The Need for Customer Experience is Based on Science Not Myth

The need for customer experience to improve is not a myth. In fact, here’s why. Noted psychology researcher and writer Mihaly Csíkszentmihályi observed in 1998 that people who perform seamless, sequence-based activities on a regular basis are happier than people who don’t[i]. He coined the term “flow” to describe this behavior. With the advent of CoIT, we’ve actually imposed a new set of demands on our customer’s brains. But instead of offering a series of smoothly sequential flows, websites and mobile applications are characterized by lag, downtime, and restarts. And at the same time customer’s flow-oriented brains simply aren’t wired to deal with poor digital experience interactions. Science has shown the business need for great customer experiences is a fact, not a myth.

And it can be tempting to label customers picky and impatient. But there’s a wealth of research on what happens to customers at a neurological level when they are forced to deal with slow or interrupted processes.[i] Their impatience is an indelible part of their human circuitry. Brands must recognize that customers’ hardwiring of the brain’s and their neurological desire for flow and easy of use as part of the cost of doing business. Companies must come to terms with the economic imperative of the customer experience or drive customers to their competitors because of their poor focus on customer experiences.

Fast websites and mobile experience create happier users. Those happier users are more likely to follow “calls to action” to register, download, subscribe, request information, or purchase. Unhappy users, which could include those who experience a mere two-second slowdown in how a web page loads, make almost two percent fewer queries, three point seven-five percent click less often, and report being significantly less satisfied with their overall experience[i]. Worse, they tell their friends about their negative experience. With the word-of-mouth social networks provide, brands need to heed the seriousness of differentiating their brand’s customer experience or be left in the dust.

Response Times have been consistent for 45 years. Based on neuroscience, the facts about human perception and response times have been consistent for more than forty-five years[i]. In fact, these numbers are hard-wired in human brains. And they are consistent regardless of the type of device, application, or connection a customer is using. In fact, that’s key to where customer expectations come from thus important to capitalize on. And what’s critical is determining where a brand’ web / mobile sites compare to customer expectations as well as benchmarking against CoIT applications or competitors or even non-competitors who have a great customer experience.

Response Time Has Not changed Much. In Robert B. Miller’s 1968 paper, “Response Time in Man-Computer Conversational Transactions[ii]“, found people have always been most comfortable, most efficient and most productive with response times of less than two seconds. Since 2006, what has changed slightly is the average online shopper expects pages to load in four seconds or less. Today, forty-nine percent expect page load times of two seconds or less, and eighteen percent expect pages to load instantly[iii]. And while optimizing every aspect of a brand’s digital assets to meet an “instant” expectation is a laudable goal, organizations simply may not have initially budgeted the resources to achieve these goals. Digital experience maturity, however, provides teams the ability to identify the interaction points in the digital customer journey most sensitive to improvement so they can maximize return on performance investment and include this in the budget and resource planning activities. Here’s the results of the Walmart study on page load times and conversion rates:

Screen Shot 2016-05-26 at 10.11.29 AM

Businesses can keep arguing that customer experience doesn’t matter, it’s a touchy-feely construct or get it directly affects the bottom-line and start by designing and measuring customer experience performance management. For more on this see my report, here.

@drnatalie petouhoff, VP and Principal Analyst

Covering Customer-Facing Applications


[ii]Robert B. Miller’s 1968 paper, “Response Time in Man-Computer Conversational Transactions,



[i]Dual-task interference in simple tasks: Data and theory. Pashler, Harold Psychological Bulletin, Vol. 116(2), Sep 1994, 220-244.

[i] The Concept of Flow: Handbook of Positive Psychology, Nakamura, J. and Csikszentmihayi, M. 2002.


Guest Post: The Relationship Between Cloud ERP and Big Data

There have been quite a few articles written on adopting cloud-based ERP, and whether the technology will be along the lines of its counterparts. Businesses are becoming more aware of the computer industry and the software is improving with each release. Cloud technology is becoming crucial in developing new capabilities to attract customers.


Enterprise resource planning (ERP) within the cloud is the engine utilizing data produced on the plant floor to power manufacturers. Cloud ERP gives manufacturers more precise and real-time data. Also, it is delivering programmable logic controllers, barcode readers, visual management systems, and wearable technology that can assimilate with the ERP system.


