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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 »
Judith Aquino | June 30, 2016
Like many people, the last thing I want to do is speak with a customer service agent when I have a question. Why call when the answer can most likely be found online in the FAQ section or through another self-service option? At the same time, investments in speech analytics are rising. 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 »
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 »
Tom Hoffman | June 7, 2016
The Internet of Things is generating a mix of both excitement and apprehension around opportunities for transmitting data between connected devices and new services that can be delivered to customers along with fears about the security of the transmitted data. One of the industries where these emerging capabilities are offering tremendous promise is in healthcare, particularly as industry players are identifying ways to equip patients with personal medical devices that can be used to provide physicians and other medical practitioners Read more »
Tom Hoffman | May 24, 2016
As the leader of the company, the CEO often sees himself or herself as the person who is ultimately responsible for the customer experience. While some past studies have revealed a disconnect between the quality of the customer experiences the CEO believes a company delivers to its customers and what customers' actual perceptions are, a recent survey of CEOs finds that many chief executives view customer experience as the most effective opportunity for obtaining a competitive advantage. Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | May 23, 2016
For some organizations, building a data-driven culture requires a leader who drives the changes throughout the organization. For others, becoming data centric takes a village. Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | May 13, 2016
There's no ignoring the digital tidal wave of data that's upon us. Every day, consumers create more and more digital breadcrumbs for marketers to sift through, parse, and act on. The data universe will only continue to expand, with digital producing 40,000 exabytes by 2020, according to IDC. Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | May 9, 2016
The battleground for customer experience is on and those who are emerging victorious are using data as their secret weapon. As today's marketers explore the world of digital engagement, data has become the competitive differentiator for how effectively companies engage with their customers. 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 | 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 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 »
Judith Aquino | February 25, 2016
It's all about context. Understanding when and why consumers are interested in a product or service are key insights that companies are only beginning to leverage as a competitive differentiator. At VentureBeat's Marketing.FWD summit, retailers shared their strategies for injecting relevancy into their products and services by tapping into contextual data insights. Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | February 21, 2016
The list of data breaches that affected consumers in 2015 is astonishing. From the 80 million accounts hacked at Anthem to the theft of 21 million records of federal workers, privacy is becoming less secure. Read more »
Tom Hoffman | January 19, 2016
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 represent a breach of antitrust rules. While no competition issues have been found in this area, the EU's Commissioner for Competition, Margrethe Vestager, said at the Digital Life Design conference in Munich that the EU will continue to look carefully at the matter. 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 »
Tom Hoffman | January 12, 2016
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has issued an extensive report summarizing a number of areas that businesses need to consider when making use of Big Data to ensure that outcomes with consumers aren't discriminatory. The report, entitled Big Data: A Tool for Inclusion or Exclusion? Understanding the Issues, takes a careful look at how Big Data is used after it has been collected and analyzed. This includes some of the potential risks that can result from biases or inaccuracies about 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 »
Judith Aquino | December 24, 2015
What a difference a year makes. While the 2014 holiday season was marked by the hashtag #snowmageddon with photos of cars buried under snow, this year's holiday season will be remembered as the warmest December on record. Temperatures on December 12 and 13 even broke a 142-year-old record across the eastern U.S., reports AccuWeather. 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 »
Judith Aquino | November 12, 2015
LinkedIn sends a lot of emails. It's common for members to receive email notifications about everything from work anniversaries to contact requests and new posts. But the company seems to have realized that quality is better than quantity when it comes to messages. LinkedIn is finally tailoring the rate in which it communicates with members to better match user behavior. In other words, instead of bombarding members with emails, LinkedIn is trying to be more considerate. 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 »
Judith Aquino | November 5, 2015
