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Customer Experience News & Analysis

So Many Channels - and Customers Still Like the Phone

Despite the fact that customers have multiple ways to interact with companies, they still prefer the phone. At least that's the finding of a new study by NICE Systems, which rated contact centers as the most important customer channel.

It's worth noting that NICE is a provider of contact center solutions. Even so, there does seem to be some validity in the research: It confirms another study by CX Act, a customer experience improvement firm, which showed the most frequently used and most effective customer touch point is personal contact by phone.

BlueConic Reemerges

Some spinoffs come off as a desperate ploy to hold onto audiences. Did we really need The Golden Palace after The Golden Girls finished?

Others hold their own next to the original. The Mary Tyler Moore Show came from Lou Grant. The Daily Show begat both The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and The Colbert Report.

BlueConic falls into the latter category. Four years ago, web CMS provider GX Software introduced it as a complimentary web engagement solution. In the years that followed, BlueConic broke off as an independent entity, received $3 million in Series A funding from Boston-based Sigma Prime Ventures, moved its headquarters and two of its chief executives to Boston.

So why don't we hear more about it?

OKCupid's Secret Formula for Finding Love Revealed

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“We experiment on human beings,” so said Christian Rudder, co-founder and president of matchmaking site OKCupid in a blog post.

You might have thought that he and his colleagues work tirelessly as data scientists trying to help Romeos of this world find their Juliets … and sometimes, they do.

But they’ve done other things, too. Like tell their customers that they’re 90 percent matches when, in truth, the likelihood was closer to 30 percent.

Why’d they do that, you may be wondering. To test the power of suggestion is the short answer. And it turns out that it’s pretty powerful.

People who were told they should like each other did, even though statistically, that shouldn’t have been the case. “The mere myth of compatibility works just as well as the truth,” Rudder wrote.

Why America's National Mall Went Digital

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Everybody's going digital -- even the monument core of Washington DC. Known as the National Mall, the area dates back to the establishment of the City of Washington as the permanent seat of the United States government.

The two-mile piece of land, bound by the US Capitol to the east and the Washington Monument to the west, attracts millions of visitors annually. The "Mall" — a pedestrian-friendly, tree-lined boulevard — features monuments and memorials, world-famous museums and iconic federal buildings along Constitution Avenue.

Now it also has Wi-Fi and interactive experiences at kiosks near the World War II and Korean War information centers. "We created an infrastructure from the ground up that supports this significantly improved experience," said Vikrant Binjrajka, CTO of INADEV, the contractor that built the new interactive, Drupal-powered web experience. "We've widened the scope of content that it provides to users." 

Reimagine Retail Inventory to Remove Customer Hurdles

2014-28-July-Vintage-Sneakers.jpgThe retail industry is at a crossroad. We've discussed omnichannel behavior for some time now -- both from a consumer and organizational perspective -- but we need to turn that discussion into strategy and action. Retailers are now challenged to use insight from data created across these channels to drive better business performance and meet customer expectations. Technology is they key to enabling this.

Nowhere has the explosion of omnichannel been felt more deeply than retail inventory. Monitoring, moving and replenishing stock was relatively simple when the only end point was the physical store network. But consumers now discover, browse and buy from retailers through a variety of channels -- physical, mobile, online -- through marketplaces and from Drop Ship Vendors (DSVs), which is creating more range, storage and fulfillment options than ever before.

Discussion Point: How Will the IoT Change Our Lives?

Thumbnail image for discussion-pointYou can't escape the buzz about the Internet of Things (IoT). From ubiquitous sensors and constant connectivity to wearable tech and appliances that seemingly think autonomously, the potential is limitless.

We're rapidly developing a digital nerve system as sophisticated and complex as anything in the human body.

Proponents boast that the IoT will shape our futures and transform the ways we work, live and play. But will it — and, if so, how? To find out, we turned to four industry experts, including two that rank on Appinions list of the IoT's top 10 movers and shakers. (Appinions is an influence marketing platform designed to help B2B businesses identify, manage and measure the people and ideas that impact companies and their products.)

