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Tom Hoffman | September 30, 2014
This past weekend, my kids and I surprised my wife on her birthday by taking her on a guided tour of the remnants of a former castle that sits on an island in the Hudson River. It's something that she's been dropping hints about for a while and she greatly enjoyed the excursion. After the tour, we decided to grab lunch at a nearby restaurant and it was here that I was reminded why it's so important for customer-facing staff Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | September 29, 2014
Advertising Week 2014 got underway this morning in New York City, with the organization even ringing today's closing stock market bell. Read more »
Guest Blogger: Sam Stern | September 26, 2014
In my last Forrester Research report, Standardize Great Customer Experience Delivery, I look at how companies create, share and assess customer experience standards. Done well, CX standards prevent avoidable customer experience mistakes, ensure consistent experience delivery, and set a high bar for customer experience quality. But bad CX standards are worse than no standards at all. Read more »
Judith Aquino | September 25, 2014
At Uber, employees receive a reward for an idea that isn't implemented, i.e., a "losing idea" as well as ideas that are adopted, said Uber General Manager Chris Nakutis. Read more »
Judith Aquino | September 24, 2014
Mobile apps have become the center of the customer experience and to help marketers engage consumers, Salesforce.com launched its "Journey Builder for Apps" on Tuesday at its ExactTarget Connections 2014 conference. Read more »
Anna Papachristos | September 24, 2014
For as long as I can remember, I've always referred to my legs as "chubby stubs" because when you're 4'11" all such body parts tend to grow outward, not upward. Thus, when winter boot season arrives, I typically gravitate toward the shorter varieties because I'm well aware that knee-high boots are reserved for tall women with toothpick limbs. Read more »
Tom Hoffman | September 23, 2014
I help coach a recreation soccer team in our town that two of my children play on. This past weekend, our team played a game in which I realized afterwards that we should have done a better job of substituting players. The other coach and I acknowledged our mistakes, apologized to the players and parents for the oversight, and pledged to balance the playing time for the players going forward. There's a lesson here for companies that fail to own Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | September 22, 2014
In the 1970's when Larry Ellison worked at Amdahl, an IT company that specialized in IBM mainframe, he came across a paper that would serve as the catalyst that would alter the course of his entire life."A Relational Model of Data for Large Shared Data Banks," by Edgar F. Codd described the concept of Structured Query Language (SQL) he had developed at IBM. Codd's employers saw no commercial potential in the SQL concept, but Ellison did. Read more »
Judith Aquino | September 18, 2014
The last thing I expected to discuss with my hairdresser last week was "Small Wonder," a 1980's television series about a family and its robot daughter. While the hairdresser cut my hair, she seemed determined to keep a conversation going. Questions about current TV shows fell flat since we didn't watch any of the same shows. Read more »
Anna Papachristos | September 17, 2014
When it comes to being social, much has changed in recent years, for even when individuals leave the house to interact with other humans, their smartphones are always close at hand. People live and breathe by the dim glow of their device, speaking with only their thumbs, not their voices. However, Budweiser's latest campaign looks to move beyond 'the new normal' in an effort to bridge the gap between our digital and physical worlds. Read more »
Tom Hoffman | September 16, 2014
EE, the British telecommunications company, recently began offering a new service called Priority Answer that allows customers of its pay monthly and SIM-only plans to pay 50 pence ($0.81 USD) to be moved to the top of the queue for customer service calls when call volumes are high. The new service has created a firestorm in social media and other forums among some customers who are upset about having to pay extra to receive faster support. Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | September 15, 2014
Apple's influence is undeniable. In the first 24 hours since announcing the new iPhone 6 last week, the company took 4 million preorders in the first 24 hours. Read more »
Guest Blogger: Harley Manning | September 12, 2014
I love Europe. I especially love the fact that in a very real sense there is no "Europe" as such: the U.K. experience is not the German experience, which is not the French experience, which is not the Italian experience, and so on. Read more »
Judith Aquino | September 11, 2014
Leaving your wallet and credit cards at home is getting easier as competition in mobile commerce intensifies. Apple, Twitter, Facebook and other companies are offering up more ways to make purchases that blur the lines between online and offline payments. Read more »
Anna Papachristos | September 10, 2014
We live in an era where innovation enthusiasts salivate over the prospect of an all-new Apple product. People crave the latest gadgets so strongly that they willingly camp out just so they may be first to own such goods. Yet, while this obsession with technology continues to fuel exploration and drive progress, fewer individuals choose to embrace traditional media with each passing day. Read more »
Tom Hoffman | September 9, 2014
Eastern Air Lines. Jamesway. CompUSA. These are just a handful of brands that have gone out of business or been absorbed by other organizations over the past 25 years. As Pegasystems Founder, CEO, and Chairman Alan Trefler sees it, many more companies around the world will fail over the next few years as a result of what he describes as "customer stress." Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | September 8, 2014
The Home Depot last week confirmed it's investigating "unusual activity" concerning its customer data after an investigative report revealed possible fraudulent activity on the company's payment systems. Read more »
Guest Blogger: Sam Stern | September 5, 2014
Companies that were founded on customer obsession -- like Southwest Airlines, Vanguard, and USAA -- derive significant financial benefits as a result. That's because a customer-obsessed culture helps customer experience professionals deliver high-quality, on-brand, consistent experiences that drive loyalty. Fortunately, even companies that weren't founded on customer obsession can transform their cultures and see big returns on their efforts. For example: Read more »
Judith Aquino | September 4, 2014
One of the perks (or drawbacks depending on your perspective) of being a reporter is traveling on assignments. I've been sent to conferences in Cologne, Germany; New Orleans; Las Vegas, and Minneapolis among other cities in my career. Read more »
Anna Papachristos | September 3, 2014
When it comes to jargon, it's often hard to uncover what's hiding behind those fancy words. In the marketing world, however, one term continues to perplex the masses more than most: Native advertising. Yet, while many still fail to fully grasp its meaning and intention, this mode of content creation persistently proves to be lucrative, encouraging widespread adoption despite its veiled existence. Read more »
Tom Hoffman | September 2, 2014
1to1 Media's Tom Hoffman speaks with Mike Hennessy, Vice President of Marketing and Alliances at IntelliResponse, about how customer service teams must adjust to evolving customer behaviors and interests, including the ability to deliver self-service capabilities in the channels customers prefer. Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | September 1, 2014
Many of us will celebrate Labor Day today with a picnic or partaking in retail's many sales. The real significance of Labor Day is to recognize employees and their contributions for the year. Read more »
Judith Aquino | August 28, 2014
When John Isner serves the ball, it zooms across the net at an average speed of 140 miles per hour, making his serve the fastest among the top seeded players at this year's US Open. Serena Williams claims the title for fastest serve on the women's side, clocking in at 122 miles per hour. Read more »
Anna Papachristos | August 27, 2014
Over the years, many have come to associate Coca-Cola with adorable polar bears. Every Christmas, they slip and slide across the North Pole while guzzling their favorite soda. But, as the brand breaks free from this holiday affiliation, its summertime 'Share a Coke' campaign has made an indelible mark on the way consumers perceive the product and its values. Read more »
Tom Hoffman | August 26, 2014
1to1 Media's Tom Hoffman catches up with Jeff Foley, Director of Product Marketing at Pegasystems, regarding steps that can be taken to simplify and improve the customer experience as well as the agent experience in support interactions, including placing relevant customer data in the hands of agents. Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | August 25, 2014
