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 »
Tom Hoffman | March 17, 2015
Corporate leaders are beginning to recognize that the lines have blurred between the brand and the customer experience. This revelation is prompting a growing number of companies to establish a Chief Customer Officer (CCO) role and bring a more unified approach to customer centricity. According to The 2014 CCO Study conducted by the Chief Customer Officer Council, 22 percent of Fortune 100 companies have adopted the role. While that's an impressive milestone, it's clear that the industry is still early Read more »
Anna Papachristos | January 28, 2015
Once upon a time, the word 'value' instinctively referred to what a person believed in--their ideals and morals. Skip ahead to present day and you'll find that the term is simply a word to inadequately describe the menu at your favorite artery-clogging fast-food joint. No one really cares about your beliefs; all that counts is that you didn't break the bank while ingesting your future heart attack. Read more »
Guest Blogger: Maxie Schmidt-Subramanian | November 21, 2014
In our latest survey on the state of the art of VoC programs, 71 percent of respondents said their VoC program was not fully or mostly effective in driving actions. That's jarring. No matter how much effort you put into collecting VoC, the insights are still only as good as what stakeholders in the company do with them. 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 »
Anna Papachristos | August 6, 2014
Selling women's shoes can be as simple as ABC--affordable, beautiful, and comfortable. Hit those three nails on the head and you're golden. But, if you take your cues from Nine West's new ad campaign, you may be more apt to belittle and offend your target market instead. Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | July 7, 2014
Last year online wine sales topped out at $5 billion worldwide, according to estimates from the Bordeaux Management School. In fact, of the 3,000 people surveyed, 57 percent had visited an online wine site, while 35 percent had made an online wine purchase. Read more »
Anna Papachristos | July 2, 2014
Most professionals operate in an atmosphere of overanalysis. They nitpick every detail of the customer experience, actively seeking discernible behavior patterns and engagement opportunities across all touchpoints. Yet, while such strategies are essential for long-term survival, marketers and salespeople must look beyond the data and remember what it's like to live on the other side of this insight. Read more »
Tom Hoffman | March 25, 2014
As B2C marketers continue to gain experience engaging with customers in digital channels, a growing number of practitioners are striving to become more adept at segmenting customers by psychographics and demographics as part of their efforts to deliver relevant content, messaging, and experiences for specific target audiences. Some marketers are taking this a step further by creating buyer personas that represent the different customer types that are represented within a targeted demographic, psychographic profile (lifestyle, interests, and preferences), behavioral makeup, Read more »
Guest Blogger: Maxie Schmidt-Subramanian | March 21, 2014
Are you looking for a vendor or vendors to support your voice of the customer (VoC) program? Or are you reviewing your current VoC vendor(s)? 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 | March 5, 2014
There's always been one line in Mike & the Mechanics' "The Living Years" that I just can't shake: You can listen as well as you hear. Simple, yet profound, this brief lyric applies to all elements of the human condition. From personal relationships to chance encounters, we all have the ability to hear, yet few observe the willingness to listen. Read more »
Anna Papachristos | February 19, 2014
Last week, my boyfriend surprised me with an early Valentine's Day dinner. I've always enjoyed his cooking, so I was eager to see what he had up his sleeve. Lucky for me, the menu included both the main course (butternut squash soup and chicken scampi, yum!) and dessert (golden yellow cupcakes with chocolate frosting). Yet, while the evening itself was unexpected, the greatest shock came when I caught a glimpse of the cake mix box. Read more »
Anna Papachristos | February 5, 2014
Though I typically avoid the BuzzFeed click bait that clutters Facebook and Twitter, every now and then a post will stand out, building enough intrigue to make me bite. Just the other day, my friend linked to one such post entitled LEGO Just Got Told Off By A 7-Year-Old Girl. (I tend to gravitate toward stories about today's youth as I am often mistaken for one.) This particular post features an image of a handwritten letter penned by Charlotte, an Read more »
Anna Papachristos | January 22, 2014
At one time or another, we all crave attention. We feel alone, so we reach out to friends and family in any way we can. From Facebook and Twitter, to phone calls and text messages, we do our best to make sure our voice can be heard by anyone willing to listen. But, just as such actions can make someone seem desperate, companies that exhibit similar behaviors are seen as annoying and relentless--two characteristics most brands typically try to avoid. Read more »
Anna Papachristos | January 15, 2014
Marketing campaigns require great care and thoughtful execution. Those involved must weigh both the positive and negative repercussions before following through. Yet, when one stops to contemplate the CW's latest television promo for The Originals, it's hard to believe any such deliberation went into its conception at all. (Watch the ad via Entertainment Weekly here.) Read more »
Anna Papachristos | January 8, 2014
Most have come to accept that, when people want to have their voice heard, they typically take to the Internet to share their plea or opinion. Yet, while Facebook and Twitter have become the most common places to air one's frustrations, one young girl created a petition to shine light on her cause. 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 »
Anna Papachristos | December 25, 2013
