Consumers Can Research a Company and Schedule Appointments Faster and Easier

Often times, as a customer, you want to know a little bit more about what a company offers and when you find that information you want to be able to act on it.  With the  partnership between Verint and TimeTrade, customers will have more seamless omnichannel experiences for consumers.

How Will This Partnership Work? The TimeTrade platform will integrate with the Verint Branch Workforce Optimization solution, enabling customers to research financial products and services, and schedule an appointment to meet with a branch professional on a desired date and time in their preferred branch location.

Can Customers Find Remote Specialists if They are Not At the Branch? In addition to scheduling appointments with branch employees that have the right skills for a given topic, the combined offering can schedule remote financial specialists to meet with customers and branch employees by video conference for even greater omnichannel customer engagement. This enables the broader sharing of resources across the bank enterprise, whether they are in a contact center or another location. For example, for mortgage appointments, customers can schedule an appointment in their preferred branch but be connected with a mortgage representative in another location via video conference.

How Will Brands Measure Success? Following these interactions, key metrics can be automatically added into the bank’s performance management scorecards, enabling them to track customer satisfaction, gauge customer wait times and other efficiencies, determine interaction success rates, and identify areas for training and development.

What Do The Executives Have to Say? Chris Zaske, global vice president, strategic operations, Verint Enterprise Intelligence Solutions,explains, “A top priority of the retail banking organizations we serve is to provide superior experiences to their customers—both on- and off-line—with the goal of also growing revenue. Partnering with TimeTrade and integrating with its platform supports this goal by helping our financial institution customers optimize branch personnel by scheduling their time to meet with customers and better utilize their capacity. By making it easy for customers to schedule appointments in advance, banks are connecting digital interactions with skilled branch associates that can improve close rates, as well as provide follow-up on future cross-sell and up-sell opportunities.”

Gary Ambrosino, CEO of TimeTrade goes on to say, “In-branch service has been suffering, and banks are losing customers as a result. We recently did a study and found that 60 percent of consumers lack a personal connection to their banks. In the same study, we found that a significant majority (83 percent) are willing to come into a branch during a week day if offered a guaranteed time to meet a representative. We believe the responsibility is on the associates and bank managers to re-build these relationships. Our goal in bringing a TimeTrade and Verint solution together is to provide the tools banks need to make this vision a reality, so they no longer risk losing out to the competition.”

MY POV: This is a very interesting partnership in that it does extend the branch beyond the solid walls of a financial office and allows the customer to more easily access the right person, maybe even in their jammies. With the increase in work-at-home employees, this may be a very smart move!

@DrNatalie Petouhoff

VP and Principal Analyst, Customer Facing Applications of Marketing, Sales and Customer Care, Service and Experience, Constellation Research


7 Principles To Drive Success Factors For CMOs to Thrive When Leading Customer Experience

As brands realize Customer Experience Management is key to their overall strategy and long-term growth, our research at Constellation found CMOs should consider the following 7 principles when leading customer experience initiatives:

  1. Bring passion about the brand you work for and drive cross-functional collaboration and lead organizational change
  2. Focus on both communications and brand guardianship as well as innovation, product and business responsibilities
  3. Balance the brand view and the business view so the CEO takes you seriously
  4. Gain mastery of technical and non-technical skills: it’s critical
  5. Use data and predictive insights to deliver real-time, optimized customer experiences
  6. Evolve into a strong, well-balanced leader of cross-functional teams and groom successors and
  7. Gain design-thinking experience.

Leaders of Customer Experience Management must have an emotional tie to the brand, identify with it and want to share the value it brings to customers. The CMO must be passionate about championing the customer experience and leading the development of the strategies, activities and tactics to create and sustain demand. Marketing must become the cross-functional voice of the customer. Having some organizational change management skills is very helpful to be able to lead the change, and is an inherent part of the changing role of the CMO, especially if they take on an end-to-end customer experience position.

