Dreamforce Knows What Customer Love Is

Dreamforce Screen

If you were one of the 130,000 attendees at Dreamforce ‘13 this week, there was no doubt left in your mind about knowing what customer love is. There were 350 cloud vendors showing love by raffling off a flower power VW bus, or dressing up as superheroes. Over 1,250 sessions were held across downtown San Francisco educating about being a better customer company. The customer love message was musically reinforced as salesforce.com CEO Marc Benioff’s keynote address kicked off with Huey Lewis & the News playing their classic, “Power of Love”.

The keynote focused on how we are in the new era of computing – the “Internet of Things”.  Why is it the Internet of Things you may ask? Because everyone and everything is on the Internet; from products  as simplistic as light bulbs and toothbrushes to high-priced, complex machinery like MRI machines and cars. What combines them as well is that they are all powered by the cloud. According to Benioff, we are going through a technology renaissance driven by the cloud. Here are some interesting stats on the Internet of Things:

  • There are in aggregate 4.5 billion social users
  • There will be an estimated 5 billion smartphones by 2017
  • 50 Billion connected [social & mobile] thing [products] are expected in the marketplace

Customers have certain relationship expectations when it comes to your brand. Benioff stated, “Consumers get transformed into customers, and every company is a customer company. Because if you don’t stand up to expectations there is a competitor who will step up.”

Customers are the source of success. Most companies don’t know their customers, with 66 percent of companies lacking information about their customers (IBM study). In sessions that I attended on customer data, the question that kept popping up was, “how do I respond to customer behavior without seeming creepy?”

In our session, Wanna Know What Customer Love is? It’s True Omnichannel Communications, this question came up again. The person asking was from the travel and hospitality industry and asked about following up after cart abandonment. The answer given by Ethan Francis, Offer Lead for Virtual Contact Center (VCC), is to make sure you have asked and captured the customer’s information prior to reaching out to them. For this example, the customer is in the hospitality loyalty program and logged in via their portal, but did not finish the transaction. If the company has asked the customer for their preferred channel of engagement, they can better reach the customer to follow up on the cart abandonment. If the customer has opted-in to messages via mobile, SMS is an excellent real-time engagement channel, with an over 90% open rate, and a company can provide a personalized follow-up message on their order status.

Engaging with your customers to gather channel preference data, asking for channel messaging approval, opting-in to receive those messages – especially mobile, and complying with those preferences will not be seen as creepy, but as connecting personally with customers furthering your relationship. Showing them customer love.

If you didn’t attend Dreamforce’13 and would like to see a demonstration of our new Premier Edition VCC  for Service Cloud, contact us today.


Unleash the Power of Great Customer Experience [Genesys News]

Customer Service

Today was a big day for announcements on cloud customer engagement technology. Genesys announced three new offerings and at Saleforce’s Dreamforce they launched their Salesforce1 Customer Platform.  Our announcement encompasses not only new Genesys capabilities, but platform integration from the recently acquired Angel, Utopy and SoundBite Communications.

Below is an excerpt from Genesys president and CEO Paul Segre’s blog about the announcement:

From pure cloud contact center solutions for smaller companies to tailor-made solutions that can support massive deployments, we are excited to bring three new contact center offers to market – all available now. The new offers include: Genesys Premier Edition for small to mid-sized contact centers, Genesys Business Edition for mid-sized contact centers, and Genesys Enterprise Edition for large contact centers. These new editions of Genesys represent the most comprehensive set of contact center solutions ever made available in the market. They also introduce some cutting-edge new Genesys capabilities, including intuitive analytics, which provide visual dashboards and interactive reports for real-time monitoring of contact center operations and performance.

Today’s news is significant for 3 reasons:

  • First, we’re meeting the increasingly pervasive appetite for cloud software consumption that our buyers are demanding for customer experience and contact center solutions.
  • Second, it’s bringing the industry-leading capabilities of Genesys and the power of unleashing great experiences to more companies than ever before – from small to mid-sized contact centers to the largest deployments in the world.
  • Finally, it’s bringing the benefits of our recent acquisitions – Utopy, Angel, SoundBite and Echopass – quickly to our customers. We are rapidly integrating these companies and technologies into our business and product offerings – for the benefit of our customers.

Genesys is now available to more companies and in more deployment models than ever before. Unleash the power of customer experience with Genesys today!

To read the full blog by Paul Segre, click here. To learn more about our new offerings, contact your representative today or contact us today.

If you are at Dreamforce, join the Customer Experience Revolution with Genesys. We will be at the event all week, hosting live demonstrations at booth N1313 in the Cloud Expo and speaking at three sessions on Wednesday. Click here to learn more about the Genesys participation at Dreamforce.


You Say You Want a Revolution – Turn It On at Dreamforce

Revolution_BlogThe Beatles song Revolution begins with the line, “You say you want a revolution. Well you know, we all want to change the world.”  Well changing the world of customer experience is here, and the revolution is about offering consistent, seamless one-to-one customer engagement that spans self-service and in-person conversations driven off your CRM data.

Speaking of CRM…Salesforce’s Dreamforce 2013 conference takes over San Francisco next week and the theme of the event is Join the Customer Company Revolution. Today, CRM tools like Salesforce are shaping the very dynamics of customer–company relations through enhanced integrations that place the contact center front and center of how clients interact with you across all channels such as phone, social media, mobile applications and SMS. The end result?  A Customer Experience Revolution–Turn it on by unleashing the power of great customer experience.

