Posts Tagged ‘Customer Loyalty’
Constellation Research CEO and Principal Analyst R “Ray” Wang visited the Software Advice offices during the 2013 South by Southwest Interactive Festival to talk about some research he released called “Building Your Interaction Strategy with the 9 C’s of Engagement.”
In today’s world, we face constant demands for our attention — from social media to news alerts and loyalty programs. Wang asserts that companies must find ways to cut through this clutter if they want to compete in the future. To do this, they need to create a true engagement strategy based on authentic, natural and trustworthy interactions.
A lot of organizations think they know what this means: sending a coupon on a customer’s birthday, or liking a post about you on Facebook. But most don’t look at the big picture, or they just end up coming off as “creepy” in their engagements.
Instead, he suggests following the “9 C’s of Engagement” when building your interaction strategy. These fall into one of three categories:
- People Centric Values: Culture, Community, Credibility
- Delivery and Communication Styles: Channel, Content and Cadence
- Right Time Drivers: Context, Catalyst and Currencies
In this video, Wang describes how companies can use these three pillars to build an effective engagement strategy.
About the author:
Ashley Verrill is a Market Analyst for research firm Software Advice. Her professional experience spans journalism, sales, advertising and SEO marketing. She’s a seasoned writer having produced copy for business journals, a sports magazine, daily deals advertising and industry blogs. She can be contacted at ashleyverrill[@]softwareadvice.com, or by calling 512-582-2314512-582-2314. LinkedIn
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Last summer, I wrote an article for InBlurbs called “5 Jobs for Tomorrow’s Marketing Team” that explored how trends in marketing will affect recruiting and staffing in the future. The post received so much feedback, we decided to revisit the idea this year through the customer service lens.
I rallied some of the biggest names in staffing to help me come up with roles they see in emerging in the future support organization. Experts from Monster.com, CareerBuilder.com, SimplyHired and other staffing sites chimed into the conversation. The biggest change affecting these roles they see involves the shift in how customers contact a company. Forrester released a report earlier this showing customers increasing usage of communities by as much as 25 percent, live chat by 24 percent and self-service by 12 percent. Additionally, customers are increasing their use of social customer service and mobile, which will require new talent and technologies.
So without further adieu, here’s five roles we see becoming part of the customer service team of the future:
Self-Service Content Strategist
The individual in this role would continually mine for popular topics in call center notes, as well as review Web analytics data to assess which articles in the self-service community garner the most traffic. At the same time, they would also moderate content created by the customer community and facilitate the sharing of this user-generated material. Their goals would be two-fold:
- Deflect tickets from the call center by encouraging more customers to resolve problems on their own with self-service options; and,
- Drive customer retention and return purchases by creating a loyal community of brand advocates.
Natural Language Processing (NLP) Developer
The person in this role would help ensure the right answer is found no matter how or where the question is asked–whether it’s typed in a search box on a webpage, in a chat session, or spoken to an interactive voice response (IVR) system. This requires sophisticated algorithms that can process natural language to find the answer.
While most companies will deploy off-the-shelf or open-source NLP technology, the NLP Developer will need to make substantial configurations to apply it to their company’s specific use cases and content. I see this role as important for making the most of your content. All the effort creating it is meaningless if the customer can’t find it–fast.
Social Service Success Coordinator
The Social Service Coordinator would ensure social customer service efficiency, while keeping an eye out for opportunities to market support interactions. In order to respond effectively, companies have to use social listening technology. This person would work to refine keyword identifiers that tell these systems what signals a customer service message.
If the contact center suddenly gets an influx of calls about a particular product, for example, the coordinator would want to start listening for combinations of that word and “help,” “broken,” “angry” and so on. If a Twitter user responded with a glowing “thank you, I will tell my friends!” that person might handoff the interaction to marketing for promotional uses.
Mobile Customer Service App Manager
The Mobile Customer Service App Manager would act much like a product manager exclusively for the customer service mobile application. They would work with internal or external developers to optimize the user experience for all of the company’s customers.
If analytics showed one feature is used more than another, for example, they might try featuring it more prominently on the app home screen. Or maybe they’d work with the NLP Developer to refine speech recognition for that function. Optimizing content in this way can increase customer satisfaction as much as 60 percent, one report showed.
Virtual Call Center Director
The individual in this role would oversee the virtual call center — a network of customer service agents that work off-site (typically from home). This person would decide when and how to interact with these individuals, monitor their performance, and adjust the size of the team as needed. During peak communication cycles, for example, the Virtual CSR Manager might increase the number of agents on duty.
The Virtual Call Center Director would also consistently comb through key performance metrics to identify weak spots. If they noticed one remote agent lagging behind their cohorts, they could start monitoring calls and provide additional training.
These are just a few of the potential job titles our experts see emerging in the future. What changes do you see? What’s missing from this list? Join the conversation by commenting here.