It's practically impossible to avoid the evils of our existence during the holiday season. From news reports about brawls at the mall, to the Humane Society's gut-wrenching commercials, we can see that all isn't merry and bright no matter how many lights we rig up outside. Even this year's holiday programming highlights how far we've distanced ourselves from the ideals that once rang from the rafters all season long. Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | December 23, 2013
Whether it's the airlines embracing mobile to assist customers, a bad-boy company promising to make over its service standards, or the launch of new technology that will change how consumers pay for everyday retail goods, these 10 customer experience incidents will change the course of how organizations deliver customer experiences. Read more »
Anna Papachristos | December 11, 2013
Starbucks has become the unofficial official refueling station of the holiday season. Yes, it's quite likely that you will spend more time waiting in line for a peppermint mocha whatchamacallit than you will for any of the must-have items on your shopping list. Yet, while standing in line for an overpriced, holiday-themed beverage may be frustrating to many, for those with simple tastes, the experience can be rather comical and mildly entertaining. Read more »
Anna Papachristos | November 6, 2013
Before the latest technologies introduced the joys of self-service, the contact center was our only true method for troubleshooting and issue resolution. Notorious for its lengthy wait times and frustrating interactions, calling the customer service hotline remains a last resort for most, even to this day, for most appear ill-equipped for the connected, impatient consumer of today. Read more »
Guest Blogger: Kerry Bodine | November 1, 2013
In 2011, the executives at Bertucci's, a 30-year-old restaurant chain in the US Mid-Atlantic and New England regions, faced a big problem: The restaurant had become nearly invisible to younger generations of diners. Bright lighting and rows of faux-leather booths beckoned parents with messy young children -- not ever-shifting groups of young friends on the move. And its traditional table service felt increasingly irrelevant for diners who wanted to get in and get out -- or park themselves for hours Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | August 5, 2013
A few years ago, speech analytics, relatively unknown both within the contact center and across the enterprise, was perceived as a risky investment. Today, with clear and present ROI through the identification of customer insights, speech analytics is turning contact centers in profit centers. Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | July 29, 2013
Tapping into voice of the customer feedback is an essential step in understanding customers' needs and then aligning engagement strategies, products, and services around the data. Read more »
Anna Papachristos | July 10, 2013
Not long ago, my mother and I embarked upon a shopping trip. Because most malls lack individuality--no, there does not need to be two Sunglass Huts under one roof--we explored the usual suspects. We perused the stores for worthwhile buys and great deals, but to no avail. It was not until we entered Gap that my mother finally found something that hit her eye. 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 »
Guest Blogger: Paul Hagan | May 10, 2013
A chemical manufacturer with a solid customer listening program noticed an uptick in complaints about pricing. Unlike many firms, which would take the comments at face value and take action accordingly, this company first stepped back and reflected on its strategy: It sold premium chemical for advanced applications targeted at particular industries, so it surmised that the company shouldn't see this kind of feedback. It conducted some root cause analysis, talking to those customers. It learned that some distributors were Read more »
Anna Papachristos | May 3, 2013
When it comes to providing the best service experience possible, the customer defines success. Though many companies approach service and support as just another metric to be maximized, those that emphasize quality over call times differentiate themselves from the competition and excel in customer satisfaction. For Cisco and Cigna, winners in the Customer Service Optimization category of the 2013 Gartner & 1to1 Media CRM Excellence Awards, superior service isn't simply a goal to be attained, but also a foundation on Read more »
Guest Blogger: Adele Sage | April 12, 2013
Voice of the customer data is alluring. Once you start to collect customer feedback, there's always something more you could be gathering. You think: What else can I learn? What else are customers saying and thinking? Where else are they saying it? You want to know more. Read more »
Guest Blogger: Adele Sage | February 15, 2013
I was flipping through the 2012 Forrester Voice of the Customer Award nomination forms the other day, and I realized that I've been unwittingly holding on to a valuable resource -- all the advice that we asked nominees to impart on other voice of the customer programs. The very last of the six questions on our nomination form is, "What advice would you give to other organizations to make their programs successful?" We got some great answers from the 40 Read more »
Guest Blogger: Adele Sage | January 25, 2013
Allow us to paint a vision of the future for you: After interactions with your favorite companies, no one asks you how you liked those interactions. Your email inbox contains no requests for a few minutes of your time. No one asks you to wait on the phone line to answer a few questions. The word "survey" has vanished from your vocabulary. Read more »
Guest Blogger: Adele Sage | November 9, 2012
You just bought something at your favorite store. You walk out with a skip in your step thinking about when you might wear this new purchase. You give into your compulsion to check your email on your smartphone, and there, waiting for you, is a survey from that very company asking about your experience. You groan, but you click on the link. The survey isn't formatted for your phone, so you have to pinch to zoom in and out. You Read more »
Guest Blogger: Adele Sage | October 26, 2012
