tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:/topics/online-customer-service Latest Online customer service content from Econsultancy 2016-12-09T01:00:00+00:00 tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68617 2016-12-09T01:00:00+00:00 2016-12-09T01:00:00+00:00 Three factors driving the future of customer engagement Jeff Rajeck <p>This seems counterintuitive. First off, marketers are frequently asked to do 'more with less' and keep headcount growth to a minimum.  </p> <p>Also, technology is emerging which could automate a large part of what these contact centres do. Online chat on websites and <a href="https://developers.facebook.com/products/messenger/">bot interfaces for messaging apps</a> could be used to answer most customer queries using artificial intelligence.</p> <p>So, why are customer engagement centres set to grow by so much? Why are they not feeling the same pressures to reduce size and headcount as other areas of marketing? And will 'thinking' marketing systems, or cognitive marketing, ever replace humans for ongoing customer engagement?</p> <p>To find out, Econsultancy recently hosted a roundtable workshop with <a href="https://www.ibm.com/watson/marketing/">IBM Watson Marketing</a> in Mumbai, India. Senior client-side marketers from a wide variety of industries were invited and discussed contact centres and cognitive marketing.</p> <p>Here are three factors delegates said were critical to the future of customer engagement.</p> <h3>1. Privacy concerns</h3> <p>Today, marketers understand their customers by analysing their online behavior. They look at what their customers click on, what they do on the brand website, and what they buy. </p> <p>According to <a href="http://globaldatinginsights.com/2015/10/29/29102015-americans-are-concerned-about-online-privacy-in-post-snowdon-world/">recent research by Pew Research Centre</a>, consumers appear to be quite comfortable with marketers using this data. The study found that <strong>only 8% of consumers surveyed considered purchasing habits as 'very sensitive' data.</strong></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2215/pew.png" alt="" width="640" height="539"></p> <p>To gather the data necessary to automate contact centres, however, companies will have to start analysing much more customer engagement data. They will need to digitally capture emails, texts, and phone calls to train the customer service algorithms.</p> <p>Looking back at the study, we see that these data sources are considered 'very sensitive' by far higher percentage of consumers.  </p> <p>Because of this greater sensitivity, brands are holding off on using this data now. Participants felt that their companies do not want to have pushback from their customers when asking permission to use email and voice data to train an automated contact centre system. </p> <p>Participants noted that<strong> these sensitivities may change</strong>, but for now privacy concerns are one reason why brands have been slow to automate their contact centres and use more customer data for cognitive marketing.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2218/1__Custom_.jpg" alt="" width="800" height="533"></p> <h3>2. Technology issues</h3> <p>Another barrier to adopting automation for customer engagement is the fact that <strong>many attendees felt that the technology is not yet ready.</strong></p> <p>There was concern among attendees that customer engagement data 'has not proved itself to be statistically correct'. Using the combination of incorrect data and automated customer service could potentially cause a major mistake and harm the brand, they asserted.</p> <p>Instead, participants felt that <strong>companies will move toward automation incrementally.</strong> That is, they will instead use new technology to change customer engagement programmes piece by piece and avoid trying to automate customer service all at one time.</p> <p>For example, brands which have a lot of social media inquiries may start by delivering automated responses on social platforms. These could tell customers when, exactly, they will get a more comprehensive, manual response from a customer service agent. </p> <p>Watch this short clip where Sriman Kota from IBM Commerce explains more about how marketers will be using new technology such as <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68612-how-the-internet-of-things-will-fundamentally-change-marketing/">the internet of things (IoT)</a>, image processing, and natural language to enhance their customer engagement.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/Wu560xykOu0?wmode=transparent" width="640" height="360"></iframe></p> <h3>3. Unanswered questions</h3> <p>Finally, attendees pointed out that<strong> there are big questions about customer engagement for which companies do yet have good answers.</strong></p> <p>These include: </p> <ul> <li>Is it possible for us to sort our customers' questions and issues into well-defined categories?</li> <li>Do we understand our customers' problems well enough to respond to them automatically?</li> <li>Can we predict that future prospects will have the same questions and same issues? </li> </ul> <p>When marketers can answer 'yes' to these questions, then customer engagement automation will happen very quickly, participants argued. While there is still some uncertainty about what customers need, however, then companies will struggle to automate customer engagement, even if technology issues and privacy concerns are overcome.</p> <p>To move more towards automation, therefore, <strong>brands should focus on understanding their customers better by methodically tracking customer questions and other issues which they face.</strong></p> <p>Attendees were unsure about exactly when customer engagement automation will happen, but some felt that it is imminent.  A recent report by Gartner backs up this notion, <a href="https://www.gartner.com/imagesrv/summits/docs/na/customer-360/C360_2011_brochure_FINAL.pdf">indicating that</a> by 2020 85% of customer interactions with brands will not involve a human being on the other side. </p> <p>Marketers, it seems, have a lot of work to do to make cognitive marketing a reality.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2219/2__Custom_.jpg" alt="" width="800" height="533"></p> <h3>A word of thanks</h3> <p>Econsultancy would like to thank all the marketers who participated on the day, subject matter expert Antonia Edmunds (Business Leader of <a href="https://www.ibm.com/watson/marketing/">IBM Watson Marketing</a> in Asia Pacific), and our keynote speaker Sriman Kota (Cognitive Engagement Executive in Asia Pacific for IBM Commerce).</p> <p>We hope to see you all at future Mumbai Econsultancy events!