About the author:
Ashley Verrill is a Market Analyst for research firm Software Advice. Her professional experience spans journalism, sales, advertising and SEO marketing. She’s a seasoned writer having produced copy for business journals, a sports magazine, daily deals advertising and industry blogs. She can be contacted at ashleyverrill[@]softwareadvice.com, or by calling 512-582-2314. LinkedIn
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Last month, I told you about an upcoming online debate called: “Will Technology Kill the Call Center?”
Research firm Software Advice moderated the event earlier this month with a panel of call center and customer service technology experts from IntelliResponse, Drumbi, Avaya Inc. and Etech Global Services.
The 45-minute discussion was hosted in a Google+ Hangout where the panel answered a list of scripted questions before fielding queries from the digital audience of 40. The group talked about trends in customer contact channel utilization, technology and the future call center.
The speakers offered advice for consumer contact strategy and ways companies can prepare for the future.
The speakers agreed first of all that customer contact channel utilization for non-traditional channels – such as virtual agents – is growing. This is primarily the result of better technology that can finally deliver on the promises from six years ago. So customers are now empowered with a choice of how they want to contact you. But this doesn’t mean they are using these contact avenues instead of phone – it just means by the time they get there they are likely at a critical point.
“The company needs to be smarter when they get there,” Avaya Director of Customer Experience Management Laura Basset said. This means knowing whether the customer interacted with self service, and what they looked at. Did they ask a question to a virtual agent? Did they log into their online account?
Ultimately, the debate ended with the agreement that the call center won’t disappear because of technology – it’s already gone. The reborn contact center is a different environment where agents are increasingly expected to handle interactions from myriad channels. This will continue to change the skill set and expectations from these facilities. Watch for more changes to come, they warned.
Click here to watch the entire recording.
Read also: Will Technology Kill the Call Center?
About the author:
Ashley Furness is a Market Analyst for research firm Software Advice. Her professional experience spans journalism, sales, advertising and SEO marketing. She’s a seasoned writer having produced copy for business journals, a sports magazine, daily deals advertising and industry blogs. She can be contacted at Ashleyfurness[@]softwareadvice.com, or by calling 512-582-2314. LinkedIn
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Customers love instant gratification of call-in service. Until recently, that’s what phone service got them.
But these days the majority of people have tired of extended holding, automated prompts, unhelpful agents and getting lost in a sea of transfers. Couple this with new technologies for better, faster self-service and you’ve got a change a brewing in the consumer support industry.
Later this month, I will host a Software Advice live debate on this topic called, “Will Technology Kill the Call Center?” The event will begin at 1 p.m. Central on September 27 in a Google+ Hangout. To watch the event and chime in with your own questions, visit my Google+ page that day and comment in the feed. Add me to your circle on Google+ and I’ll send you an event reminder.
I will run the event similar to a political debate. A panel of four experts will answer a set of questions one by one, with opportunities for a rebuttal after each response. I will also close with a few questions from the audience, collected via comments in the feed on my Google+ page. To watch, just go to my profile page and click the round play button in the “Hangouts” box.
Here’s a list of the speakers:
Jim Iyoob is the senior vice president of global development for Etech Global Services. He has more than 15 years contact center outsourcing experience in domestic and offshore inbound, outbound, and live chat operations.
Shervin Talieh is the founder and CEO of Drumbi–a technology startup focused on mobile and social customer service. Drumbi leverages voice and data synchronization to streamline call routing and phone customer service. Previously, he also served in leadership positions for Goldeneye Solutions and Accenture.
Laura Bassett is the director of customer experience management and emerging technologies for Avaya Inc. Avaya designs, builds and manages business communications applications for more than one million businesses worldwide, including more than 90 percent of the FORTUNE 500 companies.
Mike Hennessy is vice president of marketing for IntelliResponse. His company provides “Virtual Agents” and other customer self-service offerings. Previously, he worked for Truition and as a communications consultant for Amazon.com, Dell, The Royal Bank of Canada, Hewlett-Packard, and Pfizer Pharmaceuticals.
See you there!
About the author:
Ashley Furness is a Market Analyst for research firm Software Advice. Her professional experience spans journalism, sales, advertising and SEO marketing. She’s a seasoned writer having produced copy for business journals, a sports magazine, daily deals advertising and industry blogs. She can be contacted at Ashleyfurness[@]softwareadvice.com, or by calling 512-582-2314512-582-2314. LinkedIn
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In a March 2012 poll of more than 400 US marketers and agencies content curation services provider Curata found that 95% had curated content in some way over the past six months by sharing a link, blog post or other content type with their target audience.
Curata results also showed that 85% of those marketers focus their main objective of content creation to establishing a thought leadership, 80% of those marketers see also brand building and buzz as a goal of their content creation strategy.
