Act-On’s New Platform Capabilities Give Marketers More Flexibility, Power, Control and Enhanced Usability

Act-on Software provides marketing automation for small and mid-sized businesses. Their latest platform enhancements are designed to empower marketers to customize individual user experiences as well as reports for marketers based on unique business processes. Act-On focused its product innovations on feature sets they found to be most vital to its customers’ needs, i.e., simplifying the user experience through customization capabilities, while making the system more intuitive with personalization and dynamic reporting.  This means that marketers can have more flexibility and while still having control.

When I talk to clients, more and more of them are adopting marketing automation. The new features Act-on is providing are based on customer influence as well as market needs. This is because is Act-On paying close attention to the “whole customer experience” to ensure that Act-on’s clients realize the business success from marketing automation and remain delighted throughout the customer lifecycle.

Act-on’s New Marketing Automation Capabilities Include:

  • Funnel Reports - Marketers can better define the stages of their marketing and sales processes and measure the results of their efforts through those stages. Unlike static, traditional reports that provide results for a given period of time, Act-On’s Funnel Reports take continuous snapshots of information in order to measure the overall flow and velocity of leads, track prospects through important conversion points, and compare results across different time periods. These reports can utilize data from multiple sources, including the Act-On Marketing Automation Platform (MAP), CRM systems and other external sources of data.
  • Customizable UI & Dashboard - The new dashboard enables users to better manage their marketing assets by organizing them into groups, selecting favorites, and quickly accessing most needed items. They can also configure their dashboards into an instrument panel that gives them an immediate view of their favorite campaigns or performance reports.
  • Responsive Design Content Management Editor - Act-On’s new content editor allows marketers to create content that is both responsive and adaptive, rendering properly on any device type. The drag-and-drop editor enables marketers to create attractive campaigns without needing to know HTML or CSS (cascading style sheets).
  • New Integration Architecture with Expanded Integrations - A new integration layer provides native integration with all major CRMs, including MS Dynamics, Sugar, NetSuite and SalesForce.com. These high performance integrations give users the flexibility to switch CRM systems without losing any marketing automation functionality.
  • Google Chrome plug – Act-On also adds a new Google Chrome plug-in to its growing list of email connectors, enabling users to send email through their corporate email systems like Gmail, Google Apps, and Microsoft Outlook, while using Act-On’s email design templates, personalization and message tracking.

Some Thoughts from Act-on Clients

We’ve been working with Act-On because it’s the most user-friendly, easiest to implement, and fastest to start up of the marketing automation platforms we’ve used,” said Brandon Larocque, Managing Partner at Access Marketing Company.  “With Act-On Funnel Reports, our agency now has the ability to create a view into the most important output of our marketing automation service — customer movement through the funnel from top to bottom. The new reporting feature unifies marketing performance data from Act-On and our CRM, and allows us to show our clients how marketing is contributing to their bottom line.”

The Act-On Funnel Reports have opened up a whole new avenue of measurement and analysis,” said John Stalnaker, Marketing Manager at Extensis. “The new reports provide incredible insight into our various marketing channels. We know which channels produce the most leads, opportunities, and revenue — it’s a great alternative to ‘last touch’ campaign tracking that we report through CRM. Because Act-On is our marketing database of record, only Act-On knows all the channels a prospect touches. I can’t get this kind of report out of CRM alone.”

So if you are a small to midsize business, the importance of automating your marketing has never been more important than ever. And what’s great is that marketing automation, which was once only available to larger enterprises is now available to smaller companies. With the ability to scale marketing activities, small companies have the opportunity of a lifetime to grow very quickly, like never before.  And that’s the way I see it.

@drnatalie

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Translation Service Broker for Translating Global Marketing Content

If you run a global company and are wondering how the heck do I take all my assests and may sure that they get properly translated, I wanted you to know (if you don’t already know) about Cloudwords. There’s lots of translation service – meaning the ones that do the actual translation. But how much time and money is your organization spending on looking and comparing translation services — comparing prices and then getting the content to them – getting it back and then being able to upload it quickly for a new marketing initiative or release? For many organizations, it can be quite an ordeal.

