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Customer Service News & Analysis

Dave Ramsey: On Winning, Losing and Getting Personal

Connecting with Bill Sobel

What does Seth Godin — who writes the most popular marketing blog in the world — have in common with Dave Ramsey — financial author, radio host, TV personality and motivational speaker? They're two of the three co-hosts of Business Gets Personal, an event this week in New York City.

On Thursday, Ramsey, Godin and Gary Vaynerchuk, founder of Wine Library TV — a daily video blog about wine — will host Business Gets Personal at Lincoln Center in Manhattan. It will offer keynotes, panels and networking opportunities. The subtitle of the event: People, Passion and Perspiration.

Focus on Customer Convenience and Effort, Not Experience or Satisfaction

You’re out of coffee. You have two choices. Ask your neighbor or drive to the local convenience store. Your neighbor, John, is nice but boy does he love to talk. You drive to the convenience store. 

We don’t always want to engage. We don’t always want an experience. Sometimes, we just want to get things done as quickly and easily as possible.

Zendesk Masters Customer Service

After completing a successful IPO this spring, Zendesk, provider of a cloud-based customer service platform, recently added to the upside momentum, reporting second quarter revenue growth of 80 percent.

In the past quarter, the seven-year-old company added more than 3,000 new accounts and now has an installed base of 45,740 customers, up 40 percent year-over-year. Among Zendesk’s customers: Uber, OpenTable, Airbnb, Groupon, Adobe Systems, Box, Dropbox, L’Oreal, Nine West Group, Red Bull, Roku and AOL.

With so many consumers these days turning to Facebook, Twitter and Yelp to talk about their customer service experiences, it’s more critical than ever for businesses to get it right. Poor customer service is now much more of a social event, and potentially more harmful to an organization’s reputation.

Kana Blends Analytics Into Its Customer Engagement Suite #Connect2014

Thumbnail image for 2014-10-July-SS-Robert Hoetink.jpgSince Verint bought KANA earlier this year for $514 million, the question has been how the business analytics company would blend KANA's customer experience services into its suite of employee services.

The answer, or at least a big part of it, came today in San Francisco as the new "KANA, a Verint company" introduced a big data solution called Engagement Analytics at the Connect2014 conference.

The new product ties the actions of employees together with the experience of customers across the web, mobile, contact center and other channels in near real time.

Want to Understand Your Customers? Talk to Seth Godin

Thumbnail image for Connecting with Bill Sobel

Seth Godin writes the most popular marketing blog in the world — and he gets customer experience.

As he once noted,  "The complaining customer doesn't want a refund. He wants a connection, an apology and some understanding. He wants to know why you made him feel stupid or ripped off or disrespected, and why it's not going to happen again." 

And he knows that an apology means more than a mumbled "sorry." It has to include both compassion and contrition, he wrote recently:

We're sorry that your flight was cancelled. This must have truly messed up your day, sir." That's a statement of compassion. "Cancelling a flight that a valued customer trusted us to fly is not the way we like to do business. We messed up." That's what contrition sounds like. We were wrong and we learned from it. The disappointing thing is that most people and organizations that take the time to apologize intentionally express neither compassion nor contrition."

Godin is the founder of Squidoo.com, a fast-growing recommendation website, and the author of 17 bestselling books. He is responsible for many words in the marketer's vocabulary, including permission marketing, ideaviruses, purple cows, the dip and sneezers.

Combine what has been called his "irrepressible speaking style" with his "no-holds-barred blog" and you can understand how he has developed a worldwide following. 

Connected Enterprises Provide Better Customer Service

Networking your organization -- making it more agile, more enabled and more responsive -- makes a ton of sense from a practical perspective. From an operational perspective, however, it is much more difficult. Microsoft introduced the catch phrase of “working like a network” through a video for its enterprise social offering. But “working like a network” goes beyond just the social channel -- and permeates every department within the entire organization.

So how does an organization transform how they work? How do you put the concept of working like a network into practice? Let’s look at the three key components of “working like a network” that Microsoft mentions, how organizations can support these components and how they will help create alignment across the company to serve your customers.

Customer Service on Stage: 3 Ways to Avoid Brand Failure [Infographic]

2014-19-August-Stage-Fright.jpgBusiness leaders across the globe have confirmed that, in the midst of stiff competition and growing customer expectations, customer and field service differentiation is key to growing revenue and delivering an excellent customer experience. These are the findings of two new reports and an infographic released by SAP SE and The Service Council (TSC).

The reports, “Service Transformation: The Business Case” (pdf) and “Reviewing Field Service Strategy: Aligning Focus and Execution,” (pdf) provide important insights that executives should consider in redefining customer service and field service strategy. 

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.

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.

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. 

How Customer Communities Bolster Support Teams

2014-15-July-Contact-Center.jpgThe business benefits of customer communities are well known: call deflection, search engine optimization (SEO), product ideation and even revenue growth. While some of these benefits directly benefit customer support teams, others benefit the broader organization.

Customer engagement helps sales teams drive incremental revenue, ideation helps inform the product roadmap for product management and SEO helps the marketing team rank higher for particular keywords. Ask customer support managers and they’ll tell you how customer communities can make their teams more valuable.

Omnichannel Service Takes the Whole Company

When we look to a company for answers, what do we want?

We want a seamless experience and answers tailored to our needs, no matter how we reach out. Whether we visit a store, check a website, send an email, call customer service or all of the above, we want the source or person on the other end to understand our relevant history and quickly provide answers. We want omnichannel service, and so do our customers.

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.

Meet the New 'Multimodal' Customer Service

2014-02-July-Fortune.jpgOrganizations have been gearing up over the past few years to support the needs of today’s omnichannel customer service enterprise, with the goal of offering a seamless consumer experience through available shopping channels.

Excellent work.

Now it’s time to change. Again.

A Man, a Blouse and an Awesome Customer Experience

customer experience, One Man, One Blouse and One Awesome Customer Experience

You never know where you'll find a great customer experience.

I found it today when I ran out to do an errand for my wife — a day late as usual.

Husband duty this time involved bringing a blouse/top/wrap (whatever you call those things -- I usually go with "shirt") to the local tailor.

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