Big data is popular amongst business intelligence and analytics applications. Big data technology is evolving and it is changing application systems that have long supported them; it has given challenges and great opportunities. Acquiring business value is not only a challenge but it puts the business’ goals into context. 18-20% of the world’s GDP is contributed by manufacturing. Data is well on its way to becoming the new way to be efficient, since manufacturers worldwide are using it gain an edge on the competition. They are looking for products to better themselves and their consumers while discovering services that can be innovative and add to their image. 50% of reduction from manufacturing in product development holds real value. The largest source, arguably, of data in manufacturing is from ERP. Cloud adaptation is being forced at this point, which is the location where data is evaluated and processed using state of the art analytical engines that can slice and splice data into conventional and unconventional sources. ERP is now the connection of the cloud and Big Data.


Cloud ERP showcases enhanced flexibility, customization, lowered cost of ownership, and better integration with emerging technologies. You may also see a lowered number of times you call your IT department. The developments indicate that ERP on the cloud is not a situation of when manufacturing will become part of the trend, but what it will choose to deliver via the cloud before ERP immerses itself in the cloud completely.


In this moment, ERP in the cloud has proven itself to be a key player in manufacturing. Many companies will do their best to obtain flexibility, enhance customization, lower their costs and drive the integration of emerging technologies. The cloud will be a central figure in its success. As manufacturers gain confidence and experience the benefits, modules that go far above the functions of basic ERP will submerge in the cloud. Mobility and data growth are adding to the need, which would take ERP into the cloud, to create an improvement in efficiency and intelligence leveraged regardless of time and locality. This change coming will be historic. The ERP landscape is being reshaped as this is being written.



(Image Source: FanRP)



Saurab Prabhakar is a SEO & Outreach Intern at The Marketing Zen Group. He writes creative content on behalf of the ERP systems specialists at TGO Consulting, and enjoys his work. You’ll find him instructing Group Fitness classes and enjoying great food. You can connect with Saurab on LinkedIn.



From the Field: Lithium Technologies and Microsoft Dynamics Partner To Create A Total Community Digital Strategy

Is social CRM dead? Depends on what you consider social CRM to be. With the partnering of Lithium Technologies and Microsoft Dynamics, we will see yet a new and more extensive version of intelligent customer engagements. The partnership includes Microsoft Dynamics and Lithium’s community data, social customer intelligence and analytics.

The expectation of the value of an online community is often associated with cost savings – just as call deflections can reduce the costs of customer service. While many cost savings are possible, there also are six major areas that my research has found through which an online community can contribute to a company’s revenue, profits and margins. The six areas are: increased revenue through new products and services; enhanced communications, marketing and public relations; improved employee engagement; better business cost efficiencies; expanded business value in customer service; and heightened senior leadership and board member business guidance. With this paper, leaders can create a basic blueprint to embark on a discussion about whether to create an online community, the value the community can provide, and how best to lead this key strategic initiative in their organization.

Back to the conference, @jasonlsilva gave a wonderful talk on perception, change and our ability to redefine the meaning of a billionaire to one that helps a billion people. That I think is quite different than most of the start-up wanna-be billionaire’s who are in tech to become the next billionaire. You can see more of the videos from Jason’s show BrainGames on youtube called Shots of Awe. He talked about how the smart phone is the most powerful tool to get people out of poverty. And that it’s important to step back and understand where we are in time with respect to technology. 100 years ago we were electrifying the world – today we are cognifying the world via technology. In cognitive psychology, after a signal reaches the brain, the instant when we are aware of a change in our environment, but it is before the brain is able to identify and codify what the change is. The key is to not only not be afraid of change, but to embrace it with a positive mindset. The book Mindset was recommended by Lithium’s CEO Rob Tarkoff @rtarkoff by Carol Dweck. And lucky me – got a selfie with @jasonlsilva – @jasonlsilva and @drnatalie

Speaking of great customer service, I got this note from Claudia Kardzair & Nena Gadingan who are Guest Care Managers at the San Francisco Marriott Marquis:

Screen Shot 2016-06-09 at 11.11.04 AM

The days of loyalty driven by customer care are here. Some analysts think companies will be competing on customer experience in the future. I believe they always have been. It may not have been as measured as it is now, it may not have been as obvious as now — but customers have been making mental note of their experiences. If it is bad, they will take themselves out of your marketing funnel, regardless of the number of emails, tweets or other communications a brand sends. It is the era of customer experience being the number one metric all CEOs and CFOs need to pay attention to.

