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10 Crazy Things 3D Printers Can Make Today

10 Crazy Things 3D Printers Can Make Today | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Never underestimate the power of human ingenuity paired with a machine that can print almost anything.
Don Dea's insight:

3D printing may not be quite there yet, but in three decades the technology has progressed leaps and bounds in terms of the scope and utility of 3D-printed objects. Surprise, surprise: It's not just gimmicks and toys.

It’s easy to be skeptical of 3D printing, which is still slower, more expensive, and less effective than traditional manufacturing. But by focusing only on the technology’s few remaining shortcomings, we fail to observe how far 3D printing has already come. 

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digitalNow
Exploring leadership, management, innovation, and technology issues and trends; impacting associations & non-profit organizations in the digital age.
Curated by Don Dea
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Voice of Customer Industry Trends: Consolidation, Disruption, and the Rise of Real-Time Action 

Trend 1: Convergence and Consolidation


Nearly 20 years ago, CustomerSat and Satmetrix were founded to spark what most analysts now call the Enterprise Feedback Management (EFM) industry. That’s a really long time in enterprise software. Since then, more than a dozen major vendors have entered the space, with customer survey management as a core function.

CustomerSat was sold to MarketTools in 2008, then to Confirmit in 2012. During the past few years there has been some minor consolidation of the industry, with the bigger — and better financed — players picking up technology to expand their platforms.

For example, Clarabridge entered the industry in 2006 as a text analytics provider, then acquired survey vendor Market Metrix in 2014 and social monitoring vendor Engagor in 2015. This was, according to founder Sid Banerjee, part of its strategy to become a VoC platform that would “bring together customer feedback from all channels into one intelligence hub.”

In other activity, InMoment (formerly Mindshare) acquired Empathica in 2013 to expand its geographic and industry footprints. At the time, CEO John Sperry noted a desire to reach $100M in revenue in three to four years — right about now – which would make an IPO or acquisition a viable exit strategy for investors. In recent years OpinionLab and Vovici were snapped up by Verint, and NICE acquired Attensity by way of InContact.
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AI – cost saver, service enhancer. What’s not to love?

There are six factors for successfully designing a connected digital and human experience.
Make sure:

1. The role of AI in the customer experience is well-defined
2. The touch points which can best deliver what customers’ needs functionally and emotionally are agreed and prioritised
3. The implications for optimisation of the current delivered customer experience are recognised
4. The implications for innovation and transformation of the customer experience in the future are defined
5. The way in which the physical and digital touch points will work hand in hand and complement each other is clarified
6. The limitations of digital and human/physical touch points are established

I’ve used a journey mapping approach with many clients in sectors as diverse as healthcare, automotive, travel and telecom’s. Despite some people’s cynicism that journey mapping may have had its day; my view is that there is more need for it than ever. Not only does it help organisations navigate, manage and optimize their multi-touchpoint experience, it also ensures that they work seamlessly together. It also places the customer at the heart of all development work, even if they are not physically present. The stories that journey maps tell visually, done well, are a perfect way to engage the organisation around the customer; their needs, expectations and emotions. It also helps root any technology initiatives in the reality of the customer experience.

Acknowledge the current limitations of AI, recognise the potential and root initiatives in the customer journey. After all, it’s not a coincidence that companies who use a customer journey management approach realise 50% greater YoY growth without.

Seamless, effortless and personal engagement = Happy customers
Cost savings and technology exploitation = Smiling companies
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How To Measure Emotion In Customer Experience

How To Measure Emotion In Customer Experience 

Martin Powton | May 17, 2017 973 views 3 Comments



Designed by Wizu

Customer experience experts have created measurement systems to track customer satisfaction, customer effort score and net promoter score. But there is one area that has been more difficult to translate into a simple metric. Customer Emotion. How do your customers actually feel? How do you measure emotion in customer experience?

The Importance of Emotion

A large amount of your customer experience is emotional. This can be both at a conscious level and subconscious. Throughout the customer journey your customers are having positive and negative emotional reactions. A great CX strategy will focus on creating an experience where the positive emotions outweigh the negative.

Competition is fiercer than ever with fewer barriers to entry. Just having a good product at a reasonable price is no longer enough. Customer experience is the new battleground and emotion should be your weapon of choice.

Valued = Loyal?

Emotion is a key element in customer loyalty. You need to make your customer feel confident, respected and valued. Equally you need to avoid emotions like annoyed, disappointed and frustrated.

74% of customers with positive emotions will advocate, while 63% will be retained.