I recently had a briefing on Cloudwords, a new enterprise-ready solution. It’s newest feature is globalization content management capabilities so that marketers can easily orchestrate localized, multi-channel campaigns at scale from a single dashboard. With the Cloudwords capabilities marketers can, with a single strategic lens into all elements of multi-channel, multi-system, multilingual campaigns, programs and initiatives, allowing marketers to effectively plan, execute and track the localization of all marketing content required for successful global launches. By delivering a comprehensive view of all localization assets within one overarching campaign across geographies, departments, and customer touch-points, Campaign Manager helps marketers optimize efficiencies and maximize global returns for their organizations.

How Does a Broker For Content Translation Services Affect the Bottom-line?

To get to that answer quickly – here’s the scoop: Cloudwords, by enabling marketers to wholly execute global campaigns more efficiently and in multiple languages concurrently, Campaign Manager increases productivity, decreases risks of project delays, and speeds time to market internationally.

For maximum engagement and revenue impact, marketers are developing personalized marketing experiences to better target their audiences. To engage consumers in global markets, content must also be localized in the audience’s native language and be culturally relevant for the region. Marketers at enterprise organizations are challenged to localize all campaign content efficiently and effectively across communication channels and internal silos to fully take advantage of global revenue opportunities for their companies. With Cloudwords’ cloud-based Campaign Manager, global marketers are able to strategically manage the entire localization process of all assets and channels concurrently across all departments and regions, and quickly view the information needed in one snapshot to ensure projects are progressing on time and on budget.

What Does This Matter to the CMO?

More CEO’s Are Holding Their CMO’s to Deliver Real Top-Bottomline Results

Marketers are on the frontline of revenue generation in today’s enterprise organizations. They’re increasingly responsible for generating the demand that ultimately translates into revenue, and if they’re unable to market efficiently on a global scale, they’re not capturing all of the revenue opportunities available to them,” said Scott Yancey, CEO and Co-founder of Cloudwords. “Cloudwords’ Campaign Manager was developed with the global enterprise marketer in mind. Campaign Manager is a one-of-a-kind solution that enables marketers to optimize their campaign globalization strategies to reach target audiences with localized messaging more quickly and in every market at the same time.”

As marketers, digital folks, agencies and the like probably had no idea as they entered this digital, social, online presence world that they would essentially become content producers and distributers, it seems like a service like this makes even more sense than ever. That’s true especially if you are a global brand. The ROI? Check out the costs and process, (FTEs) you are using to vet translators and the process and time it takes to get to market and compare what a vendor like this can do. Love to hear from some people that did that analysis! And that’s how I see it!

P.S. If you have a case study on this or other topics related to Marketing, Customer Experience and Customer Service, don’t forget to apply! Here’s how: https://www.constellationr.com/node/2108/apply

@drnatalie

How to work with Dr. Natalie  VP & Principal Analyst | Constellation Research, Inc.

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CEO’s Mandate: Make Customer Service / Customer Experience Top Priority

CEO’s Must Make Customer Experience the Number One Top Priority

The bottom-line? You know me. I get to it real quick. When you empower your customer service agents, you have the opportunity to delight your customers. Technology is key, but it actually takes more than technology to make that happen. It takes planning, people, process, strategy, and then understanding how the technology affects both the person giving service (customer service agent) as well as the person getting service (the customer.)

And with all these new technological innovations that are evolving, it is still critical to deliver great customer service. However, the bottle neck in most organizations is often the CEO-level, who may be operating under an old paradigm that customer service is a cost center. I’ve written dozens, upon dozens of ROI models for customer service, customer experience –traditional along with social and yet that message may still not have gotten to the CEO. Marketing and PR can acquire a ton of customers, but the question is, “Will they stay loyal?”

Who Cares About Customer Service / Customer Experience? Your CEO Should!

The issue with not understanding that Customer Service affects every aspect of the business – marketing, PR, sales, manufacturing, advertising, innovation, etc… is that customers are voting with their mouse and their feet. Whether it’s a brick and mortar store or an online presence, customers are sick and tired of bad service. And when it happens, while they know the devil they don’t know may be worse, they often want to make a point and switch to another company.  The question to ask yourself is, “Can you withstand to loose 20, 30, 40, 50% of your customers of the next few years?” If not, then the challenge is making sure that CEOs and CFOs as well as CTO / CIOs really understand the integral part Customer Service interactions and customer / company dynamics make to the bottom-line.

