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Consumers Becoming More Tolerant of Chatbots for Certain Tasks
January 15, 2021
If you want to smooth over irate clients and offer more efficient customer services, consider conversational bots instead of a roomful of human company reps. Researchers see consumers' comfort levels with a variety of chatbot technologies softening towards customer service, scheduling, banking, and therapy.
Oracle Launches Version 21c
January 14, 2021
Oracle learned a lot from its customers and plowed its findings back into its core product just as others were getting restless and seeking alternatives. Oracle is now calling its product a "converged database" to help with differentiation by highlighting that many businesses don't often only focus on OLTP or AI, but that their businesses require a bit of everything.
Revving Up for CRM in 2021
January 11, 2021
This might be a big year for CRM. I say might because I am not clairvoyant, and humility is on the resolutions list. CRM has gone through five 5-year cycles during the past few decades. That trend feels as old as SaaS at this point, and I think we're going to embark on a new cycle that will take roughly five years to reach fulfillment. The big question now is: "What will it be?"
Salesforce to Acquire Slack in $27.7 Billion Deal
December 1, 2020
CRM giant Salesforce has signed a definitive agreement to purchase enterprise communications platform Slack. "Together, Salesforce and Slack will shape the future of enterprise software and transform the way everyone works in the all-digital, work-from-anywhere world, said Marc Benioff, Chair and CEO, Salesforce.
The Great CRM Shift of 2020
November 19, 2020
It is often said that only a poor workman blames his tools and only an inferior vendor blames the customer for their troubles with a product. But too many user organizations just don't seem to be adopting CRM to the degree that it takes to be successful -- even after more than two decades of trying.
Online Grocers Must Modernize Digital Platforms to Thrive
November 16, 2020
With restaurants and bars closed or at limited capacity, consumers are spending more on groceries than ever before. Online food and beverage sales are forecast to grow by 60 percent in 2020. However, much of how the grocery industry still operates is locked in the norms of the 2000 to 2020 era, with dull, out-of-date and clunky online shopping experiences.
How to Continue Winning Business During a Pandemic
November 9, 2020
Today, change feels more common than stability. On top of all the uncertainty, sales professionals face increased demands while rebuilding the pipeline. Yet it's clear that there is still business to be won. But first we must assess the new realities this pandemic has brought on. Here are five ways the sales world has changed and what teams can do to adapt and prosper.
Chat Commerce Driving Higher Revenue, Better CX
November 6, 2020
More consumers are shopping via phones and other mobile devices, and companies that use chat with commerce are reaping rewards while improving the customer experience. New commerce research reveals that at least two-thirds of firms using chat apps such as WhatsApp and WeChat see greater commerce gains than competitors that do not.
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.
G Suite Rebranded as Google Workspace
October 7, 2020
Google has announced its rebranding of G Suite as Google Workspace, along with its newly integrated desktop environment that is designed for enhanced collaboration and communications, marking its latest bid to challenge Microsoft 365. Google Cloud officials said the Workspace environment will create a new user experience that integrates meetings, docs, messaging and tasks in a more productive, secure and collaborative environment.
Supply and Demand: A Moving Target for E-Tail Marketers
October 1, 2020
Marketers must adapt to changing circumstances. They also have to play better hunches when handling supply and demand issues. In this constantly changing marketplace, supply and demand are moving targets. So why are advertisers not fully capitalizing on the new situation? Many marketers have not yet figured out how to do so.
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.
The Ease and Risk of Buy Now Pay Later Plans
September 22, 2020
Buy now pay later, or "BNPL" services are growing in popularity during the pandemic as they enable consumers to pay for purchases over a short time with no interest and a small starting payment. However, money experts urge caution. Similar to credit cards, BNPL services can negatively impact credit scores and land people in debt or collections if not used properly.
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.
SugarCRM Adds AI to Sweeten the Customer Experience Pot
September 8, 2020
SugarCRM last month announced its acquisition of AI-as-a-Service provider Node. This marks the fourth acquisition by SugarCRM since the company's investment by Accel-KKR in August 2018. CRM Buyer discussed the current state of CRM platforms with SugarCRM CEO Craig Charlton, and how artificial intelligence is key to improved sales, service, and predictability in automated CX.
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.
How Chatbots Improve Employee Productivity in the 'New Normal'
August 31, 2020
Coronavirus has ushered upon us an era of isolation and curtailed face-to-face operations in favor of virtual interactions. The service of demand and delivery has shifted mainly to digital channels. While this trend was visible in the pre-COVID world, the pandemic has accelerated digital-first engagement. Here are six ways to improve employee productivity and streamline business operations in the new normal.
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.
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.
Latest Shopping Trends Emphasize Need for Retail Marketing Foresight
August 4, 2020
Several recently-published reports and surveys tracking changes in consumer buying habits reveal a growing competition between old versus new shopping habits. The E-Commerce Times discussed the implications of these new consumer buying trends with marketing experts. The results show that e-commerce is overwhelmingly becoming the first choice for many consumers. However, some consumers are beginning to show renewed interest in returning to their previous shopping norms.
Panic Buying Sparks New E-Tail Strategies
July 23, 2020
Panic buying and competition for consumer attention between in-store and online transactions have created a brave new world of retail that is bound to continue into a post-pandemic reality. The E-Commerce Times reached out to several firms that guide brands on how to prepare for, and adapt to, changes in consumer behavior and product demand -- and what this means for the future of retail.
Salesforce Ups Its Marketing Game
July 21, 2020
Recent research shows that employees are well aligned with the directions and goals of their companies, and that they are competently led and respect their bosses; but the technologies they use leave a lot to be desired. This includes CRM, and too often the functionality that their currently installed CRM doesn't offer. Consequently, the changes Salesforce just introduced in its Marketing Cloud could not have been more timely.
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.
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.
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.
B2C Marketers Grapple With Personalization Tactics
June 29, 2020
Marketers at B2C companies realize that personalization is key to business, but they are having problems implementing personalization strategies, according to a recent survey by Adweek Intelligence in association with IBM Watson Advertising. "Defining personalization has to start, stop and be continuously refined through the sole lens of the customer," Liz Miller, a principal analyst at Constellation Research advised.
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.
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.
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