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Customer Experience News & Analysis

How to Reduce 'Tech Effort' in Support Centers

customer service, 2014-06-August-Tangled.jpgResolving customer issues quickly and during the first interaction takes effort. It involves creating the right culture, integrating new technologies and improving processes. Market leaders are dedicating huge sums of money to enhance their customer support or acquiring companies with proven support technology to reach these goals.

IBM's report,“The Customer-activated Enterprise,” surveyed more than 4,000 executives and came away with three common themes: companies want to be more open to customer influence, pioneer digital-physical innovation and craft engaging customer experiences. All three themes can be seen across the tech support industry. Customers want their tech issues resolved quickly, and in the communication style and channel they choose.

The Key to Measuring Content Marketing ROI

Content Marketing, 2014-06-August-REVS-COST.jpg"How do we measure the return on our content investment?

This question made a lot of sense 4-5 years ago. What we today call “big data” was in its infantile stages. Data collection was robust, but costs were high and usability was poor. Expenditures related to content were roughly 3 to 4 percent of marketing budgets and users weren’t used to the idea of companies producing content. Simply put, most of us didn’t really want or care to measure the results. The ability, desire and necessity of measuring content value just wasn’t there.

With content marketing expenditures increasing to approximately 30 to 40 percent of corporate marketing budgets, content marketing initiatives need to be grounded in repeatable and informative data structures. In short, as the budgets grow, so does the need for attribution and accountability.

Understanding how to assign attribution and accountability is where things get tricky. However, it doesn’t get tricky in the way most might think.

Improve DAM Workflows Without Breaking the Budget

2014-06-August-Hard-Times.jpgThe last thing creative staff want to do is add metadata to their assets and upload them into an asset management system. They want to create, not spend any amount of time performing administrative tasks. And I don't think it's a good use of their time either.

But these tasks are essential. It doesn’t matter how great the content is if you can’t find it, and if you can’t find it, you can’t use it.

What's New in August for Open Source CMS

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A fact many of us learned in high school — that popularity has its downsides — is proving to be true in the world of open source content management systems (CMS).

Take WordPress — the most popular CMS in the world, powering an astonishing 47.4 percent of all sites on the Internet, according to BuiltWith, a website profiler, lead generation, competitive analysis and business intelligence tool.

July, to use a shameless cliché, was both the best of times, and the worst of times, for this inordinately popular platform. New research from 34SP.com found more than half of UK small businesses are using WordPress as a CMS, thereby “finally blowing away its image as just a blogging platform."

The same study also confirmed a few things that were not included in the official results, including the fact 31 percent of 34SP.com clients who use WordPress call wine their favorite beverage (Jägerbombs really disappointed with just 1 percent of the votes) and only 13 percent have more than 500 friends on Facebook. What does this have to do with anything? Nothing. So let's move on.

Q3/Q4 Planning: Top Marketing Technology, Social Business Conferences & Events (6-Aug-14)

Our industry event planner gives you the heads-up on what key industry events are coming around the corner. If we've missed something, don't hesitate to add your event to the list. (You can also view the full calendar here.)

You're Invited: How to Personalize Website Content

Join CMSWire and Clickability on August 21. In this one-hour webinar, learn how to take effective steps to target content to individual website visitors.
 

> Register Now

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Salesforce's Desk.com Embeds Video in Customer Support

The next generation of Salesforce's Desk.com platform is going visual -- as in video support. The customer relationship management (CRM) giant just introduced a new Salesforce Desk.com Support Center, which includes video customer support. 

The news comes a little more than a month after Salesforce updated its acquired platform with a new intelligent agent console and a mobile app and reporting engine -- among other enhancements -- for all in one automated customer service. 

As Marketing Technology Grows, So Does the CMO's Status

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The age of the customer may also turn out to be the age of the chief marketing officer (CMO).

Marketers with strong business skills are in demand, earning more money and developing closer ties to CEOs, according to management experts interviewed by CMSWire.

Much of this increased status results from CEO directives to show returns on investments in marketing technologies designed to attract consumers, who have gained an advantage over marketers by using technologies of their own.

How Social Is Your Supply Chain (and Who Really Cares)?