With many applications going to the cloud, it makes sense that having the contact center in the cloud companies can deliver excellent customer experiences. Some of the latest news that has unfolded is the integration of LiveOps’s CTI with Microsoft Dynamics CRM Unified Service Desk, which was released in the Spring of 2014.

This means that organizations will have a leading, multichannel cloud contact center solution that embodies the shared vision by both companies, i.e., to connect brands with customers via innovative technology and channels to deliver amazing customer experiences.

With most customers wanting to be able to interact with brands on any channel and receive the same level of quality of the interaction, Microsoft Dynamics CRM Unified Service Desk provides a unified experience for agents so that they can deliver efficient and effective interactions across all channels. So where does LiveOps come into the picture? The Unified Service Desk serves as a solid platform for vendors like LiveOps to showcase their customer service solutions.

In this release, LiveOps will offer voice and web chat capabilities to complement the advanced, multichannel, social cloud contact center capabilities delivered by Microsoft Dynamics CRM Unified Service Desk. This CTI integration with Microsoft Dynamics CRM further enhances the solution’s customer service capabilities by giving agents access to integrated contact center applications, as well as empowers managers to monitor and optimize inbound and outbound customer interactions to improve key metrics for customer satisfaction and agent productivity. The whole point of the solution is to provide a complete, integrated contact center solution that enables agents to manage every customer interaction for faster and better resolution.

Managing Every Customer Interaction and Provide A Great Resolution For the Customer And the Company

How can agents manage every customer interaction and still keep the interaction fast and provide a positive resolution for both the customer and the company? Brands have to look at the whole technology landscape and decide which products allows their business to make changes quickly while remaining flexible in an ever changing environment. That means that brands need technology that can connect with customers across traditional and mobile voice channels. Features like screen pop (customer information popping up on the agent desktop when the customer interacts with the brand), an embedded phone and chat panel, on-screen click-to-dial, integrated call recording and multichannel routing—all allow brands to more easily connect with customers across traditional and mobile voice channels.

One of the reasons features like screen pop, while it seems simple enough, are so important is that it enables agents are able to deliver personalized customer experiences and first contact resolution, while increasing productivity, reducing costs and maximizing customer relationship management (CRM) investments. What this means in common language is – true screen pop – is when you put your information into the IVR, all those numbers and information you provided at the beginning of the call ends up on the agent’s desktop. But you know often the agents asks you to repeat all that. And you are thinking, “Really?” That’s when you know they don’t have truly integrated CTI (computer telephony integration – i.e., the computer and the phone is integrated together…)

Here’s Some Quotes from the Microsoft Dynamics CRM Executives

Jujhar Singh, General Manager of Program Management at Microsoft Dynamics CRM said, “The majority of customers want to be able to interact with a brand on any channel and have the service quality remain consistent.” Microsoft Dynamics CRM Unified Service Desk is designed to provide an experience for the agent, which in turn directly affects the customer’s experience and their perception of the brand.

So if you want to learn more about the partnership between LiveOps for Microsoft Dynamics, check out this link: http://www.liveops.com/liveops-for-microsoft-dynamics.

And if you want to gain more customers and/or keep at least the ones you have, then its time to really reconsider how your company approaches Customer Experience and Customer Service. And that’s how I see it.

@drnatalie

How to work with Dr. Natalie  VP & Principal Analyst | Constellation Research, Inc

Dr. Natalie: voted Top 20 In Social Media HuffPo
Twitter: @drnatalie  Skype: drnatalie007 | LinkedIn | Google+
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•  3rd Most Download ebook: Myths, Truths of Social Media ROI
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Call for Applications for 2014 SuperNova Awards for Leaders in Disruptive Technology

One of the most important events for people who are working very hard to create amazing customer experiences, driving revenue from marketing and reducing costs is coming up. That event is the Constellation SuperNova Awards. And the call for applying for these 2014 SuperNova Awards for leaders in disruptive technology deployment is August 1, 2014.