Unless you've been living in a dark hole for the past month, you've heard of the "The Ice Bucket Challenge" and are likely one of the millions of people who've uploaded an ice bucket video to social media. The challenge, which involves dumping a bucket of icey water over one's head in an effort to raise awareness for the ALS Association, has morphed into a pop culture phenomenon of the summer, particularly in the United States. Read more »
Guest Blogger: Harley Manning | August 22, 2014
Last week I blogged a video recap of day one of Forrester's Customer Experience Forum East, 2014. I had originally planned that post to cover both days of the forum, which has grown to become Forrester's largest event in our 30+ year history. But at some point I realized that there was just too much material to cram into a single post. Which led, inevitably, to this post with my video recap of day two. Read more »
Judith Aquino | August 21, 2014
More than ever, companies are competing on time. As people rush through their day, the ability to save time or provide a service at the right time differentiates businesses. And like many things, the ability to leverage big data is behind these advancements. Read more »
Anna Papachristos | August 20, 2014
No matter the industry, progress ups the ante for all companies seeking the competitive advantage. For modern retailers, in particular, consumer expectations continue to drive the need for omnichannel innovation. But, as seamless experiences become integral to the average customer engagement strategy, retail brands must ensure that all channels are aligned internally in order to outwardly secure consumer satisfaction. Read more »
Tom Hoffman | August 19, 2014
1to1 Media's Tom Hoffman speaks with H. John Oechsle, President and CEO of Swiftpage, about the importance of applying the 4 C's of customer data: currency, correctness, consistency, and completeness. Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | August 18, 2014
I was 5 years old when our neighbor's parents drove my friend and me home from school on a fall day in 1978 when we rounded the bend toward my house and saw a giant ball of flames. The town's volunteer firefighters had already arrived on the scene and were extinguishing the fire that started from the fuel tank defect in my family's Ford Pinto. Read more »
Guest Blogger: Harley Manning | August 15, 2014
How did it get to be August already? Admittedly, going away for two weeks of vacation in July hit my fast-forward button. But even so, memories of our Customer Experience Forum East in New York in June are still fresh in my mind. Read more »
Judith Aquino | August 14, 2014
Consumers may be nimble app users, but when it comes to understanding an app's terms of service, many remain in the dark. More people are becoming aware of data collection practices but they are also confused about the data that is being collected about them and how it is being used. Read more »
Anna Papachristos | August 13, 2014
Every so often, the warning signs appear--slow at first, then faster and faster. Images fail to populate, leaving behind nothing but question marks. Pages refuse to load, with only the 'refresh' button to rescue them from certain abandonment. Videos neglect to play, offering the viewer nothing but blank rectangles and empty air. Read more »
Tom Hoffman | August 12, 2014
1to1 Media's Tom Hoffman catches up with Jennifer Waite, Product Marketing Manager at inContact at Call Center Week in Las Vegas to discuss key trends in outbound communications, including new approaches to proactive customer communications. Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | August 11, 2014
For a growing number of companies, the effective use of customer data is like winning the lottery. Through proper collection and analysis of Big Data, as well as workable action plans, organizations can literally transform their businesses. Companies like Tesco and AT&T, for instance, have revolutionized their customer experiences by putting data at the center of their business strategies. Read more »
Guest Blogger: Rick Parrish | August 8, 2014
Ever notice how discussions of government customer experience (CX) improvement tend to get hijacked by debates about technology procurement? Neither did most feds I've mentioned it to lately. One senior official's response was typical but especially eloquent when he said "Huh, yeah. That's weird. Why do we always do that?!" Read more »
Judith Aquino | August 7, 2014
Focusing on customer centricity could be the glue that finally brings chief marketing officers (CMOs) and chief information officers (CIOs) together, according to recent studies. Marketing and IT functions are often on opposing sides in a company, with CIOs struggling to meet the demands of CMOs who are looking for quick access to information. Read more »
Anna Papachristos | August 6, 2014
Selling women's shoes can be as simple as ABC--affordable, beautiful, and comfortable. Hit those three nails on the head and you're golden. But, if you take your cues from Nine West's new ad campaign, you may be more apt to belittle and offend your target market instead. Read more »
Tom Hoffman | August 5, 2014
1to1 Media's Tom Hoffman speaks with James Buckley, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Customer Data and Location Intelligence at Pitney Bowes Software, regarding opportunities for using location-based intelligence in retail, healthcare, and other industries Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | August 4, 2014
At the Google I/O conference in June, inventor and futurist Ray Kurzweil and Google's director of engineering, described how a computer can decipher between a human and an inanimate object, but it can't judge if a person is kind or mean. Read more »
Judith Aquino | July 31, 2014
Can an algorithm replace or supplement content created by your employees? Some businesses say "yes" as they adopt algorithm-based solutions that are designed to churn out marketing content and other materials. Read more »
Anna Papachristos | July 30, 2014
They say it's what's on the inside that counts. Yet, while we're still not quite sure who "they" are, this mantra certainly applies to IT. When it comes to implementing new systems and integrating the latest technology, companies must develop an infrastructure that allows staff to tap into customer data and improve the consumer experience effectively, with regard to both time and money. But, as businesses continue to balance new solutions with their legacy systems, streamlined internal operations are more Read more »
Tom Hoffman | July 29, 2014
I was recently reading a Forbes post by Micah Solomon which points to the importance of avoiding simple but critical language mistakes that often occur in customer service interactions. For instance, instead of an agent using terminology such as "You need to..." to a customer, a more appropriate and customer-friendly approach would be "We find it usually works best when...." Indeed, it's the little things that occur in customer interactions that can have a major impact on the customer experience. Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | July 28, 2014
Earlier this month, Google Co-Founder Larry Page entertained the notion of businesses implementing a four-day work week during a fireside chat with Google co-founder, Sergey Brin, when he said that everyone needing to work frantically "is just not true." Read more »
Guest Blogger: Sam Stern | July 25, 2014
PURE insurance is using its customer-obsessed business model to stand out in the insurance industry. Since its start in 2006, PURE has grown more than 40 percent each year, and has one of the highest Net Promoter Scores in any industry. Read more »
Judith Aquino | July 24, 2014
The stakes for understanding mobile users are rising quickly as people spend more time on their smartphones. Recent acquisitions suggest that companies are racing to build up their knowledge of mobile users and provide a better customer experience. Read more »
Anna Papachristos | July 23, 2014
If you wander to the back corner of the women's section in your local American Eagle Outfitters, you may notice something slightly out of the ordinary. At first glance you'll recognize the store's standard selection of crop tops, short shorts, and babydoll dresses. But closer inspection will reveal that each item features the same, albeit unexpected, characteristic--everything's one-size-fits-all. Read more »
Tom Hoffman | July 22, 2014
Companies are increasingly using customer experience metrics to gauge the health of their customer relationships. But as companies continue to up their investments in customer-focused initiatives, CEOs, CFOs, and other members of the senior management team demand to know what the returns are on those efforts. Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | July 21, 2014
We've all called a customer service department at one point or another and have encountered pushy or unhelpful customer service reps. Last week, the experience that San Francisco-based tech blogger Ryan Block encountered with an unnamed agent when he called Comcast to cancel his service, takes the cake. Read more »
Judith Aquino | July 17, 2014
