Salesforce Transforms Big Data Into Customer Success with the Salesforce Analytics Cloud

The Big Data bug has Just About Bit Everyone. Salesforce announced their Analytics Cloud ecosystem will include: Google, Cloudera, Hortonworks, New Relic, Informatica and Trifacta. It’s true there is more data that ever before. But the ksalesforce analytics cloud natalie petouhoffey with data is to not let it turn into a data lake. It’s great that Salesforce recognizes the need to beef up their analytics could, but the data still needs to go from data to actionable, real-time, right-time in-jounery customer experiences to provide the data employees (think call center agents or sales people or marketers) need to create amazing experiences.

Salesforce’s Analytics Cloud is Powered by the Wave Platform, and will bring together a  dynamic user experience, indexed search and a powerful computing engine to explore any data source. Designed from the ground up to be open, more than 80 partners have now joined the Analytics Cloud ecosystem to extend analytics for every conceivable use case and enable data-driven companies to connect with customers in a whole new way. That’s a lot of partners and a lot of APIs.

Is the Tech Landscape Becoming Too Complicated? My fear for business users is that the landscape of technology is becoming so complex – with thousands of choices for varying needs, that business users will get lost in the mirage of chooses. (Maybe that’s where being friendly with IT will help.) If the businesses users do get overwhelmed, they will likely get halted in choosing something. That’s never good for software vendors when that happens, as it makes for long sales cycles or comments like, “Hhhmmm looks interesting, we’ll get back to you.” That is usually a polite way of saying no. Or at least “no” for now and for a while.

Salesforce’s goal was to empower the business user with more data. For examples, so that sales, service, marketing and other business professionals can discover correlations and patterns across any combination of transactional data—such as CRM, ERP, finance, and HR systems—and unstructured or semi-structured big data sets, all from within the Analytics Cloud. Each of the announced partners brings something to the table:

      Google offers a set of cloud big data services to ingest, process, store and analyze billions of rows and quickly run advanced queries without having to manage any infrastructure. Using Salesforce Wave for Big Data, a marketing manager can analyze the correlations between customer profiles in Salesforce and actual customer engagement data from the Google Cloud Platform—such as purchases, clickstream and mobile app usageto optimize marketing spend and increase customer acquisition.

      Cloudera enables companies to deploy an enterprise data hub, a secure analytics platform powered by Apache Hadoop, to store, process and analyze any data type at scale. Now a marketing executive will be able to identify patterns between a product usage log from Cloudera alongside CRM demographics to target the right customers for a loyalty campaign.

●      Hortonworks provides an enterprise-grade data management platform based on 100 percent Apache Core that enables companies to use the power of Hadoop-drive analytics to optimize the performance of Hadoop cluster. Now a retail bank associate can explore massive amounts of operational, transactional and balance data to understand local economic trends to provide better banking services and counsel to each customer.

      New Relic delivers a software analytics platform that provides real-time insights on the performance of a company’s Web and mobile apps. As a result, companies can better understand how customers are engaging with their digital brand, including clickstreams, mobile activity, end-user experiences and transactions. Now correlations between customers’ behavior on a retail mobile app and history of customer purchases can be visualized together to enable a sales rep to improve cross-selling strategies.

My POV: The  EMC Digital Universe study*, “The Digital Universe of Opportunities: Rich Data and the Increasing Value of the Internet of Things,” the digital universe is doubling in size every two years and will multiply 10-fold between 2013 and 2020 – from 4.4 trillion gigabytes to 44 trillion gigabytes. That’s a lot of data. And while it is true, the large amount of data is the OPPORTUNITY for companies to reinvent themselves through data analytics, the question is will they? While legacy analytics software was never designed to manage the volume, variety or velocity of big data, I don’t think that was the only issue why companies didn’t change the customer experience.

BIG DATA Needs to Accompany Organizational Change: Changes to the customer experience required a change in mindset at the senior executive levels as well as throughout the organization. It’s not for the faint of heart. It’s really about organizational change management. Dang- I wish I could come up with a new word for that. It’s got baggage. So while one is doing their “regular” job, they have to take on what’s needed to transform their business. It’s a tall order and a valiant one at that. I just hope that we don’t “buy-in” to the big data craze, like companies did with ERP and CRM and then not really go the extra miles it takes (people with the right skills to turn data into actionable, in journey insight,  strategy, process, and then actually doing something) to make the big data realization a reality that does change the customer experience. Something needs to. Something needs to prevent the data lake from overflowing. (and yes it’s available on the iPhone and other mobile devices to come….)