The Reward for being a Great CMO? With a winning brand, you will be a CMO that not only knows how to adapt to change, but actually anticipates and drives it. You will be a CMO that knows how to cascade change down and across an organization so the changes to roles, processes, technology and its integration are accepted. You will be able to accomplish this by leading the employees in all departments. You will be able to structure teams to establish a culture that embraces change.
Your leadership will cut across functional department boundaries and get everyone on board, behind a vision and into a new way of working collaboratively. This may mean fixing processes that are broken or that no longer make sense. The reward is knowing that you have created an environment where cross-functional teams are not threatened by change, but instead embrace it and find ways to optimize the opportunities change brings.
What Does Leadership Have To Do With It? You will need to be a great leader. Just because someone is appointed to a position does not mean they actually have all the skills to get people to follow a new way of doing things. Asking for feedback on leadership skills is key prior to taking a new role. The innovation you will be responsible for can come in the form of how a brand enables customers to find, consume, participate in, talk about and share content about the brand.
Customers often control a majority of the dialogue about the brand and Marketing must be ready to talk directly to customers. This is new. In the past, marketers were accustomed to pushing content or campaigns out, but not having to respond. Social and digital media completely changed that with the likes of Facebook, Twitter, and customer communities. Influencing others is key, especially when communicating and engaging with so many different departments, with different agendas and success criteria. Often Marketing delivers a brand promise and other departments, like Customer Service, is tasked to deliver on it. So collaboration is key.
People Want to Follow Great Leaders. Times have changed, customer expectations have changed and now brands have to follow suit. Ask yourself, “Would you follow you?Are you able to lead the traditional responsibilities a CMO has had as well as the whole customer experience, which requires you to collaborate with many functional departments?  How is your company handling the leadership of customer experience?
Read my latest research report, Should the CMO Lead the Customer Experience?  Download the table of contents and an excerpt of the report here:
@DrNatalie, VP and Principal Analyst, Constellation Research
Covering IOT and Customer Facing Applications in Marketing, Sales and Customer Service that Create Amazing Customer Experiences

Should the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Oversee the Whole Customer Experience?

Customers, Value Chain and The Customer Experience Imperative Should the CMO oversee the whole customer experience? Today, the value chain in business has gone from products that became commodities to services that fuel anticipation of superb customer experiences that go beyond anything customers have expected previously. These new customer expectations have put pressure on companies to deliver on these experiences, which affect the revenue, margin and profits of a company. Brands are under a new type of pressure to keep the right customers and ensure that each of those customer’s experiences live up to their customer’s expectations. In order to make that happen, especially in large organizations, someone has to have customer experience as their primary responsibility and also have the clout to improve it. This is not your grandpa’s CRM. It’s starts with strategy and difficult leadership questions.

The big question? Who should lead the entire customer experience? With the shift to digital marketing, electronic commerce, social media and mobile interactions, brings a massive transformation to how brands and organizations engage prospects and customers. Customer Experience Management is a major pillar in many B2C and B2B organizations’ efforts to engage and retain customers. As it gets more complicated to engage and retain customers, organizations are realizing there is more to the job of customer experience than many first realized. This is in part because providing superb customer experiences often means getting many different departments or functional areas to collaborate, especially when they had not been in the habit of doing so before. Many times the reason for the lack of collaboration and why it has not happened before is because it’s not easy. Again, it’s not your grandpa’s CRM – it’s not about technology really. It’s really starts with a cultural mindset.

Falling Through The Cracks? There are many points along the customer experience journey where an organization can miss the mark and not even come close to meeting customer expectations. However, market leaders realize the future requires proactive, digital online engagement, integrated with in-person and/or in-store experiences to support the strategy. In this research we spoke to many leaders to find out how they are tackling the issues around customer experience and leadership and how best to lead this key strategic initiative in their organization.

The Research Found: The Role of Chief Marketing Officer Is Undergoing Fundamental Transformation, Yet Few Are Ready  As we explored the readiness, rewards, risks and gottcha’s for a CMO to step into an all-encompassing role to deliver the end-to-end customer experience, Constellation identified what CMOs are going through as they are being asked to add more to their “already” full plate. As they lead their organizations to become more customer-centric by creating and maintaining top-notch customer experiences, they helped us identify issues that can inhibit a CMO’s success –if how the business is run and the role of the CMO itself –doesn’t change. Here is a condensed version of the challenges we learned CMOs are facing:

10 challenges of the CMO in leading the customer experience natalie petouhoff constellation research

1. Confusion abounds on who should lead (own) the customer experience.

2. Agile, design-thinking is required to lead changes needed for successful customer experience.

3. Marketing is often focused on communications rather than innovation, product development and business innovation.

4. Marketing only recently became more accustomed to being highly measured, so building the business case for the additional responsibilities of the “new” CMO role may be difficult.

