1. Align with a Partner Some organizations can do it alone, but most need support.
Closely aligning with a partner or digital vendor can speed your way forward.
A design agency will help you understand the requirements for a website rebranding or redesign. If you have an internal design team, look for a partner or software provider that can work with you to clarify your vision and map it to a strategy and implementation plan.
Don't forget about your team during this stage. Invest in training them in the technologies and strategies you plan to implement to move forward — and make sure any partner you work with is committed to helping your internal team grow.
2. Get Executive Buy-in Early On This point cannot be emphasized enough — it's critical to ensure you move forward quickly.
Start the dialog early with management. Be sure they understand what you are trying to achieve and why it's important to the business.
Define a vision for the digital program, and develop a mid-range roadmap that clearly lays out the steps needed. Secure a C-Suite sponsor who will promote the vision and help ensure everyone follows the roadmap.
“Does a leadership archetype exist? And if it does, how do I find more people who are genetically wired that way?” That was the tough question posed to me recently by Jeff, a CEO who was desperately seeking talent for his fast-growing startup. We had been discussing the passion archetypes of his top team and reviewing the particular strengths the archetypes each person held could bring to the business. Two universities have studied the passion archetypes, which were first identified and measured through the Passion Profiler, a tool developed by Purpose Linked Consulting. The conclusion is that we are all wired with 10 distinct passion archetypes, but we express them uniquely, and each archetype demonstrates a particular pattern of behavior in the workplace (and in one’s personal life as well.) Here is an overview of their contribution to leadership thinking:
User Context with Location Targeting Retailers can profile customers and build deep contextual insights with location based mobile signals obtained through user consent. For example, based on a mobile location signal received at an airport, a company could identify an airline passenger as a frequent business traveler.
Location information shared by users, interspersed with demographic data such as income range and device ownership, can be used to identify audience segments based on criteria including religion or economic group. Based on this segmentation, retailers can better personalize their messaging and reach out to their intended target segments with precise user context rather than using an assumptive framework.
Translating Mobile Discovery into Store Footfall It’s imperative for retail stores to have a mobile strategy that targets customers while they are actively shopping, whether that shopping occurs at home, at work or at a shopping mall.
While a significant number of both IT and business decision-makers believe their company has secured a strong competitive advantage within their industry, they express caution about the likelihood of new disruptive tech radically changing this equation, according to a recent survey from Juniper Networks. The resulting report, "Will Your Company Survive the Next Big Disruption? IT as the Great Enabler," indicates that organizations would better position themselves for disruptive IT by elevating the tech-savvy quality of their C-suite. Most IT decision-makers, in fact, said the C-suite doesn't view the network as a vital component of company success. There's definitely a greater "need for speed" too, as many survey respondents said it takes a year or longer to develop and support an improved product or service. And business leaders admitted that they've circumvented IT to push through needed initiatives. "Business is changing fast," according to the report. "Even companies that believe they have a competitive edge today are at risk of falling behind. … Leadership is preoccupied with growing the customer base, keeping costs down, profitability and growth. At a time when disruptive products and services are the name of the game, it's become clear that doing 'enough' with your technology investment simply isn't enough to survive. … To remain relevant in the future, companies need to address impending disruption by rethinking their approach to IT for ongoing innovation." Much of the survey compares perspectives of IT and business decision-makers on these topics, and we've included a number of those findings. More than 2,700 global IT and business decision-makers took part in the research.
Going forward, advertising opportunities will be available as well. “Advertisers will be able to buy sponsored places in #PokemonGo,”offered Niantic CEO CEO John Hanke. “I am predicting large national retailers sponsoring a number of Pokémon GO elements like free Pokéballs.” Hanke further added.
Over to you
Customers are more than fond of location-based marketing these days, backed by gamification strategies. Little wonder, businesses are going out on a limb to implement the same. Pokemon GO game being a perfect example.
Something serious has come to my attention: Some organizations still don’t know the difference between customer service and the customer experience for the contact center. Let’s start by saying, we know there’s a linguistic confusion, and we can go ahead and blame the English language for that. However, the function of customer service and the customer experience (although they often work together) are two very different business strategies. Here we’ll decode these often-confused terms so that your organization can learn to prepare and strategize for both properly. And even if you’re well-versed on these two subjects, it’s important to remember that technology has made them ever-changing and they might be worth a quick refresh.
LISTEN FOR THE NEED Some people turn into chronic complainers because they feel they’re not being heard. They repeat the negative commentary until someone validates what they have to say, says empowerment speaker and coach Erica Latrice. "Complainers may want you to try to talk them out of their woe-is-me complaining. If you are in an environment where you have to be around complainers a lot, just use the phrase, ‘If I were you, I would feel the same way,’" she suggests. That allows them to feel heard and may short-circuit the need to repeat a negative message.