And at the conference we got to hear about the wonderful total community results from customers like @USAA and Renee Horne and Mark Nichols from Skype.

Skype Community Results Renee Horne USAA Results






The keynote on the future of CRM and intelligent customer engagement by Jujhar Singh, General Manager of Microsoft Dynamics CRM, provided a deeper understanding of what the partnership means to customers.  He shared key insights into how businesses can maximize customer data to create more personalized brand experiences. The combination of online communities and the power of CRM is an amazing capability. Rob Tarkoff, president and CEO of Lithium Technologies, explained that with the partnership Lithium will be able to expand what they now offer, the power of Total Community across Microsoft’s intelligence and data infrastructures.

Microsoft Dynamics Integration with Lithium Technologies

By working closely with Microsoft, they together bring a much broader solution to their our customers. The strategic alliance will allow the integration of Lithium social interactions and community data into Microsoft Dynamics CRM. Microsoft Dynamics customers now have a community platform that offers businesses greater insights from the wealth of customer signals embedded in communities.

What does the future of CRM hold? Perhaps it will finally go from it’s former capabilities – a customer contact management system to actually become the more aspirational customer RELATIONSHIP engagement system that enrolls a brand’s customers and never looses sight of what is important to THEM and is always there when their customers need them with the things that are important to them. When companies do this they become truly customer-centric.

@drnatalie petouhoff, VP and Principal Analyst, Constellation Research

Covering customer-facing applications



Dr. Natalie’s Research Agenda and Published Research

If you are wondering what I have been up to lately, I thought I would put all the research I have published  into one place. Here’s a list of Dr. Natalie’s completed and published research and soon to be published content! It ranges from IOT, Analytics, Big Data, Customer Experience, Leadership, Organizational Change Management, Storytelling, Collaboration, Digital Transformation, Social Selling, Social Media, the Cloud, Marketing, Sales, SaaS, IaaS, PaaS, DaaS, AI, Machine Learning, Innovation, Social Networks, Social Media Monitoring, Mobile, Customer Service and Customer Success Management….and a few things in-between…

IOT (The Internet of Things), Innovation, AI, Machine Learning, Analytics and the Cloud

• The Algorithm of You: How IoT Transforms and Differentiates Customer Experience: Using the Internet of Things to Boost Revenue and Deliver a Brand’s Personalized Promise

• Digital Disruption: The Blind Spot That Could Sink Your IoT and CX Initiatives

• The Internet of Things Improves Customer Experience in Retail Supply Chain

• The As-a-Service Economy: CX and IOT Mean You Have to Deliver Great Experiences- Upcoming

• Customer Experience IOT in the Automotive Industry-Upcoming


Digital Transformation: Customer Engagement, CRM, Innovation, Customer Experience, Customer Service, The Cloud and Analytics

• ROI Of Customer Service & Customer Experience

• How to Measure Customer Experience: Performance Management Maturity-Upcoming

• Case Study: Elaine Turner® Brand and Oracle Commerce, Marketing and Customer Service-Upcoming

• The Need for Inspiring Leaders to Orchestrate Customer Experience Initiatives-Upcoming

• Experience Management: How to Deliver Integrated Customer Experiences

• How Rackspace Creates the Next-Generation Customer Experience

• The ROI Of Agile Customer Care: Reduce Training and Easy To Add Channels

• Digital Imperatives for Omni-Channel Retail Customer Experiences

• Nine Pillar Of Successful Self-Service for Digital Customer Engagement

• 6 Pillars of e-commerce Customer Engagement

• 9 C’s of Customer Engagement – Delivery and Communication Styles: Channels, Content and Cadence

• 9 C’s of Customer Engagement – People Centric Values: External & Internal Culture, Community, Credibility

• 9 C’s of Customer Engagement – Right Time Drivers: Context, Catalysts, Currency

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

• How Microsoft Dynamics CRM Improves Productivity at Trek Bicycle

• Delta Uses Microsoft to Transform Flight Operations and the Customer Experience

• New Belgium Brewing Creates Great Customer Experiences Using Microsoft Dynamics

