How A Start-up Grows and Becomes so Big They Need CRM To Increase Sales and Reduce Costs

Trek Bicycle began was founded in 1976 by Richard Burke, president of flooring and appliance distributor Roth, and Bevill Hogg, owner of a chain of bike stores. With $25,000 in seed money from Roth’s parent company, Intrepid, Trek started to build bikes by hand in a Waterloo, Wisconsin barnTrek Bicycle began was founded in 1976 by Richard Burke, president of flooring and appliance distributor Roth, and Bevill Hogg, owner of a chain of bike stores. With $25,000 in seed money from Roth’s parent company, Intrepid, Trek started to build bikes by hand in a Waterloo, Wisconsin barn.

Today, Trek designs and develops its bikes at its worldwide headquarters in Waterloo, Wisconsin or at its design facility in the Netherlands. The manufacturing of its bikes takes place in the U.S. and Asia (under Trek oversight), with select town bikes assembled in Hartmansdorff, Germany. Trek Bicycle sells its bikes around the world through about 1,700 retailers in North America, subsidiaries in Asia and Europe, and distributors in 90 countries. Trek’s 2011 sales totaled more than $800 million. The company sold 1.5 million bikes worldwide that year. Richard Burke’s son, John, runs the company as president.

From its beginning, Trek targeted the prestige bike market. The firm introduced its first mountain bike line in 1983 and the first bonded-aluminum road bike — the Trek 2000 — in 1985. The lightweight Trek 2000 was greeted enthusiastically by serious riders. This was followed by a carbon fiber road bike in 1986. Hogg departed from the company in 1986. And Burke, who had held an advisory role, took over day-to-day operations and presided over the company’s return to profitability.

Amid a U.S. bike industry slump in the early 1990’s, Trek focused on overseas sales and overcame European snobbery toward American bikes. It also moved into accessories and began manufacturing helmets in 1993. That year, the company bought Gary Fisher Mountain Bike, founded by the inventor of the mountain bike. Trek bought two more mountain biking competitors, Bontrager and Klein, in 1995.

“We wanted to spend less time managing servers and infrastructure and more time developing features which provide value to our customers.”Adam Salvo, Development Operations Manager, Trek Bicycle Corp.

Intrepid, Trek’s parent company, changed its name to Trek in the latter half of the 1990s as the company divested itself of its non-biking businesses. In 1997, Burke’s son, John, became president of the bike company. In around 1989 also Trek expanded into foreign markets, opening subsidiary offices in the UK and in Germany. To increase production efficiency, Trek stopped bonding its aluminum bikes in 1998, adopting the more common practice of welding .

In June 2002, the company’s president was appointed to the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports. Seeking to further boost its European presence, the company purchased the bike division of Villiger, a diversified Swiss company, later that year. The purchase included bicycle factories in Switzerland and Germany.

Although it’s a global leader in bicycles, Trek maintains the spirit of a small company. This includes its close-knit, collaborative staff and independent bike shops that sell Trek bikes and gear. These trusted partnerships are the backbone of Trek’s business model. When sales reps leave or retire, it can take years to rebuild the depth of knowledge and the rapport that the reps had established with the bike shops in their territory.

“In my job, there are always a couple of things I am trying to kill: bad process and hardware. Microsoft has helped us to do that. The less stuff I have to manage, the more time I have to focus on the important things in life.” David Peterson, Enterprise Collaboration Manager, Trek Bicycle Corp.

Ultimately, Trek’s success depends on close, supportive relationships between its sales reps and the owners of the stores it sells through. Trek is committed to its 5,000 independent bicycle retailers around the world. To support them, Trek offers an Ascend retail management system that manages inventory, places orders for parts, tracks work orders and processes customer’s purchases.

Trek worked with a data center provider to operate and support these services. As the company grew, supporting these services got more expensive and complicated, requiring more servers and IT staff at both Trek and the data center. This began increasing operating costs. And it could take from two to six weeks to install a new server at the data center, which was not fast enough to easily scale with demand for bikes.

But with so much information coming in, the bicycle maker realized it needed a more efficient and effective way to capture and manage the wealth of information its sales reps accumulated as well as to facilitate employee collaboration that would result in better customer experiences, loyalty, advocacy and referrals.

So Trek decided to make some changes to how they did business so they could have a more complete picture of customers and their data and as a result, they could provide better customer experiences and service.

Integration between Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online and other enterprise data sources, including Trek’s JDE ERP system, has helped develop a more complete picture of Trek’s retailers and customers, while the introduction of Yammer has enabled people to collaborate within Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online—replacing email and instant messaging for certain workgroups. And Microsoft Dynamics Integrated CRM Solution helped Trek to support sales reps in bringing all of their customer information into one place, standardizing workflows, and making it quicker and easier for its employees to find vital information.

Trek was also able to improve web sales and customer service by connecting Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online to its public website, where the system captures customer inquiries from a Web form and routes them to the appropriate technical representative. The automated workflow attached to these forms has reduced response times from two weeks to only a few hours, increasing customer satisfaction.

There’s lot’s more that David Peterson’s team did… so make sure to get the full report!