5. The Consumerization of IT has created often unfulfilled customer experiences.

6. The abundance of data requires immediate analysis and action to provide meaningful mass personalization at scale.

7. The plethora of data requires a data management and utilization strategy

8. Marketing can be isolated from other departments that affect customer experience and that isolation hurts the ability to lead change.

9. Marketing can be isolated from other departments that affect customer experience and that isolation hurts the ability to lead change.

10. Customer experience requires a highly collaborative individual to lead cross- functional collaboration.

The truth is there is not any “right” way to lead and deliver customer experience. Every single company has to think about their brand, the type of customer experience they want to deliver and their ability to do that consistently. As products and services have become commoditized, the last frontier to compete on is differentiation of the customer experience, so it is something that is more important than ever. What’s your take on who should lead the customer experience in your organization and why? Click here for more of what we found and read my latest research report, Should the CMO Lead the Customer Experience?  Download the table of contents and an excerpt of the report here:

@DrNatalie, VP and Principal Analyst, Constellation Research

Covering IOT of Customer Facing Initiatives in Marketing, Sales and Customer Service that Create Great Customer Experiences


Bluenose: Customer Success Management for a Post-Sale, On-Demand, Attention Economy(Part 2)

Welcome back to part two of my vendor profile on Bluenose. Bluenose Analytics offers a customer success platform that allows SaaS businesses to manage customers with complete visibility, a robust early warning system, and built-in playbooks.

Product/Solution Footprint

Competitive Positioning

Bluenose specializes in providing SaaS businesses a customer success platform to manage their customers with all-encompassing visibility through a comprehensive early warning system, intelligent marketing campaigns built to instill loyalty, and integrated playbooks (see Figure 2). Bluenose helps companies spot opportunities to deepen engagement with customers and maximize revenue through renewals and upsells. The CSM software offers a customizable and comprehensive customer health analytics system that can:

  • Highlight users that need more product training
  • Identify the most engaged users
  • Get warnings when an account is a churn risk
  • Determine which customers are falling behind in onboarding
  • Know if executive champions are no longer engaging with others
  • Suggest accounts that are ready for an upgrade

Figure 2. Overview of Bluenose’s Customer Success Management System


Source: Bluenose

The core of Bluenose is the analytics engine. Data on customer engagement, purchases, system usage, customer demographics, and customer sentiment in the form of Net Promoter Scores (NPS) and surveys all feed into the Bluenose engine. The result of the analysis is the ability to proactively manage accounts and end user campaigns. The key capabilities of Bluenose’s account management system include:

  • 360-degree view of the customer account
  • Early warning system
  • Playbooks
  • Account-based reports

The key capabilities of Bluenose’s end user campaigns system include:

  • Marketing campaigns
  • User-based reports
  • 360-degree user view
  • Actionable queries

The 360-degree view provides Bluenose’s customers with access to every touch point across their business. The early warning system allows Bluenose’s customers to go from being reactive to proactive in detecting issues and heading them off before they become problems. Bluenose’s playbooks allow customers to establish consistent and structured customer success processes to make sure all customers are receiving top-tier customer success management. Bluenose has a customer success community where clients (members) can share and connect with other customer success professionals.

  • Constellation’s Analysis of the Competitive Positioning: Early adopters of customer success management didn’t have a cloud platform that provided instant data like the CSM systems that are available today. CSM platforms now provide the capabilities and graphical representation of data in such a useful way that it is imperative that serious businesses adopt customer success management as a top priority. Bluenose’s analytics engine brings customer relationship management (CRM), service desk, marketing, usage data and financial systems into a single centralized view, providing a company with a data stream on its customers. With this data, Bluenose provides its clients with an accurate measurement of the stability of each customer and whether the customer is in jeopardy of churn or is ready to expand its capabilities. Customer scoring is accurate since it draws from structured data sources like CRM and billing systems and unstructured insights, like the intelligence of account managers. This technology system has many of the attributes a company would need to do great customer success management. However, Bluenose would benefit from developing relationships with integration partners and resellers.