2. REFRAME THE SITUATION Sometimes, negative people just need a bit of perspective adjustment, Galford says. Try helping them reframe the situation. You might offer a different perspective on the situation or action that is being criticized. For example, if a coworker is criticizing a company policy, you might offer insight into why the policy was instituted in the first place and the good that it does. "When you say, ‘Let’s think about this in a different way,’ or, ‘If we start first by understanding the reason things are this way,’ you can change the nature of the dialogue," Galford says.
Read The 4-Hour Workweek. This book by serial entrepreneur Timothy Ferriss, which discusses the 80/20 Rule or Pareto Principle, is required reading for anyone looking to adopt a shorter workday. Read it and then evaluate your employees’ workday to identify productive activities so you can eliminate the rest. Shift to a production mindset. People who dismiss the five-hour workday outright usually think it’s impossible because they measure work in hours rather than output. However, most knowledge workers aren’t paid by the hour. They’re paid a flat salary. To help my team shift to a production mindset, I rolled out a profit-sharing plan where 5 per cent of company profits are doled out to employees who demonstrate exemplary productivity. Nix the “always available” attitude. Understand that even in our instant-gratification society, being available all day isn’t necessary. You just need to communicate when you are available. One of my biggest objections to moving to a five-hour workday was reducing our customer service department’s hours. I worried that we’d lose 50 per cent of our business if we cut “open hours” in half. But then I realized we didn’t run a convenience store. Our customers bought new paddleboards maybe once every five years, so it really didn’t matter when we were open as long as our customers knew our hours. And after we made the switch, nothing fell apart. We still get roughly the same number of calls each day, while emails are still typically answered within hours. Use technology to boost efficiency. One of the unexpected benefits of the five-hour workday is that it exposed weaknesses in our company that had been hidden by man-hours. To allow our warehouse and customer service employees to work 30 per cent less (without growing our staff), we had to figure out how to serve the same number of customers in less time. The obvious solution was leveraging automation. In the warehouse, we reduced our packing and shipping time using software. In customer service, we overhauled our frequently asked questions page and created video tutorials to help customers help themselves. Once you put a time constraint on work, it forces you to consider how you can get technology to do the heavy lifting to increase your output. Make use of email auto responders, set up automatic trigger-based tasks, and learn to use keyboard macros. Don’t restrict yourself to a 25-hour week. My employees know they can always walk out of the office guilt-free. And when you can leave at 1 p.m. (to go surfing or pick your kids up from school or whatever), work is no longer as separate from home life. But top performers still put in the occasional 12-hour day because we run a business and everyone recognizes that there will be times when people need or want to put in an extra-long day.
Mobile customers are your best customers. Only your very best customers will make room for your app. That means they buy more, return more frequently, and like your brand more than your average customer.
So why do we treat app users like everyone else? This baffles me. Seems like we should be thanking these customers with more than just the ease of using an app. I think there is a ton of opportunity here.
It almost feels like most apps are one of two things – either loyalty OR a convenience tool. There are a few that are trying to get it right. But many of the apps developed by brands are really about one or the other.
Geolocation is actually something. I think it was about 2006 when I first started hearing about the power and potential of geolocation. This was about the time when Foursquare started. Since then, it seems to have taken forever to really make it worth anything. Now, retailers, restaurants and others are enabling customers to get more by simply walking by or visiting. Deals are customized, in-store maps are optimized, and more cool stuff is coming.
Customer Value and Loyalty To measure loyalty, we need to ask two more questions: (1) Would you buy this product or service again from this company? and (2) Would you recommend this product or service from this company? These are the same two questions also used to measure net promoter score (NPS). If you asked this question on a 10 point scale, people answering 9 or 10 are called promoters, and those scoring 6 or less are called detractors. Promoters minus detractors give you net promoters.
You can see NPS is nothing more than what we set out to do to measure loyalty or Customer retention. We take the answers to either of our two questions above and plot them against CVA or the actual value score on a 10 point scale. NPS gives us no more information than the loyalty information. Worse still, NPS compares yourself to yourself and not to competition. We know this is flawed. Take an example of grades. Which is better? A score of 60 when the class average is 50, or a score of 70 when the class average is 80. In the first you were 20% better than the average. In the second, you were 12.5 % worse than the class average even though you had better scores. Satisfaction studies generally have this flaw
Customer service requires the overall customer experience to work seamlessly, from every touch point in the customer journey (i.e. live chat, mobile SMS, IVR, etc.). The customer experience needs to be proactive in that it should predict what a customer wants, before they want it, whereas customer service is reactionary, for example when a user error occurs or in the off-chance a process fails.
