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Guest Blogger: Rick Parrish | April 18, 2014
When I ask government employees why improving customer experience (CX) is so important, I often hear a version of the same answer: "It's the right thing to do." But I'm not about to take an easy answer like that at face value, so I dig deeper. Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | April 14, 2014
Digital and social trends are the key factors driving the evolution of retail marketing today. Read more »
Anna Papachristos | April 9, 2014
Once my family made the switch from AT&T to T-Mobile, we inevitably came upon some follow-up questions that did not arise during the sign-up process. Most are aware that T-Mobile offers to pay new customers' early termination fees (ETFs), and while this incentive was one of the primary factors that sealed the deal, we never fully absorbed the step-by-step details during our initial interaction. (I do believe it's nearly impossible to soak up all the information on the first try.) Read more »
Anna Papachristos | April 2, 2014
Not too long ago, in an AT&T store pretty close by, a young woman (me) and her mother (mine) watched their loyalty die. Though rarely a problem in the decade that'd passed, one awful experience led us to leave them at last. Our story begins on one chance Saturday night, the innocent moment that triggered our eventual flight... Read more »
Guest Blogger: Harley Manning | March 28, 2014
For the past two weeks I've been on the other side of the planet, spending a few days each in four very different cities: Sydney, Singapore, Beijing, and Shanghai. While Sydney was much like I remembered it--an exotic version of San Francisco but with better weather--the Singapore skyline had changed drastically, and now appears to be a science fiction version of the seaport I remembered. (If you think I'm kidding, just do a search on "Marina Bay Sands Hotel.") Read more »
Tom Hoffman | March 25, 2014
As B2C marketers continue to gain experience engaging with customers in digital channels, a growing number of practitioners are striving to become more adept at segmenting customers by psychographics and demographics as part of their efforts to deliver relevant content, messaging, and experiences for specific target audiences. Some marketers are taking this a step further by creating buyer personas that represent the different customer types that are represented within a targeted demographic, psychographic profile (lifestyle, interests, and preferences), behavioral makeup, Read more »
Guest Blogger: Vanessa Saulsberry | March 21, 2014
What a wondrous world in which we live - one of infinite choice and possibility. I can buy a pair of the skinniest jeans (well, maybe not that skinny) from an Old Navy store, grab a new sweater for my hairless kitty on Petco.com, and deposit a check with my Chase mobile app. Mostly all of these tasks can be done in the comfort of my footy pajamas. I'd say that seven out of 10 of my interactions with companies Read more »
Anna Papachristos | March 19, 2014
There's nothing worse than rummaging through the aisles of the local Stop & Shop. Supermarket shopping has always been an unwelcome task, so when my mother and I were met with mile-long lines after an excruciatingly long day of running errands, we decided to approach this challenge with the utmost efficiency and speed. Read more »
Tom Hoffman | March 18, 2014
Business leaders use a variety of metrics to gauge the financial health and performance of a company. One of the most popular metrics used by marketers is Net Promoter Score (NPS), a simple loyalty measurement to gauge customer satisfaction and likelihood to recommend. Last week, I had a chance to speak with Satmetrix data scientist Brendan Rocks about the results from the company's 2014 Net Promoter Industry Benchmarks reports. The findings offer a glimpse into some of the aspects of Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | March 17, 2014
Over the years, the patient experience in healthcare has become routinely difficult-- problems getting an appointment, the requisition of their personal data over and over, and then there's the long wait. Jerry Seinfeld satirized the infamous long waits in his show: Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | March 2, 2014
Last night the stars came out for Hollywood's biggest night. From Jennifer Lawrence's stumble on the Red Carpet, Jared Leto's poised, tear-jerking speech dedicated to his mother, or 20 Feet From Stardom singer Darlene Love singing a rousing rendition of a gospel song during her acceptance speech, the 86th Academy Awards, didn't disappoint. Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | February 24, 2014
The U.S. Census Bureau reports that January retail numbers are down, 4 percent from the month before. Despite the assumption that winter weather may be to blame retailers must start thinking strategically about how to continue to attract consumers into their brick and mortar locations. Read more »
Guest Blogger: Rick Parrish | February 21, 2014
For those who--despite the healthcare.gov customer experience debacle--remain unconvinced that the Age of the Customer applies to governments, the Sochi Olympics should do the trick. Both customer experience (CX) disasters have highlighted a hard lesson for governments: The same technologies that empower customers in the private sector also allow the people to control the public narrative. In the Age of the Customer: Read more »
Guest Blogger: Vanessa Saulsberry | February 21, 2014
