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Guest Blogger: Rick Parrish | August 8, 2014
Ever notice how discussions of government customer experience (CX) improvement tend to get hijacked by debates about technology procurement? Neither did most feds I've mentioned it to lately. One senior official's response was typical but especially eloquent when he said "Huh, yeah. That's weird. Why do we always do that?!" Read more »
Judith Aquino | July 31, 2014
Can an algorithm replace or supplement content created by your employees? Some businesses say "yes" as they adopt algorithm-based solutions that are designed to churn out marketing content and other materials. Read more »
Anna Papachristos | July 30, 2014
They say it's what's on the inside that counts. Yet, while we're still not quite sure who "they" are, this mantra certainly applies to IT. When it comes to implementing new systems and integrating the latest technology, companies must develop an infrastructure that allows staff to tap into customer data and improve the consumer experience effectively, with regard to both time and money. But, as businesses continue to balance new solutions with their legacy systems, streamlined internal operations are more Read more »
Judith Aquino | June 12, 2014
Devices are beginning to learn more about us by passively "listening" to our activities to offer personalized, automatic services. But as privacy advocates voice concerns about these new capabilities, the ability to opt in becomes even more crucial as a product feature. Read more »
Anna Papachristos | April 23, 2014
Since its inception, social media has evolved to become one of the greatest tools in the modern marketer's arsenal. But, while companies use this emerging medium to disseminate brand messaging and conduct customer service, individual consumers use social media as their personal mouthpiece, sounding off about whatever's on their mind. Yet, while predictive analytics have become the ideal companion tool for marketers looking to gain granular insights into their social consumer base, such technologies have begun to bleed into other Read more »
Anna Papachristos | April 16, 2014
From Facebook and Twitter, to Instagram and Pinterest, social media continues to prove it's not just some trend, but also an emerging platform for individuals and brands to connect and converse. But, as social media expands into an enterprisewide initiative, more companies beginning to consider to pros and cons of bringing their CEO into the mix. While many feel this step would bring an added human element to their business, others worry that exposing their CEO to public scrutiny may 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 »
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 »
Anna Papachristos | February 26, 2014
With technology comes an air of mystery. Because the overall landscape continues to evolve at breakneck speed, companies across industries see technology as an alluring force that must be embraced in order to remain competitive. Yet, while senior executives work to integrate the latest and greatest tools, this focus often leads many to forget and forego the communication strategies necessary to keep employees engaged. 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 »
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 »
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 »
Anna Papachristos | October 2, 2013
Like milk and cookies or peanut butter and jelly, in an idyllic world, the CMO and CIO walk hand-in-hand. But, as mobile technology becomes an undeniable player across industries, research predicts that CMOs will soon spend more on IT than the CIO, causing much tension throughout the enterprise. Such changes are destined to reshape the dynamic within many companies, thus posing a threat to the customer experience as the C-suite struggles to balance power with strategy. Read more »
Anna Papachristos | September 25, 2013
While The Beatles may understand that money can't buy love, in many organizations, leaders cannot comprehend the fact that not all employees are motivated solely by the zeros at the end of their paycheck. For most workers, satisfaction and happiness comes from loving the work, not the payout. While monetary incentives are certainly welcome, those dollar signs are often secondary, as employees value quality of life above all else. And, as Robin Rotenberg of BASF, says, the happiest employees--those that Read more »
Anna Papachristos | September 18, 2013
To gain the advantage in today's competitive market, brands must work to understand the customer experience. By understanding each individual's journey, companies can then integrate relevant insights and evolving strategies to create an atmosphere that nurtures relationships. But, as businesses begin to recognize the need to "walk in the customer's shoes" and develop an inside-out approach, an increasing number of organizations are appointing chief customer officers (CCOs) to ensure that the customer experience is considered by all departments throughout the Read more »
Anna Papachristos | September 11, 2013
Football season has arrived, bringing with it an array of fervent fantasy football fans. Just as the National Football League kicked off its 2013-2014 season last Thursday, men and women across America joined the excitement by diving into the 2013-2014 Pro Fantasy Football season. Yet, while sports bring these friends, family, and colleagues together, football season--and fantasy football leagues in particular--open up opportunities for marketers and advertisers to engage with fans, as well. Read more »