• Beyond Journey Maps, Delivering Mass Personalization at Scale

• The State of Customer Service and Support Evolves 


Social Media, Customer Service, CRM, Analytics, Innovation and the Cloud

• How General Motors Using Social Media To Listen To Customers and Sell Cars and Deliver Service

• The ROI of Online Communities: Online Communities Provide Value Beyond Call Deflection

• Why Top Marketers Create Branded Social Networks for Customer Engagement

• The State of Customer Service and Support Evolves 

• ROI of Social Customer Service- Upcoming

• The Customer Service Playbook for Integration of Traditional, Digital, Social and Mobile Customer Service Strategies and Technologies-Upcoming

• Mobile Customer Service-Upcoming


Digital Marketing, Analytics, Innovation and the Cloud

• Should the Chief Marketing Officer Oversee the Whole Customer Experience?

• Data-Driven Marketing Campaign Optimization

• VentureBeat: Should the CMO Run the Whole Customer Experience?

• Executive Brief: Can Brands Keep Their Promise?

• Oracle Moves Its Focus from the CIO to the CMO

• How to Staff the Team for Effective Content Marketing

• The State of Marketing 

• Marketing Funnels Are Dead, What’s Next?


Digital and Social Sales; Commerce, Innovation, Analytics and the Cloud

• How Sales Leaders and Sales Reps Can Create a Social Selling Organization: Convert Average Sales Teams into Top Performers Using Social Networks

• Five Approaches to Drive Customer Loyalty in a Digital World

• The Modern Sales Experience

• Continuity of Customer Experiences Drives the Future of Commerce


Customer Success Management, Analytics, Innovation and the Cloud

• The State of Customer Success Management

• Gainsight: Customer Success Management for a Post-Sale, On-Demand, Attention Economy

• ServiceSource: Customer Success Management for a Post-Sale, On-Demand, Attention Economy

• Bluenose: Customer Success Management for a Post-Sale, On-Demand, Attention Economy

• Totango: Customer Success Management for a Post-Sale, On-Demand, Attention Economy


If you are interested in learning about any of these reports or research, a speech or webinar on any of these or related topics, please reach out to me here!

@DrNatalie Petouhoff, VP and Principal Analyst, Constellation Research

Covering Innovative, Customer-Facing Applications that Create Great Customer Experiences








I’m Judging the SuperNova Awards: Make Sure to Submit Your Case Study

I’m judging the 2016 Constellation SuperNova Awards! Every year the Constellation SuperNova Awards recognize individuals for their leadership in digital business. Nominate yourself or someone you know before August 8, 2016.

About the SuperNova Awards
The SuperNova Awards honor leaders that demonstrate excellence in the application and adoption of new and emerging technologies. In its sixth year, the Constellation SuperNova Awards will recognize individuals who demonstrate leadership in nine categories:
•  Internet of Things – A network of smart objects enables smart services. (sensors, smart ‘things’, device to purchase, artificial intelligence)
•  Data to Decisions – Using data to make informed business decisions. (big data, predictive analytics)
•  Digital Marketing Transformation – Personalized, data-driven digital marketing.
•  Future of Work: Social Business – The technologies enabling teams to work together efficiently. (enterprise social networks, collaboration, digital assistants)
•  Future of Work: Human Capital Management – Enabling your organization to utilize your workforce as an asset.  (talent management, benefits, HR core)
•  Matrix Commerce – Commerce responds to changing realities from the supply chain to the storefront. (digital retail, supply chain, payments, ‘ubiquitous-channel’ retail)
•  Next Generation Customer Experience – Customers in the digital age demand seamless service throughout all lifecycle stages and across all channels.  (crm, customer experience)
•  Safety and Privacy – Strategies to secure sensitive data (blockchain, digital identity, authentication)
•  Technology Optimization & Innovation – Innovative methods to balance innovation and IT budgets. (innovation in the cloud, ENSW cost savings, cloud ERP, efficient app production)
The SuperNova Awards are seeking leaders and teams who have innovatively applied disruptive technolgies to their business models as a means of adapting to the rapidly-changing digital business environment. If you have what it takes to compete in the SuperNova Awards submit your application today:
If you are doing something really interesting, make sure to send in your case study! It’s your time to be recognized for your hard work!
@DrNatalie Petouhoff, VP and Principal Analyst, Constellation Research
Covering Customer Facing Applications that Drive Awesome Customer Experience