Thanks to Wikileaks, NSA revelations, and a host of questionable policies, it's no wonder that trust in government is at an all-time low. What I find interesting is that business leaders don't fare much better than their government counterparts in key areas, according to the 2014 Edelman Trust Barometer. So, I set out to understand why and what I found was unanticipated. Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | February 17, 2014
Last week, my friend and I made one last trek to Loehmann's after finding out the discount department store will close its doors later this month after 93 years in business. We wanted one last chance to wade through the racks of latest fashions and to take advantage of the 60 percent discounts. Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | February 10, 2014
CVS made a bold move last week when the chain announced that it would discontinue selling tobacco products in its retail pharmacy stores. In an effort to align its merchandise with its mission of, "helping people on the path to better health," the company's decision is a question of ethical business and doing what's right for the customers. Read more »
Guest Blogger: Harley Manning | January 31, 2014
My colleague John Dalton and I recently published a report outlining our major predictions for customer experience in the coming year. What we envision is perhaps best summed up by the old William Gibson quote: "The future is already here, it's just not evenly distributed." Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | January 27, 2014
While attending a cocktail party in December, I met a woman who returned to the U.S. that day from Costa Rica. She was a flight attendant and drove directly to the party from JFK airport. When I asked her which airline she worked for, she replied, "the worst airline in the world." I responded, "Let me guess--United Airlines." Read more »
Guest Blogger: James McQuivey | January 24, 2014
Marketers, you are officially on notice: The very idea of 'brand relationship' is going to become irrelevant thanks to digital disruption. If you continue to focus on building a wonderful brand relationship with your customer, you will one day awake to find that someone else has taken your place in your customer's life. Not with a more compelling brand relationship, but with a more compelling digital customer relationship. Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | January 13, 2014
Today kicks off The NRF 103rd Annual Convention & EXPO at the Javits Convention Center in New York City and more than 30,000 retail professionals from around the world are expected to attend. I also look forward to attending the conference tomorrow to learn the trends and to see firsthand the technologies that will shape customer experience in retail this year. Senior Writer Cynthia Clark is there today and will share her findings in 1to1 Media's blog on Thursday. Read more »
Guest Blogger: Harley Manning | January 10, 2014
In a previous post I wrote about speakers at Forrester's Customer Experience Forum EMEA who represented companies in the "repair" phase of customer experience maturity. Their mission: Find broken experiences, fix them, and measure the results. Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | January 6, 2014
As we enter into 2014, we look for help and advice in organizing our businesses and teams. We also look toward experts' forecasts and trends to help us best prepare for the year ahead and to decide where to focus key investments. Read more »
Guest Blogger: Kerry Bodine | January 3, 2014
Companies can turn to a variety of experts -- like interactive agencies and customer experience transformation consultants -- for help with improving or innovating the customer experience. But despite years of experience and a thriving professional network, one type of expert remains virtually unknown to customer experience professionals: the service design agency. Customer experience professionals should seek out service design agencies because: Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | December 30, 2013
The importance of delivering an optimal customer experience cannot be overstated. This year saw some notable blunders. Here are five that I believe stood out the most. Read more »
Guest Blogger: Vanessa Saulsberry | December 27, 2013
While most people looked ahead to 2014, I did exactly the opposite. I reflected on some of my more sour moments and realized what I learned from them. Typically I'm the most jovial customer, but in a brazen spree of outrage and deceit I did some things that I can't take back, so this is my moment of penance: Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | December 23, 2013
Whether it's the airlines embracing mobile to assist customers, a bad-boy company promising to make over its service standards, or the launch of new technology that will change how consumers pay for everyday retail goods, these 10 customer experience incidents will change the course of how organizations deliver customer experiences. Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | December 16, 2013
As 2014 approaches, business leaders everywhere are making their New Year's resolutions, targeted and prioritizing specific goals to help improve the omnichannel customer experience, increase customer loyalty, and ultimately advance their businesses. For many, two resolutions will appear at the top of their lists: to convert more leads into sales and to better understand and manage Big Data. Read more »
Guest Blogger: Sam Stern | December 13, 2013
Earlier this year, I spoke with Kathleen Cattrall, Interim Chief Experience Officer, at VCA Animal Hospitals about the company's customer experience transformation efforts. VCA is a publicly traded company (fittingly, their NASDAQ ticker symbol is WOOF) that owns and operates more than 600 pet hospitals in the U.S. and Canada. Its work to create more customer-centric hiring processes features in my latest report, "How to Hire and Onboard Customer-Centric Employees." Read more »
