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Guest Blogger: Sam Stern | October 24, 2014
In my latest report for Forrester, How Customer Experience Champions Transform Culture, I take a closer look at how companies are using these programs to drive customer obsession. In 2014, a number of companies have launched their own versions of these programs, so we thought it was time to take a closer look. These programs work as extensions of core customer experience teams which tend to be quite small. Champions help: Read more »
Judith Aquino | October 23, 2014
What does it mean to be authentic and how can businesses empower employees to provide those experiences? These were some of the questions that executives tackled at Customer Contact 2014 West: A Frost & Sullivan Executive MindXchange this week in San Diego, Calif. Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | October 20, 2014
As more and more consumers gravitate toward mobile as their preferred channel to conduct their daily tasks, customer service will be well on its way to becoming the future trend for mobile apps and services. Read more »
Anna Papachristos | October 15, 2014
If you visit your local Target's seasonal department, you may notice an interesting dynamic. Though the majority of these aisles are clogged with glittery Halloween costumes and sweets galore, Christmas lights and holiday lawn decorations have started to infiltrate the back wall, while gift-wrap materials are now intertwined with the leftover garden supplies of the spring and summer. Here, the entire year melds into one, allowing no single season its fair share of the spotlight. Read more »
Guest Blogger: Harley Manning | October 13, 2014
Successful leaders today must challenge the status quo, abandon standard processes, and embrace creative disruption, according to thought leaders at this year's World Business Forum. Read more »
Guest Blogger: Harley Manning | October 10, 2014
Here's an objection I sometimes hear when I talk to people about how improving customer experience can boost business performance: "Sure, it sounds great for glam industries like automotive or fashion. But I sell widgets." Read more »
Judith Aquino | October 9, 2014
Keeping up with customer expectations and the speed of change are timeless challenges that retailers face but the answers or solutions to these challenges are more varied than ever, said Pat Bakey, general manager of global retail at SAP, at the company's Retail Forum in New York City this week. Read more »
Don Peppers | October 7, 2014
Most definitions of "customer experience" boil down to how a customer perceives all their various interactions with a product. And of course this only really makes sense when we try to view it from the customer's own point of view. The quality of a customer's experience with your product or service is whatever the customer says it is. Read more »
Don Peppers | October 7, 2014
Although everyone agrees that having a better customer experience should be good for a company, a lot of us worry about how to pay for improving it. Customer service does cost money, so the question is whether the cost of delivering a better experience is worth it or not? Will a better customer experience pay for itself? Read more »
Tom Hoffman | October 7, 2014
There are multiple ways that organizational leaders measure customer experience, including first contact resolution (FCR), customer satisfaction, Net Promoter Score (NPS), Customer Effort Score (CES) to name a few. In observation of CX Day (#CXDay), a date that's celebrated by the CXPA to recognize great customer experiences and the professionals who make them possible, I thought I'd share a few observations - and predictions - as to how customer experience measurements will change in coming years and the factors behind Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | October 7, 2014
Creating the perfect customer experience is a challenge for many of us. In recent years, we've seen many customer experience blunders. J.C. Penney, for instance, stands out as one of the most well known when it overhauled its operations without asking many customers what they wanted. The company changed the layout of nearly every store, overwhelming and losing long-time customers resulting in a 25 percent sales loss in one year. Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | October 6, 2014
According to the Temkin Group's recent report, The State of Customer Experience Management, 2014, six out of 10 large companies want to be their industry's CX leader within three years. In many cases, customers who report having good experiences with companies are likely to recommend those brands to friends and buy from them again. 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 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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
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