Monique Bonner, vice president of global marketing at Dell, kicked off the 15th Anniversary Marketing World 2015: A Frost & Sullivan Executive MindXchange conference by talking about 1996. This year was notable, Bonner explained, because it was the year she learned about the concept of one-to-one marketing, which Don Peppers and Martha Rogers introduced in their book, The One-to-One Future. Read more »
Anna Papachristos | July 16, 2014
Facebook has forever changed the way Internet users interact with one another. Though only 10 years old, the infamous social network has revolutionized the way friends and family stay in touch, while also introducing an innovative way for brands to bond with their customer base. But, as the site continues to draw scrutiny about its questionable practices, long-term loyalty may be waning. Read more »
Tom Hoffman | July 15, 2014
According to the 2014 Temkin Experience Ratings, wireless carriers rank in the middle of the pack with respect to the customer experiences they deliver, ahead of industries such as hotels and Internet service providers. My own recent experience with one of the largest carriers in the U.S. demonstrates how one customer experience can leave a lasting impression. Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | July 14, 2014
Customer loyalty is not something you can win with a gimmick or a marketing stunt. It's an emotion and requires an emotional engagement. The real value from promotions is in the opportunity to create loyalty, not just to manipulate the customer to make a quick sale. Read more »
Judith Aquino | July 10, 2014
Before I got engaged, I assumed waving a registry gun at household items in a store would be part of my pre-wedding experience. I was wrong. Instead, my fiancĂ© and I registered on Amazon and filled our registry list in one hour. We chose the online retailer for the variety of items and price ranges as well as convenience. Read more »
Anna Papachristos | July 9, 2014
Consumers currently share more personal data than ever before. However, in many instances, the companies that collect said information fail to integrate this insight in ways that improve the customer experience. Though they actively apply consumer preferences to boost personalization, they neglect to move beyond the general everyman, thereby focusing on the average customer, not the individual. Read more »
Tom Hoffman | July 8, 2014
When it comes to gaining loyalty from restaurant patrons, chain restaurants need to deliver consistent experiences. After all, as consumers have so many options when it comes selecting a restaurant, it's critical for chain restaurants to provide diners with dependable experiences that offer friendly and efficient service, quality food, and good value. Word-of-mouth also plays a significant role in influencing restaurant patrons. My family and I have had a few recent experiences with chain restaurants that altered our perceptions of Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | July 7, 2014
Last year online wine sales topped out at $5 billion worldwide, according to estimates from the Bordeaux Management School. In fact, of the 3,000 people surveyed, 57 percent had visited an online wine site, while 35 percent had made an online wine purchase. Read more »
Judith Aquino | July 3, 2014
If you've been to a Broadway show recently, you may have noticed people in red shirts handing envelopes to theatergoers underneath the marquee. What you're seeing are TodayTix staffers delivering tickets to the customers who purchased them on TodayTix's mobile app. Read more »
Anna Papachristos | July 2, 2014
Most professionals operate in an atmosphere of overanalysis. They nitpick every detail of the customer experience, actively seeking discernible behavior patterns and engagement opportunities across all touchpoints. Yet, while such strategies are essential for long-term survival, marketers and salespeople must look beyond the data and remember what it's like to live on the other side of this insight. Read more »
Tom Hoffman | July 1, 2014
Marketing leaders are constantly striving to achieve the highest possible levels of customer engagement and to get the biggest bang out of their campaign efforts. But it's often what goes on behind the scenes - and how well those activities and processes are managed - that ultimately determines the success of marketing programs. Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | June 30, 2014
A couple years ago brands started recognizing social media as a viable channel in which to engage customers, respond to their service inquiries, and foster relationships. Despite their initial and continued investments in technologies and strategies to incorporate service into these emerging channels, the majority of companies today still lack ownership and understanding of social media. Read more »
Guest Blogger: Sam Stern | June 27, 2014
Companies want customer-obsessed cultures that will help them differentiate in the age of the customer. But transforming a culture can be a challenge: It requires all employees to understand who their customers are, how customers perceive their interactions with the company, and what roles employees need to play in delivering the overall experience. Enter learning maps, which are fast becoming the centerpiece of small-group interactive training sessions at many companies. Read more »
Judith Aquino | June 26, 2014
Consumers don't think of themselves as big game to be targeted and captured by marketers, but The Onion knows better. The parody publication published an image two weeks ago of a man lying face down in a parking lot with the caption, "A Procter & Gamble marketing team attaches a tracking collar to an incapacitated head-of-household specimen." Read more »
Anna Papachristos | June 25, 2014
Every day, marketers and analysts fight the unyielding battle between Big Data and relevancy. With an abundance of customer information constantly flowing into any given organization, it's increasingly difficult to parse the important from the unnecessary. Yet, despite this struggle, companies continue to disseminate their own messages into the void, often spamming the consumer with information that annoys more than it educates. Read more »
Tom Hoffman | June 24, 2014
Omnichannel might be hot, but that doesn't mean that everyone is jumping on the bandwagon. Based on anecdotal feedback I gathered from user companies and vendors while attending Call Center Week earlier this month, not to mention market research on the topic, it's fairly clear that many enterprise companies are investing to expand their omnichannel customer support capabilities. However, small-to-midsized businesses (SMBs) are more likely to only offer support across a couple of channels (primarily voice and email), largely due Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | June 23, 2014
When I started out at my first job as a journalist at a local daily newspaper in Pittsburgh nearly 20 years ago, we wrote our articles on a PC with a green screen using a DOS prompt. The Internet was only in its infancy so we relied on a combination of microfiche, the Yellow Pages, and knocking on doors to conduct our research and to track down sources. By the time I landed my second job at a newspaper journalist Read more »
Guest Blogger: Harley Manning | June 20, 2014
When I was 10 years old, I heard my father and my Uncle Bob talking about the car they'd most like to own. Noticing me, Uncle Bob asked, "How about you, Harley? What car do you want to drive when you grow up?" I immediately answered, "A Mercedes!" Read more »
Judith Aquino | June 19, 2014
Yesterday, Blackberry unveiled a deal with Amazon to include the online giant's app store on its phones. In addition, Google Play and Apple's App Store both offer a million apps in their respective stores. As more apps flood the market, driving engagement rates among users has become a crucial component of an app developer's monetization strategy. Read more »
Anna Papachristos | June 18, 2014
When retailers contemplate consumer safety, they typically focus upon data security, as many work to protect their customers' private records at every turn. But what happens when physical safety becomes a concern? How must companies respond when the brand's brick-and-mortar location poses a threat to the shopper's well being? Read more »
Tom Hoffman | June 17, 2014
Many of the conversations that took place at Call Center Week in Las Vegas last week focused on some of the dominant trends in the contact center, including omnichannel support and opportunities for using speech, text, and other types of analytics. One of the topic areas that also generated a lot of buzz at the event is the use -- as well as the lack of understanding -- of chat for customer service. Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | June 16, 2014
Whether they're raising awareness, engaging with new audiences, or growing sales, marketers will flock to social media during the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Social media traffic for the month-long global soccer tournament is already outpacing the Sochi Olympics, with Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter at the center of the boom. Read more »
Guest Blogger: Sam Stern | June 13, 2014
