How GM Uses Social Media to Listen and Engage Customers

Having worked for GM years ago and lived in Detroit, the motor capital, it was really interesting to see how GM is using social media to listen and engage customers – in marketing as well as customer service. This new case study shows the depth and strength of how GM is taking advantage of what social media can provide to the business. What’s interesting – and if you follow me, you know I am an ROI gal – is that GM was able to trace their social interactions to actual car sales. And that’s really where the rubber meets the road. Social media has huge implications to business – many of them not obvious to many – but over the years I’ve spent a lot of time understanding how social media provides business value.

For more information on this report, you can find it here.

how GM listens in social media for marketing and customer service @drnatalie

For other reports on ROI of online communities, ROI of customer care, ROI of agile customer serviceNine Pillars of Successful Digital Customer Experience and Self-service, How General Motors Listens to Customers on Social Media, you can find more info to help your business understand why it’s important to take social and digital media very serious.

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Nine pillars of customer self-service natalie petouhoff @drnatalie







@Drnatalie, VP and Principal Analyst, Constellation Research

Covering customer-facing applications that deliver amazing customer experiences.


Capgemini Releases the World Retail Banking Report 2016: Customer Experience

Capgemini and Efma today released the 2016 World Retail Banking Report (WRBR). The comprehensive survey data in this report, gathered from polls of 16,000 customers in 32 countries, as well as over 140 industry executives around the world, is designed to assist banks in understanding the current competitive landscape and mapping out their strategic responses. The information in this report will help banks to:

  • Assess current levels of customer experience
  • Determine the impact of improved customer experience
  • Gauge the true influence of fintech competitors
  • Take stock of their ability to manage the fintech threat
  • Get up to speed on the most effective responses to fintech’s advance

According to the report, FinTech providers are making increasingly significant inroads with customers, yet the vast majority of banks admit they are not adequately prepared to manage this emerging FinTech threat. The report also found that nearly two-thirds of customers (63 percent) are now using FinTech products or services, and are much more likely to refer friends and family to their FinTech provider (55 percent) than to their bank (38 percent). However, while 96 percent of banking executives agree that the industry is evolving toward a digital banking ecosystem, where Fintech providers play a much bigger role, only 13 percent say they have the systems in place to support it. Retail banks have been eyeing the steady advance of fintech competitors for some time now. With fintech’s momentum gaining, there is greater need than ever before for banks to develop an action plan that ensures them a central role in an increasingly digital and interconnected world.

With penetration highest in the emerging markets and among younger customers, Fintech service providers are gaining popularity among consumers thanks to the perception that they are easy to use (82 percent), offer fast service (81 percent), and provide a good user experience (80 percent). Banks, however, underestimate the value placed on these services with only 36 percent agreeing that FinTechs offer fast service (a 45 percentage point gap) and only 40 percent agreeing that Fintechs provide a good experience (a 40 percentage point gap).

Customer Experience Rises, but Not Enough to Greatly Improve Profitable Customer Behavior

  • Retail banks improved their position on Capgemini’s Customer Experience Index by 2.9 points, registering advances across broad portions of the globe and through every channel. Banks in more than 85% of countries improved customer experience, with gains being highest in Central and Western Europe.
  • Younger customers registered lower levels of customer experience, raising concerns about the ability of banks to meet the higher expectations of this important segment. In nearly every region, Gen Y customers scored lower on the CEI than Gen X.
  • customers, who in turn scored lower than other age groups.
  • Despite the overall rise in CEI, profitable customer behavior improved only marginally, and was especially low in terms of additional purchases, pointing to the need for banks to continue to improve the customer experience, especially through more innovative product development.

Fintech Firms Gain Prominence

  • Nearly two-thirds of customers globally said they are using products or services from fintech firms, giving weight to the threat that banks may become disintermediated from their customers.
  • While customers have more complete trust in their banks, fintech firms are making gains; 87.9% or more of customers across all regions somewhat or completely trust their fintech providers.
  • Fintech firms are making positive impressions, causing customers to be much more likely to refer their fintech provider (54.9%) compared to their bank (38.4%).
  • Less than one-quarter of banks said they have an advantage over fintech firms in their ability to innovate or move nimbly.