</p> <p> <img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2220/4__Custom_.jpg" alt="" width="800" height="533"></p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68546 2016-11-21T13:45:00+00:00 2016-11-21T13:45:00+00:00 Social media customer service: Six important talking points David Moth <p>However the event was hugely over-subscribed and attendees all had a lot to say on the subject, suggesting that social customer service remains a hot topic for marketers.</p> <p>While all our roundtables operate under the Chatham House rule, meaning we don’t reveal who said what, I am able to give a broad overview of the topics we covered.</p> <p>Equally I can say that attendees were all senior marketers from a range of sectors including travel, financial services, non-profits, B2B and FMCG.</p> <p>I’ll get to the talking points after looking at some interesting stats on social customer service:</p> <ul> <li>The <a href="http://www.conversocial.com/blog/infographic-the-state-of-social-customer-service">biggest challenges inherent in customer expectations</a> of social service are: customers expecting social teams to be integrated with other channels (43%), customers expecting a response in under 30 minutes (27%) and customers expecting ‘first contact’ resolution from the social team (30%).</li> <li>Research conducted by Esteban Kolsky, CEO of ThinkJar, shows that <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/vala-afshar/50-important-customer-exp_b_8295772.html">55% of requests</a> for customer service on social are unacknowledged or unanswered.</li> <li>Around 70% of social customer service enquiries occur because traditional service has failed to resolve the issue.</li> </ul> <p>And now for those talking points (but don't forget to also check out our <a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/social-media-customer-service/" target="_blank">Social Customer Service Training Course</a>).</p> <h3>CRM</h3> <p>To truly optimise <a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/creating-superior-customer-experiences/">the customer experience</a>, businesses have to plug social data into their CRM. But there are numerous tech and budgetary barriers that prevent that from happening.</p> <p>As a result, when people begin a conversation with a brand on social the customer service agent is often unaware of any previous interactions between that person and the company.</p> <p>This means that the customer has to repeat themselves when explaining the problem or complaint, which can exacerbate the issue.</p> <p>It also prevents the company from having <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65425-what-is-the-single-customer-view-and-why-do-you-need-it/">a single view of their customers</a>, meaning more advanced personalisation and automation techniques will never be an achievable goal.</p> <p>On the flipside, some delegates said that customers often want to remain anonymous on social media, so it’s not necessarily a good idea to immediately reveal that you know exactly who they are.</p> <p>Brands risk coming across as creepy if they match up an email complaint with a social media profile without first being prompted by the customer.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1674/crm.png" alt="crm" width="280"></p> <h3>Response times and other KPIs</h3> <p>The previous point on prioritisation ties nicely into another hot topic – response times.</p> <p>There was a consensus of opinion that brands need to challenge their customer service teams to respond quickly to social media queries, though exact targets ranged from 15 minutes up to an hour.</p> <p>One delegate said their business had seen an improvement in <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/10860-porsche-s-battle-to-improve-customer-service-and-the-net-promoter-score/">its Net Promoter Score</a> after achieving a 15-minute response time, so there are tangible benefits to responding quickly.</p> <p>Another important way of tracking performance is looking at the time to resolution, which just means the length of time it took to solve the customer’s query.</p> <p>There’s no point being quick to respond if you don’t then follow through on the promise.</p> <h3>‘Can you DM us, please?’</h3> <p>Brands that deal with confidential customer information often have to invite the customer to a private messaging channel to abide by data protection laws.</p> <p>This has three negative outcomes:</p> <ul> <li>It annoys the customer by forcing them to switch channels.</li> <li>The brand looks like it’s constantly trying to bury bad news by refusing to deal with complaints in public.</li> <li>Positive outcomes don’t get shared on social.</li> </ul> <p>While data protection means the first two outcomes are largely unavoidable, one delegate had had some success in mitigating the third issue.</p> <p>The company had been trialling a system whereby social media queries would be routed to <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/64255-why-do-online-retailers-need-live-chat/">a live chat function</a>, but once the issue was resolved the customer would be automatically bounced back to the social media platform.</p> <p>This meant that the customer might be encouraged to share their positive experience with their followers.</p> <p>While the test had only been running for a short period, early results were positive.</p> <h3>Bots!</h3> <p style="font-weight: normal;">Bots have been big news recently, with some major brands creating bots in messenger apps to deal with basic customer service queries or product orders.</p> <p style="font-weight: normal;">We’ve previously written about <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67894-what-are-chatbots-and-why-should-marketers-care/">how brands are using chatbots</a>, with <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68388-how-klm-uses-bots-and-ai-in-human-social-customer-service/">KLM’s use of AI in social customer service</a> being particularly noteworthy.</p> <p style="font-weight: normal;"><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/PGLASey3MAE?wmode=transparent" width="640" height="360"></iframe></p> <p style="font-weight: normal;">While none of the delegates had yet branched out into using bots, there was an acknowledgement that this is where the future likely lies.</p> <p style="font-weight: normal;">That said, delegates felt there would always be a need for human customer service agents alongside the bots.</p> <h3>How to prioritise queries?</h3> <p style="font-weight: normal;">This is an issue that’s obviously more important for businesses that receive a high number of queries.</p> <p style="font-weight: normal;">People who ask a question via social tend to want a speedy answer, but those who have a serious complaint (or have loads of followers) need to be bumped to the front of the queue.</p> <p style="font-weight: normal;">Each business will have their own criteria for which queries need to be prioritised, and opinions were split over which tool was best for the job.