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Anna Papachristos | July 1, 2015
By 2020, the U.S. Treasury expects to replace Alexander Hamilton's spot on the $10 bill with the face of an unidentified woman. But, as The Daily Show correspondent, Jessica Williams, recently highlighted during an episode of the Comedy Central news program, this gesture seems like an ineffective, and relatively pathetic, attempt to appease female critics. "Honestly, at the end of the day, I don't [care] about who's on the bill. What I do care about is getting an equal share Read more »
Anna Papachristos | June 24, 2015
Data has always proven problematic for many companies, as most recognize its importance, but few know how to bring this information to action. However, in recent years, technology has matured, allowing more organizations to gather, parse, analyze, and employ data with ease and efficiency. But, for Mountain American Credit Union (MACU), Bronze winner in the Innovation in Customer Insight category of the 2015 Gartner and 1to1 Media Customer Experience Excellence Awards, collecting both solicited and unsolicited feedback has become central Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | June 15, 2015
The IKEA brand epitomizes innovation. In the exploration and creation of its flat box packaging and self-assembly in the 1950s, the Swedish retailer reinvented the way consumers purchase and receive furniture. But IKEA and other innovators can't stop with their one lightening idea. They must continuously evolve. Read more »
Anna Papachristos | May 20, 2015
Digital and mobile technologies allow employees to remain connected no matter their physical location. Thus, the traditional office no longer exists in its original form, for workers have the ability to operate remotely. But, as the future of the average workplace shifts to accommodate these evolving standards, leaders must also realign their mindset to provide these employees with all they need to conduct business like their in-office counterparts. 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 »
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 »
Mila D'Antonio | April 20, 2015
The banker John Pierpont Morgan, founder of JP Morgan, once said that no one at the top of a company should earn more than 20 times of those at the bottom. Among FTSE-100 companies last year, only two chief executives met Morgan's proclamation. Read more »
Anna Papachristos | April 15, 2015
Just as the U.S. population grows more diverse, so must the average company's workforce. To remain on the cusp of innovation, leaders must conduct an internal audit to explore their brand's current scope and expand future outreach initiatives. Read more »
Tom Hoffman | March 24, 2015
Companies that consistently deliver exceptional customer experiences - companies such as The Ritz-Carlton, Apple, and USAA - don't get there by accident. They also don't rest on their laurels. They listen closely to what their customers are telling them and incessantly review and act on customer feedback, including processes that stand to be improved. Apple is a great example of this, having made recent modifications to the Apple Genius Bar through new mobile features. Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | February 16, 2015
Leadership can be defined as one's ability to get others to willingly follow. Of course, leaders can be nurtured, but effective leadership also requires certain traits. In honor of President's Day, I offer examples of some of the most effective U.S. presidents and the leadership traits that helped cultivate their successes. Read more »
Guest Blogger: Sam Stern | February 13, 2015
A few weeks ago, many of our customer experience analysts including my colleague Maxie Schmidt and me were glued to our computer screens, watching a presentation by a big bank. It had introduced a tool to capture and manage ideas from its employees on how to improve the customer experience. This presentation mattered to us because only 25 percent of CX professionals say their companies' CX programs actually improve customer experience. Those who fail lack insight into the root causes Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | January 26, 2015
In his annual State of the Union Address last week, President Obama outlined his proposal for Congress to allow six weeks of paid maternity and paternity leave for all workers. On Jan. 15, Obama already signed a presidential memorandum guaranteeing federal workers six weeks of paid leave if they have a new child. Read more »
Anna Papachristos | January 21, 2015
By now, many individuals have abandoned their lofty New Year's resolutions, for the promise of renewal has reverted back to business as usual. However, all hope may not be lost quite yet. Read more »
Anna Papachristos | December 29, 2014
Sooner or later, all modern technologies get replaced. Some evolve to meet demand, while others drift off into oblivion. Voicemail, for instance, continues to fade fast, for this mode of communication has become increasingly bothersome in today's hyper-connected world. Read more »
Anna Papachristos | December 24, 2014
Whenever 'My Grown-Up Christmas List' comes on the radio, I cannot help but pause to hear (and judge) the given singer's word choice, for there's one line that irks me beyond belief. You see, while many artists, such as Kelly Clarkson, prefer to sing the all encompassing "and everyone would have a friend," others opt for the exclusionary "and every man would have a friend." (I'm looking at you, Natalie Cole.) Perhaps I'm being nitpicky, as there's clearly no malice Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | December 22, 2014
In his book, The Self-Destructive Habits of Good Companies: ...And How to Break Them, author Jagdish N. Sheth offers sage advice: "shine a light on the dark places in your business. Uncover self-destructive habits before they destroy you." Understandably it's hard to kick a bad habit, but with dedication and self-observation you can successfully break the most common bad business habits. Here are four to eliminate in 2015: Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | December 8, 2014
