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Mila D'Antonio | May 2, 2016
Digital disruption is happening at lightning speed and only some of the best-in-class businesses are successfully keeping up the pace. In documenting how companies are going through this digital transformation, Brian Solis, principal analyst at Altimeter Group, a Prophet company, developed a maturity model that chronicles the stages and the key areas of focus and change. Read more »
Tom Hoffman | April 26, 2016
When companies make mistakes - and, inevitably, they will - the first thing they should do is apologize to their customers for any inconveniences it may have caused them. Unfortunately, apologies from senior management don't happen often enough, whether as a result of pride, fear of how it may impact the company's stock price, or simply that it doesn't occur to company leaders to admit when the company has erred. Following outbreaks of foodborne illnesses linked to its restaurants across Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | April 25, 2016
Doing what's right for customers is an easy concept to understand but fairly difficult to implement. Listening to them, anticipating their needs, and providing tailored service where and when they need it can be challenging to put into practice. Read more »
Judith Aquino | April 21, 2016
Hospitality and travel companies could learn a lot from Iceland in terms of creating a frictionless guest experience. I recently visited Iceland's capital, Reykjavik, for a four-day vacation. Although it was a short trip, it gave me a glimpse into a well-oiled tourism engine that companies should aspire to. Read more »
Tom Hoffman | April 19, 2016
Until recently, money-back or customer satisfaction guarantees were traditionally associated with retail purchases. But now, at least one healthcare company is jumping into the fray. Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | April 18, 2016
The Internet has been buzzing ever since Facebook introduced bots for its Messenger Platform last week at its F8 developer conference. These bots marry artificial intelligence with text messaging programs to understand requests and provide answers or execute tasks via messenger. They can provide simple automated subscription content like weather and news updates to customized requests like shipping notifications all by interacting directly with the people who want to get them. Read more »
Judith Aquino | April 14, 2016
Along with "next guest, please" the phrase consumers most likely hear at a store is, "are you part of our loyalty program?" But while most companies have a loyalty program, many still struggle to pull actionable insights from the mountain of loyalty data they've collected. Read more »
Tom Hoffman | April 12, 2016
I was reading a blog post the other day from Travers Clarke-Walker, CMO at Fiserv - International Group, that got my attention. Clarke-Walker mentioned that Tandem Bank founder Ricky Knox is inviting consumers to become "co-founders" in this U.K. 'challenger' bank and receive a share in the bank and early access to new products in exchange for sharing their feedback on the customer experience. For the unacquainted, a 'challenger' bank is a relatively small retail bank that's designed to compete Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | April 11, 2016
Omnichannel is becoming more than a buzzword. Providing seamless experiences across channels and consistency in messaging and engagement is a 'must' for companies. In our connected world, the stakes are high for delivering CX that customers expect and want. Therefore, it's imperative for marketers to take on a greater role in evolving the experiences customers receive when interacting with their brands. Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | April 8, 2016
Engaging with customers today has never been so convoluted. With multiple paths to purchase across myriad channels and devices, understanding the 'when,' 'how,' and 'why' of moving customers from point A to point B has become ever so critical. Read more »
Tom Hoffman | April 5, 2016
More flights are arriving on time while airlines are losing fewer bags and fewer passengers are getting bumped from flights. Yet customer complaints are at their highest levels since 2001, according to the 2016 Airline Quality Rating report. The report, released on April 4, found that while the percentage of flights that arrived on time in 2015 rose from 76.2 percent in 2014 to 79.9 percent last year, customers were most frustrated with problem flights, including cancellations and delays. Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | April 4, 2016
The customer journey today follows a winding path across devices, channels, and between the physical and digital realms, making the job of customer experience leaders tough. Following a customer's path is one thing. Predicting it is yet another. Read more »
Judith Aquino | March 31, 2016
The mantra to "surprise and delight" customers has become ingrained in business thinking, but could this strategy hurt businesses in the long run? Have businesses done too good a job at training customers to always expect more? Read more »
Tom Hoffman | March 29, 2016
When we talk about the customer experience, it's important to remember that it's an end-to-end experience for customers. It's not just about the pre-sales experiences a customer may have viewing products on a company's website or the interactions a customer may have with a salesperson before deciding on a purchase. The post-purchase support a customer receives is also a critical component of overall satisfaction and loyalty. Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | March 28, 2016
Last Monday, Twitter celebrated its 10th birthday. Since CEO and Founder Jack Dorsey sent the first Tweet on March 21, 2006 announcing that he's setting up his 'Twittr,' more than 1.3 billion of us joined the platform to express ourselves in 140 characters or less. Read more »
Judith Aquino | March 24, 2016
