Guest Post: 4 Ways Technology Can Boost Your Customer Service Experience

In a mobile-oriented society where consumers thrive on social media and have come to expect instant communication, technology has become an increasingly important key to delivering effective customer service. Companies are using technology to meet customer demands for omnichannel support and access to online knowledge bases with a goal of differentiating their brands through customer service. Eighty-eight percent of companies feel they’ve made good or excellent progress toward delivering modern customer experience. Telephone support, online service and mobile service are some areas where companies are increasing their technology investments. Here’s a look at some technology tools you can use to improve your customer service experience and boost customer satisfaction.

Cloud Contact Centers

Today’s foundation for delivering effective omnichannel support is the cloud contact center. Cloud contact center solutions such as 8×8, Altitude and Aspect provide a single platform companies can use to centralize online, chat, phone and email support. This type of central platform enables your support team to deliver a seamlessly-integrated experience to customers even when a ticket moves from one channel or agent to another. Cloud centers also make it easier to deploy remote representatives, giving you more agility and cutting your expenses for on-premise support.

Self-service Tools

The most important customer service option you can provide to increase efficiency and customer satisfaction are tools for self-service like online knowledge bases answering frequently-asked questions. Seventy-five percent of consumers see self-service as an effective way to address customer service issues, and 67 percent prefer self-service to speaking to a company representative, a Nuance survey found. Only 40 percent of consumers contact customer support to resolve their issue after consulting an online knowledge database, meaning you can reduce your service volume by more than half by providing self-service options.

Live Chat

For service issues that don’t lend themselves to self-service, live chat is one of the best contact channels you can offer. Live chat delivers the highest satisfaction rate of all service channels, with 73 percent of customers coming away satisfied from live chat experience, compared to 61 percent for email and 44 percent for phone. Chatbot tools such as Pandorabots can also help you streamline your customer service workload by automatically handling many of your support tickets and improving the efficiency of ticker routing to human representatives. 1-800-FLOWERS found that deploying a chatbot to place orders on Facebook and direct other inquires to human representatives, used in conjunction with voice-command tools such as Alexa and Watson, boosted revenue in addition to increasing efficiency.

Phone Tools

While automated tools such as knowledge bases and chatbots can help you reduce your service workload, it’s also important to have live phone support for tickets that require a human response. Being unable to reach a live person is one of the most frustrating customer service experiences, and failing to provide this option will greatly reduce your customer satisfaction levels. To optimize the efficiency of your phone support, you can use an 800 number in conjunction with a menu system that automatically routes calls to the appropriate department. Structuring your menu options based on your customers’ most frequently-asked questions can greatly improve the efficiency of your phone service. To identify your customers’ most common concerns, monitor your site search bar and online knowledge database’s most frequent search terms and design menu options that correspond to these topics.

About the Author

Roy Rasmussen, coauthor of Publishing for Publicity, is a freelance writer who helps select clients write quality content to reach business and technology audiences. His clients have included Fortune 500 companies and bestselling authors. His most recent projects include books on cloud computing, small business management, sales, business coaching, social media marketing, and career planning.

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Dr. Natalie’s Research Agenda and Published Research

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

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

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

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

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

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

• Customer Experience IOT in the Automotive Industry-Upcoming

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

• ROI Of Customer Service & Customer Experience

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

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

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

• Experience Management: How to Deliver Integrated Customer Experiences

• How Rackspace Creates the Next-Generation Customer Experience

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

• Digital Imperatives for Omni-Channel Retail Customer Experiences

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

• 6 Pillars of e-commerce Customer Engagement

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

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

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

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

• How Microsoft Dynamics CRM Improves Productivity at Trek Bicycle

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

• New Belgium Brewing Creates Great Customer Experiences Using Microsoft Dynamics

• Beyond Journey Maps, Delivering Mass Personalization at Scale

• The State of Customer Service and Support Evolves 

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

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

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

• Why Top Marketers Create Branded Social Networks for Customer Engagement

• The State of Customer Service and Support Evolves 

• ROI of Social Customer Service- Upcoming

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

• Mobile Customer Service-Upcoming

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Digital Marketing, Analytics, Innovation and the Cloud

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

• Data-Driven Marketing Campaign Optimization

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

• Executive Brief: Can Brands Keep Their Promise?