Anna Papachristos | August 28, 2013
When Facebook announced its plan to enable hashtags, many may have thought the popular social network was simply hopping on the bandwagon. With Twitter and Instagram being notorious for hashtags, Facebook users were already tagging posts and statuses to no avail, allowing the network ample opportunity to extend its reach even further by embracing the popular trend. Yet, while hashtags enable users to engage in conversations and interact with the rest of the Facebook community, this tool also provides brands 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 »
Anna Papachristos | July 17, 2013
Back in 1964, Bob Dylan released his third studio album, and the sentiment still holds true today--the times, they are a-changin'. Yet, while people's habits and behaviors continue to evolve alongside technology's rapid advancement, the digital world may be growing too fast for many businesses to keep up. Know as Digital Darwinism, this phenomenon highlights the conflict between brands and their environment, and the difficulties that arise for companies trying to maintain the same pace as their consumer base. As Read more »
Anna Papachristos | May 15, 2013
Technology continues to evolve each day, but unlike children, we do not document this growth with pencil marks on our doorframe. We measure technology's lifecycle through tweets, apps, and upgrades. But, just as teenagers test their boundaries, technology frequently pushes the envelope when it comes to innovation and creativity. In Huggies' case, the latest gimmick truly hits below the belt. Read more »
Anna Papachristos | April 3, 2013
Though showrooming continues to draw much discontent from brick-and-mortar retailers across the board, many have conjured up their own ways to fight back. Just last week, one Reddit user posted an image (also below) from the window of an unnamed store. The sign warns customers that the store will begin charging anyone who enters the establishment a $5 fee. If the customer makes a purchase before leaving, the $5 will then be deducted from their total. This tactic, clearly designed Read more »
Anna Papachristos | February 20, 2013
When you tell someone you remember card catalogs in a time before online databases, they immediately assume you have three grown children and a mortgage. But, once people discover you're really a 25-year-old woman with the countenance of a teenager, you suddenly become the enemy--a lobotomized creature that cannot function without the support of their smartphone. To most companies, I am not an individual, but one of many. I am just another piece in a puzzle they cannot seem to Read more »
Anna Papachristos | February 13, 2013
Gone are the days when the average tourist wandered around with a paper map in one hand and a camera around their neck. Thanks to smartphones, these travelers can carry a world of maps and their trusty camera right in their back pocket. But for those popular attractions and tourist destinations that recognize this change in behavior, mobile devices have the ability to engage visitors in an entirely new way. Read more »
Anna Papachristos | February 6, 2013
If you peruse the shelves of your favorite store, what you see isn't necessarily all you can get. Through DailyGrommet.com, creators have an opportunity to share their concepts and products--those that have yet to enter the mainstream retail world--with consumers through the website's product launch platform. DailyGrommet.com provides individuals with the chance to share their innovative, unique creations with their robust, "citizen commerce" community. But, while users were once limited to phone, email, or Web submissions, creators and consumers now Read more »
Anna Papachristos | December 5, 2012
For most of my life, I've been considered a child in the eyes of the law. But, even though my ID now claims I'm older than I appear, there's no denying that the holiday season ignites the spark that brings my inner child back to life. Retailers can put every TV, tablet, and smartphone in the entire store on sale and I will still gravitate toward the toy aisle. Read more »
Anna Papachristos | November 28, 2012
Now that the housing market has begun to thaw, marketing opportunities are heating up. Because the average consumer spends an average of $6,000 to $7,000 during the moving process, marketers must take advantage of this prime opportunity to acquire and retain customers as they embark upon this transition. But, while the last few years saw houses sitting for months at a time, the average home now sells within 30 to 45 days, meaning marketers have a much smaller window of Read more »
Anna Papachristos | November 21, 2012
Hand-shaped turkeys and pilgrim hats have all but faded from our holiday season preparations. They say tomorrow is Thanksgiving, but the commercials on TV and the catalogues in my mailbox tell me that companies and consumers are more interested in what they want than what they have. We usher in the holiday season with one day dedicated to counting our blessings, yet we bookend this day of appreciation with nothing but selfishness and greed. Read more »
Tom Hoffman | October 16, 2012