@drnatalie

VP and Principle Analyst, Constellation Research, Connecting Marketing, Sales and Customer Service Through Great Customer Experiences

Join us for the Connected Enterprise Conference at Half Moon Bay – Oct 29-31st!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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+
Catch my latest:

• Thoughts at www.DrNatalieNews.com 

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

• My Book: Like My Stuff: Tactics to Monetizing Facebook Engagement and

•  3rd Most Download ebook: Myths, Truths of Social Media ROI
SAVE THE DATE!
Constellation’s 4th Annual Connected Enterprise 
The Executive Innovation Conference | October 29th-31st

Half Moon Bay, CA | Ritz Carlton

Submit a Case Study for CCE

 

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Adobe Summit March 24-28, 2014 | Salt Lake City, UT

I’m looking forward to attending the Adobe Summit this year in Salt Lake City. Thinking about join me? Here are the top reasons why you should attend:

  1. Make the most of every opportunity

    Summit will give you the inspiration, tools, and know-how to find and maximize every marketing opportunity so you can increase your impact and your revenue.

  2. Learn from the experts.

    Summit sessions and labs are taught by some of the most innovative marketers from top companies around the world. This is your opportunity to learn from their years of real-world experience.

  3. Find solutions to your specific marketing issues.

    Learn how to tackle your own marketing and data issues as you see Adobe Marketing Cloud in action. You’ll leave with specific skills, best practices, and strategies you can put to work immediately.

  4. Be among the first to know.

    Summit is where we discuss the latest trends and news in digital marketing. Be the first to witness this year’s product announcements, news, and industry trends from the Adobe Marketing Cloud community.

  5. Network with leading marketers.

    Summit brings together the best marketers and advertisers from all industries, and we’ll showcase some of our most innovative partners in the Community Pavilion. Make time to stop by and learn about their new technologies.

  6. Spend face-to-face time with Adobe Training Services, Adobe Customer Care and Adobe Consulting.

    Upgrade your skills. When you register for Summit, you’ll have the opportunity to sign up for Adobe Marketing Cloud classes delivered by Adobe Training Services. Add an extra day or two at Summit and receive hands-on training that will help you get even more value from your Adobe technology.

  7. Customize your learning.

    With eight content tracks, you can easily organize and customize your week to attend the breakout sessions you need, so you can learn the latest skills relevant to you and your company.

  8. Put yourself ahead of the pack.

    Time invested at Summit will pay dividends to you today, and for your continuing career, as you gain valuable knowledge and skills. You’ll already be where your peers and competition are trying to arrive.

  9. Enjoy evening parties and entertainment.

    Once you’ve soaked in all you can from the keynotes and breakouts, the day will be far from over. Use the evenings to meet other marketers, and enjoy big name performers have the Summit Bash. Previous Summit performers have included Maroon 5, the Killers, Lenny Kravitz, Foster the People, and the Black Keys.

  10. Unwind on the ski slopes.

    Your Summit registration allows you to request a complimentary lift ticket for Friday’s Ski Day. (Ski rental equipment can be added during registration for a nominal fee; however there are a limited number of rental packages available).

Decided to join me? Register here!

Dr. Natalie Petouhoff 

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

How to work with Dr. Natalie at the Executive Success Firm

Dr. Natalie: voted Top 20 In Social Media HuffPo
Voice:  +1.310.919.8467  | Twitter: @drnatalie |

Skype: drnatalie007 | LinkedIn | Google+

Catch my latest:

• Thoughts at www.DrNatalieNews.com 

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

• My Book: Like My Stuff: Tactics to Monetizing Facebook Engagement and

• 3rd Most Download ebook: Myths, Truths of Social Media ROI

SAVE THE DATE!
Constellation’s 4th Annual Connected Enterprise 
The Executive Innovation Conference | October 29th-31st Half Moon Bay, CA | Ritz Carlton

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April 7-9 2014: Marketo Marketing Nation Summit

I’m thrilled to be attending the Marketo Marketing Nation Summit 2014. Here is more information if you’re interested in joining me:

Conference Information

Without question, the Marketo Marketing Nation Summit 2014 will be the Marketing Event of the year. Join the Marketing Nation as over 3,500 of your peers, colleagues and thought leaders gather to celebrate Innovation in the Nation. Located at Moscone Center – West , in the heart of San Francisco’s Financial District, the Marketo Marketing Nation Summit 2014 will provide an engaging experience to grow your expertise and network over two and a half days. Connect with ideas, marketers, and resources to help YOU achieve success faster!

Moscone Center – West , San Francisco California

Moscone Center – West is a visually stunning and expansive three-level exhibition hall, conveniently located near fine dining, shopping, museums and more. As the heart-center of the Marketo Marketing Nation Summit 2014, Moscone Center – West will be buzzing with life and will serve as a vibrant backdrop where connections will be made over two and a half days.

Moscone Center – West 
800 Howard Street
Located at the corner of Fourth and Howard Streets
San Francisco, CA 94103

Conference FAQ’s

Why should I attend?
The Marketo Marketing Nation Summit 2014 will deliver dynamic and rich content along with key takeaways that will prove to be an incredible investment to your business. Learn how to implement and use the latest features and see what’s on the future horizon at Marketo. Develop deeper relationships with your contacts and marketing experts by gaining mastery over innovating lead generation, campaign management, social media strategies and analytics.

