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Judith Aquino | July 30, 2015
Facebook knows who you are. LinkedIn knows where you work. It's increasingly difficult though to tell the difference between LinkedIn and Facebook with both sites offering many of the same functions. This is a problem for LinkedIn in particular as it alienates its core user group of professionals and undermines the site's value. Read more »
Anna Papachristos | July 29, 2015
Everywhere you turn, it seems there's another "connected" device that promises to make your life easier. But, while these gadgets continue to breathe life into the Internet of Things (IoT) movement, consumers are increasingly wary of how widespread adoption will impact their daily lives. Read more »
Tom Hoffman | July 28, 2015
I read a Wired article over this past weekend that really struck a chord. The article referenced a recent speech given by U.S. presidential candidate Hillary Clinton at New York University's Stern School of Business who argued that undue earnings pressures on executives at public companies are suppressing wages and having a detrimental effect on innovation and long-term growth opportunities among U.S. companies. While this blog post isn't intended as an endorsement for any particular political candidate, the Wired article Read more »
Judith Aquino | July 23, 2015
Make way for more data: Google is rolling out a new feature for Android and desktop users that shows them a timeline of places they've visited. It remains to be seen though, how this data will benefit consumers. Read more »
Tom Hoffman | July 21, 2015
Each customer is unique. As Don Peppers, founding partner of Peppers & Rogers Group notes, "customers differ from each other, in terms of both their value to your business, and what they need from your business." Customer differentiation also applies to the various ways customers can access a company's products and services - whether they purchase from a physical location or, as 1to1 Media Senior Writer Judith Aquino points out in this week's feature story, through their use on-demand services. Read more »
Judith Aquino | July 16, 2015
Measuring the return on investment of any campaign, tool, or strategy is crucial, but it can be a murky endeavor. Consider customer experience initiatives. Delivering outstanding customer service is one of the few ways businesses can win loyal customers and increase their bottom line, according to customer experience professionals. Read more »
Anna Papachristos | July 15, 2015
Customer experience has always served as the primary foundation for customer success. However, as this key differentiator becomes increasingly critical throughout today's competitive market, many brands have begun to establish dedicated customer success teams that are specifically tasked with creating the most engaging experiences possible. Read more »
Tom Hoffman | July 14, 2015
One of the mantras echoing across businesses these days is the need for organizations to become data-driven. And for good reasons. Senior executives and other knowledge workers who use analytics tools against a wide range of data sources can gain deeper insights into customer behaviors and preferences as well as operational and market trends - and not simply rely on their gut instincts for decision making. These benefits can also extend to the contact center where customer sentiment and performance Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | July 13, 2015
With Millennials and Generation Z increasingly turning to social and digital channels to engage with companies, marketers must up their digital marketing game. So many, however, are just trying to keep pace with their current programs and initiatives that they don't often find time to introduce new strategies or improve upon what's in place. Read more »
Judith Aquino | July 9, 2015
Several of my friends just returned from a trip to Cuba and I've been reliving their adventures in Havana and Santiago through photos. Leisure travel to Cuba from the U.S. is still banned, but my friends were able to enter the country through the "people-to-people" program in which visitors interact with Cuban citizens in cultural activities. Read more »
Anna Papachristos | July 8, 2015
Though I'm not opposed to the occasional selfie--What? If you want to immortalize your good hair day, sometimes you've got no other choice--I'm the first to admit that our society has become consumed by nauseating narcissism. (I also believe the selfie stick's true purpose is to whack public selfie-takers upside the head, but that's beside the point.) Regardless, MasterCard sees such behaviors as an opportunity to engage and protect consumers of all ages with its latest innovation. Read more »
Tom Hoffman | July 7, 2015
In June, I posted a blog about how customer journey mapping has come a long way since its roots. And while customer journey maps have certainly evolved and become more detailed in recent years, customer personas don't appear to have advanced at nearly the same pace. Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | July 6, 2015
The promise of a Big Data enterprise is enticing. For companies that have successfully implemented Big Data strategies are seeing big payoffs. Despite its promise of enabling seamless customer views and creating tangible business results, many marketers and customer experience leaders today are stymied by their data. Rather than quickly acting on data across all business units, numerous leaders have information overload when it comes to capturing, analyzing, and acting on Big Data. Read more »
Guest Blogger: Sam Stern | July 3, 2015
Customer experience teams cannot own CX outcomes by themselves. Now don't get me wrong, CX pros rightfully shoulder the most responsibility, including ownership of the six CX disciplines, from customer understanding to culture transformation. But the fact is that all employees at an organization have at least some impact on their firms' customer experience. And with impact comes responsibility. Read more »