In the age of the customer, companies must transform their cultures from product-centric to customer-centric. But that is easier said than done. Customer centricity requires all employees to understand who their customers are, how customers perceive their interactions with the company, and the roles employees play in delivering the overall experience. Customer experience (CX) rooms--immersive, interactive spaces that help employees better understand customers--have emerged as a powerful new tool for bring customers and their journeys to life for workforces. Done Read more »
Judith Aquino | June 12, 2014
Devices are beginning to learn more about us by passively "listening" to our activities to offer personalized, automatic services. But as privacy advocates voice concerns about these new capabilities, the ability to opt in becomes even more crucial as a product feature. Read more »
Anna Papachristos | June 11, 2014
Big Data may present dilemma after dilemma, but collecting too much information may be the greatest faux pas of all. Businesses across industries constantly struggle to develop an effective Big Data strategy, yet many fail to recognize that gathering every possible morsel of customer information will only leave them bogged down, drowning in an unyielding data deluge with no way to bring this insight to action. Read more »
Tom Hoffman | June 10, 2014
As the contact center industry gears up for the annual IQPC Call Center Week event in Las Vegas this week, two areas of focus I'm hearing an awful lot about lately are continued developments and market interest in workforce optimization (WFO) and analytics technologies. Several factors are playing into these trends. Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | June 9, 2014
Outstanding customer experiences don't just happen; they take careful planning. And in most cases, successful customer strategies occur because of the people behind them. The 2014 1to1 Media Customer Champions program aims to honor these people--employees across all areas of an organization who succeed in pushing their strategies forward through dedication, innovative ideas, and a commitment to doing what it takes to advance the customer experience. Read more »
Guest Blogger: Harley Manning | June 6, 2014
Okay, maybe "demi-god" is a little over the top. But maybe not. John Maeda is both Design Partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, and chair of the eBay Design Advisory Board, where he collaborates with design leaders across eBay to disseminate design thinking. Read more »
Anna Papachristos | June 4, 2014
Delivering relevant content at the specific moment when consumers are looking to make decisions remains very powerful, boosting retention and strengthening relationships. However, as email open rates decline due to the overall swell in email volume, marketers are finding it increasingly difficult to reach consumers' inboxes, leading many to believe responsive design holds the secret to future success. Read more »
Tom Hoffman | June 3, 2014
Gamification has been a great way for companies to drive both customer and employee engagement. By the end of this year, more than 70 percent of Global 2000 organizations will have at least one gamified application, according to Gartner. But while providing customers with chances to earn points and unlock new opportunities has proven to be an effective approach to strengthening relationships with them, it's also important for decision makers to keep their fingers on the pulse of the customer Read more »
Guest Blogger: Harley Manning | May 30, 2014
Do you like those thinkorswim commercials from TD Ameritrade as much as I do? Because I love them. Read more »
Anna Papachristos | May 28, 2014
Personalization has become an integral component for successful omnichannel strategies, as companies understand that individualized experiences persuade customers to engage across multiple touchpoints, driving lifetime value and revenue. For the retail sector, incentivizing shoppers to interact with the brand across numerous channels encourages them to spend more and spend often. Read more »
Tom Hoffman | May 27, 2014
Ten years ago, a friend of mine who was the CIO of a supermarket chain at the time left to join a company that sells price optimization software. As I learned more about the company and its technological capabilities, I became fascinated with the concept (e.g. "If we lower the price of this brand of yogurt by X, how will this affect the sale of fresh berries?"). I recently had an opportunity to speak with an e-commerce executive about her Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | May 26, 2014
"If you don't have a strategy for reorganizing your business, you're aiming at nothing, and I guarantee you'll hit it." - Gene Alvarez, Gartner At last week's Gartner Customer 360 Summit in Orlando, Gartner's Alvarez and Leigh McMullen conveyed that message during their opening keynote session. They reviewed the importance of bridging the digital chasm in companies and how building organizations powered by purpose and whose employees' goals are linked to the enterprise mission helps in advancing their digital strategies. Read more »
Guest Blogger: Rick Parrish | May 23, 2014
When Forrester first introduced the Customer Experience (CX) Ecosystem concept three years ago, we found that companies' attempts to innovate their CX were limited by tunnel vision. They couldn't see beyond the surface layer of individual touchpoints to understand the intricate web of behind-the-scenes dynamics that really create the customer experience. Read more »
Anna Papachristos | May 23, 2014
While it's important for companies to meet consumer demand and satisfy evolving expectations, those who rise above the competition go beyond the norm, anticipating future needs and proactively delivering these unknown desires. Forward-thinking creativity has become an essential component for companies looking to gain the competitive advantage and, for this year's lone winner in the 2014 Gartner & 1to1 Media CRM Excellence Innovation category, engagement stands as the primary differentiator. Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | May 22, 2014
Don Peppers and Martha Rogers, Ph.D., co-founders of Peppers & Rogers Group, have long said that the only way that a business can actually create value is with customers. Because if you don't have a customer, it doesn't matter how many products you have, you don't have a business. Read more »
Anna Papachristos | May 21, 2014
Consumer data stands as an essential building block for creating a solid customer experience. With the constant influx of insight, companies now have the ability to tap into behavioral data, thereby using this information to boost relevance and segmentation. However, to succeed in this space, brands must implement strong analytics systems that allow the entire organization to take advantage of this insight and improve enterprisewide performance. Read more »
Tom Hoffman | May 20, 2014
When companies are focused on continuously providing customers with better value - more personalized, relevant services, anticipating their needs and preferences, etc. - they're more likely to engender customer trust and create a more sustainable model for revenue growth, says Don Peppers, founding partner at Peppers & Rogers Group. Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | May 19, 2014
In 2004, 1to1 Media set out on a mission to reward the best thinking and results in customer strategy. At the time, "Relationship Marketing" was fresh on the heels of the CRM revolution in the 1990s, sweeping the business world with its promise to forever change the way enterprises interact with their customer bases by understanding customer segments, delivering quality service, and increasing customer satisfaction and loyalty. Read more »
Anna Papachristos | May 14, 2014
Marketers are currently moving into the new era of customer feedback. While traditional surveys came to be in an environment where such information was scarce, it's no longer quite so difficult for marketers to determine what consumers think about their products. Today, customer insights abound, yet brands still need to hone their understanding as to what data they already have and what information may be missing. Luckily, opt-in and permission-based formats have the potential to fill these blanks, as brands Read more »
Tom Hoffman | May 13, 2014
I had a very interesting meeting the other day with Rowley Douglas, executive vice president of North American operations for CloudSense, a cloud services company which provides platforms used to manage the customer lifecycle for companies in telecommunications, media, and other industries. While I was very much interested in our discussion, which focused on key trends and challenges facing executives for wireless carriers in North America and other parts of the world, it was the latter part of our conversation Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | May 12, 2014
"As a source of innovation, an engine of our economy, and a forum for our political discourse, the Internet can only work if it's a truly level playing field. Small businesses should have the same ability to reach customers as powerful corporations." - Al Franken. Read more »
Anna Papachristos | May 7, 2014