• Oracle Moves Its Focus from the CIO to the CMO

• How to Staff the Team for Effective Content Marketing

• The State of Marketing 

• Marketing Funnels Are Dead, What’s Next?

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

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

• Five Approaches to Drive Customer Loyalty in a Digital World

• The Modern Sales Experience

• Continuity of Customer Experiences Drives the Future of Commerce

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Customer Success Management, Analytics, Innovation and the Cloud

• The State of Customer Success Management

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

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

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

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

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

@DrNatalie Petouhoff, VP and Principal Analyst, Constellation Research

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Guest Post: How Digital Technology Is Transforming Customer Data Collection

Digital business is increasing the potential monetary value of data, but most companies aren’t leveraging this valuable resource. Smart devices, mobile technology and social media are increasing the volume and variety of customer data available at an accelerated rate, turning data brokering into a multibillion dollar business while simultaneously making data more affordable than ever. General information about consumers is now available for about $0.50 per 1,000 people, estimates the Financial Times. Read on for the trends that are transforming data collection and the tools that smart companies are using to turn data into profit.

Internet of Things

One of the biggest technology trends is the increasing presence of smart electronic devices, a trend known as the Internet of Things (IoT). Earlier stages of the Internet were centered around personal computers and then mobile phones, and now the Internet of Things includes all sorts of smart devices, from smart houses to smart TVs to smart cars, watches and clothes.

All these devices collect data that is centered around the consumers who use these devices. This enables businesses to organize their market research and advertising efforts around the totality of data as well as individual uses, a trend known as marketing personalization. The Internet of Things means that the data collected can conceivably be used to personalize ads they see in their car, at work and while shopping.

Location-Based Data

The Internet of Things forms a digital mesh that enables consumers and their data to be pinpointed by location. Smartphones like the Samsung Galaxy Note5 are GPS-enabled, allowing marketers to collect data on their location and deliver personalized messages that appeal to customers at specific locations.

One of the emerging applications of this is beacon marketing, which identifies when customers are entering stores to deliver customized coupons, discounts and other special offers. For instance, Hillshire Brands saw a 36 percent increase in brand awareness and a 20 percent increase in purchase intent by using beacon technology.

Context-Sensitive Data

Data collection is becoming more context-sensitive. For instance, a webpage that displays well on a desktop screen needs to adjust to be viewable on a smaller mobile device screen. This means that the site needs to collect context-sensitive data about the viewer’s device and screen size.

Another context-sensitive use of data is retargeted advertising, when information gathered on one device follows users as they use other devices. For instance, Yahoo recently added a feature to its Gemini ad marketplace that enables advertisers to send retargeted ads to customers on websites, apps and Yahoo interest categories based on their browsing behavior.

Social Media Data

One of the most important data collection sources is social media. CMS Wire reports that 90 percent of the data available today was collected over the past two years and 80 percent of it came from social media use.

Social sites are seeking to capitalize on this, with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Google and YouTube all introducing buy button features last year. In 2016, social media brand engagement and buying will drive data collection, predicts Brandwatch.

 

About the Author

Roy Rasmussen, coauthor of Publishing for Publicity, is a freelance copywriter who helps small businesses get more customers and make more sales. His specialty is helping experts reach their target market with a focused sales message. His most recent projects include books on cloud computing, small business management, sales, business coaching, social media marketing, and career planning.

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Adobe and Google Partner to Create a Better Mobile Experience

What is the mission of Adobe?  To change the world through digital experiences.  The pace of change in how consumers engage with content is accelerating. So their mission is more relevant than it has ever been before. Consumers expect to connect with content immediately no matter where they are or what they are doing. In the personal, always-connected mobile world we now live in, the inability to deliver the right experience to the right person at the right time directly impacts engagement and the consumer relationship.

Why Did Adobe Partner with Google? Adobe has partnered with Google, alongside many others in the technology and publishing industries to support the Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) Project and help solve the problems that are adversely affecting the mobile web experience –  namely the slow speed at which content loads and understanding audience engagement with mobile content. AMP will enable content to load instantaneously and provide a better mobile web experience for all.