At the Constellation Conference, during the SuperNova Awards we will recognize individuals who demonstrate true innovation through their application and adoption of new and emerging technologies. Have you done something innovative? Have you truly transformed all or some aspect of the customer experience and/ or customer service? Have you deployed social analytics? Are you leading digital transformation in your organization? Have you driven more revenue, increased marketing lead conversion rates, created significantly more brand awareness, created diehard brand advocates who are loyal, drive referrals and advocacy? Then you should be recognized for leading the way in your industry.

We know that often leading the way during a disruptive technology period – like social, like digital, like marketing automation, like monitoring & listening, engagement, analytics, etc… is not easy. And the SuperNova Awards are the moment that all your hard work can not only be recognized by peers but also perhaps a way for you to get recognition within your organization. Sometimes it takes getting an award from an outside organization for people inside your organization to see and understand your brilliance. Having been inside many organizations, knowing the politics it takes to get things done, often individuals who are leading don’t get all the accolades they should. The SuperNova Awards is one of your opportunities to be seen, be heard, and be acknowledged. 

In particular we are searching for leaders and teams who have overcome the odds to successfully apply emerging and disruptive technologies for their organizations. And one tip I can provide is that special emphasis will be given to projects that seek to redefine how the enterprise uses technology on a large scale.

So if you are leading one of the boldest, most transformative technology projects out there, don’t walk — virtually run and submit an application. It will be judged by Constellation analysts and some of the most influential thought leaders in enterprise technology.  

And if you know someone who has what it takes to compete in the SuperNova Awards, encourage them to fill out the application here.  Sometimes we need someone to nudge us and remind us how amazing we are. So participate. Help move the industry forward and reduce the hype cycle for digital, social, analytics and traditional customer experience, marketing and customer service technology disruption by showing that the changes that you are making are getting real, solid business results and its not hype. This new technology disruption is the way business needs to get done. At least that is my point of view!

Dr. Natalie Petouhoff 
Skype: drnatalie007 | LinkedIn | Google+

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• Upcoming book series: “7 Steps To Digital Customer Experience Mastery” (working title) 

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Data-Driven Marketing Campaign Optimization

The advancing complexity of marketing technology is accelerating and deepening the need
for a greater understanding of how Big Data and marketing analytics can drive better
business results.
This qualitative research provided by a panel of experts (see page 18) as well as from my
years of working with marketers provide a framework for marketers to evaluate how well
they are incorporating data analytics into marketing automation. Using this framework will
help marketers to not only identify what level they are at when using data analytics to
support marketing campaigns, but also help them evolve their company’s data analytic
capabilities to optimize bottom-line results.
This report offers insights into three of Constellation’s primary business research themes,
Digital Marketing Transformation, Next-Generation Customer Experience and Data to
Decisions. Our research aims to provide insight into the tough business problems business
leaders face today.
The Digital Marketing Transformation theme, in particular, is designed for those who are
leading their organizations from an analog world into a digital world. Chief marketing officers
(CMOs) must involve themselves in Big Data and analytics, social networking as well as
community building, reputation and loyalty. The future is real-time, digital convergence.
Research in this area is focused on how organizations are making the shift as they straddle
the analog and digital worlds. Success stories and lessons learned provide insights for CMOs
who are having to perform while the very foundation of what they have known for years is
constantly changing right in front of them. This report looks at the integration of campaign
management and the use of Big Data to make not only better, more successful campaigns,
but also provides marketers with far-reaching stretch goals as they grow proficiency in this
area.

Want the full report? You can download it here.