With a wealth of information on company solutions and services available online and via social media, it is evident that the top challenge businesses face in their customer experience (CX) strategies is the ability to address the rapidly changing needs of empowered customers. Customers want to interact with you via the channel they choose, via self-service automation or personally with an agent, without long wait times, being transferred to different departments, and repeating information. By leveraging data collected in a CRM system to pull forward to the front line of communication will be what sets one brand apart from another and what will create a dividing line in a commoditized environment.

We are excited to be a sponsor, an exhibitor and a speaker at Dreamforce.  Click here to learn more, or attend our sessions:

“Social Selling: Rethinking Sales With Social at the Core”
Wednesday, Nov. 20, 12:00 – 1:00 p.m., Marriott Marquis, Yerba Buena – Salons 4, 5, 6

The Virtual Contact Center for Service Cloud to the Rescue”
Wednesday, Nov. 20, 3:00-3:15 p.m., Partner Theater North

Wanna Know What Customer Love is? It’s True Ominchannel Communications”
Wednesday, Nov. 20, 3:30-4:30 p.m., Pacific Heights Room, Palace Hotel

Come by the Genesys booth #N313 at Dreamforce to learn more about our cloud-based virtual contact center benefits and how we work seamlessly with Salesforce to deliver great CX:

  • Quick deployment, with minimal IT involvement
  • Low operating costs and no capital investments
  • Integrated IVR and ACD functionality for seamless self-service and assisted service
  • Embedded business analytics for end-to-end transparency
  • Flexibility to optimize the customer experience
  • Industry-leading SLAs with demonstrated uptime record
  • Powerful call routing based on business rules
  • Simplicity of the cloud with a proven global platform

So join the revolution – just like John Lennon sings at the end Revolution, you know “it’s gonna be alright.”  See you at Dreamforce!



Showrooming: Redefining Everything You Knew About Retail Marketing

Showrooming at Holidays

Mobile technology has changed the retail game. 50 percent of mobile users begin their retail shopping on a mobile device and 25% of mobile shoppers rely on their devices throughout the entire purchase process. Consumers have more access to product and pricing information – literally at their fingertips – than ever before.

Today’s customer relies on not just product quality and price but convenience and overall experience, which has no doubt been heightened with the upsurge of mobile technology. Consumers want an enhanced mobile-assisted customer experience that’s quick and easy. IDC projects showrooming shoppers’ growth to increase from 60 million in 2013 to 70 million in 2014 which signifies showrooming is not just a technology fad.

As consumers experiences are always evolving with new technology, our vocabulary expands to describe their activities. The latest addition to the retail marketing vernacular: showrooming and webrooming.

Showrooming: Consumers compare products and prices via mobile device while in-store and go home to buy online.  Most popular items showroomed are electronics

Webrooming: Consumers initially research multiple retailers online at home to compare prices and products and then visit the brick-and-mortar store to make their purchase. Most popular items for webrooming is clothing, furniture, and beauty products.

It is estimated that showrooming impacted brick-and-mortar stores by approximately $217 billion in 2012. [Source: 360pi]

The key difference is where consumers browse, compare, and ultimately purchase –webrooming consumers buy in store; showrooming consumers buy elsewhere. The act of browsing for the best price or investigating the quality of items is nothing new, just the speed in which we can browse, compare, scan and purchase them has. Thanks to the mobile device.

In-store conversion is possible. Consumers are more likely to buy from retailers who provide an overall positive customer experience, which can be a combination of omnichannel convenience across stores and online, full-featured mobile Web sites, smartphone apps, loyalty program benefits, and the ability to price match. And never to be undervalued is the power of a positive customer experience which begins from web search or view of an advertisement, mobile search for store hours, to in-store customer service.

Learn more on how to offset showrooming in our whitepaper, Combat Showrooming: How Retailers Can Use Mobile to Enhance the Shopper Experience or watch our webinar OnDemand, Five Ways Retailers Can Beat Showrooming.


Customer Care Bear to the Rescue

Tenderheart_bear_largeRecently my son fell and skinned his knee shortly before daycare pick up. As I saw the teacher huddled over my son in the chair, holding the ice pack with the fuzzy beige bear face, making him laugh through those big tears, I knew he was getting excellent care.  The “boo-boo care bear” ice pack came home and lived in our freezer for far too long, coming out to sooth many falls and scrapes. The funny thing about this genius ice-pack design is just the image of the nurturing and hovering plastic bear heading his way whenever he has a boo-boo would stop the tears.

Good customer care is like that – you expect and demand a certain level of care and when you get something personalized, special, extra, nurturing – and most importantly proactive – not even having to ask-  you remember that customer experience positively and it builds a tremendous amount of good will and loyalty.

Communication strategies that take advantage of cross-channel customer engagement to deliver a better overall customer experience and establish long-term, profitable relationships with consumers are essential. It is also crucial to move beyond reactive customer response to more proactive customer treatment to not only strengthen brand loyalty and retention, but to also lower the cost of customer service. Proactive customer care across multiple communications channels is quickly gaining recognition as a fundamental pillar of a quality customer experience.  The diagram below from a recent Aberdeen whitepaper shows the stages of the lifecycle and proactive programs to grow, acquire, serve and nurture your customers to loyalty success.

  Customer Lifecyle Diagram

Like the boo-boo care bear, when your customers come to expect and enjoy proactive customer care, they will come to rely on you and your communications.  It creates a strong relationship of trust and makes your customers feel special that you are paying attention to their preferences, reminding them of important appointments or notifying them if you are concerned about fraud on their account. Customers are being welcomed with unique messages that introduce them to their new service or product, and loyalty programs are going mobile and making it all that much easier to participate.

Learn more about customer experience with me at our upcoming webinar The Seven Golden Rules of Customer Experience with expert Bruce Temkin live on October 30th or anytime OnDemand.

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