@Drnatalie VP and Principal Analyst, Covering Marketing, Sales and Service to Make Amazing Experiences.

*http://www.emc.com/about/news/press/2014/20140409-01.htm

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2015 Teradata Influencer Summit

One of the best ways to really try to keep up with everything that is happening in the digital space is to attend conferences. It’s difficult to attend them all, but it’s important to try to attend as many as you can so you are up to speed. The Teradata Influencer Summit will cover Teradata products and services updates and customer presentations.

teradata natalie petouhoff

In addition, topics will range from Big Data, UDA to Aster strategy and customer successes. As big data is becoming an integral part of Marketing, Sales and Customer Service and especially Customer Success Management, it’s important to connect the dots between how data is gathered, sorted, stored, retrieved, used and how it can be applied to business use cases. I’ll be attending as an industry analyst. Look forward to seeing you there!

@drnatalie, VP and Principal Analyst, Covering Marketing, Sales and Customer Service and Customer Success Management Using Big Data to Deliver Amazing Customer Experiences.

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Are You Going to LiNC 2015 Conference?

LiNC features a lineup of leading global brands, top industry analysts, thought-leaders and business visionaries. You will be inspired by the best and brightest in business. There are workshops, certification & social strategy sessions with world-class, subject matter and experts. You can even connect with industry peers to share insights and ideas.

LINC 2015 natalie petouhoff

In terms of certifications there are a number of them. Some are already sold out want so you’ll want to check them out right away. Lithium’s new Moderation Certification was developed using Lithium’s own moderation model. This certification for individual moderators, moderation teams, community managers, and community stakeholders interested in understanding community dynamics and learning best practices to improve the tone, quality, and management of community content. The program covers:

  • Characteristics of an effective moderator and the overarching goals of moderation
  • Public and private community documents, including Terms of Service and Moderator Guidelines
  • Maintaining a positive atmosphere though engagement with users
  • Identifying and interacting with different types of community members
  • Identifying and handling violations using the Five Levels of Moderation.

The Social Response Certification course is designed for social media professionals to advance their skills while developing a roadmap based on their specific business objectives for their implementation of social technology. This new certification is built around the latest Lithium Social Web technology, and it is filled with practical examples showing best-in-class integrations with the entire Lithium platform. Participants will come away with an actionable plan for high-scale, efficient customer engagement and response. Graduates gain the following professional benefits:

Tactical Mastery

  • How to best engage with customers on the social web to build brand advocates
  • What monitoring tools can and cannot accomplish
  • Techniques to improve social agents’ performance
  • An understanding of recent trends in social behaviors

ROI Connection

  • How to optimize ROI for customer care teams; from call deflection to cost per resolution and the value of the solution created
  • Identification and success measurement in the context of those objective

And the conference will start out with some Digital Leaders in Customer Experience

These will be companies like Brooks Running, Comcast, Google & Telstra. You will learn how four radically different brands are embracing digital to exceed customer expectations, create new market opportunities and transform their business. Senior executives from Brooks Running, Comcast, Google and Telstra will share their approach to digital, business outcomes and their aspirations for the future. Join us for these four company vignettes that show how these digital disruptors are achieving success and leading their industries into a new era of customer experience. Here’s who will be presenting… Loree Draude, Google — Monty Hamilton, Telstra — Tom Karinshak, Comcast — Heather Snavely, Brooks Running

The sessions at the conference will cover a wide range of topics including, Strategy, Execution, Results, Developers, Community Management, Social Experts, Mastering Metrics, Gamification, and an Unconference.