Simply put, the customer experience is more than just a buzzword; it’s a way to attract customers and make them feel good about their interactions with your brand. The customer experience is the ease in which your customers can access customer service, and customer service is a single touch-point for resolving and satisfying your customer’s needs. Both, however, have one critical function: keep customers coming back time and time again.
6. By 2020, more than half of major new business processes and systems will incorporate some element, large or small, of the Internet of Things. – Gartner Predicts 2016: Unexpected Implications Arising from the Internet of Things
7. 65% of approximately 1,000 global business executives surveyed say they agree organizations that leverage the internet of things will have a significant advantage; 19% however, still say they have never heard of the Internet of Things. – Internet of Things Institute 2016 I0T Trends Survey
8. 80% of retailers worldwide say they agree that the Internet of Things will drastically change the way companies do business in the next three years. – Retail Systems Research: The Internet of Things in Retail: Great Expectations
9. By 2018, six billion things will have the ability to request support. – Gartner Predicts 2016: CRM Customer Service and Support
10. By 2020, 47% of devices will have the necessary intelligence to request support. – Gartner Predicts 2016: CRM Customer Service and Support
A recent study conducted by IT management firm ManageEngine found that one-third of IT teams discover application performance issues from users. While this may seem somewhat logical because users are constantly pounding away on applications, it's also a bit unnerving. This means that CIOs and others are oblivious to problems until they play out in the real world.
Let's not even get into the security ramifications. Making matters worse, about half of those surveyed felt that the current set of APM (application performance management) tools the organization uses do not lead to user satisfaction.
Obviously, we've arrived at the intersection of Hazard Avenue and Breakdown Boulevard. The good news, according to the survey, is that 60 percent of responding firms use an APM solution to monitor more than half of their applications. The bad news is that the other 40 percent are flying nearly blind.
It gets worse from there. Nearly 20 percent reported that it takes more than four hours to repair an outage, and 60 percent said it takes upwards of four hours to fix an application performance problem. About 28 percent rely on ad hoc scripts to manage performance.
Finally, only 45 percent of the survey respondents said that application infrastructure monitoring is the high priority APM dimension in their enterprise.
It's not easy dealing with the intricacies and complexities of today's business and IT environment. That much is certain. But CIOs and other business and IT executives need to think about application performance in a broader and deeper way. While there's no way to eliminate every hiccup, glitch and problem, it is possible to approach application performance management smarter and better.
A starting point is to establish metrics and standards that link application performance to the business. The ability to benchmark and understand performance is crucial. The next step is to put systems and technology in place to monitor performance and measure results—from the specific application to the network and beyond—through real-time analytics. Finally, there's a need to put the right software and systems in place to address problems as soon as they are detected.
Without a monitoring solution that is properly configured and a focus on monitoring all applications within the enterprise, an organization is playing Russian roulette. As application performance ripples out to the mobile world, the demands grow even greater. Organizations that don't address these issues wind up with customers who fall into the "frustrated" or "heading elsewhere" categories.
Technology Trigger: Where the technology is introduced and starts to gain traction Peak of Inflated Expectations: Highly marketed and talked about as a “must have” technology Trough of Disillusionment: Where the realities of that technology come into play and organizations start looking at the positives and the negatives Slope of Enlightenment: When organizations start deploying them in a constructive manner and to meet enterprise needs Plateau of Productivity: Where contribute to the overall business and goals of that enterprise The goal is to provide enterprises with a way of assessing what is happening with a given technology, what it does and when is the best time to buy a given technology.
Maintaining good eye contact It's all in the eyes.
People with a shaky gaze often come across as anxious, distracted, or dishonest. And it can be tough to master the skill of maintaining eye contact, since it's a very uncomfortable and unnatural thing for some people. But it's a practice that can help you immensely in life.
Luckily, there are some simple techniques for maintaining better eye contact if you feel your stare isn't cutting it.
In "How To Talk To Anyone," author and communication expert Leil Lowndes advises that you should "pretend your eyes are glued to your conversation partner's with sticky, warm taffy."
Once you master this trick, you'll immediately see an improvement in your face-to-face communications with others.
3 Pillars of Real-Time Marketing It turns out, however, that Oreo’s social media war room had only scratched the surface of what is now possible with real-time marketing. Real-time goes well beyond speed and agility to incorporate a comprehensive view of data that allows for more effective personalization across various channels.
