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Judith Aquino | July 14, 2016
On Thursday, Mastercard unveiled enhancements to its digital payments service, Masterpass, making it easier to make mobile payments across a wider number of channels and devices. Masterpass was already available for online purchases that were made on phones, tablets, and other devices. 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 »
Anna Papachristos | December 16, 2015
Last week, I saw bags of apples with 'Star Wars' images all over the package. Well, at least I think they were apples. The promotional imagery consumed every single bag, so I suppose they could've been oranges, or grapefruits--or miniature, edible Death Stars. I don't sincerely know. Regardless, the drastic visual made quite an impact. No, I was not inspired to wait in line for movie tickets two weeks in advance. Instead, I was pushed to the breaking point. I'd Read more »
Anna Papachristos | December 9, 2015
While companies are constantly looking for ways to engage and connect with their customer base, the greatest gap in strategic development often stems from the lack of communication and understanding between frontline staff and organizational leaders. For sales teams, in particular, this rift becomes especially obvious when leaders purchase and implement tools without the frontline user's perspective in mind. Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | December 6, 2015
We've all seen the post-Black Friday weekend shopping statistics: 103 million Americans shopped online, slightly more than the 102 million who shopped in the stores, according to the National Retail Federation. Read more »
Anna Papachristos | November 11, 2015
Practically every retail store currently has their 'Now Hiring' sign front and center in preparation for the holiday rush. But this season, many retailers will be operating differently than they're accustomed to, as they will no longer utilize on-call scheduling to staff their stores. Read more »
Anna Papachristos | September 30, 2015
Halloween candy typically appears by late summer, ushering in the holiday season earlier each time. Candy corn returns by late July, emerging from storage to serve as shelf liner all autumn long. (They've just been recycling the same bags for the last 10 years, right?) Eventually, fun-size chocolate bars and gummy body parts join the current crop, barely budging until just days before the event itself. But it seems these tasty treats have already been demoted to make room for 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 | 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 »
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 »
Anna Papachristos | November 19, 2014
For many large retail chains, Black Friday and Cyber Monday remain incredibly profitable, as special sales and incentives still generate an uptick in revenue. However, relying too heavily on these crazy shopping days isn't necessarily the best approach, for companies of all sizes--particularly small businesses--should put more emphasis on retaining and attracting new customers throughout the holiday shopping season to boost the bottom line and foster long-term loyalty. Read more »
Anna Papachristos | October 15, 2014
If you visit your local Target's seasonal department, you may notice an interesting dynamic. Though the majority of these aisles are clogged with glittery Halloween costumes and sweets galore, Christmas lights and holiday lawn decorations have started to infiltrate the back wall, while gift-wrap materials are now intertwined with the leftover garden supplies of the spring and summer. Here, the entire year melds into one, allowing no single season its fair share of the spotlight. Read more »
Anna Papachristos | May 7, 2014
In an odd twist of fate, one recent study conducted by the University of British Columbia's Sauder School of Business concluded that rude retail associates might actually boost sales. The study, which will be published in the October 2014 edition of the Journal of Consumer Research, indicates that customers who encounter snobby salespeople at high-end retail stores often become more willing to purchase these pricey goods in order to gain the associate's approval. Read more »
Guest Blogger: Vanessa Saulsberry | April 11, 2014
Far too long ago to mention, I listened attentively as my marketing professor elucidated the Four P's of marketing. It was a different world then; smartphones and tablets weren't en vogue, virtual events and Spreecasts didn't exist, and Facebook and Twitter were rarely used for business. Magazines and newspapers flourished and face-to-face events reigned. On that foundation today's marketing leaders are challenged to think differently about the marketing mix. 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 »
Mila D'Antonio | December 23, 2013
Whether it's the airlines embracing mobile to assist customers, a bad-boy company promising to make over its service standards, or the launch of new technology that will change how consumers pay for everyday retail goods, these 10 customer experience incidents will change the course of how organizations deliver customer experiences. Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | December 16, 2013
