This past weekend, I caught up on Mary Meeker’s latest Internet Trends report for 2017. As always, it was jam-packed with incredible data and insights, and this year it ballooned to 353 pages worth of them.There’s a ton of topics in the report that are important to marketing — voice-based platforms, convergence of advertising and commerce, gaming-inspired innovation, the reinvention of media, and the spectacular Internet explosions in China and India — but I want to highlight some data from her analysis of “the cloud” and its accelerating change across enterprises.
I’m pleased to announce that we have just published The Forrester Wave™: Real-Time Interaction Management, Q2 2017.
This evaluation includes 12 vendors that address RTIM, which Forrester defines as: enterprise marketing technology that delivers contextually relevant experiences, value, and utility at the appropriate moment in the customer life cycle via preferred customer touchpoints.
Vendor capabilities have evolved since we published our first RTIM evaluation in 2015, and the new report recognizes 5 leaders – SAS, Pegasystems, Teradata, Adobe, and IBM – all with unique technology approaches to address RTIM requirements. Salesforce, FICO, Pitney Bowes, Infor, and Emarsys are strong performers. And, Rocket Fuel and IgnitionOne are contenders, representing emergent RTIM capabilities for advertising use cases.
The continued convergence of martech and adtech will further drive use cases for both anonymous and authenticated customers as the RTIM space evolves.Not only are we seeing vendors apply RTIM to advertising and customer acquisition strategies, but we are seeing deeper integrations with sales, service, and operational environments to better address up-sell, cross-sell, retention, and loyalty requirements. We are further seeing customer-initiated interaction volumes increase dramatically as brands strive to personalize content and offers across an ever-expanding range of channels and touchpoints.
Growing numbers of companies are coming to recognize the benefits of customer-centric strategies: higher revenues, lower costs, and stronger employee and customer loyalty. In the effort to transform customer journeys and refine direct interactions with clients, however, many companies overlook the need to engage the whole organization, including its support functions, in a customer-centric transformation.
Turning the support functions (such as information technology, finance, human resources, purchasing, and real estate) into excellent customer-service operations is a powerful lever to sustain and expand a full customer-centric transformation. It helps to create a new service culture that deepens customer-centric efforts in all layers of the organization. It promotes a longer-term impact and the full engagement of the staff by applying the principles of customer excellence to employees’ journeys. At leading customer-centric companies, such as Disney, creating great customer experiences begins with a common vision and requires an engaged and energized workforce that can translate individual experiences into satisfying end-to-end customer journeys.
The logic of extending that commitment inside, to support staff, is powerful.
In our experience, successful large organizations think more and more about end-to-end transformations that focus on internal customers—their employees—as well as external ones, to gain a durable competitive edge.
Not that this is easy to do.
Such efforts can take two or three years to execute fully for all internal customer journeys. And rather than being a kind of employee-satisfaction exercise, typically conducted by the HR department, an effort to bring support staff into a true culture of customer service requires clear and ambitious objectives, earmarked resources, and involved sponsorship from C-suite leaders.
The good news is that these efforts can run in parallel with externally facing customer-experience programs, each complementing and reinforcing the other. This exercise delivers results. In our experience, redesigning customer journeys raises customer-satisfaction scores by 15 to 20 points, reduces costs to serve by 15 to 20 percent, and boosts employee engagement by 20 percent.
This article focuses on assessing the benefits of engaging support functions in customer-centric transformations and defines the methodology and principles for leading such programs successfully.Why transforming internal services matters
Bots hit the scene so quickly in 2016 that many people have started to wonder if they’re just a temporary fad that will give way to a new technology this year or next.
What these people fail to realize is that bots never mattered. T
hey didn’t matter when Microsoft announced its Bot Framework; they didn’t matter when Facebook announced its bot platform. They still don’t matter today.
Bots are merely the interface — often just an experience delivered within an existing messaging platform. In this sense, the bot matters about as much as the cardboard box that Amazon uses to ship your items.The intelligence behind those bots, however, matters a great deal.
Customer journey mapping could hold the key to analysing and improving the customer experience. Only recently, a report from the Cabinet Office recommended CJM for authorities to provide a more efficient and cost-effective service. Arne van Oosterom outlines how it can help organisations – and lists the 10 key ingredients to a customer journey map.
A product or service is merely a means to an end. The real deeper value lies in the story attached