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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.
Zoho's Noble Endeavor
March 25, 2020
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."
Ask Siri if You Have the Coronavirus
March 24, 2020
Apple users wondering if they've caught COVID-19 now can ask digital assistant Siri for advice. The company has rolled out a self-screening feature that allows users to ask, "Hey Siri, do I have the coronavirus?" Siri then takes them through a questionnaire prepared by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and U.S. Public Health Service to determine if they're exhibiting symptoms of the disease.
How AI Can Improve Customer Retention
March 21, 2020
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.
Loss Prevention 101: Future-Proofing Your Network Begins With Resilience
March 20, 2020
Critical server outages cost businesses an average of $300,000 hourly, with many cases exceeding $5 million. As network demands increase and maximum uptime becomes a necessity, it is crucial to implement the proper processes and systems to ensure organizations constantly are able to mitigate the threat of outages. A host of factors can cause network or system downtime.
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.
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.
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.
VPN, Ad Blocker Provider Caught With Hand in the Data Jar
March 11, 2020
A number of VPN and ad-blocking apps owned by Sensor Tower, a popular analytics platform, have been collecting data from millions of people using the programs on their Android and iOS devices, according to a report. The software involved includes Free and Unlimited VPN, Luna VPN, Mobile Data, Adblock Focus for Android devices, and Adblock Focus and Luna VPN for iOS hardware.
Podcasting Around the Virus - and Beyond
March 10, 2020
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.
E-Commerce Deliveries: How to Master the Last Mile
March 6, 2020
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.
Study: Fake Reviews Take Heavy Toll on E-Commerce
March 5, 2020
Product vendors are facing a growing negative reaction from consumers concerned about product quality and fake or misleading product reviews posted online, according to new research. A large majority of consumers polled said they would flee a brand if the manufacturer sold them poor quality products, ran dishonest or misleading ads, or was associated with fake or fraudulent reviews.
E-Commerce Payments Industry Trends to Watch in 2020
March 3, 2020
2019 was a milestone year for many in the payments industry, with contactless payments making up more than 50 percent of debit card transactions, and the good news doesn't end there. The consumer drive for seamless experiences is continuing to push the industry toward new innovations that will change the face of payments. So, what will 2020 hold for e-commerce and m-commerce?
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.
Amazon Goes Big With Automated Grocery Store
February 26, 2020
Amazon has opened its first large-scale fully automated Amazon Go grocery store. The 7,700 square foot store, located in Seattle, offers baked goods sourced locally, fresh seasonal produce, meat, seafood and ready-made meals, as well as beer, wine and spirits. There are no cashiers. To make purchases, shoppers need an Amazon account and the free Amazon Go app.
The Architectural Imperative for AI-Powered E-Commerce
February 25, 2020
We've been promised, repeatedly, that AI would revolutionize e-commerce. Think about it for a moment. Has it lived up to expectations for you? If not, the problem may lie not in the technology you've deployed on your site, but in the architecture and data that support it. The effectiveness of AI-powered features ultimately depends on a high level of discipline about data and architecture.
2020: The Year for Custom CX and Privacy
February 24, 2020
With the introduction of the CCPA this year and GDPR in 2018, the age of data privacy has begun, bringing the opportunity for businesses to harness it to gain competitive advantage. There are both challenges and opportunities for those that aim to deliver superior CX while adhering to data privacy regulations. Data privacy protection concerns are driving new regulations around the world.
Microsoft Injects New AI Features Into Dynamics 365
February 20, 2020
Microsoft has unveiled several new AI capabilities across Dynamics 365 applications and a new solution to help project-centric services organizations transform their operations. The AI enhancements include first- and third-party data connections in Dynamics 365 Customer Insights, Microsoft's customer data platform. The company also unveiled new manual and predictive forecasting capabilities.
5 Tips to Get the Most Out of Amazon Vendor Negotiations
February 18, 2020
That time of year is upon us once again, and stress levels for Amazon vendors are starting to build. The arrival of spring means renegotiating your vendor terms with Amazon, which seem to grow stricter year-after-year. However, with more than 50 percent of all Amazon sales coming from third-party sellers, the pressure is also on for the other side of the table.
Beyond the Shopping Cart: Top Tech Solutions for International E-Commerce
February 15, 2020
The Internet has made convenience a top consideration for consumers when it comes to browsing and making purchases. This trend has led to more consumers opting to shop online. As a result, retailers are racing to make their products readily available. With U.S. e-commerce sales increasing by 17 percent in Q3 2019, it's clear that the competition for online dollars has become intense.
Customer Retention Blooms Again
February 12, 2020
Brightback recently published a report on customer churn and what more than 400 subscription companies say they're doing about it. Its findings are in line with many other sources, and the data deserves an examination. First of all, we're way past the point where subscription companies can expect to sign all of the new customers they need to replace those that decide to end their relationships.
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.
Fulfillment Cost-Cutting: Where, When and Why
February 1, 2020
E-commerce companies have seen phenomenal growth, thanks to the ease of starting a business in the digital sphere and to cost-effective processes. However, these firms often struggle with order fulfillment, which is a core aspect of business for online merchants. Customs, duties, shipping expenses, rerouting fulfillments -- these are just a few of the reasons online retailers are losing profits.
COPRA May Be Coming, and It's Not Too Soon to Prepare
January 28, 2020
All eyes are on the West Coast as California reins in the unfettered collection, use and sale of the personal data consumers share as part of the bargain for "free" online services. For years this bargain has been explained in privacy policies that few people read, because there is not a lot of negotiating in the personal data market. The CCPA gives consumers revolutionary rights.
Retention, Retention, Retention
January 25, 2020
It's hard to say with any specificity where the CRM market will move this year, but I'm a pundit so let me try anyway. After more than two decades, CRM has landed in the business landscape and spread out in impressive ways. When CRM emerged in the late 1990s social media didn't exist, and the idea of social networking was confined to a few papers from Harvard and other places.
Grabbing the Cybersecurity and Privacy Problems by the Horns: ECT News Roundtable, Episode 3
January 23, 2020
Cybersecurity and privacy threats aren't confined to the tech world. They've cast their pall on the world in general. Computer viruses, malware and data leaks have become commonplace, personal privacy has become a bad joke, and cyberwar looms like a virtual mushroom cloud. What sometimes gets lost in the gloom are the many ways security professionals have been working to shore up cyberdefenses.
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.
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2020 online shopping habits and retailer strategies
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.
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