In an odd twist of fate, one recent study conducted by the University of British Columbia's Sauder School of Business concluded that rude retail associates might actually boost sales. The study, which will be published in the October 2014 edition of the Journal of Consumer Research, indicates that customers who encounter snobby salespeople at high-end retail stores often become more willing to purchase these pricey goods in order to gain the associate's approval. Read more »
Tom Hoffman | May 6, 2014
A few years ago while attending Dreamforce, I had a few meetings with executives from marketing automation companies who shared different approaches to engaging with B2B customers and prospects. These included tools aimed at gathering and acting on social information that might generated by a target customer or an active account (e.g. a LinkedIn post shared by a marketing VP for a life sciences company) that can then be used for relevant messaging. Given the amount of emphasis that's placed Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | May 5, 2014
When customers decide to do business with a company, they want their transactions or inquiries to be handled without any catches. They want seamless interactions, or frictionless experiences devoid of additional steps, potential issues, and unnecessary hassles. Read more »
Guest Blogger: Sam Stern | May 2, 2014
In my latest Forrester report, "5 Steps To Create And Sustain Customer-Centric Culture," I answered the question I hear most often from clients: What are the steps in the process to actually transform organizational culture to be customer centric? I interviewed companies that have successfully completed this transformation, and companies that are in the midst of that process right now. I learned that there are five steps companies must take to create and sustain customer-centric culture: Read more »
Anna Papachristos | April 30, 2014
Content may be "king" to some, and "queen" to others, but as this emerging marketing strategy continues to occupy the minds of professionals across industries, one may soon argue that content represents the entire royal family. Read more »
Tom Hoffman | April 29, 2014
If you stop and think about it for a moment, we're witnessing some dramatic changes as to how customer service is being delivered. For starters, today's omnichannel customers are prompting companies to provide support across any and all of the touchpoints they use. Who would have expected even a few years ago that roughly one-third of enterprise companies would have dedicated handles for Twitter support? Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | April 28, 2014
The best kind of experience a customer can have is one in which a company can meet her need or solve her problem completely effortlessly, without having to jump through hoops or overcome obstacles. Read more »
Guest Blogger: Harley Manning | April 25, 2014
It's that great time of year when I finally get to talk publicly about our CX Forum East in New York at the end of June. If you've ever been to one of our events you know that we always have a theme, and this year that theme is "Why Good Is Not Good Enough." Read more »
Cynthia Clark | April 24, 2014
Recently I went to one of my favorite stores in Manhattan with the aim of making a couple of purchases. But when I got to my destination, I found a padlocked door and barred-up windows. Another store had bitten the dust. Read more »
Anna Papachristos | April 23, 2014
Since its inception, social media has evolved to become one of the greatest tools in the modern marketer's arsenal. But, while companies use this emerging medium to disseminate brand messaging and conduct customer service, individual consumers use social media as their personal mouthpiece, sounding off about whatever's on their mind. Yet, while predictive analytics have become the ideal companion tool for marketers looking to gain granular insights into their social consumer base, such technologies have begun to bleed into other Read more »
Tom Hoffman | April 22, 2014
April represents a confluence of events. Not only is it Customer Loyalty Month. It's also the tail end of the Passover and Easter holiday weeks which, in the U.S. anyway, includes an annual rite of passage: a network broadcast of Cecile B. DeMille's "The Ten Commandments." Forgive me for mixing religion with customer experience, but since I still have Charlton Heston on the brain, it inspired the following headline for this post. Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | April 21, 2014
April is Customer Loyalty Month, a great time for companies to take inventory of the best practices, processes, and metrics around how they're engaging with customers across the enterprise in an effort to boost their loyalty. Here are five action items to help increase your company's customer loyalty in 2014. Read more »
Guest Blogger: Rick Parrish | April 18, 2014
When I ask government employees why improving customer experience (CX) is so important, I often hear a version of the same answer: "It's the right thing to do." But I'm not about to take an easy answer like that at face value, so I dig deeper. Read more »
Cynthia Clark | April 17, 2014
Trust is an essential element in relationships. As humans, we need to feel we can trust others who we invite into our lives, but also the organizations we do business with. As Don Peppers and Martha Rogers, Ph.D. argue in their book Extreme Trust: Honesty as a Competitive Advantage, trust is not just a good idea, it's inevitable. Read more »
Anna Papachristos | April 16, 2014
From Facebook and Twitter, to Instagram and Pinterest, social media continues to prove it's not just some trend, but also an emerging platform for individuals and brands to connect and converse. But, as social media expands into an enterprisewide initiative, more companies beginning to consider to pros and cons of bringing their CEO into the mix. While many feel this step would bring an added human element to their business, others worry that exposing their CEO to public scrutiny may Read more »
Tom Hoffman | April 15, 2014
There's a ton of information that customers share with companies that can - and should be - used to develop more personalized, relevant, and contextual engagement with customers at the right time and in the right channel. Drawing on a full range of customer data has become a business imperative for marketers, particularly as customized content and messaging is needed to engage today's finicky, highly mobile customer. Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | April 14, 2014
Digital and social trends are the key factors driving the evolution of retail marketing today. Read more »
Guest Blogger: Vanessa Saulsberry | April 11, 2014
Far too long ago to mention, I listened attentively as my marketing professor elucidated the Four P's of marketing. It was a different world then; smartphones and tablets weren't en vogue, virtual events and Spreecasts didn't exist, and Facebook and Twitter were rarely used for business. Magazines and newspapers flourished and face-to-face events reigned. On that foundation today's marketing leaders are challenged to think differently about the marketing mix. Read more »
Cynthia Clark | April 10, 2014
When was the last time you left your home or office without your mobile phone? And more importantly, did you continue on your way, or did you turn back to get your smart device? Read more »
Anna Papachristos | April 9, 2014
Once my family made the switch from AT&T to T-Mobile, we inevitably came upon some follow-up questions that did not arise during the sign-up process. Most are aware that T-Mobile offers to pay new customers' early termination fees (ETFs), and while this incentive was one of the primary factors that sealed the deal, we never fully absorbed the step-by-step details during our initial interaction. (I do believe it's nearly impossible to soak up all the information on the first try.) Read more »
Tom Hoffman | April 8, 2014
Think about the companies that you like best. What sets them apart? Do they make it easy for you to transact with them? I recently had a set of highly aggravating experiences with a bank that I use that left me shaking my head at the lack of thought that was put into its customer experience processes for enrolling in an electronic payment system. Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | April 7, 2014
Last September Kodak emerged from bankruptcy protection vastly different from the company founded by George Eastman in 1880. Last month Jeff Clarke took the helm as Kodak's new CEO. Read more »
Guest Blogger: Sam Stern | April 4, 2014
In my recent report for Forrester, "How To Build A Customer-Centric Culture," I describe how customer experience professionals use three tools to embed customer focus in their organizations: Read more »
Cynthia Clark | April 3, 2014
In today's omnichannel world, customers are using multiple touchpoints to connect with organizations they do business with. While the phone was the most common means of customer support a few years ago, this is now sharing space with emails, social media, and text messages. Read more »
Anna Papachristos | April 2, 2014
Not too long ago, in an AT&T store pretty close by, a young woman (me) and her mother (mine) watched their loyalty die. Though rarely a problem in the decade that'd passed, one awful experience led us to leave them at last. Our story begins on one chance Saturday night, the innocent moment that triggered our eventual flight... Read more »