Only 8% of customers with negative emotions will advocate for your company and only 13% will retain.

Customer emotions can affect not only whether you lose or keep customers but also if they will buy more or less from you. It can also dictate whether they will spread good or bad word of mouth about your company.

So clearly it is important to try and measure and understand your customers’ emotions. The question is how?

How To Measure Emotion In Customer Experience
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What is Charisma, Anyway?

What is Charisma, Anyway? | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Engaging Your Audience
Engaging an audience begins with content. Look at your notes—are you simply giving a lecture or are you adding the kinds of supporting material that will resonate with a broader audience? Are you sharing stories and personal anecdotes to draw listeners in? Are you including some data for the mathematically minded in the audience? Citing interesting sources? As you look for the right mix, it might help to refresh your memory on the three types of persuasive appeals.

Off the page, are you making eye contact with your audience? Often, speakers manage nerves by focusing on their notes, scanning the crowd, or fixing their gaze on a point directly over the back row. But the audience will pick up on this disconnect and, likely, disengage. Goldberg recommends that speakers try to make direct eye contact with individual audience members for brief moments to help your listeners feel like you’re speaking directly to them.
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Finding the right digital balance in B2B customer experience 

Finding the right digital balance in B2B customer experience  | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Investing in improved customer experience pays dividends. We have seen companies substantially raise customer-satisfaction scores through significant improvements in operational performance. These improvements can lower customer churn by 10 to 15 percent, increase the win rate of offers by 20 to 40 percent, and lower costs to serve by up to 50 percent. In parallel, as customer experience improves, employee satisfaction tends to increase as well, because a more direct connection with customers adds meaning to employees’ work and helps them witness customer satisfaction.

Business-to-business customers are already demanding a better experience. In a recent McKinsey survey of 1,000 B2B decision makers, lack of speed in interactions with their suppliers emerged as the number-one “pain point,” mentioned twice as often as price. And digital solutions loom large in executives’ thinking as a way to make routine tasks more efficient. Some 86 percent of respondents said they prefer using self-service tools for reordering, rather than talking to a sales representative.2
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Einstein’s Relativity Explained in 4 Simple Steps

Einstein’s Relativity Explained in 4 Simple Steps | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Einstein’s revelation was that observers in relative motion experience time differently: it’s perfectly possible for two events to happen simultaneously from the perspective of one observer, yet happen at different times from the perspective of the other. And both observers would be right.

Einstein later illustrated this point with another thought experiment. Imagine that you once again have an observer standing on a railway embankment as a train goes roaring by. But this time, each end of the train is struck by a bolt of lightning just as the train’s midpoint is passing. Because the lightning strikes are the same distance from the observer, their light reaches his eye at the same instant. So he correctly says that they happened simultaneously.
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Why Frequent Feedback Conversations Are Thriving 

Why Frequent Feedback Conversations Are Thriving  | digitalNow | Scoop.it
The Case for Frequent Feedback

Feedback (and how often it’s delivered) directly impacts performance and employee engagement. Hands down, employees perform better with more frequent feedback.

According to Deloitte’s 2017 Global Human Capital Trends, the lack of ongoing feedback within performance management is costing organizations in big and varying ways: “Creating a holistic approach to the employee experience demands better tools and programs to capture employee feedback continuously...[t]he neglect of regular employee feedback helps explain other challenges companies face today, including shortcomings in driving culture and purpose and providing a healthy work-life balance.”
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The Lego-ization of Software, or the Rise of Snap-On SaaS

No Company Is an Island

In a growing number of cases, however, SaaS offers an answer. Imagine the delight of the weary IT practitioners when they realize the custom car they wanted to drive already is built. All they have to do is add their personal pinstripes to the sides of the vehicle and it is ready to go.

Here's an interesting data point: The companies now taking SaaS to the highest levels are consistently among the fastest-growing firms in the world.

Thanks in part to SaaS' ability to reach new bastions of IT that formerly were considered too sacred, SaaS revenues are expected to reach US$106 billion in 2016. This marks an increase of 21 percent over projected 2015 spending levels and a 30 percent compound annual growth rate, compared to a 5 percent growth for overall enterprise IT.