@DrNatalie

Skype: drnatalie007 | LinkedIn | Google+

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New Belgium Brewing Creates Great Customer Experiences Using Microsoft Dynamics

The keys to New Belgium Brewing’s success are not just the beers it creates. It’s also having a focus on
environmental responsibility and dedication to modeling core values and beliefs as part of the
everyday culture involved in brewing “green” beer.
New Belgium Brewing believes culture isn’t about what you say or post;; it’s about what you do.
The New Belgium Brewing culture was brewed even before a bottle of beer. It started when Kim and Jeff
hiked into Rocky Mountain National Park with a pen and pad. Together, they wrote down
what they wanted to instill into their business dream. The company’s core values and beliefs
were and are:
1. Remembering that we are incredibly lucky to create something fine that enhances
people’s lives while surpassing our consumers’ expectations.
2. Producing world-class beers.
3. Promoting beer culture and the responsible enjoyment of beer.
4. Kindling social, environmental and cultural change as a business role model.
5. Environmental stewardship: Honoring nature at every turn of the business.
6. Cultivating potential through learning, high involvement culture, and the pursuit of
opportunities.
7. Balancing the myriad needs of the company, our coworkers and their families.
8. Trusting each other and committing to authentic relationships and communications.
9. Continuous, innovative quality and efficiency improvements.
10. Having fun.

Want the full report? Download it here.

Dr. Natalie: voted Top 20 In Social Media HuffPo
 | Twitter: @drnatalie 

Skype: drnatalie007 | LinkedIn | Google+

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What’s New About Google I/O?

Today Google I/O ‘s keynote on Google Enterprise news included info on:

Google Drive for Work is Google Enterprise’s new product offering for Google Apps. At $10/user/month includes unlimited storage for each user, new auditing and reporting tools for IT administrators, and Google Apps Vault (Google archiving tool). Drive for Work still includes the entire core Apps suite, but adds these new additions which were highly requested features. The Core Enterprise offering, Google Apps for Business, will remain at $5 per user per month.

With respect to Google Docs Quickoffice is now fully integrated into Docs, Sheets and Slides, so you can open and edit those documents in Office Compatibility Mode directly on Android, your Chrome browser. And it will soon come to iOS. This means you can open, edit, save and send Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint files from your favorite device. You no longer have to buy additional software.

How will Google Cloud Platform change developer’s productivity and data analytics? The Google Cloud Platform team introduced new features and services for developer productivity and data analytics in the cloud, including:

o    Cloud Debugger: a new tool to help you debug your applications in production with minimal performance overhead.

o    Cloud Trace: to get deep insights into the performance of your cloud application. 

o    Google Cloud Monitoring: powered by Stackdriver, designed to help you identify and address unusual behavior across your application stack.

o    Google Cloud Save: the new version enables your Android applications to synchronize data between devices with push notifications.

o    Cloud Dataflow: a fully managed service for data processing that can execute either in batch or streaming mode with automatic optimizations.

What about the Android Developer Enterprise? The next version of Android will include a number of new features for Enterprise users and IT administrators, such as a separate containers to manage and secure business data. This new experience will deliver:

  • A more secure mobile experience for business users and
  • Provide business users and IT administrators with the ability to adapt to evolving enterprise mobility trends. 

Google is engaging all major partners across the Android ecosystem to create a consistent and improved mobile work experience on Android devices. And they announced a partnership with Samsung to contribute Knox to this standard set, and also announced support from many of the other key OEMs. Google is also working on integrating with the key mobile device management players in the market.

There was expansion of Google Play for Education to Chromebooks in US K-12 schools. What does Google Play for Education do? It helps teachers find and share educational content. This gives teachers the freedom to adapt their approach based on students’ current needs and interests. Google Play for Education started with tablets, but with teacher feedback, Google saw that teachers wanted to use it to find apps, books, and videos for Chromebooks, too.

And that’s the scoop on Google!

Skype: drnatalie007 | LinkedIn | Google+

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• Thoughts at www.DrNatalieNews.com 
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Key Requirements for Vendors When Briefing Software Analysts

In any given week, analysts hear many pitches. What may not be apparent is “How engaged is the analyst?”  So if you are a vendor, how do you engage an analyst? First, don’t be one of those people who is more interested in getting through all your slides in the short period of time you have with the analyst versus really having an engaging conversation with the analyst.

Slides are important as a visual representation of the product and / or services, but more important is the conversation that happens between the vendor and the analyst. Presenting a slide deck where only the vendor presents and the analyst has no time to comment or interact, is not engaging and doesn’t really help the analyst understand your software.