What will Adobe Analytics Be Able to Measure? It will be able to measure the reach and impact of AMP experiences for publishers, while providing blazing fast speed for mobile web user experiences. For publishers, Adobe Analytics has become a fundamental part of understanding audiences, creating loyal viewers, and monetizing content, and Adobe is committed to making sure that publishers have access to the best data possible. A better mobile user experience means more browsing and content discovery for users, and quality revenue streams for publishers.  Additionally, Adobe Analytics will enable publishers to link up AMPs with their existing web data for deeper cross-channel audience understanding, and integrate this insight directly with the rest of Adobe Marketing Cloud for content and advertising optimization.

Adobe Analytics customers interested in getting started, you can download their How to Guide now: Adobe Analytics for Accelerated Mobile Pages Project

@Drnatalie petouhoff, VP and Analyst, Constellation Research Covering Customer-Facing Application

 

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IoT In the Auto Industry: Automakers Choose Microsoft as Connected Car Partner

What Does Mobility Mean? To Microsoft mobility means the mobility of the person, not of any single device. People now want their technology experience to move with them, from place to place and device to device, at home, at work, and on the move. And this is also true in the automotive industry and in today’s connected cars. People expect their car’s computing power to match its horsepower. And automakers are leading the way, bringing mobility solutions to their cars to meet drivers’ changing expectations, as well as enhance safety. These automakers see their cars as technology platforms, and they are choosing Microsoft as their partner.

Why are Are Automotive Giants Choosing Microsoft for IoT and Cloud? They are choosing Microsoft because we uniquely deliver end-to-end solutions from the cloud, to the device, to predictive analytics, and do so in a way that allows all our partners to innovate on top of their existing systems. Nobody else offers this breadth and depth to the auto industry.

Which Car Companies Have Chosen Microsoft for Cloud and IoT? Volvo Cars, Nissan, Harman and IAV announced  details about their partnerships with Microsoft to enhance their connected car strategies. They join Toyota, Ford, Qoros, Delphi, and other companies already working with Microsoft to bring their cars into the mobile-first, cloud-first world.

What’s the Future of The customer’s Relationship and Experience with These Connected Cars? In the near future, the car will be connected to the Internet, as well as to other cars, your mobile phone and your home computer. The car becomes a companion and an assistant to your digital life. And so our strategy is to be the ultimate platform for all intelligent cars.

At CES there were many demonstrations of a variety of mobility solutions available today and reveal new prototypes. They showed ways people can be more productive in their cars, how cars can monitor what’s happening in their surroundings to improve safety, and how cars can adapt to unique users to deliver a more personal driving experience.

  • Volvo Cars showcased new concepts that integrate Microsoft Band 2 with a Windows 10 smartphone and the Volvo on Call Universal App, creating new ways for customers to interact with their vehicles. From the new Microsoft Band, a Volvo owner can press and hold the action button and say, “Volvo, start the heater of my car,” among many other options.
  • Harman announced a collaboration with Microsoft that will integrate Microsoft Office 365 productivity suite capabilities into Harman infotainment systems. Drivers will be able to access Office 365 services and interact with them through intelligent personal assistant software to schedule meetings, hear and respond to important emails, and make Skype calls when in park, or when on the road in autonomous vehicles.
  • IAV will use Windows 10 Continuum to stream Windows 10 via a mobile device directly to a car’s dashboard, giving drivers access to Windows 10 features and apps such as Cortana, Skype for Business, Calendar, Outlook and Groove Music while the vehicle is in autonomous driving mode or parked. This integration allows drivers to use the devices they already own. Microsoft and IAV will also demo how to use Cortana Analytics and data from a vehicle’s surroundings to improve safety by anticipating and mitigating potential vehicle and pedestrian accidents.

In addition, Nissan Motor Company and Microsoft announced that all Nissan LEAF and Infiniti models in Europe will have Connect Telematics Systems (CTS) powered by Microsoft Azure.

Why Is Microsoft A Good Partner for the Auto Industry, IoT, Cloud Computing and Awesome Customer Experiences? Automakers are choosing Microsoft as their connected car partner to help them transform the consumer experience with a platform for intelligent cars that complements their own strategies and ambitions. With this partner focus, they are able to leverage their cloud-based intelligence technologies, productivity services and tools, and even personal assistant technologies like Cortana in a neutral manner.