From the Field: Capgemini Analyst Conference #capgemniAD16

Old Dogs Can Learn New Tricks: It’s never too late to transform yourself. Having been a system’s integrator many years ago, I found the transformations happening at Capgemni very inspiring. There was a period where many system’s integrators avoided the conversation about going to cloud and for good reason. Their business and revenue model was not shaped for the cloud. They were based for on-premise installations. Enter the cloud and everything changed. With the integration of IGATE and Capgemini, outstanding changes are definitely clear. Replacing McKinsey and Accenture in many digital transformation projects, they are looking to lead the digital transformation. Net new customers are over 200 and a 35% increase in the client base in North America. Though under NDA, the brands were very impressive.

What did Capgemini learn from IGATE? And I have to say I really appreciated all of the executives transparency and honesty in their process of becoming a digital transformation system’s integrator – including but not limited to Fernando Alvarez, Paul Hermelin, Srikanth Iyengar, Bill Ruh, Lanny Cohen, Tim Bridges, John Mullen, Dee Burger, Todd Rovak, Jean Pierre Petit, Frank Greverie, Doug Mills, Mathieu Colas and Andre Cichowlas. IGATE was known for the great client relationship capabilities. A client’s CIO had said, “I’ve never had a company pay more attention to my culture and my people and company that what we have experienced with IGATE.” IGATE is a new breed of company infusing it’s culture into Capgemini, with the key themes of speed, agility and imagination. And Capgemini vowed to learn from IGATE.

Capgemni’s Digital Business Model: It includes not only the “what” but the “how” of customer experience, including digital customer experience, digital organizational and people and digital operations. In terms of the “how”–  what digital seems to mean are areas like social & mobile, data, IoT, cyber security and cloud. There was a large focus on cyber security, as more and more customers are putting their data in the cloud. There is a focus on digital innovation as well as a digital ecosystem of partners and start-ups in the mix. There key digital capabilities include: innovation, digital customer experience, digital manufacturing and insights and data.

Fahrenheit212 Innovation Strategy and Design Company: They believe that innovation can be inherently reliable and have spent the last decade designing the method, building the model, and assembling the minds to make innovation a predictable driver of growth for our clients’ businesses. They believe most great innovations don’t come from consultants—they come from entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial organizations. Entrepreneurs are driven by a powerful force that counter-balances their challenger mentality. Namely, they have skin in the game. They don’t obsess over the process of innovation; they care only about the outcomes. And it’s why they make a good addition to Capgemini.

Since their inception, Fahrenheit 212 has harnessed this entrepreneurial approach through a performance-based compensation model that aligns our risk and reward with that of our clients. They offer their clients the option of putting a significant portion of our potential compensation at risk, contingent on their solutions hitting pre-determined success milestones. This means their ideas can’t just be interesting; they actually have to deliver actual business results.

Digital Manufacturing Is Hot: The digital manufacturing value proposition includes a comprehensive enterprise offer of smart product and plants, Capgemni IP and an extended ecosystem of subject matter experts and highly skilled resources. With a 180,000 Capgemini employees, they are looking not only to re-skill some folks as well as hiring new people.

Cloud Is the New Normal: Their cloud value proposition is that cloud first is the new normal. Of their North American clients, 80% want their applications in the cloud in some way- some pure cloud, others a hybrid model.

Competitive Roadmap For Capgemini: Capgemini’s competitive roadmap is one of quality of service  where they want to work with some of the most demanding clients on the most challenging projects with the most talented people in the world. Capgemini’s entry into the world of IoT, though under NDA, was very impressive and spot on. I look forward to see what comes of their partnerships and their vision.

@drnatalie petouhoff, VP and Principal Analyst, Constellation Research

Covering Customer Facing Applications, including the customer experience of IOT


From the Field: Salesforce Unveils Marketing Cloud Lightening

Customer Service is the New Marketing. As the lines between sales, service and marketing continue to blur, marketers are taking a leadership role in delivering a unified customer experience. Salesforce conducted a recent survey report, reporting that the majority of high-performing marketing teams (58 percent) are driving customer experience initiatives across the business, compared to 8 percent of under-performers. But to do this, whether marketing, sales or customer service leads the process, the brands need to not only to crush the silos between those departments but also have a new platform that enables them to deliver a consistent brand experience across every touch point, regardless of channel or device.

