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Customer Experience News & Analysis

Are You Ready to Compete on Customer Experience?

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Friends of mine were remodeling their master bath. After searching for a claw foot tub in stores and online, they found the perfect one that fit their space. It was only available for purchase on the retailer’s e-commerce site, they bought it online.

When it arrived, the tub was too big. The dimensions online were incorrect. They went to return it to the closest store, but were told they couldn't -- because it was purchased online, they had to ship it back.

The retailer didn’t have a total customer relationship view or a single view of product information or inventory across channels and touch points. This left the customer representative working with a system that was a silo of limited information. She didn’t have access to a rich customer profile. She didn't know that Joe and his wife spent almost $10,000 with the brand in the last year. She couldn't see the products they bought online and in stores. Without this information, she couldn't deliver a great customer experience.

Put the Tech Back into Tech Shows

CMSWire Op-Ed

It was sometime after Neil Young, Ariana Huffington and Al Gore had finished their bits on the Dreamforce stage. The speaker now was Eckhart Tolle, the most spiritually influential person in the world. But I wasn't feeling it.

I surfaced from the windowless basement of the Moscone Convention Center and found a cool gray October morning had turned into a warm, sunny afternoon. Hundreds of conference attendees lounged around an artificial-turf park on top of San Francisco's Howard Street. I watched two techies play ping-pong as Tolle's voice boomed from a nearby jumbotron.

That's when it hit me: In the world of big tech shows, the "show" now overshadows the "tech."

Optimizely Claims 'Breakthrough' in Online Testing Platform

Optimizely, a website optimization platform, just released what company execs describe as an innovative capability that breaks from traditional statistical methods. 

The platform -- Stats Engine -- adds to the company’s experience optimization platform by delivering test results that are "always valid" and "freed from the limitations of traditional statistical analysis," officials at the San Francisco-based provider boasted. Pete Koomen, co-founder of Optimizely, said Stats Engine "represents a breakthrough in the world of online testing."

Developed in collaboration with statisticians at Stanford University, company officials said Stats Engine relies on innovative approaches in statistical analysis. Combined with the company's own algorithms, it allows customers to interpret and act on data quicker "and more confidently than ever before," the company noted.

Stats Engine "propels statistical analysis into the Internet age," a company spokesperson told CMSWire.

From 0 to 1000 in a Month: One Online Community's Story

Shortness of breath during a routine walk. A chronic cough or continual wheezing. The need for supplemental oxygen. These are common symptoms of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), a condition that affects approximately 24 million Americans.

That number doesn’t count the friends and family members who help care for those affected. If walking to the corner store causes shortness of breath, then chances are that loved ones will need to accompany you to assist with routine tasks.

Signs on the Road to Digital Analytics Maturity

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There's a danger when we turn to competitive analysis to compare progress against others in the same industry. If you're in an industry where digital transformation is slow in coming, or digital analytics are considered "new," you'll never have an example to follow because everyone's trending at the same slow speed. We've already seen how competitive analysis can act as a distraction when coming up with digital strategies. So when we took the first pass at the data from the EY Digital Analytics Benchmarking Survey, we kept this idea in mind.

People are People, Not Users

Empathy is an essential skill for those who design and manage websites and apps. It’s hard to have empathy for a user.

The Emotional Value of Data: 5 Critical Actions to Take

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Emotional consumption has recently been identified as one of the social trends shaping how we live and work – now and in the future.

“The shift to emotional consumption has huge implications for employers and marketers,” wrote Marc Emmer in a LinkedIn post. Emmer is a strategic planning consultant and author of the book, Intended Consequences.

“In a time when we are blitzed with thousands of messages daily on multiple devices, people have a hunger for an emotional connection. Watch for shifts in marketing messaging to greater emphasis on empathy and community.”

Week in Review: Don't Fear SharePoint + Windows 7 Support Ends

No More Windows 7 Support
Are you scared?

Emotional Intelligence Meets CX
Businesses will start to feel more human.

Don't Fear SharePoint
Don't worry about customizing SharePoint.