Social Networking Parties
Learn during the day, relax network and socialize in the evening! Registration opens Monday, April 7th followed by our Marketing Nation Kickoff Party. On Tuesday, April 8, join us for Happy Hour in the Marketing Nation Expo before being shuttled to our Customer Appreciation Party! We have an incredible night planned, so stay tuned for more information.

Registration Information

What is the registration fee?

  • Early Early Bird:$795 until December 15, 2013
  • Early Bird:$895 from December 15 until February 15, 2014
  • Standard:$1,195 until April 2nd, 2014
  • Onsite:$1,595

Can I register in person at the event?
Absolutely, however at this year’s event seats will be in high-demand so we recommend that you register early to secure your spot. Onsite registration is $1,595.

Is a group discount available?
Yes, simply email to info@marketoevents.com the names of the 10 or more attendees from your company and you get $200 off each registrant. You will receive a discount code of $200 off to register for each person. You must register all 10 people within one week of receiving the code.

Will Marketo close registration at any point?
Registration will close on Wednesday, April 2, 2014 at 5:00 p.m., PST. If seats are available after registration closes, onsite registration will be available for the price of $1,595.

What is included in my registration fee?
Access to the Marketo Marketing Nation Summit 2014 which includes keynote sessions as well as customer success tracks. The program begins at 5:00 p.m. on April 7 and will end at 5:00 p.m. on April 9. Registration fee includes admission, food and beverage during the daytime sessions and access to the Social Networking Parties.

Does the registration fee include travel costs for the conference?
All travel costs including air and hotel accommodations are the responsibility of the attendee. Marketo has secured a block of rooms at a discounted rate of $267 (Classic) / $277 (Deluxe) at the Hilton San Francisco, the host hotel. To reserve your rooms, please click here.

Is there an additional charge to attend Summit University Day?
Yes, there is an additional charge to attend Summit University Day. The registration prices are outlined below:

UNIVERSITY
Early Bird: $595 (until February 1)
Regular: $695 (February 2 – April 2)

CERTIFICATION
Early Bird: $100 (until February 1)
Regular: $125 (February 2 – April 2)

How is my registration confirmed?

After completing registration, you will receive a confirmation email with your registration information and your invoice attached.

What forms of payment do you accept for the conference fee?
Visa, MasterCard, American Express, wire transfer and company checks are all accepted.

If I can’t attend, can I substitute my registration?
Yes. If you are unable to attend, you may substitute one colleague’s name per registration. All substitutions must be received in writing prior to Monday, March 16, 2014 and will incur a fee of $50. After this date, all substitutions are subject to a $100.00 (USD) processing fee. Please submit substitution requests to info@marketoevents.com and include the following information for the new registrant: Name, Job Title/Position, Work Address, Work Phone Number and Email Address. A registration confirmation will be sent to the new registrant once the substitution is confirmed.

What if I have to cancel?

Registration cancellations received in writing by 5:00 PM (Pacific Standard Time) prior to Friday, February 21, 2014, will be refunded, less a $150.00 (USD) processing fee. There will be no refunds for cancellations received after 5:00 PM (Pacific Standard Time) on Friday, February 21, 2014. Please send any information regarding cancellations via email to info@marketoevents.com.

Look forward to connecting

Dr. Natalie Petouhoff 

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

How to work with Dr. Natalie at the Executive Success Firm

Dr. Natalie: voted Top 20 In Social Media HuffPo
Voice:  +1.310.919.8467  | Twitter: @drnatalie | 

Skype: drnatalie007 | LinkedIn | Google+

Catch my latest:

• Thoughts at www.DrNatalieNews.com 

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

• My Book: Like My Stuff: Tactics to Monetizing Facebook Engagement and

• 3rd Most Download ebook: Myths, Truths of Social Media ROI


SAVE THE DATE!
Constellation’s 4th Annual Connected Enterprise 
The Executive Innovation Conference | October 29th-31st

Half Moon Bay, CA | Ritz Carlton

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Customer Conversations are Key to Your Business

This post is part of the Deep Thoughts at Dreamforce Series of candid interviews with customer experience thought leaders. You can view the other videos in the series here.

 

“Strategy that involves common sense is nearly impossible for large companies to do,” said consultant Dr. Natalie Petouhoff  of companies that claim to be customer-centric yet fail to truly utilize customer feedback to grow the business.

“Leadership is the key,” said Petouhoff speaking to C-level executives. “If you’re not customer-focused, you need to be fired.”

Customers are everything. “If you don’t have customers, you don’t have a business,” said Petouhoff.

One of the issues that came up during the Dreamforce conference was the need to increase customer engagement. One theory states that if you can double your overall customer engagement you could double your business.

The problem Petouhoff identified is that there are still many executives who believe that customer service should only be treated as a cost center. Instead, you should relish every single customer touch point, even the negative ones.

Don’t stick your head in the sand to negative criticism, warned Petouhoff. Talk to your customers wherever they are. Hire people who are customer-centric who want to engage with your customers.