2014-05-August-Life-of-the-Party.jpgForget sharing your results from all those surveys on Facebook. You know the ones: they determine where you should actually live, or which character you would be in Downton Abbey, or even how bitchy you are (New York, Matthew Crawley and none of your business). Business leaders now appreciate that social in the workplace isn't about any of this. What it comes down to is being able to collaborate to make better decisions.

While every industry can benefit from social technology, there are some distinct differences in the patterns of adoption. Many early adopter stories we share are about marketing leveraging social media, but social technologies are also becoming more of an operational tool and that makes them interesting for the supply chain.

Sitecore Marries .NET Customer Experience, E-Commerce

Sitecore's acquisition of commerceserver.net is getting its wings.

Now, Sitecore officials report, they have the first enterprise-grade .NET customer experience management solution with fully integrated commerce functionality. They are blending real time digital marketing with enterprise commerce.

The San Francisco-based company today released an "early access program" for its new platform, Sitecore Commerce. The capabilities Sitecore officials described -- personalization, relevant digital experiences, customer lifecyle, single, connected platform -- are in line with the all-in-one engine that Sitecore touts.

"Following the acquisition of commerceserver.net last November, Sitecore has blended real-time digital marketing with powerful enterprise commerce," Mark Floisand, vice president of product marketing at Sitecore, told CMSWire. "We're also working closely with Microsoft Dynamics AX to build an omni-channel commerce offering built for retailers who need to bridge the gap between in-store and digital experiences."

Brick and Mortar Fights Back Against the E-Commerce Tsunami

customer experience, 2014-05-August-Boxer.jpgTraditional brick and mortar retailers have been mired in a slump for most of the last year. To change their fortunes, they need to strengthen their core asset -- their stores. The majority aren't equipped to compete against pure play e-tailers on their own terms -- they don't have e-commerce in their DNA like the Amazons or eBays, they lack the technical skillsets required, and with $260B+ in online sales in the US alone in 2013, it’s too late to put the lid back on Pandora’s Box.

While many view traditional brick and mortar stores as more of an anchor than an advantage, more than 90 percent of retail sales still occur in store. Retailers need to use them to their advantage to push back against e-commerce competition.

Embrace the Shift: Become a Responsive Organization

2014-05-August-Traffic.jpgAs shown by the rise and fall of giants such as Blockbuster and AOL, even the largest organizations can face demise -- and it can happen swiftly. Why do these behemoths of the business world fall from grace? In simple terms, they were unable to keep up with the hyper-connectivity of today’s society.

DAM Helps Deliver Experiences Worth Talking About

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A tidal wave of content is diluting the web, social media and physical spaces, making the job of a marketer much more difficult. Decent content is now as easy to ignore as awful content. Just as Stephen Colbert and Jon Stewart parody the 24-hour news cycle, the “omnichannel,” “real time,” “engaging,” “targeted” and “viral” content world is now mocked by websites like Clickhole and TrapCrunch. Only outstanding writing, videos and images will have an impact.

Getting people to care about your content doesn't come down to just the act of distribution -- it's about the full life of communications, from creation to preservation. That’s why I believe digital asset management (DAM) plays such a crucial role in marketing. It’s not just about simplification or saving time -- it’s about delivering an experience worth talking about.

Content: Say Something New

2014-04-August-Yawn.jpgI have a confession to make: I’m bored.

I’m bored of seeing the same regurgitated articles every week. I’m bored of our disciplines debating if we should be called content strategy, content marketing or inbound marketing. I’m tired of us fighting about how important content strategists are or should be, or need to be. I’m bored because instead of showing me the work, you talk about how you would approach the work, or should approach the work. Why don’t you just show me how you approached it and what you learned?

Print is View, Web is Do

How much of your organization’s online world is made up of dead zones and how much is do zones? A dead zone is any space where there’s nothing to do. It’s a big pretty picture, or a huge graphic-heavy masthead, or a long-winded explanation of what you do or what the customer can do. The customer doesn’t want an explanation of what they can do. They just want to do.

 

Discussion Point: Where Do Customer Success Teams Belong?

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Customer success (CS) is one of the hotter topics heard across the sprawling sales and marketing universe today. But does anyone know who those CS folks report to at the office?

You'd think so. Thousands of marketing, customer support and sales people have flocked to customer success conferences this year. There are about 250 CS jobs currently listed on Monster. There's a well established Customer Success Association. And there's a growing list of data, analytics and cloud vendors pitching their wares to flush Chief Customer Success Officers.

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