Judith Aquino | July 2, 2015
Companies get penalized for making false claims about products and services, but when it comes to fake news sites, these scams are much harder to catch. If you're a Facebook user, you probably have a friend who shared a bogus news story because he or she was convinced the information was accurate. Read more »
Tom Hoffman | June 30, 2015
One of the biggest challenges that telecom industry executives face is customer churn. While churn rates vary by country and by provider, annual churn rates for telecom companies average between 10 percent and 67 percent, according to the Database Marketing Institute. And while there are a variety of reasons that customers disconnect from wireless providers in particular - dissatisfaction with the quality of service, cost, poor customer support - the use of customer data and analytics is providing decision-makers with Read more »
Judith Aquino | June 25, 2015
Drawing in new customers is more challenging than ever as companies compete to engage consumers who have a rapidly shrinking attention span and high expectations. WGBH and Total Gym Fitness, Silver and Bronze winners respectively in the Innovation in Customer Acquisition category of the 2015 Gartner and 1to1 Media Customer Experience Excellence Awards, demonstrate the power of using technology and customer engagement strategies to win new customers. Here are three takeaways for your own customer acquisition strategy. Read more »
Anna Papachristos | June 24, 2015
Data has always proven problematic for many companies, as most recognize its importance, but few know how to bring this information to action. However, in recent years, technology has matured, allowing more organizations to gather, parse, analyze, and employ data with ease and efficiency. But, for Mountain American Credit Union (MACU), Bronze winner in the Innovation in Customer Insight category of the 2015 Gartner and 1to1 Media Customer Experience Excellence Awards, collecting both solicited and unsolicited feedback has become central Read more »
Tom Hoffman | June 23, 2015
Organizations that deliver exceptional customer support typically have at least a few things in common. They listen closely to what customers are asking for and not only act on customer feedback but they also communicate back to customers how and whether their requests were acted on. They align their customer service processes and practices with customer-centric goals and objectives. These organizations also strive to make it easy for customer-facing employees to provide customers with seamless support to ensure that both Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | June 22, 2015
Delivering great customer experiences is hard to do. If it was easy everyone would do it. Sustained success comes with patience, commitment and plenty of failure along the way. Making that commitment to deliver a superior customer experience can turn a laggard into a fierce competitor, or a failure into an industry leader. Read more »
Judith Aquino | June 18, 2015
Customer relationship management, or CRM, is having a renaissance. The promise of CRM was that it would streamline customer service, marketing, and sales efforts with a unified view of the customer, but the technology was dogged by complaints of clunky and expensive software. Read more »
Tom Hoffman | June 16, 2015
The healthcare industry is undergoing dramatic changes, not the least of which is an increased focus among payers (healthcare insurers) and providers (physicians, hospitals, clinics, etc.) on customer centricity. Payers who historically had customers funneled to them by employers are now beginning to market to individual customers. But payers aren't the only healthcare industry participants that are blazing new trails in customer centricity. As last week's PegaWORLD 2015 conference indicates, life sciences and other healthcare companies are also getting into Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | June 15, 2015
The IKEA brand epitomizes innovation. In the exploration and creation of its flat box packaging and self-assembly in the 1950s, the Swedish retailer reinvented the way consumers purchase and receive furniture. But IKEA and other innovators can't stop with their one lightening idea. They must continuously evolve. Read more »
Tom Hoffman | June 9, 2015
When companies first began attempts to map the customer journey, it often involved a rudimentary arrangement of Post-it notes or other unsophisticated steps to chart the customer's end-to-end path to purchase or mission to resolve a product or service issue. Customer journey mapping efforts have become considerably more mature over the past year or two as decision-makers are placing greater focus on understanding the types of experiences customers want as a means of attracting and retaining customers. Progress on customer Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | June 8, 2015
In a world where consumers are being bombarded with thousands of marketing messages each year, it's easy for consumers to fall victim to information overload and for marketers to confuse the decision-making process for consumers. Read more »
Guest Blogger: Sam Stern | June 5, 2015
No one disputes that treating customers well is the right thing to do: Virtually all respondents in a Forrester Research survey of CX professionals said that executives at their companies consider customer impact to be at least somewhat important when making business decisions. But compared with hard return on investment (ROI) numbers in business cases for other initiatives, CX projects won't get needed funding if their estimated returns are limited to benefits like improved satisfaction or higher Net Promoter Score Read more »
Judith Aquino | June 4, 2015