They are able to strike the right balance between using data to create both intelligent and personal experiences, while helping maintain privacy and security. They are also able to create more natural, human computing interfaces. And, they are able to develop and deploy secure platforms and infrastructure to enable innovation on top of existing systems.

My POV: Why Are Partnerships The Path to Innovation? It’s simply that when we collaborate we are a better we, than a single me. At least that’s my saying. I am always a better me when I collaborate. With respect to Microsoft and the auto industry they are partnering to build mutual value, not to compete. The value of a true partnership comes when one is able to help automakers accelerate their mobile and cloud strategies and unlock new experiences for consumers, like no one else can.

@DrNatalie Petouhoff, VP and Principal Analyst, Constellation Research
Covering Cloud and IoT That Drive Better Business Results and Awesome Customer Experiences
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The Secret to Success in IoT: Microsoft Partner ICONICS Shares It’s IoT Cloud Experiences

What is the Internet of Things (IoT)? The Internet of Things (IoT) is a hot topic these days. Unlike many overhyped technology visions over the years, IoT has the underpinnings today to start happening throughout the developed world. Sensors everywhere. Ubiquitous mobile wireless communications. Powerful data analytics. Graphic visualization tools.

Although the Internet of Things (IoT) often refers to connected devices in a personal or industrial setting, it also has the potential to unlock vast opportunities in many cities today, from energy management in civic buildings to traffic monitoring to public services. But that wealth of possibilities can be overwhelming to local governments, as public agencies try to find ways to get started with IoT while making the most of limited resources. The CityNext blog has some  advice from guest blogger Melissa Topp of Microsoft partner ICONICS: Don’t try to do it all at once. Instead, pick one thing and spend time getting it right before expanding your Cloud IOT program.

So Pick Your Best Bet And Get Started on IoT! ICONICS works with Microsoft to deliver cutting-edge tools for infrastructure, mobility and analytics, on a Microsoft Azure cloud platform that reduces capital investment and dramatically expands data storage and processing capabilities. In her post, Topp explains how a recent smart energy management project for Peirce Elementary School in Arlington, Mass., illustrates the keys to success for cities’ IoT Cloud deployments. By starting with a single project — in this case, cutting summer operating costs in a school building — then focusing on that problem until they had it right, and finally expanding their program in phases, the school’s administrators were able to discover and resolve equipment problems and lower energy costs. Topp’s experience is a good reminder to businesses in any industry that IoT deployments don’t have to be massive and overwhelming to make an impact.

Want To learn More About How Microsoft IoT Helps Cities and Businesses? Here’s a link to understand how this can happen and while you are taking a look at this consider how, when a city changes how it does things, how does that affect the experience of the customer of that city? It’s huge!

IoT Can Be Daunting for City Governments. After all, with just one of Google’s self-driving cars gathering 750 MB of sensor data every second of driving time, the amount of data that a fully wired city would generate in a second would have to be in the petabytes. What’s more, cities would have to figure out where to put all that data. It’d be a bigger problem than Boston had finding places to put all its snow during last winter’s relentless blizzards! But it doesn’t have to be daunting. How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. Think of IoT as the same thing. Don’t try to do everything. Just pick one aspect of your business where it will have a real impact to revenue generation, cost savings, and the customer experience.

Wired (IoT) Cities Drive Better Experiences. Nonetheless, cities around the world are “wiring up,” as the many Microsoft CityNext customer stories can attest. Among those cities are also many ICONICS customers. They’re successfully transforming themselves through greater operational visibility and efficiencies using our HMI/SCADA, mobility, and analytics tools for cutting-edge energy and sustainability solutions.

In working with hundreds of cities worldwide, we’ve found that their successful deployments typically have three common hallmarks that we might call “secrets” of their success.

  • First, they chose one place to start, many with a specific need in their municipal utilities, water treatment facilities, transportation systems, or schools.
  • Second, they focused their limited resources and energies on that starting point to ensure it worked, taking as many lessons as they could from it.
  • Third, they didn’t try to solve everything at once, but rolled out their deployments in phases.

What is An Example of a City That Has Gone Down The IoT Path? Arlington, Massachusetts, a town of 43,000 people six miles northwest of Boston, started with the need of its public schools to consolidate summer operations into one building, Peirce Elementary School. To help save air-conditioning costs, the district bought a new chiller, but it also sought energy management software. After evaluating competitors’ offerings, it chose ICONICS Facility AnalytiX hosted on the Microsoft Azure cloud platform. Using Azure eliminated the need for any upfront capital expenditures in IT infrastructure.