Mobile Customer Relationship Management: Mobile is the New CRM

Will The Mobile Device Ever Live Up to It’s Potential? Everyone in mobile commerce has been waiting to see mobile commerce take off. While individuals report it’s the one device they always have with them, the change in mobile commerce and CRM has not grown as fast at most experts expected – at least until now. There is a mobile customer relationship management company that is scaling fast. Intact, it has increased its revenues by 500% since their series A funding of $10M last  year. In addition they have added a new Chief Revenue Officer. The compHelpshift Logoany is call Helpshift. They are the first CRM solution built specifically for mobile applications.

HelpShift Is Adding New Team Members To Help It’s Growth: In addition, Helpshift also announced the appointment of Kevin Grant, seasoned enterprise and mobile executive from AT&T and Boku, as chief revenue officer, to advance Helpshift’s efforts in enterprise sales. Abinash Tripathy, founder and CEO of Helpshift was quoted saying, “I am extremely proud of Helpshift’s success thus far, and am excited about our future. The sky’s the limit and we have big plans for the rest of the year. Our focus is to keep growing the product and our position in the market. We’re thrilled to welcome Kevin to the executive team; his extensive client list and wealth of experience in the mobile space will only increase our current rate of success.”

With the addition of Kevin Grant to the Helpshift roster, the company is poised to continue its rapid growth. Grant’s experience working with Enterprise and Mobile industries will help solidify Helpshift’s customer base and triumphs in the market. Kevin Grant was quoted saying “Helpshift’s approach to mobile CRM is truly revolutionizing the customer service industry. It’s a great opportunity for me to work with such a smart group of leaders and engineers who are changing how merchants think about mobile customer care. I’m enthusiastic about the future of Helpshift, and look forward to helping our clients prioritize an amazing customer experience for their consumers. I love win-wins!

What is Helpshift? Helpshift is an in-app customer engagement platform that enables businesses with mobile apps to improve customer experience, drive higher ratings, and increase retention. Helpshift’s SDK allows companies of any size to have a direct in-app conversation with their customers. To date, Helpshift is installed on more than one billion devices and serves 300+ million mobile customers monthly, resulting in 70 percent faster resolution times. Just two years ago, Helpshift began as a small group of engineers in India and a small sales team in San Francisco. Helpshift now has a team of more than 50 engineers in India, and well-established account management, finance, customer success, sales, and marketing teams in San Francisco.

Why Is Helpshift so Important?  The companies that are making a fortune in the new mobile economy have sewed an exceptional customer experience into the very fabric of their company. Support doesn’t just add value — an exceptional customer experience is the value. But the current support solutions were never intended to support the mobile experience – you can’t pour motor oil into a jet engine and expect it to fly, and CRMs and helpdesks just don’t meet the needs of mobile users. Which is an issue, since there are more apps competing for a brand’s customer’s homescreen every day. The world is moving to mobile and shoving a web view into a native app isn’t good enough. Helpshift wants to offer businesses the ability to provide that unparalleled experience wherever their customers are. Helpshift makes it easy to create that exceptional experience in native mobile apps, transforming customers into the most passionate sales team you could hope for, and loyal for life.
Who Are Some of HelpfShift’s Customers? Helpshift has built applications for Target, DoubleDutch, Clash of Clans, Outlook, Family Guy and Mercari.

What Does Pricing Look Like? Helpshift has everything from the freemium model, with 10,000 users and 1 team members to 300,000 users and 3 team members to custom pricing.

With the mobile device being the one we all carry with us, it makes sense that increasing that customer experience would be key. Looks like Helpshift is out to make that a reality!

@DrNatalie VP and Principal Analyst, Constellation Research

Don’t forget to enter the Super Nova Awards!