Anna Papachristos | December 11, 2013
Starbucks has become the unofficial official refueling station of the holiday season. Yes, it's quite likely that you will spend more time waiting in line for a peppermint mocha whatchamacallit than you will for any of the must-have items on your shopping list. Yet, while standing in line for an overpriced, holiday-themed beverage may be frustrating to many, for those with simple tastes, the experience can be rather comical and mildly entertaining. Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | December 9, 2013
It's that time of year again when goal-setting for the year ahead and reflections on decisions rendered become routine. Business leaders everywhere are no exception, as now is the time to look ahead at ways to stand out from the competition and enhance the customer experience. Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | December 2, 2013
So you've survived Black Friday--the long lines, the impassible parking lots, and the in-store brawls over door buster sales. It's time to settle into a comfy chair, or close your office door, and start shopping online on this Cyber Monday. Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | November 25, 2013
As a growing number of retailers are opening their doors on Thanksgiving, a handful are bucking the commercial trend and staying closed, respecting employees and their families and attracting positive word of mouth in the process. Nordstrom, Costco, Ross Stores, TJ Maxx, Marshall's, Burlington Coat Factory stores, Sam's Club, and BJ's Wholesale are choosing not to encroach on America's family centered holiday by remaining closed on Thursday. Read more »
Guest Blogger: Kerry Bodine | November 22, 2013
B2C financial services provider Ally Bank and B2B professional services firm PwC Australia took home top honors in the design category of Forrester's first annual Outside In Awards. In our recent report, Amelia Sizemore and I describe how--despite vastly different business models and target customers -- Ally and PwC followed strikingly similar approaches: human-centered design processes that involved a collaborative kickoff stage, extensive research, contributions from customers and multiple parts of the business, and numerous iterations of prototyping and testing. Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | November 18, 2013
Each year it seems as though the holiday shopping season starts earlier and earlier. This year is no exception. Given that it's the shortest shopping season with only 27 days between Thanksgiving and Christmas, many consumers have already been hitting the malls and browsing online for deals. Read more »
Anna Papachristos | November 6, 2013
Before the latest technologies introduced the joys of self-service, the contact center was our only true method for troubleshooting and issue resolution. Notorious for its lengthy wait times and frustrating interactions, calling the customer service hotline remains a last resort for most, even to this day, for most appear ill-equipped for the connected, impatient consumer of today. Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | November 4, 2013
During Facebook's Q3 earnings call on Wednesday, CFO David Ebersman quietly announced a decrease in teenage daily users during the quarter, especially with younger teens. Read more »
Guest Blogger: Kerry Bodine | November 1, 2013
In 2011, the executives at Bertucci's, a 30-year-old restaurant chain in the US Mid-Atlantic and New England regions, faced a big problem: The restaurant had become nearly invisible to younger generations of diners. Bright lighting and rows of faux-leather booths beckoned parents with messy young children -- not ever-shifting groups of young friends on the move. And its traditional table service felt increasingly irrelevant for diners who wanted to get in and get out -- or park themselves for hours Read more »
Guest Blogger: Paul Hagan | October 25, 2013
A customer experience ecosystem map is a visual technique that connects end-to-end customer processes to the ecosystem of employees, partners, capabilities, processes, technology, information and interfaces involved in delivering the experiences. Without these maps, companies regularly perform "blind-man-and-the elephant" exercises in which different silos of an organization see only parts of the customer's experience related to their own jobs. A customer experience ecosystem map breaks down this tunnel vision to help systematically improve or re-design experiences to deliver value. Read more »
Anna Papachristos | October 23, 2013
For years, brands referred to the contact center as the "cost center" of their organization. With their focus geared toward short-term ROI, many were reluctant to spend money on improvements because they neglected to consider sales beyond the brick-and-mortar store or website. Such companies failed to take full advantage of their customer service agents, for they were not trained as sales agents, thus missing the opportunity to nurture relationships, encourage repeat purchases, and upsell during interactions. However, as the contact Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | October 21, 2013
Modern-day CRM started its roots in the 1960s with the "4 P's" marketing framework--product, price, place, and promotion. Any relationship marketer who has been at their craft since the 1980s knows that this structure eventually became the foundation to describe companies' focus on understanding individual customer segments and delivering personalized service and marketing engagement strategies. Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | October 10, 2013