</p> <p style="font-weight: normal;">One delegate spoke highly of Clarabridge’s ticketing system, though others were less positive.</p> <p style="font-weight: normal;">Overall there was little consensus over which tool was most effective, and again it will come down the business’s requirements and budget.</p> <h3>Who should social sit with?</h3> <p style="font-weight: normal;">Delegates were keen to discuss who dealt with social customer service in other companies, and it quickly became clear there is no one-size-fits-all approach.</p> <p style="font-weight: normal;">Logically one would assume it sits with the customer service team, however it is often left up to digital, marketing or even editorial teams to answer queries that come in via social.</p> <p style="font-weight: normal;">This can mean that customer service queries have to be passed on to a different team for resolution, which increases the workload and can lead to delays in resolving problems.</p> <p style="font-weight: normal;">One delegate said they felt that social customer service was inherently different to traditional customer service as users have different expectations.</p> <p style="font-weight: normal;">As such, it requires digital skills that some traditional customer service teams do not possess (yet).</p> <p style="font-weight: normal;">Another delegate said their company had a distributed model of customer service, where different teams are empowered to do their own customer service. The digital team is then in charge of training and quality control.</p> <p style="font-weight: normal;">Ultimately it depends on the type of queries the company receives as well as the quantity. If a company receives a handful of queries per day via social then they can likely be dealt with by the marketing or digital team. </p> <p style="font-weight: normal;">However in cases where companies receive hundreds or even thousands of queries per day, then there needs to be a dedicated team with robust processes in place.</p> <p><em>For more on this topic, read our post on <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68481-seven-guiding-principles-for-implementing-social-customer-service/">seven guiding principles for implementing social customer service</a>.</em></p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68500 2016-11-08T14:39:57+00:00 2016-11-08T14:39:57+00:00 Will the Tesco Bank attack dent trust in startup banks? Patricio Robles <p>Like many banking upstarts, Tesco Bank is competing on experience, a largely digital focus and rates. Unlike most upstarts, it has the power of a huge non-banking brand behind it.</p> <p>While Tesco Bank is far from a banking behemoth, it has managed to build a profitable business with its customer base exceeding 7m.</p> <p>But now, all of its gains are threatened by "a systematic, sophisticated attack" that affected 40,000 of the banks 136,000 current accounts and led to money being taken from more than 20,000 of them.</p> <p>The Evening Standard called it "the most serious hack on the UK banking sector in recent history." </p> <p>In response, Tesco Bank has blocked online debit card payments and says that it will reimburse any losses from the apparent hack. "Customers are not at financial risk," Higgins has reassured customers.</p> <h3>A game-changer</h3> <p>While cybercrime targeting financial accounts has become commonplace, the Tesco Bank attack is noteworthy for a couple of reasons.</p> <p>First, while Tesco Bank is pointing out that relatively small amounts of money were taken from most accounts, the means by which a large number of accounts were apparently compromised is concerning. As the BBC <a href="http://www.bbc.com/news/business-37891742">explained</a>...</p> <blockquote> <p>...what is different is that it involves tens of thousands falling victim in a 24-hour period to what appears to be an automated process, rather than individuals clicking on links in phishing emails or having their details stolen after downloading malicious software.</p> <p>That could involve the attackers exploiting a vulnerability in the bank's website - or even gaining physical access to a branch and then the central systems.</p> </blockquote> <p>Second, customers are not happy with Tesco Bank's response. Affected customers reported difficulties in reaching customer service, and some who were able to reach customer service agents were apparently told that they would have to wait days for a resolution. </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr"><a href="https://twitter.com/tescobankhelp">@tescobankhelp</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/TescoBankNews">@tescobanknews</a> My available balance has gone down by £700 without making a tx. I cannot get through by phone!!!</p> — Christopher Mills (@chrismi1) <a href="https://twitter.com/chrismi1/status/795222803628883968">November 6, 2016</a> </blockquote> <p>Even though branchless banks like Tesco Bank pride themselves on the 24/7 access they provide customers via phone, web and mobile apps, this incident highlights the fact that otherwise sufficient support networks might not be adequate when crisis strikes.</p> <h3>A possible setback for upstart banks, but what about fintech?</h3> <p>Already, observers <a href="https://www.ft.com/content/5e5e6778-a4d1-11e6-8b69-02899e8bd9d1">like The Financial Times's Claer Barrett</a> are questioning whether the Tesco Bank attack will bolster trust in high street banks at the expense of startups.</p> <p>While she points out that major high street banks are also vulnerable to security breaches, and big banks are <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68334-wells-fargo-scandal-shows-why-banks-are-vulnerable-to-fintech-startups">not immune to reputation-threatening scandals of their own</a>, this incident could create a perception problem for the Tesco Banks of the world.</p> <p>Given that <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68240-78-of-mobile-banking-customers-are-satisfied-with-the-service-stats/">78% of mobile banking customers are satisfied with the service</a>, if big banks can convince consumers that they're more secure, or let the failures of their startup competitors do that for them, it could make it much more difficult for Tesco Bank and others to lure consumers with promises of better experiences, lower fees and/or higher rates.</p> <p>Whether the Tesco Bank attack has an impact beyond the banking sector remains to be seen. Some <a href="https://www.bloomberg.com/gadfly/articles/2016-11-07/tesco-bank-hack-will-be-warning-to-fintech-s-upstarts">suggest that</a> "the fallout will be felt across the wider fintech industry," but while security is an issue for all financial service providers, there's arguably less risk in other sectors that have been targeted by fintech startups.