I'm about to start a gut renovation of my kitchen, which, of course, is an incredibly stressful -- not to mention expensive - project. For cabinets, we got a recommendation for a designer at a local cabinet store. We met with her, got some great ideas, and went home to wait for the quote. 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 »
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 »
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 »
Mila D'Antonio | August 20, 2012
Customer experience is no longer a "nice to have," it's a "must have." But marketers' customer engagement efforts are constantly challenged due to constant pressures to deliver a consistent and relevant customer experience across all channels. With the continuous explosion of data threatening to hamper marketers' customer experience efforts, as well as emerging social and mobile channels, organizations are frustrated with how and where to drive customer engagement throughout customers' lifecycle. 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 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 »
Mila D'Antonio | July 9, 2012
Customers today have numerous opportunities to interact with brands at a variety of touchpoints. Therefore it's critical for companies to leverage such opportunities to engage with customers and build an emotional connection. A growing number of companies are realizing that engagement goes beyond just listening to customers across multiple channels, but also empowering them to advocate for their brands--both through online and offline. Read more »
Ginger Conlon | June 8, 2012
Opportunity often knocks one customer at a time. That's the beauty of social. If you can use social monitoring to cut through the clutter, you'll find opportunities to engage with customers on an individual level--and not just to resolve complaints. Listening to customers in social channels also presents opportunities to provide information and advice that builds goodwill and helps to maintain loyalty. We've all heard the stories about Best Buy and Zappos. Read more »
Cynthia Clark | June 7, 2012
Customers' enthusiasm to be vocal and share their thoughts with the brands they do business with gives organizations a goldmine of information. But as Lonnie Mayne, Mindshare's chief experience officer, puts it, unless organizations use the insights to take action, it's just data. Read more »
Guest Blogger: Harley Manning | May 29, 2012
Sometimes a CEO takes the reins at a company that's in such great shape, I can't help thinking, "Wow, it must be great to be that guy!" Read more »
Tom Hoffman | May 29, 2012
A new study released by Amadeus examines the frustrations that travelers have with today's airport experience and how airports are expected to evolve between now and 2025. The study provides a fairly comprehensive look at what passengers dislike most about the airport experience and what they would like to change. Read more »
Ginger Conlon | May 25, 2012
Social has brought transparency to consumers never before possible. The information that consumers share about companies and that companies reveal about themselves is presenting new opportunities for B2C companies to build and maintain, or rebuild, customer trust--or to lose it in the blink of an eye in one gigantic, public flameout. Read more »
Ginger Conlon | May 18, 2012
We hear a great deal about companies collecting customer feedback and not using it, and about companies ignoring social sentiment. But fortunately there are also plenty of companies that act on customer input gathered from various interaction channels. As it turns out, is one of the latter. Read more »
Ginger Conlon | May 16, 2012
Voice of the customer initiatives require three main elements to succeed: executive involvement, closing the loop, and taking action--according to Cameron Conway, assistance vice president of customer research at Equifax. During his presentation at the Allegiance VoCFusion conference yesterday, Conway provided some insight into each of these areas. Read more »
Anna Papachristos | May 9, 2012
There are some matters that are beyond our control. No matter how hard we strive for the perfect customer experience, certain unexpected factors come into play--factors beyond the company's or brand's control, in fact. Read more »
Anna Papachristos | May 2, 2012
Sitcom kids from past generations always had a goal in mind. Whether it was Wally and the Beav or Dennis the Menace, they took on after-school and weekend jobs to earn just a few extra pennies so they could afford whatever the episode happened to revolve around that day. They learned the principles of hard work and the value of a dollar. But today, there are far too many teens who care more about when their shift is over than Read more »
Ginger Conlon | May 2, 2012
Customers are more empowered and more connected than ever, NICE President and CEO Zeevi Bregman reminded attendees during his keynote at the company's Interactions 2012 customer conference. Customers are online shopping and playing more, sharing more, using more media, he added. With the proliferation of mobile, customers can now interact 24/7 from anywhere via multiple connection points: mobile websites, social networks, the contact center, etc. In fact, a NICE survey of about 2,000 consumers found that respondents use six Read more »
Ginger Conlon | April 27, 2012
Many business leaders consider their most valuable customers as those who are the most profitable or the largest. There's certainly no denying that. Increasingly, customers who are considerable social influencers are also moving up the value chain. But what about the customers who don't buy much, but only buy from you. Customers who give you 100 percent wallet share. Do you know who they are? Do you need to? 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 »
Anna Papachristos | April 18, 2012
Human beings have the propensity to give, but often lack the follow through. Filling out paper or online forms to make a donation or volunteer can become a chore that discourages the generous from giving both their time and money. But as mobile devices become more widespread, charities and other organizations are also working to branch out, developing techniques that cater to the digital age. Read more »

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