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Customer Experience News & Analysis

Customer Service Success Starts at the Source

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It feels like customer service -- or rather, the lack thereof -- is making headlines on a daily basis lately.

Comcast is one example of a company that has faced service misstep after misstep. And these blunders are having a lasting impact on Comcast’s brand. A recent report from SurveyMonkey found that Comcast’s customer service woes have left the company ranking lowest among cable providers when it comes to customer loyalty and satisfaction.

Comcast isn’t the only company struggling due to customer service crises. Other major brands like Walmart, American Airlines and Bank of America have all suffered from the crippling backlash of poor service departments. It’s no secret that poor customer service can negatively affect a brand’s popularity, if not permanently tarnish its reputation.

So how can businesses prevent these Comcast-sized service blunders? Recognize that customer service success starts at the source.

Apttus Embraces Its Salesforce Connection #AccelerateQTC

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It's no surprise that Salesforce had a prominent role at the the Apttus Accelerate 2015 conference in San Francisco this week.

In February, the San Francisco-based cloud software company led a $41 million investment round for Apttus, which makes Quote-to-Cash software on the Salesforce1 platform. That followed first-round funding of $37 million in September 2013 that Salesforce also led.

Salesforce CIO Ross Meyercord took the stage Wednesday to talk about speed, innovation and customer engagement. He also explained how Salesforce is leveraging Salesforce1 mobile-ready apps like Apttus.

And yesterday, Meredith Schmidt, senior vice president of Global Revenue Operations at Salesforce, spoke enthusiastically about the Apttus platform during a morning keynote.

Apttus is built on top of the Salesforce platform.

It automates the second half of the sales cycle involving quotes, contracts and collecting the money. That's critical, because automation is the key to optimal customer experience, Schmidt said during her talk on the second day of the three-day conference.

What's more, she said, the platform is helping Salesforce delight its own sales representatives.

Yes, Marketers: You Still Need Email for Digital CX

Marketers often debate about which media to use in a campaign. But their sentiment about using email to engage customers is unanimous.

An email campaign can be valuable because a list of subscribers forms a captive audience. These are people who have actively expressed a willingness for engagement. They've opted-in to your marketing efforts.

But how to do you measure efforts your efforts to build on this list — and transform it to a meaningful customer experience?

Metric choices are not trivial. Email provides a bridge between branding strategy and direct sales. An analytic solution linked to an email campaign provides a means of understanding customer preferences for offers, discounts, a white paper or a general follow up.

Although many channels to engage customers exist, many companies still rely on basic email campaigns. Surveys show email is still used regularly for marketing in 2015 and mobile-only viewership of email is climbing.

With these email trends in mind, let’s examine how a web analytics solution and email solution connects your marketing strengths to your market.

Your Brand is Only as Good as Its Reputation

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Ask Karen Spiegel to define a brand — and she'll tell you that it's only as good as its reputation and the people who work there.

Spiegel knows a lot about brands. She's been working in advertising, marketing and digital agencies for nearly two decades, in roles as diverse as creating public relations strategies for client engagements and large corporate events to overseeing social media, thought leadership and internal communications initiatives.

She said her experience has imbued her with a strong understanding of the role technology and digital media play, along with a global perspective. "Personally," she said, "I am passionate about the intersection of how design helps simplify complexity and technology magically expands what is possible."

'We Rule B2B Marketing Automation, We're Salesforce'

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Salesforce officials are confident about their marketing technology.

"The thing that distinguishes us most is that we're Salesforce," said Adam Blitzer, senior vice president and general manager for Salesforce Pardot.

When you work on the massive CRM platform that is Salesforce, it's OK to be a little confident.

Salesforce integrates its CRM technology with its Pardot marketing automation. It acquired that technology with its $2.5 billion ExactTarget package.

The San Francisco-based provider today released what it calls "the next generation of Sales Cloud B2B marketing automation."

The Intelligent Engagement Studio and Sales Cloud Engage will deliver adaptive lead nurturing, visualized campaign testing and mobile marketing tools, the company boasted.

Don't Let Your Personas Get Stuck

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If case you haven’t noticed, personas are a pretty big deal these days. Marketers plant relevant, engaging content throughout digital experiences on multiple channels to try and move the business forward. And that content must be relevant and individualized.

But marketers face a growing challenge. Yes, yet another one.

Harness the Power of Intent Data for Predictive Marketing

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We are in the middle of a marketing revolution. With technology that makes it possible to get insight from all different types of data, it’s no longer about being just a modern marketer -- it’s about being a predictive marketer.

