction, possibly coming back in the future, while the company promises to protect this sensitive data from falling into the wrong hands. Read more »
Tom Hoffman | March 5, 2013
The fourth quarter report from the American Customer Satisfaction Index reveals that Amazon continues to outpace the retail industry with a score of 85, placing the company ahead of Office Depot (84), Nordstrom (84), Costco (83), and Kohl's (81). What's particularly interesting is how consumers continue to rate their experiences with Amazon well above that of Netflix (75), particularly as Amazon is taking aim at Netflix along with the TV and cable industry as it ushers in a set of Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | March 4, 2013
In light of the annual Employee Recognition Day last Friday, I had planned to offer advice for rewarding and recognizing employees. Rather than list tips about writing hand-written notes or introducing Zappos-like recognition day celebrations, I'll instead address a more poignant debate fueled by Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer last week--the discussion around whether allowing employees to work from home is beneficial or disadvantageous. Read more »
Guest Blogger: Harley Manning | March 1, 2013
Last month I was in Europe with a group of customer experience professionals from various divisions of the same large company. Although their expertise was at varying levels, no one was clueless and everyone seemed highly motivated. About halfway through the all-day session, one of the attendees asked me a question that I'm going to paraphrase here. Read more »
Cynthia Clark | February 28, 2013
Larger organizations sometimes appear detached from their customers, especially when they lack a business strategy that gives clients a look inside the organization, allowing them to get to know more about the brand they're doing business with. Instead, by giving customers a backstage pass that gives them a view of what's happening within the company, organizations can engage their clients, helping to create a stronger bond that should contribute to a long-lasting relationship. Read more »
Anna Papachristos | February 27, 2013
Relationships often begin with a spark. For some, the fire burns bright, withstanding the test of time, but for others, the flame quickly fizzles into a puff of smoke. But, just as person-to-person relationships take much time and effort to maintain and grow, business-to-customer relationships require work to keep the attraction alive. Here at 1to1 Media, we spoke with Keith Pearce, head of market dynamics at Genesys, to explore why customers become "disenchanted" by their brand relationships, how companies can Read more »
Tom Hoffman | February 26, 2013
Last week, Safeway Inc. announced that its customer loyalty program helped its fourth quarter net income rise 13 percent. Wall St. responded favorably to the news, pushing the company's shares up 14 percent on the New York Stock Exchange the day of the announcement. Meanwhile, the company is tracking toward having its same-store sales gain 2 percent for the first eight weeks of 2013, according to chairman and CEO Steve Burd. The company's recent financial performance is encouraging given that Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | February 25, 2013
Unlike when airlines use flight simulation to train pilots, corporations tend to shy away from creating meaningful opportunities for employees to help them practice their job responsibilities as they fit into a new company strategy or organizational transformation, often causing initiatives to fail. Read more »
Cynthia Clark | February 21, 2013
Every person wants to be treated as an individual. We are all unique, each with our own quirks and we want every interaction we have to respect our individuality rather than treat us as a number. But even though most organizations want to come across as ones that treat customers and prospects as individuals, many times they fail by over-scripting their agents' conversations. While, as I wrote in an article earlier this week, scripts can be necessary, sometimes they do Read more »
Anna Papachristos | February 20, 2013
When you tell someone you remember card catalogs in a time before online databases, they immediately assume you have three grown children and a mortgage. But, once people discover you're really a 25-year-old woman with the countenance of a teenager, you suddenly become the enemy--a lobotomized creature that cannot function without the support of their smartphone. To most companies, I am not an individual, but one of many. I am just another piece in a puzzle they cannot seem to Read more »
Tom Hoffman | February 19, 2013
Customer data that's streaming in from numerous sources - social, mobile, email, chat, CRM, recorded contact center interactions, etc. - are providing companies with a wealth of information about their customers that can be used to fine-tune customer experiences and develop highly-personalized offers and messaging. Yet despite all the buzz about the promise that Big Data holds, organizational leaders and front-line employees continue to be hindered by dirty customer data that can hamper decision-making and potentially damage customer relationships. Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | February 18, 2013