The term, "disruption" has become the business buzzword of the year. But it's more than just jargon. Disruption in business involves having the ability to sense changes occurring in technology, customer behaviors, and product demands and being able to evolve quickly and implement plans outside the norm for long-term survival. Read more »
Anna Papachristos | November 26, 2014
While sales teams are an important driving force for profit in organizations across all industries, Sonic Automotive recognized that most are rarely given the tools necessary to achieve success. Thus, the auto retailer partnered with MicroStrategy to address the lack of insight accessibility by deploying FIRE (Financial and Insurance Reporting Engine), Sonic Automotive's internal mobile application, which enables sales professionals to close deals. Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | November 3, 2014
Since its inception in 2004, the 1to1 Media Customer Champions has grown into a one-of-a-kind awards program that honors and spotlights the individuals responsible for game-changing customer-focused strategies-- a truly unique event that honors the leaders who create innovative change in their organizations. Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | September 1, 2014
Many of us will celebrate Labor Day today with a picnic or partaking in retail's many sales. The real significance of Labor Day is to recognize employees and their contributions for the year. 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 »
Mila D'Antonio | July 28, 2014
Earlier this month, Google Co-Founder Larry Page entertained the notion of businesses implementing a four-day work week during a fireside chat with Google co-founder, Sergey Brin, when he said that everyone needing to work frantically "is just not true." Read more »
Guest Blogger: Sam Stern | May 2, 2014
In my latest Forrester report, "5 Steps To Create And Sustain Customer-Centric Culture," I answered the question I hear most often from clients: What are the steps in the process to actually transform organizational culture to be customer centric? I interviewed companies that have successfully completed this transformation, and companies that are in the midst of that process right now. I learned that there are five steps companies must take to create and sustain customer-centric culture: 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 »
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: Sam Stern | March 7, 2014
In my latest research report for Forrester, "Drive Customer-Centric Employee Behavior With Rewards And Recognition," I describe how companies modify their reward and recognition programs to drive more customer-centric employee behaviors. 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 »
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 »
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 »
Guest Blogger: Sam Stern | February 7, 2014
Companies that want to create a more customer-centric culture must socialize customer focus among all employees. Socialization includes three sets of activities: Communicate the importance of customer-centricity, train employees to deliver the intended experience, and reinforce customer centricity with routines. 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: Vanessa Saulsberry | January 17, 2014
"Eeeek eeeek. Wakka wakaa!" That is one of the many calls of the gregarious meerkat. Translation: probably something like "Run, Forrest! Run!" It's a constant battle for meerkats to protect themselves from the elements of the blistering Kalahari Desert. Each day must be meticulously calculated and every member must work in concert to stave off a startling range of threats, and capitalize on tasty opportunities. 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 | 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 »
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 »
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 »
Mila D'Antonio | June 17, 2013
Last year had experts calling BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) trend, "the hottest trend of 2012." This year as companies start to embrace this ever-growing culture, they're now figuring out how to manage the BYOD's security and application delivery, as well as employee productivity. Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | June 5, 2013
I recently came across an interview with Amazon Chairman and CEO Jeff Bezos, in which he was quoted this: "What's dangerous is not to evolve...You have to have a willingness to fail.... It's not enough to just listen to customers; you have to invent on their behalf." Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | June 3, 2013
Sometimes employees do stupid things that negatively affect the customer experience. And sometimes the leadership of those companies can flip a potential disaster into a positive public relations coup, gaining positive customer sentiment as a result. Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | May 29, 2013
Good customer service is difficult to come by these days, but even more elusive is fun service. Some companies like Southwest Airlines and Zappos rely on laughter to stand out from the competition. In fact, Zappos, famed for its customer service that goes the extra mile for customers, has created a company culture that instills having fun on the job. One of Zappos' core values is, "Create Fun and a Little Weirdness," which includes 10 principles, among them, "Deliver WOW Read more »
Anna Papachristos | March 27, 2013
Perhaps I'm addicted to the chips and salsa. Or maybe it's the friendly service. Either way, Chili's Grill & Bar never fails to satisfy (in my opinion). But, for one young Utah girl and her family, Chili's went above and beyond to make sure their needs were met with the utmost compassion. Read more »
