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?"
The goal of every organisation these days, we are repeatedly told, should be to deliver an optimal customer experience. Beyond that, any organisation that wants to stand out must, Forrester Consulting says, aim to deliver a differentiated customer experience.
Chief marketing officers have plenty to worry about with the digitally connected customer, the current obsession with customer experience and the demands of digital marketing but now Forrester Research has come up with a new concept that it is calling on CMOS to adopt, urgently: customer life cycle marketing systems.
It's been over a decade since Australia introduced laws to curb spam, but companies continue to fall foul of it, often unknowingly. The Spam Act was designed to curb the unasked for, unwanted and unacceptable bombarding of consumers with unsolicited marketing email messages and phone calls. It came into force in 2003.
The global contact centre market passed a significant milestone in 2012 says market research firm Frost & Sullivan. That was the year that spending on cloud-based contact centre solutions first surpassed spending on premises-based solutions. And that was two years ahead of Forrester's earlier forecast.
The great majority of Australians will tell friends and family to avoid a business if it does not handle their calls well, and two thirds will hang up and call a competing organisation if a customer service rep cannot answer all their questions over the phone.
What is customer engagement? Simple question, and one to which there is both a simple answer and no real answer.
Businesses are increasingly being urged to strive for the creation of an optimal customer experience, but just how much impact does this have on the things that matter: customer spending and customer loyalty?
Integrated marketing? According to one source it's an approach to marketing invented by an Australian. According to Wikipedia, it originated in the USA, but in reality is it anything more than stating the obvious?