Channel Ubiquity: At Constellation, we have coined a term called channel ubiquity – meaning using any channel, any device any time, any place, any where… that’s what the customer expects and brand’s must deliver or be left behind. Why is customer service is the new marketing? Because customers don’t view a brand from each department, they view the overall experience they have with the brand. And where the experience usually misses the mark is customer service. Companies spend millions or billions of dollars in customer acquisition and then don’t follow through with great customer service and rather provide bad service that only leading customers to their competitors. So those customers are automatically taken out of the marketing funnel, even if the company doesn’t realize it.

What’s Special About the Lightening Announcement? The Marketing Cloud Lightning Platform vision is to bring the power of Lightning to digital marketers so they can create more intelligent and personalized customer experiences. What are the possible benefits?

  • A consistent user experience across s customer success platform
  • Lightning components to extend and build new apps
  • Leverage data science to analyze information from the web and data throughout marketing, sales and service to predict customer behavior
  • Build and automate journeys for the entire customer experience.

Delivering on Channel Ubiquity: Whoever is in charge of offering the ubiquitous customer experience, brands need to be able to offer a modern and intelligent user experience across any device, enabling marketers to work faster and smarter, and deliver better results. With a platform that has common customer identity and navigation, brands could work seamlessly across the entire customer experience platform or hub to streamline processes that span marketing, sales, service or back office departments to enable more comprehensive, integrated customer journeys. This is the promise of the Marketing Cloud Lightning Platform.

Easily Building Apps: Another promise for Marketing Cloud Lightning includes new Lightning Components or the idea of reusable, drag-and-drop building blocks to easily assemble apps. This would enable companies to develop and customize new business apps for sales, customer service and marketing. Salesforce will deliver Lightning Components ranging from core email functionality, like previewing emails and tracking email open rates, to journey capabilities. This also includes options like automatically adding a lead or contact to a journey and reviewing the journey history of a specific lead or contact. In addition, customers will be able to use third-party components built by Salesforce partners and available from the Salesforce AppExchange.

The Power Lies With the Budget: Often because the CMO, of all the lines of business, is controlling a lot of a brand’s budget for new software, targeting the CMO is a great idea. However, because the place where customer experience generally falls through the cracks is customer service, I’d like to challenge customer service professionals to stand-up and demand that they also control and equal or larger portion of this type of budget.

It would be a major transformation of that role, but it is necessary to drive better customer service and overall customer experiences. Without this transformation, the front end- marketing and sales customer experience can be great, but unless marketing really understands what is happening in customer service and the challenges the contact centers face, the customer experience has the potential to fall apart there. I caution brands that do not heed this vision to not be surprised if they loose their market base. In my humble opinion, customer service is the key differentiator in the overall customer experience. And it’s time for it to change. NOW.

@drnatalie petouhoff, VP and Principal Analyst, Constellation Research

Covering Customer Facing Application that Deliver Awesome Customer Experiences Across Marketing, Sales and Customer Service.




From The Field: Oracle CX Conference 2016 Report

What we saw at the conference was a full suite for customer experience. As point solutions turn to suites, Constellation Research predicts organizations that want to keep all the information about customers flowing in one place will most likely turn to platforms, suites and hubs for customer experience.

Oracle Cloud Suite

With suites there is the opportunity to know your customers better, via shared data, shared knowledge across lines of business for personalized and relevant offers, products and services. Instead of having silos trying to each engage with the customer, suites provide the opportunity for employees to collaborate when engaging with customers (especially when the organization change management issues are dealt with from a leadership point of view.) Suites also provide the opportunity to drive new workflows, products and services that meet customer needs better. If companies are able to take advantage of what suites offer, they can sell more, innovate faster and increase shareholder value.

As we listened to Mark V. Hurd’s (Co-CEO or Oracle) keynote, he talked about the issues in IT spending. He estimated, worldwide IT spending is down over the last five years and down 5.1% in 2015. He also talked about revenue growth being stalled because companies are focusing on cost cutting to make their numbers for Wall Street. However, the focus needs to be on choosing the right software to grow the company’s revenue. One of the big drivers for software is getting the customer experience right. With all other things being equal, Constellation Research believes customer experience is the number one differentiator.

