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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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
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