Customer centricity is often associated with steps that companies in the private sector can take to build closer relationships with their customers and to deliver products, services, and experiences that are designed with the customer in mind. But customer centricity doesn't just apply to the business world. As a Peppers & Rogers Group white paper points out, a growing number of governments, associations, and non-profits around the world are adopting best practices from the business community and designing citizen-centric offerings Read more »
Tom Hoffman | October 11, 2012
Many companies strive to provide great customer service. However, few companies deliver the kind of customer service that makes an emotional connection with customers - the kind of connection that fosters loyalty and willingness if not an eagerness among customers to recommend a company to a friend. Read more »
Cynthia Clark | October 11, 2012
Bridging silos and bringing together data that's hosted in different repositories is a priority for many organizations which want better visibility into their customer data, allowing them to gain better insights on which to base business decisions. Read more »
Tom Hoffman | October 9, 2012
1to1 Media's Tom Hoffman speaks with David Petersen, CEO of Sense Networks, about different ways that companies can use analytics to better understand the mobile customer and how customers are using mobile devices as part of their multichannel journeys. Read more »
Anna Papachristos | October 3, 2012
Human beings and various other species within the animal kingdom qualify as social beings because we intermingle with other members of our kind. But, as technology continues to advance, we're beginning to see how the different devices in our lives interact with one another as well. However, as the electronic world begins to merge, customer service providers are finding it harder than ever to supply sufficient, reliable support. Read more »
Tom Hoffman | October 2, 2012
In recognition of Customer Service Week, 1to1 Media's Tom Hoffman speaks with Frank Paterno, Vice President of Marketing at Intelliverse, about different ways that companies can take advantage of cloud-based contact center services. This includes best practices for making it easy for customers to use self-service tools. Read more »
Anna Papachristos | September 26, 2012
Many people neglect to realize that today's technological takeover has been in progress for decades. From the very first light bulb, to the invention of the Internet, these creations are the fuel that has propelled us into the present. We only notice technology's rapid evolution now because today's constant experimentation highlights how far our society has come in such a short amount of time. Read more »
Tom Hoffman | September 25, 2012
Sometimes it seems as if customers are moving at lightning speed. Given the many channels customers use and the dexterity with which they move from one channel to the next, it's becoming increasingly difficult for companies to keep pace with their customers, much less anticipate their needs. These are just a few of the requirements facing companies as they look ahead to how they will need to meet customers' service expectations in the future. Read more »
Tom Hoffman | September 18, 2012
1to1 Media's Tom Hoffman speaks with Karine Del Moro, Senior Director at Confirmit, about best practices for drawing upon employee feedback to help improve the customer experience. Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | September 17, 2012
This week marks the start of the official 2012 TV season where networks will introduce a bevy of new comedies and dramas with the hope of attracting the magic number of viewers sufficient enough to get the green light on a second season. Read more »
Tom Hoffman | September 11, 2012
One of the most intriguing aspects of the U.S. presidential election is that there are so many different ways to spin the numbers on voter sentiment and voting blocs. How will Mitt Romney and President Obama fare with voters from military families and veterans or union workers? In a unique twist, the customer experience experts at Temkin Group have placed the presidential race under a different lens - how likely are consumers to recommend the candidates to their friends and Read more »
Guest Blogger: Kerry Bodine | September 7, 2012
Digital touchpoints like websites, mobile phones, and tablets can drive revenue, lower costs, build brands, and engender customer loyalty. This shouldn't be new news to anyone reading this. But to achieve these potential benefits, you need to deliver digital interactions that meet your customers' needs in easy and enjoyable ways. That isn't as easy as it sounds. Companies struggle on a daily basis to identify what digital experience improvements they need to make -- and, once that's nailed down, how Read more »
Cynthia Clark | September 5, 2012
Social media is offering new ways for organizations not only to reach out to their customers, but also to allow these clients to promote their favorite brands among their social networks. A number of organizations are finding innovative ways to engage with their customers while at the same time promoting themselves over social channels. Read more »
Tom Hoffman | September 4, 2012
Over the Labor Day weekend, I read an article in Mediabistro which states that up to half of the workforce for Fortune 100 companies by 2020 could be freelance, contract, or temporary workers. As the Mediabistro article points out, gains in temporary hiring have historically preceded any upticks in full-time hiring. But in the current economy, full-time employment hasn't picked up any momentum. The topic got me to thinking more broadly about the type of skills and mixes of worker Read more »