Microsoft Dynamic’s Strategic Alliance with Lithium

It’s true – to deliver on a brand promise of excellent customer experience, it takes a village.  And it makes perfect sense that Microsoft Dynamics has created a strategic alliance with Lithium, a community platform vendor. What does this mean? Microsoft Dynamics will integrate Lithium’s social interactions and community data into Microsoft Dynamics CRM. This partnership will allow Microsoft Dynamic’s customers to nurture better relationships with their customers, especially because and peer-to-peer communities are critical to building customer loyalty. With this additional visibility into what’s happening through their CRM application, businesses have a more complete, 360 degree view of the customer.

Lithium and Microsoft Dynamics Form Strategic Partnership

What’s interesting is that in the old days, product development used to be done by a vendor themselves. Today, the market is moving so fast, smart vendors are realizing that product development is really more about partnering with partners who specialize in a particular aspect of technology vs build it themselves. These specialized capabilities can complement what a vendor is already offering without the headaches of building from scratch.

Looking forward to some case studies and the successes from this strategic alliance!

@drnatalie, Covering Marketing, Commerce, Customer Service, Communities, Digital and Social Media to Create Better Customer Experiences


Salesforce Unveils Next Generation Marketing Cloud; Now Any Journey Is Possible

I’m speaking at Salesforce Exact Target’s Connections Conference. And Salesforce has announced their next generation marketing cloud. For more information follow @salesforce@marketingcloud and #CNX15 on Twitter. With the next generation Journey Builder brands are empowered to create journeys that blur the lines of CRM and span the Salesforce Customer Success Platform – connecting journeys across sales, service, marketing and custom apps. Keeping the connectivity between and from difference departments is very important and critical to the success of providing great customer experiences.

Digital Marketing Event Salesforce ExactTarget Connections #CNX15

With the ubiquity of smartphones, connected products, apps, wearable devices and digital communications there are trillions of customer interactions every day. The customer’s journey and every customer interaction, whether it’s engaging with a marketing campaign, speaking with a salesperson or getting a customer support case resolved or taking to another customers, is an opportunity to build a relationship and define the brand. Because of this, companies are now competing on customer experience.

In actuality, I think companies were always competing on customer experience. But we now have the evidence via social networking to show the affect of a bad experience or comment. Glad times have changed and the Internet because the voice of the people. Markets are conversations – or so say the guys that wrote the book The Cluetrain Manifesto. It’s a must read if you have not read it, no matter what business you are in. READ IT. Seriously. It predicts the future of where we are today and where we are going.

Delivering an exceptional customer experience across all channels is not easy. While marketers have ample access to customer data, activating that data and engaging customers with relevant content across every channel is a significant challenge. To address this challenge, marketers are moving from manually executed batch and blast campaigns to event-triggered automation and real-time personalization.

Saleforce’s Next Generation Active Audiences allows marketers to advertise based on a single view of the customer across the digital advertising ecosystem with partners Krux, Facebook, LiveRamp, LiveIntent, Neustar, Twitter and Viant. Leading global brands like FleetCor, Room & Board and the Michael J. Fox Foundation harness the Salesforce Marketing Cloud to connect with customers in a whole new way.

Here’s more details on what these new additions included:

  • Next Generation Journey Builder: The next generation of Journey Builder empowers companies to guide customers on 1-to-1 journeys across channels and devices to ensure they always deliver the right message, at the right time, via the right channel.  Now companies can make any journey possible and connect every interaction across every department, from post-service customer satisfaction to product adoption programs, and loyalty programs to employee onboarding. Marketers can empower all teams within the organization to unleash the power of the world’s #1 CRM and connect all interactions along the customer journey to deliver customer success.

    • New Native Journeys With Sales Cloud and Service Cloud: New pre-built Sales Cloud and Service Cloud events and activities in Journey Builder make it easier than ever to manage customer journeys that span marketing, sales, service and other kinds of interactions.

    • New Pre-Built Journey Triggers: Now, for the first time, Salesforce objects like contacts, leads, accounts and cases, as well as custom objects are available as pre-built triggers in Journey Builder. Marketers can automate inbound event-driven triggers, such as a customer joining a loyalty program or downloading an app, which then send the customer a message on any channel to begin their journey. Triggers can also automatically modify data in the customer contact record or set up wait times and decision splits to adjust the journey in real-time based on customer interactions across sales, marketing and service.

