What’s the customer experience disconnect dilemma? It’s the fact that the customer experience is, by definition, what the customer experiences. It is also that which the business strives to create but over which, ultimately, it has no control: experience is unique and personal.
Global IT analyst and market research firm, IDC, has pronounced that customer experience will become the number one customer-related priority for organisations in Asia Pacific in 2015 and is telling CMOs and CIOs they will need to partner and align their goals to guarantee success.
"According to a Nielsen Global Online Consumer Survey of more than 25,000 Internet consumers, people now trust recommendations and opinions from real friends and virtual strangers more than traditional information sources, such as corporate websites and ads."
It's no secret that in today's world of the digitally empowered and multi-connected customer the challenge of managing the customer experience has become massively greater. Now here's another dimension to the problem: documentation.
US CRM-focussed web site CRM Simplified is very bullish about 2015, saying it will be a dynamic year for CRM, will present many challenges, and therefore many opportunities. It has identified "five important trends to keep in mind," but it seems to see these trends more as threats than opportunities. It offers "some creative ways to overcome them."
Joe Gagnon, senior vice president and general manager of cloud solutions with Aspect Software, told guests at breakfast seminars in Melbourne and Sydney that customer service was now a new form of marketing.
The Net Promoter Score (NPS) has become the touchtone for customer service excellence, widely used across all consumer service industry sectors and with much effort devoted to securing high positive NPS scores. Now, billing software company Amdocs says it has conclusively demonstrated the link between NPS and revenue, for telecoms service providers.
It’s pretty much a given that customers who have a good experience are less likely to churn, more likely to make more purchases and more likely to recommend a company to others. The hard part is quantifying the correlation between increments of improvement in experience with changes in those aspects of customer behaviour.
According to Gartner, sales organisations are expecting increased functionality from lead management systems, but integration with the new social media channels for customer engagement is not high on their list of priorities.
Premier Technologies, a market leader in cloud-based and managed contact centre, IVR and payments technology, and Aspect Software, a global leader in customer engagement solutions, are offering the contact centre industry a unique opportunity to explore the future of cloud-based customer experience management.
New Year is traditionally the time for retrospectives and projections from analyst firms, vendors and pundits on their respective industry sectors and the contact centre industry is no exception, with the publication of a lengthy "Executive Report on the Future of the Contact Centre" and "Four Key Trends facing Contact Centres."
Delighting the customer and optimising customer experience have become the defining mantras for customer service. Achievement of excellence in these activities has become an abiding obsession for many companies. But like many things in this world it's a case of diminishing returns. Reasonable experiences and delight can be delivered with modest effort and expense. Marginal improvements require significant additional investment of resources. The big question is: are they worth the effort?
Spending on 'offline marketing' in Australia and New Zealand still exceeds that on digital marketing but digital is catching up fast, especially in the business-to-consumer segment, according to the results of a survey 100 marketing professionals.
US cloud telephony service provider Corvisa polled over 1000 customers for its annual customer service report and concluded that customer service, in the US at least, had improved but that there was still room for further improvement. The No Jitter "Insight for the Connected Enterprise" blog extrapolated these findings to propose its contact centre predictions for 2015. Heading the list was that large enterprises would adopt cloud contact centres.
When Ryan Block wanted to cancel his cable TV service from US provider Comcast he thought a quick phone call would do the job. He was wrong. The customer service rep refused to take no for an answer. Block recorded the call, posted it on the net where it went viral, creating serious embarrassment for Comcast and spawning a slew of advice for the company.
“Long the subject of ridicule and mockery, customer service is finally entering a golden age,” proclaims the opening sentence of a report - from business process outsourcing (BPO) company, SPi Global - that promises to “uncover the reality of the service experience in today’s ‘age of the customer’.”
For years Telstra has been the company Australians loved to hate. As the country's largest telco with millions of customers every move it makes is news - especially when customers are adversely impacted. So it might surprise you to hear that Telstra has been voted the best customer experience company overall by a poll of Australian consumers as well as the best telco and Internet service provider.
Forrester Research argues that today’s consumers use a wide range of touchpoints in order to discover, explore, buy and engage with brands; that these touchpoints overlap and influence each other but many companies fail to implement a strategy that makes the experience of customers consistent across these multiple touchpoints.
Research firm Frost & Sullivan predicts that, by 2020, expenditure on hosted and cloud-based UC solutions will be close to that of on-premise solutions. F&S forecasts the UC market to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 1.6 percent from 2013 to 2020.
It's tough working in customer service and marketing these days. Information technology is revolutionising almost every aspect with new tools, new technologies, and new buzz phrases that either herald the arrival of new and radically different approaches, or are just plain confusing.
For any small but growing business there will come a time when simply having staff answering calls from customers, making outgoing sales calls, responding to customer emails etc will cease to be adequate and the question will be asked: "Do we need a contact centre?"