It's not a secret that Pinterest, Google, Facebook and other companies don't want users to leave their platforms. Pinterest is adding "buyable pins" that enable shoppers to purchase items directly on its site; Google announced a similar feature with buy buttons on its ads, and Facebook increasingly offers features that encourage users to check in and never leave. Read more »
Tom Hoffman | June 2, 2015
It's pretty easy to see how pervasive the use of mobile devices has become with consumers. People are tethered to their smartphones just about everywhere - at work, at home, at ballgames, shopping malls, airports, and cafes. As of January 2014, consumers now spend more time on their mobile devices for Internet usage than on desktop PCs, according to comScore. Yet despite how "mobile" we've become as consumers, many companies continue to struggle to develop comprehensive mobile marketing strategies or Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | June 1, 2015
Competing with Amazon can be daunting. The company has a number of obvious advantages: scale, resources, aggressively low prices, cheap shipping, and a diverse product line. Read more »
Anna Papachristos | May 27, 2015
Experts and analysts continue to exploit millennials as scapegoats in this era of rapid digital adoption, yet anyone can see that mobile usage spans the generations. From toddlers playing with their parents' iPhone in the supermarket, to senior citizens texting from their flip phone at the mall, mobile knows no age limit. Sadly, however, neither does indecency. Read more »
Tom Hoffman | May 26, 2015
Customers aren't just multichannel. They're increasingly cross-channel as they use a variety of different touchpoints to find information about product and services they're interested in. So while customers don't necessarily think of themselves as omnichannel, they do expect the companies they interact with to know which touchpoints they were last using before reaching out to a customer service agent for additional help. The last thing a customer wants to do is to have to repeat whatever information he or she Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | May 25, 2015
Earlier this month, Whole Foods announced its plan to open new lower-priced stores next year aimed at Millennials. The new stores will cater to the younger generation of consumers who don't have the disposable income to spend at the chain, nicknamed "Whole Paycheck." Co-CEO Walter Robb said the stores also will have "modern, streamlined design, innovative technology, and a curated selection." Read more »
Judith Aquino | May 21, 2015
Ready or not, marketers who are weary of pursuing millennials can look forward to targeting another demographic group: Generation Z. While people who were born in the mid 1990's still have limited spending power, they make up a quarter of the U.S. population and are expected to have an even greater digital impact on retail compared to their predecessors. The key to serving this generation and other age groups is insight into customer behavior and preferences. Read more »
Tom Hoffman | May 19, 2015
There are a lot of ways that marketing automation helps marketers to connect more effectively with customers. Technology enables marketers to gather more insights than ever about customers, including information about their behaviors, preferences, and needs. Marketing automation helps companies achieve deeper engagement and higher conversion rates through more personalized messaging. And while each of these capabilities are critical for helping marketers to succeed in today's fast-paced world, some of the greatest opportunities for driving effective and efficient marketing are Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | May 18, 2015
Marketers have never been more integral to their organizations' growth as they are today. As a result, both marketing budgets and marketing's influence are on the rise. Read more »
Guest Blogger: Megan Burns | May 15, 2015
Last week, I stayed in two different hotels in the greater Atlanta area. One was a Ritz-Carlton, and the other a Marriott.* Hearing those two brand names, you might be tempted to assume that the guest experience at the Ritz was far better than the one at the Marriott. But it wasn't--at least not for me. Read more »
Judith Aquino | May 14, 2015
Last week, Comcast unveiled its latest plan for improving its customer service, which includes hiring 5,500 more customer service agents and automatically crediting a subscriber's account $20 if a technician fails to show up for a scheduled visit. Read more »
Anna Papachristos | May 13, 2015
For many companies, social media has become an innovative way to drive brand awareness. However, for TOMS, these interactive channels represent an opportunity to garner attention and increase engagement around social issues across the globe. Read more »
Tom Hoffman | May 12, 2015
Periodically, a big brand will announce plans to invest millions of dollars in its customer service activities. In some cases, the same company continues to stumble a year or two later. We've all seen it before. Improving customer service isn't simply about throwing money at the problem or adding agents. Because customer care is multidimensional, organizational leaders also need to evaluate their customer care processes, the technologies they have in place, the criteria used to recruit and train agents, the Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | May 11, 2015
Think companies are improving their customer experiences? Think again. According to the recent 2015 Temkin Experience Ratings, more companies have dropped in their CX ratings this year. Read more »
Judith Aquino | May 7, 2015
The marketing and customer engagement landscape is getting more crowded and enterprise firms increasingly find themselves competing with nimble startups that offer innovative solutions. As a result, enterprise companies are turning to innovation labs for a competitive edge. Read more »
Anna Papachristos | May 6, 2015