“Integrate that back into your company and you would have an amazing company,” claimed Petouhoff.

Dr. Natalie: voted Top 20 In Social Media HuffPo
Dr. Natalie’s ebook: voted as one of the Top Ten Most downloaded Social Media ebooks- On smROI

Click here to watch my videos on Social Media ROI:
Video 1: Building the Business Case for Social Media
Video 2: How to Measure the ROI of Social Media
Video 3: How Social Media Benefits the Whole Company


Dr. Natalie’s Executive Success Acceleration Firm™
Executive Business Strategy Advisor & Social Customer Experience Industry Authority & Consultant

The Doctor Knows Social Media ROI & Our Business Strategies Rx Get Results!
Our Motto? Be Awesome by: Learning, Sharing & Growing!

What we do: We work with companies to deliver increased revenue and decreased costs:

  • Executive Leadership Guidance on Strategy and Business Use of Social Media
  • Social Media / Business Benchmark Assessments – Tell you what you got/ what you might consider
  • Social Media ROI – set-up measurement capabilities and dashboards
  • Workshops on Business Strategy: Customer Experience, PR, Marketing, Customer Service & Internal Employee Advocacy
  • Instructor MEMES Summer Institutes at UCLA Anderson & UCLA Extension
  • Customer Experience / Social Customer Service Excellence Benchmarking Assessments & Advisory
  • Software Company Visualized-ROI, Persona-based Solution Selling w/ Targeted USP & Messaging / ebooks, White Papers, Webinars…
  • Social Media Training, Organizational Change, Motivation and Goal Setting

My book: Like My Stuff: How To Monetize Your Facebook Fans

Follow Me Here:
Twitter: @drnatalie
LinkedIn:
DrNataliePetouhoff
G+ :
Google Plus posts
Facebook:
DrNatalie Petouhof

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Reduce Support Costs With A Customer Community: Increase Agent Efficiency (Part 2)

Reduce One-Off Requests

Your support agents are knowledgeable about every aspect of your

business. They have extensive knowledge about your product, your

processes, and policies. So it’s an ironic twist of fate that (especially

as your business scales) they spend most of their time answering

simple, one-off questions.

 

Don’t get us wrong—it’s important that your customers are

supported as they purchase, set up, and begin using your products.

You want them to be as successful as possible, so they have a

positive experience and brand association. But does this mean your

support agents have to hold the hand of each and every customer

as they look for the “on” button? Absolutely not…at least not

anymore.

 

As you scale your business, you need to make sure that you’re

doing everything you can to reduce the number of simple,

repetitive questions your support staff is answering. A branded

customer community is ideal for this. It acts as a living, breathing

conversation library, hosting all the questions, answers, praise, and

ideas that have come before, while constantly being updated with

the most current topics of conversation.

 

Because community is designed to facilitate engagement around

the topics your customers care about (as opposed to Facebook or

Twitter, which are optimized for engagement around recent content

only), all conversations, whether they began two years ago or this

morning, are easy for search engines and hence people, to find.

Get Satisfaction customer communities take this archive capability

a step further. They search the entire community to see if an

answer may already be tucked away somewhere in the ghosts

of conversations past, before allowing a new topic to be posted.

This means that customers are automatically exposed to existing

questions and answers before they can open new issues.

 

This is beneficial for all concerned parties—your customers are able

to self-serve their own answers quickly and easily, which is what

most consumers prefer these days. And your support agents don’t

have to answer the same questions over and over again, because

there is a huge repository of content that exists already.

Empower Your Support Champions

Increasing agent efficiency is really a fancy way of saying reduce

agent tickets, calls, emails, and instances, freeing them up to

put their support super powers to work on more complex issues.

A great way to do this is by identifying the customers who are

naturally knowledgeable, enthusiastic, and vocal about your

product, also known as brand advocates or Champions.

It may seem unlikely that there are actually people out there who

are excited to speak up on your behalf, answer questions, and act

as impromptu support agents, but anyone who works in social

media will tell you that there absolutely are! Your job is to identify

them, incentivize them (even with a simple web badge—these folks

love a little recognition!), and connect them with prospects and

other customers. A customer community, with its wealth of people,

content, and analytic capabilities, is a natural place to do just that.

Get Satisfaction offers a Champs program, which allows you to

publically designate champions so the community knows who they

are. You can even give them special abilities so they can moderate

and curate as you see fit.

 

Champions are not the only ones who can help alleviate

the load on your support agents. The people interacting in your

community naturally bring with them varying experiences,

perspectives, and skills. From highly technical developer

communities, to those of companies that sell basic consumer

goods, bringing your customers and employees together to share

experiences and solutions is a solid base to build on for innovation,

development, and collaboration.

Stay tuned for part 3!