  • Next Generation Active Audiences: Today, Salesforce announces the next generation of its ad platform Active Audiences, which syncs ad targeting with CRM, empowering marketers to run more relevant ads across all of the places they execute campaigns. New partnerships will extend its scope to reach audiences across the broad display advertising ecosystem. Active Audiences can now help marketers:

    • Connect with customers and prospects across the display advertising ecosystem: New Marketing Cloud partners announced today — Krux, LiveRamp, LiveIntent, Neustar and Viant — will empower Salesforce users to activate CRM data and run ads across more than 100 digital advertising networks and technologies.

    • Coordinate targeted, relevant advertising to drive sales, service, and marketing journeys: Full integration with Journey Builder empowers marketers to bring targeted, relevant advertising in line with sales, service and marketing journeys. Active Audiences orchestrates digital advertising based on the customer’s entire experience with a brand – the emails and mobile messages they open, their purchase history, their engagement with the customer service team and where they are in a sales cycle.

    • Target people across social networks: Salesforce is a Facebook Marketing Partner for ad technology, content marketing, community management, and audience onboarding; a LinkedIn Certified Marketing Partner across sponsored updates and company pages; and a Twitter Official Partner. Through Active Audiences, marketers can reach their customers and lookalikes on Facebook and Twitter. With Salesforce, they can create and optimize media at scale across Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

    • Pricing and Availability

      • Salesforce Marketing Cloud and Journey Builder are generally available today for customers. Journey Builder pricing starts at $3,750 per month.

      • New Journey Builder activities, triggers and events with Sales Cloud and Service Cloud will be available in Q4 2015.

      • Active Audiences is generally available today for customers. New Active Audiences display features are expected to be generally available in Q3 2015. Active Audiences pricing starts at $4,200 per month.

Are you building next generation customer experiences? Make sure to submit your application to the SuperNova Awards for this fall at Constellation’s Connected Enterprise Conference.

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


Webinar About Best Practices: Customer Experience Management, Technology, Roles and Strategy

Is your brand following any of these best practices for customer experience management? Find out more at this webinar on 6 steps to superb customer experience management and here’s the research paper on best practices in customer experience management, technology, roles and the strategy required for success! As brands realize customer experience management is key to their overall strategy and long-term growth, Constellation Research recommends considering the following to deliver an integrated web, mobile, social, email and commerce experience:

Six Approaches Brands Must Adopt to Drive Experience Management

1. Decide Who Will Lead The Experience Management Strategy: A Competitive Advantage

Leaders of experience management must be effective communicators and be able to bridge many disciplines and functional areas. They must keep their eye both on the internal needs and strategy of the business, while taking into consideration the prospect’s experience. This may mean organizations at the very least assign the CEO, CIO or CMO to this charge. Though most of these roles are in overwhelm with their current responsibilities; tough to add more and expect them to really perform well.

2. Multi-disciplinary Skill Sets Required of Chief Experience Management Officer

Regardless of who takes on the role, leaders of experience management must be effective in communicating what the goals of the experience management team are, how they fit into the rest of the business why they drive revenue. Experience management needs to be focused on what customers are interested in, have concerns about and providing the information they need to make purchases.

3. Experience Management Technology and Integration

With strategy and leadership decided, processed mapped from the customer’s viewpoint, technology can be chosen and deployed to deliver on the brand’s promise. Brands should focus on creating meaningful, multichannel interactions that optimize the customer experience, improve conversions, scale business, and increase revenue via an interconnected platform.

4. Consider an integrated, interconnected technology platform: The need to provide a continuously connected and integrated experience is often difficult if the technology wasn’t designed to provide that from the start. Contemplate a comprehensive experience platform that can provide an elegant, integrated solution that connects channels, engagement automation and analytics and commerce, with external tools and databases, to drive exceptional customer experiences for each and every unique customer.

5. Strive for unity among channel connectivity: Customers expect you to recognize them when they engage with your brand, no matter what channel or device they use. And they expect you to remember previous interactions with them and keep the context of the conversation as they move from channel to channel or device. You will want your website, as the hub of experience management, to be directly connected to the email experience you provide, as well as have it parallel simultaneously branded experiences in social, mobile, commerce and print.