Most analyst have been listening to vendor pitches for years. And after a while they all sound very similar. The only way often times an analyst can grasp what is new or different, is if the vendor has really done their homework prior to presenting to the analyst and can articulate the following things in the first three slides:

1. What does your company do?

2. Who are your top 5 competitors?

3. Why is, what you are offering, so different and so much better those top 5 competitors?

Analysts don’t want a linear presentation with the history of the company, with how many employees… We don’t really always believe when vendors say they have “displaced” this vendor and that vendor. If all the vendors who said they displaced another vendor were true, then no one would have software.

What we want, as analysts, is to quickly assess in the first 5 minutes is “Why am I listening to this presentation?” (Besides the obvious, which is, it is our job to take vendor briefings… )

The issue is that most vendors don’t really know the answers to the top three questions. Why? Because it takes a lot of work to do a SWOT analysis, to understand what your company does and to be able to message that in a unique and interesting way.

I can’t tell you the number of times that I’ve seen nearly the same slide deck from different vendors in the same week, month or year. What I mean by this is that the content on the slides – even though they are different vendors — is very similar. So if the vendor can’t tell me why they are different, better, unique… it makes it very difficult for us, as analysts, to describe to end-users of software why they should consider a particular vendor over another one.

It’s up to the vendor to really do the SWOT analysis and know your competitors and how you are different or better than your competitors. What I find is that most vendors don’t spend the time to do this exercise. The issue is that when a vendor doesn’t do this, the presentation doesn’t really inform the analyst what they need to know to help recommend them to their  network of end users.  Which is part of what a vendor wants – they want the analyst to know enough about the vendor to make a recommendation to their end-users so the vendors can make more sales.

The net-net is that the analyst’s attention is not captured in the way that the vendor would like or perhaps thinks that is happening during the briefing.

The solution? Before briefing an analyst, make sure that your first three slides are about:

1. What does your company do? What problem(s) in a company does it solve? Who does it solve those business problems for? What roles? Do you know what keeps that role up at night and why does your solution solve their problem(s)?

2. How does your software solve that problem for that role? What are the details — the how to’s –how does the software solve those issues for that role better than any other software company?

3. And why is your software able to solve those problems differently and better than any other competitor? What is your competitive edge?

I hope that vendors that want recommendations to buyers take the time to either go through this exercise themselves or get help to create conversations and presentations that do engage analysts. If vendors are able to do this, they will make the conversation between the analyst and the software vendors richer, more productive and in the end, both parties will end up with what they both want – analysts to have a clear picture of the marketplace and the vendor to get more sales.

@drnatalie

Dr. Natalie Petouhoff 
Dr. Natalie: voted Top 20 In Social Media HuffPo
Voice:  +1.310.919.8467  | Twitter: @drnatalie 
Skype: drnatalie007 | LinkedIn | Google+

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• Thoughts at www.DrNatalieNews.com 
• Upcoming book series: “7 Steps To Digital Customer Experience Mastery” (working title) 

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How Delta Uses Microsoft Dynamics and Avanade to Create Next-Generation Customer Experiences

Delta Air Lines’ legacy in-flight point-of-sale system (POS) system could only provide very basic transaction data for items like meals, headphones and duty-free items. Declines in credit card purchases remained undetectable until the flight landed, leading to lost revenue. In addition, the in-flight POS system lacked the ability to communicate in real time with Delta’s CRM system, resulting in a disjointed customer experience.

Learn how Delta Air Lines enhanced customer experience and reduced lost revenue by implementing a mobile, in-flight POS system powered by Microsoft Dynamics and Avanade.

Table of Contents:

  • The Company
  • The Challenges
  • Improving Efficiency and Effectiveness In-Flight for Beverage, Food and Duty-Free Purchase System 
  • Time Data to Improve Customer Experience and Revenue
  • The Solution
  • The Technologies
  • The Impact
  • Enhanced, Real-Time Customer and Employee Interaction Data  
  • Increased Enterprise Manageability
  • Future Improvements
  • The Takeaways
  • The Recommendations

Download the snapshot report by clicking here.