Cynthia Clark | August 30, 2012
Mobile phones seem to be taking over the world. We're rarely more than a few feet away from our phones and many times they're tucked safely in our pockets or bags. Most of us panic whenever we notice our phone is missing and will inconvenience ourselves to go back and pick it up. Read more »
Tom Hoffman | August 21, 2012
One of the hallmarks of customer centricity is making it easier for customers to do business with a company. One company that's taken a step in the right direction in this regard is Wal-Mart. This week, the retail giant announced that it has expanded its Christmas layaway program, extending the amount of time that customers have to pay for certain products under its interest-free program by an additional 30 days. In addition, Wal-Mart also expanded the categories available for layaway Read more »
Tom Hoffman | August 14, 2012
My 15 year old son is a bit of a clothes hound. He's constantly searching websites for deals on shoes, shirts, pants, etc. He's pretty good at finding bargains online. A few weeks ago, he came across a special on Blink-182 shirts as he's a big fan of the band. The offer was two shirts for $20. The price didn't include shipping, which turned out to be the bane of my son's shopping experience. Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | August 13, 2012
When Professor John Henry Pepper, of the Polytechnic Institute in London demonstrated the Pepper's Ghost "hologram" demonstration back in 1862, he probably never imagined that someday his illusionist experimentation would propel customer service into the future 150 years later. Read more »
Tom Hoffman | August 7, 2012
1to1 Media's Tom Hoffman speaks with John O'Hara, President of Pitney Bowes Software Solutions, about the opportunities and challenges for achieving a thorough understanding of customers, including insight into customers' needs, behaviors, preferences, channel usage, experiences, and potential value. Read more »
Tom Hoffman | July 31, 2012
There's an interesting discussion going on among contact center professionals on a LinkedIn group based on the following question: "Which of the following technologies do you believe will have the most impact on customer service within the next 5 years?" The choices include: • Mobile Customer Service Apps • Virtual Agents • Video • Agent Desktop Technology Read more »
Tom Hoffman | July 24, 2012
I've written before about my experiences as a Nissan customer, most of which have been positive. However, I recently had a less-than-stellar experience with Nissan that I'd also like to share, one that ultimately had a favorable outcome. Read more »
Anna Papachristos | July 18, 2012
Retail stores have the opportunity to engage customers both online and in-store. Because customers no longer have to leave their homes to shop, retailers have the ability to engage customers and develop relationships across numerous channels. However, many retailers haven't yet fully embraced the resources available. Read more »
Tom Hoffman | July 17, 2012
Retail sales across the U.S. fell for the third consecutive month in June as weak employment growth and stagnant wages appear to be restricting spending among many American consumers, according to a report from the U.S. Commerce Department. The data is troubling since it suggests that consumer spending, which drives about two-thirds of the U.S. economy, is also weakening, according to Reuters. And while there's no panacea for unstable consumer spending, retailers and other companies can strengthen sales by analyzing Read more »
Tom Hoffman | July 10, 2012
A couple of months ago, I wrote a blog about plans by Verizon and AT&T to introduce family data sharing plans. As part of the blog, I complained that customers didn't want to have to keep track of monthly data usage by their family members. Read more »
Tom Hoffman | July 3, 2012
There's been no shortage of discussion lately about how challenging it is to be a CMO. Among the issues faced by CMOs is the ability to effectively manage marketing efforts across various channels that companies use to interact with customers. Siloed channel data makes it particularly tough for CMOs and other decision-makers to gain a complete view of customers and their behaviors across different channels as well as their transactions, preferences, and potential needs. The desire among CMOs and other Read more »
Anna Papachristos | June 27, 2012
We spend too much time looking at screens. We bounce from our phones, to our computers, to our televisions, absorbing commercials, tweets, and status updates ad infinitum. "Windows" have taken on an entirely new meaning. This overwhelming flood of information keeps us glued to these rectangular boxes day in and day out. Read more »
Tom Hoffman | June 26, 2012
1to1 Media's Tom Hoffman speaks with James Norwood, CMO at KANA Software, about different ways to improve web customer service, including self-service capabilities, as well as common mistakes to avoid. Read more »
Tom Hoffman | June 19, 2012
1to1 Media's Tom Hoffman speaks with Michael Housman, managing director of analytics at Evolv, about best practices for using Big Data to improve the performance and responsiveness of the contact center. Read more »
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