Facility AnalytiX uses advanced Fault Detection and Diagnostics (FDD) technology. FDD works via customizable fault rules that weigh the probability of equipment failure. It then alerts staff to actions they can take when faults occur.

IoT Focus Helps Save Time and Money. When equipment fails, the software analyzes current and historical information (along with symptom/cause relationships), executes predictive algorithms, and provides a list of possible causes sorted by probability. This information is securely available to all key stakeholders from desktops, browsers and smart devices such as Microsoft Surface tablets. FDD helped the district cut the time its HVAC contractors spend searching for malfunctions by as much as 20 percent.

The Facility AnalytiX software also showed that the chiller was unnecessarily turning itself on and off every five minutes. This cost the district energy and would potentially reduce the chiller’s lifespan, as constant cycling would put more wear on the equipment. The software helped the district save 20 percent of its energy consumption the first winter after installation.

When You Implement IoT, Phase it in With Fast, Easy Cloud Scalability. With the success of Arlington’s deployment of smart energy-management software in that single elementary school, the town is already working to adopt it to another school. And government buildings are likely candidates for additional deployments. In other words, it found one place to start; focused its resources on making it work; and is taking a phased approach.

With Microsoft Azure, adding those buildings to Arlington’s Facility AnalytiX operations dashboard is fast, easy, and economical. That’s because, by simply connecting to existing HVAC equipment, sensors, and SCADA network hookups, Azure can spin up another instance of Facility AnalytiX with just a series of mouse clicks.

Arlington is just one of many examples from the ICONICS customer base of a city that is implementing IoT — sometimes without actually realizing it — to improve operational visibility and lower costs. As the town adds more buildings to its smart-energy network, those benefits will continue to grow.

With Microsoft Azure, it won’t need to add any IT infrastructure that requires money, maintenance, repairs, and upgrades. In effect, Microsoft Azure is a standby IT resource for Arlington, just waiting to be tapped whenever new demands arise.

Want to Learn More About Cities, Clouds and IoT? For more ICONICS IoT customer stories or to learn more about ICONICS products and solutions, visit www.iconics.com/IoT. Learn more about ICONICS’ smart city solutions on Twitter. Follow Microsoft CityNext on Twitter for news, trends, and smart city solutions.

@DrNatalie Petouhoff, VP and Principal Analyst, Constellation Research

Covering Cloud, IOT and Customer Experiences
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JIVE DELIVERS ENRICHED INTERACTIVE INTRANET AND CUSTOMER ADVOCATE SOLUTIONS ACROSS DEVICES

Jive Software, Inc. announced the latest release of its industry-leading internal and external community solutions, including a bold and beautiful redesign of its entire product portfolio. Additional features like peer-to-peer recognition, enhanced SEO, global translation capabilities and updates to Jive’s purpose-driven apps deliver a complete, engaging experience that drives brand affinity for external communities and employee engagement for its interactive intranet offering.

Ofer Ben-David, executive vice president of engineering at Jive, said, “A great user experience is critical in driving adoption, enabling productivity, and providing the ultimate work experience, whether for employees, customers or partners. And just as important, these experiences have to be just as vibrant from a mobile standpoint as from a laptop. Jive is where our customers get their work done, day in and day out. With our latest releases, we are delivering an exceptional experience across every device.”

What Does Jive-in Deliver for Employees? Jive-n interactive intranet release unites, engages and delights employees for better business outcomes. New features optimize work processes by more deeply engaging a company’s most valuable resource – its people.

  • Visually appealing core content: Newly redesigned blog posts delight and draw-in the user at first glance, while ideas and polls make the most popular items pop. In addition, users can now have group images thematically so as to tell a visual story. Aside from content, Jive has also redesigned some of the interaction elements focusing on more effective and thoughtful information rendering
  • Improved calendars: Employees can quickly distinguish between different event types, and see an at-a-glance view as they browse various events in their calendar.
  • The entire intranet in your pocket:With Jive Daily, the flagship mobile app for Jive-n cloud, the entire workforce can create, edit, comment, share, browse, search and vote – all while on-the-go. In addition, Jive’s other purpose-driven mobile apps have also received new updates, including a new user interface for Jive Circle and a new group chat feature for Jive Chime.