@DrNatalie

Skype: drnatalie007 | LinkedIn | Google+

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IBM Watson and Genesys Partner to Power Smarter Customer Experiences

IBM and Genesys (www.genesys.com), a leading provider of customer experience and contact center solutions, today announced a partnership that will transform how organizations of all sizes differentiate their customer experience by tapping the power of IBM Watson to transform the way brands engage clients across customer service, marketing and sales through data-driven insights and automated actions.

 WHAT DOES THIS MEAN TO YOU?

The combination of the Watson Engagement Advisor with the Genesys Customer Experience Platform to is reportedly positioned to transform how organizations worldwide engage with their customers across customer experience touchpoints and channels of communication. This partnerships will allow Genesys to develop a learning system that can better serve consumers in their self-service applications and contact centers because The Watson Engagement Advisor enables natural language solution learning and adapts and understands market and organizational data quickly and easily, and gets progressively smarter with use, outcomes, and new pieces of information.

 WHAT IS A SPECIFIC EXAMPLE OF HOW THE WATSON ENGAGEMENT ADVISOR HELPS CUSTOMER SERVICE AGENTS?

The partnership will aid and assist a brand’s customer service agents to provide fast, data-driven answers, or simply sit directly in the hands of consumers via mobile device, chat session or online interaction. In one simple click, the solution’s “Ask Watson” feature can quickly help address customers’ questions, offer feedback to guide their purchase decisions, and troubleshoot their problems.

Because today’s consumers are a tweet, post, phone call, email or web chat away from reporting an issue or asking a question, and nearly half expect a response from businesses within a span of minutes, according to Edison Research, companies need to get a lot smarter about how they operationalize real-time customer service. Brand customer representatives who field these inquiries are often backlogged with time-consuming issues or questions that require detailed, accurate responses not often readily available to them – which can lead to an inconsistent customer experience. We’ve all been there – called a contact center and knew more about what we were asking than the company did. Perhaps this will help agents become closer to being able to provide real-time customer service.

DOES THIS MEAN KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT DATABASES ARE BEING REINVENTED? 

Contact center agents can gain access to a cloud-based Watson advisor that reads and uncover insights from millions of pages of data-driven content within seconds, from product guides to call transcripts. The result: cognitive computing that will augment a contact center agent’s knowledge and shift their time from searching for answers to discovering timely insights that solve problems, facilitate new opportunities, and improve the customer experience.  

WHAT IS A SPECIFIC EXAMPLE OF HOW THE WATSON ENGAGEMENT ADVISOR HELPS CUSTOMERS?

Genesys customers will gain the additional value of a Watson cloud-based advisor that thinks, learns and provides expert insights, while combing through millions of pages of data within seconds for customers and the contact center agents who serve them. As a result, Genesys customers can tap into the body of data that Watson understands and puts to work and use that knowledge to deliver more actionable and satisfying responses to customer inquiries in their self-service applications and contact centers.

HOW DOES THIS CONNECT A CUSTOMER AND A COMPANY TO PROVIDE BETTER SERVICE?

Imagine yourself as a bank customer, home from work and doing late night research on mortgage loans after your children are in bed. You may see a feature or rate that you like, but you have detailed questions that require expert advice. You can call, email or tweet the brand, but it’s after-hours. Many brands dont even pay attention to tweets much less have someone answering questions at night. Often that customer would not have access to a customer service agent until the next day.

Now envision the following experience: at any time of night, you can access a web chat advisor that has access to the bank’s data-driven content around mortgages, and through a natural language interface, understands your questions and history interacting with the bank. Not only will the application educate you on all things mortgage shopping, but it will also provide a formal offer that can be presented by a mortgage expert at a convenient time scheduled by you.

The idea is that with the Watson Ecosystem, Genesys customers will gain access to a cloud-based advisor that, within seconds, can read and uncover insights from millions of pages of data-driven content, from product guides to call transcripts to deliver exceptional customer experiences. The result: cognitive computing will augment agents’ knowledge and free their bandwidth from searching for answers, to creatively thinking of how they can further help a customer or even make a sale. This, in turn, will allow Genesys clients to deliver on their brand’s promise to the nearly 80 percent of consumers who say that the contact center is involved in defining the customer experience. SOURCE (IQPC)

 WHAT INDUSTRIES DOES THIS SOLUTION PROVIDE BETTER SERVICE FOR?