Fintech Partnerships Will Define the Future of Banking

  • The vast majority of banks (87.1%) believe their infrastructures are not adequate to support the digital banking ecosystem of the future, giving momentum to the increasingly aggressive competition from fintech firms.
  • Nearly two-thirds of banks view partnerships as the most effective way of responding to the growing fintech threat.
  • To get the most from their fintech partnerships, banks will need to embrace APIs and begin laying the groundwork to revamp their core systems.
  • Banks will need to navigate the transition to fintech partnerships and API-based software development with care, to ensure they remain relevant in the evolving digital banking ecosystem and integral to customer relationships.

The full report along with an infographic is attached for your reference. For more information, please visit: and

@drnatalie petouhoff, VP and Principal Analyst, Constellation Research

Covering Customer Experience and


Our Planet Deserves Our Best Thinking: Apple is Leading the Way

We expect perhaps Apple to always creating the next device. But Apple is up to more than that. They take the same innovative approach to the environment that they do with their products. They are creating new solar energy projects to reduce our carbon footprint. And they are switching to greener materials to create safer products and manufacturing processes. In addition, they are protecting working forests and making sure they are managed sustainably. And they creating a more mindful way to recycle devices, using robots.

In 2015, 93 percent of Apple’s energy came from renewable sources. Apple is constantly looking for ways to reach 100 percent. In Singapore, they are powering their facilities with a 32-megawatt solar project spread over 800 rooftops. In China, they are adding 170 megawatts of solar to begin offsetting the energy used to make our products. And their data centers around the world run on 100 percent clean energy and power billions of iMessages, answers from Siri, and song downloads from iTunes.

In addition, Apple wants to make sure they are protecting and creating more sustainable forest than they are using. It’s part of their larger goal to minimize the materials they take from the earth. They are measuring their water footprint and finding ways to reduce or reuse water wherever they can. And none of the waste from any of the iPhone and Apple Watch final assembly sites ends up in a landfill. They also created Apple Renew — a program that lets you recycle any Apple device at an Apple Store.

My POV: Apple is leading not only in the areas of devices, but also in a mindset that is more mindful. What good is a planet with more cool devices is if it is not healthy for the people who lives on it? Apple is securing the planet’s future by innovating the way they do business. For more details, you can find it here.

@drnatalie petouhoff, VP and Principal Analyst, Constellation Research

Covering Customer-Facing Topics that Create a Better World


Salesforce Announces Salesforce for Messenger Platform

What’s The News? Salesforce announced Salesforce for Messenger Platform which will empower companies to create entirely new sales, service, marketing and app experiences for customers on Messenger. Salesforce for Messenger will enable companies to leverage existing business processes to make customer journeys even more relevant and personalized than ever before. This is the latest innovation in Salesforce’s ongoing strategic partnership with Facebook.

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Together, the companies are empowering companies to engage their customers through dynamic experiences around products, brands and moments—all connected to their business. Powered by Salesforce Lightning, this is a proven platform for more than 150,000 companies and millions of users, in which Salesforce for Messenger will deliver personalized engagement at scale with CRM data.

What’s Happening With Messenger Facebook: Messenger’s growth is skyrocketing with its monthly active users growing from 500 million in 2014 to 900 million today. Often Marketing “owns” the Facebook page and had not worked out what to do with Customer Service issues. Nothing worse than getting a #fail in the middle of marketing campaign. For those companies that do have good relationships between Customer Service and Marketing, this will only help them to do an even better job of serving customers. For companies that don’t have this relationship worked out, the connection with Facebook Messenger may be the missing piece they need to connect the dots between Customer Service and Marketing.