To quote Craig Newmark, founder of Craigslist, "'Trust is the new black." But in these days where making the bond between brands and their customers is essential to economic prosperity, it seems like some companies are still donning yesterday's trends of relying on deceptive practices by not proactively reaching out to customers to help them make informed decisions. Read more »
Guest Blogger: Adele Sage | February 15, 2013
I was flipping through the 2012 Forrester Voice of the Customer Award nomination forms the other day, and I realized that I've been unwittingly holding on to a valuable resource -- all the advice that we asked nominees to impart on other voice of the customer programs. The very last of the six questions on our nomination form is, "What advice would you give to other organizations to make their programs successful?" We got some great answers from the 40 Read more »
Cynthia Clark | February 14, 2013
You cannot avoid it even if you wanted. Today is Valentine's Day and several marketers and retailers have been working hard for the past weeks to hype up the annual holiday and tempt customers to spend some money on a gift for their loved ones. Read more »
Anna Papachristos | February 13, 2013
Gone are the days when the average tourist wandered around with a paper map in one hand and a camera around their neck. Thanks to smartphones, these travelers can carry a world of maps and their trusty camera right in their back pocket. But for those popular attractions and tourist destinations that recognize this change in behavior, mobile devices have the ability to engage visitors in an entirely new way. Read more »
Tom Hoffman | February 12, 2013
I live in New York's Hudson Valley region. While we were in the path of the recent blizzard that dumped more than 3 feet of snow across Long Island and parts of New England, our area was relatively spared with just a foot of snow that accumulated. We also lost power and our landline phone, cable, and Internet service, all of which are provided in a bundled service from Cablevision Corp.'s Optimum division. The outages brought a dismal reminder of Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | February 11, 2013
Last October, Barnes & Noble announced a data breach at 63 of its stores, reporting that one PIN pad device used by customers to swipe credit and debit cards had been compromised in each affected store. The bookseller didn't report the breach for at least one month in order not to impede an ongoing federal investigation. Read more »
Guest Blogger: Paul Hagan | February 8, 2013
To deliver great customer experiences, firms must first design them and then orchestrate the complex system of interdependent people, processes, and technology that Forrester calls the customer experience ecosystem to deliver them. Customer experience (CX) pros often know a lot about the design part and uncovering customer needs, but often struggle with changing the operational underpinnings required to deliver on the vision. Conversely, business process management (BPM) pros have the chops to re-engineer business processes, but when focusing on the Read more »
Cynthia Clark | February 7, 2013
Emotions play an important role in customers' purchasing decisions. We don't always buy a product or service because it's the best value for money, but sometimes our choice is governed by an emotional attachment. Read more »
Anna Papachristos | February 6, 2013
If you peruse the shelves of your favorite store, what you see isn't necessarily all you can get. Through DailyGrommet.com, creators have an opportunity to share their concepts and products--those that have yet to enter the mainstream retail world--with consumers through the website's product launch platform. DailyGrommet.com provides individuals with the chance to share their innovative, unique creations with their robust, "citizen commerce" community. But, while users were once limited to phone, email, or Web submissions, creators and consumers now Read more »
Tom Hoffman | February 5, 2013
Last week, I took my son skiing at one of our favorite mountains in the Catskills. Brian made the honor roll at school for the first time and I wanted to give him a special reward for his efforts. We had planned the ski trip a few weeks in advance and my schedule was such that I only had the one day available. Unfortunately, Mother Nature threw us a curve. Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | February 4, 2013
Ever since the emergence of digital, much has been written and discussed about bridging the social/mobile and traditional marketing divide by getting a handle on Big Data and ultimately having the ability to understand and respond to consumers' ever-changing needs and behaviors. Read more »
Guest Blogger: Kerry Bodine | February 1, 2013
Despite professed customer centricity, many firms don't think to involve customers, employees, or key partners in the experience design process. That's unfortunate, because this activity - called co-creation - can help companies understand what types of interactions will best meet people's needs, and then figure out how to implement those interactions the right way. Read more »