Tom Hoffman | April 1, 2014
As Gmail turns 10 today, it's a reminder of how many of us continue to remain reliant on email for work and for interpersonal communications. And even though other digital channels such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn have continued to gain prominence, we've also seen email marketing adapt and evolve. For instance, half of consumers now read emails only on their mobile devices, demonstrating the growth of mobile email, open rates, and conversion, according to Yesmail Interactive's most recent Email Read more »
Guest Blogger: Harley Manning | March 28, 2014
For the past two weeks I've been on the other side of the planet, spending a few days each in four very different cities: Sydney, Singapore, Beijing, and Shanghai. While Sydney was much like I remembered it--an exotic version of San Francisco but with better weather--the Singapore skyline had changed drastically, and now appears to be a science fiction version of the seaport I remembered. (If you think I'm kidding, just do a search on "Marina Bay Sands Hotel.") Read more »
Cynthia Clark | March 26, 2014
Customer loyalty is a hard-earned and highly valuable characteristic that organizations have long been trying to gain and retain. The birth of loyalty programs have given brands the ability to reward their customers for choosing to do business with that company, and in turn hope that they will keep coming back. Read more »
Anna Papachristos | March 26, 2014
Mobile customer care is rapidly becoming an opportunity for companies to differentiate themselves in an increasingly competitive economy. But, as Bruce Bales, vice president of product management at mBlox, notes, companies must look beyond marketing and advertising to include care as a means to engage consumers. The direct nature of mobile messaging remains the most effective way to grab consumers' attention. Therefore, brands that can take a care-centric approach to their mobile strategy will drive customer loyalty and long-term value. Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | March 25, 2014
A study released today by Adobe at its 12th Annual Digital Marketing Summit in Salt Lake City, revealed that most marketers are cemented in ad-hoc processes and age-old methodologies. In fact, 42 percent of 1,000 marketers polled in the survey, stated that they want to reinvent themselves, but only 14 percent know how to do it. Read more »
Tom Hoffman | March 25, 2014
As B2C marketers continue to gain experience engaging with customers in digital channels, a growing number of practitioners are striving to become more adept at segmenting customers by psychographics and demographics as part of their efforts to deliver relevant content, messaging, and experiences for specific target audiences. Some marketers are taking this a step further by creating buyer personas that represent the different customer types that are represented within a targeted demographic, psychographic profile (lifestyle, interests, and preferences), behavioral makeup, Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | March 24, 2014
Today I head to Salt Lake City, Utah, for Adobe's annual Digital Marketing Summit. Last year was my first Summit and I look forward to attending again this year, as it is one of the rare events in which attendees can see first-hand how quantifiable marketing results maximize a company's marketing ROI. The Summit will offer best practices and techniques on topics ranging from how to personalize a cross-channel strategy, best practices for managing a global digital presence, and how Read more »
Guest Blogger: Vanessa Saulsberry | March 21, 2014
What a wondrous world in which we live - one of infinite choice and possibility. I can buy a pair of the skinniest jeans (well, maybe not that skinny) from an Old Navy store, grab a new sweater for my hairless kitty on Petco.com, and deposit a check with my Chase mobile app. Mostly all of these tasks can be done in the comfort of my footy pajamas. I'd say that seven out of 10 of my interactions with companies Read more »
Guest Blogger: Maxie Schmidt-Subramanian | March 21, 2014
Are you looking for a vendor or vendors to support your voice of the customer (VoC) program? Or are you reviewing your current VoC vendor(s)? Read more »
Cynthia Clark | March 20, 2014
The battle between bricks-and-mortar and ecommerce is reaching new heights. Not only are online stores stocking more of our favorite items and shrinking shipping times, but in a cutthroat retail world, they're making it easier for us to shop and return items that aren't up to our expectations. Read more »
Anna Papachristos | March 19, 2014
There's nothing worse than rummaging through the aisles of the local Stop & Shop. Supermarket shopping has always been an unwelcome task, so when my mother and I were met with mile-long lines after an excruciatingly long day of running errands, we decided to approach this challenge with the utmost efficiency and speed. Read more »
Tom Hoffman | March 18, 2014
Business leaders use a variety of metrics to gauge the financial health and performance of a company. One of the most popular metrics used by marketers is Net Promoter Score (NPS), a simple loyalty measurement to gauge customer satisfaction and likelihood to recommend. Last week, I had a chance to speak with Satmetrix data scientist Brendan Rocks about the results from the company's 2014 Net Promoter Industry Benchmarks reports. The findings offer a glimpse into some of the aspects of Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | March 17, 2014
Over the years, the patient experience in healthcare has become routinely difficult-- problems getting an appointment, the requisition of their personal data over and over, and then there's the long wait. Jerry Seinfeld satirized the infamous long waits in his show: Read more »
Guest Blogger: Rick Parrish | March 14, 2014
Things have been tough for US federal customer experience (CX) lately: budget, procurement, IT management, and other problems I've already detailed have hamstrung federal agencies' efforts to truly elevate their customer experiences. The worst failure was of course the healthcare.gov debacle, which--as I wrote about last month--tarnished both the Affordable Care Act and the President himself. But other problems, like the claims backlogs at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and Social Security Administration (SSA), have been growing, too. Read more »
Cynthia Clark | March 13, 2014
Flying is, for some people, a necessary evil. It's a convenient--and many times the only--way to get from one place to another, as long as you're willing to check your comfort with your suitcase. Read more »
Anna Papachristos | March 12, 2014
Once upon a time, there was no such thing as the Facebook News Feed. There was no stalker sidebar and the homepage existed primarily to display the names of friends who'd "poked" you back. But, fast forward 10 years to the present day, and you'll see that much has changed throughout Facebook's lifetime. Though it still serves as an incredible tool for reconnecting with old buddies and staying in touch with new friends, advertisements and outside influencers continue to creep Read more »
Tom Hoffman | March 11, 2014
The healthcare industry is undergoing a dramatic shift. In addition to the changes that are occurring as a result of the Affordable Care Act, healthcare insurers and practitioners -- including physicians, hospitals, and clinics - will increasingly have to compete for customers (patients) as consumers take a more active role in their treatment and also exercise greater choice in the healthcare providers and practitioners they use. Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | March 10, 2014
Last week showrooming reared its ugly head when both Staples and Radio Shack announced major store closings. The office supply giant plans to close as many as 225 North American stores while slashing annualized costs by up to $500 million by the end of 2015. Radio Shack plans to close 1,100 of its 5,200 stores. Read more »
Guest Blogger: Sam Stern | March 7, 2014
In my latest research report for Forrester, "Drive Customer-Centric Employee Behavior With Rewards And Recognition," I describe how companies modify their reward and recognition programs to drive more customer-centric employee behaviors. Read more »
Cynthia Clark | March 6, 2014
Social media has undoubtedly become one of the main means of communication. And with so many people active on social channels, it's not surprising that organizations have been using social for marketing and selling purposes. Read more »
Anna Papachristos | March 5, 2014
There's always been one line in Mike & the Mechanics' "The Living Years" that I just can't shake: You can listen as well as you hear. Simple, yet profound, this brief lyric applies to all elements of the human condition. From personal relationships to chance encounters, we all have the ability to hear, yet few observe the willingness to listen. Read more »
Tom Hoffman | March 4, 2014
