Posts Tagged ‘how to generate business’

Expert Video: How to Create Your Future Customer Engagement Strategy

CustomerEngagement Expert Video: How to Create Your Future Customer Engagement Strategy 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.

Ray Wang Video Screengrab Expert Video: How to Create Your Future Customer Engagement Strategy

 

About the author:

Ashley Furness Expert Video: How to Create Your Future Customer Engagement Strategy 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 512-582-2314call skype logo Expert Video: How to Create Your Future Customer Engagement Strategy 512-582-2314. LinkedInTwitterGoogle +
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5 Jobs for Tomorrow’s Customer Service Team

customer loyalty 5 Jobs for Tomorrows Customer Service TeamLast 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 Furness 5 Jobs for Tomorrows Customer Service TeamAshley 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. LinkedInTwitterGoogle +
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The Debate Results: Will Technology Kill the Call Center?

customer loyalty The Debate Results: Will Technology Kill the Call Center? 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.

Call Center Debate Event Header smaller The Debate Results: Will Technology Kill the Call Center?

Click here to watch the entire recording.

 

Read also: Will Technology Kill the Call Center?

 

About the author:

Ashley Furness The Debate Results: Will Technology Kill the Call Center? 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. LinkedInTwitterGoogle +
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Will Technology Kill the Call Center?

customer loyalty Will Technology Kill the Call Center?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.

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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 Will Technology Kill the Call Center?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 512-582-2314call skype logo Will Technology Kill the Call Center?512-582-2314. LinkedInTwitterGoogle +
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Original Content builds you Trust and Customer Loyalty

content marketing Original Content builds you Trust and Customer LoyaltyIn 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

CMI CM History medium Original Content builds you Trust and Customer Loyalty

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Businesses are lagging behind their Customers in the Digital Age

social media1 Businesses are lagging behind their Customers in the Digital AgeRecent stats show that those marketers spend less than 20% of their marketing budgets on social media which includes the outreach to target audience on social sites, advertising and maintaining a social media presence.

Most marketers have or plan to increase their budgets for social media marketing by up to 25% in 2012.

Content marketing has established as a powerful way to engage customers in social media. An increasing number of B2C and B2B marketer are faced with the challenge to produce and publish buyer persona oriented interesting and remarkable content to attract customers on the web and in social media to their products and services.

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.

Successful companies use every possible communication channel to get in touch with their target audience. They are interested in what their recent and future customers are thinking and communicating about them.

This communication ability helps them to better understand and to serve their audience, which sets them apart from their competition and gives them wide advantages in their business field.

Businesses which are willing to communicate with their audience in blogs and social media show that they care about the people who spend their money with them.

Businesses which avoid an open and authentic communication in blogs and social media show exactly the opposite. Why should the customer than care about to make any further business with them?

Successful businesses in B2C and B2B have embraced the wide opportunities which blogs and social media offers to them to spread the word and to reach their audience where there are around.

Infographic: How Brands Listen in the Digital Age

How Brands Can Listen in the Digital Age full1 Businesses are lagging behind their Customers in the Digital Age

 

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How Real Time Communication can increase your Revenue by up to 40%

Real Time Marketing and PR How Real Time Communication can increase your Revenue by up to 40%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!

 

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How to Generate Business through Content Marketing

content marketing How to Generate Business through Content MarketingWe live in a customer centric time powered through social media and the rules of marketing and PR has dramatically changed.

The customer chooses by himself through research on search engines like Google, with the help of friends, relatives and his social networks which product to buy and which not.

Then it counts what and if he can find your business on the web.

Marketers need to understand that most people do not go online to buy something. The primarily go online to research for products and services. This is valid for B2C and B2B!

Businesses who publish and share content on the web do not only increase the number of “digital outpost” but moreover increase their visibility and build trust with the future customers. Trust is the main motivation to buy. When your audience trusts you, then you they are willing to do business with you.

Trust can only be build with a long term approach, because what you publish reflects what and who you are.

With great content you position your business and the people of your business who create the content as trusted experts in your field. Content Marketing is great to build your online reputation.

 

Here are some marketing tips you can use right away.

Give away free content

Give away free content in form of a corporate blog where you write about topics your audience is most interested in. You can get great ideas for blog articles when you go through email and support requests. This will give you a ton of possible blog article topics.

You can also take a camera and explain a task, for example how to use one of your machines and what to take care of. Or you can use photos and testimonials of satisfied customers and publish them too.

You need to invest time/ money to produce content

To find the time to produce remarkable content is the most common problem business face. But as you need to spend time for your business you also need to understand that marketing and content creation is an important part of your lead generation. Therefore you need to set time free to produce remarkable content which will attract new customers to your business.

No matter if you do it by your own or you hire an Inbound Marketing Agency, content marketing is not free. You have the choice, do you want to invest your time or do you want to set a marketing budget and hire a professional Inbound Marketing Agency.

Give away GREAT content

Great content is valuable. It is worth reading and sharing it. Therefore you need to be specific with information which should benefit your future customers. Don’t be afraid to give away “secrets” because this kind of content attracts the most people. And be the end you are the professionals and the future customer will turn to you when he is ready to buy.

 

Infographic: The Rise of Content Marketing

Content Marketing Infographic1.png.scaled5001 How to Generate Business through Content Marketing

 

Six great reasons to consider content marketing to generate more business

Companies who operate a corporate blog on frequent base get …

…up to 55% more Traffic than companies who do not blog
…up to 97% more Inbound Links than companies who do not blog
…up to 434% more indexed pages in search engines than companies who do not blog
…up to 25x times more business leads than companies who do not blog

Companies utilizing content marketing strategy report an up to 2,000% lift in blog traffic and 40% boost in revenue.

Every businesses which ignores these facts will vanish in the dust of today’s networked and quick economy and that’s good.

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