Leveraging its experience and deep domain expertise across industries including banking, insurance, and retail, Genesys will integrate access to the cloud-based Watson to its Customer Experience Platform empowering their customers with the ability to interact through a natural dialog leveraging Watson’s understanding and intelligent natural language response. Now consumers can tap into Watson to gain insight and answers faster than possible with knowledge management solutions.

HOW WILL THIS IBM AND GENESYS PARTNERSHIP AFFECT SELF-SERVICE?

The desire for self-service is there – both from the company’s point of view (reduce call volume, etc…) and customers are tired of calling into a contact center only to be disappointed. But while self-service has been a leading “idea” it rarely delivers an experience that doesn’t garner the customer to try to get help in another channel, often the phone channel. This defeats the purpose of self-service and reduces the first contact resolution — one of the most important indicators of customer satisfaction and loyalty.

The IBM Watson and Genesys solution provides organizations with the ability to identify when a customer needs to speak with a customer experience representative, rather than continuing in a self-service application. For example, if a customer reaches a point in conversation during a self-service interaction that could prompt either customer churn or a timely sales opportunity, Watson’s knowledge of pre-defined business guidelines allows the solution to signal when it is time to transfer the conversation to an agent.

The customer is not arbitrarily transferred to just any agent among the potentially hundreds who work at a call center. The solution pinpoints the exact agent to handle a customer’s inquiry, based on specific factors such as an agent’s experience, channel used, training and even license to discuss or sell a given product and then transfers the customer with the accompanying detail of the self-service interaction. This could mean a shift to reducing call volume and increasing first contact resolution – if it works as indicated. Case studies will be interesting to hear how brands are actually putting it to use.

WHAT DOES THE CEO OF GENESYS THINK ABOUT THE NEW PARTNERSHIP?

Paul Segre, President and CEO, Genesys says, “This combined solution delivers sophisticated yet simple to manage knowledge capabilities to transform self-service systems and human interactions into positive brand impressions. With Watson, our new solution provides a transformational customer experience with a natural and informed transition from self service to agent assistance to yield better business outcomes.

WHAT DOES THE MIKE RHODIN, SVP OF IBM WATSON GROUP THINK ABOUT THE NEW PARTNERSHIP?

Mike Rhodin, Senior Vice President, IBM Watson Group says, “By tapping into IBM Watson’s cognitive intelligence, Genesys is infusing a personalized assistant into every customer interaction. Customer engagement is a natural fit for Watson, empowering brands with information driven insights. This is a key example of how a new era of cognitive computing applications will transform industries and professions and revolutionize how decisions are made.”

About Genesys

Genesys is the market leader in multi-channel customer experience (CX) and contact center solutions in the cloud and on-premises. We help brands of all sizes make great CX great business. The Genesys Customer Experience Platform powers optimal customer journeys consistently across all touchpoints, channels and interactions to turn customers into brand advocates. Genesys is trusted by over 4,500 customers in 80 countries to orchestrate more than 100 million digital and voice interactions each day. Visit us at www.genesys.com or call us at +1.888.436.3797.

 

IBM Watson: Pioneering a New Era of Computing

Three years after its victory on the TV quiz show Jeopardy!, IBM Watson has evolved to represent a new era of computing, where by 2017 it is predicted that 10 percent of computers will be able to learn as Watson does. Today, Watson is no longer just the world’s most famous game-playing computer. IBM has put Watson to work in various industries. In healthcare, IBM is co-developing an application with Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, and partnering with WellPoint, the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, and the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine. Additionally, IBM has partnered with numerous colleges and universities across the country to teach Watson capabilities and cognitive computing technology to the next generation workforce. In 2013, IBM announced the introduction of the IBM Watson Engagement Advisor, the first Watson offering designed to improve customer experience, putting the power of Watson within reach of everyone.

IBM’s mission to spark a new generation of Watson-powered apps is just the latest milestone in developing cognitive system offerings that help its clients and partners succeed.

For more information on IBM Watson, please visit www.ibmwatson.com

@DrNatalie

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