I’ll be there attending as an analyst. Hope to see you there!
@drnatalie VP and Principal Analyst Covering Marketing, Sales and Customer Service To Deliver Great Customer Experiences

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Disrupting Digital Business: The Customer Experience Imperative

As digital business is emerging, it’s disrupting business. What does that mean? It means that how you do business must change. And it’s not just adding a Twitter feed or creating a Facebook page. It’s much more than that. It really means that you have to look at how you are doing business – your processes, your policies, your departments, your people, your technology and make major changes. I can remember when organization change management first became a discipline. But back then there were so many that pushed it aside, crossed it off their to do list and basically thought it was “Kumbaya” and the “soft stuff you can’t measure.” Which quadrant is your business in?

quadrant for fast followers

Well guess what? Organizational Change is back and here to stay. Because that is what is at the root of digital business. It really means you have to change your organization! Some ways to think about this are what we call the 9 C’s and Customer Engagement Optimization. Our research shows there are 9 C’s of Customer Engagement:

  1. Culture
  2. Community
  3. Credibility
  4. Channels
  5. Content
  6. Cadence
  7. Context
  8. Catalysts and
  9. Currency

Digital Business Disruption Starts with People-Centric Values

You need to understand culture, community, and credibility. This means that you need to start with Customer Engagement Optimization. How do you make sure you understand your prospects and customers?  Where does listening play a role? Do you have a process to listen to what your employees as well as what your customers think about the company, its products and services? If not, start here.

Digital Business Disruption Is About Communication

You need to understand how channels, content, and cadence of the content on the channels work with each other. So once  we understand the people centric values, how do we engage? What are effective models to connect? Organizations need to transform the way that they interact with their customers – online and offline. What’s the best way to start doing this? Do you just jump into the online conversations? Is it even the right channel?  What content makes sense? How often do you reach out? Are your customers and prospects responding?

Digital Business Disruption Is About Right Time Drivers 

This is where context, catalyst, and currency play a role in enabling engagement optimization. You might ask yourself, “What can you do to make sure your interactions remain relevant? How do you deliver compelling offers that influence a call to action?  What’s required to build sustainable engagement.”

Digital Business Disruption Is About Actionable Insights/Intelligence

Once you have some sense about what customers are talking about – to each other, to your company, to your competitors, how do you deliver an end-to-end actionable intelligence where the workforce is optimized to respond or hear about the issues or kudos? What should be measured?  How do you focus in on the right metrics that matter?

Digital Business Disruption Is About Journey Mapping to Make Improvements

Businesses must realize there is a real need for continuous improvement and optimization. It’s not a one time – take a look at things, change a few of them and then you are done. Nope. It’s about continuous, measurable change. Questions for an organization might be, “How do you improve enterprise processes with the information you learn from this collective solution that is giving you all this actionable intelligence? What organizational issues can this bring about? Is this an easy process? Do people need special skills to collaborate cross-functionally? How do you take where ever you are in the process and manage and enrich these customer interactions? How do you start, how to do improve and how do you maintain this process over time?”

Digital Business Disruption Is About Developing A Customer Engagement Optimization Culture

I can tell you from being a management consultant and having worked in many companies, nothing is going to change unless there is true and authentic leadership that is dedicated to making this types of changes. Senior leadership involvement on a day-to-day business required for success in transforming the company culture. Questions for an organization might be along these lines, “Who should drive the initiatives?  What’s required to build a culture of customer engagement? What kind of training is required? What kind of skill sets?”

Digital Business Disruption Is About Doing So Via Digital Transformation

What this means is that there is the need to change your business model. What business are you really in? Are you selling printers or customer experiences? The shift to digital business changes not only business models but also how companies engage with their customers. And you have to know what business you are in to do this.

If you want to know more about digital business disruption, join Ray Wang and myself on a webinar, May 26th at 11 AM PST.

MY POV: Most business are not prepared for what it takes to make the shift to a digital business. Where do you think you stand with respect to your business’s readiness for change?

quadrant for fast followers

@drnatalie, VP and Principal Analyst, Constellation Research, Covering Marketing, Sales and Customer Service to Deliver Amazing Customer Experiences

 

 

 

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What Is a “Fully Engaged Customer”?

What Is a “fully engaged customer”? That’s a very good question! Some of the answer depends on who you ask.  Marketing has one opinion, Sales generally another and then Customer Service might see a fully engaged customer from a whole different point of view.

My POV:

Sharing is Caring. If a customer is talking to you – whether online or in-person, there’s engagement. If they are sharing a compliant, don’t see it as a compliant. See a compliant as an opportunity to understand, from their point of view, what’s working and what’s not working. Then you will be able to help them with relevant information in the context of their experience.  That’s engagement.

