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Anna Papachristos | December 17, 2014
Behold, free shipping! One of life's small victories, particularly during the holiday season. For some online retailers, such offers have become universal, while others make consumers earn their reward. In my case, I met Free People's minimum purchase requirement by mere dollars. But, what I saved in shipping costs, I inevitably spent in time. Read more »
Guest Blogger: Sam Stern | December 12, 2014
Companies with customer-obsessed cultures--think USAA or Southwest Airlines--differentiate themselves in their industries and earn major financial benefits as a result. But customer-obsessed cultures don't just happen: To help transform a culture, customer experience professionals must develop training and coaching curriculum that touches all employees. Read more »
Judith Aquino | December 11, 2014
Building a relationship with your customers through multiple touch points has become a critical business practice as market forces raised the status and value of customer experiences. In 2014, this shift manifested itself through organizational changes across industries and advances in technology. As the year comes to a close, here are four lessons for business leaders to keep in mind: Read more »
Anna Papachristos | December 10, 2014
Though it might be starting to look a lot like Christmas, there's still room for retail customer experience improvements everywhere you go. The holiday season often exposes weaknesses in service strategies, as stores scramble to meet demand and generate profits. However, retailers should use this time to assess their current approach, learn valuable lessons, and make plans for the future. Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | December 8, 2014
The term, "disruption" has become the business buzzword of the year. But it's more than just jargon. Disruption in business involves having the ability to sense changes occurring in technology, customer behaviors, and product demands and being able to evolve quickly and implement plans outside the norm for long-term survival. Read more »
Guest Blogger: Harley Manning | December 5, 2014
About two years ago I stopped taking cabs from my home in the suburbs of Boston to Boston's Logan airport. I wasn't drawn away by Uber; my local cab company pushed me away with its awful customer experience. Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | December 3, 2014
Technology is increasingly earning a place in every aspect of our lives--from conducting routine tasks like creating shopping lists to helping to transform our lifestyles, health, and mindsets. Read more »
Anna Papachristos | December 1, 2014
Though I've never seen an episode of The Walking Dead, my Facebook newsfeed was abuzz Sunday night when the show's official account spoiled the mid-season finale for many of its devoted followers. While the image (below) was posted immediately after the east coast showing, those who run the account failed to consider DVR viewers and its west coast audience before ruining the deadly twist, causing quite the uproar. Angry fans did not hesitate to express their discontent over said image, Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | December 1, 2014
If you were one of the 133.7 million shoppers who braved the malls and stores on Black Friday to find deals, you may have noticed smaller crowds and shorter lines. The National Retail Federation reported that Black Friday sales fell sharply this year (5.4 percent) due to the latest trend of retail sales creeping and spreading throughout the entire holiday season. Read more »
Anna Papachristos | November 26, 2014
While sales teams are an important driving force for profit in organizations across all industries, Sonic Automotive recognized that most are rarely given the tools necessary to achieve success. Thus, the auto retailer partnered with MicroStrategy to address the lack of insight accessibility by deploying FIRE (Financial and Insurance Reporting Engine), Sonic Automotive's internal mobile application, which enables sales professionals to close deals. Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | November 24, 2014
Tis the season for celebration, giving, and...shopping! As Black Friday approaches and Cyber Monday nears, consumers are thinking of how to score the best deals possible, while retailers focus on delivering the best possible customer experience. Here are five tips to help boost your customer engagement and increase retention during the holiday shopping season: Read more »
Guest Blogger: Maxie Schmidt-Subramanian | November 21, 2014
In our latest survey on the state of the art of VoC programs, 71 percent of respondents said their VoC program was not fully or mostly effective in driving actions. That's jarring. No matter how much effort you put into collecting VoC, the insights are still only as good as what stakeholders in the company do with them. Read more »
Anna Papachristos | November 19, 2014
For many large retail chains, Black Friday and Cyber Monday remain incredibly profitable, as special sales and incentives still generate an uptick in revenue. However, relying too heavily on these crazy shopping days isn't necessarily the best approach, for companies of all sizes--particularly small businesses--should put more emphasis on retaining and attracting new customers throughout the holiday shopping season to boost the bottom line and foster long-term loyalty. Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | November 17, 2014
When I attended Customer Engagement World earlier this month, I heard questions in some sessions about how to reach the multi-screen customer. Attendees wanted to know everything from how to use Instagram to reach younger audiences to ways to integrate customer insights from social channels into the traditional marketing mix. While some panelists shared some solid examples and offered helpful advice, I still saw confusion on the faces of many in the audiences. Read more »
Guest Blogger: Rick Parrish | November 14, 2014
If you weren't looking, you might have missed a major recent development in federal customer experience (CX). In August, the White House announced the creation of the U.S. Digital Service (USDS), a team of experienced technologists based in the Office of Management and Budget and led by Deputy Federal CIO Mikey Dickerson. The team's job, simply put, is to improve federal CX by establishing digital services standards and accountability, identifying scalable customer-facing CX technologies for federal agencies to use, and Read more »
Anna Papachristos | November 12, 2014
Until last week, I would've guessed John Lewis was merely some faceless man I'd never met. But, thanks to the brilliant minds behind the brand's latest holiday ad campaign, this U.K. department store can officially claim responsibility for making my heart grow three sizes in just two minutes' time. Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | November 10, 2014
Visual content is changing social media and marketing campaigns. Businesses are finding that content that contains images is more valuable for businesses, as it has a higher chance of being shared than anything else on social media with statistically more page visits and increased engagement. Read more »
Guest Blogger: Michael Gazala | November 7, 2014
2014 wasn't a good year to be average. Since 2007, the average customer experience in the industries that Forrester tracks has gone up across the board, and the number of truly awful experiences has dropped like a rock. So if your CX is average, it's just not good enough to win, serve, and retain customers. And it won't get any easier next year: With companies investing more than ever to differentiate their customer experience, your average offering will soon be Read more »
Anna Papachristos | November 5, 2014
Though new technologies often attract millennials, marketers frequently fail to recognize that, in today's hyper-connected world, such advancements are no longer reserved for the young. Digital video, for instance, has taken on new life, as older generations have come to enjoy the inherent convenience just as much as their younger counterparts. However, in many cases, marketers have yet to acknowledge said developments, thereby robbing themselves of the opportunity to engage all relevant audiences appropriately and simultaneously. Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | November 3, 2014
Since its inception in 2004, the 1to1 Media Customer Champions has grown into a one-of-a-kind awards program that honors and spotlights the individuals responsible for game-changing customer-focused strategies-- a truly unique event that honors the leaders who create innovative change in their organizations. Read more »
Judith Aquino | October 30, 2014
Mobile technology is often described as an enemy of in-store retailers by putting competitors at consumers' fingertips. Savvy retailers, however, can fight back by providing relevant, local information to drive consumers to their store locations. Read more »
Anna Papachristos | October 29, 2014
Though Halloween may be known for its tricks and treats, the craziest antics often come well before All Hallows' Eve even arrives. You see, as Halloween continues to gain in popularity, consumers are now scrambling to conjure up costumes and stockpile sweets before one holiday rolls into the next. In fact, according to the NRF's Halloween Consumer Spending Survey, consumers are expected to spend $7.4 billion on Halloween goods in 2014. Thus, with added importance and immediacy driving shoppers to Read more »
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 »
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