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Updated by Aishwarya Pajankar on Oct 22, 2019
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Customer Experince

Customer experience or CX, as it is commonly known is how your brand and its verticals, such as marketing, sales, and service, impact your customers. CX is an amalgamation of customer interactions at various touchpoints (starting from the first point of contact, to conversion, and service requests). It influences whether a customer will stay with you, recommend you to her peers and whether new customers will buy from you.

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Post-Purchase Engagement Is About More than Just Track and Trace

Online retailers understand the importance of keeping their customers up to date on the progress of their orders. This means that most share parcel tracking details that inform customers by email once their order has been despatched, when it’s due to arrive, and also provide a few status updates in between. However, usually, that’s that when it comes to communication with customers during this post-purchase period. After all, what else would retailers need to communicate?

Well, when you consider that these emails achieve 70-80% opening rates, it becomes clear just how engaged customers are at this part of the purchase journey. And, therefore, why it makes sense to make the most of this by sharing more information than just track and trace.

The problem is that many online retailers let their delivery companies handle their post-purchase communications. As such, they have little scope to get creative. So first, it’s vital for the retailer to assume control of this process. By doing so you can take a much more branded and personal approach.

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Extending your B-to-C Holiday Marketing Success to 2019 Email address:

Even though we’re only a few weeks past the 2018 holiday season and the calendar has turned to a new year, many brands still haven’t finalized their marketing plans for 2019. They may even still be debating and considering their goals for the year. If you happen to be one of these B-to-C brands, it’s okay – you’re not alone! Now that the first few weeks of the year are in the books and you’ve hopefully shaken off the cobwebs of New Year’s celebrations, you probably have a better idea of your overall plans than you did during the holiday frenzy.

Find, and learn from, your most passionate customers

By now, some of your most loyal customers have taken pictures of the products they were gifted (or bought) and posted them on their preferred social networks. But if brands pay close attention they will see that people aren’t just posting images of their newest gadgets, outfits and beauty products – they’re actually showing how they’re using them.

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AI and the Customer: What’s Next for Marketing in 2019 Email address:

The future of digital marketing has arrived, and companies have more technology available to them than ever before. As brands continue to increase their investment in automated solutions, human-machine collaboration will extend across every business unit—especially creative fields like marketing. In fact, marketing technology is now the single largest area of investment for CMOs, accounting for 29 percent of the total marketing expense budget.

Building Trust + Transparency

While customers know and understand that brands use their data, there’s a rising expectation that brands take the appropriate measures to safeguard that information, and use it to benefit the customer, not just the company.

Developing Robust Testing + Analytics

With AI, testing parameters are no longer restricted to A vs. B. Marketers can dynamically test how thousands of variables compare against each other, opening the door to new insights and analysis. This year, brands must push for adoption of AI solutions that enable clean, multi-variant testing at scale, as well as broaden the inputs that they provide to AI technology. Ultimately, this will enable stronger results and train the AI to leverage multiple sources of data to make decisions.

For marketers, analysis and insights must be comprehensible in order to understand the impact of each element in relation to relevant campaign context. Clear summaries of the decisions and optimizations made by AI will be critically important, as that will deepen marketers' understanding and inform decision-making for future campaigns.

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Customer Experience Best Practices: Should CX be Contextual or Consistent? Email address:

There is no easy answer to what constitutes customer experience. Customers today are more aware of their needs and the choices available to them (your competitors). They are far more connected and expect brief and correctly timed interactions. Customer Experience Best Practices: Two Essentials
In an omnichannel environment with multiple touchpoints, it is becoming trickier for marketers to address individual customer needs and yet retain a stable image for all their customers.

We touch upon two essential facets of customer experience and the role they play in the customer journey.

  1. Context
    Context is what moves the CX barometer from average to outstanding. Marketers need to go beyond understanding customers’ requirements and find ‘that perfect moment’ to delight them.

  2. Consistency

There are numerous ways to interact with customers, create a package and deliver content to them. Customers have a variety of channels to explore, communicate, and shop from. So, your relationship with them cannot be defined by a single touchpoint or channel.

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5 Retail Marketing Myths to Dispel In 2019 Email address:

2018 was another year of explosive growth for marketing technology solutions that retailers need to sort through. The number of providers keeps multiplying, and with it, the number of claims that confuse and disillusion retail marketers. Here are five widespread misconceptions that need to be dispelled in 2019:

  1. MYTH: Everything is Now a CDP.

Customer Data Platforms (CDPs) have been talked about, with varying accuracy and clarity, for years. They have come a long way – far enough that an inordinate number of providers claim they are now a CDP. But every technology being a CDP isn’t true. When scrutinized, one can easily discern what one tech can do and another can’t.

