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Latest Customer Experience News & Articles

The Problem with Personalization and Customer Experience

2014-22-December-Stuck-Kitty.jpg“I’m sorry Dave, I’m afraid I can’t do that.” — Hal, 2001: A Space Odyssey

At the recent Henry Stewart DAM Conference in Los Angeles, the best and the brightest in Digital Asset Management shared their stories and showed their wares to an eager audience. The subject that recurred in presentations and many conversations was that of "personalization" and customer service in technology.

Consumers want more than just an experience — we want a personal connection that identifies with who we are, our interests, expectations and abilities. Personalization of experience, technology and delivered results depends on accessible, comprehensive data feeding the website. Getting the right data at the right time requires understanding and effort from people, process and technology. The difficulty of providing personalization lies in leveraging the data to provide stellar customer service, inspire trust, gain efficiencies and meet expectations.

7 Troubling Myths About CX - and Why It Could Fail

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Colin Shaw knows customer experience (CX) — and he doesn't like where it's headed.

Twelve years ago, Shaw co-founded Tampa, Fla.-based Beyond Philosophy, a consultancy and training organization devoted to customer experience (CX). The company specializes in helping organizations to create deliberate, emotionally engaging customer experiences that drive value, reduce costs and build competitive advantage.

In addition to serving as CEO of Beyond Philosophy, he's the author of four books on customer experience and has a new one, "Unlocking the Hidden Customer Experience: Short Stories of Remarkable Practices that Ensure Success," scheduled for release next month. He's also one of LinkedIn's top 150 business influencers worldwide. So he knows of what he speaks when he expresses concerns about the future of CX.

"I'm becoming increasingly concerned that the goal of improving the ‘Customer Experience’ is heading the same way as customer relationship management (CRM) … into failure," he said.

Week in Review: Microsoft's Yammer Push + Open Source Strategy

Warm to Programmatic?
Have advertisers woken up to the potential of programmatic marketing?

What's in a Domain Name?
Bill Sweetman breaks it down.

Product Management Dissected
What's the current enterprise tool landscape look like?

The Yammer Push
Microsoft isn't sitting back in Yammer's enterprise future.

No Rainy Days for Cloud
The cloud space continues to flourish. 

Open Source is the Champ
So now what's your strategy?

5 Keys to Launching a Killer Website  
75% of Internet users judge a company by its website design.

 

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Bah Humbug: Could Your Holiday Emails Be Hurting You?

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Skip me if you’re sending out holiday emails, especially if we’ve never met. What you consider to be Seasons Greetings, I consider to be SPAM. And I have 512 such pieces in my inbox. I could have a part-time holiday job just opening them all.

And when I do open some of them and try to extend greetings of the season to you in return (it’s the least I can do, isn’t it?), the “To” box auto-fills itself with things like “customerservice@xxx.com”, no-reply@xxx.com, info@xxx.com and so on. It makes me feel so special, I can’t tell you.  What were you hoping to achieve?

The Holistic View of the Customer Experience

There's a consensus that if you want to be successful on line, you’re going to have to deliver an exceptional customer experience, something that leaves others trailing. Of course, there are many opinions on how to do that.

E-Spirit, for example, has a very particular notion of what customer experience involves. Many other vendors start by talking about technologies or silos. But for Oliver Jaeger, e-Spirit's vice president for global marketing and communications, it means the entire customer cycle from first contact to last sign-off.

While many companies just don’t get it that the whole process needs to be managed, e-Spirit is actively pursuing ways to provide that ultimate experience.

News Bites: Legal Publish, Paltalk, CommerceHub, Lanyon

The latest in rankings, chatting, meetings and retailing from the Excelsior State, the City of Flowers, D-Town and Maydenheth.

Design and Refine Your Digital Business in 2015

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User experience was top of mind on Dec. 5, when nearly 150 business people, designers and technologists came together at Idean’s UX Summit in San Francisco. Two questions that I wanted to explore at the event: 1. How can UX design help digital business and customer experience success? and 2. Should all employees apply some design discipline to contribute?

The summit coincided with the 100 year anniversary of the start of Ernest Shackleton and his crew's epic attempt to traverse the continent of Antarctica. I couldn’t help but make a connection between the Endurance story and the challenges modern enterprise teams face with digital business and customer experience initiatives, often times ill-equipped and/or having to dramatically pivot en route, just to survive.

Private or Public: Different Stories from Dell, HubSpot

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How's Dell doing after going private a little more than a year ago?

We don't know. It's private. The PC giant took the private route in an historic $24.9 billion buyout last year called the biggest in tech since the Great Recession.

But it's not being all hush-hush, of course. It has plans, we're told, to shake up the big data and analytics markets.

Going private only helps, it claims.

"We can make changes swiftly to parts of our business and, ultimately, that helps our customers," Suresh Vaswani, president of Dell Services, told CMSWire about going private. "We were constrained by financial reporting previously and that has now freed up more time for our customers and to devote to innovating our business."

Janrain Acquires Real Time Social Experience Provider

Janrain, a customer identity management provider, today announced it acquired a real time social curation and engagement provider that brings "an integrated customer identity and customer engagement solution to the market."

Portland, Ore.-based Janrain scooped up Arktan but did not disclose the terms. Gartner has had its eye on Janrain as a cool social marketing shop, and so have investors: it obtained $20 million of funding about two years ago.

Now Janrain is the investor, putting its faith into a product that adds, according to Janrain CEO Larry Drebes, "dozens of new products for customer engagement, and dramatically expands the amount of customer data we collect, store and manage."