The promise of providing the right customer with the right messaging at the right time has long been sought after by marketers. And as consumers have become more mobile and are using a mix of digital channels to interact with companies, this has also provided marketers great opportunities to use customer intelligence and location-based marketing to connect with the right customer at the right time and place with the right messaging or offer. Recently, automotive dealers, airlines, and companies in Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | March 2, 2014
Last night the stars came out for Hollywood's biggest night. From Jennifer Lawrence's stumble on the Red Carpet, Jared Leto's poised, tear-jerking speech dedicated to his mother, or 20 Feet From Stardom singer Darlene Love singing a rousing rendition of a gospel song during her acceptance speech, the 86th Academy Awards, didn't disappoint. Read more »
Cynthia Clark | February 27, 2014
The value of employees goes beyond their day-to-day job. Because they have a good insight into the company where they work, employees are perfectly positioned to come up with ideas that can revolutionize an organization. Read more »
Anna Papachristos | February 26, 2014
With technology comes an air of mystery. Because the overall landscape continues to evolve at breakneck speed, companies across industries see technology as an alluring force that must be embraced in order to remain competitive. Yet, while senior executives work to integrate the latest and greatest tools, this focus often leads many to forget and forego the communication strategies necessary to keep employees engaged. Read more »
Tom Hoffman | February 25, 2014
Marketing leaders know that providing customers and prospects with relevant content that's easy to access and appealing is a great way to drive engagement. Many marketers are finding success using programmatic marketing to intelligently provide the right content to the right customers and prospects. A recent study conducted by RadiumOne demonstrates the importance of understanding the type of content that resonates most with specific customer groups. Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | February 24, 2014
The U.S. Census Bureau reports that January retail numbers are down, 4 percent from the month before. Despite the assumption that winter weather may be to blame retailers must start thinking strategically about how to continue to attract consumers into their brick and mortar locations. Read more »
Guest Blogger: Rick Parrish | February 21, 2014
For those who--despite the healthcare.gov customer experience debacle--remain unconvinced that the Age of the Customer applies to governments, the Sochi Olympics should do the trick. Both customer experience (CX) disasters have highlighted a hard lesson for governments: The same technologies that empower customers in the private sector also allow the people to control the public narrative. In the Age of the Customer: Read more »
Guest Blogger: Vanessa Saulsberry | February 21, 2014
Thanks to Wikileaks, NSA revelations, and a host of questionable policies, it's no wonder that trust in government is at an all-time low. What I find interesting is that business leaders don't fare much better than their government counterparts in key areas, according to the 2014 Edelman Trust Barometer. So, I set out to understand why and what I found was unanticipated. Read more »
Cynthia Clark | February 20, 2014
Targeted messaging is not only appreciated but nowadays customers have come to expect it. As marketers get savvier and have more data to work with, they are making sure that their messages resonate with their target audience as much as possible. Read more »
Anna Papachristos | February 19, 2014
Last week, my boyfriend surprised me with an early Valentine's Day dinner. I've always enjoyed his cooking, so I was eager to see what he had up his sleeve. Lucky for me, the menu included both the main course (butternut squash soup and chicken scampi, yum!) and dessert (golden yellow cupcakes with chocolate frosting). Yet, while the evening itself was unexpected, the greatest shock came when I caught a glimpse of the cake mix box. Read more »
Tom Hoffman | February 18, 2014
A few weeks ago, my daughter was in a minor car accident. Fortunately, she wasn't hurt. She tried navigating a turn on a residential street in snowy conditions and the car skidded into a fire hydrant at a low rate of speed. The police that arrived on the scene had the car towed since it couldn't be driven (the front bumper was dislodged). What has since transpired is a tale of three customer experiences - two positive and one which Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | February 17, 2014
Last week, my friend and I made one last trek to Loehmann's after finding out the discount department store will close its doors later this month after 93 years in business. We wanted one last chance to wade through the racks of latest fashions and to take advantage of the 60 percent discounts. Read more »
Cynthia Clark | February 13, 2014
For the past few years, social media has been providing organizations with new avenues to connect with their customers and prospects, gather information, and also extend the voice of their brand. But what do customers who Tweet or share information about a favorite brand get in return? Most times, the only payback is mileage from their friends for being on top of what's happening and rarely some recognition from the company in question. Read more »
Anna Papachristos | February 12, 2014
On ABC's The Bachelor, the man of the hour typically splits his time between one-on-one dates and group dates. Each eligible lady eagerly anticipates the prospect of the one-on-one, as they logically prefer the intimacy of one day alone over sharing their potential love interest's attention. Such dates allow the "couple" to build and strengthen their budding relationship, while group dates pander to the insecurities of every woman in the group. Read more »
Tom Hoffman | February 11, 2014
It's tough to predict what the future may hold. But that doesn't stop us from thinking about it. This includes how technological innovation may affect the customer experience of the future and considerations for business leaders to ponder. I recently had an opportunity to discuss these issues with Bernard Luthi, Chief Operating Officer and Chief Marketing Officer at Rakuten.com, based in part on some of his takeaways from the recent 2014 International CES consumer electronics event in Las Vegas. Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | February 10, 2014
CVS made a bold move last week when the chain announced that it would discontinue selling tobacco products in its retail pharmacy stores. In an effort to align its merchandise with its mission of, "helping people on the path to better health," the company's decision is a question of ethical business and doing what's right for the customers. Read more »
Guest Blogger: Sam Stern | February 7, 2014
Companies that want to create a more customer-centric culture must socialize customer focus among all employees. Socialization includes three sets of activities: Communicate the importance of customer-centricity, train employees to deliver the intended experience, and reinforce customer centricity with routines. Read more »
Cynthia Clark | February 6, 2014
Sunday's Super Bowl XLVII had its fair share of memorable commercials, tugging at heartstrings and creating lasting impressions of the different brands. Read more »
Anna Papachristos | February 5, 2014
Though I typically avoid the BuzzFeed click bait that clutters Facebook and Twitter, every now and then a post will stand out, building enough intrigue to make me bite. Just the other day, my friend linked to one such post entitled LEGO Just Got Told Off By A 7-Year-Old Girl. (I tend to gravitate toward stories about today's youth as I am often mistaken for one.) This particular post features an image of a handwritten letter penned by Charlotte, an Read more »
Tom Hoffman | February 4, 2014
Big Data remains a hot-button topic for many business leaders. As 1to1 Media Senior Writer Cynthia Clark notes in a new article on the topic, one of the greatest challenges executives face is being able to glean actionable insights from the mountains of data that are available. This includes the difficulty in using unstructured data such as customer emails and social media sentiment that often doesn't fit into pre-defined data models or with relational databases. This is part of the Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | February 3, 2014
In 1984 Steve Jobs introduced the Apple Macintosh during a Super Bowl XVIII commercial. The computer went on to become the first commercially successful personal computer to feature a mouse and a graphical user interface. Read more »
Guest Blogger: Harley Manning | January 31, 2014
My colleague John Dalton and I recently published a report outlining our major predictions for customer experience in the coming year. What we envision is perhaps best summed up by the old William Gibson quote: "The future is already here, it's just not evenly distributed." Read more »
Cynthia Clark | January 29, 2014
In an uber competitive world, organizations are doing their utmost to retain their edge, allowing them to not only remain competitive, but also grow. The most forward-thinking companies have long realized that having a good product or being able to deliver a great service isn't enough. Success requires hiring the right people, being able to train them, keep them engaged, and retain them within the company. Read more »