As marketers, we can put data science to work to better predict which prospects and customers are most likely to buy, and when, to target the best prospects with powerful, personalized messages.

But not all data is created equal.

Still Sticking With Those Tried-But-True Marketing Tactics?

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It wasn't too long ago that being a marketer consisted of balancing multiple communication channels to reach, understand and attract customers. And by "not too long ago," we're talking fifteen years ago.

In the meantime, the Web and mobile drastically changed not only the marketer's job, but what it takes to be a marketing asset.

These changes don't mean you need to be a data scientist or a developer. But you will need to understand these concepts in order to make smart decisions.

Is Sprinklr Finally 'Satisfied' With Its Latest Acquisition?

Sprinklr put its acquisition shovel to work again.

The New York City-based provider of social media management tools scooped up San Francisco-based customer care provider Get Satisfaction today. This is Sprinklr’s fifth acquisition since the beginning of 2014 and follows a series funding valued at greater than $1 billion.

Get Satisfaction joins social community software provider Pluck, influencer advocacy company Branderati, paid social company TBG Digital and brand analytics provider Dachis Group as Sprinklr acquisitions in the past 14 months.

All told, the six-year-old provider now climbs to more than 750 employees, 850 brands and 400 clients. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Rahul Sachdev, CEO of Get Satisfaction, and Jeremy Epstein, vice president of marketing for Sprinklr, caught up with CMSWire after the provider's fifth acquisition in just more than a year.

Sprinklr is accelerating its social consolidation strategy to help brands improve customer experience, they told CMSWire.

Dachis Group brought brand health data and analytics into the fold, TBG Digital enabled a paid social offering within the Sprinklr platform, and the acquisitions of Branderati, Pluck, and Get Satisfaction are bridging the gap between first- and third-party brand experiences, they explained.

News You Can Use: Act-On, ON24, Bynder, HubCast, More

The latest in rules of acquisition, integrating, combining, strategizing, improving and optimizing from the Golden Gate City, the 416, Manhattan on the Maas and the City on the Hill, Space City and the Next America.

Where You Need to Be in Coming Weeks (8-April-15)

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.)

RSG Webinar: Making Sense of the Collaboration Tool Landscape

Join CMSWire and Real Story Group to tour you collaboration options and make the best choice for your organization.

> Register Now

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These 7 Companies Excel in Customer Experience

Everyone claims to be the leading customer experience (CX) vendor. But the Temkin Group has taken the subjectivity out of the debate.

The Waban, Mass.-based CX research firm just named seven firms the winners of its 2015 Customer Experience Vendor Excellence (CxVE) Awards. (Drum roll, please.) Confirmit, Clarabridge, NICE Systems, Qualtrics, Rant and Rave, ResponseTek and Walker take the honors.

Digital Agency Rebrands to Become More 'Connective'

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Jeff Cram said the 18-year-old web content management and digital experience agency he co-founded is known as a straight-shooter.

How's this for straight talk: Vendors spin a lot of BS about customer experience and digital marketing, he said. Personalization, a 360-degree view of the customer, on and on.

When you look under the hood, he said, the tech doesn't always work.

"But why not?" the co-founder of the agency that just today rebranded as Connective DX told CMSWire in an interview. "This is 2015. This should be working better from our point of view. And it's not on the agencies or the MarTech vendors. It's on the organizations to own this. And there is not enough focus on what this all really means and there's oftentimes not enough commitment internally to see that through."

Portrait of a Chief Data Officer

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Want to find the perfect Chief Data Officer? Look for an empathetic big brain to harness the power of big data for your business. Here’s why.

Can DOZ Help You Find the Best Local Marketers?

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The DOZ online marketing platform allows organizations to go to the bullpen and get a relief for their marketing campaigns.

(It's Opening Day. We couldn't resist).

So what does it really do?

DOZ, a product of Lyon, France-based Capseo, claims it can help any website reach audiences in foreign markets through automatically curated and localized marketers.

It helps small and medium size businesses access marketers on-demand and launch online marketing campaigns. The platform launched in 2013.

In a vast marketing technology landscape, DOZ enters the mix and offers up actual marketers -- and marketing campaigns.

"Other platforms connect businesses and agencies with freelancers, but the quality of the work is rarely guaranteed and the freelancers bid against each other in a race to the bottom," said Anji Ismail, CEO and co-founder of DOZ.

"Sure, it’s cheap and it’s even sometimes good, but it’s rarely great. DOZ has curated a network of marketing experts that now numbers more than 5,000. All must provide proof of their abilities and expertise, and all are vetted before being assigned tasks by DOZ’s matching algorithm."

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