6. Use predictive insights to deliver real-time, optimized responses: To provide an experience where customers can navigate across multiple devices (mobile or desk-bound), brands must deliver engagement and shopping experiences that recognize each device and automatically adjust interactions to deliver seamless experiences. You will want to be able to respond to each customer’s interactions in real time and extend relevant content and offers based on an individual’s real-time activity, when their engagement is at its highest.

Which steps are you following? All six or only a few? Use this as a guide to determine how close your organization is to best practices! Join R “Ray” Wang and I for the webinar to learn more details!

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



New Report: Delivering Top Experience Management across the Web, Mobile and Commerce

In this new report we look at some of the key concepts for defining the elements required for superb experience management in the digital business disruption era. Clients can use document as a source for planning and work closely with both the business and technical teams to ensure success to deliver on the brand’s promise. It is especially important as the shift to digital marketing and commerce as well as mobile interactions brings a massive transformation to how brands and organizations engage prospects and customers. For many organization’s customer experience management is a major pillar in their efforts to engage and retain their customers and partners.

There are many points along the customer experience journey where something could “fall through the cracks” and not meet expectations. Market leaders realize the future requires proactive digital enablement of the business to support the future strategy of their organizations. The challenges to driving integrated customer experience management include:

While are most brands are recognizing they need to provide superb, integrated experience management, challenges include the conceptualizing, creating, executing delivering this integrated experience, and in particular integrating the website, social, mobile and commerce experience and interactions. The perception that creating a superb customer experience is easy, is the downfall of most organizations.

While most leaders understand that they need to deliver on superb experience management, organizations often can not move fast enough for three reasons:

  • Outdated systems and platforms that can not delivering on an integrated customer experience. Most brands, when they began CRM or their experience management strategy, did not anticipate the need to integrate the website with mobile and commerce. Often each of those disciplines were owned by different parts of the company and rarely did they speak, much less put their heads together to figure out how to deliver on an integrated approach. Thus, brands are left with legacy, point solutions that leave much to be desired.
  • Technology platforms didn’t provide truly integrated. Frequently brands tried to bring point solutions together, often hiring system integrators and management consulting firms to integration those solutions. But unless a platform is built with it’s very core centered on driving more than the old CRM (transactional customer relationship management), hundreds or millions of dollars or more were spent trying to piece technology together, only to result in thwarted attempts to create experience management across channels like web, mobile and commerce.
  • Organizations lack leadership and governance for experience management success. Excellence in experience management requires a cross-functional team strategy, but because companies have functioned in silos, this is more the exception than the rule. Along with a team and strategy, experience management requires budget decisions, often shared among various functional areas. Budget is never an easy topic, but experience management is pushing organizations to face these difficult conversations. New roles and expertise will also be required, with skill sets that span more than one functional area.

 MY POV: The solution is to formalizing an interdepartmental, multi-functional department collaboration using strategy, technology and best practices for customer experience management. As brands realize experience management is key to their overall strategy and long-term growth, Constellation Research recommends considering the following to deliver an integrated web, mobile, social, email and commerce experience:

  • Decide Who Will Lead The Experience Management Strategy: A Competitive Advantage
  • Choose Multi-disciplinary Skill Sets for Chief Experience Management Officer
  • Evaluate Experience Management Technology and Integration
  • Consider an integrated, interconnected technology platform
  • Strive for unity among channel connectivity
  • Use predictive insights to deliver real-time, optimized responses
  • Evolve commerce with interaction and behavior pattern analytics by putting big data to work

Unfortunately, in almost every segment, Constellation estimates that the top three competitors control from 43 percent to 71 percent of market share and 53 percent to 77 percent of the profits. In the technology space, only 80 companies since 2000 have made the billionaire’s club in annual revenue. Meanwhile, intense competition, short-term shareholder and management thinking, and minimal investment hamper the pace of investment and innovation required by business leaders to survive today’s competitive landscape.

Percentage of Profit Rays Book

It’s time to get serious about customer experience, social and digital media. Here’s a link to the report.

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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