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5 Strategies for Collecting, Creating and Circulating Customer Testimonials
August 14, 2018
Most of us understand how overwhelming it can be moving to a new city. Surrounded by a host of options for dining, shopping, daycare, leisure time, auto mechanics and everything else under the sun, making an educated decision on where to go involves some groundwork. So what is there to do? Many of us will turn to a new coworker or neighbor for recommendations.
What Your CRM Data May Not Be Telling You
August 4, 2018
The ability to collect massive amounts of data represented a huge leap forward in customer service and communication when CRM first hit the market as a marketing, sales and data management tool. However, CRMs aren't a holy grail. Data management is one thing. Using data to understand what customers really need -- not just what you think they do -- and how to engage them is another thing entirely.
Kroger Gets Into Online Grocery Shopping Act
August 2, 2018
The Kroger Co. has launched Kroger Ship, a direct-to-consumer e-commerce platform. Ship debuted in four markets: Cincinnati; Houston; Louisville, Kentucky; and Nashville, Tennessee. The service will be rolled out to additional markets over the next few months. During the first phase of Kroger Ship, customers will be able to shop from a curated selection of thousands of products.
Slide Over, Salesforce? Freshworks Scores $100M in Funding Round
August 1, 2018
Freshworks has secured $100 million in funding from Accel and Sequoia Capital India with the participation of CapitalG. That brings the total amount of capital raised since the firm's 2010 launch to $250 million. "The new funding will be used to invest in our platform and to continue scaling internationally," said Arvind Parthiban, Freshworks' director of marketing.
The Pain and Potential of Making a 180-Degree Policy Shift
July 20, 2018
Photo-hosting service Photobucket in May quietly restored third-party hosting of photos, reversing its unpopular year-old policy that required users to pay nearly $400 for hosting privileges. Many irate users claimed their photos were "taken hostage." Hosted photos on blogs, forums and other sites were replaced by an image of a dial indicating the hosted data quota had been surpassed.
New B2B Customer Experience Dashboards Promise Better Business Visibility
July 12, 2018
MaritzCX has unveiled preconfigured B2B CX templates that monitor key financial indicators; metrics for customer touchpoints, including NPS and OSAT; business-specific outcomes; and overall account performance. Integrated into the MaritzCX Technology Platform, "the dashboards become a hub that aggregates all of the data being monitored," said Jennifer Rubin, MaritzCX associate practice leader.
To Drive Change, Let Your Customers Be the Messengers
June 30, 2018
Before I was a parent, I was a youth leader. As individuals, teens had unique personalities, skills and stories, but one thing that was universal was the effect that parental communication had on them. Whether it was a criticism, a suggestion, or merely a bit of helpful information, the teens tended to look down on it, or even become hostile toward the messenger.
Amazon Flings Opens Prime Wardrobe Doors
June 23, 2018
Amazon has opened Prime Wardrobe to all Prime members, after beta-testing the service on an invitation-only basis for a year. Prime Wardrobe is included in Amazon Prime memberships at no additional charge. "This is going to be an immensely valuable service for Amazon which will increase consumers' confidence in buying apparel from the company," said Nikki Baird, VP for retail innovation at Aptos.
How a Newsletter Can Boost Your Business
June 20, 2018
Newsletters are one of the primary means of communicating with both existing and potential customers. For small e-commerce business owners, however, putting together a regular newsletter may seem daunting. It might seem that creating and sending out a newsletter would involve spending more time and energy than you have, taking valuable resources away from sales and marketing.
5 Ways to Build Community Around Your Brand
April 24, 2018
Building a community around a brand is an important part of being successful in e-commerce. "Community solidifies the relationship between your brand and your customer," said e-commerce consultant Ian Rhodes. "It creates loyalty. Whilst the majority of retail brands are seeking people to buy from them, the community-minded brand invites people to buy into their brand."
HubSpot Sales Exec Brian Signorelli: Get Your Prospects to Call You
April 15, 2018
A number of trends have taken hold in the CRM space, according toHubSpot Sales Exec Brian Signorelli. "One of the first things that stands out to me is that, ironically, despite all the money that is spent on CRM overall, sales reps aren't spending that much time there," he said. "Instead, reps are using all these tools that are connected in some way to CRM, like email or sales acceleration."
CRM Tops Software Sales Charts Worldwide
April 11, 2018
Worldwide CRM software revenues totaled $39.5 billion in 2017, eclipsing DBMS, the former market leader. DBMS had worldwide revenues of $36.8 billion last year, and it "has been the biggest software segment for years, noted Julian Poulter, research director at Gartner. CRM software will be the fastest-growing software market in 2018, with a growth rate of 16 percent, Gartner predicted.
The Danger of Underestimating Your Brand's Value
April 5, 2018
A solid brand is key to business success, but over the years I have seen many companies try to commit suicide by killing the brand identities they spent so many years and so much money creating. Many are now gone. Others are still around, but in a weakened position. You must give the customer a compelling, emotional reason to want to be connected to your company.
Digital Disruption
April 4, 2018
Andrew McAfee and Erik Brynjolfesson, who teach at MIT's Sloan School of Management, started writing about the impact of artificial intelligence and machine learning almost a decade ago. Their early books provided deep insights into the way the era we live in would unfold. A lot of their ideas were on display last week at TrailHeaDX: The Salesforce Developer Conference in San Francisco.
Adobe Hones Target's Personalization Tools
March 29, 2018
Adobe this week introduced three features to its Target application in an effort to improve customer experiences through increased personalization: new Personalization Insights reports; Propensity score model comparisons; and Real-time customization models. These new features give users enhanced transparency and customization of Adobe Sensei-powered AI for personalization in Target.