</p> <p>For example, fintech players focused exclusively on markets like lending face very different risks, and few markets are arguably as sensitive to security as banking.</p> <p>So while it's possible that the Tesco Bank incident will cause consumers to think twice about doing business with a young fintech company, the effects will probably remain most pronounced in the market for bank challengers.</p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68481 2016-11-07T14:09:00+00:00 2016-11-07T14:09:00+00:00 Seven guiding principles for implementing social customer service Kit Smith <p>Consumers are using social for customer service, even where brands are choosing not to engage.</p> <p>In fact, social media interaction has been greeted with trepidation by the majority of brands, with <a href="http://www.conversocial.com/blog/infographic-the-state-of-social-customer-service#.VQxGAWSsXuY">only 26% of staff taking social seriously</a> as a customer service tool.</p> <p>In trying to work out why this is, think about one of the last fundamental shifts in communication brought about by technology: when the telephone became ubiquitous, brands were terrified what would happen when they allowed customers to actually speak to their business. </p> <p>How would companies continue to control the messaging of their brand when thousands of conversations were happening between consumers and junior staff members every day? </p> <p>Generally, the answer came in the form of heavy moderation. Teaching call center staff rigid scripts that could guide them through a variety of common questions seemed to provide the answer. </p> <p>Except, as consumers, we know that it sucked. The experience of waiting on hold, navigating menu systems, and talking to a robot-like representative who stuck to a script was frustrating enough to make anyone give up on the idea of good customer service altogether. </p> <p>The concerns that existed when phones were introduced are being played out again with social media, only this time the stakes are higher. An audience is actively listening, from the other side of a keyboard, tablet or mobile.</p> <p>Despite the risks, social media customer service is an opportunity that should be embraced. Done well, brands can turn a threat into an opportunity. </p> <h3>Why you should embrace social customer care </h3> <h4>It’s cheaper</h4> <p>Forbes reports that social media customer service <a href="http://www.forbes.com/sites/mckinsey/2015/07/01/social-care-in-the-world-of-now/#41ea4fa72f25">costs around $1 per interaction</a>, up to six times cheaper than phone support. </p> <p>Good social customer care can go beyond providing the same service for less money. Opportunities can come from customers directly asking for advice or recommendations. With social intelligence tools, brands can surface conversations and questions that are not aimed directly at them. </p> <p><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68388-how-klm-uses-bots-and-ai-in-human-social-customer-service/">KLM, market leaders in social customer care</a>, has 150 social media customer service agents, and generates $250m annual revenue by managing new client bookings via social media. </p> <p>As KLM’s social media manager Gert-Wim ter Haar told Venturebeat: “Social is more and more becoming a profit center. It’s first about service, then brand and reputation, but also about commerce…we have to make money.” </p> <h4>It’s happening anyway</h4> <p>According to <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/media-network/2015/may/21/customer-complaints-social-media-rise">research conducted by the Institute of Customer Service</a>, between January 2014 and May 2015 there was an eightfold increase in customer complaints made on social media. </p> <p>The report states that customer motivation for using social includes convenience, cost, and the desire to make the conversation public. Those brands not embracing the shift not only alienate their customers, but risk damaging their reputation with prospects. </p> <h4>Customers expect it</h4> <p><a href="http://www.convinceandconvert.com/social-media-research/42-percent-of-consumers-complaining-in-social-media-expect-60-minute-response-time/">One survey</a> asked consumers who have attempted to contact a brand’s customer support channel through social media how long they expect to wait for a response.  </p> <p>32% said within 30 minutes. A further 10% expect a response within 60 minutes. The expectation doesn’t stop there: 57% of respondents expect the same service at night or on the weekend.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1036/brand_response_times.jpg" alt="" width="896" height="700"></p> <p><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/63867-consumers-prefer-live-chat-for-customer-service-stats/">Evidence suggests</a> that customer care over live chat drives the highest satisfaction rates, which also attests to this point.</p> <p>If live chat is not possible, well-resourced social teams that can respond quickly can still provide a satisfying encounter.</p> <h4>Not responding can be dangerous</h4> <p><a href="http://www.gartner.com/newsroom/id/2101515">Gartner reports</a> that the dissatisfaction stemming from failure to respond can lead to a 15% churn rate for existing customers. </p> <p>The ripple effect of social media is well documented. Angering current customers can also give a negative impression to prospects who are yet to have a first-hand experience with the brand. </p> <h4>Customers become happier</h4> <p><a href="http://www.mckinseyonmarketingandsales.com/sites/default/files/pdf/Higher-satisfaction-at-lower-costs.pdf">McKinsey reports</a> that the move to social can instigate a ‘paradigm shift in customer satisfaction’, and cites a mobile operator that reduced call center volume by 20% in eight months, while lowering costs and increasing its Net Promoter Score. </p> <p>Twitter also reports that companies using the platform for customer service <a href="https://twitter.com/jack/status/705423142970327040">see a 19% lift</a> in customer satisfaction.</p> <p>It’s not hard to understand why: connecting with customers where they already are in a quick, convenient, and human way greatly improves the customer experience. </p> <h3>Implementing social customer service </h3> <p>So how should brands implement social customer service? The threat of a rogue tweet can understandably make stakeholders nervous, but by considering a few key points first, existing teams should be able to transition without too much risk. </p> <p>Early adopters and consumer surveys have highlighted seven key areas that brands should keep in mind when developing their roadmap. </p> <h4>1. Respond quickly </h4> <p>According to an <a href="https://soulofbrands.