Gone are the days when product quality, price, and customer service were enough to win customers. Today customer experience--how customers feel about a brand and their encounters with the brand--is the new battleground. But customer experience itself has become a commodified term. At the Adobe Summit in Las Vegas, Adobe attempted to put a fresh spin on efforts to help businesses better engage and serve customers with a stable of new product rollouts and upgrades. Read more »
Tom Hoffman | March 22, 2016
I recently took my mother to a community theater performance of "The Music Man." Since my mom is in her 80s and has some trouble getting around, I picked a theater close to where she lives that would be easy for her to navigate. We both enjoyed the show a lot and it was great spending the day with her. The story I'm about to share isn't really about the theater experience but a related customer experience that occurred earlier Read more »
Tom Hoffman | March 15, 2016
Last week at Enterprise Connect, one of the most talked-about topics was video, especially as it can be used by customer care agents to communicate with customers. Depending on how companies go about deploying video communication technologies, some of the challenges that have impeded adoption is the high amount of bandwidth consumed by video as well as cost constraints. But thanks to the emergence of WebRTC, Skype for Business, and other developments, these barriers aren't nearly as formidable as they'd Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | March 11, 2016
Today's consumers are constantly connected to the Internet, with millions of people doing more and more from their smartphones. These mobile users increasingly expect seamless communications with companies from their devices. Read more »
Tom Hoffman | March 8, 2016
This week, I'll be attending Enterprise Connect in Orlando where I expect to have a lot of discussions with people about communications trends involving the contact center and customers. Based on the content in the meeting invites I've received, I also expect a lot of chatter about WebRTC, Unified Communications, and the expanding use of video to strengthen the customer experience. While each of these represent important developments for connecting with today's omnichannel customer, consumer sentiment suggests that many companies Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | March 7, 2016
These days the news of retailers closing stores is becoming as common and uncomfortable as a Trump insult, a baffling Kanye Tweet, or a Kardashian photo opp. They seem to happen every time we turn on the TV or open a Web page but there's no way to stop them. Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | March 4, 2016
Customer experience today means everything. With retailers announcing seemingly on a weekly basis of store closings, experience is more important than ever before. Many companies think of customer experience, however, as a flashy marketing campaign, a cool social media outreach effort, or putting associates through a one-time training program. To do customer experience right, everyone might be responsible for delivering on it and be held accountable for its success or failure. Experience must be woven through the culture and delivered Read more »
Tom Hoffman | March 1, 2016
One of the things I like most about LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook (and Google Alerts, for that matter) is the access these channels provide to thought leadership on so many different topics. I enjoy being able to pick up insights from recognized industry and topic experts and from everyday practitioners that are in the trenches. In many cases, the articles and blogs that people post serve as a useful reminder of best practices in marketing, customer service, and other disciplines. Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | February 29, 2016
The weeks leading up to this year's 88th Academy Awards felt like more of a study in cultural diversity and societal problems than a celebration of Hollywood's creative achievements. In his role as host, Chris Rock tackled the #OscarsSoWhite with an unforgettable opening monologue that will surely keep the Hollywood elite talking for weeks. Read more »
Tom Hoffman | February 23, 2016
A couple of weeks ago, my son was involved in a car accident. Most importantly, no one was hurt but the car suffered extensive damage. Because the accident was caused by a mechanical failure, I've been trying to get a response from the warranty company to determine whether they will cover any of the repair costs. I'm still waiting to hear back, which is pretty pathetic in an age when customers expect to receive prompt support. Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | February 21, 2016
The list of data breaches that affected consumers in 2015 is astonishing. From the 80 million accounts hacked at Anthem to the theft of 21 million records of federal workers, privacy is becoming less secure. Read more »
Anna Papachristos | February 17, 2016
Just as the Sony hack got people talking about the gender wage gap, the #OscarsSoWhite controversy has sparked conversation around diversity in mainstream media. Yet, while many were willing to overlook the wage gap scandal because Hollywood actors of any gender already earn outrageous paychecks regardless, no one can deny that this elite microcosm's rampant inequality underscores an unrelenting issue at the core of American society. Read more »
Tom Hoffman | February 16, 2016
A few weeks ago, I posted a blog about how the European Union is taking a closer look at how big companies such as Google and Facebook are collecting customer data and whether these practices violate antitrust rules. The EU's Commissioner for Competition, Margrethe Vestager, has expressed concerns that if just a handful of companies control customer data, they could have the power to drive rivals out of the market. More recently, a commissioner of the Federal Trade Commission, Terrell Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | February 15, 2016
Super Bowl's ad extravaganza is long over, but the content lives on. This year's commercials ran the gamut with many highlights and lowlights. Whether you favored Doritos' Ultrasound Baby or Mountain Dew's PuppyMonkeyBaby, which coincidentally was ranked the least favorite commercial, but the most-watched on YouTube, one thing is for sure: You can watch them over and over again if you choose. Read more »