The most popular channel to share content is social media. About 76% of marketers say they used a social network as the main channel for content distribution.
Content marketing has become a powerful way to engage customer’s right where they stand.
To share published content in social media is not enough. Content creation and content marketing as a holistic strategy must be performed on regular basis to gain measurable and profitable results on the long term.
But what is more powerful curated content or original content?
A business brands its self by creating and publishing original content on. It establishes thought leadership, elevates brand visibility and buzz and boosts its SEO by creating and publishing original content the web and in social media.
This improves the search engine rank and your content has more chances to get shared on social networks, which also improves brand reach and direct more future customers to your offers.
By generation interesting and remarkable content other blogs, news sites and content curators will link to you which increases your Page Rank and improves your search engine visibility also!
The biggest challenge for marketers when doing content creation is the time investment!
Research results show that about 70% of marketers say they did not have enough time to devote to the process of content creation and content marketing. Also the marketers stated that is difficult for them to create original content to share with their audience.
Infographic: A Brief History of Content Marketing
In the past marketing has depending on campaigns. Because of its inflexibility this model does not fit anymore into this Real Time world we live.
Today businesses need to react in real time with their audience.
Business can gain a massive competitive advantage when they become able and are willing to communicate with their audience in Real Time.
The most frequented Real Time Communication Channels are Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn only to name some of them.
Here is the audience which demands brands to communicate in real time and show they care about their recent and future customers.
Real Time Communication is a powerful way for businesses to learn more about the demand their audience has and this sets them into the position to custom tailor products and service for the price their audience want.
As business recognizes the Real Time Mindset and the importance of speed they can set them self apart from their competition the smart way for a fraction of the cost of old school campaigns but with much more better results.
A Real Time Mindset ads an smart additional way of marketing to the businesses marketing arsenal, which means that business still can go forward with the marketing activities they still do and then compare investment, effort and results with this new Real Time approach.
Numbers do not lie and every business owner will go on to use the marketing strategies which bring him the most for his buck and cancel those one who do not.
The size of an organization can make real time communication difficult. Because of the simple question who does what.
But great examples like ZAPPOS have proven that even organization with 300 people can communicate in real time for example on Twitter which has set them massively apart from their competition. They became so successful that AMAZON acquired them and let them work further as ZAPPOS without changing anything inside, especially not the successful way of real time communication.
Sure size matter, but when you want it and you understand the benefits, than you can do it no matter how big or small your organization is.
The secret to get Real Time Communication successfully achieved so that it brings your business huge profits is to lower control which needs to hand over a high amount of trust to your employees. If you see them as responsible adults and demand for their responsibility they will react this way.
You will need to set flexible rules about communication which leaves your employees enough space to breathe and to react in your favor.
Let me know what you think about Real Time Communication!
To get found online when future customers are looking for products and services is one of the major challenges businesses are facing today.
Millions of businesses competing for paying customers and it have become a difficult task for most of them to stand out of the crowd and to make future customers aware about their offers.
Businesses need to understand that future customers B2B and B2C primarily do not go online to buy something. First they go online for research. They research for products and services and if they found something of interest they research about information about the company. They ask friends, family and their social networks for recommendations and if they know the company the have recently found.
Did you asked yourself what future customers will find when they research your industry for products and services you also have to offer, will they find you or your competitor?
How many people hit your site and how many business leads do generate daily?
Targeted traffic is a result of many tasks which need to be done before you even get the chance to get found by future customers through Google, Yahoo of Bing search.
Actually the best way to increase visibility is content marketing. With content marketing businesses demonstrate thought leadership; prove themselves Trustworthy and Boosts SEO by increase Backlinks to their website.
Remarkable and helpful content is also a great to build customer loyalty. It offers the so called value ad for customers.
The great success of content marketing is the result of giving away valuable information – remarkable content for free to attract people to your business like a magnet.
Companies utilizing content marketing strategy report an up to 2,000% lift in blog traffic and 40% boost in revenue.
This marketing system works 100% for any business!
Content marketing can also work for you to attract new customers to your business like a magnet.
To empower your content marketing start with a corporate blog!
Blogging companies get…
- …up to 55% more Traffic
- …up to 97% more Inbound Links
- …up to 434% more indexed pages in search engines
- …up to 25x times more business leads
The next steps of content creation are to craft further buyer persona oriented content like:
- - Press releases
- - Pictures
- - Whitepapers
- - How-to’s
- - EBooks
- - Video
Include a call to action in each of your content pieces. This ensures that the user exactly discovers what to do next.
Each of your content pieces is an outpost of your businesses which increases your visibility and improves trust and directs more future customers to your business.
The more content you publish on the web the more online outposts you get in exchange and your chances to get found increase. Other sites will find your content valuable and link back to it. People will share and comment on your content, which also will increase reach and visibility. You increase Backlinks and customer loyalty through content marketing. As simple as that.