You are here: Home / Blog

Reduce Support Costs With A Customer Community: Increase Agent Efficiency (Part 1)

January 11, 2014 By Leave a Comment

increase agent 1

We love our customer support agents. Friendly, helpful, and patient by nature, these folks spend more time talking to your customers than
anyone else in your company. They truly understand the pain points of your business, and they’re the ones putting in long hours to resolve
them for your customers. It’s important, then, to ensure they have the tools and resources necessary to be truly effective.
This isn’t just a good idea from a warm and fuzzy perspective. Agent salaries are the most expensive part of a support center. By ensuring
that they’re using their time efficiently—helping people solve complex, technical or individual problems, not responding to the same basic
questions over and over again—you can do a lot to maximize the value of your support agents, the satisfaction of your customers, and
minimize stress and pain points for both.
This eBook is the second in a series of three explaining how customer communities can help companies realize significant savings and
revenue sources, along with the metrics and calculations to measure the results. The first eBook focused on customer community as a
valuable resource for customer self-service support. This book focuses on the way companies can leverage community to improve agent
efficiency. Stay tuned for the final, which will discuss community as a means to improve customer retention and acquisition.

Customer Community: The Basics
Since this eBook is all about how you can leverage a customer community to improve agent efficiency (and reduce costs as a
result), we figured it makes sense to give a quick refresher course on what exactly a customer community is, just to make sure we’re
all on the same page.
So what is a community platform? It all started with some of the first technology that emerged on the web—the forums and
message boards of the 80’s and 90’s. These technologies were built to create online spaces where users could have threaded
conversations about the topics, products, and services that interested them. To have an identity across conversation, users
typically created a profile with a nickname, so that they could build their reputation. This primordial community technology worked
well for engineers, developers, and early adopters, but it was not designed to be easy-to-use by a mass audience.
A lot has changed in today’s community platforms, but the core conversational functions have remained the same. At Get
Satisfaction, we have a strong point of view that, for a community to be most effective and beneficial for customers as well as companies, it should have the following:

❑User-friendly interface with a simple way for even tech-wary users to browse and search for relevant conversations
❑Technical flexibility that allows business to embed community content and functionality across customer channels … on websites,
social networks, in digital campaigns, and on mobile and tablet devices
❑Business features and tools (topic moderation, content curation, etc.) that allow for successful community management
❑Ability for the community to be branded by the company that owns or sponsors it
❑Content that is highly indexed by search engines (through SEO) and naturally appears in top search results
❑Analytics tools that allow business users to assess community health and performance, determine the most relevant content, and
identify the community members who are mostly likely to become brand advocates
❑Formal Champions program that allows you to identify, recognize, and allocate simple moderation capabilities to the customers who
act as informal leaders in your community

When equipped with these features and moderated and curated effectively, communities are great assets for customers to research
products, find answers to their questions, and act as resources for others. These conversations drive customer satisfaction and brand loyalty, while helping companies deliver great support, gather feedback to build better products, and acquire more customers.
Effectively, community allows you to deliver a better customer experience, while reducing costs and bringing benefits to multiple
departments across companies.

Stay tuned for Part 2!

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Video Interview: Thought Leadership with Mitchell Levy and Michael Procopio

January 6, 2014 By Leave a Comment

Thought Leadership with Mitchell Levy http://MitchellLevy.com and Michael Procopio http://MProcopio.com covers all things around thought leadership, how to become one, how to use it as a form of communication, how to help others become one. I got to sit down with them for a Google Hangout and discuss customer service, social media, real-time marketing and more!

Dr. Natalie: voted Top 20 In Social Media HuffPo
Dr. Natalie’s ebook: voted as one of the Top Ten Most downloaded Social Media ebooks- On smROI

Click here to watch my videos on Social Media ROI:
Video 1: Building the Business Case for Social Media
Video 2: How to Measure the ROI of Social Media
Video 3: How Social Media Benefits the Whole Company


Dr. Natalie’s Executive Success Acceleration Firm™
Executive Business Strategy Advisor & Social Customer Experience Industry Authority & Consultant

The Doctor Knows Social Media ROI & Our Business Strategies Rx Get Results!
Our Motto? Be Awesome by: Learning, Sharing & Growing!

What we do: We work with companies to deliver increased revenue and decreased costs:

  • Executive Leadership Guidance on Strategy and Business Use of Social Media
  • Social Media / Business Benchmark Assessments – Tell you what you got/ what you might consider
  • Social Media ROI – set-up measurement capabilities and dashboards
  • Workshops on Business Strategy: Customer Experience, PR, Marketing, Customer Service & Internal Employee Advocacy
  • Instructor MEMES Summer Institutes at UCLA Anderson & UCLA Extension
  • Customer Experience / Social Customer Service Excellence Benchmarking Assessments & Advisory
  • Software Company Visualized-ROI, Persona-based Solution Selling w/ Targeted USP & Messaging / ebooks, White Papers, Webinars…
  • Social Media Training, Organizational Change, Motivation and Goal Setting

My book: Like My Stuff: How To Monetize Your Facebook Fans

Follow Me Here:
Twitter: @drnatalie
LinkedIn:
DrNataliePetouhoff
G+ :
Google Plus posts
Facebook:
DrNatalie Petouhof