Squandering Customer Loyalty Is Risky Business
March 22, 2018
Customers often make investments in their relationships with the businesses they choose to patronize. There is plenty of competition, so companies must pay attention. It's only when a company respects and wants a customer as much as the customer wants the company that things will go well, and a long-term brand relationship will be created. However, too many companies focus only on themselves.
5 Steps to a Painless Checkout Process
March 21, 2018
Checking out is the heart and soul of the e-commerce experience. When it goes well, you've got happy customers who are likely to return. "Checkout is not only key to driving revenue -- it's key to user satisfaction, order size and retention," said Zephrin Lasker, head of ecommerce at Viber. "A good process can allow for optimal conversion, data collection and speed."
Facebook's Vulnerabilities Surface
March 7, 2018
Adam Smith famously referred to "the invisible hand" of the free market in his landmark book The Wealth of Nations, and with that made himself one of the very first political economists. Smith's observation was so on point that most of us assume markets run through the agency of individuals pursuing their enlightened self-interests, which helped drive the evolution of CRM as a tracking tool.
FutureProof Retail President Di Di Chan: Combine Your Strengths
February 27, 2018
FutureProof Retail aims to redefine the in-store checkout experience. "From the consumer point of view, when you go shopping you have people who help you and service you, and you walk away happy," said President Di Di Chan. "What we're doing is bringing the online offline, to centralize that service. It's not just the top VIP shopper who can enjoy that experience -- everyone can."
5 Effective Ways SMB Etailers Can Battle Fraud
February 26, 2018
Fraud is a major concern for 72 percent of businesses, according to Experian's Global Fraud and Identity Report. More than 5,500 consumers and 500 business executives in 11 markets around the world participated in the survey. The situation has not been improving, as six out of 10 businesses experienced the same losses to fraud as they did a year ago -- or more.
Customer Experience Revolution Ahead: Gartner
February 24, 2018
Enterprises have begun overhauling the way they handle customer experiences, suggested Gene Alvarez, managing vice president at Gartner, at the firm's customer experience event in Tokyo earlier this week. Twenty percent of brands will abandon their mobile apps by 2019, he predicted, choosing consumer messaging apps such as Facebook Messenger and WeChat instead.
'Different Strokes' Approach Can Damage a Brand
February 23, 2018
One fundamental element of building a brand relationship with customers is consistency. Widely franchised companies like Starbucks compromise consistency, however. They employ several different business models instead of sticking to one. This approach confuses customers and hurts the master brand, since customers never really know what to expect.
Keeping It Simple
February 22, 2018
Disruptive innovations expose longstanding needs and signal that there's a solution at hand -- one that usually is less expensive than the status quo. The lower-cost aspect makes adoption inevitable and disruptive. Document management is like that. Decades ago, many enterprises found that the cost of capturing documents as electronic images vastly improved on costly file cabinet systems.
Broken Corporate Processes Degrade Customer Experience: Survey
February 21, 2018
Broken corporate processes have been contributing to negative customer experiences, a recent survey suggests. One thousand employees in U.S. companies with a workforce of 500 or more who work on a computer or mobile device for more than five hours a day responded to the online survey conducted by Nintex. Overall, 54 percent observed broken administrative processes within their organization.
Are You Engineering the Customer Experience Out of Your Business?
February 20, 2018
Automation. Robots. Technology taking our jobs. I defy you to pick up a business magazine and avoid this topic -- it will be in there somewhere. Here's another theme you won't be able to avoid: the need to focus on the customer experience. These two trends are in tension much of the time. They don't have to be, but most businesses seem determined to focus on themselves instead of the customer.
Apple's HomePod Could Leave a Lasting Mark With Customers
February 15, 2018
Apple's new $350 HomePod could make an impact in several ways. In addition to providing listeners with highly praised sound quality, the smart speaker literally could make an impression on some of the wood surfaces it touches -- in the form of white rings. The HomePod can stream music to those who have an Apple Music subscription. It has a few other capabilities too.
The 3 Faces of Customer Care
February 8, 2018
Companies are run by people. Some do a great job of putting the customer first and growing, which ultimately rewards investors. Others don't. Some first focus on investors and numbers, simply not caring about or taking care of the customer. That approach can have a serious and long-term negative impact on the company. Following are several examples of what some companies are doing right and wrong.
Five9 President Dan Burkland: Leveraging Tech for Great Customer Experiences
February 7, 2018
"We're seeing a digital transformation take place, where companies are moving their contact centers to the cloud," noted Dan Burkland, president of Five9. "There are two key criteria for a contact center -- there's the CRM and the contact center infrastructure, and those two really go hand-in-hand. You bring a call, chat, text or email into the center, and you have to look for an agent who's available and properly skilled to handle such an interaction."
Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway, JP Morgan Aim to Untangle Employee Healthcare Knot
February 1, 2018
Three corporate giants on Tuesday announced they were banding together to provide healthcare for their 1.1 million employees. The companies -- Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway and JP Morgan Chase -- plan to form a company "free from profit-making incentives and constraints" in order to improve employee satisfaction with their healthcare coverage as well as reduce costs.
Resist: Don't Sign That AT&T Contract
February 1, 2018
This is a call for resistance that has nothing to do with politics. It's coming from someone who unwittingly walked into a virtual jail cell that was disguised as a DirecTV contract. I'll be behind bars for another 23 months, and I'm counting the days. Please don't take this as a rant or as an attempt to pressure AT&T, DirecTV's parent company, into appeasing me. That ship has sailed.
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What role will technology play in the upcoming U.S. midterm elections?
Advanced security measures will protect the legitimacy of the elections.
Inadequate security will place the election process at grave risk.
Voter technology is so decentralized, attackers can't have much impact.
Companies that manufacture voting machines need to shore up their security.
The upcoming midterms will be no better or worse than others from a tech standpoint.