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Move Your Contact Center Agents Home in 48 Hours
March 28, 2020
the sudden shift of employees to working remotely presents an opportunity for tech innovation
These days are either the most trying time for encouraging employee engagement or the best we could expect. With so many people working remotely, many businesses need extra ways to communicate with the rank and file, and this might present a prime opportunity to try new things. We make a big deal of engaging the customer, and in most CRM circles engagement outranks simple customer experience. [More...]

March 25, 2020
zoho is offering free services to help businesses transition to remote workforces
Edge conditions and the change they drive are fascinating. Some people use the word "margin" because it's at the margin that things change. A situation exists more or less in equilibrium with the rest of its environment until in one way or another the stresses become so great that change happens. We have lots of metaphors, like "tipping point" and "the straw that broke the camel's back." [More...]

March 21, 2020
embed predictive analytics into the crm workflow to improve customer retention
Customer attrition and churn are not new problems. Anyone who has spent time in the sales world has heard statistics around the cost of acquiring a new customer. It can be five to 25 times more expensive to acquire a new customer than to retain an existing one. Improving customer retention by just 5 percent can increase profits by 25-95 percent, depending on your industry and company size. [More...]

March 19, 2020
tools of technology will help get us through the coronavirus crisis
Life goes on, though I keep thinking about the coronavirus and its impact on business, which is substantial. I am wondering if it's time to count our blessings even as we remain vigilant. At this point the number of active cases in the U.S. is still small, relative to the population, though the bug has an annoying ability to do math in the form of exponential spread. [More...]

March 18, 2020
improve profitability with intelligent crm for millennial customers
Does your customer relationship management strategy have what it takes to reach Generation Y? It's estimated that by 2021, an additional $394 billion in revenue could be gained from artificial intelligence adoption in CRM activities in the U.S. As companies grow and technology evolves at a faster-than-ever pace, collecting, storing and providing data is becoming a bigger and bigger task. [More...]

March 14, 2020
evaluating your crm for a possible switch ultimately could contribute to long term sales success
In today's evolving business environment, every operational decision is critical -- and that includes best practices for managing the customer journey. The CRM platform is an integral part of the process. In fact, 91 percent of companies with more than 11 employees use a CRM system. Because of the time it saves and the structure CRM delivers, it can seem daunting for businesses to make a switch. [More...]

March 11, 2020
powerpoint is a useful sales tool when combined with an innovative presentation strategy
People have been giving presentations for thousands of years, from Moses with his stone tablets to Elon Musk revealing his grand plans to colonize Mars. While the elements of a great pitchman generally have remained the same over the past 5,000 years -- conviction, charisma, credibility -- today's successful presenters do more than just get in front of an audience and talk. [More...]

March 10, 2020
podcasting can mitigate event cancellations and may improve customer engagement in the long term
Several conferences I was scheduled to attend have been canceled in the past week. All of the sponsors cited an abundance of caution in the face of the unknown consequences of coronavirus transmission and outright COVID-19 pneumonia. That's all to the good, but we need to get business done even in the face of the virus, because business has to propel itself forward or individual companies wither. [More...]

March 10, 2020
a carefully optimized amazon advertising strategy can lead to strong sales and roi
Way back in 1995, Amazon made its first-ever customer sale. Within two short months, Amazon was selling $20,000 per week in the U.S. and countries around the world. Today, Amazon has become the go-to marketplace for more than 310 million customers, and more than 54 percent of all product searches occur on Amazon. In other words, Amazon has replaced Google as the No. 1 search engine for products. [More...]

March 7, 2020
one lasting effect of the coronavirus outbreak could be greatly increased use of podcasts and videocasts
The coronavirus scare is working its way through the economy -- even affecting CRM. At this point some vendors are canceling events rather than taking the risk of having thousands of customers, press and analysts descend on a city, swap microbes through the air for a few days, then go home and likely further spread the microbes, some of which could be the virus. [More...]

March 6, 2020
rethinking what customers really want from e-commerce deliveries can help ease last mile problems
If you're an online retailer, congratulations are in order. Online holiday sales grew 18.8 percent in 2019 compared with 2018, according to Mastercard. Armed with new systems and processes -- as well as lessons from the past -- etailers were able to fulfill more orders than in previous years. E-commerce business leaders are already thinking ahead to the 2020 holiday season. [More...]

March 5, 2020
salesforce appears to be emulating the best fast food franchise model
Franchising is a tried-and-true business model with numerous permutations that benefit all participating parties. For the vendor it's a great model for expanding without all of the downside risk associated with building a business, like finding all the financing and hiring people. The franchisor generally sells licenses to willing partners who agree to uphold the standards of the brand. [More...]

March 2, 2020
artificial intelligence can improve emotional interactions with customers in call center settings
The concept of AI improving emotional intelligence might sound like a paradox. A coded algorithm is not the most natural supplement to human empathy. Yet CX leaders understand that AI-powered technologies can transform the way businesses understand core audiences. Customer service agents benefit from real-time and historical sentiment analysis that takes the guesswork out of reading emotions. [More...]

February 29, 2020
amazon's ott advertising can help brands reach highly segmented audience targets
Perhaps you're a direct-to-consumer brand trying to build brand awareness and tell your story. Perhaps you're looking to increase branded search volume across search engines like Amazon, Google, Bing and others. Maybe your brand is focused on new customer acquisition in your sales funnel and you have dedicated marketing resources and asset creation. [More...]

February 27, 2020
salesforce has acquired vlocity which offers industry specific cloud and mobile software
Salesforce just announced it would buy Vlocity -- a startup with all the markings of a unicorn including a billion-dollar valuation -- for $1.33 billion. Vlocity was cofounded and led by David Schmaier, who was executive vice president at Siebel Systems in its go-go years. When Oracle bought Siebel it made Schmaier a wealthy man. He promptly dropped out of the CRM business. [More...]

Get the ICMI Agent Experience Toolkit
What do you consider most worrisome if the Internet should go down during the pandemic?
It would compromise the delivery of critical health information.
It would impair the operations of providers of needed services.
People would not be able to order goods online.
The damage to the global economy would be incalculable.
Many people would not be able to communicate with loved ones and friends.
It would make working from home impossible.
Loss of entertainment options could threaten mental health.
2020 online shopping habits and retailer strategies
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