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I Might Differ
October 15, 2020
Last week my good friends Brent Leary and Paul Greenberg opened up their online show, CRM Playaz, to an executive roundtable discussion with some of the movers and shakers in our CRM world. Unfailingly, each speaker espoused the centrality of the customer and visibility through 360 degrees of customer interaction. It's hard to disagree with that -- though I will.
Why Hasn't CRM Taken Over the World?
October 8, 2020
Many businesses have bought into CRM, of course. It isn't an 80-billion-dollar industry for nothing. Still, there's a disconnect between the wonderful features and functions of new technologies and the realities of how companies use them -- or not. Only about a quarter of organizations use CRM appropriately. Others use it for simple record keeping, or barely use it at all.
CRM's COVID Opportunity
September 30, 2020
Many of the workarounds that have kept old systems running have reached the end of the line. If people are already working in their cars, the gym or the bathroom, it's hard to see how things get any better without replacing systems. That requires a different approach for the customer. The old adage of "if it ain't broke, don't fix it," doesn't really apply any more.
What's Old Is New Again
September 24, 2020
A raft of new technologies that impact CRM are about to be announced, but even without the latest announcements due now through October, there's a realization that we're coming full circle. Oracle is making hardware sexy again, using it to drive new business models and to push its CX version of CRM; and Salesforce is tackling a kind of mass customization of its CRM product line.
7 Steps to Restoring Trust in Business Telephone Calls
September 18, 2020
Robocalls, spam and call spoofing have all but destroyed Americans' trust in telephone calls -- to the point that many individuals have essentially stopped answering the phone. Here are seven steps that organizations can take to combat erroneous call blocking and increase answer rates. These measures will help businesses optimize contact operations, increase call performance, and protect and promote their brands by restoring trust in calls.
Fall Ramp-Up
September 15, 2020
Technology's fall selling season is gearing up for year-end as it always does, coronavirus or not, and the CRM industry follows suit with some mods. The majors like Salesforce and Oracle, as well as fast followers like Zoho, are in hot pursuit of what's new -- and they're betting new in this context means a process orientation, not simply delivering new products, features, or functions.
How Customer Conversations Can Create Personalization in E-Commerce
September 8, 2020
Ask anyone in the e-commerce space and they'll tell you: it's a numbers game. The numbers we rely on every day offer insights into every aspect of our competitive industry, from the click-through success of advertising campaigns to the conversion rates of specifically placed "Buy Now" buttons. Yet in this world of quantitative analytics, we're losing something: the human element.
CRM is Failing: It's Time to Transition to CXM
September 1, 2020
Centralizing all tools and customer-effecting services into one system delivers great efficiencies for businesses. However, enabling customers to have the same experience in real time is the difference between a CRM and CXM. CRM Buyer pursued the potential transition process -- and the impact of both CRM and CXM products -- in a conversation with Thryv VP Ryan Cantor.
Holiday Shopping Forecast: Less Spending, More Empathy
August 24, 2020
The 2020 holiday shopping forecast and consumer spending patterns well into next year will be marked by a pullback in spending, an increase in consumer expectations for brand behavior, and a focus on supporting small businesses. Marketers are advised to focus on brand values and trustworthiness to combat the continuing challenges retailers face in courting consumers across all generations.
It's Still a Young CRM Market
August 20, 2020
The IDC CRM market share numbers are in for 2019. For the seventh consecutive year Salesforce leads the pack, this time with 18.4 percent of the market. Other big vendors trailing the leader include, SAP, Oracle, Microsoft and Adobe. After 25 years of competition, the runners-up have a combined share that is still less than that of Salesforce.
Retailers to Consumers: Let's Get 'Phygital'
August 20, 2020
The pandemic has exposed one fundamental, seemingly contradictory reality: people like to shop online, but they also crave in-person experiences. This era has also made clear that there's an answer to this conundrum: to provide shopping experiences that combine both physical and digital elements. Also known as "phygital" experiences, these strive to give customers the best of both the online and in-person worlds.
Never Complain, Never Explain
August 19, 2020
Oracle continues to be the big software vendor we love to hate. There are any number of reasons for this, starting with the brash prognostications of founding CEO and current CTO Larry Ellison. Last week, another in a long line of incidents cropped up that will likely provide hours of conversations among my fellow analysts at trade conference watering holes, just as soon as such things are again common.
Consumers Expect More From Brands to Earn Loyalty
August 18, 2020
Customer loyalty has increased drastically in the last five years, though it has not reached boom status for many brands. Winning repeat business is increasingly difficult, especially with the economic uncertainty brought on by COVID-19. New studies reveal how solidly personalization in marketing drives brand loyalty, however consumers still feel that brands fail to do enough to recognize them as individuals.
Automated CX Strategies to Revitalize Customer Relations
August 11, 2020
If the ongoing struggles amid the pandemic have taught retailers anything, it is the need to automate their customer service experience. Customer experience automation is making the difference between hanging on until closing down and ensuring more returning customers.