It's no secret that presidential candidates spend massive amounts of money on political advertising. But TV commercials and billboards are no longer enough. Next year's presidential hopefuls will be facing off on a highly digital stage, giving candidates new opportunities--and challenges--to engage voters. Read more »
Tom Hoffman | November 3, 2015
For too many years, contact center measurements have been focused on efficiency instead of customer experience. Metrics such as average handle time (AHT), number of contacts handled, average wait time, and average speed of answer have all been heavily used and tracked. And while a couple of customer-centric metrics - customer satisfaction and Net Promoter Score - have become entrenched among contact center measurements, only recently have other customer-focused measurements such as Customer Effort Score and First Contact Resolution risen Read more »
Tom Hoffman | October 27, 2015
Unless you've been living under a rock, it's pretty obvious that marketing has become incredibly technology-focused. Instead of sending out batch and blast emails and conducting other random acts of marketing, marketers are increasingly exploiting the value of data-driven decision making to deliver more personalized communications and engage more effectively with customers. Heading into 2015, 65 percent of marketing executives planned to up their spending on marketing technology this year, with nearly a third planning to increase their spending by Read more »
Judith Aquino | October 15, 2015
Last week, Facebook unveiled new ways to respond to posts or comments with additional emoticons that allow users to express other emotions besides the generic "like" or thumbs-up button. The new feature could potentially give marketers greater insight into consumer sentiments. Read more »
Tom Hoffman | October 13, 2015
Big Data can provide marketers and customer experience professionals with a wealth of information about customers such as web pages they've visited, sentiments they've shared about brands on social media sites, and other information that can provide insights about customers' preferences, needs, and behaviors. But in some cases, opportunities to engage with a customer or to improve a customer's experience occur at a particular moment when marketers, customer care associates, and other customer-facing professionals require access to real-time customer data. Read more »
Tom Hoffman | September 29, 2015
Customer churn is a big problem for companies, especially in industries such as telecommunications where annual churn rates average between 10 percent to as much as 67 percent, according to the Database Marketing Institute. And while technological advances have made it easier for marketers and other decision-makers to better identify and respond to the triggers for churn, most customer churn programs are reactive and don't leave marketers adequate time to deliver messaging or offers that might change a customer's actions. Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | September 28, 2015
This week marks the 12th year that Advertising Week will be held in New York City. The week-long event, which combines thought leadership with special events, brings together thousands of people from brands, agencies, and technology companies to focus on key topics influencing the marketing and advertising industry. As I attend a small handful of some of the 300 or so planned events, I'll be looking out for any developments on these three key trends: Read more »
Tom Hoffman | September 15, 2015
In April, I posted a blog about the difficulties that sales, marketing, and customer care leaders face in obtaining a truly comprehensive view of customers. This view includes the full stream of transactions that a customer has had with a company, the most recent touchpoints she used to interact with the company, feedback she shared about her experiences in social media or in the contact center, etc. Without question, a big part of this disconnect is the result of the Read more »
Tom Hoffman | September 1, 2015
The calendar might read September 1, but retailers are already busy planning for the holidays. As 1to1 Media Senior Writer Judith Aquino points out in this week's feature, "How to Overhaul Your Holiday Retail Strategy," although holiday spending is projected to jump by as much as 5.7 percent this year thanks to lower gas prices and declining unemployment rates, retailers will continue to remain under pressure to distinguish themselves from competitors and to find creative ways to engage with shoppers. Read more »
Tom Hoffman | August 18, 2015
Author Anne Wilson Schaef once wrote that "we are always surrounded by the doors of opportunity" but that because we're often so focused on a goal, we don't see what's right in front of us. I think there's a lot of truth to what Schaef says and that her musing is applicable for a lot of organizational leaders who are usually so pressed to meet short-term business or operational goals that it's hard for them to see the bigger picture. Read more »
Tom Hoffman | August 4, 2015
Customer relationship management (CRM) has come a long way since ACT! burst onto the business scene with contact management software in 1986. Companies continue to invest heavily in CRM systems to deepen their understanding of customers and to better engage with them. But as 1to1 Media senior writer Judith Aquino points out in this week's feature story, "6 Misconceptions That Will Drag Down Your CRM Strategy," inaccurate data, data silos, and fragmented technology implementations are among the challenges companies continue Read more »