Cynthia Clark | January 31, 2013
With just a few days to go before Sunday's much anticipated Super Bowl, it's not just football fans that are eagerly waiting for the game. Marketers are also keen to watch the new advertisements that will take center-stage during the annual event. Read more »
Anna Papachristos | January 30, 2013
Customers are kind, mean, and everything in between. But, every now and then, customer service representatives encounter customers that are off the charts. These requests leave service professionals scratching their heads as they conjure up ways to satisfy the consumer despite their confusion. Yet, while these interactions may be strange at the time, they typically make for entertaining stories after the fact. Read more »
Tom Hoffman | January 29, 2013
In case you missed it, American Airlines has unveiled a new logo. The new logo, dubbed by American as "the Flight Symbol" (see the image on the left) contains the eagle, the star, and the "A" and "refreshed" shades of red, white, and blue. Do you see all these elements? I must be missing something - where's the star? Anyway, as part of its promotions, American claims that its new logo "and the refreshed look and feel of our planes Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | January 28, 2013
Last Thursday, at its 28th Silver Apple Awards Gala, the Direct Marketing Club of New York honored Peppers & Rogers Group's Don Peppers and Martha Rogers, Ph.D., for their leadership on customer-focused business strategies for the past 20 years. Read more »
Guest Blogger: Adele Sage | January 25, 2013
Allow us to paint a vision of the future for you: After interactions with your favorite companies, no one asks you how you liked those interactions. Your email inbox contains no requests for a few minutes of your time. No one asks you to wait on the phone line to answer a few questions. The word "survey" has vanished from your vocabulary. Read more »
Cynthia Clark | January 24, 2013
Today's mobile-toting customers are not only communicating with brands wherever they are and at all times of the day, but they're also giving the companies they do business with important information about where they are on different days of the week and at different times of the day. Read more »
Anna Papachristos | January 23, 2013
Months ago, an old friend from college recommended I visit the nail salon she frequented during her time at school. My mother and I were in search of cleanliness and reliability, so we both turned to Facebook for trusted recommendations. Since then, we've become regular customers, visiting every now and then to indulge in the traditional manicure/pedicure. While my mother enjoys the chance to escape reality, I've come to depend on the flawless appearance to deter me from my nervous Read more »
Tom Hoffman | January 22, 2013
1to1 Media's Tom Hoffman sits down with Jeremy Sokolic, Senior Vice President of Marketing at LivePerson, to explore steps that companies can take to provide customers with digital customer experiences that can rival or even exceed the in-store experience. Read more »
Guest Blogger: Kerry Bodine | January 18, 2013
Earlier this month, Avis announced that it will acquire Zipcar. On paper, the combination of a traditional car rental company with a car-sharing service sounds like a win/win deal. Unfortunately, many of Zipcar's customers have expressed concern that they'll end up as losers in the deal. Here's just a sampling from the hundreds of comments that concerned "Zipsters" have posted on Facebook since the acquisition was announced. • "Avis is horrible. They 'lost' a car I returned not that long Read more »
Cynthia Clark | January 18, 2013
Mobile wallets, smarter point of sales systems, and sending customers more targeted and personalized offers will be major trends for retail in 2013. At the National Retail Federation's Retail Big Show 2013, 1to1 Media caught up with a number of executives and asked about the hot trends that we expect to see in retail this year. Steven Rosenblatt, Foursquare's chief revenue officer, Rod Witmond, senior vice president of talent management and International expansion at Cardlytics, Brian Yates, Director of Product Read more »
Cynthia Clark | January 17, 2013
Being relevant to consumers, both online and in store, and integrating the Web experience with the brick-and-mortar one is key for retailers, experts highlighted at this week's National Retail Federation conference. "Customers are no longer simply buying a product. They have journeys," said Steve Ladwig, Toshiba's president and CEO said. This phenomenon means that organizations cannot terminate their engagement with customers when they leave the store. Instead, savvy organizations are getting to know their customers, using the data to provide Read more »
Anna Papachristos | January 16, 2013
