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Anna Papachristos | April 1, 2015
In recent years, consumers have become increasingly comfortable with expressing praise and concern via social media. Thus, as external behaviors evolve, so must internal service strategies. Within the hospitality industry, Best Western and its properties have seen an uptick in occupancy rates that can be directly correlated to their social engagement efforts. Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | March 30, 2015
Customer experience is on everyone's minds these days. From small businesses to enterprise organizations, engaging with the customer in personalized ways across all touchpoints in an organization has become paramount. Read more »
Guest Blogger: Victor Milligan | March 27, 2015
CX has rapidly moved from an ideal to an operational mandate. As Forrester's CMO, customer experience is one of my four strategic priorities. It's also tied to my compensation. How's that for focusing the mind? Read more »
Tom Hoffman | March 24, 2015
Companies that consistently deliver exceptional customer experiences - companies such as The Ritz-Carlton, Apple, and USAA - don't get there by accident. They also don't rest on their laurels. They listen closely to what their customers are telling them and incessantly review and act on customer feedback, including processes that stand to be improved. Apple is a great example of this, having made recent modifications to the Apple Genius Bar through new mobile features. Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | March 23, 2015
The Ides of March are upon us. And for many companies that means thousands of hours of lost productivity as employees fill out brackets and stay glued to game updates to see if their Cinderella team will upset the competition and go all the way to the national title. Read more »
Tom Hoffman | March 17, 2015
Corporate leaders are beginning to recognize that the lines have blurred between the brand and the customer experience. This revelation is prompting a growing number of companies to establish a Chief Customer Officer (CCO) role and bring a more unified approach to customer centricity. According to The 2014 CCO Study conducted by the Chief Customer Officer Council, 22 percent of Fortune 100 companies have adopted the role. While that's an impressive milestone, it's clear that the industry is still early Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | March 16, 2015
We've all read the articles and seen the reports: This year is the year of personalization. From emails that send local weather updates, watches that report your day to day efficiency, beacons that engage customers' interests in-store, and changing rooms that know your style and sizes, 2015 is poised to take personalization to the next level. Read more »
Guest Blogger: Sam Stern | March 13, 2015
A few years back, FedEx learned that "the leaning tower of packages" at its retail locations was making many customers uneasy. Store employees would take a customer's package, and place it on the messy pile. Based on that simple visual cue, these customers worried that their package might very well get lost in their seemingly haphazard shipping process. FedEx had run into a problem that plagues many companies, and that is the subject of my latest report for Forrester, co-written Read more »
Anna Papachristos | March 11, 2015
Despite our innate affinity to journey all over the world, travel can often become complicated. Between scheduling flights and navigating terminals, getting from point A to point B isn't always easy. However, for CheapOair, mobile technologies have enabled the online booking site to provide customers with consistent, personalized service no matter their method of choice. Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | March 9, 2015
At a meeting last week for the investor community, Target Corporation Chairman and CEO Brian Cornell and members of his leadership team presented plans intended to transform the retailer's business. Read more »
Anna Papachristos | March 4, 2015
Despite the fact that we all have smartphones within reach nearly 24/7, most use the voice function less and less, instead opting to contact friends and family--even our favorite brands--via text, chat, or social. However, as Irv Shapiro, CEO and CTO of DialogTech, emphasizes, voice remains the one factor that sets humans apart from every other species. Our ability to vocalize emotions and ideas allows us to innovate and invent in ways that only humans can. But, as digital communications Read more »
Tom Hoffman | March 3, 2015
Consumer data breaches seem to have become a regular occurrence among enterprise companies. 1to1 Media Editor-in-Chief Mila D'Antonio recently wrote about how 80 million customer records at health insurer Anthem were exposed. While it's encouraging that The White House has drafted a Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights, critics argue that the bill doesn't go far enough in protecting consumer privacy. Clearly, there's still a lot of work that needs to be done to protect customer data. This includes setting aside Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | March 2, 2015
When Apple revealed its Apple Pay last September, CEO Tim Cook said the mobile payment service "will forever change the way we buy." And during last week's earnings call, Cook called 2015, "the year of Apple Pay." Additionally, last week's announcement from Google that it's working with AT&T, Verizon Wireless, and T-Mobile to pre-install Google Wallet on all of the providers' Android phones, further positions mobile pay as on the verge of going mainstream. Read more »