And this is perhaps why so many companies are so eager to embrace it as the new channel to extend customer engagement and create conversations. Salesforce extends its leadership in CRM with the launch of Salesforce for Messenger. Companies will be able to leverage Messenger as a customer engagement channel to deliver entirely new 1-to-1 experiences across sales, service, marketing and apps.

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Adding Facebook Messenger to the Checkout Flow in eCommerce: And because it is connected to the world’s #1 CRM platform, each Messenger interaction can be specifically tailored based on the context of the entire customer relationship. For example, a retailer will be able to embed a Messenger plugin on the checkout workflow on its website so a customer can ask any final questions before making a purchase.

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Since this Messenger exchange is also connected to the customer’s previous sales, service and marketing account records, the company can take a more personal approach to exceeding customer expectations. Companies will have an invaluable opportunity to use Messenger as a channel to build brand loyalty and deepen customer relationships by delivering seamless experiences across marketing, sales and service with Salesforce.

Comments from Salesforce Executive, Alex Dayon, President and Chief Product Officer, Salesforce: “Now with Messenger, Facebook is inviting companies to engage their customers in new ways on its platform at scale. With Salesforce for Messenger companies will be able to easily connect their businesses to Messenger, creating deeper, more personalized and 1-to-1 ​customer journeys within the chat experience.”

Salesforce has been on a continuous journey to completely re-imagine CRM for the digital era and the launch of Salesforce for Messenger is the latest example of how it is expanding the market. With Salesforce, companies can ensure that every interaction with a customer is an opportunity to create a memorable experience. In a world where the customer wants to get personalized, seamless care, this is an interesting step in the right direction.

@DrNatalie Petouhoff, Constellation Research

Covering Customer Service and Customer Experience


NICE Wins Four Prestigious Stevie® Awards for Sales & Customer Service

NICE Systems announced that it has received four prestigious Stevie® Awards for Sales & Customer Service. NICE won three Silver Stevie® Awards in the Contact Center Solution New Version category for the following:

  • NICE Engage Platform – The NICE Engage Platform provides comprehensive omni–channel interaction recording. Designed for flexibility, it easily adapts to the unique operational requirements of any call center. In a single platform, organizations have support for thousands of concurrent IP streams: capturing, forwarding streams in real time, recording and archiving.
  • Journey Voice of the Customer – NICE’s Journey Voice of the Customer maps customer journeys across multiple channels and lets firms know how satisfied customers are at each touchpoint. This helps businesses prioritize which areas they should address to maximize the customer experience and their return on investment.
  • Robotic Automation – NICE’s solution automates routine back office processes that do not require human thought or involvement. From start to finish, it automates all of the steps needed to perform any task, eliminating the need for manual intervention. By automating desktop activities, employees are freed up to focus on more sophisticated processes.

NICE’s Sales Performance Management Suite also took home a Bronze Stevie® in the Incentive Management Solution category. The suite provides the end-to-end ability to create, manage and distribute all aspects of a commissions program. It automates the process of commission, bonus, and incentive administration in support of any type of variable pay strategy to deliver a pay-for-performance system that rewards employees for achieving targets that align with business strategy.

The 10th Annual Stevie® Awards for Sales & Customer Service are the world’s top sales awards, business development awards, contact center awards, and customer service awards. Finalists were determined by the average scores of 115 professionals worldwide, acting as preliminary judges. More than 60 members of several specialized judging committees determined the Gold, Silver and Bronze Stevie Award placements from among the Finalists during final judging earlier this month.

“Entries to the Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service continue to grow every year, further validating the essential roles that business development, customer service, and sales play in business success,” said Michael Gallagher, president and founder of the Stevie® Awards. “The widespread support of this program made the 2016 competition that much more intense among finalists. The judges were deeply impressed by the winner’s accomplishments and we congratulate all of the winners on their commitment to excellence and innovation.”