The conclusion is clear: It is time to stop believing your company's IT challenges are unique and that its needs for scalability and interoperability are exclusive. Truth be told, there's less that is unique and more that's in common among the majority of companies today.
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AI Is Still in Its Formative Years

AI Is Still in Its Formative Years | digitalNow | Scoop.it
What Makes Sense

DL network training typically is done in data center environments, using high-performance computing style clusters outfitted with compute offload accelerators, such as GPUs, digital signal processors, field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs), or more specialized custom logic. The choice of accelerator is based on the same rubric that the industry has been using for decades:

If algorithms, model complexity, etc., are still undergoing rapid evolution, then using high volume general purpose products such as GPUs makes sense.
If a device or service has a cost structure and quality-of-service requirements that support higher component costs and software development investment, then FPGAs may make sense.
If algorithms become stable or standardized, or if stable processing "inner loops" can be isolated for acceleration, then custom logic, such as Google's TensorFlow Processing Unit coprocessor, may make sense. Google's TPU is essentially a bare-naked matrix multiply coprocessor.
In addition to the compute resources, training demands large data sets and high system throughput.
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E-Commerce Gets the Einstein Treatment

E-Commerce  Gets the Einstein Treatment | digitalNow | Scoop.it
The timing is very good, as 86 percent of retailers plan to implement a unified commerce platform in the next 10 years, according to the National Retail Federation.

While this is believable, it makes you wonder what shape the tardy retailers will be in if they wait that long.

Fifty-five percent of product searches now start on Amazon, Moore pointed out, and a very high percentage of them end up as sales. So the challenge retailers face today is to figure out how to make it as easy as possible for customers to search and transact at their sites before leaving for Amazon, never to be heard from again.

Commerce Cloud is in a good spot, with more than 2,000 commerce sites in 53 countries having used the product to serve 400 million shoppers last year. Another fun fact: Salesforce Commerce Cloud generated a staggering 15 billion emails on last year's Black Friday alone.

Combining e-commerce with AI/ML is powerful
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Traversing the Social Media Minefield

Traversing the Social Media Minefield | digitalNow | Scoop.it
No One Is Safe

While attacks on private individuals can be more personal and more targeted, they're typically much less numerous. Anyone who is visible to large numbers of people -- from business owners to YouTube stars -- is vulnerable to a massive onslaught due to the sheer volume of people who flock to their accounts.

Cary Peterson, an American federal lobbyist and UN delegate, has experienced decades of online abuse. Bullying, slander and defamation have cost him job promotions, business deals, friendships, millions of dollars in legal fees, and a marriage, he said.

"These online mobs are real, and the general public needs to be aware of it, and how serious it is," Peterson told TechNewsWorld.
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Security in the Internet of Things

Security in the Internet of Things | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Gaps in technical sophistication

By nature, a complex system of connected devices opens many new attack vectors, even if each device is secure when used independently. Since a system’s most vulnerable point determines its overall security level, a comprehensive, end-to-end approach is required to secure it. Such approaches are difficult to develop, however, because most hackers concentrate on breaching a specific element within the technology stack by using one methodology. By contrast, system operators or integrators must provide end-to-end protection against all possible attack vectors, dividing their attention and resources across the system.
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Leadership IS personal 

Are the relationships you have with partners, family, friends, and acquaintances what you want them to be? Where are the gaps? What personal responsibility are your willing to take on in order to change the relationships that don’t serve you any longer?

Values: Are your personal values aligned with your personal life? Are you being the person you need to be that exemplifies those values? What needs to change, and how will you gather the courage to do so?

Health: Do you pay attention to those things that are within your power (diet, exercise, regular medical checkups) to assist you in having vibrant health? If something is amiss, how will you address it? What new habits are needed for you to support a healthy body?
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7 More Technologies To Jumpstart Your Customer Service 

Drishyam.ai

This company uses image recognition and deep learning in the home improvement space. Imagine that you’re remodeling your kitchen and you see a cool new sink on Pinterest. With Drishyam you can take a picture and it will find where you can purchase that exact sink. Now imagine working in technical support and you need to get a customer’s make and model for the device you’re supporting. What if the customer could take a picture and you could instantly identify their devices and even quickly find the appropriate documentation for them? This image recognition technology is something we’re going to see more of in customer service.

Miuros

Macros, templates, or canned responses — regardless of what you call them — we have a love hate relationship with them. Use them correctly and they are a powerful tool to drive quality and efficiency. Use them wrong and you risk meaningless chatter that doesn’t solve customer problems and ultimately pushes them away. Miuros recognized a huge need for insight around macros and developed a platform using AI that gives valuable insights about your macros.