Guest Blogger: Rick Parrish | February 27, 2015
With federal customer experience (CX) so weak, I'm happy to report that several more U.S. federal agencies are considering adding chief customer officers (CCO) to their executive management teams. In the past few months, some of these agencies have asked me to discuss how CCOs can help them improve their customer experience (CX), the best way to structure the position, and what new CCOs should do first. In fact, I just published a report offering answers to federal agencies' most Read more »
Judith Aquino | February 26, 2015
Net neutrality advocates scored a major victory today when the Federal Communications Commission approved net neutrality regulations by a 3-2 vote. The FCC's decision includes reclassifying Internet service as a Title II telecommunications service or public utility, prohibiting broadband providers from charging for faster lanes on the Internet. Read more »
Anna Papachristos | February 25, 2015
For the Office of Child Support at the Michigan Department of Human Services, efficiency remains critical, as this division serves nearly one million families throughout the state. But, with an incredible caseload to bear, customer service representatives found themselves unable to meet expectation with the speed and precision demanded. Thus, to streamline the customer experience, Michigan's OCS invested in new call center technologies that allow agents to route calls with granular accuracy. Read more »
Guest Blogger: Sam Stern | February 13, 2015
A few weeks ago, many of our customer experience analysts including my colleague Maxie Schmidt and me were glued to our computer screens, watching a presentation by a big bank. It had introduced a tool to capture and manage ideas from its employees on how to improve the customer experience. This presentation mattered to us because only 25 percent of CX professionals say their companies' CX programs actually improve customer experience. Those who fail lack insight into the root causes Read more »
Guest Blogger: Kate Leggett | January 23, 2015
Customers are using more communication channels for customer service than ever before. They are also contacting customer service organizations more frequently. Companies are rising to this challenge as overall satisfaction with the quality of service communication channels is trending upwards. Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | January 12, 2015
With the holiday shopping season behind us, retailers have planned a tidal wave of store closings for 2015. Among the closings are Macy's, JCPenney, Guess, Radio Shack, as well as teen apparel stores Delia's, Aeropostale, Wet Seal, and Abercrombie & Fitch. Read more »
Guest Blogger: Sam Stern | January 9, 2015
We have entered the age of the customer--when companies only win by being customer-obsessed and delivering exceptional experiences. This is great news for customer experience professionals. Their skills and expertise are in demand, and at Forrester Research, we expect customer experience to continue its maturation into a full-fledged profession. Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | January 5, 2015
What constitutes a great customer experience? According to The Temkin Group, it's a combination of three aspects of a customer's interaction with a company--functionality, accessibility, and emotionality. Read more »
Guest Blogger: Rick Parrish | January 2, 2015
On a survey we conducted recently, a whopping 80 percent of customer experience (CX) professionals said their firms' goal is to be a CX leader in their industry or across all industries. Unfortunately, our CX Index shows that only 11 percent of companies succeed in delivering an excellent experience--one that would set them apart from competitors. Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | December 31, 2014
As news outlets and blogs publish their lists of the good, bad, and ugly for everything from movies, songs, YouTube videos, celebrity couples, technologies, and sports moments, to tweets, Instagram posts, hacks, images, selfies, advertisements, and so on, I'm joining in with my lists of cheers and jeers in the customer experience world. Here are the worst customer experiences in 2014. Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | December 22, 2014
In his book, The Self-Destructive Habits of Good Companies: ...And How to Break Them, author Jagdish N. Sheth offers sage advice: "shine a light on the dark places in your business. Uncover self-destructive habits before they destroy you." Understandably it's hard to kick a bad habit, but with dedication and self-observation you can successfully break the most common bad business habits. Here are four to eliminate in 2015: Read more »
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 »
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 »
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 »
Judith Aquino | November 27, 2014
As we enter the busiest shopping and travel season of the year, customer service agents are bracing themselves for the inevitable increase in calls and messages. And tense situations can get even worse when the personalities of the caller and agent clash 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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
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: 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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
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