“We are honored to have received four Stevie Awards in recognition of our leading customer engagement solutions,” said Miki Migdal, President of the NICE Enterprise Product Group. “NICE is committed to providing organizations with all the tools and information they need to create outstanding customer experiences and to make sure their employees are fully engaged, informed and prepared for every interaction. The innovation of our solutions is grounded in this mission.”

Details about the Stevie® Awards for Sales & Customer Service and the list of Stevie® winners in all categories are available at

@drnatalie petouhoff, Constellation Research

Covering Customer Service, Customer Experience and Digital Transformation


Capital One Announces Launch of DevExchange / Offers New APIs

Starting something new is exhilarating, daring and, at times, even daunting. People who create know this. Having an idea isn’t the hardest part. Getting that idea off the ground is – building adoption, clarifying value, then scaling that idea to realize its full impact in the world.
And it’s no different for companies. Capital One knows about creating new things. They founded this on the belief that information, technology and great people could combine to bring new, highly customized financial products directly to consumers. It was daunting, and exhilarating. But less than 3 decades and more than 45 million great customers later – you could say they have proven that original concept.
So what’s next? They are starting something new again by becoming one of the first banks to open their platform to external developers and partners. They are launching Capital One DevExchange.
Capital One DevExchangeEvery experienced developer will tell you that before they invest their time in a platform, they need to know that the basics are covered. Foundational things like:

  • APIs that matter, are easy to integrate and are standards-based.
  • A portal where they can explore all the capabilities – from documentation, sample code and reference apps, to high-quality support and access to the entire community.
  • A place where they can easily test their concepts, have robust test data analytics and get instant access to prove their ideas.
  • A place where feedback matters and there is an opportunity to explore ideas with like-minded people.
  • Lastly and most importantly, a program that operates with transparency and a commitment to long-term sustainability.

Building a sustainable, vibrant developer community is hard work. It isn’t just about APIs, SDKs or toolkits. It’s about working together to solve problems. Engaging community members wherever they are. Defining a long-term strategy that benefits all. Creating real revenue and business value to flow to everyone. Promoting those successes. And doing the hard work every day of supporting, servicing, communicating with, adjusting when necessary, and expanding the ecosystem around the community.

They are creating such a place. A place where ideas become tangible. A place to access technology that is essential to people’s everyday lives – money, finances, and identity. A place they call Capital One DevExchange.

It’s time that banking and financial services catch up to the rest of our digital-enabled lives. They still believe that information, technology and great people are the magical combination needed to drive innovation. But they also know that great people – including great developers, engineers, and product visionaries – are everywhere. And they want to work with you.The challenge isn’t just to convince people to devote their engineering and development resources to working with them. It’s also to make sure you have a voice in this community.

Maybe the world is changing? Nice to see people being considered as a key component!

@drnatalie petouhoff

Covering Digital Transformation


Internet of Things (IoT), Customer Behaviors and Increasing Digital Demand Signals Major Insurance Industry Disruption

How Does IOT and Customer Behaviors Affect The Insurance Technology Companies?

The World Insurance Report 2016 (WIR), released  by Capgemini, identifies multiple threats pushing the insurance industry toward massive disruption. The continued evolution of the Internet of Things (IoT), combined with changing behaviors and preferences from Gen Y1 customers, is driving the urgent need for insurers to undergo significant transformation or risk falling behind emerging competitors such as FinTechs.

What Did the Capgemini Voice of the Customer Survey Find?

Capgemini’s Voice of the Customer Survey, (which covered) more than 15,500 insurance customers worldwide, found that Gen Y customers are much less likely to have positive experiences with their insurers compared to other age groups, despite communicating with them more frequently. Gen Y customers have more interactions with their insurer across all communication channels, particularly digital ones. They interact with insurers up to 2.5 times more on social media than other customers and over two times more via mobile.