World IT spending decreased Mark V Hurd @drnatalie

Why? People expect that when they buy something, the experience will be at least positive if not really “wow” them. Otherwise, they will choose to go to a competitor. Mark spoke about the reality that most revenue growth will need to come from share shift as opposed to market growth. What this means for software companies is that they need to provide better software so that companies can provide better experiences so customer choose to move from their competitors to them. This also goes for software companies. The best way to grow revenue is to increase customer satisfaction. It’s interesting that this focus on customer experience seems to be the topic of the day. It’s something that I’ve been writing about for years. Customer Service and satisfaction perhaps has come into it’s own, finally.

Drivers for Customer Experience and Revenue Mark V Hurd @drnatalie

Often times companies don’t realize they are taking themselves out of the running when a customer sees (in forums, ratings, review sites, social media…) that the company is not responding, doesn’t show it cares and isn’t there to work with the customer to make things right. In fact, 67% of a decision on what to buy in B2B sales is completed before the customer even talks to a sales person. The customer is getting what they need from reading what is in digital and social media. And that customer automatically looks whether the company is participating in digital and social media, and even though they may not be aware, the company who is not participating make take themselves out of the marketing funnel, because customers realize that if they bought from that company and had an issue, they too would fall into the “no customer service zone” and be stuck with an issue. Nobody wants that and customers, after years of pretty bad service in many industries, are choosing to leave companies they have tried to be loyal to, but just can’t be loyal to any more.

And smart data is a huge opportunity for companies. Why? When companies put their data in the cloud they are able to aggregate more data in a single location creating convenience for marketing, sales and customer service in a very data-driven world.

Mark spoke about his own frustration with the financial institution he banks with and their calls to him about his account. He explains every time they call him, in detail, what the issue is, yet the bank still calls him with the same question. It’s as though the bank is on autoplay. It’s important to know your customers, understand who they are and what they need to keep them loyal.

Troy Carter, from Atomic Factory, spoke about the importance of engaging fans and his traverse of the start-up world. His words were very inspiring and really emphasized the idea that companies need to think about their customers as fans. With that mentality, how they are served, could change quite a bit. It was great to see someone who has arrived at a lot of fame, remember his beginnings and be humble about his amazing accomplishments in innovating in the music industry.

The conference was also graced by a number of customers who are on the journey with Oracle to provide not only better UX for their employees to use the software but also to develop the best in class suites to better service their customers. Look forward to an up coming case study on a brand called Elaine Turner. And here’s a case study on how GM listens to their customers in digital and social media and drives better marketing, sales and service.

Better UX Design

@drnatalie Petouhoff, VP and Principal Analyst, Constellation Research

Covering Customer Facing Applications that Drive Great Customer Experiences and Revenue Growth

Troy Carter Will Smith @drnatalie

Troy Carter Lady GaGa

Troy Carter, Atomic Factory, Keynote at Oracle CX Conference


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


Microsoft Envision Conference: Digital Transformation #ENV16

Among the many stories at Microsoft Envision Conference were those around digital transformation. Whether it be about Automotive and Volvo, Dartmouth-Hitchcock and Healthcare, ThyssenKrupp and Engineering, Case Western Reserve and Research, and Weather and Meteorology, Underwriters Labs and Consumer Goods, Rockwell Automation and Energy and Automation, Growing Underground and Agriculture, Real Madrid and Sports, Cities unlocked and non-profits, there is much to be learned by watching what Microsoft is doing. For the Live stream, here’s the link.

Volvo is using using technology to design safer cars. HoloLens is helping Volvo push the envelope on innovation for customers with technology that doesn’t intrude, but extends your reality. With HoloLens, Volvo engineers can see the soul of the car by virtually stripping the body away so you can see its skeleton. Rather than simply working on the computer, designers and engineers can see features, colors and options, literally giving them the experience of being inside the prototype.

The engineers can also see how the car perceives them, giving designers the vantage point of a sensor. This helps those creating Volvo’s safety systems better understand them, while ensuring customers are buying the safest car in the world. HoloLens lets people take imagination and make it real in a way that is collaborative, while also efficient. There are many more applications for this technology, yet to come, for cars and more.

Keep following the digital transformation story here at
Covering Digital Transformation and IOT to make better customer experiences