When 1to1 Media launched the first Customer Champions program back in 2004, the goal was to shine a light on the people within companies of all sizes who are making a difference in moving their organizations' customer experiences forward. Read more »
Anna Papachristos | October 9, 2013
When it comes to customer service, retailers are constantly searching for new techniques to personalize the shopping experience, catering to the specific individual, not the masses. However, this modern mindset seems to fly out the window when we speak about Millennials. This group of young consumers--myself included--rarely seems to warrant the same attention, as we are seen as a single entity, one often deemed mysterious, narcissistic, and lazy. Yet, while this definition appears to be widely accepted, what most retailers Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | October 7, 2013
Today marks the start of Customer Service Week where thousands of companies will honor and award their employees in an effort to boost morale and celebrate those committed to delivering exceptional customer service. In an effort to encourage continuous improvement for companies' service organizations beyond October 11, I'm making the following recommendations. Read more »
Guest Blogger: Harley Manning | October 4, 2013
How's this for a challenge? Imagine you're the president of one of the largest economy hotel chains in America. Your goal: deliver a consistent, high-quality on-brand customer experience across all of your properties. Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | September 30, 2013
In 1993 when Don Peppers and Martha Rogers, Ph.D., wrote The One to One Future, the content was groundbreaking. Their radical theory of selling more goods to fewer people revolutionized marketing. Read more »
Guest Blogger: Harley Manning | September 27, 2013
We all felt extremely lucky to score Harit Talwar as a speaker for Forrester's Forum For Customer Experience Professionals West, which is coming up on October 9th and 10th in Los Angeles. Why lucky? It's for two main reasons. Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | September 9, 2013
I didn't think there was a single marketer on the planet who hadn't taken seriously the viral effect that being unresponsive in social media can have--a painful reminder exemplified by United Airlines and Dominos Pizza. When an angry and creative customer took to social media because of a broken guitar and raunchy employees uploaded videos of themselves doing disgusting things to a sandwich, the lack of response was worse than no response at all. Read more »
Guest Blogger: John Dalton | August 30, 2013
Recently I witnessed a bit of design magic. I was reviewing some research with a customer experience colleague who suddenly realized that he'd left some notes on his laptop, which was tethered to his desk. Knowing that he just started using Evernote, I suggested he sign into his account on his iPhone (which never leaves his side) and get his notes there. Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | August 26, 2013
This week many children in the U.S. will return to school. They'll don new shoes and clothes, and come equipped with a fresh stock of school supplies. But many lucky parents avoided standing in long lines and arguing with their kids this back-to-school season. Rather than enter physical stores to buy their children's new back-to-school items, many parents for the first time bought their back-to-school items from the comfort of their sofas. Read more »
Guest Blogger: Harley Manning | August 16, 2013
It feels like this summer is flying by. Although it seems like yesterday when we put on Forrester's Customer Experience Forum East in New York City, it was actually back in June. And now our Forum For Customer Experience Professionals WEST in Los Angeles is just eight weeks away. Read more »
Anna Papachristos | August 14, 2013
Once upon a time, in the not-to-distant past, parents began teaching their children manners at a very young age. Children learned to respect their elders, be kind to others, and behave properly in public. But, as many restaurants are beginning to notice, parenting appears to be headed down a different path, leaving these establishments no choice but to take drastic action in response. Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | August 5, 2013
A few years ago, speech analytics, relatively unknown both within the contact center and across the enterprise, was perceived as a risky investment. Today, with clear and present ROI through the identification of customer insights, speech analytics is turning contact centers in profit centers. Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | July 29, 2013
Tapping into voice of the customer feedback is an essential step in understanding customers' needs and then aligning engagement strategies, products, and services around the data. Read more »
Anna Papachristos | July 24, 2013
Between politicians at the podium and talking heads on television, most of what the public knows about the Affordable Care Act (ACA) hails from the headlines. But, in less than one year, millions of Americans age 18-64 will be seeking healthcare coverage independently for the first time with little information to guide their decisions. And, as the "2013 Consumer Health Care Market Report" by The Agency Inside Harte-Hanks highlights, many insurers are not yet prepared to handle the projected number Read more »
Guest Blogger: Harley Manning | July 19, 2013
Does a big bank care about customer experience? And if so - why? Those are the fundamental questions answered for Wells Fargo by its CMO, Jamie Moldafsky, at Forrester's Forum for Customer Experience Professionals in New York on June 25. Read more »
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