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/nm-incite-report-the-state-of-social-customer-service-2012.pdf">NM Incite survey</a>, 33% of respondents would recommend a brand that offered a quick but ineffective response.</p> <p>That was nearly double the number who would recommend a brand that offered a slow but effective solution. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1035/brand_recommend.png" alt="" width="893" height="537"></p> <p>KLM understands the importance of this. The header image on its Twitter customer care channel is updated every five minutes with the expected wait time for a representative to answer a complaint.</p> <p>This avoids having customers getting increasingly frustrated while waiting, and adds some transparency to the process. </p> <h4>2. Empower your employees</h4> <p>We may be moving away from scripted telephone conversations, but guidelines are still needed to assist staff.</p> <p>Having well trained, empowered employees that don’t have to stick to a rigid script will allow them to better serve the customer while sounding authentic and staying true to your brand. </p> <p>Brands need to invest in the knowledge of staff, ensuring employees are taught to think for themselves through the lens of the overarching customer strategy. That said, simple problem-solving frameworks should be used to assist staff. </p> <p>The correct tools need to be in place, including streamlined relationship management systems containing customer histories, and social listening and engagement tools to ensure nothing slips through the cracks. </p> <h4>3. Humanize your brand</h4> <p>The age of the customer has increased conversations with brands. The days of broadcasting on mass-media to consumers that had little way of joining the conversation are long behind us. </p> <p>It’s also important to note that through a customer service representative is often one of the few times a customer speaks directly to the brand. This interaction therefore takes on more significance for the customer, as the individual they speak to <em>is</em> the brand in their eyes. </p> <p>Great customer care should be human, personal and empathetic. Many brands are embracing this by having agents append their messages with their name or initials.</p> <p>This small touch is one aspect of a wider shift, with human responses becoming increasingly common – and necessary. </p> <h4>4. Align activity with your audience</h4> <p>Increase efficiency and customer satisfaction by aligning staff hours with customer activity - be approachable, accessible and talk to them when they want to be talked to.</p> <p>An analysis of brand and audience activity in a social intelligence platform can reveal this, both for hours of the day and days of the week. </p> <p>Not having enough staff when your audience are most active will lead to long wait times. Conversely, having too many staff during quieter periods is a waste of resources. </p> <h4>5. Go above and beyond </h4> <p>Going beyond what is expected can create brand advocates and provide some fantastic PR. A humanized brand with empowered employees is able to deliver customer service on a level unexpected by consumers. </p> <p>The examples often cited will have been seen by many: Morton’s Steakhouse delivering a porterhouse steak, Lego replacing a child’s lost toy, or Trader Joe’s delivering to an elderly man in bad weather. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1037/Mortons.jpg" alt="" width="731" height="451"></p> <p>These stories are known because they go far beyond what is expected and spread through social and traditional media, becoming huge PR wins in the process.  </p> <p>However, going beyond what is expected does not have to be as extreme as those examples. Small things matter. Listen, engage, deliver, delight. </p> <h4>6. Use the right channel </h4> <p>The right channel is whichever channel the customer chooses. Sometimes conversations will have to be taken offline or private, but this should only be done where necessary. </p> <p>For one thing, it can look to observers that you are trying to hide negative interactions, but also it is a further inconvenience to your customer, who chances are has already had a negative experience. </p> <h4>7. Be on the lookout</h4> <p>All brands with social customer care teams will be monitoring their own channels, but opportunities exist (and are missed) to engage beyond this. <a href="https://www.brandwatch.com/2015/09/marketing-dark-matter-social-media-and-the-number-96/">Brandwatch research shows</a> that dependent on the industry, up to 96% of brand conversations can happen outside brand-owned channels. </p> <p>Misspellings and untagged mentions will go unanswered without a tool to notify you about them, and while complaints will tend to be directed at the brand, someone having a moan might not. Where appropriate, brands can rectify otherwise missed opportunities.</p> <p>Brands can go beyond putting out fires and listen for opportunities too. While only <a href="https://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&amp;rct=j&amp;q=&amp;esrc=s&amp;source=web&amp;cd=1&amp;ved=0ahUKEwil04_U0-nPAhWHC8AKHb_LDCYQFggeMAA&amp;url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.census.gov%2Fretail%2Fmrts%2Fwww%2Fdata%2Fpdf%2Fec_current.pdf&amp;usg=AFQjCNGKTxyvuNKsbVVqO1ZiAOhpz0lQrw&amp;sig2=ppfVsW_8mq1wku5whRdwWg">7.5% of US sales</a> come through ecommerce, <a href="http://www.pwc.com/us/en/retail-consumer/publications/us-multichannel-shopping-survey.html">research from PricewaterhouseCoopers</a> shows that around 80% of consumers research products online before purchasing in-store.</p> <p>Often consumers ask the collective brain of social media for advice and recommendations and social intelligence provides the opportunity for brands to join the conversation at the appropriate point. Forward thinking brands can jump into these conversations to not only aid customers but benefit from their efforts. </p> <h3>In conclusion...</h3> <p>Implementing social customer service isn’t easy, but that almost gives you more reason to do it now. The majority of brands have not got this right yet, and that increases the opportunity for brands that choose to embrace it.</p> <p>The brands that take advantage of this should embrace social customer carefully. They should do it well, and do it soon.</p> <p>Surprise and delight your customers, and you’ll have a genuine differentiator from your competitors while they play catch up.</p> <p><strong><em>If you're interested in learning more, why not sign up for Econsultancy's <a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/social-media-customer-service/">Social Media Customer Service training course</a>.