Let’s consider each of these three pillars:
1. Speed and Agility Since real-time is all about being able to interact in at the very moment of engagement, in the right way, marketing professionals often confuse real-time with needing to react instantly to a purchase or click. Marketers need to find the right balance of timing and context.
In some cases, instant engagement can be very effective, such as answering customer questions or responding promptly to service complaints. But bear in mind that responding with a remarketing campaign or cart abandonment offer risks coming off as extremely creepy if delivered within seconds or minutes.
2. Data-Driven Personalization What impact could Oreo have made if they had messaged their brand followers with more personalized content? What if they had been able to segment their audience and only deliver messages in the channels that their consumers preferred?
The internet of things has consistently generated a lot of hype. While the business potential of connecting billions of devices and objects with each other has been irresistible to many companies, the technical hurdles that must be overcome before actually getting positive results from IoT investments have been significant. However, recent survey findings from telecommunications provider Vodafone indicate that the barriers have been largely overcome, and businesses are starting to reap the benefits. In fact, according to the fourth annual "2016 Vodafone IoT Barometer report," companies are seeing their IoT activities fuel revenue growth, and, as a result, they are increasing their IoT spend. "We've moved from simply adopting internet of things technologies to realizing the true business value that IoT can bring to organizations," said Andrew Morawski, Vodafone's head of IoT for the Americas. "Whether it's connected supply chains for manufacturers, smart office capabilities for employees, or a connected home for consumers, businesses are seeing significant results from their IoT deployments, changing the way they do business and even facilitating new partnerships to serve customers in new ways." The report is based on independent research conducted with nearly 1,100 executives.
Are you the right company with the right employees?
1. Do your employees like working for your company?
2. Do your employees use your products and services themselves?
3. Do your employees stay with you – even if offered jobs elsewhere?
4. Do your employees ‘do whatever it takes’ to satisfy customers?
5. Do your employees constructively challenge leadership?
6. Are your employees proud to work for your company?
7. Do your employees recommend the company as a place of employment to others?
8. Do your employees ‘live and breathe’ the company values?
Are you able to answer all the questions? If so, are they the answers you were expecting? Fundamentally, if your company is employing the wrong people or you are employed by the wrong company, you will need to make some very tough decisions. To succeed as a Customer Centric business, you will have no option but to do so.
Change is not a bad thing – in fact I always argue that change is a huge opportunity for everyone. To achieve Customer Experience success, you will need to determine if change is something that people have the courage to face up to.
Marketers think personalization is worth the effort
First off, is personalization worth the effort for retailers? Well, if you look at Amazon, the biggest online retailer in the the world at the moment, personalization has been one of their main points of difference from their competition.
A Forrester report, Why Amazon Matters Now More Than Ever, found that what separates Amazon from other retailers is its personalization practices, with three-quarters of consumers saying that Amazon offers the best personalized experiences. Furthermore, the report found that the 87 percent of consumers said that when retailers personalize, they are influenced to buy more.
Also, according to a Econsultancy and Monetate report, companies who are personalizing the customer experience are seeing, on average, a 19% uplift in sales.
Personalization is clearly here to stay and is essential part of how retailers can deliver experiences that will drive conversions not only for existing customer, but for first-time site visitors as well.
At base level, most people want to do well at their jobs, please their bosses, get raises, not get fired, etc. So that’s the ultimate root of work stress: you’re a social animal and you don’t want to let down other people. Got it? Cool.
But then we throw technology into the mix, and it gets complicated. Yesterday I did these things in succession:
Took an Uber to an office to pick up a check Took an Uber back from the office to a Wells Fargo Deposited the checks On my phone outside the Wells Fargo, transferred money from checking to savings to cover my taxes (I freelance) Responded to a message on LinkedIn right after I did that Everything above took about 55 minutes total. None of it was possible 15 years ago.
My point is this: technology is supposed to make our lives easier. So, why if we have all this technology are people still reporting so much work stress? If you use Google or Microsoft for Business, there are hundreds of “work hacks” baked into those programs. You should be less stressed, right? Not more?
success requires a commitment of time, energy, and money. Cutting budgets when things go south simply increases the risk of becoming another statistic in the world of failed transformations. Just because something is seen as a “soft” cost, does not mean it is not critical to the transformation’s success. A good program manager with business transformation experience knows this and can help justify the expense. But an organizational change leader must engage with everyone concerned in order to build a groundswell of support for the transformation. Business transformation is a perfect opportunity for leaders to model new expected ways of doing business. As a result, they also must:
Create a picture of the end state that is new, fresh, and exciting. In other words, the place where people want to be and where all those affected by the transformation will be willing to help get to. Communicate, communicate, communicate. At every opportunity and in every fashion, the organizational change leader should take the opportunity to tell people about this new, amazing place where they will be able to work. Engage the best people in making the transformation happen and along the way knock down the barriers that will naturally form. This needs to be done quickly or the naysayers could gain momentum and support from others. Act to quickly and effectively engage the mechanics of change. To train people in the new processes, implement new forward-looking metrics, get new organizations in place quickly, and demonstrate the value of the new ways with quick wins. Transformation projects do not have to keep filling the black hole. If you plan well and ensure that the critical ingredients for success are all part of the plan, you can get where you want to go
Assess the Purpose What is your core objective of implementing a dedicated software for customer analytics?