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Reduce Support Costs With A Customer Community: Increase Agent Efficiency (Part 1)

increase agent 1

We love our customer support agents. Friendly, helpful, and patient by nature, these folks spend more time talking to your customers than
anyone else in your company. They truly understand the pain points of your business, and they’re the ones putting in long hours to resolve
them for your customers. It’s important, then, to ensure they have the tools and resources necessary to be truly effective.
This isn’t just a good idea from a warm and fuzzy perspective. Agent salaries are the most expensive part of a support center. By ensuring
that they’re using their time efficiently—helping people solve complex, technical or individual problems, not responding to the same basic
questions over and over again—you can do a lot to maximize the value of your support agents, the satisfaction of your customers, and
minimize stress and pain points for both.
This eBook is the second in a series of three explaining how customer communities can help companies realize significant savings and
revenue sources, along with the metrics and calculations to measure the results. The first eBook focused on customer community as a
valuable resource for customer self-service support. This book focuses on the way companies can leverage community to improve agent
efficiency. Stay tuned for the final, which will discuss community as a means to improve customer retention and acquisition.

Customer Community: The Basics
Since this eBook is all about how you can leverage a customer community to improve agent efficiency (and reduce costs as a
result), we figured it makes sense to give a quick refresher course on what exactly a customer community is, just to make sure we’re
all on the same page.
So what is a community platform? It all started with some of the first technology that emerged on the web—the forums and
message boards of the 80’s and 90’s. These technologies were built to create online spaces where users could have threaded
conversations about the topics, products, and services that interested them. To have an identity across conversation, users
typically created a profile with a nickname, so that they could build their reputation. This primordial community technology worked
well for engineers, developers, and early adopters, but it was not designed to be easy-to-use by a mass audience.
A lot has changed in today’s community platforms, but the core conversational functions have remained the same. At Get
Satisfaction, we have a strong point of view that, for a community to be most effective and beneficial for customers as well as companies, it should have the following:

❑User-friendly interface with a simple way for even tech-wary users to browse and search for relevant conversations
❑Technical flexibility that allows business to embed community content and functionality across customer channels … on websites,
social networks, in digital campaigns, and on mobile and tablet devices
❑Business features and tools (topic moderation, content curation, etc.) that allow for successful community management
❑Ability for the community to be branded by the company that owns or sponsors it
❑Content that is highly indexed by search engines (through SEO) and naturally appears in top search results
❑Analytics tools that allow business users to assess community health and performance, determine the most relevant content, and
identify the community members who are mostly likely to become brand advocates
❑Formal Champions program that allows you to identify, recognize, and allocate simple moderation capabilities to the customers who
act as informal leaders in your community

When equipped with these features and moderated and curated effectively, communities are great assets for customers to research
products, find answers to their questions, and act as resources for others. These conversations drive customer satisfaction and brand loyalty, while helping companies deliver great support, gather feedback to build better products, and acquire more customers.
Effectively, community allows you to deliver a better customer experience, while reducing costs and bringing benefits to multiple
departments across companies.

Stay tuned for Part 2!

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Video Interview: Thought Leadership with Mitchell Levy and Michael Procopio

Thought Leadership with Mitchell Levy http://MitchellLevy.com and Michael Procopio http://MProcopio.com covers all things around thought leadership, how to become one, how to use it as a form of communication, how to help others become one. I got to sit down with them for a Google Hangout and discuss customer service, social media, real-time marketing and more!

Dr. Natalie: voted Top 20 In Social Media HuffPo
Dr. Natalie’s ebook: voted as one of the Top Ten Most downloaded Social Media ebooks- On smROI

Click here to watch my videos on Social Media ROI:
Video 1: Building the Business Case for Social Media
Video 2: How to Measure the ROI of Social Media
Video 3: How Social Media Benefits the Whole Company


Dr. Natalie’s Executive Success Acceleration Firm™
Executive Business Strategy Advisor & Social Customer Experience Industry Authority & Consultant

The Doctor Knows Social Media ROI & Our Business Strategies Rx Get Results!
Our Motto? Be Awesome by: Learning, Sharing & Growing!

What we do: We work with companies to deliver increased revenue and decreased costs:

  • Executive Leadership Guidance on Strategy and Business Use of Social Media
  • Social Media / Business Benchmark Assessments – Tell you what you got/ what you might consider
  • Social Media ROI – set-up measurement capabilities and dashboards
  • Workshops on Business Strategy: Customer Experience, PR, Marketing, Customer Service & Internal Employee Advocacy
  • Instructor MEMES Summer Institutes at UCLA Anderson & UCLA Extension
  • Customer Experience / Social Customer Service Excellence Benchmarking Assessments & Advisory
  • Software Company Visualized-ROI, Persona-based Solution Selling w/ Targeted USP & Messaging / ebooks, White Papers, Webinars…
  • Social Media Training, Organizational Change, Motivation and Goal Setting

My book: Like My Stuff: How To Monetize Your Facebook Fans

Follow Me Here:
Twitter: @drnatalie
LinkedIn:
DrNataliePetouhoff
G+ :
Google Plus posts
Facebook:
DrNatalie Petouhof

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Excerpt from my book “Like My Stuff”: Driving Sales with F-commerce

Driving Sales with F-commerce

The key to f-commerce ROI is to make sure incentives resonate with ambassadors, influencers, and customers so that they drive sales on the brand’s behalf. That’s why I recommend as one of the first steps in social media strategy is to put yourself back into the mindset of being in school. Go and study some brands that are doing it.

