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Latest Customer Experience News & Articles

So You Want to Be an Online Community Manager?

2014-11-November-Flock.jpgBecause I write a lot about online communities and online community management, I've had people ask me, “I’d like to make a career change into community management. Where do I start?” The first thing I tell them is that I’m not a community manager. But I quickly follow by saying that I work with community managers and that they’re the target audience for much of the content I develop.

Obama, the FCC and 2 Perspectives on Net Neutrality

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The White House and President Obama dropped the hammer on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) yesterday, pressuring the FCC to introduce rules that would strengthen protection of the "Net Neutrality" concept for consumers.

Is this something that should thrill supporters of a free and open web or just more spin from an administration looking for positive press? In this CMSWire Point/Counterpoint, we'll look at both sides of the issue.

What the French Taught Me About Customer Service

2014-10-November-Bread-Shopping.jpgBefore moving to Paris, I heard horror stories about how rude the French were and readied my family for the difficulties we would experience. But during my four years there, I came to see the French as the purveyors of the best and worst customer service I ever experienced.

France is a country where customer service is an economic imperative as they claim title to being the most visited country in the world with more than 85 million annual visitors and with tourism representing 10 percent of GDP. The French government has tried several campaigns to promote great customer service to increase tourism.

That's only half the battle. Being the right customer and adjusting expectations is what transformed my customer experience in France, and created new levels of loyalty for me with companies large and small alike.

Kana Adds a Social Network to Its Call Center Toolbox

2014-07-November-Tangled Wire.jpgIt can't be easy to work in a call center, listening to gripe after gripe from customers. When they can't solve the case, agents tend to put customers on hold while they get help from managers or experts.

Kana, the customer service software company acquired earlier this year by Verint, claims it is making that job a little easier by adding an internal social network into the 2014 version of its flagship contact center software, Kana Enterprise, which rolled out today.

The social network, called Activity Streams, isn't the only improvement. The company also enhanced ways to direct known callers to specific agents, to monitor call queues, to conduct multiparty chats and to share screens with customers, according to Kelly Koelliker, director of product marketing.

Your Content is a Promise to Your Customers

The content an organization publishes online is increasingly contributing to how customers regard that organization’s brand. 

Week in Review: Social Jam for Smucker's + Microsoft and Dropbox

Pictures Rule
Visuals make all the difference for some important business tasks.

No Jelly for You!
Lessons learned from Smucker's Facebook fail.

Leadership Moves for Jive 
The enterprise collaboration software provider has a new president. 

Lacking Social, Mobile 
Enterprises use social and mobile to improve customer engagement, but not productivity.

Game Over?
With Microsoft and Dropbox connection, is it over for the rest?

Microsoft Cool Again?
Has Office 365 brought back Microsoft's swagger? 

Data-Driven Content Marketing
3 key tools to stop wasting your content dollars.
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Sitecore's New Experience Database Collects, Connects Data

To borrow a phrase from defending Super Bowl champion coach Pete Carroll, Sitecore was "pumped and jacked" at its annual conference in September when it previewed Version 8 of its web content management system (CMS).

Meanwhile, it quietly released a softer update, Sitecore 7.5, which introduces an Experience Database (xDB) that is designed to help end-users make immediate use of customer data.

"The big change  with 7.5 is the ability to collect and connect customer experience data at scale," said Mark Floisand, vice president of marketing for Mill Valley, Calif.-based Sitecore. "When I say collect and connect I mean gathering information from both within Sitecore and other systems. We're aggregating that information down to the individual level so marketers are able to effectively have a single view of the customer."

Technology Can Help Humans Sound Human

2014-07-November-Free-Hugs.jpgIs it too much to ask a customer service rep to sound human and, more importantly, to treat the person on the other end of the line as a fellow human?

It may sound like a simple request, but too often the forces in the customer service universe can easily undermine an organization’s efforts to deliver an exceptional, personalized experience.

News Bites: Releasing, Renaming and Growing Revenue

The latest in toolsets, interfaces, focus, growth and predictions from the Jerseys, the City of Notions, the Gold Coast, the Warrior King and San Jo.

Extreme Mobility: The Rise of Nomadic Cities #QuartzNewYork

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At a forum that explored the issues surrounding the "Next Billion” people to go online, one of the more interesting presentations entailed building communities for the next billion or so people who are and will be displaced by war or climate change.

Cameron Sinclair, executive director of the Jolie-Pitt Foundation, the charitable humanitarian charity founded by actors Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt, said that the world population would continue to grow in the short term, but will eventually level off and decrease in the 2040s and beyond. 

Sinclair, who previously founded the charitable group Architecture for Humanity, gave his presentation entitled “Building Communities for the Next Billion,” at the all-day Next Billion forum in New York City. Presented by digital news service Quartz, it was held Wednesday at the Bohemian National Hall.

Quartz has held similar forums in Seattle and New York and plans another next year in London. The objective is to address the by-products of an increasingly connected world. 

IBM or Twitter: Who Needed the Deal More?

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IBM posted disappointing quarterly revenues last month. Twitter hasn't found a way to make good money.

They needed a boost, and they hope it's each other.