Anna Papachristos | January 29, 2014
With companies across industries expanding their reach to the social and mobile sphere, brands are feeling the increasing pressure to hop on the bandwagon. From forming a Twitter presence, to creating a mobile application, brands find many of their emerging strategies tied to what the competition has already developed. Yet, while it's smart to remain vigilant and aware of other leaders within the given industry, following the beaten path may not be the smartest way to engage consumers. Read more »
Tom Hoffman | January 28, 2014
Customers use a variety of channels to research products and find answers to issues they're trying to resolve. Because customers use multiple channels in their interactions, it's important for marketers to use mixed media to try to reach target customers based on their channel behaviors and preferences. However, many marketers continue to over-emphasize certain channels in their efforts to engage specific customer segments (e.g. Twitter, mobile for Millenials) while often overlooking the business value of using traditional channels to reach Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | January 27, 2014
While attending a cocktail party in December, I met a woman who returned to the U.S. that day from Costa Rica. She was a flight attendant and drove directly to the party from JFK airport. When I asked her which airline she worked for, she replied, "the worst airline in the world." I responded, "Let me guess--United Airlines." Read more »
Guest Blogger: James McQuivey | January 24, 2014
Marketers, you are officially on notice: The very idea of 'brand relationship' is going to become irrelevant thanks to digital disruption. If you continue to focus on building a wonderful brand relationship with your customer, you will one day awake to find that someone else has taken your place in your customer's life. Not with a more compelling brand relationship, but with a more compelling digital customer relationship. Read more »
Cynthia Clark | January 23, 2014
Mobile has taken the world by storm. Especially because it is always within reach, the device is providing multiple opportunities for organizations to interact with their customers and prospects. Read more »
Anna Papachristos | January 22, 2014
At one time or another, we all crave attention. We feel alone, so we reach out to friends and family in any way we can. From Facebook and Twitter, to phone calls and text messages, we do our best to make sure our voice can be heard by anyone willing to listen. But, just as such actions can make someone seem desperate, companies that exhibit similar behaviors are seen as annoying and relentless--two characteristics most brands typically try to avoid. Read more »
Tom Hoffman | January 21, 2014
One of the big buzz words among marketers and contact center leaders these days is omnichannel. In simple terms, omnichannel is an integrated customer experience across any and all touchpoints a customer may happen to use. One of the keys to delivering seamless omnichannel customer experience is to connect the dots between channels so that customers can move effortlessly from one touchpoint to the next in their journeys. But one of the most important things for business leaders to bear Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | January 20, 2014
While investigators sort through just how thieves compromised about 40 million payment cards and the information about 70 million Target customers, businesses must use this latest breach as a reminder to reinforce their standards that ensure their data stays safe. As important, they must develop communications preparedness plans to alert customers of potential threats. Read more »
Guest Blogger: Cory Munchbach | January 17, 2014
Marketing is in trouble. In a world in which the empowered customer asserts her needs and wants with abandon, marketing hasn't done a great job of adjusting its budget, strategy, and energy toward putting the customer at the heart of what they do. Read more »
Guest Blogger: Vanessa Saulsberry | January 17, 2014
"Eeeek eeeek. Wakka wakaa!" That is one of the many calls of the gregarious meerkat. Translation: probably something like "Run, Forrest! Run!" It's a constant battle for meerkats to protect themselves from the elements of the blistering Kalahari Desert. Each day must be meticulously calculated and every member must work in concert to stave off a startling range of threats, and capitalize on tasty opportunities. Read more »
Cynthia Clark | January 16, 2014
January tends to be a quieter month for retailers after the rush of the holidays. Not only are many consumers shopped out, but the receipt of credit card bills can be a rude awakening of holiday overspending. Read more »
Anna Papachristos | January 15, 2014
Marketing campaigns require great care and thoughtful execution. Those involved must weigh both the positive and negative repercussions before following through. Yet, when one stops to contemplate the CW's latest television promo for The Originals, it's hard to believe any such deliberation went into its conception at all. (Watch the ad via Entertainment Weekly here.) Read more »
Tom Hoffman | January 14, 2014
For decades, veteran service organizations such as the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, and AMVETS have helped U.S. military veterans connect with one another. But as thousands of men and women return from combat in Iraq and Afghanistan, many of these soldiers are looking for immediate ways to unite with their comrades and peers. As a former Army infantry officer who served in Iraq, Paul Rieckhoff saw an opportunity to connect recent veterans through digital channels. Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | January 13, 2014
Today kicks off The NRF 103rd Annual Convention & EXPO at the Javits Convention Center in New York City and more than 30,000 retail professionals from around the world are expected to attend. I also look forward to attending the conference tomorrow to learn the trends and to see firsthand the technologies that will shape customer experience in retail this year. Senior Writer Cynthia Clark is there today and will share her findings in 1to1 Media's blog on Thursday. Read more »
Guest Blogger: Harley Manning | January 10, 2014
In a previous post I wrote about speakers at Forrester's Customer Experience Forum EMEA who represented companies in the "repair" phase of customer experience maturity. Their mission: Find broken experiences, fix them, and measure the results. Read more »
Cynthia Clark | January 9, 2014
There is no doubt that mobile has revolutionized the way we live. Not only are we connected 24/7, but mobile has uncovered interaction opportunities that were not available before. Read more »
Anna Papachristos | January 8, 2014
Most have come to accept that, when people want to have their voice heard, they typically take to the Internet to share their plea or opinion. Yet, while Facebook and Twitter have become the most common places to air one's frustrations, one young girl created a Change.org petition to shine light on her cause. Read more »
Tom Hoffman | January 7, 2014
Over the past weekend, I stumbled across an article about how AT&T is offering T-Mobile customers up to $450 in incentives to switch wireless providers. AT&T's program, which includes a $200 credit plus a phone trade-in that could be worth up to $250, is in response to T-Mobile's recent efforts to attract new customers by offering cheaper prices and greater flexibility. In a market where customer churn is particularly high, it begs the question as to whether a company can Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | January 6, 2014
As we enter into 2014, we look for help and advice in organizing our businesses and teams. We also look toward experts' forecasts and trends to help us best prepare for the year ahead and to decide where to focus key investments. Read more »
Guest Blogger: Kerry Bodine | January 3, 2014
Companies can turn to a variety of experts -- like interactive agencies and customer experience transformation consultants -- for help with improving or innovating the customer experience. But despite years of experience and a thriving professional network, one type of expert remains virtually unknown to customer experience professionals: the service design agency. Customer experience professionals should seek out service design agencies because: Read more »
Cynthia Clark | January 2, 2014
The holidays are over and what remains are the extra few pounds that many of us have piled on while celebrating with our loved ones. And, of course, the memories of the holiday season. Read more »
Anna Papachristos | January 1, 2014
When business becomes crazy during the holiday rush, companies are prone to making the occasional mistake. Luckily, in retrospect, these problems often become teaching moments that influence future improvements and programs. For many, social and mobile tactics still lack the strength necessary to garner loyalty and engagement. These tools offer vast opportunities, but while most brand recognize the potential for success, many have yet to integrate these channels into their overall marketing and sales strategies. Read more »
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