Make sure if you are in sales,  you are listening online to what customers are saying about the products and service that you offer. Listen to what they say about your competitors. Why? because customers, whether B2B or B2C are talking to each other about your product and services (and your competitors) and you need to know what they think before you try to sell them something. And if there’s something that’s really not working about your product or service, you need to communicate that back into the organization so the issues can get handled.

If you are in marketing, you will also want to be listening to customer conversations. You’ll not only find what is relevant to them, but be able to take that information and use to to craft your marketing messages and in messaging, you’ll be able to combat sales objections, product questions, and really be of service with your content. That will make you relevant in your customer’s eyes and entice them to be fully engaged.

Here’s where you can find more information on what a fully engaged customer is from some of the top experts in the world:

@drnatalie VP and Principal Analyst, Constellation Research

Covering Marketing, Sales and Customer Service to Deliver Great Customer Experiences

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Customer Experience: How Marketing, Sales and Customer Service Drive Customer Loyalty

Customer Service is Where the Rubber Meets the Road

Henry Ford, an innovator in personal transportation said, “A business absolutely devoted to service will have only one worry about profits. They will be embarrassingly large.” Nearly a century later, the number one reason a customer recommends a business to another customer is still outstanding service. Some things never change and they never will. But it’s up to brands and the senior leadership team to truly embrace this and support it with resources: people, process, strategy and technology. The right technology with the wrong strategy, only means you will be doing the wrong things, faster.

While delivering superior customer service has continued to be a key differentiator for companies, some things have changed forever. Today there are more channels, devices, and technologies. Customers’ behaviors have changed and so have their expectations. To win business and your customers’ loyalty, you have to deliver a modern service experience.

Marketing Maybe Bring You Customers, But Sales and Customer Service Keep Them

If no one knows about your product or service, no one is going to buy it. Marketing is very important to get the word out and make sure your customer acquisition is high. The content for marketing is one of the most important aspects on marketing, especially in the digital era. People do a ton of research on products and services online before they buy – either online or in a store. So making sure you are reaching your key target audience is key — but so is making sure your content is relevant, humanized (doesn’t sound like boring, corporate speak), authentic and genuine is key to getting or keeping the attention of our attention deficient audiences that are so prevalent today.

Is your marketing modern? Have you changed your marketing practices? Are you listening to what customers are saying? Often times creatives struggle with how to come up with new “catch phrases” or how to describe a new product or service. It doesn’t have to be difficult. Often listening to online conversations (just like many companies held in-person focus groups) you will understand more about the customers you are targeting and be able to kraft messages that are truly meaningful. And you’ll want to use analytics in your marketing to make sure you are targeting the best audience with the right messages at the right time. And then there’s channels and distribution of content on those channels. Marketers have more to do today than ever.

Sales Is Dependent on Both Marketing and Customer Service

Often customers read what’s posted in social networks about a product (think product review sites) or posts about how they have been treated as well as garner insights and research from respected analysts, journalists and bloggers.

Most information that decision makers collect and act on comes from their network. People—not databases or reports—form the primary source of information they use to formulate and validate decisions. And today’s personal network extends far beyond just the people they talk to in person. It reaches out to hundreds and even thousands of people, in nanoseconds, via social networks. And that’s in part, why it’s important to make sure your Marketing Content and Customer Service are aligned with your Sales initiatives.

My POV:

It’s all about being in-tune with the customer and seeing the entire experience from sales, marketing, and service as a complete customer experience journey. Here’s a short video and my point of view on this topic of how intertwined marketing, sales and customer service really are. It’s time CEO’s put their foot down and demand that these three functional areas stop thinking of themselves as independent departments, but rather focus on how they can work together to make the best possible customer experiences:

What’s your take on intertwined marketing, sales and customer service?

@drnatalie

VP and Principal Analyst, Constellation Research

Covering Marketing, Sales and Customer Service to Deliver Great Customer Experiences

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Making Social Customer Care Great Marketing

Social Customer Care

Social Customer Care, simply put, has become an expectation amongst consumers. Social Customer Care is one of the most important aspects of the customer experience. Telling your community that you’re accessible on social channels delivers a strong message. Your community and supporters are online, and it is fundamentally changing how and where constituents look for support, and how they engage with you today. 