Tom Hoffman | July 28, 2015
I read a Wired article over this past weekend that really struck a chord. The article referenced a recent speech given by U.S. presidential candidate Hillary Clinton at New York University's Stern School of Business who argued that undue earnings pressures on executives at public companies are suppressing wages and having a detrimental effect on innovation and long-term growth opportunities among U.S. companies. While this blog post isn't intended as an endorsement for any particular political candidate, the Wired article Read more »
Tom Hoffman | July 21, 2015
Each customer is unique. As Don Peppers, founding partner of Peppers & Rogers Group notes, "customers differ from each other, in terms of both their value to your business, and what they need from your business." Customer differentiation also applies to the various ways customers can access a company's products and services - whether they purchase from a physical location or, as 1to1 Media Senior Writer Judith Aquino points out in this week's feature story, through their use on-demand services. Read more »
Guest Blogger: Maxie Schmidt-Subramanian | July 17, 2015
You might have seen a recent blog by Tony Cosentino on how "Big Data Analytics Will Displace Net Promoter Score (NPS) for Measuring Customer Experience" because "NPS is prone to error, lacks a causal link with financial metrics, and lacks actionable data." And while Tony's blog highlights a critical issue in CX measurement, it only tells part of the story. Read more »
Tom Hoffman | July 14, 2015
One of the mantras echoing across businesses these days is the need for organizations to become data-driven. And for good reasons. Senior executives and other knowledge workers who use analytics tools against a wide range of data sources can gain deeper insights into customer behaviors and preferences as well as operational and market trends - and not simply rely on their gut instincts for decision making. These benefits can also extend to the contact center where customer sentiment and performance Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | July 6, 2015
The promise of a Big Data enterprise is enticing. For companies that have successfully implemented Big Data strategies are seeing big payoffs. Despite its promise of enabling seamless customer views and creating tangible business results, many marketers and customer experience leaders today are stymied by their data. Rather than quickly acting on data across all business units, numerous leaders have information overload when it comes to capturing, analyzing, and acting on Big Data. Read more »
Tom Hoffman | June 30, 2015
One of the biggest challenges that telecom industry executives face is customer churn. While churn rates vary by country and by provider, annual churn rates for telecom companies average between 10 percent and 67 percent, according to the Database Marketing Institute. And while there are a variety of reasons that customers disconnect from wireless providers in particular - dissatisfaction with the quality of service, cost, poor customer support - the use of customer data and analytics is providing decision-makers with Read more »
Tom Hoffman | June 23, 2015
Organizations that deliver exceptional customer support typically have at least a few things in common. They listen closely to what customers are asking for and not only act on customer feedback but they also communicate back to customers how and whether their requests were acted on. They align their customer service processes and practices with customer-centric goals and objectives. These organizations also strive to make it easy for customer-facing employees to provide customers with seamless support to ensure that both Read more »
Guest Blogger: Kara Hoisington | June 19, 2015
While kicking off a project last October, a client showed us slide after slide of reports, architectures, and data flows. Overwhelmed by information, the client looked at us and asked, "what do I do with all this data?" A plea for help I have heard on almost every engagement since. Due to this trend, I am starting a blog series answering the question from a multitude of perspectives. Each blog will dig deeper into a particular dimension including organizational communication, Read more »
Tom Hoffman | June 16, 2015
The healthcare industry is undergoing dramatic changes, not the least of which is an increased focus among payers (healthcare insurers) and providers (physicians, hospitals, clinics, etc.) on customer centricity. Payers who historically had customers funneled to them by employers are now beginning to market to individual customers. But payers aren't the only healthcare industry participants that are blazing new trails in customer centricity. As last week's PegaWORLD 2015 conference indicates, life sciences and other healthcare companies are also getting into Read more »
Judith Aquino | June 11, 2015
The way we communicate is rapidly changing. Texting is becoming the preferred means of mobile conversation and some companies are abandoning voice mail. Organizations are under pressure to keep up with these changes while also providing fast and reliable service across multiple channels. And while progress is being made in understanding customer needs through speech analytics and other solutions, many organizations still struggle to close the gap between consumer expectations and services. Read more »
