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Tom Hoffman | July 26, 2016
As customers continue to increase their use of digital channels and self-service tools for customer service, it's only natural that the volume of calls hitting contact centers has been shrinking. Indeed, while volume in every digital channel continues to grow for customer service, contact centers have seen call volumes decrease by 12 percent, according to the 2016 Global Contact Centre Benchmarking Report conducted by Dimension Data. What this also means is that a growing percentage of calls that are reaching Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | July 25, 2016
This morning's announcement from Verizon about its bid to purchase Yahoo Inc. for $5 billion comes as no surprise. Under the leadership of CEO Lowell McAdam, the company has been actively putting the pieces in place to undergo a digital transformation--one that will enable the company to earn revenue from digital advertising, largely on mobile devices. Read more »
Tom Hoffman | July 12, 2016
There's a goldmine of valuable data in the cross-channel interactions customers conduct. 1to1 Media's Tom Hoffman recently met up with Jason Rose, Gigya Senior Vice President, Marketing, to discuss key trends in customer identity management and how information shared by customers in their omnichannel interactions can be used to deliver more personalized customer experiences. Read more »
Tom Hoffman | July 5, 2016
One of the most infuriating things for customers is when they are hit with hidden or unexpected fees. Prime examples include being slapped with a double ATM fee for a cash withdrawal (the fee charged when you use an out-of-network ATM and then the penalty that your own bank imposes). Or when a hotel charges separate WiFi fees for each device that's used. One of my favorites is the convenience fee that's levied when ordering concert or other types Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | July 4, 2016
Companies today are swimming in data that, if properly leveraged, could be used strategically to drive the business forward. The problem is that Big Data's sheer size overwhelms most marketers. To make businesses more agile, companies should first focus on their small data and look at it as an opportunity to find insights in new places. Read more »
Tom Hoffman | June 28, 2016
Customers are increasing their use of digital channels such as mobile and social media to resolve product and service issues and receive support from companies. But does this mean that voice support will disappear altogether? 1to1 Media's Tom Hoffman recently explored these issues and what the future holds for customer service with Shep Hyken, customer service expert and Chief Amazement Officer at Shepard Presentations, at the Pegaworld 2016 conference in Las Vegas Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | June 27, 2016
In every conversation regarding the merits of customer experience strategy, one question always resonates: How to tie it to revenue. According to Forrester, there's no debate. Better customer experience correlates to better revenue across most industries. Read more »
Tom Hoffman | June 21, 2016
Last week was the 8th grade formal for my daughter Caroline's class. Leading up to the dance, her friends informed her that a certain boy was planning to invite her. You know how these types of things can play out in Middle School. Anyway, with just a week to go before the big event and growing restless, Caroline, who tends to be a bit shy, decided to break out of her own comfort zone and ask the boy to the Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | June 20, 2016
It brings me great pleasure to announce the call for entries for our annual Customer Champions Awards is open. Every year for the past 12 years, 1to1 Media has honored individuals at companies who go above and beyond for customers and employees. Our annual awards program strives to give customer-minded leaders praise and distinction by highlighting their accomplishments and celebrating their wins. Read more »
Tom Hoffman | June 14, 2016
When people think of next best action marketing, they often associate it with steps that marketers can take to apply everything that's known about a customer to try to sell him or her another product or service. But as two customer experience leaders at British Gas shared at Pegasystems' Pegaworld 2016 conference last week, next best action technologies and techniques can also be used to better understand each customer and to take the next steps that are best suited for Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | June 3, 2016
Omnichannel has become more than a buzzword; it's the customer experience goal of many companies. But organizational silos, lack of technology integration, and falling short in digital engagement often prevent organizations from achieving their well-intentioned plans. Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | May 27, 2016
Albert Einstein once said that "It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has exceeded our humanity." Read more »
Tom Hoffman | May 17, 2016
I was recently reviewing a design of an e-book I'd written when the content jumped out at me. It wasn't the words I'd crafted, but rather the stunning images that had been selected by the graphic designer that made the package sparkle. The experience also served as a reminder, as Rod Stewart and Ron Wood penned back in 1971, that every picture tells a story and how important the use of images and design are to content marketing. Read more »
Tom Hoffman | May 3, 2016
When it comes to customer experience, companies across industries are at different stages in their levels of maturity. While some companies are just beginning to explore ways to improve their customer experience efforts, other organizations that have progressed to becoming customer experience leaders have developed formalized processes and systems for delivering experiences to customers. 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 »
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 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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
Anna Papachristos | February 10, 2016
Employees at our local pizza place refer to us as 'legends' because my family and I have literally been ordering from their restaurant my entire life. (That's right--even before I had teeth.) Yet, while our order has fluctuated over the years, our loyalty has never faltered, for it's the smallest gestures that always keep us craving more. 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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
Mila D'Antonio | December 6, 2015
We've all seen the post-Black Friday weekend shopping statistics: 103 million Americans shopped online, slightly more than the 102 million who shopped in the stores, according to the National Retail Federation. 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 »
Anna Papachristos | November 25, 2015
Size shouldn't matter, but for small businesses, size often indicates an unavoidable disadvantage. By nature, big box stores have the ability to slash prices and advertise deals in ways that small businesses simply can't afford. Yet, these smaller shops commonly serve as the backbone for many prosperous communities, providing jobs to local citizens and giving back to those in need. Thus, in 2010, American Express launched its Small Business Saturday event to garner consumer awareness and support for these local Read more »
Tom Hoffman | November 24, 2015
One of the conveniences that consumers look for heading into the holiday shopping season is the ability to order products online and then pick them up at a store. In fact, nearly one-third of U.S. shoppers say they plan to purchase gifts online and pick these items up in-store, according to a recent Shopatron study. That's great news for retailers, since 40 percent of consumers make additional purchases when they come to a store to pick up a purchase. Meanwhile, Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | November 23, 2015
"Imagine a world where the only thing you have to wrestle for on Thanksgiving is the last piece of pumpkin pie." That voice-over to the opening of the new TJ Maxx, Marshalls, and HomeGoods commercial promoting the stores' closure on Thursday. The spot asks viewers to hearken back to a time when Thanksgiving meant eating too much and falling asleep on the couch with your family rather than fighting shoppers in crowded stores for a 40-inch smart TV that's on Read more »
Tom Hoffman | November 17, 2015
This week, as we recognize and celebrate the 2015 1to1Media Customer Champions, it's a reminder of the communal characteristics that are shared by customer advocates. They place customers at the center of their strategic efforts. They also listen to and act on customer feedback. In addition, Customer Champions also gather customer insights from a variety of sources in order to better understand what customers want and to continually improve upon the customer experience. Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | November 16, 2015
Stephen R. Covey said, "Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply." The 2015 1to1 Media Customer Champions are doing the former and proving that listening to understand leads to big results. Read more »
Tom Hoffman | November 10, 2015
Most business leaders would be thrilled to have their companies be able to deliver a differentiated customer experience. But many organizations are often hamstrung by a lack of insights about individual customers and process gaps that are needed to provide personalized, smooth, and tailored experiences. This can manifest itself in customer service interactions when a poor customer experience can result in desertion. Brands that consistently deliver strong customer service continually monitor and refine their processes. But in too many cases, Read more »
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