“The rapidly changing nature of work has deeply impacted just about every aspect of business – especially when it comes to engaging employees,” said Tim Wike, vice president of communications platforms at Thomson Reuters. “By utilizing Jive to create our own ‘Hub’, we are enabling employees to connect, collaborate and work better together.”

What Does Jive-x Deliver for Customers? Jive-x release transforms prospects into customers and customers into advocates. Jive-x provides a connected digital hub that delivers the right conversations in a fully branded experience.

  • Seamless support ticketing experiences: Jive-x support centers now integrate with ServiceNow’s ticket management system, allowing community members to interact with a support person, edit their ticket, and mark it, all from within the Jive experience. This builds on Jive’s broad portfolio of deeply integrated applications including Zendesk.
  • Enhanced SEO for more reach and engagement: Jive-x customers report that 80% of their traffic comes from organic search, Jive-x community’s communities are even easier to find on Google search with auto-populated Google site link and video sitemap codes.
  • Helpful translation services: Jive-x now enables users to consume and read content in whatever language they choose. With one click, community members can translate content and comments using popular translation services like Google Translate, Microsoft Translator and Lionbridge.

In addition to this release of its internal and external community solutions, Jive also announced WorkHub and new, tailored packages for businesses and vertical industries:

As brands are considering communities, they need to really look at the business results they want to achieve. Communities provide so much more than what has been written about, i.e., Customer Service enhancements. You can find more in the research I recently conducted where you will find details on what else you can begin to expect from online communities.Screen Shot 2016-01-29 at 12.08.35 PM

If you have set up a community, love to hear more about what your experiences are with respect to business results.

@drnatalie Petouhoff, VP and Principal Analyst

Covering software that enhances better customer and employee customers and while enhancing a business’s results.

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Jive Transforms Customers Into Brand Advocates In The Digital Era

Screen Shot 2015-10-15 at 12.27.48 PM And an increase in brand awareness means better brand reputation, customer experiences and can lead to larger profits and revenues. The all-new engagement experience for Jive-x delivers both a customizable onboarding experience and an immersive advocate environment.

  • Meaningful engagement and rewards: With the latest release of Jive-x, organizations can deepen engagement by incentivizing users through advocacy – a capability powered by feedback mechanics that helps identify and activate passionate customers and experts within a community and beyond.
  • New tiles and purposeful places: Jive-x technology seamlessly integrates user profiles, notifications as well as landing pages and adds a host of new tiles. Administrators can also create dedicated places based on purposeful place templates where they can foster advocacy through exclusive campaigns or “quests” and curate on-going conversations in their communities.
  • Enhanced analytics dashboards: The all-new dashboard service delivers relevant metrics related to user engagement in a single view, providing community managers with valuable insights on the effectiveness and growth of the community.

Your Brand Will be Able to Drive Adoption The Customer Engagement Features. Higher engagement directly drives benefits to the community, including new and repeat sales as well as increased customer loyalty. The latest release of Jive-x actively reduces thresholds to engage and streamlines existing processes:

  • Streamlined registration flow: New community members can take part in the conversation with the least amount of effort while the introduction of support for right to left languages extends the potential global reach of communities.
  • Omnipresent content syndication: Native content syndication allows community managers to directly curate and leverage community content in a host of external systems and applications, such as blogs on corporate websites and documents with reviews through e-commerce sites.
  • Intelligent newsletter digests: Email communications now have a modern look with images, content snippets and the advanced recommender tool from Jive, which automatically populates unread items from news feeds and inbox.

Key to a Great Community Is Enhanced Spam Prevention and Mobile Capabilities. The latest release of Jive-x leverages existing investments in services like spam prevention and simplified mobile apps keeping a community in showroom condition.

  • Rich mobile apps experience: Improvements to the mobile platform include improved search, internationalization and native discussion capabilities for iOS users.
  • Advanced spam prevention: The latest release of Jive-x introduces a new spam prevention service that uses Jive’s existing anti-spam capabilities coupled with the functionality of a best-in-class anti-spam vendors, allowing administrators to keep communities even cleaner with less effort.
  • Seamless sign-on across communities: Community managers want internal colleagues to be an active part of the community; however, an additional username and password add an unwanted layer of complexity. The latest release of Jive-x also includes a mixed mode authentication that leverages internal authentication systems for external communities.