Brands that are in the midst of social commerce have found that when they use some of the same techniques as in regular sales processes, there is an increase in interaction. Those techniques can be:

 

  • Specific calls to action
  • Creating a sense of urgency through limited availability or blackout dates
  • Incentivizing social actions by offering discounts or special access

 

Here’s an example of how this can work. Let’s say you offer a coupon for your product. The catch is that 500 coupons have to be redeemed before I can get my deal. If the brand creates a way for the customer to share the deal with their Facebook connections, then more people will see the deal. If you have targeted the right demographic with the right offer, within hours or days the 500 coupons will be redeemed. It’s the action of one customer sending the deal within Facebook to hundreds of their connections that makes the f-commerce recommendation distribution process profitable.

Brands can increase their return on their investment by integrating e-commerce functionality with the word-of-mouth strategies we talked about in Chapter 13. What’s great about the social networking software is that the tools to implement those strategies are there. Some tactics are:

 

  • Offer contests where when the customer clicks on the Like button, they land on the Facebook store
  • Post ads, promotions, flash sales, pop-up offers to Wall and link those to the Facebook Shop
  • Combine “deals of the day” or product announcements with links to product details in the f-commerce shop

 

The Value of a Facebook Fan

There have been a couple of companies that have calculated the value of a Facebook Fan. In part, the reason why this had not been calculated before is because we needed more data to understand what dynamics affect other dynamics. It takes a while for a social network to get set up before it can be monetized. That is something that has stumped many business people who look at the investments that have been made in social networks. Millions and billions get poured into it, with the rest of the world wondering when they will begin to make money. In addition, to have enough data to watch for patterns also requires that the social network have some legs under it.

A company called ChompOn released a study on the calculations they did on the value of shares, Tweets, likes, and follows in the context of e-commerce. ChompOn works with 50 partners including Blackbook Magazine, JDeal,and Beyondtherack to offer Groupon-like crowdsourced coupons.

They used data from these daily deals to examine the conversion rate and action for deals they shared on Facebook and Twitter. They found the value of a Facebook share is $14 and the value of a tweet is $5.

For shares and tweets, ChompOn was able to directly attribute sales to the original action and took the total revenue attributed to each action and divided it by the total number of shares/tweets.

By comparison, ChompOn says the value of a Facebook “Like” is $8 and the value of a Twitter Follow is $2. For likes and follows, ChompOn estimated attribution by looking at traffic references and subtracting out purchases made through shares/tweets as well as purchases made through direct traffic. Of course this data is a bit tenuous and anecdotal. And it’s important to note that this analysis does not capture the long-term value of customers over time or the customer lifetime value we were talking about early in this chapter.

Syncapse is another company that calculated the value of a Facebook Fan. They looked at the differences in behavior and motivation between fans and non-fans to understand the true value of a fan. They looked at:

 

  • Product Spending: The ability to understand the methodology of increasing product spending
  • Loyalty: The ability to understand the available means to influence and promote brand loyalty within a target audience
  • Propensity to Recommend: Probability and propensity for word-of-mouth recommendations leading to sales
  • Brand Affinity: The impact on brand perception and recall
  • Media Value: Efficiencies of earned reach and frequency via the Facebook platform
  • Acquisition Cost: Efficiency of fans in enticing others to participate and drive organic membership

 

 

They polled 4,000 people who were self-identified as fans or non-fans of Nokia, BlackBerry, Motorola, Secret, Gillette, Axe, Dove, Victoria’s Secret, Adidas, Nike, Coca-Cola, Oreo, Skittles, Nutella, Red Bull, Pringles, PlayStation, Xbox, Starbucks, and McDonald’s.

The results were that consumers who are fans are more valuable to organizations across all variables than those who are not fans:

  • On average, fans spend an additional $71.84 on products for which they are fans compared to those who are not fans.
  • Fans are 28 percent more likely than non-fans to continue using the brand.
  • Fans are 41 percent more likely than non-fans to recommend a fanned product to their friends.

 

They also found that no two brands fan values are the same. But what is reassuring is that because they were able to track behavior, they could see the trends that make a fan more valuable than not.

They noted that fan value can vary widely by company and product. Factors influencing this variability include product purchase price, purchase frequency, product purchase cycle, product category, brand equity, and underlying brand strength.

A fan base is unique and comprises different levels of influencers and customers. Syncapse observed that how much a fan participates with a brand can change the value. For instance, an average fan may participate with a brand ten times a year and will make one recommendation. But, an active fan may participate thirty times and make ten recommendations. The impact this has on fan value can be quite dramatic.

In the case of Coca-Cola, the best-case scenario for fan value reaches $316.78. But it is $137.84 for an average fan. This degree of variability in the value of a fan must be a major consideration in determining how brands address different types of fans in efforts to move them up the value ladder. The strategy needs to be focused on how to reduce fan variability while moving the average fan value to the active end of the range.