Last Thursday, we here at 1to1 Media had the chance to chat with Leo Minervini, CIO of Carlo's Bakery in Hoboken, N.J. Minervini joined us via Twitter to discuss how the "Cake Boss" bakery, made famous through TLC's hit reality show, uses social media to monitor customer comments and complaints. Using the #1to1socialCX hashtag, we explored how Minervini and his team integrated social media into their daily routine. In case you missed our short (but sweet!) conversation, here are some Read more »
Tom Hoffman | January 15, 2013
Thanks to the growing functionality of hand-held computers (smartphones, tablets) and the broad, communal reach of social media, customers have become emboldened about sharing their complaints and frustrations about poor experiences they've had with companies. Because customer issues can now go viral within a matter of hours (e.g. Verizon Wireless being forced to ditch a $2 "convenience fee" in late 2011 following negative customer sentiment), business leaders need to have a social media crisis plan in place should problems arise, Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | January 14, 2013
Delta proved last week that it must have learned a thing or two from United Airlines' lack of response in 2008 to now famed passenger David Carroll when a flight crew broke his guitar after tossing it, prompting him to record "United Breaks Guitars." The song launched him into an Internet sensation and made him the poster boy for the power of social media when customers are wronged. Read more »
Guest Blogger: Paul Hagan | January 11, 2013
The way that firms can deliver value to clients has massively changed. Firms can interact with customers in the context of using products (e.g. think Rosetta Stone and language coaches). In fact, customers interacting with each other within the product may deliver more value than the product itself. Companies can harness the data exhaust of product usage and turn it into powerfully useful information to help customers succeed at their goals (e.g. think Nike+ and fitness). Read more »
Cynthia Clark | January 10, 2013
Today's multichannel customer is getting information from an increasing number of sources. Further, customers can cross-check the information they get from one particular channel through another medium, allowing them to be more confident in their purchasing decisions before parting with their money. Read more »
Anna Papachristos | January 9, 2013
When one pregnant woman and her family decided to have dinner at their local Red Robin, they simply thought they were heading out for a nice meal--perhaps one of their last before welcoming their new baby. But, after joking with the staff about her impending delivery, Amie Sivon and her husband, Jason, discovered an unexpected surprise. Their check indicated that Sivon's entire meal, totaling $11.50, had been deducted from the bill, accompanied by one simple message: "MOM 2 BEE GOOD Read more »
Tom Hoffman | January 8, 2013
1to1 Media's Tom Hoffman catches up with Tim Segall, Chief Technology Officer at SoundBite Communications, about the need for companies to provide customers with multichannel customer service support, the inherent challenges that are involved, as well as examples of companies that are differentiating themselves through their efforts. Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | January 7, 2013
It's that time of year again, when predictions, trends, and resolutions articles come out of the woodwork to help guide our expectations for the coming year. At 1to1 Media, we've included a few of our own around the customer experience. Read more »
Guest Blogger: Kerry Bodine | January 4, 2013
Over the past two years, consumer technology adoption and market forces have catapulted the field of customer experience into strategic stature. In 2012, this shift manifested itself privately through sweeping organizational changes at companies in nearly every industry -- and shined publicly through professional organizations, the media, and even in the courts. Read more »
Cynthia Clark | January 3, 2013
This is the time of the year when we tend to look back at the last 12 months and determine what went well and what could have been better. And based on that information, we make resolutions for the next year, vowing to make sure that it's better than the one that's about to end. Read more »
Anna Papachristos | January 2, 2013
The New Year has arrived, and companies across industries are creating their own resolutions for 2013. But for these improvements to take root, customers have to be willing to better themselves alongside their favorite brands. Many satisfying experiences hinge upon customer-to-customer interactions, yet companies rarely look to alter customer etiquette in their attempt to boost satisfaction. Customers consistently expect more from their most trusted brands, yet they often neglect to give in return. Read more »
Tom Hoffman | January 1, 2013
One of the biggest differences between companies that provide mediocre customer experiences and those that deliver exceptional experiences (and ultimately position themselves to achieve outstanding financial results) is the degree of engagement and connectedness that employees have with a company and its mission. Read more »
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