Their advanced reporting allows customer service leaders and quality managers to see how often certain macros are being used and how often they’re being customized or even completely changed. They can also spot cases where individuals have their own rogue set of macros. All responses are tied back to customer satisfaction, giving valuable insight into the performance of your messaging to customers. If you use macros heavily with your team, I recommend taking Miuros out for a test drive.
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What a Customer First Strategy Means for Marketing’s 5Ps 

Here are some examples of how companies get it wrong and a couple of right actions for inspiration: 

WRONG! Any business that reduces pack content without informing its customers of it and the effective price increase. Read JD Roth’s “Hidden price increases at the grocery store” for more on this.

WRONG! Exaggerated claims or twisting the numbers of contained calories by having unnatural serving sizes – seven potato chips anyone? Or saying a product is 95% fat-free, but it refers to the weight, not the calories! I once heard that everything written on the front of a pack is a lie! Check this out with any pack and you’ll see what I mean; there’s sure to be something not strictly correct on it.

I once heard that everything written on the front of a pack is a lie! Check this out with any pack and you’ll see what I mean; there’s sure to be something not strictly correct on it. Please share any funny or annoying examples you find in the comments below.

WRONG! Making variant identification difficult for customers. Have you ever bought the wrong product because packs were the same colour and just the names changed? I know I have. Or tried to understand the differences between variants that have five or seven descriptors?

WRONG! Running frequent product tests only comparing to the latest version. Although this is standard procedure, if you make regular tests for small changes which go unnoticed in the short term, they can amount to a big, noticeable change over the long term. Better to compare results also to past best ones than only using the current benchmark.
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Millennials and the New Era of Experience Loyalty |

It’s time for brands to stop thinking about loyalty in terms of brand name and start thinking of it in terms of experience. This is the mind shift that has allowed so many tech startups to disrupt their respective industries, and it’s what will continue to drive consumer decisions from now to the foreseeable the future. For brands that haven’t yet taken this leap, here are three ways to start improving experience and turning one-time millennial customers into lifelong ones.

1. Make it easy
Millennials are fans of technology. They use their mobile devices for just about everything, from finding a great restaurant to ordering a valet. Part of what makes tech so appealing is the ease in which it helps them find and acquire whatever they need. The same principle can be applied to customer experience. If getting in contact with a brand requires navigating confusing automated menus and long wait times, the experience will be poor. Instead, brands should consider how to make interactions as easy as possible through the introduction of apps and self-service options or, at a minimum, an easy-to-find and click phone number to take care of them.

2. Make it personalized
Although personalization is not new, it is a critical component of the customer experience and the most challenging to get right. Brands know that no two customers are alike. Where eggs benedict might make a delicious complimentary breakfast for one hotel guest, it could spell disaster for another with a poultry allergy. Some brands address this by offering a middle-of-the-road solution for everyone, but the result is unsurprisingly a middle-of-the-road experience. Getting truly personal means being able to offer both eggs benedict and vegan French toast.

Fortunately, analytics is making personalization easier. By capturing customer interactions across digital and voice communication channels and applying advanced analytics, brands can understand their customers more deeply. They can also share their findings across departments in real-time to get ahead of process or product-related experience faux pas before they occur.
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How to Tell If Someone Is a Real CEO 

Can Early-Stage CEOs Make the Critical Transition?

The single biggest factor that determines whether or not a given founder can be a permanent CEO is whether they can make the all-important transition from being a specialist to a generalist. Too many CEOs revert to their comfort zones — the specific areas where they excelled as an individual contributor — and ignore other parts of the business. They fail to take a balanced approach across the whole business.

The two most common backgrounds for early stage CEOs are sales or technology. Those who cannot make it as a CEO are the ones who spend too much time in those areas or others, taking on a “Super VP” role in their organizations. For instance, they spend all their time in sales trying to land the big deal, and don’t care as much about the other areas of the business.
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Lifting customer experience at an elevator company 

Our main goal in the customer-experience area is actually to deliver ultimate service quality. To do that, we decided that we had to work along a certain number of directions. The first one is responsiveness. Responsiveness means the ability to show that we can meet customer demands that, even more and more in the digital world, are asking for fast and instant responses.

The second one is understanding our customers better. And in that case we looked at understanding the customer journeys as we interact with them in a deep way. The last initiative has been around sales, account management, and pricing.
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CEO Interview: Barak Eilam, NICE

CEO Interview: Barak Eilam, NICE | digitalNow | Scoop.it
The minute you become a CEO of a company like NICE, you look up and no one is there. We are a company without major shareholders. We have multiple shareholders but none have a major stake in the company. Obviously we also have a board of directors who are important. But as a CEO when you wake up in the morning, it’s you. You dictate the pace. I always claim that a group or company will always walk slower than the pace of the leader. You have a great responsibility to set the pace for rest of the team and company. That’s one thing that hits you very quickly when you become a CEO.
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As A Leader, Are You A Fighter, A Fixer Or A Friend?

