Tuesday, November 28, 2006

New Customer Interaction Report

There is a new report out by cScape about the challenges of customer interaction management. Company respondents said that the five "greatest barriers” to delivering the best possible customer experience were: 1) Lack of resources / time (regarded as a “great barrier” by 66% of company respondents) 2) Disconnected systems & technologies (50%) 3) Lack of skills and training (38%) 4) Lack of finances (37%) 5) Lack of regular processes and / or suitable methodology (36%) Appetite for “Web 2.0 technologies”: - 42% are planning to apply user-generated content (UGC) to their websites in the next 12 months; 23% are using it already. - 35% are planning to use corporate blogs in the next 12 months; 17% are using them already. - 33% are planning to use podcasting in the next 12 months; 18% using it already. - 35% planning to use videocasting in the next 12 month; 17% using it already. Gap between aspirations and reality: - Almost two thirds of company respondents (64%) believe that joined-up online and offline experiences are essential for engaging with their audience, but 60% of companies are either not very advanced at mapping customer experiences and identifying touch-points (36%), or admit they have to start looking at this because they are not doing it all (24%). - Half of respondents (51%) believe that personalised experiences are essential for audience engagement, with a further 44% believing they are useful. But despite the perceived importance of personalisation, 37% of company respondents are not providing it at all. What I find interesting about this is that as always getting the basics right goes a long way to making an impact on the quality of your customer interaction. Do you capture all the relevant customer information "upfront" in the process? can you see all your customer data when serving the customer? did you close out the call at the first touch? etc. etc. If you are not the kind of company that gets this basic stuff right, you are (in my opinion) unlikely to get any of the 2.0 stuff right either.

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Monday, November 27, 2006

Hey, We Have Poor Weather, We're Going to be Late!

Pretty good example from Gartner group about how proactive communicating from a utility company increased customer satisfaction. Its in the section "Most Companies like to analyze data"...

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Social Networks as Service Support

Over at VentureBeat they report on a Health care network that operates as a social network, as opposed to just having bulletin boards. Some companies might not try this kind of thing because they don't want some customers telling other customers their bad experiences, or saying that a product or service hasn't lived up to that experience. In the modern world, this kind of information is going to get out there, especially for something as important as health care. What they miss, is the opportunity to listen, learn, and adapt. In an Irish context we have IrishHealth.com and it might be interesting to see how you can turn an active bulletin board into a true social network....

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Friday, November 24, 2006

Devices Phone Home?

There is a (now infamous) scene in the movie Office Space, where the boys take the office printer out for a little drive.... and beat the hell out it.... Who hasn't wanted to do this a printer, especially in the days when a printer just wouldn't tell you what was wrong with it. Well, they tried putting in all kinds of error messages so that we could fix it ourselves, but at the end of the day, we pretty much wanted to know when the nice man with the white shirt and shiny shoes was going to turn up and make it all better again. Of course, that was predicated on the guy actually knowing that something was wrong with the device in the first place. Patricia Seybold makes a good point about making products ready for phone interaction. If you think about it, there is no reason why messages from devices cannot be processed into a series of interaction rules that you specify. A simple paging or sms alert to the appropriate sales person might get you there to some degree. But for really tight service, wouldn't you want field service to get a call, accept the "gig to fix it", book an appointment, etc. etc. all in an entirely traceable way?

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Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Well, even for Google, Innovation isn't easy

Techcrunch reports that Google may have pulled click2call functionality from its mapping site. Everyone agrees that there is huge value in the general capability, but innovations once released into the wild will be used by customers in ways you did not expect.

That's one reason why at VoiceSage we develop in iterations, and nearly always in concert with the real and expressed feedback from our users and customers. To do this effectively you need "flexibility" in the underlying platform. The question it should raise for people looking to adopt and deploy services is "does this this service provider look like they will evolve with my requirements".

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Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Skype 3.0

A great article from Telepocalypse, Martin Geddes on why Skype 3.0 might be interesting from the corporate point of view. For me, one of the interesting things is that if "you and I" are on a skype call, and you ask me to fill in a form, we could do that through a Skype-add-on. We could then pay using PayPal, and complete our transaction. In theory, if I had various "presence" options on my skype, and permissions attached to my contact list, I could "allow my contacts" to complete various forms, and transactions, based on those permissions.

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Friday, November 17, 2006

Social Sharing

Cool new site eerFeeder lets gives you information relating to bands and music you listen to. A bit of an information gatekeeper tool, but great use of "RSS Type Technology".

Get your twitter mosaic here.