As 2014 approaches, business leaders everywhere are making their New Year's resolutions, targeted and prioritizing specific goals to help improve the omnichannel customer experience, increase customer loyalty, and ultimately advance their businesses. For many, two resolutions will appear at the top of their lists: to convert more leads into sales and to better understand and manage Big Data. Read more »
Anna Papachristos | October 30, 2013
Big Data can be rather scary. With vast amounts of structured and unstructured data flowing into the organization each day, analyzing and utilizing this information can be quite daunting. Yet, for those who collect prospect and customer data for Big Data's sake, the noise can be deafening. Many recognize the need to deliver Big Data in the right context at the right time to the right people, but they don't know where to turn to bring this information to action. 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 »
Guest Blogger: Paul Hagan | August 23, 2013
Firms must actively engage external vendors and third-party partners to deliver a unified customer experience (CX). Why? Because partners across the supply chain influence the quality of customer interactions. Sometimes these partners are the face of your company on the front lines in the form of agents, dealerships, value-added-resellers (VARS), distributors, and outsourced call center reps or technicians. Alternatively, they might act behind-the-scenes in the case of suppliers, outsourced credit or risk services, or billing and invoicing vendors. These Read more »
Anna Papachristos | August 7, 2013
For Bryan and Jordan Silverman, brothers and co-founders of Star Toilet Paper, inspiration came from the place many people get their best ideas--the bathroom. During the summer of 2010, the two brothers embarked upon their journey to bring advertisements, like those from the applications on one's phone, to life in physical form via toilet paper. Based on the notion that many are looking to read while in the restroom, the brothers recognized this untapped opportunity, inevitably bringing their concept to Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | July 22, 2013
Sales departments face many challenges today. Finding qualified leads, the need to win more proposals, getting a detailed view into the pipeline, and obtaining a cross-channel view of prospects and customers are just few of the obstacles that prevent sales teams from effectively closing leads. 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 | April 29, 2013
Each year, the Gartner & 1to1 Media CRM Excellence Awards are given to end-user organizations that have implemented successful customer strategy and CRM initiatives. These awards spotlight excellence among organizations that take a customer-centric approach to improving their business performance and have proven results from doing so. 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 27, 2013
Relationships often begin with a spark. For some, the fire burns bright, withstanding the test of time, but for others, the flame quickly fizzles into a puff of smoke. But, just as person-to-person relationships take much time and effort to maintain and grow, business-to-customer relationships require work to keep the attraction alive. Here at 1to1 Media, we spoke with Keith Pearce, head of market dynamics at Genesys, to explore why customers become "disenchanted" by their brand relationships, how companies can Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | October 22, 2012
Henry Kissinger said, "The task of the leader is to get his people from where they are to where they have not been." This year's 1to1 Customer Champions are doing just that. Their enthusiasm to improve the customer experience, and their willingness to try new tactics for organizational adoption, underscores why they were chosen as exemplary leaders who drive their companies' customer experience forward. Read more »
Cynthia Clark | July 26, 2012
In today's smartphone-driven world, organizations are constantly bombarding us with new apps that promise to make our lives easier and better. Just this morning, for example, I made a hairdresser's appointment through an iPhone app, even before I had got out of bed. Read more »
Cynthia Clark | July 19, 2012
Organizations that take the time to engage in one-on-one interactions with their customers are standing out among their competitors. And yet, not all business leaders are investing in such interactions, allowing their companies to really have a two-way conversation with their customers. Read more »
Elizabeth Glagowski | June 11, 2012
It takes a lot to stand out in the business world. And when it comes to customer centricity, it's even harder. Customer expectations are higher than ever, and there are many organizational and market challenges to creating and maintaining a truly customer-focused organization. That's why it's important to recognize those companies that make it work with the Gartner & 1to1 Media CEM Excellence Awards. Read more »
Anna Papachristos | June 5, 2012
