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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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
Judith Aquino | November 20, 2014
At what point do customers stop doing business with companies that display egregious and reckless behavior? The popular app-based car service Uber is testing the loyalty of its customers as one scandal after another pops up. The latest scandal showed the ugly side of Uber's predatory corporate culture when an executive reportedly discussed the idea of investigating the private lives of journalists who criticized Uber, starting with Sarah Lacy, founder and editor-in-chief of PandoDaily. 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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
Anna Papachristos | October 22, 2014
Over the years, loyalty programs and strategies have evolved to reflect consumer behaviors. But, as the competition within various markets becomes increasingly fierce, cultivating said loyalty has become more challenging than ever. Thus, companies across industries are now working to embrace the ever-growing spectrum of digital channels to create communities and facilitate conversation. 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 »
Judith Aquino | October 16, 2014
It is no secret that customer loyalty is critical to business success. Consumers are inundated with programs and mobile apps that track their purchases and even their geographic locations to deliver offers that that encourage repeat purchases. 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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
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: 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 »
Judith Aquino | September 4, 2014
One of the perks (or drawbacks depending on your perspective) of being a reporter is traveling on assignments. I've been sent to conferences in Cologne, Germany; New Orleans; Las Vegas, and Minneapolis among other cities in my career. 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 »
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 »
Anna Papachristos | August 13, 2014
Every so often, the warning signs appear--slow at first, then faster and faster. Images fail to populate, leaving behind nothing but question marks. Pages refuse to load, with only the 'refresh' button to rescue them from certain abandonment. Videos neglect to play, offering the viewer nothing but blank rectangles and empty air. 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 »
Guest Blogger: Sam Stern | July 25, 2014
PURE insurance is using its customer-obsessed business model to stand out in the insurance industry. Since its start in 2006, PURE has grown more than 40 percent each year, and has one of the highest Net Promoter Scores in any industry. Read more »
Anna Papachristos | July 23, 2014
If you wander to the back corner of the women's section in your local American Eagle Outfitters, you may notice something slightly out of the ordinary. At first glance you'll recognize the store's standard selection of crop tops, short shorts, and babydoll dresses. But closer inspection will reveal that each item features the same, albeit unexpected, characteristic--everything's one-size-fits-all. Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | July 21, 2014
We've all called a customer service department at one point or another and have encountered pushy or unhelpful customer service reps. Last week, the experience that San Francisco-based tech blogger Ryan Block encountered with an unnamed agent when he called Comcast to cancel his service, takes the cake. Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | July 14, 2014
Customer loyalty is not something you can win with a gimmick or a marketing stunt. It's an emotion and requires an emotional engagement. The real value from promotions is in the opportunity to create loyalty, not just to manipulate the customer to make a quick sale. Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | July 7, 2014
Last year online wine sales topped out at $5 billion worldwide, according to estimates from the Bordeaux Management School. In fact, of the 3,000 people surveyed, 57 percent had visited an online wine site, while 35 percent had made an online wine purchase. Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | June 30, 2014
A couple years ago brands started recognizing social media as a viable channel in which to engage customers, respond to their service inquiries, and foster relationships. Despite their initial and continued investments in technologies and strategies to incorporate service into these emerging channels, the majority of companies today still lack ownership and understanding of social media. Read more »
Guest Blogger: Sam Stern | June 27, 2014
Companies want customer-obsessed cultures that will help them differentiate in the age of the customer. But transforming a culture can be a challenge: It requires all employees to understand who their customers are, how customers perceive their interactions with the company, and what roles employees need to play in delivering the overall experience. Enter learning maps, which are fast becoming the centerpiece of small-group interactive training sessions at many companies. Read more »
Judith Aquino | June 26, 2014
Consumers don't think of themselves as big game to be targeted and captured by marketers, but The Onion knows better. The parody publication published an image two weeks ago of a man lying face down in a parking lot with the caption, "A Procter & Gamble marketing team attaches a tracking collar to an incapacitated head-of-household specimen." Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | June 23, 2014
When I started out at my first job as a journalist at a local daily newspaper in Pittsburgh nearly 20 years ago, we wrote our articles on a PC with a green screen using a DOS prompt. The Internet was only in its infancy so we relied on a combination of microfiche, the Yellow Pages, and knocking on doors to conduct our research and to track down sources. By the time I landed my second job at a newspaper journalist Read more »