 1-9-90 Rule: Social Customer Care Is Ruled by the Lurkers

I remember when I was first on Twitter back in 2008. It seemed like a great place for customers to express their frustration. But I could see where organizations might not see the real ROI. Part of the reason is of the 1-9-90 rule. That’s a rule that is really an approximation and it goes like this: about 1% of population post in social networks, 9% respond and about 90 lurk (read, but don’t post.) Of course the ratios change for different industries, but the take-a-way is that most people read, they don’t post.

 Social Customer Care Does Matter

This lower posting (10%) rate might lead many organizations to think they are not very many people are on social networks. However, what I learned in speaking to many consumers and even B2B business buyers is that people do look and they do read. And they form an opinion of a company based on what they see. They may not post, but they do make a decision or form an opinion about a company and how it treats it’s customers. So in actuality, that 10% that post is like the tip of the iceberg, where the affect is really on the 90%. So that’s why, for organizations of any size, listening to constituents online not only presents the opportunity to uncover and address complaints and issues, but also the opportunity to learn, improve, and engage your audience in new ways to strengthen – or build new – relationships over time.

My Personal Experience With Social Customer Care and An Airline

I remember one time when I was trying to fly to London to give a speech on customer service. The plane I was supposed to take had mechanical issues and was not going to take off for a long time. If I took that flight, I would miss my speaking slot. I saw another flight that was leaving within 30 minutes to London and went to the gate to see if I could get on that flight. They said no, even though there were seats.

I then tweeted to the airline for help. They responded within 30 seconds. They asked me to Direct Message them with the issue. Low and be hold, within 5 minutes on was on that flight that the gate attendants said I could not get on. I went up to the gate attendant’s and showed them that I was on the flight they had denied me access to. They said, “How did you get on?” I said Twitter. And they were really surprised.

Realizing that gate attendants have rules and regulations they have to follow, I got why perhaps they couldn’t get me on. But I was also amazed that a tweet could over rule either the regulation or the stubbornness of those gate attendants. And I can tell you that, that experience definitely left me with a strong opinion about that airline. And it was a positive one — because when I really needed them to come through for me, they did. And it happened through social media! (And yes I made it to my speech on time! And this episode with Twitter was a large topic of conversation at that conference…)

 Come Hear More About Social Customer Care and Marketing

In June, I will be leading a panel where you dan learn how HP, Alex & Ani and Honeywell not only provide exceptional service to their customers through social channels, but how they capitalize on these interactions as a marketing opportunity. It’s at the Salesforce Connections Conference in NYC. If you are skeptical about social customer service and how it affects the brand and can actually work to your advantage as positive Marketing, please join us!

My Recommendations on Social Customer Care:

1. Start by listening using either free or paid social listening tools

2. Determine if your brand is being talked about: It could be, no one is talking about you; it could be they are and it’s negative or positive; you’ll also want to monitor your competitors to see if people are talking about them and what’s being said.

3. Once you see if anyone is talking about your company in social networks, and whether it’s positive or negative or neutral, you can then create the beginnings of a social media customer care / marketing strategy. But it all starts with listening first. You have to know if you are part of the conversation online or not.

4. If no one is talking about your brand online, then that’s when you have to figure out a strategy to begin the conversation. If the sentiment is negative, then you have to figure out why and what you can do about it. Sometimes it maybe a product defect or poor service. Those are within a brand’s control to fix. And if it’s positive, then a strategy to keep that conversation alive and positive is also required.

Social Networking is Not for the Faint of Heart.

It’s a ton of work, it’s not free and requires strategy, processes, people and technology. And the ROI is very high. Here’s some videos that will give you more info on the business return on social customer care:

• How To Measure Social Customer Care

• How Social Customer Experience and Social Media Benefit the Entire Company

* How To Build a Business Case for Social Customer Care

What’s your point of view on social customer care and how it can affect marketing and brand reputation?

@drnatalie

VP and Principal Analyst, Constellation Research
Covering Marketing, Sales and Customer Service to Deliver Great Customer Experiences and Keep Brand Promises
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What To Do If You Have Frustrated Customers: Transform the In-Journey Customer Experience

Many brands have been coming to me for years to try and figure out what to do about customer frustration. At the end of the day, it might be that a brand has to completely rethink of the customer experience, from the customer’s point of view. Often what happens if a company looks at the customer journey from the company’s point of view is that they miss why customers are frustrated. It’s often that, even during the experience between a customer and a company, that the company can’t see why a customer is frustrated.