Oracle Marketing
August 10, 2020
The emergency caused by the novel coronavirus is causing deep structural changes to how we do business. We don't sell or market the way we did before the virus, and it may be some time before we return to that model -- if indeed we ever do. Oracle's strategy centers around the CX Unity Customer Intelligence Platform, a data management platform that's central to marketers' activities.
Salesforce Sustainability Cloud
August 7, 2020
Salesforce continues to offer new products in an expanding demonstration of its platform's relevance to business and society at large. Sustainability Cloud is best understood as a carbon accounting solution that enables organizations to more quickly audit their carbon emissions and take action in that area. This covers a lot.
Refocus Your Sales Strategy on the Phone Call
July 20, 2020
Getting a prospect on the line and talking to them directly matters. It's the ability to deliver the pitch with the right content, cadence, and care for your future clients' needs that makes a voice call so effective. It's not just salespeople who prefer a call -- 92 percent of all customer interactions happen over the phone. Simply put, that direct human connection creates the right environment to establish trust.
How to Win at E-Commerce on the New Walmart.com
July 16, 2020
Walmart is embracing new strategies, partnerships, and infrastructure that have modernized its e-commerce platform and made it a more formidable rival to Amazon. In particular, three big factors are at play: enhanced content opportunities, the introduction of new fulfillment capabilities, and the introduction of self-service marketing tools.
Improving Company Performance
July 13, 2020
A recent study found that businesses across North America are led well and staffed with people who are engaged in what they're doing. But technology is barely adequate -- and because of this, managers should devote their attention to improving systems whenever they think about how to improve overall company performance.
B2C Response Rates at SMBs Crushing Enterprises
July 6, 2020
A company's ability to answer customer questions and resolve problems has become as essential as product, quality, and price. When customers are ignored, or given the impression they are unimportant by slow response times, the consequences of lost business and a damaged reputation can be irreversible. A recent study found that many businesses fall short of providing timely customer service.
The Trail to the Platform
July 1, 2020
Some years ago, Marc Benioff told me he was not interested in developing back office apps that would compete with SAP and Oracle in the ERP and finance market. Many people, myself included, looked askance at that idea and wondered out loud how the company would continue to grow because, hey, there's front office and back office and nothing else right? Nope.
Let's Rethink Our Relationship With CRM
June 24, 2020
If you search for "why CRM fails" you get over three million results. Analysts report that close to half of all CRM projects fail and about 40 percent of CRM software purchased goes unused -- because sales teams don't want to use software that makes them glorified data entry clerks and still doesn't "work." As a CRM industry veteran, this ongoing failure rate hits close to home, and in my experience is much higher.
Time to Beef Up Your Algorithms
June 18, 2020
Accuracy means getting the right answer. Precision is about getting the right answer time after time. In a CRM situation an algorithm that gets the right answer is accurate and nice (we got the deal!) but if the business process supported by CRM has a lot of returns or unhappy customers, it's not very precise.
Verint Automates Management of Return-to-Work Health Practices
June 10, 2020
Verint has announced new capabilities within its workforce management solution that automate compliance with CDC guidelines to reduce the risk of COVID-19 infection as employees transition back to the workplace. New workflows automatically create a comprehensive schedule that is prescriptive, while including traditional workforce management criteria such as skill level, channels and peak hours.
CRM's K-Wave
May 26, 2020
These are extraordinary times, in case you haven't noticed. One of my contentions these days is that CRM is penetrating society to a point that it is taking on an outsized role -- the "CRMification" of society. In economics we often see a disruptive innovation climb a ladder as it becomes something that society needs, as well as wants, until it becomes essential.
4 Things You Need to Know for Successful Enterprise CRM Integration
April 27, 2020
The enterprise IT environment is complex. Many systems, technologies and practices developed at various times coexist in the same world. With expectations for technological advancements at their peak, we're tasked with enabling these systems to work together harmoniously to support the continuous sharing of information. Systems and data must connect as if all information were native to each.
Trying Times for Employee Engagement
March 28, 2020
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.
4 Ways Intelligent CRM Can Help You Reach Tech-Savvy Millennials
March 18, 2020
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.
6 Signs You May Be Ready for a CRM Switch
March 14, 2020
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.
The Virus and Podcasting
March 7, 2020
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.
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Forrester names NICE inContact CXone a leader in cloud contact center software
Which product review rating most influences your decision to make a purchase?
5 Stars - I want to learn why others think the product is awesome.
4 Stars - I want to know what's liked, along with minor flaws.
3 Stars - I want to find out why the product is neither loved nor hated.
2 Stars - I want to learn why others find the defects to outweigh the benefits.
1 Star - I want to know why others think the product awful.
Digital River - Start Here. Sell Anywhere.
Forrester names NICE inContact CXone a leader in cloud contact center software
Salesforce Industries Summit