To make sure marketers are getting the right technology for their organization, they need to do research to ensure their marketing needs are really being met. And, of course, before buying, vet references.

  1. MYTH: Loyalty = Rewards

Many retail marketers speak to loyalty being synonymous with rewards. Wrong. I like the analysis that produces facts that I can measure like a customer is loyal when I know they are more likely than not to purchase again. Someone who has only purchased once has not exhibited loyalty to your brand, especially when they got a discounted deal.

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Driving More Business, One Conversation at a Time Email address:

Driving More Business, One Conversation at a Time

The demand for a personalized, multi-channel marketing experience is ever increasing, challenging brands to up their game when it comes to reaching customers. But the real journey starts once the customers have been found. Modern customers expect brands to know their preferences, whether it is through an offer or by which channel it is delivered. And when brands get it right, customers will reward these highly targeted messages with clicks, form submissions, and ultimately, purchases.

Every year, companies invest millions of dollars trying to create a more profitable inbound marketing experience. It is a no-brainer when you think it through. If users manage to find their way to your company’s site, there is an excellent chance they have a high level of interest in what you offer. By optimizing the experience to intuitively deliver the information and offers that will interest these users the most, you can increase conversion rates. Sounds easy enough, but the challenge is in developing a strategy that uses the right tools to automate real-time personalization, so you can ultimately promote revenue growth.

Furthermore, the goal of real-time personalization is to increase the value of every customer interaction with your company, leading to increased revenue and profitability. A real-time personalization system delivers a real benefit to customers and leaves them feeling more valued by brands, not to mention it provides a smoother experience overall.
Therefore, inconsistent messaging across different communication channels is a technique of the past, and real-time personalization has come to take its place. Regardless of whether a customer dials in to a call center, engages with a brand via social media, or visits a website, companies can deliver a unified, tailored customer experience for all current and potential customers.

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Products over Problems: A New Approach to the Customer Journey Email address:

Marketers know all too well the importance of the customer journey. While the outputs may vary, all journeys identify patterns in behaviors and map those interactions between a person and a brand across a myriad of touchpoints. Journeys are also phenomenal consensus-building tools. A well-researched, high-fidelity customer journey can be an excellent way to create a common understanding between brand managers, creative teams, business analysts, and media buyers.
But increasingly, the trouble spots in a customer journey are not solely the result of a marketing deficiency, and thus not easily solved simply by better marketing or communications.

A Product Mindset

To solve for this, we need to think about the stages in a customer journey not as a chain of marketing problems to solve, but as a distinct product all its own. Treating each step in the journey as a product changes one’s perspective. Like a product, a stage in the journey is the sum of many interlocking domains including design, engineering, user experience, media, and mobile.

This requires a unique set of four focus areas:

  1. Create a Taxonomy for Critical Moments in the Experience

To be effective, strategists need to create a common language to define each stage. This includes a specific definition for how and why a person both enters and exits this stage. The taxonomy should be objective and well-understood among an interdisciplinary team. Every journey will have its own unique classification system.

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5 Customer Experience Metrics You Can Use Immediately to Prove ROI Email address:

According to a Forrester study, “superior CX drives superior revenue growth in industries where customers are free to switch business and competitors deliver differentiated customer experience.” Customer experience is a competitive differentiator, hence a crucial element of a successful marketing strategy.

Customer Experience Impacts Revenue Growth

Improving customer experience drives revenue because a delightful experience helps earn customer loyalty, which turns a customer into your brand advocate and motivates them to do more business with you.

According to Bain and Company’s analysis (2015), “companies that excel in the customer experience grow revenues 4%–8% above their market.”
Customer Experience Analytics to Determine Revenue Growth

Measuring CX is more complicated than taking a purely metric-driven approach. A single metric will not fit all stages of the customer journey. This is where Customer Journey Analytics comes into play. Marketers need to capture significant moments, understand different touchpoints and their interactions to measure impact on the customer. You will need to prioritize what to measure, when to measure and how to measure, to determine whether your resources are being used optimally and what your ROI is.

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Chatbots Communicating Better Than Ever, Powered by Intelligent Search Email address:

Chatbots and other virtual assistants (VAs) employed by customer support organizations are often maligned for being impersonal, unsympathetic, and, well, unhelpful. In fact, State Farm is currently running a nationally syndicated ad based on that very premise. But, in reality, that view is beginning to evolve. Once upon a time, chatbots and other VAs could only serve a customer based on a static script coded into their rules. They couldn’t handle questions that a person hadn’t previously anticipated and coded into a flow.