For more information about the announcement, go here.

@DrNatalie, VP and Principal Analyst, Constellation Research

Covering Customer-Facing Applications That Deliver Amazing Experiences

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Salesforce Unveils Breakthrough Salesforce IoT Cloud, Powered by Salesforce Thunder

Connected World, Disconnected Data: The Answer? IOT Cloud

The combination of mobile, social, sensor, wearable and cloud technologies has triggered a deluge of data. More than 90 percent of the world’s data has been generated over the last two years. And, with the number of connected devices projected to reach 75 billion by 2020, the volume of data available is expected to grow exponentially. Without making sense of all this data, we just have a ton of nothingness and a lot of talk about possibility. But it’s time for possibility to turn into probability. And that’s what is in store for companies that are looking at the IOT Cloud.

This world of connected devices and digital content presents an enormous opportunity for companies to take advantage of the new data. In a June 2015 report, the McKinsey Global Institute estimates that IoT applications may have a potential economic impact of as much as $11.1 trillion per year by 2025. However, businesses have been unable to capitalize on the vast volume of data from the Internet of Things.

Salesforce IoT Cloud, Powered by Thunder—Connecting to the Internet of Customers IoT Cloud empowers businesses to connect data from the Internet of Things, as well as any digital content, with customer information, giving context to data and making it actionable—all in real-time. Thunder, built on a massively scalable, modern architecture, can “listen” to the connected world, ingesting billions of events a day, from any source. IoT Cloud’s capabilities include:

  • Listen to the World at IoT Scale: IoT Cloud connects everything to Salesforce. In addition to the Internet of Things, connecting to phones, wearables, windmills and industrial turbines and other devices, IoT Cloud connects data from websites, social interactions and more to Salesforce. By connecting the billions of real-time events and digital content with Salesforce, the IoT Cloud brings customer context to transactional data.

  • Trigger Actions with Real-time Rules: With IoT Cloud, business users can use intuitive, point- and-click tools to define, modify and set rules and logic for events that can trigger actions across Salesforce. A global fleet management company, for example, can enforce passenger safety standards by setting filters for “hard brakes” or “hard accelerations” and defining rules that trigger in-car sensors to log service cases reporting possible instances of erratic driving. Or, a national retailer holding a holiday sale can set rules based on loyalty program status, inventory or sales performance, triggering retail beacons to send discount offers to in-store shoppers in real-time.

  • 1:1 Proactive Engagement through Salesforce: IoT Cloud seamlessly works across the Salesforce Customer Success Platform to surface insights and trigger real-time 1:1, personalized actions for sales, service, marketing or any other business process. For example, a thermostat provider can parse through billions of events gathered from weather forecasts, sensors and temperature settings to proactively alert customers on how to manage their HVAC usage within their predefined budget. Or, a vehicle assistance service partnering with an auto brand can send personalized offers on behalf of local dealers based on sensor data that tracks fluid levels and mileage.

IoT Cloud connects billions of events from devices, sensors, applications and more from the Internet of Things to Salesforce—enabling companies to unlock insights from the connected world. IoT Cloud is powered by Salesforce Thunder, a massively scalable, real-time event processing engine that enables Salesforce customers to personalize the way they sell, service, market… IoT leaders ARM, Etherios, Informatica, PTC ThingWorx and Xively LogMeln join Salesforce’s ecosystem to accelerate IoT Cloud customer success. Companies including Emerson and Pitney Bowes look to connect with their customers in powerful new ways with IoT Cloud.

Marc Benioff, chairman and chief executive officer, Salesforce said, “Salesforce is turning the Internet of Things into the Internet of Customers. The IoT Cloud will allow businesses to create real-time 1:1, proactive actions for sales, service, marketing or any other business process, delivering a new kind of customer success.”

The IOT Cloud is the beginning of making sense of all the data turn information into actionable insights that really move the needle on a businesses growth, revenue, and bottomline. It’s time technology delivered on the promise of yesterday year and that time is now. To see how it can work, check out this video.

@DrNatalie, VP and Principal Analyst, Constellation Research

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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

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