Listen to the Consumer -- in Apps
What enterprise apps can learn.

What's Coming in 2015 for Cloud
Four views on where we're going. 

Know What Your Employees Share?
Better get a handle on it.

 

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Customer Experience Means the Same Thing, Online or Off

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If you're like most people you experienced some great, and some awful shopping experiences over the past few months. But what made some experiences great and others less than average?

The answer is almost certainly that the good experiences were driven by exceptional service tailored to your specific needs, and the bad experiences were caused by poor and uncaring service. It's the difference between the sales associate that takes the time to understand what you are looking for and helps you find it, versus the sales associate that is too busy texting to be bothered by your questions.

The same characteristics of a good in-store experience also make for a good digital experience. The more personal and relevant the digital experience, the better.

Revenue Marketing: Creating Sales and Marketing Alignment

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The art of contacting and connecting with customers and prospects has become infinitely more sophisticated and effective through the buyer’s journey. We can thank advances in marketing automation, big data, predictive and behavioral analytics for this new level of sophistication.

2014 Action Item: Did We Get Back to Basics with Web CMS?

Only two days into 2014, the message was clear for Irina Guseva when it comes to Web Content Management Systems. Be simple. Get back to the basics, the now group product marketing manager at San Jose, Calif.-based Adobe Systems told us then.

More than a year later, did her message resonate? We caught up with her to find out in our continuing "2014 Action Item" series. Earlier this month, we also checked in on 2014 action items for B2B marketers becoming more agile and blogging smarter.

So how did Web CMS users do?

Deja Vu Research: CIOs, CMOs Need to Get Along

Gartner is echoing what Forrester Research revealed last week: CIOs and CMOs have to improve their abilities to cooperate.

In a report suggesting IT Leaders Will Need to Develop a Stronger Relationship with Marketing this year, Gartner analysts note that both CMO’s and CIO’s will be forced to work together as content personalization becomes increasingly important and enterprise invest in more marketing technology.

It duplicated findings from Forrester Research’s Cliff Condon, who suggested last week that the current relationship between CIO’s and CMO’s is too loose for company success — and that greater cooperation is essential. While more than 60 percent of CMOs and CIOs told Forrester that they enjoy a relationship of mutual trust and respect, only 46 percent of marketing leaders and 51 percent of technology management leaders have a single view of their customer across all the company’s touchpoints, Condon wrote.

Microsoft's Tangled E-Commerce Future #nrf15

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Sitecore's announcement on Tuesday of its new e-commerce offering, Sitecore Commerce 8 powered by Microsoft Dynamics, at the NRF Big Show made waves in the e-commerce world for a number of reasons. The launch integrates the Sitecore Experience Platform, its highly regarded content management system, with Microsoft Dynamics to more effectively merge content management with commerce systems.

A little background is in order: Sitecore took over Microsoft’s Commerce Server in Q4 of 2013. Now called Sitecore Commerce, the initial integration with the Sitecore Experience Platform was announced in fall of 2014. Let's try to shed some light on what this release signifies for the future direction of both companies.

What B2B Marketers Can Learn from Super Bowl Advertisers

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$4.5 million. That’s the record-breaking, going rate at NBC for a 30-second spot in this year’s Super Bowl, according to AdWeek. And brands are doing everything they can think of to squeeze the most value out their hefty investments.

From Doritos’ “Crash the Super Bowl” campaign, which will run two customer-created ads during the Feb. 1 game, to the multi-social media war room and event strategy of Bud Light, B2B marketers can learn a lot from Super Bowl advertisers — including the fact "puppies never fail."

Customer Communities: Strategy or Tactic?

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It used to be that transactions were the trigger for relationships.

You walked into a local store to purchase something, and if the transaction was pleasant, you were more likely to return. Organizations tend to view relationships primarily through the lens of transactions: how many times has someone purchased a product, used support, emailed, etc. In this world, the transaction was the beginning of the relationship and opened up access to connect with individual employees and other customers.

Social media changes that. Now the relationship triggers the transaction.

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