Judith Aquino | February 11, 2016
The shipping and delivery industry is ripe for disruption and the disruption is coming in the form of automated supply chains and driverless cars. FedEx and UPS's longtime hold on shipping and deliveries is being challenged by tech firms like Amazon, Google, and Uber. Read more »
Tom Hoffman | February 2, 2016
Last week, I received a nice surprise in my email inbox. To help celebrate its 50th anniversary, Mountain Creek, a ski resort in Northwest New Jersey, notified customers that it was offering $7.50 lift tickets after 3 p.m. that day (equivalent to the cost of a lift ticket there in 1965). As an avid skier who lives a short distance from the resort, I took advantage of the deal and skied for a few hours Friday night. It was a Read more »
Judith Aquino | January 28, 2016
A lot of digital ink is being spilled on the problems that are plaguing Twitter. There are concerns about Twitter's stalled user growth and whether the company can bring in more revenue. Similar concerns have been expressed about Nintendo, the iconic game maker. But what does a videogame maker have in common with a social network? The answer is plenty. Read more »
Tom Hoffman | January 26, 2016
As one of the world's most iconic brands, McDonald's has fallen on some hard times in recent years. The world's largest restaurant company has suffered disappointing sales growth and declining margins. Certainly one of the big trends behind McDonald's business challenges is an American consumer base that's increasingly opting for healthier foods over fast and convenient foods. But that hasn't stopped other burger-themed restaurant chains such as Shake Shack from expanding. Even Burger King has been posting impressive same-store sales Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | January 25, 2016
The NRF's Big Show last week served as retail's playground for cutting-edge technology. From robot associates to wearable computers, technology will serve as a driving force in how retailers will deliver the customer experience. Read more »
Judith Aquino | January 21, 2016
Last year was a rough year for the ad tech industry. Companies like Rocket Fuel, Turn, PubMatic, Collective, and Centro all cut jobs in 2015 amid a downturn in ad spend. The message was clear: Advertisers and their partners need to do a better job of helping brands reach consumers. Aligning ads with a mobile-first audience and creating a less disruptive experience were some of the solutions industry experts offered up during AdExchanger's annual Industry Preview. Here are highlights of Read more »
Tom Hoffman | January 19, 2016
The European Union is taking a closer look at how big companies such as Google and Facebook are collecting customer data and whether these practices represent a breach of antitrust rules. While no competition issues have been found in this area, the EU's Commissioner for Competition, Margrethe Vestager, said at the Digital Life Design conference in Munich that the EU will continue to look carefully at the matter. Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | January 18, 2016
For retailers, strategies for engaging with customers continuously change. Today, at the National Retail Federation's Big Show in New York City, some strategies and trends like enabling mobility, using data to engage in real time, and seamlessly linking the customer experience, remain top of mind for many of the 34,000 attendees. Read more »
Anna Papachristos | January 13, 2016
Christmas trees have begun to collect on the curb outside our window--including one of the pre-lit, artificial variety, oddly enough--indicating that the holiday season has officially come to an end. Yet, while stockings may no longer hang by the chimney with care, brands can still use the lessons learned over the last few months to develop new strategies for the year ahead. Read more »
Tom Hoffman | January 12, 2016
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has issued an extensive report summarizing a number of areas that businesses need to consider when making use of Big Data to ensure that outcomes with consumers aren't discriminatory. The report, entitled Big Data: A Tool for Inclusion or Exclusion? Understanding the Issues, takes a careful look at how Big Data is used after it has been collected and analyzed. This includes some of the potential risks that can result from biases or inaccuracies about Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | January 11, 2016
It's the time of the year again when customer experience leaders everywhere are planning their strategies for 2016. Separating their organizations from their competition is no longer about price; instead it's about providing experiences that are in tune with customers' needs. As leaders analyze their objectives for 2016, here are five key customer experience trends to focus on. Read more »
Anna Papachristos | January 6, 2016
From graphics to storytelling, video games have evolved significantly since the good ol' days of Pong. But, for Xbox One users, The Mall promises to revolutionize the at-home shopping experience, as well. With the help of Von Bismarck, a Dublin-based television e-commerce company and veteran of Microsoft Venture, users can try clothes on from the comfort of their living room using the console's Kinect motion-tracking camera. Read more »
Tom Hoffman | January 5, 2016
Companies in the private sector continue to adopt customer experience metrics such as customer effort score and Net Promoter Score to get a better handle on how satisfied customers are and to help determine whether customer experience investments are paying off. As government agencies become more citizen-centric, the public sector is also beginning to apply greater focus to applying customer experience measurements. Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | January 3, 2016
As we embark on a new year, we can't forget the dominant trends of 2015. From virtual reality to the rise of the digital world, the past year saw emerging technologies that will likely help to elevate the customer experience throughout 2016. 1to1 Media covered numerous trends that influenced the customer experience. Let's revisit our top 10 articles based on the number of page views. Read more »