Guest Blogger: Adele Sage | March 15, 2013
There's no question that executive support can make or break a voice of the customer program. With an executive (or several) on board, VoC teams can get the funding and tools that they need to succeed. And VoC leaders from Forrester's 2012 Voice of the Customer Awards almost unanimously gave others the advice to build executive support. Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | March 4, 2013
In light of the annual Employee Recognition Day last Friday, I had planned to offer advice for rewarding and recognizing employees. Rather than list tips about writing hand-written notes or introducing Zappos-like recognition day celebrations, I'll instead address a more poignant debate fueled by Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer last week--the discussion around whether allowing employees to work from home is beneficial or disadvantageous. Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | February 25, 2013
Unlike when airlines use flight simulation to train pilots, corporations tend to shy away from creating meaningful opportunities for employees to help them practice their job responsibilities as they fit into a new company strategy or organizational transformation, often causing initiatives to fail. Read more »
Guest Blogger: Kerry Bodine | February 1, 2013
Despite professed customer centricity, many firms don't think to involve customers, employees, or key partners in the experience design process. That's unfortunate, because this activity - called co-creation - can help companies understand what types of interactions will best meet people's needs, and then figure out how to implement those interactions the right way. Read more »
Anna Papachristos | January 9, 2013
When one pregnant woman and her family decided to have dinner at their local Red Robin, they simply thought they were heading out for a nice meal--perhaps one of their last before welcoming their new baby. But, after joking with the staff about her impending delivery, Amie Sivon and her husband, Jason, discovered an unexpected surprise. Their check indicated that Sivon's entire meal, totaling $11.50, had been deducted from the bill, accompanied by one simple message: "MOM 2 BEE GOOD Read more »
Guest Blogger: Kerry Bodine | January 4, 2013
Over the past two years, consumer technology adoption and market forces have catapulted the field of customer experience into strategic stature. In 2012, this shift manifested itself privately through sweeping organizational changes at companies in nearly every industry -- and shined publicly through professional organizations, the media, and even in the courts. Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | December 24, 2012
As 2012 draws to a close, I have a few wishes for 2013 to ensure that we all have better customer experiences. Read more »
Guest Blogger: Paul Hagan | December 21, 2012
In the absence of a chief customer officer (CCO)--or even real buy-in from executives for expending time and resources on improving the customer experience--many customer experience leaders struggle to ignite the kind of culture change that re-focuses how executives and employees do things. I came across a Harvard Business Review article by Debra Meyerson called "Radical Change, The Quiet Way," from October 2001, which offered sage advice that applies to any customer experience leader. Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | December 10, 2012
We can expect it every year around this time: Video clips featured in the news of busy delivery men hoisting holiday packages over customers' fences or whipping them into theiryards, breaking the contents within.The news anchors, horrified at what they're witnessing, then discuss options to remedy this behavior. Read more »
Guest Blogger: Harley Manning | December 7, 2012
Recently I was on a panel about the impact of cultural change on customer experience. My fellow panelists included Meltem Uysaler, a senior vice president of customer experience for Citi; and Patricia John, the customer experience director for Europcar U.K. (a car rental agency). Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | December 3, 2012
By now, most people have seen photos of the Michigan man who got a Mitt Romney tattoo emblazoned on his face. While the man reported last week that he now plans to remove the big red and blue "R", the decision to get inked with his nominee and presidential hopeful was fanatical. Read more »
Guest Blogger: Kerry Bodine | November 30, 2012
The right customer interactions, implemented the right way, don't just happen. Instead, they must be actively designed. This requires learning -- and then sticking to -- the steps in a human-centered design process. But this approach is not for the faint of heart. Read more »
Guest Blogger: Kerry Bodine | November 2, 2012
In the dozens of conversations I have each week with companies charting their paths to a better customer experience, the role of employees often comes up. We talk about the importance of employee empowerment, and how critical it is that employees feel free to make decisions that are right for customers. We discuss tactics like hiring, socialization, and rewards that can help organizations build corporate cultures that reinforce customer-centric attitudes and behaviors. Read more »
Anna Papachristos | October 31, 2012
With Election Day less than one week away, citizens all across the nation are doing their best to familiarize themselves with the issues and determine where the candidates truly stand. For much of America, jobs are the most important talking point on the agenda, and for the National Retail Federation (NRF), this means helping the 42 million retail workers across the country stay informed on the topics that pertain to their livelihood. Read more »
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