• Is it to boost sales? • Is it to tailor products to suit customer needs better by taking customer opinion? • Is it to have a transactional record of all your customer interactions? • Is it to have a transactional record of all your customer interactions?
Although the core objective of any business to boost profits, there can be several other objectives to understand a customer and invest in a solution to meet the same. These specifics help you filter out from your plethora of choices.
There isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution in this space simply because of the diverse objectives that vary from organization to organization. For instance, if you are looking to specifically deliver a delightful customer experience, then a survey tool alone might not serve the purpose. Establishing a clear purpose & defining the objectives can help you make a better choice. 2. Assess the Scale One of the most crucial factors for choosing the right customer analytics software is the scale of your organization. Before making a purchase, it is very important to consider how feasible it is for your organization to scale up the software usage and get the best benefit out of it. Here are some scalability-based questions that you need to ask yourself before investing in a customer analytics tool:
• Do you have multiple stores spanning different locations? • Do you want to collect data from all of these places at the same time? • Do you have the resources to act upon the data that is collected? • Are you trying to fix specific issues at a particular location alone?
A solution that gives you the flexibility to scale both upwards & downwards, depending on your need at that point of time can be an ideal fit for your business.
Salesforce: The CRM software leader has steadily been transitioning from a best of breed sales force automation (SFA) software as a service (SaaS) provider to an application development platform as a service (PaaS) company. The company’s PaaS tools such as Salesforce1 and Force.com enhance CRM integration, customization and extensibility. Using these platforms, developers inherit cloud infrastructure components such as multi-tenant architectures, security and scalability as well as application technologies such as analytics, mobility and social media tools. On the flip side, many ISVs (independent software vendors) are reluctant to commit to a proprietary development environment that does not have the maturity, depth or market acceptance as compared to more mainstream products such as Microsoft .NET or Java/J2EE. Also, as Salesforce does not offer cloud portability programmers and customers become locked-in to Salesforce’s technology, application and hosted delivery network.
Dynamics CRM: In addition to the Microsoft CRM framework called xRM (eXtensible Relationship Management), Dynamics leverages the Microsoft stack, including the SQL Server stack (i.e. Reporting Services for reports, Analysis Services for data warehousing, Windows Workflow Foundation for business process automation); the .NET framework for customization and integration; Office integration; and native integration with other popular Microsoft products such as Exchange and SharePoint. Such top to bottom leverage tends to facilitate straight-forward IT efforts in terms of reducing complexity, time and cost. Also, only Microsoft offers choice in CRM software delivery – be it online, on-premise or a hybrid combination – and permits cloud portability so that customers can run Dynamics CRM on Microsoft’s cloud or any other cloud
The single most important takeaway for loyalty program managers is that your reward-proposition (“customer value proposition” in industry-speak) MUST be both attractive and achievable.
The reward proposition is what drives customer behavior
If customers perceive a reward proposition that is attractive and achievable, they will engage in the behaviors you request of them.
This may include flying/staying more often, spending more, and being a brand advocate and ambassador.
Ensure that the rewards you offer are compelling. Ensure that they are achievable. Ensure that you help your customers to engage in the desired behavior.
Lastly — successful redemptions are the “secret sauce” to profitable loyalty programs. Customers who successfully redeem are more likely to display greater retention and engagement in their pursuit of further goals.
It's no secret that data increasingly defines the enterprise. In fact, a growing number of observers believe that it will emerge as a genuine currency in the years ahead. But putting it to maximum use and achieving optimal results remains a huge challenge. PwC's CEO Survey findings on “unlocking data possibilities, data dominates: capitalizing on digital to engage customers, find talent and more,” sheds light on what business leaders are thinking and what organizations are doing to unlock data possibilities in areas as diverse as mobility and clouds. It also examines cyber-security and how data and analytics are driving decision-making–by both CEOs and customers. The survey found that while business leaders and their organizations are embracing digital transformation and developing strategies to navigate today's environment, considerable obstacles remain. Simply put, digital transformation requires a different mindset and different building blocks. Here's a look at some of the key findings.
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