However, marrying chatbots and intelligent search allows today’s cutting-edge virtual assistants to use AI technologies such as machine learning and natural language processing (NLP) to communicate more naturally with customers and deliver the answers they demand.

Inquiring customers don’t work from a script. When looking for help, they’ll behave as if they’re speaking to a live agent, using slang, shorthand, or common expressions that certainly disrupt most chatbots. Conversational chatbots powered by intelligent search allow for more nuanced, productive conversations.

These next gen bots are understanding user questions and the intent behind them by employing natural language processing elements such as parts of speech tagging, lemmatization, synonym expansion, classification, entity extraction, key phrases, and sentiment analysis. Tools like semantic search allow the system to recognize that when a user asks, “What is my login?” they likely mean, “Password” and will return results as such, while automatic spelling correction and advanced syntax increase the efficacy of search findings. Lemmatization uses variations on words like plurals, tenses, genders, and hyphenated forms to counteract common human typing errors to identify precisely what is being asked.

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2019: The Year of New and Improved Customer Experiences Email address:

In 2019, customer experience will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator for consumers, according to new research from Walker, a customer experience consulting firm. As Brian Solis, principal analyst and futurist at Altimeter once said, “welcome to a new era of marketing and service in which your brand is defined by those who experience it.”

  1. Personalization Will Surpass Outdated Customization Tactics

Brands have been customizing content for years, from sending birthday coupons to valued customers to using promotional email greetings with prospects’ first names. But over the past few years, these customization efforts have become the status quo: according to marketing technology company Pure360, only eight percent of shoppers would engage with a retailer simply because they were addressed by their first name.

Offensively, marketers can leverage session analytics to secure a holistic view of shopper behavior; using that information to develop and deliver highly personalized content in real time. Defensively, marketers can immediately detect and intervene when a customer has a negative digital experience, resolving the issue at hand and hosting a 1:1 interaction with the shopper.

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Digging Out the Bad (From User Reviews) To Make Your Service Desk Better Email address:

Improvement requires feedback. In the case of service management, the best place to start in collecting feedback is with the service department. Starting, however, might be the place to start. Usually, that’s pretty easy: The best place to begin might be with the bad. Improvement almost never begins with the good. If you want to improve, you go after the broken. Your focus becomes the processes that don’t work. Fixing what actually needs fixing.

Focusing on what’s working? Not so much.

Breaking the bad

Focusing on the results of a customer satisfaction survey likely means a good look at the positive feedback. Congratulations, you’ve done some good work; time to celebrate! Soak it up, swim in the glory of the good, and ruminate in the quality of the work of your team. Or, again – not so much.

While it’s good to take into account to best of the benefits in which you offer your internal users, these should not be the focus of your desires. No, not in the least, unfortunately. Pat yourself on the back and congratulate your team. Then move on to your first priorities – the bad reviews and the blunt criticism. These bad reviews may not always seem very constructive, but they were written by your least satisfied users who care enough to provide criticism. The areas they’re focusing on are the ones that you can improve the most.

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2019: The Year of the Customer | MarTech Advisor

By now, it’s clear that customer experience is the battleground for brands to take victory in their respective markets. As we enter 2019, this philosophy is truer than ever, and marketing professionals are beginning to recognize the impact of customer experience on brand loyalty and the overall success of an organization. In fact, a recent Gartner study found that 81% of marketers expect customer experience to be the single greatest factor determining their brand’s market competition by 2020.

In order to remain competitive in today’s world of increasingly personalized experiences, marketers first need to recognize where they fall short when it comes to delivering the best customer experiences, and then put in place the necessary steps required to adequately shift their focus back to the customer.

Today’s consumers are more likely than ever to lose faith in a brand because of poor experiences or service. According to an Accenture study on the future of marketing, 64% of consumers switched providers due to bad experiences – defections valued at an estimated $1.6 billion.

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It’s Time to Take A New Approach to Audience-Centric Marketing Email address:

The rise of the connected consumer has had a profound impact on a number of industries, perhaps none as much as marketing and advertising. Digitally savvy consumers navigate an increasingly complex path to purchase that includes multiple touchpoints and devices – sources they refer to before, during, and after shopping.

For marketers, the proliferation of digital channels and devices offers more ways to connect with consumers than ever before. But despite advancements in technology and practices, many marketers struggle to deliver the right content and offers to the right audiences.