</em></strong></p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68301 2016-09-19T15:40:00+01:00 2016-09-19T15:40:00+01:00 Instant messaging: An introduction to the future of communication Blake Cahill <p>For those of you that don’t know – I’ll assume you must have been trapped on a desert island for the past few years – instant messaging (IM) is a catch-all name for a range of different services that primarily provide users with the opportunity to engage in real-time communication.</p> <p>Typically led by text conversation, messengers often also provide a range of additional functionality that varies wildly from provider to provider.</p> <p>This additional functionality has, on some platforms, led to them being considered as full-blown social media networks, on a par with Facebook, Twitter and other platforms.</p> <p>In 2015, mobile phone messaging apps were used by 1.4bn consumers and eMarketer predicts that, by 2018, the number of chat app users worldwide will reach 2bn, representing 80% of smartphone users worldwide.</p> <p>In a nutshell, it’s only a matter of time before everyone and their granny, in practically every country on the planet, are using IM.</p> <h3>So who are the Big Players?</h3> <p><strong>WhatsApp</strong></p> <p>Owned by Zuckerbeg &amp; Co. and with over 1bn users, most of which are tech savvy millennials, WhatsApp is the clear front-runner in the IM community and the only truly global IM service with any significant uptake in all continents around the world.</p> <p>Offering text chat, voice recording, media sharing, group broadcasts and a robust network, you would surely bet your house on this IM giant being the one to pave the way for the future of IM [insert smiley face emoticon].</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0004/4627/whatsapp-facebook-blog-flyer.jpg" alt="whatsapp" width="300"></p> <p><strong>Facebook Messenger</strong></p> <p>Formed from the online chat function of the social network, Facebook Messenger has made real inroads in the EMEA and US regions with over 800m users.</p> <p>However it’s clear that with certain restrictions in places such as Asia, its move out of these two markets and into the APAC region will be a tough one to tackle. </p> <p><strong>WeChat</strong></p> <p>With 650m users, primarily in the APAC region, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67490-10-things-you-didn-t-know-about-wechat/">WeChat</a> is, significantly, dominant in the Chinese market offering users the chance to chat in a ‘walkie talkie’ style conversation, as well as other typical features such as group chats and video calls.</p> <p>WeChat is also a social network and an extendable transactional platform. It gives its users the opportunity to shop, talk to brands, order taxis (its ‘Didi Dache’ service is essentially China’s Uber) and read the news.</p> <p>WeChat is also the only social platform 80% of Chinese millennials use every day.</p> <p><em>WePay</em></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/1483/wepay.png" alt="wepay" width="615"></p> <p><strong>kik</strong></p> <p>With over 240m users, kik has its biggest presence in the US with an impressive 42% of US users being between 16-24 years old.</p> <p>It’s a promising start, however kik has seen very little uptake out of the US and it’s still dwarfed by the progress of WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger for the moment at least.</p> <p><strong>Others?</strong></p> <p>Though there are some exceptions to this global picture – KakaoTalk is the most popular chat app in South Korea, for example, while Line dominates in Japan, Thailand and Taiwan – there’s no doubt that it’s Facebook that’s winning the race so far.</p> <p>And before you say, “but what about Snapchat?!”, though this service is doing some serious business with teens in the UK and USA (over 40% use it), one a global level it’s still early days with only 7% market penetration.</p> <h3>The future of IM</h3> <p>With the landscape of IM changing and its scope reaching all aspects of the user's life, both personal and professional, it’s clear to see that IM offers real opportunities for businesses to get involved – but how will this play out? </p> <p>Firstly, IM is not a place to advertise, it’s a place for marketing. It gives us a powerful new space for brands to change the way consumers think about retail and customer service.</p> <p>The promise of IM is that if offers a near perfect form of personal, intimate, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67767-will-conversational-marketing-become-a-reality-in-2016/">direct link between brands and customers</a>.</p> <p>Facebook Messenger has already started to make real inroads in expanding the capabilities of its own IM platform, recently announcing the introduction of so-called <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67894-what-are-chatbots-and-why-should-marketers-care/">chatbots</a>.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0007/7478/kiksephora-blog-flyer.png" alt="sephora chatbot" width="300"></p> <p>Similar (but arguably less advanced AI) has been prevalent in WeChat and other channels previously, but inclusion in Facebook Messenger is likely to see increased quality of functionality.</p> <p>Chatbots will offer the ability for businesses to create bespoke responses based on natural language input. </p> <p>As the use and complexity of chatbots expand, users will find themselves being able to order goods simply by messaging the brand – as users of WeChat are already doing – receive tailored news updates based around your interest and even control connected smart devices.</p> <p>The future of commerce and customer service could well be a hybrid of IM as it steadily becomes our primary way to interact with companies, buy things, provide service and build loyalty.</p> <p>As the big players (and the many smaller innovators) continue to expand and develop the platforms’ potential, it’s safe to say we’re only at the beginning of what looks to be a long and interesting road.</p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68207 2016-08-19T14:27:00+01:00 2016-08-19T14:27:00+01:00 The 10 greatest digital marketing stats we've seen this week Nikki Gilliland <p>As always, you’ll find further insight in the <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/internet-statistics-compendium">Internet Statistics Compendium.</a></p> <h3>Half of UK retailers are struggling to connect in-store and online</h3> <p>According to research from RetailMeNot, 59% of retailers cite a lack of visibility across channels as the biggest challenge they face today.</p> <p>Despite 92% of large retailers selling online, nearly two-fifths are still failing to provide consistent pricing across the board.</p> <p>With the recognition that a more consistent experience is needed, 42% of businesses are said to be restructuring in order to integrate in-store and online teams. </p> <h3>27% of consumers display no brand loyalty</h3> <p>A <a href="http://dma.org.uk/infographic/talking-the-consumers-language-retail-infographic" target="_blank">new infographic</a> from the DMA has highlighted the four different types of loyalty that consumers feel towards brands.