Though we speed through our day, we don't have time to run in circles. We want to move forward and we want our information to travel at lightning speed--just like us. Yet, while smartphones and tablets cater to our on-the-go lifestyles, many mobile sites don't measure up, leading to higher bounce rates due to frustration from lag and incorrect image and text sizing. But for Bonobos, a Web-based premium men's apparel e-tailer, poor mobile service was not an option. Read more »
Guest Blogger: Paul Raca | May 31, 2012
Touchpoint attribution--the ability of marketers to attribute a sale to the correct marketing effort--has been called the holy grail of marketing. Does this seem a little extreme? Still not sure attribution should be considered the pinnacle of marketing? The claim is likely more appropriate than you might think. Conquering touchpoint attribution may lead you on an arduous journey, but there's a big payoff in the end. Read more »
Cynthia Clark | May 31, 2012
Smartphones have made it easier for customers to get the best deal. Not only can they search for items they want from the comfort of their own home, but when they find an item they want in a store, customers can scan the barcode and check whether it's available for a better price online. This practice is so widespread that it's impacting a number of brick-and-mortar stores. These retailers are becoming showrooms for online giants, such as Amazon, which are Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | May 30, 2012
Sales professionals have all experienced this at one time or another: Crammed into the office conference room for two days and forced to eat stale doughnuts and chug strong coffee, they endure listening to a "sales coach" who preaches to them for 16 hours about a new sales methodology or how to connect with customers. Read more »
Cynthia Clark | May 17, 2012
Organizations want to know what their customers think about them and what they can do to improve their customers' experience. This is even more important in a competitive environment and in the age of social media where customers are very quick to share their opinions. But in their zeal to get information, some organizations are overloading their customers with numerous surveys that have an exhaustive list of questions, potentially alienating them from giving their insight. And with more customers providing Read more »
Ginger Conlon | May 14, 2012
With all this talk about customer trust and companies acting in customers' best interest, it got me thinking about spiffs--incentives that manufacturers provide dealers and retail salespeople to sell their wares over the competitor's. Spiffs are great for salespeople, not so great for customers. Salespeople motivated by a boost in their commission check or some other incentive may be more likely to sell what's good for them instead of what's best for the customer. Actually, I'd have to say Read more »
Cynthia Clark | May 10, 2012
Marketers spend a lot of time and energy preparing content to entice their customers to do business with them, and emails are a major mode of delivery to reach these individuals. But these efforts are useless if the messages aren't opened by the intended target, or, worse still, if they don't even make it to a customer's inbox. Read more »
Cynthia Clark | April 27, 2012
New experiences are exciting, but the fascination can quickly dissipate unless we're continually wowed. This is true for companies, which need to continue to enchant their customers to make sure they don't go to competitors. According to Guy Kawasaki, Apple's former chief evangelist, there are three pillars to make enchantment last--likeability, trustworthiness, and quality. "You need the likeability of Richard Branson, the trustworthiness of Zappos, and the quality of Apple," he said during the SAS Global Forum this week. Read more »
Guest Blogger: Chris Beall | April 19, 2012
One hundred years ago, Titanic launched. Three days later, she sank, taking precious lives and treasure to an icy grave. In hindsight, saving the ship should have been easy. The captain and crew needed to listen to warnings from nearby ships, communicate more honestly among themselves, and turn hard to port before it was too late. But the main thing they needed wasn't to be invented for 27 years: radar to see dangerous icebergs miles away through the fog. Read more »
Cynthia Clark | April 5, 2012
Social media and mobile phones have changed the way many people view the world. But the impact hasn't solely been on connectivity, as social channels and text messages gave rise to new ways of communication using text. The prevalence in text-based communication has increased the popularity of chat for customer service use, according to Jeremy Sokolic, senior vice president of marketing at LivePerson. "Text-based communication has become second nature," he said during a recent conversation. Read more »
Cynthia Clark | March 22, 2012
Loyal customers are an asset that companies need to look after. Just because someone loves your brand today doesn't mean he won't defect to a competitor if he finds a better deal. It is therefore essential for organizations to work hard to keep their clients enthusiastic about them. Read more »
Ginger Conlon | March 16, 2012
All too often sales teams rely on outdated, unreliable, incomplete information. This makes for poor decision making, Gartner Research Vice President Tiffani Bova said during her presentation at Gartner Customer 360 this morning. Sales organizations need to improve data quality, validity, and quantity to improve their performance. Having the information and acting on it also means being consistent with how and why you use it, she said. Read more »