Anna Papachristos | December 30, 2015
Countless ethnic and racial groups go unnoticed despite the growth of an increasingly diverse society. Marketers cater to the supposed majority, ignoring cultural differences to garner the greatest returns possible. For many, this inability to expand such outreach derives itself from an insurmountable lack of CMO support. But, as engagement methods continue to multiply, allowing marketers to target consumers as both groups and individuals, executive buy-in may soon be the only missing link between marketers and millions on untapped prospects. Read more »
Tom Hoffman | December 29, 2015
Consumers' use of mobile devices continues to surge. Year-over-year global mobile data traffic is expected to rise 59 percent in 2015, according to Gartner. But even as consumers become increasingly reliant upon their mobile devices to communicate and interact with businesses, this doesn't necessarily translate into a satisfactory mobile experience. Just 45 percent of consumers are satisfied with retail mobile applications while just 47 percent say they're satisfied with retail websites, according to a 2015 study by Adobe. Meanwhile, mobile Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | December 28, 2015
As we near the end of 2015, it's time to look back at the year's customer experience successes and failures in the hope that companies don't disregard them and that true learning develops from these mistakes. Read more »
Anna Papachristos | December 23, 2015
Peace on Earth and goodwill toward man--admirable concepts, particularly at this time of year, but still considerably lacking among the general public as of late. You see, 'commercialism' has become the C-word that defines the season, not 'Christmas' or 'Chanukah' even, putting the focus on 'me' ahead of 'we' more and more each year. Thus, as shoppers make their final purchases and travelers embark upon their journey home, we must take some time to assess how our self-involved behaviors impact Read more »
Tom Hoffman | December 22, 2015
My colleague Anna Papachristos recently wrote an insightful article about the findings in Accenture Strategy's 2015 B2B Customer Experience report. The report underscored how despite the understanding of executives about the value that B2B customer experience initiatives can generate, the vast majority of B2B companies are missing out on revenue growth opportunities due to poor performance. In a follow-up interview I conducted with Robert Wollan, senior managing director, sales and customer services, Accenture Strategy, Wollan noted that one of the Read more »
Tom Hoffman | December 15, 2015
One of the undisputed thought leaders in the customer experience space is Bruce Temkin, customer experience transformist and managing partner at Temkin Group as well as co-founder and initial chairman of the Customer Experience Professionals Association (CXPA). In a blog post which lists the most important customer experience trends to watch out for next year, Temkin cites "the year of emotion" as the most important trend for customer experience professionals to track in 2016. Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | December 14, 2015
When the New York Times published an article in August shining a spotlight on Amazon's bizarre company culture, it triggered a barrage of comments and articles about the importance of culture in engendering engagement. Personal accounts of 1 a.m. conference calls, strongly encouraged 60-hour work weeks, and a culture that appears to throw people under the bus to advance in the organizational hierarchy are just a few of the strange experiences employees at Amazon reported and which also fly in Read more »
Tom Hoffman | December 8, 2015
As we race towards 2016 and the U.S. labor market continues to gain strength, industry observers are forecasting an upsurge among employees who jump ship from their workplaces. Strictly from a compensation standpoint, an increase in employee turnover is understandable. According to Mercer, Towers Watson, and other human resources firms, salary increases for employees are expected to rise 3.0 percent or less next year. By comparison, the average wage increase for workers who leave for new jobs is typically in Read more »
Judith Aquino | December 3, 2015
Few of my friends own a car in New York City. Parking is expensive and you're navigating streets clogged with pedestrians staring at their phones. Self-driving cars are a potential solution. However, I doubt many of my fellow New Yorkers would buy a driverless car--there simply isn't enough room. Other major cities face a similar situation when it comes to cars. Read more »
Tom Hoffman | December 1, 2015
Every day there's more information available to marketers about consumers, including their transaction histories, social media comments, mobile and website behaviors, etc. But there's far less data available about B2B buyers, including information about their preferences and interests, making it challenging for B2B sales and marketing teams to understand their clients' interests and needs in what is typically a more complex and extended sales cycle. Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | November 30, 2015
Sales reports from Black Friday weekend and forecasts for today indicate a shift in consumers' holiday shopping preferences. Black Friday weekend sales fell to $10.4 billion, down from $11.6 billion this time last year, while online sales are expected to jump more than 11.7 percent. The National Retail Federation reported that 103 people shopped online over the weekend and it expects another 121 million people to shop online today. Read more »
Judith Aquino | November 26, 2015
Instead of visiting a shopping mall or website after Thanksgiving, imagine combining both experiences in a virtual mall. As virtual reality headsets become more affordable, virtual reality is becoming accessible to the average shopper. And while it's still in the nascent stage, VR stands to impact the way people shop and give new meaning to showrooming and e-commerce. Read more »
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