However, that is all about to come to an end. Why? Companies will be able to understand the “in-journey” customer experience, know what a customer has done, where they are in the journey, what is working, what’s not worked and where they are stuck — and get this — offer the right help or content or information or answers — at the right time. That’s right-time, real-time — in-journey customer experience.

If sounds like something you might want to understand more about, I’d love to have you join me as we explore this topic in more detail. Here’s where you can learn more about it: Solving for the “In-journey Customer Experience.”  What you will learn is that — when a customer calls you, texts you, tweets at you… you (as a brand) will know who they are. And even if or when someone from a brand shows up at the customer’s house, the brand will know who that customer is AND generally have available, the context of the conversation because of the relationship we have created using people, process and especially new types of technology. If customer experience is something on your mind, join the conversation! Start making a difference! Stop customer experience frustration by learning about in-journey customer experience intelligence.

@drnatalie

Dr. Natalie Petouhoff, VP and Principal Analyst, Constellation Research

Dedicated to people, process, technology and data to deliver on amazing customer experiences!

 

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The Digital Disruption Tour: A Brand’s Challenges to Meet Customer Experience

Fresh off the first of the digital disruption tour events, I am reflecting on the wonderful conversation that Ray Wang lead with his keynote speech, really defining this new era of business. If you want to really understand what he’s talking about, you not only must see him speak — he draws such a clear picture of the future, but to really allow what’s happening to infiltrate your department or functional area or your own leadership, his book, Disrupting Digital Business, is very helpful — with examples and details.

For customer experience professionals, that was my roundtable discussion, we talked about not only this new era of business, but the requirement of company’s to change their business models to be able to deliver on the promise of whatever customer experience they are offering. Doesn’t matter if it’s B2B or B2C or B2B2C- customer’s have expectations. Why is it so different today than its ever been? For many of us at the roundtable discussion– we’ve been talking about customer experience, customer service, customer success management for most of our professional lives. It’s not new. And it’s not really a new topic inside of companies.

What is new and what does require something different of organizations is the transparency of how the customer experience affects a business’s customers. In the old days, the customer experience might have been between a contact center agent and a customer. And depending on how empowered that agent was (which generally they were not) that empowerment or lack there of, generated a certain customer experience. It was also dependent on technology as well as processes that were either well defined and implemented or not. If it was a bad experience, that customer would often tell 10-20 people within their circle of influence.

Today, customer loyalty and advocacy is different. Why? Because today the world can see, in an instant, what a brand’s customer experience is and because customers can easily speak to other customers, often going around the brand, brand’s have to walk their talk. And while the Directors of Corporate Communication, PR, the CMO and marketing spend tireless hours and hundreds if not millions or more in budget to create a “brand” — whether that “brand” ends up living up to expectations is dependent on so many things; it now requires we change how we do business so nothing falls through the cracks.  It requires collaboration between all functional departments and the back office.

Ultimately, a brand ends up being expressed as the experience a customer has with that brand. And because there are so many people, departments, touch-points — at any point in that customer’s interaction with that brand, the brand may not uphold its promise. And because of the nature of social networks, that “good or bad” experience, can be expressed for millions to see, in a nano-second, often lasting a long time (think of “online posts” like cave paintings – they last millions of years…) The expression of a brand from a customer can be very personal and emotional. And often times the expression from the brand’s side is through content. And the number of people and budget, just for content marketing, has really shifted how we must think about how we do business. Business has changed. Period.

I really want to thank each and every person who participated in the customer experience roundtable. What our roundtable discussion concluded where several things:

1. Good customer experience starts with strategy. It’s not just about implementing the technology. It’s about looking at your business processes from the customer’s point of view and making changes to what does not make sense. It’s about examining the commitment from the senior leadership team to allow for budget so that the people, process and technology required for great customer experiences can be delivered.

2. Good customer experience also requires something new of the internal aspects of a company – culture, leadership, employees, training, attitude… and while most of what I write about is that “external” customer-facing experience, the truth is that – that customer experience can’t be good if the internal capabilities of an organization are not optimized. It is something that is often underestimated and rarely spoken about, but at the end of the day, it’s employees who are driving the customer experience in one shape or form. So it’s my feeling that this part of the conversation can no longer can be ignored. And in some cases, it maybe the first step in generating great, external-facing customer experiences.

