How the Economy Will Impact the 2015 Holiday Shopping Season

Will the recent volatility in the stock market and the unpredictable state of the U.S. economy mean a subpar holiday shopping season for retailers this year? Spoiler alert: Most likely not. While the global economy as a whole is on a rocky path, U.S. consumers are emerging as a pillar of stability even while other sectors show signs of softness....Read More >>>



CRM, Sales Acceleration & All That Kind of Thing
Is CRM done for or is it a multibillion-dollar business that continues to grow and expand? It depends upon with whom you're talking to. - 12/29/2015

Cover Story

How the Economy Will Impact the 2015 Holiday Shopping Season
Will the recent volatility in the stock market and the unpredictable state of the U.S. economy mean a subpar holiday shopping season for retailers this year? Spoiler alert: Most likely not. While the global economy as a whole is on a rocky path, U.S. consumers are emerging as a pillar of stability even while other sectors show signs of softness. - 12/29/2015


Where Call Center Outsourcing Is, and Where It's Heading
The call center outsourcing industry is rapidly changing. Technology and locations are always evolving, which means that it can be hard to keep up with the right information. This interview with Corey Kotlarz, president of Outsource Consultants, explains some of the latest trends in call center technologies, the current most popular locations for outsourcing, and where the call center outsourcing hot spots will be in the near future. - 12/29/2015


How to Maximize the ROI of Video in Digital Marketing
The use of video both as a marketing and entertainment tool has been rapidly increasing over the last few years. With the rise of YouTube stars, Vine celebrities, and Instagram video, it's clear that consumers are craving more and more interactive content. Even the sometimes slow-moving Facebook is making strides to become more of a video platform. As consumer engagement with video and rich media increases, brands are seeing an opportunity to jump on the trend and showcase their brand story, products, and personas in an entirely new way. - 12/29/2015


Have a Cookie
Verizon's acquisition of AOL has yielded a blending of its mobile and online analytics capability to the point where it has enabled cookies for advertising customers on both platforms. Some people are calling it a Zombie Cookie because it stays aware of your activities at all times. Others have referred to it as a Super Cookie. Let's see where we end up. - 12/29/2015


Putting Together the Pieces of Personalization
With more than 2.8 billion Internet and 5.3 billion mobile users across the globe, effectively engaging with customers on a personal level is a huge challenge for businesses of all kinds. With hundreds of marketing messages all vying for attention from the same audience, marketing executives are constantly asking themselves how to create meaningful relationships in an increasingly dynamic digital community. - 12/29/2015


Personalization Via CRM: The Right Prescription for Pharma's Move to More Individualized Treatments
Since the mapping of the human genome more than a decade ago, pharmaceutical companies have been working on innovative ways to apply genomics to drug development. A classic example of success is the blood thinner Warfarin. Patients vary widely in their required Warfarin dose, and in the past this meant that initial doses for some patients were too high or too low, which led to negative sideeffects. However, by reading individual genetic markers, physicians can now accurately determine the best starting dose for each patient, potentially saving lives. - 12/29/2015

Connecting with a Digital Strategy
Connecting the dots from the idea of adding digital engagement channels to the reality of delivering a true omnichannel experience can be complicated. But by closely examining customer needs, business impacts and priorities, the value of existing platforms, and an intuitive backend solution, a business can map out a simple path to a successful implementation. - 12/17/2015


CUSTOMER, TMC Reveal 2015 CUSTOMER Experience Excellence Award Winners
Customer experience remained in the spotlight in 2015, and a bevy of solutions suppliers on this front advanced and expanded their solutions in this realm. Here's a sampling of some of the best and brightest, which CUSTOMER magazine and its parent company TMC have recognized with 2015 CUSTOMER Experience Excellence Awards. - 12/14/2015


Survival of the Fittest: How to Help Your Apps Survive in the Wild
In many ways, when companies release customer-facing applications it's like releasing a gazelle bred in captivity into the wild Serengeti. You prepare the animal as best you can and eventually take a leap of faith and let it go - and hopefully it isn't immediately devoured by lions. However, even if it is, as long as you have the right data and insights at least you can learn valuable lessons and better prepare the next one to survive. - 12/14/2015


Mexia Helps More Efficiently Engage with and Direct People and Resources
Large numbers of people pass through airports and malls around the world each day, and the organizations that manage and exist within these locations want to know where these individuals are when - both to allow for better flow-through and to create new revenue-generation possibilities. Mexia Interactive is helping make that happen via its sensors and location analytics services. - 12/14/2015


Call Recording
Advances in technology are making it possible to more easily capture and leverage voice interactions to meet regulatory requirements, and to get a better understanding of our employees, our customers, and our businesses. - 12/14/2015


How to Finance a Call Center
Financing a call center in growth mode is a tricky business. That's because when your call center is growing, you focus on all aspects of the business: making payroll, building out space, investing in people and new technologies, and training staff. There's a lot going on, all at the same time, and all of these efforts have costs associated with them. - 12/14/2015


Three Marketing Benefits of Centralized Customer Data & Hybrid Email Marketing
How much insight do you have into the entire customer journey, from first touch to ongoing communication with loyal customers? Today's consumers expect personalized, relevant, and immediate messaging, which means that marketers need direct access to the freshest data from all touch points to create seamless integration. However, silos of customer data stored by various solutions have made it difficult for marketers to have a unified view of their customers. - 12/14/2015

CEO Spotlight

ZOOM's Vostry: Attitude Is Everything
Simon Vostry, the founder and CEO of ZOOM International, is a man who never gives up. He got his hands on his first computer as a kid and has been working diligently in software ever since. In the interview that follows, Vostry talks about his formative years, his approach to management, why he doesn't like the term workforce optimization, how ZOOM provides customers with actionable insight, and his thoughts on what's next for the company and the customer experience space at large. - 12/14/2015


How to Implement a Digital Strategy
It's been said that we're in the age of the customer - what Forrester Research defines as a 20-year business cycle in which the most successful enterprises will reinvent themselves to systematically understand and serve increasingly powerful customers. According to that same report, companies recognize this, with 92 percent of those surveyed citing customer experience as a top strategic priority. We can see from the evolution of how business is completed that the need to improve the customer experience is driving investment in contextualization, real-time actionable data and an omnichannel experience. - 12/14/2015

Editorial Series

Gamification Can Help Employees Find New Meaning in Work And Can Drive Productivity in the Process
Finding meaning in life and interacting with others are two keys to a happy and healthy existence both at home and at work. This is a message best-selling author and speaker Shawn Achor communicated in a recent HBO State of Play program. It would also seem to apply to the use of gamification to better engage employees and, in the process, improve workplace productivity. - 12/14/2015

Strategic Solution Series

How to Achieve Fewer Assisted Contacts and Improve Customer Satisfaction
CUSTOMER magazine recently spoke with Mark Miller, contact center practice leader for J.D. Power, a leading market research company. We asked Mark to offer guidance to executives who are challenged to deliver both high customer satisfaction and high containment rates. - 12/14/2015

Cover Story

Why You Can't Automate Customer Experience
It's also just as easy to pick up the phone, call someone and have a conversation to let them know you care and are invested in the relationship. By doing so, you're creating a customer experience that's unique, less automated, and more impactful. Automation can make individual interactions more efficient, but only human-to-human interactions strengthen the ongoing customer relationship. - 12/14/2015