Every year, we reserve one day in May to celebrate the very person responsible for our existence--Mom! From mother figures to mothers-in-law, and everyone in between, Mother's Day allows us to honor those who've always cared for and supported us throughout life's journey (even though one day clearly cannot compensate for all they've ever done). Thus, with the season in full swing, many brands have launched ad campaigns that commemorate the bond between mother and child. Read more »
Tom Hoffman | May 5, 2015
Customer experience leaders talk a lot about the importance of providing customers with simple and easy experiences. But in the real world, some customer interactions can be quite complicated. For instance, as customers continue to increase their use of self-service tools to resolve issues they may encounter on their own, the types of customer inquiries that are hitting the contact center are becoming more complex. Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | May 4, 2015
The debate on how to get sales and marketing to work better together has gone on for years. According to the results of the SiriusDecisions' 2015 State of Account-Based Marketing Study, alignment between sales and marketing has improved. Read more »
Guest Blogger: Sam Stern | May 1, 2015
A few years ago, The Mayo Clinic wanted to design separate consultation and exam rooms to reflect the reality that most appointments consist mainly of conversations between doctors and patients, with less examination time. But there wasn't enough floor space to accommodate the number of separate rooms that it envisioned. Then, inspiration struck from the least likely of places . . . The Brady Bunch. On the show, viewers may recall that the boys and girls of the blended family Read more »
Anna Papachristos | April 29, 2015
Body image and beauty products often go hand-in-hand, for society has convinced women that they must uphold particular ideals in order to sustain their physical appeal. Opponents have become more and more outspoken, however, in an effort to defend diversity and promote confidence. But advertisers continue to disseminate messaging that promises to solve everyone's self-esteem issues with one magical miracle product. Read more »
Tom Hoffman | April 28, 2015
As companies continue to gain deeper proficiency using the Internet of Things for a range of applications (to monitor a patient's vital signs in a hospital, for enhanced connectivity between automobiles, drivers, and automakers, etc.), decision-makers will need to pay careful attention to how IoT influences the customer experience. Because as Fusion92 Founder and CEO Matt Murphy recently shared with me, "if there's not a benefit to consumers, you're probably not going to be successful." Read more »
Guest Blogger: Megan Burns | April 24, 2015
One week ago today, we Bostonians enjoyed a picture-perfect opening day at Fenway Park. The sun was shining, temps finally warmed up after an abysmal winter, opening ceremonies paid tribute to local heroes like the Richard and Frates families,* and our beloved Red Sox beat the Washington Nationals 9 to 4. Read more »
Judith Aquino | April 23, 2015
In today's hypercompetitive market, emotional branding has become an important part of a brand's ability to win loyal customers. Technology advances and saturated markets have made many products and services interchangeable. And competing solely on price is an unreliable strategy. Read more »
Tom Hoffman | April 21, 2015
In case you hadn't heard, Google is introducing big changes to its algorithmic formula beginning today that will place increased weight on the mobile friendliness of a company's website. If a company's website isn't deemed mobile friendly by Google (you can take the test here to find out), this will adversely affect the website's ranking by Google and, as a result, the volume of traffic headed to the website along with the potential leads being generated. The good news for Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | April 20, 2015
The banker John Pierpont Morgan, founder of JP Morgan, once said that no one at the top of a company should earn more than 20 times of those at the bottom. Among FTSE-100 companies last year, only two chief executives met Morgan's proclamation. Read more »
Tom Hoffman | April 14, 2015
One of the biggest challenges that sales, marketing, and customer care leaders continue to encounter is their inability to gain a truly comprehensive view of their customers. Whether it's the ability to see the full stream of transactions a customer has made with a company, the most recent channels they used to interact with the organization, or the feedback they've shared about their experiences in social media or with the contact center, there's often one or more pieces that are Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | April 13, 2015
I often hear many marketers and customer service leaders deliberate over a common struggle: proving to executives that investing in customer experience initiatives and technologies is worth it. Read more »
Guest Blogger: Qaalfa Dibeehi | April 10, 2015
In 2014, TeliaSonera International Carrier (TSIC) engaged Forrester Consulting to help assess its activities around customer experience, and to build a roadmap for its burgeoning CX program. TSIC is an international provider of telecommunication services with headquarters in Stockholm, Sweden, and offices in 14 other countries. It has grown from being the largest IP network in Europe to one of the top two global carriers powered by the Internet backbone, as ranked by internet performance analysts DYN. Read more »
Judith Aquino | April 9, 2015
Within the past few years, cloud computing has gained traction in the retail space as a means to provide a seamless customer experience. Stitching together customer touch points across brick-and-mortar stores, ecommerce, and call centers continues to be a major obstacle for retailers. But cloud computing offers a possible solution by allowing companies to connect various databases and deliver services at minimal capital expenses. Read more »
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