Gen Y Has Higher Expectations of Digital Experiences Than Older Generations Those interactions, however, are resulting in positive customer experience levels that are nearly 20 percentage points lower than those of customers in other age brackets, suggesting that Gen Y customers have higher expectations for the standard of digital channels than their older peers. Given that more than one-quarter of all customers plan to purchase or renew their insurance through digital channels in the next 12 months, customer experience levels among Gen Y customers is particularly concerning for the industry. In addition, nearly one-quarter of Gen Y customers say they would be likely to buy insurance from non-traditional technology-led providers, highlighting the threat from emerging competitors to the customer base of traditional insurers.

A Note From The Executives: John Mullen, Corporate Vice President and Global Insurance Leader for Capgemini said, “By not providing adequate engagement for digitally-advanced customers, carriers run the risk of pushing them toward a growing population of market entrants and non-traditional technology-driven competitors. Gen Y is clearly indicating that they do business differently and those insurers who respond to them on their terms will have a clear competitive advantage.”

IoT Poses Additional Threats As More Devices Get Connected to the Insurance Business Models

A more fundamental threat, or enabler, to the future of insurers is the coming wave of connected technologies, in the form of such innovations as smart home ecosystems, wearable devices and machine-enabled drones, robots, and cars. These IoT technologies are expected to transform traditional insurance business models, including everything from the way insurers connect with their customers to their fundamental assessment and management of risk. Yet despite this threat, insurers are significantly underestimating the degree to which connected technologies will be broadly adopted. Only 16 percent of insurers think customers will embrace driverless cars, for example, while 23 percent of customers express interest.

Gen X is More Likely To Adopt Connected Devices

More significant than age, affluence2 is the most compelling factor in determining customer uptake of IoT technologies. More than 45 percent of affluent Gen X3 customers are likely to adopt connected devices, smart ecosystems and wearables, compared to only 30 percent to 35 percent of younger, non-affluent Gen Y customers. Customers that are both Gen Y and affluent are the most likely to adopt connected technologies (50 percent). However, affluent customers are also more likely to purchase insurance from non-traditional technology-led firms. Nearly 31 percent of affluent customers globally say they are likely to purchase insurance from technology firms, a percentage that increases to 47 percent for affluent Gen Y customers.

IoT Is Expected to Have a Big Impact on Redefining Risk in the Insurance Business. In addition to its impact on customer connections, IoT is expected to have an even bigger impact on the core tenets of the insurance business. In a connected world, data provided by connected devices, smart ecosystems and wearables will increase risk transparency, a dynamic that will likely lead to new business models, especially in pricing and risk control. Risk ownership will also shift with connected technologies, as responsibility for actions, for example in the case of driverless cars, moves from car owner to car manufacturer. Finally and most important, IoT looms large in managing the level of risk exposure due to safer environments. This will shift premiums significantly, threatening some carriers, but providing opportunities for those who can understand the emerging risks that are inherent as the rate of technology change becomes more pervasive in the lives of people and commerce.

What Should Insurers Do? Insurers must start preparing themselves for the transformation of the insurance business. The report advises insurers to build strong but agile foundations in the short term. In the medium term, they must sharpen their value propositions through strategic alliances and data-driven insights. Long-term strategies must focus on transforming the business to stay ahead of emerging risk profiles, new interaction models, changing customer behaviors and IoT’s expected disruption of risk selection, pricing, and loss prevention.

“While already experiencing digital disruption, the insurance industry needs to brace itself for the massive, inevitable disruption brought on by Gen Y and the Internet of Things,” said Vincent Bastid, Secretary General, Efma. “Those insurers who make it a top priority to improve their ability to manage and leverage data and risk will be the most prepared.”

The World Insurance Report 2016 features data from more than 15,000 insurance customers globally through Capgemini’s Voice of the Customer survey and exclusive Customer Experience Index (CEI), as well as findings from more than 150 insurance executive interviews. The report’s research covers 30 markets across North America, Europe and Asia-Pacific representing 93 percent of the global insurance market in terms of premium income.