 

Facebook Can Be the Decisive Factor for  Commercial Success

 

The Social Commerce IQ™ Genius Index was created with analytics data and the accompanying survey findings. Facebook figured prominently in the results. The social commerce index was broken down into four levels of social commerce maturity. Genius level included brands that represent the most socially-advanced on Facebook, typically having the highest engagement rates and offering shopping offers that were relevant to their customers in the brand’s news feed. In next lower category, Superior Level, the brands typically had fewer status updates and moderate engagement on their Facebook pages. The next category Challenged The brands in this category typically had few status updates, low engagement and little to no shopping status updates or applications/ tabs on their Facebook page. And the lowest category, the Deficient brands had no engagement, new fans and rarely sent updates to their fans. The top-scoring retail brands with Social Commerce IQ™ scores according to this study are: GameStop, Victoria’s Secret, Walmart, Sephora and Clinique.

 

All the top scorers in this study were shown to maintain a high level social currency for their brands through Facebook. Based on the data collected, here are three of most significant takeaways:

  • Status Updates Increase Sales– publish news about sales events, not coupons as a primary driver of fan engagement on Facebook. This is especially true for luxury retailers.
  • Ask Customers to “Like” After Buying—People buy then “Like”, not “Like” then buy – most Likes come from people who have already bought the product, i.e. liking is a post-purchase activity.
  • Likes Drive Sales— Facebook has driven at least 22 million sales transactions in the U.S. as a result of customers “liking” their products.  In general, 35 percent of consumers on Facebook tend to buy a product if it has been Liked by other members.

 

The power of keeping engaged with your customers is key to social commerce success.  Facebook is clearly the leading platform for managing a productive dialogue with customers. With its newly empowered f-commerce tools and platforms, it not only affords brands a wide variety of the opportunities to stay connected to the marketplace but also to collect and incorporate customer information to make the conversation even richer and more profitable for all concerned.

 

Want more? You can get my book here: http://www.amazon.com/Like-My-Stuff-Products-Facebook-ebook/dp/B005Y23KLK

Dr. Natalie: voted Top 20 In Social Media HuffPo
Dr. Natalie’s ebook: voted as one of the Top Ten Most downloaded Social Media ebooks- On smROI

Click here to watch my videos on Social Media ROI:
Video 1: Building the Business Case for Social Media
Video 2: How to Measure the ROI of Social Media
Video 3: How Social Media Benefits the Whole Company


Dr. Natalie’s Executive Success Acceleration Firm™
Executive Business Strategy Advisor & Social Customer Experience Industry Authority & Consultant

The Doctor Knows Social Media ROI & Our Business Strategies Rx Get Results!
Our Motto? Be Awesome by: Learning, Sharing & Growing!

What we do: We work with companies to deliver increased revenue and decreased costs:

  • Executive Leadership Guidance on Strategy and Business Use of Social Media
  • Social Media / Business Benchmark Assessments – Tell you what you got/ what you might consider
  • Social Media ROI – set-up measurement capabilities and dashboards
  • Workshops on Business Strategy: Customer Experience, PR, Marketing, Customer Service & Internal Employee Advocacy
  • Instructor MEMES Summer Institutes at UCLA Anderson & UCLA Extension
  • Customer Experience / Social Customer Service Excellence Benchmarking Assessments & Advisory
  • Software Company Visualized-ROI, Persona-based Solution Selling w/ Targeted USP & Messaging / ebooks, White Papers, Webinars…
  • Social Media Training, Organizational Change, Motivation and Goal Setting

My book: Like My Stuff: How To Monetize Your Facebook Fans

Follow Me Here:
Twitter: @drnatalie
LinkedIn:
DrNataliePetouhoff
G+ :
Google Plus posts
Facebook:
DrNatalie Petouhof

 

 

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Social Innovation and Innovation Management — Dr. Natalie’s Keynote Speech

This talk is about the ROI of Acknowledgement. Some might think that’s something that can’t be measured. In fact, there are many things that people claim can’t be measured. At the Spigit Innovation Summit I presented the idea that if employees and customers are acknowledged for their ideas, great things can come of it. The ROI of Social Innovation can and is being measured. Here’s the video of the talk… and below the slides…

Here’s the slides:

 

Dr. Natalie’s Executive Success Acceleration Firm™
Executive Business Strategy Advisor & Social Customer Experience Industry Authority & Consultant

The Doctor Knows Social Media ROI & Our Business Strategies Rx Get Results!
Our Motto? Be Awesome by: Learning, Sharing & Growing!

What we do: We work with companies to deliver increased revenue and decreased costs:

  • Executive Leadership Guidance on Strategy and Business Use of Social Media
  • Social Media / Business Benchmark Assessments – Tell you what you got/ what you might consider
  • Social Media ROI – set-up measurement capabilities and dashboards
  • Workshops on Business Strategy: Customer Experience, PR, Marketing, Customer Service & Internal Employee Advocacy
  • Instructor MEMES Summer Institutes at UCLA Anderson & UCLA Extension
  • Customer Experience / Social Customer Service Excellence Benchmarking Assessments & Advisory
  • Software Company Visualized-ROI, Persona-based Solution Selling w/ Targeted USP & Messaging / ebooks, White Papers, Webinars…
  • Social Media Training, Organizational Change, Motivation and Goal Setting
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