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Merchants: Adopting New Payment Technologies Is Easier Than You Think
May 11, 2020
Consumers increasingly demand seamless ways to purchase wherever they go, and they want their transactions to be quick, safe and, importantly, secure. The fact is, merchants must embrace new methods quickly or risk being left behind. Over the last decade, payment options have evolved in response to developments in technology and changing customer purchasing habits.
How to Adapt Your Customer Service When Crisis Strikes
May 8, 2020
Customer service doesn't have to suffer while your company goes through a difficult transition. In fact, 78 percent of consumers said they stopped doing business with a company because of poor customer service. Now is the time to show your most valuable buyers how you'll keep them informed, updated and respected throughout this crisis by adapting your practices to the moment.
We're the Adults in the Room
April 15, 2020
The U.S. Postal Service recently has been battered by a decline in the number of packages it delivers, partly caused by the coronavirus situation. It reportedly is losing $2 billion each month and will be "illiquid" by Sept. 30. The USPS is chartered to do the hard and often unprofitable work no one else wants to do, but the White House has rejected talk of a bailout for the service.
A 6-Point Plan to Leapfrog to CX Leadership
April 8, 2020
Customer experience as a boardroom topic is more relevant than ever. Enterprises are investing significant digital transformation budgets and commissioning large projects to elevate CX. Yet more than 70 percent of digital transformation projects fail to move the needle at scale. One topic that has a substantial impact on CX is the transformation of customer service operations using digital tools.
Amazon Buckles Under Stress of Staple-Hoarding
March 17, 2020
Shopping hysteria in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic is crippling Amazon's ability to fill online orders and meet timely delivery promises. The company plans to increase pay in the U.S., UK and Europe for employees engaged in fulfillment operations, as well as open 100,000 new full and part-time positions to meet the surge in demand. Amazon has been was running out of household staples.
4 Customer Service AI Applications That Work Today
March 2, 2020
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.
5 Ways to Optimize B2B Customer Experiences
February 10, 2020
You just started your Software as a Service company. With hard work and dedication, you've created a solid product that solves the challenges your business-to-business customers face on a daily basis. With any new product, questions arise on how to get the most from it. Your customers want the best experience possible, and they turn to you to deliver that experience.
3 Ways to Build Positive Relationships with B2B Customers
February 4, 2020
For most businesses, meeting target sales goals and key revenue metrics are top priorities. While building positive relationships with customers is important, it isn't the easiest metric to quantify. For this reason, many companies end up ignoring the work it takes to build relationships with customers, and begin to focus on other, more easily-tracked metrics like deals closed and upsells.
6 Simple Steps to Improve Your B2B Customer Retention
January 21, 2020
The business-to-business buyer's journey is often difficult and long. The typical buying group for a complex B2B solution involves six to 10 decision makers, each of them bringing information they independently gathered to share with the group before making a decision. This information often opens the door for new suggestions, creating an even longer buying process.
The Million Dollar Hidden Opportunity for E-Commerce SMBs
January 18, 2020
Every successful, long-term business has a common denominator in training as it relates to online sales customer contacts. Notice I said "long-term." A great product or unique marketing effort can fall short when a customer contacts an employee who is ill-equipped to respond. Some 72 percent of online shoppers will return up to 10 percent of their purchases, according to the UPS Pulse study.
Business/Customer Sweet Spots: ECT News Roundtable, Episode 2
January 16, 2020
If you're a small business owner or a key member of an enterprise executive team, you want your firm to succeed. If you're a customer, you want to be treated well. Those goals are not diametrically opposed, but very often it seems that companies and customers are at cross-purposes. ECT News Network recently gathered together five technology experts who did some hard thinking on the subject.
Chatbot or Human? Combine Both to Achieve Customer Service Success
January 7, 2020
Companies across industries are shifting toward an automated approach to customer relations. With the help of chatbots, businesses can reduce their customer service costs by up to 30 percent and save both employees' and customers' valuable time. In fact, many customers welcome chatbots in the customer service process. So, if chatbots offer all of these advantages, why not automate everything?
5 Transformational Customer Support Trends to Watch in 2020
December 28, 2019
"Digital transformation" has taken on multiple definitions, but one thing is for sure: Companies view it as a top priority, so much so that enterprises are projected to spend in excess of $2 trillion through 2019, according to IDC. This insurgence of digital transformation investments and prioritization has led many organizations to reshape their use of technology.
Shield Healthcare: Serving the Poor, Poorly
December 23, 2019
Sometimes when you tug on the thread of a small customer service failure, you unravel a big skein of much knottier problems. That happened when Shield Healthcare didn't send "Great Aunt Nelly" her shipment of medical supplies on time. There are many people like Nelly in the U.S. -- elderly and disabled folks who depend in part or entirely on government assistance to get by.
Paving the Way for the Next Generation of CX Services
December 16, 2019
In order to deliver superior customer experience, companies should combine human talent with technology, including much-needed digital expertise, to turn their current revenue and growth strategies into customer satisfaction. The companies that truly succeed engage their customers and strengthen their brands. Technology has changed consumer and business needs and expectations.
6 Customer Service Trends to Watch in 2020
December 12, 2019
The era of messaging and automation is upon us! The fundamentals of delivering a good customer service experience in 2020 will be much the same as in 2019: Customers will expect convenient in-channel resolutions that take little effort on their behalf. With the rise of friction-free, asynchronous and personalized private messaging channels, contact centers must adapt.