Traditionally, marketers have segmented audiences by demographic attributes such as age, race, gender, marital status, income, education, and occupation. From there, they’ve created a profile of their ideal customer and designed campaigns to win them over. But consumers have changed, and what marketers may have assumed about their customers based on their demographics in the past may no longer be true.

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The Conversational Experience: Why It’s Key to the Brand Experience Email address:

This article by Anand Janefalkar will help marketers build brand loyalty by fully capitalizing on the trend of conversational experience.

Why Marketers Should Understand AI and Data to Maximize Results – and Improve the Customer Experience Email address:

Optimization is one of the foundational elements of any successful marketing or advertising practice. For years, marketers have utilized real-time data and artificial intelligence (AI) to inform decisions on how to adjust media allocations in order to increase the likelihood that a campaign will meet its goals, but with the increased focus on improving customer experience, these same practices (and more) need to be used to optimize creative delivery.

Before completely turning optimization over to the machines, consider the questions you’re asking, the process or methodology that will be used, and where AI can be leveraged to augment the process in order to yield the best results. I’ve outlined one such process as four stages of creative optimization that marketers should consider in order to deliver truly meaningful customer advertising experiences.

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What Is Content Experience and How to Deploy It for Marketing Success Email address:

In this installment of the #MarTech101 series, we take you through the concept of content experience.

Ever wondered why shopping malls are designed in a certain way? The floor plan, space management, lighting, window display, and furniture placement are designed considering consumer psychology and how they navigate the mall. A prime example is — the food court.

You may have noticed, the food court is usually located on the top floor of a mall. If the food court were placed on a lower floor, customers would not be enticed to shop first and would possibly leave directly after their meal. But when the food court is upstairs, they shop their way through the many levels of the mall. By the time they reach the top floor, they are famished, thus end up placing bigger orders.

Similarly, perfume stores are usually placed near entrances to attract more prospects into the shopping mall and to enhance their mood as they walk in. Mall architecture is structured to make sure you experience the overall environment in the best way possible.

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Customer Experience Examples to Inspire a Culture Shift in Your Organization Email address:

Marketers are prioritizing customer experiences over every other strategy to drive growth and success. Most successful brands have customer focus ingrained into their culture, while others may need to take inspiration from the leaders to align their teams to deliver better customer experiences.

Here are three examples of companies that have instilled the culture of customer experience and have reaped the rewards.

Also Read: Reshaping the Customer Experience in 2019
3 Stories to Take Inspiration From

We compiled three stories every CMO looking to shift into a customer-centric culture needs to know about. This should give you some ideas and inspiration to plan your way to make the shift.

  1. Happy Employees Make Happy Customers

Jason Whitman, VP – Customer and Employee Success, Justworks, shared with Forbes, “The key to achieving customer happiness, as in customers who want to do business with you again and again, is to focus on employee happiness first.”

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How CRM keeps small businesses focused on the customer | MarTech Advisor

ustomer relationship management (CRM) solutions are hardly anything new. From globally recognized companies to the smallest of startups, CRM is a primary consideration for companies trying to offer their customers the best possible service. SAP, a global leader in the technology, recently suggested that CRM is a “tired” acronym, with dozens of solutions available that don’t differentiate themselves in any tangible manner.

Creating Effective Customer Journeys to Drive Business Outcomes Email address:

It’s no secret that the world is changing. It seems inevitable that roles -- and entire careers -- once considered inviolable will, in the foreseeable future, be taken over by robots.

Technology has totally redefined the ways in which we communicate, sell, buy and do business, and marketers must take stock and evolve too if they want to remain relevant.

We talk to marketers everyday, and a key thing we've noticed is the increasing importance of having a customer-centric culture.

Like it or not, we live in an age of hyper-personalization, and the stakes of getting it wrong when it comes to your customers are higher than ever.

In the last five years alone, we’ve seen exponential growth in the atomization of content and fragmentation of media channels, which means marketers must now think of, and create, many more individual units of marketing content.

Gone are the days of just cutting your 60-second TVC into 30, 15 and six-second variants for digital and social channels and calling it a win: now, it’s all about creating specialized content that can be fed into more and more channels, each with a different variant that suits the medium and context in which the customer is engaging with your brand.