As A Leader, Are You A Fighter, A Fixer Or A Friend? | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Yeah, so what I think historically, let's go back really briefly. So old school authority, command and control, top down, the omniscient omnipotent CEO or boss, whatever, usually a man in the past. Not so much these days, but that kind of old line authority, right? Where you do it for the boss. It's not that that model doesn't exist in the world anymore, it's still around; we still see it popping up here and there. But what's happened over the last 10 or 15 years in particular, especially in North America, but elsewhere too, there was this snapback. We went all the way to the other extreme where we’re― at least pretending to be― no authority. That “We're all on the same team,” “Let's all get along,” “Isn't this such a wonderful culture?,” “We don't have an org chart!”, all those kinds of, I would say, aspirational ideas. Which was in the realm of no authority.

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Creating the Right Business Culture for Success

Creating the Right Business Culture for Success | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Culture Counts

The tide of new technologies continues to roll in, but behaviors, organizational structures and processes are not changing quickly enough for the humans those technologies are meant to serve. Yes, the new trends promise to revolutionize the way people live and work, but most businesses haven't yet internalized the last two waves of change, and they could be swamped as a result.

Technological change is both a response and a driver of customer expectations. As customers come to expect faster responses and more subject expertise from sales people, along with a more consultative sales process, businesses need to lean on technology to make them possible on a profitable scale.

Yet many companies still fight battles with adoption. Only 26 percent of respondents could report full adoption of sales and marketing technologies, the CallidusCloud research found. Many are struggling to gain acceptable alignment between sales and marketing; 71.62 percent of respondents in the same study reported either siloed systems or no automated systems at all.
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Reinventing Online Marketplaces in the Cloud

Reinventing Online Marketplaces in the Cloud | digitalNow | Scoop.it
The new AppExchange approach aims to drive Salesforce's partners and customers to take fuller advantage of the company's platform capabilities and Trailhead training programs.

The new AppExchange Partner Program specifically incentivizes partners to incorporate Salesforce DX and Heroku into their cloud solutions. Salesforce also hopes partners will incorporate its Einstein artificial intelligence and machine learning capabilities into their offerings.

However, just building new solutions on the company's platform isn't enough to get its full attention and support in the increasingly competitive partner ecosystem. Given the escalating challenges facing customers that want to adopt a widening array of cloud services available on the AppExchange, Salesforce wants its partners to incorporate a new set of onboarding tools and techniques to ensure their success.
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Intertwining Artificial Intelligence With Blockchain

Intertwining Artificial Intelligence With Blockchain | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Follow the Data Trail

Combining AI with blockchain allows for the secure, transparent review of data that is changed or moved over time, giving both the buyer and seller confidence in the validity, title and transfer of that bridge in Brooklyn.

The Federal Trade Commission last year issued report entitled "Big Data: A Tool for Inclusion or Exclusion?" The report focuses on privacy for citizens, since many companies rely on big data for AI to provide help with strategic business decisions without understanding the validity of the data.

The use of big data has distinct concerns for electronic medical records. The Federal Trade Commission earlier this year held its third FinTech Forum, which included a discussion about blockchain payment systems and smart contracts to ensure consumer protection.
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The long slow middle 

If you’ve ever tried to make a change to your own behavior in order to be a better leader or better person you may understand too. This is the hardest work you’ll do, hands down. You may feel the strain of being the person who is taking initiative when it seems that everyone else is going about their business doing what they’ve always done. It feels unfair, but it isn’t. You are the leader and changes in your behavior will cause changes to the environment and people around you.

Don’t allow yourself to get stuck in the long slow middle. Persistence, patience, and consistency will be your friends now.

Eventually you’ll notice some things that will perk you up. The long slow middle is coming to an end. You will observe some changes in others:
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Making sense of Internet of Things platforms

Making sense of Internet of Things platforms | digitalNow | Scoop.it
In the Internet of Things, platforms are designed to deploy applications that monitor, manage, and control connected devices (Exhibit 1). IoT platforms must handle problems like connecting and extracting data from a potentially vast number and variety of endpoints, which are sometimes in inconvenient locations with spotty connectivity.

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