For Some Sellers, Black Friday Was Beige
December 6, 2019
If Black Friday is the biggest sales day of the year, is it necessarily the best? For many small merchants, it seemed Black Friday was more beige than black. Black Friday is the biggest sales day of the year, but it's often dominated by massive merchants. For smaller businesses, there are other peak sales days that might be better suited to their unique positioning.
Keeping the 'Service' in SaaS
November 20, 2019
In today's highly competitive B2B software industry, it's not enough to staff a call center and sit back and wait for customers to reach out when they need you -- it's imperative that you take the initiative. When customers have so many solution vendors to choose from, service becomes a strategic differentiator to set your company apart from the crowd.
Do Your Customer Journeys Have Dead Ends or Dead Spots?
October 29, 2019
It's easy to take things you see every day for granted. We take the sun rising and setting for granted, for instance, and that's a good thing, because it helps us organize our lives. However, in business taking things for granted is a hazard. Change is everything these days, and that means the concepts you take as constants may not be as constant as they seem.
Getting CX Nuances Right: A Subscription Driver for Brands
October 9, 2019
National Customer Service Week is the first full week of October -- a designation we've celebrated every year since 1992. The week highlights the importance of customer service and the people who serve and support customers on a daily basis. Customer service is a big deal in e-commerce, as 73 percent of customers reportedly view it as an important factor in their purchasing decisions.
Hey Sellers - Your Customers Are #WorkingPoolside Today
October 2, 2019
Your new salespeople have very specific expectations of how their workday should flow. These 20-somethings want to sign a contract poolside, then post about it on Instagram -- #workingpoolside, anyone? They want to approve a purchase order on the go as they head to post-work Pilates and pizza. They want zero bumps in the road as they go from meeting to mixer.
Apple, Tesla, IBM: Only One Has Gotten the 'Unique' Model Right
August 26, 2019
I'm struck by the way Apple and Tesla are executing a model very similar to IBM's. While IBM has evolved to put the customer at the center always, Apple and Tesla are nuanced in that respect, much like IBM was in the past. I worked at IBM when it imploded in the early 1990s, so I can speak to what is in Apple and Tesla's future unless they learn the easy way what IBM learned the hard way.
Platform Power
August 21, 2019
For decades a database application was what we called an "app" that collected and regurgitated data in preset formats on paper reports and screens. That's becoming passť, but it once was a major advance because it gave a worker the necessary information to take decisive action. Today that's rarely enough. Downward cost pressures have been replacing some of the rote human effort with algorithms.
ClickSoftware Buy Signals Important Directional Shift for Salesforce
August 13, 2019
What's the big deal, I thought? Last week Salesforce announced it was paying in the range of $1.35 billion for ClickSoftware, a private field service automation and workforce management company. At first, I attributed it to a slow summer news cycle that was driving attention to the deal at a time when many people in the industry are off trout fishing near the Continental Divide or elsewhere.
4 High-Impact E-Commerce Customer Service Trends
August 1, 2019
E-commerce has exploded since Amazon and eBay were founded in 1995. Today, e-commerce is part of everyday life. By 2023, retail e-commerce sales in the U.S. are projected to surpass $735 billion. Even industries like food, healthcare and banking, which previously were dominated by offline transactions, now are embracing e-commerce for increased efficiency and cost reductions.
Recipe for CX Success: Combine Context From Conversations With Speech Analytics
July 29, 2019
The contact center uses familiar benchmarks to determine if a call, chat or email is successful or not. Call metrics such as net promoter score, handle time, and amount of silence are correlated with positive or negative outcomes. However, insights from speech analytics technology prove that these metrics only tell part of the story. What's missing? Context -- and it's the essential CX ingredient.
Reality Check: Your Customers Have 'Baggage' Too
June 28, 2019
The definition of "baggage" varies depending on whom you ask. For instance, a travel agent or a road-weary businessperson will describe a container used to carry personal belongings on a trip. A therapist might describe emotions from previous relationships that hamper a person's ability to have a healthy relationship in the future. What will a customer service leader say to describe "baggage?"
Are You Gish-Galloping Your Business Toward Disruption?
June 13, 2019
Recent events have led to many people learning about a long-understood rhetorical tactic called "Gish galloping." Named after creationist Duane Gish, it means confronting an opponent with a rapid-fire series of arguments -- including half-truths, misrepresentations and outright lies. Confronted with such a BS barrage, the opponent may try to refute each assertion, which is a losing proposition.
The Biggest Customer Service Mistakes Brands Make on Social Media
May 29, 2019
Social media has become a part of everyday life. Case in point: Eighty-one percent of people in the U.S. have a social networking profile, and the number of worldwide users is expected to reach 3.02 billion by 2021. Consumers also have been devoting more of their time to engaging with social media sites. One-seventh of the average user's waking life is spent on social media.
The Vital Role of Customer Service in the Sharing Economy
May 8, 2019
By 2022, the sharing economy is expected to double, reaching $40 Billion. Pioneers such as Airbnb and Uber are now global titans, taking in billions of dollars per year. From sharing furniture to sharing clothing, every industry seems to be trying to make its way into the lucrative sharing business. With the market becoming more saturated with products, how do companies differentiate themselves?
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Which technology has the strongest positive or negative impact on race relations?
Smartphone cameras, by holding people accountable.
Twitter, by reporting news as it happens.
Facebook, by providing a platform for discussing the issues.
YouTube, by exposing viewers to other cultures.
Twitter, by fueling antagonisms.
Facebook, by spreading fake news.
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