Tom Hoffman | June 9, 2015
When companies first began attempts to map the customer journey, it often involved a rudimentary arrangement of Post-it notes or other unsophisticated steps to chart the customer's end-to-end path to purchase or mission to resolve a product or service issue. Customer journey mapping efforts have become considerably more mature over the past year or two as decision-makers are placing greater focus on understanding the types of experiences customers want as a means of attracting and retaining customers. Progress on customer Read more »
Guest Blogger: Anjali Lai | May 22, 2015
In the past week, I have booked a flight using a travel voucher, questioned a charge on my credit card bill, and bought an electric toothbrush. What do these experiences have in common? In each case, I had a relatively complex question and I received a helpful answer - without talking to anyone in person or by phone. Instead, with a little online research, I was able to identify which blackout dates applied to my travel voucher, clear the charge Read more »
Tom Hoffman | May 19, 2015
There are a lot of ways that marketing automation helps marketers to connect more effectively with customers. Technology enables marketers to gather more insights than ever about customers, including information about their behaviors, preferences, and needs. Marketing automation helps companies achieve deeper engagement and higher conversion rates through more personalized messaging. And while each of these capabilities are critical for helping marketers to succeed in today's fast-paced world, some of the greatest opportunities for driving effective and efficient marketing are Read more »
Tom Hoffman | May 12, 2015
Periodically, a big brand will announce plans to invest millions of dollars in its customer service activities. In some cases, the same company continues to stumble a year or two later. We've all seen it before. Improving customer service isn't simply about throwing money at the problem or adding agents. Because customer care is multidimensional, organizational leaders also need to evaluate their customer care processes, the technologies they have in place, the criteria used to recruit and train agents, the Read more »
Tom Hoffman | April 28, 2015
As companies continue to gain deeper proficiency using the Internet of Things for a range of applications (to monitor a patient's vital signs in a hospital, for enhanced connectivity between automobiles, drivers, and automakers, etc.), decision-makers will need to pay careful attention to how IoT influences the customer experience. Because as Fusion92 Founder and CEO Matt Murphy recently shared with me, "if there's not a benefit to consumers, you're probably not going to be successful." Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | April 27, 2015
Last week, Oracle CEO Mark Hurd announce the company's plans to make almost all of its services--95 percent of its products--available via the cloud by its OpenWorld conference in mid-October. Read more »
Anna Papachristos | April 22, 2015
For today's data-driven marketer, more advanced omnichannel campaigns have become standard. But, as companies begin to crave more data in an effort to gain deeper understanding of their customers, many are beginning to recognize that Big Data isn't about volume--it's about what's actionable. SMBs, however, are uniquely positioned to use data to develop closer customer relationships and obtain insights that bigger brands can't, as the explosion of cloud-based technologies has put these companies on equal footing with their larger counterparts. Read more »
Tom Hoffman | April 21, 2015
In case you hadn't heard, Google is introducing big changes to its algorithmic formula beginning today that will place increased weight on the mobile friendliness of a company's website. If a company's website isn't deemed mobile friendly by Google (you can take the test here to find out), this will adversely affect the website's ranking by Google and, as a result, the volume of traffic headed to the website along with the potential leads being generated. The good news for Read more »
Tom Hoffman | April 7, 2015
As companies strive to cater more effectively to the omnichannel customer, many organizations find themselves struggling to find and hire marketers with required technology skills. For instance, while many marketing organizations have a voracious demand for people with analytics skills, just 26 percent of respondents to a global survey conducted by the American Management Association believe they have the ability to meet these requirements. Meanwhile, a study conducted by the Online Marketing Institute reveals that just 8 percent of respondents Read more »
Tom Hoffman | March 10, 2015
It's common for big, multinational companies to generate a sizeable share of their revenue from outside the U.S. International expansion remains a key growth area for many U.S. companies. According to the Bank of America Merrill Lynch 2015 CFO Outlook survey of 603 financial executives, 54 percent of companies have some foreign market involvement. As some marketing leaders have discovered, it can be extremely challenging to obtain good quality customer or prospect data in emerging geographies where their companies are Read more »
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