The Panel Discussion One of the panels was on the customer experiences created in the financial services area. Financial service companies often think of themselves as limited to change things because of all the regulations they face. When Ray was asked about this he explained, “While there are many regulations, smart companies are looking at those regulations, often written years ago and asking if they make sense today. If they don’t, smart companies and governments are taking the time to question them and transform whatever it takes to make things work better.”

Wipro (who sponsored this SF part of the tour) talked about the ideas behind banking 1:1. Even in a highly regulated and competitive marketplace, banks must examine every possible idea and strategize about the advantages it can use to meet and to exceed customer expectations. This is truly, for all industries, where companies will differentiate themselves from the pack, now and in the future. Banks can’t offer simple and automated banking services. To build loyalty and drive profitability, banks need to offer a non-stop interactive banking environment and to increase their business agility by anticipating customer needs and offer an engaging user experience.

I vowed to keep writing about customer experience and customer service / success management – the ability to use data to understand our customers better to provide better experiences – as well as technology, people and processes. But I also asked that each one of the people in my roundtable take it upon themselves to hold the torch to generate excellent customer experiences. That’s because transforming businesses today, to provide great customer experiences, takes a village; it’s not a one person job. It takes collaboration across functional departments and strong leadership from all of us.

So as you read this, I ask you to also hold the torch for great customer experiences and for what the “transparency and digital disruption” means and requires of each of us – i.e., that what we are really talking about is that we all have  to change our business models (or how we do business.) And together, I believe we can transform business. It’s something that has been a long time in coming. It’s here. It’s now. It’s something I want to see in my lifetime. How about you?

@drnatalie

Dr. Natalie Petouhoff, VP and Principal Analyst, Constellation Research

Dedicated to the people, process, technology and data, to provide great customer experiences.

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The Digital Disruption: Is Your Brand Ready?

Many clients ask about what all the fuss is about the digital disruption; why do I need to be concerned about this? Is this really new? Haven’t we been dealing with this for a while. And the answer, at least in my opinion, is that most brands have missed the point of the digital disruption. Many think it’s about having a Facebook Page or a Pinterest account or counting the number of “Likes” they have or improving the SEO on their website or the content….

The digital disruption is really a new way to approach business. It incorporates some tried and true business concepts like, “Listen to your customers” — only now you really have to do it and not give it lip service. The consequence of not “listening” could be a failed PR campaign or some other rumor or issue — that gets picked up in social, gets posted about on blogs and reviews sites (digital) and becomes a trending, online topic. Listening in this context means using some sort of online listening tool. That’s only part of the tactics of it. But it also means listening to what your contact center agents are hearing about your products and services, taking survey’s and focus groups seriously… It means listening to your customers and your employees and then taking action.

And once you have that feedback, it’s really about doing something about it – whether it’s improving the product or the service or both. It’s really about changing how you do business. And in a world that is now very transparent (meaning that when a company doesn’t respond, an online and offline conversation starts and as we know from the book, the Cluetrain Manifesto, markets are conversations.) What people think and say about your company can determine the success or failure of the brand. Edward Deming spoke about this back in the 1950’s, only what they now call listening back then was quality control. Nobody cared much for it back then. At least not in the US. Japan did take Deming’s teaching to heart and transformed how they did business. And that’s what everyone needs to do now.

So if you want to learn more about businesses that are doing this and what you can start thinking about if you have not already, you can come here a distinguished group of people speak about it in San Francisco, May 4 at the W at 181 3rd St, San Francisco, CA 94103. If you are wondering who should attend, here’s a short list below – and if this conversation is appealing to you – you’ll find many more like-minded people there to hang with… people that want to talk more about this topic include:

  • Innovation-minded business and technology executives
  • Corporate strategy and development executives
  • Board members seeking input for annual planning
  • Executives who use disruptive technologies and digital business models

Space is limited. Complimentary seats are reserved for qualified executives and typically include Directors and above. and others are included at Constellation Research‘s discretion. The event hours are 2:30 pm – 8:00 pm. And the event is powered by the Constellation Executive Network. You may want to make reservations!

Hope to see you there! I’ll be speaking!
@Drnatalie

VP and Principle Analyst, Constellation Research

 

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