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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 »
Guest Blogger: Sam Stern | April 4, 2014
In my recent report for Forrester, "How To Build A Customer-Centric Culture," I describe how customer experience professionals use three tools to embed customer focus in their organizations: 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 »
Anna Papachristos | March 26, 2014
Mobile customer care is rapidly becoming an opportunity for companies to differentiate themselves in an increasingly competitive economy. But, as Bruce Bales, vice president of product management at mBlox, notes, companies must look beyond marketing and advertising to include care as a means to engage consumers. The direct nature of mobile messaging remains the most effective way to grab consumers' attention. Therefore, brands that can take a care-centric approach to their mobile strategy will drive customer loyalty and long-term value. 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 »
Guest Blogger: Rick Parrish | March 14, 2014
Things have been tough for US federal customer experience (CX) lately: budget, procurement, IT management, and other problems I've already detailed have hamstrung federal agencies' efforts to truly elevate their customer experiences. The worst failure was of course the healthcare.gov debacle, which--as I wrote about last month--tarnished both the Affordable Care Act and the President himself. But other problems, like the claims backlogs at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and Social Security Administration (SSA), have been growing, too. Read more »
Anna Papachristos | March 5, 2014
There's always been one line in Mike & the Mechanics' "The Living Years" that I just can't shake: You can listen as well as you hear. Simple, yet profound, this brief lyric applies to all elements of the human condition. From personal relationships to chance encounters, we all have the ability to hear, yet few observe the willingness to listen. 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 »
Anna Papachristos | February 5, 2014
Though I typically avoid the BuzzFeed click bait that clutters Facebook and Twitter, every now and then a post will stand out, building enough intrigue to make me bite. Just the other day, my friend linked to one such post entitled LEGO Just Got Told Off By A 7-Year-Old Girl. (I tend to gravitate toward stories about today's youth as I am often mistaken for one.) This particular post features an image of a handwritten letter penned by Charlotte, an Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | February 3, 2014
In 1984 Steve Jobs introduced the Apple Macintosh during a Super Bowl XVIII commercial. The computer went on to become the first commercially successful personal computer to feature a mouse and a graphical user interface. 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 »
Anna Papachristos | January 29, 2014
With companies across industries expanding their reach to the social and mobile sphere, brands are feeling the increasing pressure to hop on the bandwagon. From forming a Twitter presence, to creating a mobile application, brands find many of their emerging strategies tied to what the competition has already developed. Yet, while it's smart to remain vigilant and aware of other leaders within the given industry, following the beaten path may not be the smartest way to engage consumers. 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 »
Anna Papachristos | January 22, 2014
At one time or another, we all crave attention. We feel alone, so we reach out to friends and family in any way we can. From Facebook and Twitter, to phone calls and text messages, we do our best to make sure our voice can be heard by anyone willing to listen. But, just as such actions can make someone seem desperate, companies that exhibit similar behaviors are seen as annoying and relentless--two characteristics most brands typically try to avoid. Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | January 20, 2014
While investigators sort through just how thieves compromised about 40 million payment cards and the information about 70 million Target customers, businesses must use this latest breach as a reminder to reinforce their standards that ensure their data stays safe. As important, they must develop communications preparedness plans to alert customers of potential threats. Read more »
Guest Blogger: Cory Munchbach | January 17, 2014
Marketing is in trouble. In a world in which the empowered customer asserts her needs and wants with abandon, marketing hasn't done a great job of adjusting its budget, strategy, and energy toward putting the customer at the heart of what they do. Read more »
Anna Papachristos | January 15, 2014
Marketing campaigns require great care and thoughtful execution. Those involved must weigh both the positive and negative repercussions before following through. Yet, when one stops to contemplate the CW's latest television promo for The Originals, it's hard to believe any such deliberation went into its conception at all. (Watch the ad via Entertainment Weekly here.) 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 »
Anna Papachristos | January 1, 2014
When business becomes crazy during the holiday rush, companies are prone to making the occasional mistake. Luckily, in retrospect, these problems often become teaching moments that influence future improvements and programs. For many, social and mobile tactics still lack the strength necessary to garner loyalty and engagement. These tools offer vast opportunities, but while most brand recognize the potential for success, many have yet to integrate these channels into their overall marketing and sales strategies. 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 »
Anna Papachristos | December 25, 2013
It's practically impossible to avoid the evils of our existence during the holiday season. From news reports about brawls at the mall, to the Humane Society's gut-wrenching commercials, we can see that all isn't merry and bright no matter how many lights we rig up outside. Even this year's holiday programming highlights how far we've distanced ourselves from the ideals that once rang from the rafters all season long. 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 »
Anna Papachristos | December 18, 2013
While many consumers are scrambling to purchase last-minute gifts, others are plotting and planning their holiday travel itinerary. But travelers aren't the only ones preparing for the rush at the airport. Many travel businesses are now using Big Data, behavioral trends, and text analytics to adjust their operations accordingly. 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 »
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 »
Guest Blogger: Harley Manning | December 6, 2013
Last month it was my pleasure to host Forrester's Customer Experience Forum EMEA in London. The theme for the event was "boost your customer experience to the next level," which we picked because we know that attendees of our events are at widely (sometimes wildly!) different levels of customer experience maturity. Read more »
Anna Papachristos | December 4, 2013
From Black Friday to Cyber Monday, the past week has been filled with nothing but advertisements and promotions galore. Fifty percent off this, 25 percent off that--it's enough to make your head spin! But for Photojojo, the photography fanatic's online destination, garnering attention was not just a gimmick. It was borderline genius. 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 »
Anna Papachristos | November 27, 2013
Thanksgiving has always been a convoluted mess. Our predecessors plundered the Native American land, the occasion wasn't recognized as an official holiday until 1863, and I'm not even certain as to why we specifically target turkeys for the main course. But one thing's for sure--"thanks" and "giving" no longer go together like peanut butter and jelly. 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 »
Anna Papachristos | November 20, 2013
Big Data continues to befuddle marketers, and those in the retail sphere are no exception. With consumer information constantly flowing into the organization, it can be rather difficult to keep everything under control and remain vigilant in case concerns arise. But, as Don Patrick, president of Infogroup Targeting Solutions, says, without proper data hygiene practices and analytics, Big Data is no more valuable than the sum of its parts. Read more »
Guest Blogger: Sam Stern | November 15, 2013
Last month, I delivered a webinar about digital CX teams in the post-PC era. I described the importance of having a clear strategy for the digital customer experience and how it should align with the overall customer experience vision in non-digital touchpoints. I shared examples of how companies hire and train essential in-house skills like journey mapping and storytelling to avoid overreliance on partners. And I talked about how companies should take an ecosystem approach to organizing their digital resources. Read more »
Anna Papachristos | November 13, 2013
With each passing day, the official holiday season grows closer and closer. While malls are already playing Christmas tunes and department stores are all decked out in twinkle lights, the true rush has yet to begin. Soon, Black Friday deal-grabbers and last-minute shoppers will flock to the store and clutter the aisles, while others will hop online to research sales and avoid these crazy crowds. But, as shoppers seek an ideal parking spot, marketers are out to find new ways 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 »
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