CDOs, CIOs and the Shared Goal of Agile Customer Experience

There’s been quite a bit of discussion lately of the rise of the Chief Digital Officer (CDO). In fact, research firm IDC recently made headlines by predicting the CDO would supplant two-thirds of CIOs at global companies by 2020.

The rationale seems to be that CDOs will deliver the technology driven products and services, as well as leverage their experience in setting strategy, spurring innovation and developing relationships. Other than the pure semantic differences – and an attempt at a controversial headline — there is an important question buried in this research.

How can marketing and technology — or CDOs and CIOs — work in sync to provide the most agile powerful customer experiences?

Can Facebook Crack Search - Without Bing?

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Facebook has quietly stopped including Microsoft Bing search results on its social networking site, Reuters first confirmed. Instead, the social network has revamped its own search offering with a new tool it claims makes it easier for users to filter and search through comments and other information from friends.

On one hand users might find the change limiting. Now, when they use the search bar they are not taken outside of Facebook for results. On the other, the tool is more robust than previous Facebook offerings — and besides, there is always Google for straightforward search.

That, however, may change again as Facebook ramps up its search tool set. CEO Mark Zuckerberg has said search is a growth initiative for Facebook. And as the company's push into mobile has shown over the last few years, once Facebook identifies a growth sector it goes after it.

Search, though, is a very different animal than mobile.

Bill Sweetman Explains What's in a (Domain) Name

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You know what they say about a rose by any other name. But Bill Sweetman doesn't believe it. He thinks calling a rose anything but a rose is a major marketing mistake.

Suffice to say Sweetman both knows and enjoys names, especially in the online context. A domain name strategist, he's the president and "lead ninja" at Name Ninja, a Toronto, Ontario-based boutique domain name consulting firm. Besides giving him the opportunity to enjoy a badass title, 18-month-old Name Ninja gives him a chance to indulge a longtime obsession with names and naming.

He said he's amazed at how many companies "still fumble the ball" when it comes to having a coherent domain name strategy … and "wants to throw up" whenever he sees a big brand promoting itself using a Facebook URL instead of its own domain name.

Format-Based Navigation is a Symptom of Organization-Centricity

Navigation based on formats, tools or systems is a sure sign that an organization is not customer focused. 

Week in Review: Good Isn't Good Enough + First Fruit for Apple and IBM

When Good Isn't Good Enough
Good doesn't cut it for customer experience.

Challenges Ahead for CMOs
CMOs: new skills can defy IDC's dire outlook.

Broken SharePoint Navigation
What's driving SharePoint's usability issues?

First Fruit
Apple+IBM's first offering revealed.

No Time Like the Present
For Hortonworks' IPO.

Sail the 6 C's of IT
IT trends we'll see more of in 2015.

Research Brief: Web Content Management 2014 (New)
Key trends & functions for improved website engagement.
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GE's Linda Boff: Content Created to Help Is What Sells

Thumbnail image for Connecting with Bill SobelLinda Boff is a digital explorer, Mad Men enthusiast and modern art lover. She's also executive director of global brand marketing at Fairfield, Conn.-based General Electric, where she's responsible for GE's global advertising and digital marketing along with the company's brand and design strategy.

Boff said she focused on "embedding meaningful marketing strategy and instigating change" throughout the global conglomerate.

Previously, Boff was CMO of iVillage Properties, part of the NBC Universal (which was previously part of GE). Boff joined GE in early 2004 with 18 years of experience in marketing, advertising and communications including senior roles at Citigroup, the American Museum of Natural History and Porter Novelli.

In 2012, she was named B2B Magazine’s 2012 Digital Marketer of Year. A frequent speaker at digital and social media industry events, she lives with her husband and two children in suburban New York City.

Experience Matters in Omnichannel Commerce

Experience matters in omnichannel commerce — both the customer experience and the software ecosystem that supports a buyer’s journey from initial discovery to customer advocate. Just as shoppers see products on display in physical stores, digital experiences have to provide relevant content and compelling interactions to convert browsing to buying. Connected consumers expect convenience and flexibility across channels, whether brick and mortar, catalog, print, in-store kiosks, web, mobile and social platforms. Nothing frustrates customers more than dead-end, can’t get there from here experiences. And second chances are rare.

Merging the Yin-Yang of Content-Commerce

2014-12-December-Kitties.jpgSince the early days of e-commerce in the mid to late 90's, businesses had a vision to merge content and commerce into a seamless experience. What people discovered pretty quickly in the 90's was that merging content and commerce was really challenging. Little has changed since then, because while people would like to join the two, they really are more yin and yang — contrary forces, yet complementary.

News Bites: Predictive Insights, Brainshark, Avaya, Google, More

Insights, shark-sights, CS on and off-site, hiring right – it’s all outasight …

The latest in viewing, accelerating, collaborating, joining and accessing from the Pilgrim State, the Mission City and the City that Knows How.

Adobe Buys Fotolia to Build One Stop Shop for Creatives

If you want to know how to keep a secret, bury it in a quarterly earnings report. That’s how much of the world learned that Adobe has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire privately-held Fotolia, a leading marketplace for stock content, for approximately $800 million. 

A Look Ahead: Community Manager Appreciation Day 2015

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What runs for 24 consecutive hours in late January?

No, it’s not the Super Bowl pre-game show — although that certainly comes close. It's Community Manager Appreciation Day (CMAD), which will take place Jan. 26, 2015.

In a blog post that established the first CMAD in 2010, industry analyst and founder of CrowdCompanies Jeremiah Owyang called for the event to take place on the fourth Monday of January. The purpose, according to Owyang’s post, is “to pause, recognize and celebrate the efforts [of] community managers around the world to improve customer experiences.”

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