One Web CMS Is Never Enough

2014-28-July-Recycling-Mountain.jpgWeb CMS is not a new technology by any stretch of imagination so why do so many still struggle with content management: on a personal basis, as a small-to-medium business or a large corporation? The cause of the struggle more times than not are the content silos and multiple Web Content Management Systems (Web CMS) used within one organization. We know these content silos suck up both time and money, but we still continue to create them.

The Role of Content in Self-Service Design

Quality content plays a critical role in self-service design. Often a small change in a link, heading or sentence, can lead to dramatically higher task completion. 

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.

This Week: Forrester's Digital Experience Wave + Yammer Aversion

No Leaders In Forrester DX Wave
Forrester says no one leads in Digital Experience Delivery Platforms. Are they right?

Master Customer Experience 
Customer experience is morphing once again. Better keep up

Do People Even Use Yammer? 
The problem's not in the product, but with adoption.

Microsoft Wins in Apple-IBM Deal?
There may be a silver lining for Microsoft after the big deal.

Who's Who in Internet of Things
These 10 are the industry's leaders, said a marketing influence platform provider.

The Next EFSS Leaders
Who will succeed in enterprise file sync and share -- and who will fade away?

Real-Time Analytics Made for Content Marketers
Why it's crucial for marketers to respond in real-time.
Download the White Paper

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What it Takes to Provide a Seamless Customer Experience

At the heart of creating a unified conversation across all digital channels are three core technology areas: web content management, e-commerce and mobile platforms. Each of these areas has its own nuances, but it’s the aggregate -- the integration of all three -- that will determine a brand’s ability to prosper in the age of the customer.

CMOs and CTOs are being asked to work together like never before to solve the technology integration riddle in order to achieve high levels of engagement, personalization and loyalty.

3 Things You Probably Forgot in Your Mobile Strategy

2014-25-July-Water-Test.jpgMobile has moved beyond a “channel” and become a behavior. A verb. A necessity. It’s safe to say that if you haven’t moved to mobile in some form -- advertising, app, responsive name, you name it -- you've fallen way behind. So I’m going to assume we’re all on the same page and have at least dipped our toe in the mobile waters.

Mobile is now the dominant channel in online advertising. And while many companies at least have a mobile site, most are missing that clear strategy for mobile customer acquisition.

Dealing with the Reality and Myths of Omnichannel

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If you sell stuff in your and your partners’ stores and via e-commerce, you have probably heard today’s buzzword -- “omnichannel” -- meaning that your customers should be able to use any part of your commerce chain as if it were a single entity: find and buy anywhere, pick up anywhere, return anywhere, all of this working seamlessly for the customer and integrated so that transactions anywhere are recorded and available everywhere.

You’re being told that your customers want and will soon demand this kind of transparency, and that if you aren't there now, you had better get cracking. You’re also hearing that getting there will take time, a lot of it -- Macy’s started in 2008 and is just now beginning to reap the benefits -- and will be a complex, expensive and “significant technology integration challenge.” By this time, you may be feeling that rush of panic as you contemplate how you can possibly keep up with this brave new world of real and virtual commerce.

You’re not alone.

News Bites: LinkedIn Buys Bizo, Appboy's Testing, More

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This week,  LinkedIn acquired Bizo, Appboy is offering Multivariate Testing, Interxion released a single cloud connector and there's an updated Certain mobile app for event management.

Marketo Q2 Results Show Growth of Marketing Automation

digital marketing, Marketo Reports Numbers Growth in Marketing Automation Space

It's probably too early to tell if Marketo's latest customer experience-driven offering will be a slam dunk.

But it isn't hurting the company.

On the heels of its latest major platform announcement -- its new customer engagement platform unveiled at its annual Marketo Nation Summit in April -- the San Mateo, Calif.-based marketing automation provider reported revenue growth this week for its second quarter.

“Across the board, we delivered a strong quarter as customers adopted our customer engagement platform and purchased new applications such as our Real Time Personalization product, which we released early in the quarter,” Phil Fernandez, chairman and CEO of Marketo, said in a statement. "From new customers in the business-to-consumer category such as Unilever and 3-Day Blinds, to major business-to-business leaders such as Cisco, Principal Funds and SGK, marketers are choosing our innovative solutions to build individual and personal long-term relationships with their customers.”

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