This article originally apppeared in the Sept. issue of CUSTOMER magazine.
The rise of social media and the smartphone boom have put more control into the hands of consumers. That has shaken things up significantly at retailers and, indeed, at businesses of all stripes.
As a result, organizations have become acutely aware they need to be vigilant about keeping tabs on what’s being said on social media – and that they need to formulate strategies on how best to respond.
Businesses also are beginning to understand that it’s more important than ever to communicate with customers through the channels those individuals prefer. That has given rise to the multi-channel contact center. But, increasingly, it’s the mobile phone that consumers are using to access information from and interact with businesses. And that’s driving big changes in terms of customer expectations for service.
Virtual Hold Technology CEO Kevin Sjodin says that by 2016, more than 60 percent of inbound customer service calls will come from smartphones, laptops and devices other than landlines like gaming consoles, set-top boxes and store kiosks. Ovum (News - Alert) Research says 37 percent of inbound customer service calls in North America by 2016 will be made from smartphones.
Organizations also are awakening to the need to better understand their current and potential customers, so they can build customer loyalty, avoid churn, and provide more competitive and profitable offerings.
Social media and internal data are seen as two data sources that are ripe for the picking. However, "although 78 percent of customer intelligence professionals understand the value of social media data, far fewer are able to transform it into customer insight that drives better company strategy," says Kate Leggett, senior analyst at Forrester Research. IBM’s latest CIO survey report notes that most organizations are data rich but insight poor. And a recent Coveo (News - Alert) study reveals that 42 percent of respondents estimate their companies have visibility into less than a quarter of information across all interaction channels, including social streams, and that 65 percent do not combine social data with enterprise content or are not sure of whether their organizations combine this data in customer service and support operations.
So, while corporate management, call centers and marketing organizations are increasingly aware of all of the above-noted requirements, for the most part they are still grappling with how to get a handle on the best ways to target, engage, and deliver products and services to their customers – while at the same time delivering value to their own businesses and shareholders.
CUSTOMER magazine was created precisely to assist organizations to meet these challenges head on.
In each issue of TMC’s (News - Alert) CUSTOMER magazine, readers will find news and insight on the latest developments in agent training, analytics and big data, ERP, IVR and self service, multi-channel call center, social CRM and other social media solutions, marketing campaign creation, mobile apps, outbound marketing, workforce management, and more.
CUSTOMER magazine features Accolades, which highlights winners of TMC awards programs related to the customer experience; Angle, in which I will be sharing my views on the market; Click, through which we serve up small but important news bites; Experience, in which Group Editor Erik Linask conveys key takeaways from his customer experience company interviews; Perspective, in which TMC CEO and Editor in Chief Rich Tehrani (News - Alert) leverages his extensive knowledge of the industry to provide industry insight; and Success, which profiles great new innovations, companies and case studies in the customer experience space.
Target provides intelligence on tools and practices for gathering customer data and using it to capture, keep and grow ARPU of customers. That includes coverage on things like analytics, big data, outbound marketing, and social media listening tools.
Engage addresses customer-facing tools, technologies and processes. That tackles such topics as marketing campaign creation, multi-channel call center, mobile apps, social CRM, and social media.
Deliver talks about the internal tools and processes needed to deliver to customers the most appropriate experiences. That way, organizations involved in that delivery can get the best possible business results. The section offers insight on agent training, ERP, IVR and self-service,workforce management, and more.
Target. Engage. Deliver.
CUSTOMER magazine can show you how.
Edited by Brooke Neuman