But who needed who more?

"That’s arguable. Both need to can some lightning," said Tony Baer, principal analyst at Ovum Research.

"For Twitter it's the need for another path to market where they don’t have to compete with the Facebook colossus head-on. For IBM, this is entirely consistent with directions such as Watson where it is striving to establish cognitive computing as the new de facto enterprise solutions building block."

Attention Retailers: It's Time to Plug Those Data Leaks

The birth of e-commerce dates to August 11, 1994 — the date when what was likely the first secure transaction over the World Wide Web occurred in Nashua, N.H.

Someone purchased Sting’s Ten Summoner’s Tales CD from Noteworthy Music’s website.

While this transaction wasn't scalable, it leveraged the Pretty Good Privacy (PGP) algorithm and demonstrated the Internet was open for business. It would take several years before a critical mass of sales was reached, but the doors of e-commerce were officially open.

The Smucker's Facebook Fail: How to Protect Your Brand

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Posts are disappearing from Smucker’s’ Facebook page, and consumer social reaction is anything but sweet. The company, best known for its jams and jellies, is making headlines for deleting posts that criticize its stance on GMO (genetically modified organism) labeling or that pose questions about GMO’s in their products.

According to the Cornucopia Institute, the J.M. Smucker Company is also one of the top financial contributors to oppose recent efforts in Oregon and Colorado mandating that food companies label packaged foods containing certain ingredients as “genetically engineered.” (NPR just reported that both of the November ballot issues were defeated. 

Getting Personal with Big Machines

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When we think of personalization of service through analytics, the first thought that likely comes to mind is retail applications or consumer goods.

But what about industrial equipment, especially heavy equipment? The way we service big machines is undergoing a renaissance, thanks to the same technology we use to enhance the consumer experience.

How to Engage the Other 98 Percent of Your Visitors

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In today's hyper-competitive environment, many marketers would be happy if 2 percent of their website visitors made a purchase. But what about that other 98 percent?

The importance of addressing those potential customers came up repeatedly yesterday during a CMSWire webinar entitled "Be More Agile with Real-Time Insights."

The program featured Donna Pahel, director of digital marketing and e-commerce solutions for EPiServer, and Joakim Holmquist, the company's digital marketing manager. EPiServer also sponsored the session, which you can watch by clicking here or at the end of this story.

Maritz Holdings Acquires Growing CX Provider

Allegiance Software is having a good year. It's grown significantly, with a 50 percent workforce increase to about 115. It's received citations from Forrester Research and a customer experience excellence award from Bruce Temkin.

Allegiance is transforming again, this time through a deal that will make it a part of a 900-employee, customer experience company.

Officials of South Jordan, Utah-based Allegiance announced today that the company has been acquired by Maritz Holdings Inc. Maritz plans to form a new company — MaritzCX — that will combine Allegiance and Maritz Research to offer customer experience software, data and research science, vertical market expertise and managed program services.

What (Tech) to Wear to Improve Customer Experience

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The Internet of Things (IoT) has really begun to take shape over the past few years. Individual segments are being carved out and defined such as the connected home and office, IoT retail solutions, connected cars, smart cites, smart grids, and of course, wearable technology, to name a few.

Now wearable tech, which has made quite an impact on the consumer markets, is showing promise for enterprise use. 

An Experience Design Primer - Service Design, UX, CX, DevOps

2014-05-November-Volcanoes.jpgA small eruption emerged on Twitter in response to my article that covered the Adaptive Path acquisition. At the root of it was a conversation about the differences and overlaps between user experience (UX) and service design. Patrick Quattlebaum, managing director at Adaptive Path and esteemed former colleague sat down with me to see if we could suss out the overlaps and distinctions between each approach.

The Danger of Believing in a 360-Degree Customer View

2014-04-November-Out-To-Sea.jpgWhen you’re at sea, you take navigation very seriously. The 360-degree arc of the compass is the tool by which you take a bearing and understand where you are going, especially when you’re out of sight of land. It’s a constant number that relates to the compass — both the magnetic and gyroscopic compasses, if you’re on a ship.

It also refers to the way lookouts report the things they see — always in relation to the ship, with the bow of the ship representing 0 degrees/360 degrees. Having a 360-degree view of what’s out at sea with you is critical to avoiding hazards, collisions and other unfortunate events.

In the context of CRM, that metaphor is frequently employed. Every vendor likes to claim that its application provides a 360-degree view of the customer, implying that no bit of customer information affecting selling, loyalty, support or marketing is not captured.

That metaphor is imperfect at best. And I’m not saying that because I spent six years at sea as a bosun’s mate.

Listening Makes Technology (and Stuff) Work

2014-04-November-Listen.jpgMeg Bear, group vice president of Oracle Social Cloud, uses an interesting term when she discusses the role of listening in the customer relationship: humility. That doesn't come up often when discussing enterprise software, but Bear stands behind it as being a catalyst for a customer-centric business.

“Customers are trying to tell you what they want — they’re giving you breadcrumbs. With humility and listening, you’ll be on to the right thing,” said Bear during a presentation at last month's Pivotcon.