</p> <p>While 40% of consumers are ‘active loyals’, i.e. people who stay loyal to brands for both special and routine purchases, 27% are ‘active disloyals’ – displaying no brand loyalty at all.</p> <p>In general, disloyalty is said to increase with the value of items, meaning that consumers are more likely to shop around for expensive products like technology and furniture.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/8275/brand_loyalty.JPG" alt="" width="574" height="384"></p> <h3>Twitter suspends 235,000 accounts in six months</h3> <p>Twitter has announced that it has suspended 235,000 accounts in the past six months due to violation of its policies relating to terrorism and the threat of violence.</p> <p>With 313m monthly active users, Twitter is struggling to control the amount of terrorism-linked accounts on its platform. </p> <p>Daily suspensions on the platform are up 80% on the previous year, bringing the overall number of suspensions since the middle of 2015 to 360,000 in total.</p> <h3>A third of people use only their mobile to make purchasing decisions</h3> <p>Research by xAd has highlighted how crucial mobile is in the path to purchase. </p> <p>In a survey of 1,500 consumers, 39% cited a smartphone as the most important tool used to research a product.</p> <p>What’s more, 29% admitted that it was the only tool they used to make a purchasing decision.</p> <p>With 56% of consumers buying immediately or within the hour after researching, the ‘always on’ nature of mobile means that marketers need to place more focus on engaging consumers in the right time and place. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/8274/mobile_purchasing.JPG" alt="" width="755" height="414"></p> <h3>Failure to achieve targets is top reason for SEO agency terminations</h3> <p>According to a <a href="https://artios.io/why-seo-agencies-really-get-fired/" target="_self">study by Artios</a>, the biggest cause of businesses dropping SEO agencies is a failure to hit long-term targets, with this accounting for 29% of all terminations.</p> <p>25% of terminations are said to be due to a lack of transparency around methods, closely followed by out-dated SEO techniques causing 15% of dismissals. </p> <p>The study also found the longer the relationship, the more mutual the ending - after three or more years, ‘friendly terminations’ are the most common parting of ways.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/8276/SEO.jpg" alt="" width="780" height="239"></p> <h3>Visits to online retail sites up 2.6% this back-to-school season</h3> <p>Data from Hitwise, a division of Connexity, has found that the 2016 back to school season has been the biggest ever for the top online retail sites.</p> <p>Compared to the same time last year, visits were up 2.6% in the run up to August 13th, equating to around 100m more online shopping visits so far.</p> <p>Hitwise also revealed the hottest products for kids, with the most sought after including Pokémon backpacks, the iPad Pro and Yeezy trainers.</p> <h3>Heavy discounting leads to highest online sales growth in 20 months</h3> <p>Figures from the IMRG Capgemini eRetail Sales Index show that online sales grew +19% year-on-year in July, making it the highest yearly growth since November 2014.</p> <p>Heavy discounting from retailers across the board is said to have contributed to the surge, with the average basket value of goods purchased online falling from £80.52 to £78.39 in a single month.</p> <p>Out of the best-performing categories, clothing and home and garden came out on top, with a period of sunny weather encouraging us to spend online. </p> <h3>35% of organisations believe technology is key to understanding customers </h3> <p>Our latest report, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/secrets-of-elite-analytics-practices/" target="_blank">Secrets of Elite Analytics Practices</a>, delves into the relationship between customer analytics and business results. </p> <p>The research found that organisations of all maturity levels agree technology is a massive contributing factor for success. </p> <p>When asked what they believe has had the greatest impact on better understanding customers, companies with both elite and average analytics capabilities cited having the right technologies for data collection and analysis.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/8281/analytics_practices.JPG" alt="" width="699" height="595"></p> <h3>High-performance ads deliver an average of 180% ROI</h3> <p>Analysis by <a href="http://www.warc.com/Pages/ROI/ROIHome.aspx" target="_blank">Warc</a> has shown that the average profit from high-performing advertising is 1.8 times the initial investment. </p> <p>This data comes from the Warc database which includes figures calculated within the first year of a campaign.</p> <p>As a result, it does not take into account the long-term return, with the total predicted to be much higher as time goes on.</p> <p>In fact, the long-term payback is said to be twice as high as the short-term.</p> <h3>China predicted to become the world’s biggest retail market</h3> <p>It is already the largest in terms of ecommerce, but according to eMarketer, China is set to surpass the US to become the single biggest retail market in the world. </p> <p>Research suggests that total sales will increase 13% to reach $4.886 trillion in 2016. In comparison the US is set to grow at just 2.6% to reach $4.823 trillion.</p> <p>Over the next four years, this gap will widen even further, as China’s retail sales value is forecast to stand at $7.086 trillion by 2020.</p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/67805 2016-05-11T01:30:00+01:00 2016-05-11T01:30:00+01:00 How Indonesian marketers are tackling data management & CX Jeff Rajeck <ul> <li>Nearly eight in ten (79%) said <strong>telephone support,</strong> </li> <li>Three-quarters (75%) indicated <strong>retail outlets / stores,</strong> </li> <li>And nearly three in five (58%) chose <strong>offline brand advertising.</strong> </li> </ul> <p>It seems, therefore, that <strong>offline touchpoints are still very much on the minds of marketers.</strong></p> <p>How do offline touchpoints influence CX, though, and how well are brands are integrating offline with online data to improve their customers' experiences?</p> <p>To find out, Econsulancy recently invited dozens of client-side marketers in Jakarta, Indonesia to discuss this and other customer experience (CX) topics.  </p> <h3>About the roundtables</h3> <p>The roundtables covered three topics all related to CX and were moderated by subject matter experts from Econsultancy and our event sponsor IBM. </p> <p>Client-side marketers brought experiences from many different companies and industries and openly discussed their success stories and challenges with the group.