Guest Blogger: Harley Manning | June 20, 2014
When I was 10 years old, I heard my father and my Uncle Bob talking about the car they'd most like to own. Noticing me, Uncle Bob asked, "How about you, Harley? What car do you want to drive when you grow up?" I immediately answered, "A Mercedes!" Read more »
Judith Aquino | June 19, 2014
Yesterday, Blackberry unveiled a deal with Amazon to include the online giant's app store on its phones. In addition, Google Play and Apple's App Store both offer a million apps in their respective stores. As more apps flood the market, driving engagement rates among users has become a crucial component of an app developer's monetization strategy. Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | June 16, 2014
Whether they're raising awareness, engaging with new audiences, or growing sales, marketers will flock to social media during the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Social media traffic for the month-long global soccer tournament is already outpacing the Sochi Olympics, with Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter at the center of the boom. Read more »
Guest Blogger: Sam Stern | June 13, 2014
In the age of the customer, companies must transform their cultures from product-centric to customer-centric. But that is easier said than done. Customer centricity requires all employees to understand who their customers are, how customers perceive their interactions with the company, and the roles employees play in delivering the overall experience. Customer experience (CX) rooms--immersive, interactive spaces that help employees better understand customers--have emerged as a powerful new tool for bring customers and their journeys to life for workforces. Done Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | June 9, 2014
Outstanding customer experiences don't just happen; they take careful planning. And in most cases, successful customer strategies occur because of the people behind them. The 2014 1to1 Media Customer Champions program aims to honor these people--employees across all areas of an organization who succeed in pushing their strategies forward through dedication, innovative ideas, and a commitment to doing what it takes to advance the customer experience. Read more »
Guest Blogger: Rick Parrish | May 23, 2014
When Forrester first introduced the Customer Experience (CX) Ecosystem concept three years ago, we found that companies' attempts to innovate their CX were limited by tunnel vision. They couldn't see beyond the surface layer of individual touchpoints to understand the intricate web of behind-the-scenes dynamics that really create the customer experience. Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | May 22, 2014
Don Peppers and Martha Rogers, Ph.D., co-founders of Peppers & Rogers Group, have long said that the only way that a business can actually create value is with customers. Because if you don't have a customer, it doesn't matter how many products you have, you don't have a business. Read more »
Anna Papachristos | May 21, 2014
Consumer data stands as an essential building block for creating a solid customer experience. With the constant influx of insight, companies now have the ability to tap into behavioral data, thereby using this information to boost relevance and segmentation. However, to succeed in this space, brands must implement strong analytics systems that allow the entire organization to take advantage of this insight and improve enterprisewide performance. Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | May 19, 2014
In 2004, 1to1 Media set out on a mission to reward the best thinking and results in customer strategy. At the time, "Relationship Marketing" was fresh on the heels of the CRM revolution in the 1990s, sweeping the business world with its promise to forever change the way enterprises interact with their customer bases by understanding customer segments, delivering quality service, and increasing customer satisfaction and loyalty. Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | May 5, 2014
When customers decide to do business with a company, they want their transactions or inquiries to be handled without any catches. They want seamless interactions, or frictionless experiences devoid of additional steps, potential issues, and unnecessary hassles. Read more »
Guest Blogger: Sam Stern | May 2, 2014
In my latest Forrester report, "5 Steps To Create And Sustain Customer-Centric Culture," I answered the question I hear most often from clients: What are the steps in the process to actually transform organizational culture to be customer centric? I interviewed companies that have successfully completed this transformation, and companies that are in the midst of that process right now. I learned that there are five steps companies must take to create and sustain customer-centric culture: Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | April 28, 2014
The best kind of experience a customer can have is one in which a company can meet her need or solve her problem completely effortlessly, without having to jump through hoops or overcome obstacles. Read more »
Guest Blogger: Harley Manning | April 25, 2014
It's that great time of year when I finally get to talk publicly about our CX Forum East in New York at the end of June. If you've ever been to one of our events you know that we always have a theme, and this year that theme is "Why Good Is Not Good Enough." Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | April 21, 2014
April is Customer Loyalty Month, a great time for companies to take inventory of the best practices, processes, and metrics around how they're engaging with customers across the enterprise in an effort to boost their loyalty. Here are five action items to help increase your company's customer loyalty in 2014. Read more »
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