For more information visit

The report will be presented at the Insurance Summit in Milan on June 9-10, 2016. To register to attend the event, please visit:


Customer Experience Management Guide: 55 Tips to Improve Customer Experience

Customer experience management is a top priority for many enterprises, particularly as we look beyond 2016 to the competitive landscape. Today, customer experience heavily influences customer retention, customer loyalty, and customer advocacy – all desirable outcomes for modern organizations.

Managing the customer experience, however, is a facet of business operations that proves challenging. From utilizing the right technology to support customer experience, to empowering employees with a sense of ownership that cultivates a strong desire to provide exceptional experiences for customers, to developing systems and protocols to create a consistent experience across touch points and channels, there are myriad considerations to weigh when designing a customer experience management program.

We’ve rounded up 55 tips from customer experience thought leaders to help you navigate the complex maze of customer experience management, encompassing challenges, best practices, examples, and strategies for creating amazing customer experiences from the top down in your organization.

Click on a category name below to jump to a specific section: 

Use predictive insights to deliver optimized responses in real-time. “To provide an experience where customers can navigate across multiple devices (mobile or desk-bound), brands must deliver engagement and shopping experiences that recognize each device and automatically adjust interactions to deliver seamless experiences. You will want to be able to respond to each customer’s interactions in real time and extend relevant content and offers based on an individual’s real-time activity, when their engagement is at its highest.” – Natalie Petouhoff (Dr. Natalie), Webinar About Best Practices: Customer Experience Management, Technology, Roles and Strategy, Dr. Natalie; Twitter: @drnatalie

Want to see all the tips? You can find them here at NGDATA.


Customer Self-Service Doesn’t Matter! That’s a False Paradigm!!!

It’s just not true. Customer self-service is one of the key capabilities of any company that actually cares about their customers. Companies contemplating a self-service customer care solution to support digital customer experiences should consider the following five steps:

1. Anticipate Requirements for a Digital Business Model. As organizations make
the shift to a post-sale, on-demand, attention economy, organizations must start supporting self-service for post-sale scenarios. Brands and organizations should plan to support customers frequently during and after the sale and direct them to the next self-service experiences whether they be answers, community, video, product, new offer or feedback.

2. Determine Your Company’s Willingness to Change. Suggestions for improving self-service cannot be realized unless the organization, from top to bottom, is ready for transformational change and has the structure and the budget to make and support change. Align incentives to support self-service and digital customer experience initiatives by the customer’s journey. Customer experience should not be governed by a department or fiefdom business model. It must be driven by being customer-focused regardless of which department “owns” the channel.

3. Determine Metrics for Reducing the Cost to Serve Customers, While Enhancing Revenue from Top-Notch Customer Experiences. Look at critical metrics like First Contact Resolution (FCR), Average Handle Time (AHT), reduction in call volume, increases in the opportunity to generate revenue, improved marketing, greater self- service employee engagement, increased digital customer engagement on any device, anywhere, anytime. Use the customer journey as the guide for overall success metrics.

4. Create and Use the Customer Journey Map to Maximize the Customer Experience. Evaluate your current customer journey from the customer’s point of view. How customer-focused are the ways in which customers can interact and engage with your company? Remember, customers don’t think about which department they are interfacing with. They just want you to give them what they need, regardless of channel or device. They expect you to understand their context when they seek you out and expect that your responses are relevant, transparent and authentic. Once you have created a set of current customer journey maps, ask customers how they could be even more customer-focused. Use that feedback to transform your customer journeys.

5. Deploy a Solution to Create Integrated, Personalized, Seamless Customer Experiences that Generate Customer Loyalty. When you serve the customer, you serve the business. As you interview vendors, make sure they answer all your questions and you understand how the software will solve your business issues. When you find a solution that can provide the answers to your business issues, you will be able to reduce operational and managerial costs as well as increase revenue through the excellent customer experiences your brand creates.

For more information about this paper, you can find it here.

@Drnatalie Petouhoff

VP and Principal Analyst, Constellation Research

Covering Customer Service, Self-Service and Customer Experience