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Beyond Chatbots: How Artificial Intelligence Can Humanize the Customer Experience Email address:

When people think of artificial intelligence (AI) and its technological cousin, machine learning, it often conjures up images of a robot taking over the job of a human. Indeed, “the robots are coming!” is a familiar refrain suggesting the human race will soon be invaded. If we can teach the machines to be as smart as humans, consume mountains of data in seconds, and continuously learn more at warp speed, isn’t the useful life of the human brain quickly coming to an end?

Today, and in the foreseeable future, the best results come from humans and machines working together. This applies to all aspects of business, even those parts of the customer experience that feel emotional and are inherently relationship based. In fact, when applied strategically, artificial intelligence can enhance a customer’s interaction with a company and, in some cases, even humanize it.

Data-driven marketing that’s inspired by humans, validated by AI

To start, artificial intelligence is becoming more prevalent in marketing at the top of the funnel. This isn’t surprising, as a lot of content across industries like finance (such as earnings reviews) and sports (such as game summaries) has been generated by machines for a while now. In fact, machine-generated content has gotten so good that most people have a hard time distinguishing it from human-generated content.

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5 Ways AI can Revolutionize Customer Experience Email address:

Customer Experience (CX) is a competitive differentiator and driving force for a business’ success. For marketers, it is important to explore powerful opportunities that can drive improved customer engagement and interactions.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is one such field that finds its applications in diverse industries. It has matured to use big data, machine learning algorithms, and can be unleashed to drive enhanced customer experiences.
Do We Need AI in Customer Experience?

Customer experience can be difficult to perceive, manage, measure, and support as it is dynamic, contextual, and offers a mammoth amount data to mine. AI can leverage customer data and interactions to fuel CX strategy, automate the repetitive and mundane tasks of data cleansing, structuring, and maintenance, and help companies understand customer opinion for crafting targeted and engaging experiences.

How then do we use AI to revolutionize CX?

Here are five ways:

  1. Data Analytics and Insights

A customer’s digital activities and interactions result in enormous data, which needs to be structured and mined to gather relevant insights. Efficient customer management requires a 360-degree view of the customer and her interactions, from various channels. Also, data from customer interactions such as customer feedback, service requests, response and interaction times, CSAT scores, etc. can be recorded and this information can be utilized to improve CX.

SurveyMonkey Acquires Usabilla: What Does This Mean for the Marketing Jungle? Email address:

Online SaaS-based survey development company, SurveyMonkey recently announced that it has entered into an agreement to acquire Usabilla for $80M in stock and cash. Founded in 2009 in Amsterdam, Usabilla is a digital Voice of Customer solution. At Usabilla, they believe that companies can build sustainable digital platforms only by knowing exactly what their customers value and want. They help brands transition to a customer-centric culture by improving the digital experiences of their websites, apps and emails. The company works with 450 enterprises in 35 countries, including KLM, Tommy Hilfiger, Toyota, Unicef, TMobile, The Economist, Lufthansa, Virgin, Philips, KLM and Vodafone.
What This Means for Marketers

Usabilla’s technology allows users to give feedback at any point during their customer journey, giving them a voice and giving brands an actionable picture to improve their customer experience.

SurveyMonkey data shows that 75% of users have left a website and 58% have abandoned an online purchase because of a bug or poor user experience. With Usabilla onboard, SurveyMonkey can also look at providing an enhanced user experience and it also gets a foothold in Europe, making it a more comprehensive solution worldwide. The acquisition also fills a gap in SurveyMonkey’s offering, by enabling users that complete surveys a quick fix for the issues highlighted in the results.

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Looking Ahead: Why Localization and Personalization Will Rule in 2019 Email address:

Most marketing trends are short-lived in their effectiveness for driving true long-term business results. But year after year, audiences and consumers clearly respond to content that’s personalized and customized for them.

As conducting international business becomes increasingly viable thanks to the internet, it’s also increasingly clear that the next frontier is a global twist on these personalization best practices. International customers crave website and digital experiences that seamlessly integrate the languages, cultures and regional characteristics that they identify with most.

Lean Teams and Technology

As budgets continue to thin and companies ask marketing teams to achieve quantifiable results with fewer resources, technology plays an increasingly key role in automating everyday marketing tasks. This will extend into digital localization projects, too.

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What is Customer Data Management (CDM)? Definition, Best Practices and Technology Platforms | MarTech Advisor

Customer Data Management (CDM) is the processes of acquiring, analyzing, and organizing customer data. Here are the key components and techniques.

What Is Display Advertising? Definition, Targeting Process, Types, Networks, Examples, and a Management Checklist | M...

Display advertising is the use of visual media for online marketing. Learn about the types of display ads, networks, and management with examples.