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Forrester News & Analysis

What Customers Want from Contact Centers - and How to Deliver It

When speaking with a customer service agent on the phone, most customers want swift, accurate answers and a human experience. These are the findings of a new online survey conducted by Harris Poll on behalf of NICE.

According to the poll, 59 percent of respondents say they most value having issues resolved efficiently and correctly when contacting a company via phone. The poll also uncovered that 23 percent of customers would rather have a real conversation with a person rather than listening to an agent reciting a script.

Surprisingly, being put on hold and waiting to transfer to another representative were of significantly less importance, with 6 percent citing hold time as most important, and 3 percent citing transfers – as long as the customer received a quick, correct answer to their problem.

In short, the survey reveals that what customers really want from your contact center is excellent customer service – and they want it fast.

Survey Finds Gap in Targeting for Marketing Content

Thumbnail image for 2014-30-July-Target.jpgContent marketing is so perplexing to today's marketers that we've published 140 stories on the subject in the last year and a half. Yet a lot of marketers seem frustrated by lackluster results.

A new study (registration required) by the 614 Group and OneSpot may help explain why content often misses the target. Marketers aren't aiming for the target, or at least not very well.

Overall, 54 percent expressed dismay with their content marketing efforts. About two in three respondents said their content marketing efforts aren't driving business as well expected, and 56 percent were unhappy with the way results were measured. 

Stay on Track: Avoid Valueless B2B Content Marketing

digital marketing, Stay on Track: Avoid Value-Less B2B Content Marketing

Forrester's report on B2B content marketing concludes that B2B marketers don't focus enough on a buyer's lifetime cycle and need to establish a formal editorial board to advance content marketing programs.

So let's get to work.

CMSWire caught up with Laura Ramos, the author of the Forrester report, "Compare Your B2B Content Marketing Maturity," for a Q&A on the topic.

Did Forrester Get Its Digital Experience Wave Right?

customer experience, Did Forrester Get Its Digital Experience Wave Right?

If it hasn't sunk in yet for digital experience providers, let's remind them: Forrester sees no leaders in digital experience delivery platforms.

The results came from the research giant's first Forrester Wave for Digital Experience Delivery Platforms. So why no leader? 

CMSWire asked Forrester Wave authors Stephen Powers, vice president and research director, and analysts Anjali Yakkundi and Mark Grannan.

Forrester Wave: No Leaders in Digital Experience Delivery

customer experience, Forrester Wave: No Leaders in Digital Experience DeliveryWho's driving the digital experience train today?

No one, says Forrester.

In its first Forrester Wave for Digital Experience Delivery Platforms, released today, analysts said no vendor offers a truly "end-to-end solution."

"Overall completeness and adoption" in this space is "middling," according to analysts.

Unified platforms are "more myth than reality," they wrote in the Wave.

Despite no leader, Forrester did cite Adobe and hybris (SAP) as "pioneers" that offer the most complete options while IBM and Sitecore "aren't far behind."

Forrester: Move Faster on App Development

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Developing great apps takes time, but in the age of the customer that time is measured in days and weeks -- not months.

Customers simply aren't going to wait for their smartphones to grow outdated while the IT staff designs, hand-codes, tests and finally releases a new app. No wonder there is simmering tension between marketers who want to enhance revenue and the IT staffer who must cope with shrinking resources and rising demands.

Enter "low-code" app development, a process that Forrester says will "speed up development by allowing application development and delivery (AD&D) teams to eliminate barriers to customer participation in projects as well as [expediting] handoffs between phases of projects."

Here's How to Measure Customer Health

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The colorful new customer success tent is filling up quickly with marketers — despite lingering doubt about what customer success means or how exactly to measure it.

As it turns out, Forrester Research has been looking into the latter question. It interviewed 13 US-based Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) companies to get ideas on how "customer health scores" are measured. 

The study was commissioned by Gainsight, one of a number of companies in the nascent customer success segment  along with Amity, Totango, Bluenose Analytics, Evergage, FrontLeaf, Intercom.io, Preact.io, Scout by ServiceSource, Sparked.com and Woopra.

Forrester: How to Use Agile Marketing to Enhance CX

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The hardest part of shifting to a customer-centric corporate culture may be getting your employees to embrace it. But your strategies and technologies are useless unless they do, according to a Forrester Research analyst.

"It's not just delivering a customer experience. It's making and centering our business around a customer-first attitude and a customer-centric attitude," Anjali Yakkundi, who focuses on digital experience delivery and related topics for Forrester, said Wednesday during a CMSWire webinar.

The webinar, entitled "Agile Marketing: Creating a New Generation of Enterprise Digital Experiences," also included a case study of Zoetis by Nilo Paredes, global product and technology leader for Zoetis, and a review of customer requirements by Steven Plaat, marketing director for CrownPeak, which also sponsored the session.