Cynthia Clark | March 8, 2012
Have you ever walked into a second-hand store, picked up an item, and wondered where it's been before and if there's an interesting story behind it? Britain-based charity Oxfam is using technology to tell the story of the second-hand items sold in some of its stores. Using QR codes, Oxfam is creating a link between a product's previous owner and its retail shoppers in an attempt to make the shopping experience more interesting and to sell more donated products. Read more »
Cynthia Clark | March 1, 2012
People's actions are driven by emotions. And that includes their purchasing behavior. Whether we're buying an everyday item that we need, like a carton of milk, or something we desire, for example, a designer handbag, emotions play an important part in the process. Read more »
Guest Blogger: Don Drews | February 9, 2012
In many ways, selling is a bit of a black art. We can't control the customer. They don't buy when we're absolutely certain this one's in the bag, and other times they surprise us with an order in the second meeting. Salespeople pump themselves up every day to go off into the unknown and find revenue. They work hard under a cloud of uncertainty, and at the end of the year, they've put up a number. Then management sticks them Read more »
Cynthia Clark | February 2, 2012
Madonna's Super Bowl half-time show won't be the only attention grabber this Sunday. Mobile ads and location-based services will play an important role in this year's Super Bowl as companies include them in their marketing strategy in a bid to reach more customers and transform a moving image into a sale. Read more »
Tom Hoffman | January 4, 2012
1to1 Media's Tom Hoffman speaks with Dan McDade, President and CEO of PointClear, about best practices for generating sales leads effectively. Read more »
Cynthia Clark | December 8, 2011
This year, on Black Friday, I had to go to the Department of Motor Vehicles. Since the one in Manhattan is situated right across the street from Macy's, I couldn't help but pop in. But the crowds of people quickly made me do a 180-degree turn out of the store and I made my purchases on my phone while in a cab. I wasn't the only one using my mobile to clinch some Black Friday deals. According to an IBM Read more »
Guest Blogger: Jeanne Bliss | November 23, 2011
With only one retail location, Zane's Cycles of Connecticut is one of the three largest bike shops in the United States. It sells $15 million each year in bicycles and bike supplies, with a relationship grounded in customer trust. For example, on any given day you might see a $6,000 bike go out the door for a test drive without any one of Zane's folks asking to collect the customer's identification or any type of collateral. "Do you want my Read more »
Cynthia Clark | November 17, 2011
With just a week until Thanksgiving my main concern is whether the 16-pound turkey I've ordered will fit in my apartment-sized oven. Stores, on the other hand, are thinking beyond the bird, the stuffing, and the cranberry sauce and focusing more on the following day, the much anticipated Black Friday. Read more »
Elizabeth Glagowski | November 7, 2011
Last week the 1to1 Media staff provided in-depth coverage of the upcoming holiday season. Articles ranged from sharing new mobile initiatives and gift card best practices to e-marketing campaign tips and research such as holiday consumer spending predictions. Even with coverage of the many facets of the industry, a few themes shown through. Read more »
Guest Blogger: Don Drews | November 3, 2011
One thing we all understand as marketers is that no matter how brilliant our strategies are, how intriguing our brand stories and compelling our promotions are, they must reach the market in order to have any effect. And one of the main pathways to the market in any business is through the sales force. Salespeople carry our stories and our programs out into the world. Yet there is a lot of "heat loss" between our office and the point of Read more »
Cynthia Clark | November 3, 2011
The holiday season is rushing towards us quicker than a harried Santa on Christmas Eve. Many stores have already stocked their shelves with greeting cards and decorations, putting their customers in the mood to fill their shopping carts with gifts for their loved ones. Read more »
Elizabeth Glagowski | November 2, 2011
No holiday season is complete without the toy catalog. Every year, kids the world over study each page carefully, pondering which holiday gifts to add to their wish lists. This year Toys R Us is giving its holiday catalog a new twist, adding mobile quick response (QR) codes to its pages. Select products in the 80-page book will have accompanying QR codes, which customers can scanned with a mobile QR reader to access additional multimedia content including videos, product reviews, Read more »
Tom Hoffman | October 26, 2011
1to1 Media's Tom Hoffman speaks with Glen Manchester, Founder and CEO of Thunderhead, about how the empowered customer is shaping the direction of customer communications management. Read more »