Go Big or Go Home with Customer Experience

2014-02-July-Firm-Handshake.jpgThe good news: Businesses understand that taking care of the customer experience is just one of the requirements of doing business today and surviving to see tomorrow. 

The bad news: Businesses continue to treat customer experience as a standalone concern, rather than as a holistic approach. 

When you think customer experience, do you think "obesity epidemic"? Didn't think so. But Forrester analyst Rick Parrish made the argument last week at the Forrester Customer Experience Forum in New York City that just as the obesity epidemic is a product of its ecosystem, so too is customer experience a result of every interaction a person has with a brand.

Who Has the Best BYOD Management Services?

social business, Who's Got the Best BYOD Management Services?

Find a company that does not have a bring your own device (BYOD) management strategy, and you'd need to welcome them to enterprise life in the 2010s.

We all do work on our personal smartphones. 

The challenge for organizations is managing all these devices, systems, networks, operating systems, public and private cloud apps and other converging factors.

Forrester Research stresses the need for BYOD management services. It released today a Wave for Global BYOD Management Services, an analysis of 13 top BYOD integrators and specialists.

Chief Digital Officer: Vital Leader or Fading Trend?

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To hire a chief digital officer or not to hire a chief digital officer.

Is that the new question in the digital age? Could be. 

And depending on who you ask, the answer differs.

A Forrester report found just 1 percent of firms plan to hire a chief digital officer (CDO) in the next 12 months. A full 50 percent have no plans to create this executive role.

And then there's Constellation Research, whose June 18 report stressed the need for the chief digital officer. CDOs, it suggested, can help companies successfully navigate this era of digital disruption.

And don't get David Mathison started. Forrester came out with a similar report and thesis last November, which suggested that CDOs may not be the answer.

Mathison, the curator for the Chief Digital Officer Summit, told us then that these are the “glory days for digitally savvy CMOs who can now bypass IT entirely by using the cloud and AWS and BYOD. (Forrester) should be looking at the underlying reasons for the drive to hire digital leaders such as CDOs versus having the CIO or the CMO do the job.”

Here are the 4 Steps to Customer Success

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The hottest job title in marketing right now may be "Customer Success Officer," though there remains some debate about exactly what that means.

For example, it's fair to ask: Is customer success management  different from customer support or  customer relationship management?

Obligingly, Forrester's consulting arm  issued a paper entitled "How to Get Started with Customer Success Management." It should serve as a handy primer for those who want a state-of-the-art interpretation of this emerging marketing strategy.

The paper, sponsored by Gainsight -- a big fish in this still-small pond -- even provides a nifty, four-step process for building a customer success program that will be a revenue-generation operation instead of an extension to existing cost centers.

Why These 6 Enterprise Social Platforms Lead the Way

There are some new kids in town. And some old ones still on top.

Forrester released its first Wave for Enterprise Social Platforms in three years this month. In its second quarter  2014 report, it named IBM, Zimbra and Jive as leaders for the second time, and tossed Salesforce, Microsoft and Tibco in the top for the first time. Zimbra was formerly known as Telligent.

 IBM Connections, Salesforce Chatter and Communities, Microsoft Office 365, Zimbra Communities and Tibco tibbr were cited as leaders in the space.

Gartner had a similar take on leaders of social software.

Get on Board with B2B E-commerce, Forrester Warns

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The old theory that B2B companies can avoid selling through online channels is done, and B2B e-commerce solutions "contribute significantly to key selling metrics and incremental revenue," according to a new Forrester Research Report commissioned by EPiServer.

Forrester said 50 percent of B2B companies have plans to change or upgrade e-commerce technology in the next 18 months. 

"Every company that plans to compete in the future must transform digitally simply because all your competitors are planning for it now," said Bob Egner, vice president of product management at EPiServer, which sells an e-commerce platform. "There are no restrictions based on type of product or service, or on geography. In fact, many of our customers find they can expand geographically in a shorter time frame and at a lower cost by going digital."

Marketing Content Isn't King Without Buyer Relevancy

Remember the days of producing content on your website just to, well, produce content?

Maybe it was for SEO. Maybe it was to add another element outside of product descriptions and the “About Us.” The more content, the merrier.

Content may be king, but it’s a pawn without relevancy for the buyer. Two reports released in the past week -- one by IDG Connect and the other by Forrester Research -- deliver this message.

“When it comes to providing content, the two most important things are its alignment with organizational needs and its relevance to the buyer,” Robert Johnson, vice president and principal analyst for IDG Connect, told CMSWire this morning. “… More vendors have woken up to the fact that they simply can’t just create new content. In some cases, the buyer can’t find what they need and when they do find it, it isn’t relevant enough. It’s hurting vendors.”

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