</p> <p>Below is a summary of the main talking points taken from the table with the topic Joining Offline and Online Channels Data.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/4562/joining.jpg" alt="" width="800" height="533"></p> <h3>Trends</h3> <p>Participants first discussed the industry trends which were driving an interest in online and offline channel data for improving customer experience.</p> <h4>1. Offline consumer behavior is being used to innovate</h4> <p>Brands are increasingly taking note of their customers' behavior at multiple touchpoints as a way of gathering offline data.</p> <p>One participant, from an FMCG brand, described how they partner with retail stores in order to get data on how customers interact with their products.  </p> <p>Another from the tourism industry has relationships with events companies to do the same.</p> <p>In both cases, the<strong> brands use offline and qualitative data in order to identify customer interests and pain points</strong> which help them improve their product and marketing strategies.</p> <h4>2. Brand touchpoints also being used to gather data</h4> <p>Other brands said that they are using their own offline touchpoints in order to map the customer journey.</p> <p>One participant from the hospitality industry said that they collect data throughout a customer's visit to their hotel.  </p> <p>For each customer, the firm keeps track of the type of room booked, how the customer uses the room, and what the facilities the customer uses when they stay at the hotel.</p> <p>The <strong>online and offline data is compiled and analysed to create a complete customer profile.</strong></p> <p>Then, with this profile the hospitality group can provide better services and market more effectively to each of their customers.</p> <h4>3. The importance of content is increasing</h4> <p>Many brands now use content in order to attract customers, find out what they are interested in, and deliver them the information they need to have a great brand experience.</p> <p>Because of content's multiple uses, it's not a surprise to see that, in a <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/state-of-email-and-marketing-automation-in-south-east-asia/">recent Econsultancy survey</a>, marketers in South-East Asia indicated that content marketing was the most likely programme to keep its budget in 2016.</p> <p>One attendee from the building industry noted that<strong> new technology, such as virtual reality (VR), will only make content more popular with marketing departments.</strong></p> <p>He said that providing VR tours of properties will revolutionize the experience customers have with property firms.</p> <p>The data which will be available from such experiential content will be incredibly valuable for marketers in the future.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/4563/joining_2.jpg" alt="" width="800" height="533"></p> <h3>Challenges</h3> <p>But along with trends which are helping marketers make more use of online and offline channels, attendees noted that there were challenges as well.</p> <h4>1. Data silos</h4> <p>Participants noted that internal departments tend to keep hold of their own data, and so marketers find it difficult to integrate the data necessary to get a holistic view of the customer journey.</p> <p>However it's important to address this challenge head on, according to one participant, as<strong> internal data integration is the best way to improve marketing strategy</strong> and, as a result, the experience you provide to customers.</p> <h4>2. Outdated database technology</h4> <p>Another challenge that marketers faced was that the database technology used by many of the firms was out-of-date and not suitable for developing a single view of the customer. </p> <p>Others agreed. Participants from our Customer Experience Management table noted that having a high-quality CRM was key to moving forward with CX initiatives.</p> <p>This point was reinforced by a participant from the telco industry who said that <strong>obtaining and utilizing big data is essentially the 'holy grail' of CX.</strong>  The more detail you can obtain about how your customers use your services, the better.</p> <p>So it was overwhelmingly agreed that old database technology was a challenge which had to be addressed by marketers.</p> <h4>3. The not-yet-digital customers</h4> <p>Though Indonesia is rapidly coming online, only approximately 20% of the population use the internet regularly. </p> <p>This is another challenge for marketers as it means that a lot of the data they need to improve CX will be locked up in offline channels and touchpoints.</p> <p>No quick solutions were offered for this challenge, but one participant noted that <strong>the tools to collect and manage offline data were still too expensive</strong> for his company.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/4564/joining_3.jpg" alt="" width="800" height="533"></p> <h3>Best Practices</h3> <p>Attendees also listed a couple of best practices for improving how marketers gather and utilize online and offline data in order to improve CX.</p> <h4>1. Convince the C-level that CX is important</h4> <p>After hearing about the difficulty and expense of gathering and analysing data, most participants agreed that <strong>improving CX requires buy-in from the top.</strong></p> <p>In order to do this, marketers have to first come up with the measurement metrics that management look for when deciding whether to invest in technology.</p> <p>As both online and offline data offer the potential to improve CX and increase revenue, marketers should incorporate the 'data story' into future requests for increase in technology budget.</p> <h4>2. Prioritize on improving CX</h4> <p>Finally, participants said that<strong> the priority should be on using data in order to understand the customer journey, the pain points, and the interest customers have in the various aspects of what our brands offer.</strong></p> <p>Too often, one asserted, marketers are busy chasing creative ideas or testing out a new channel and forgetting about what we are all here for, providing a better service for our customers.</p> <p>By working harder on gathering and utilizing our online and offline customer data and spending less time blasting irrelevant message out to them, our marketing should improve CX metrics and improve other KPIs as well.</p> <h3>A word of thanks</h3> <p>Econsultancy would like to thank all of the client-side marketers who participated on the day and our sponsor for the event, IBM.</p> <p>We would like to extend a special thanks to the table moderator for the Joining Up Online and Offline Channels Data table, Pungkas Riandika, Corporate Head of Digital Marketing at Kawanlama Retail.</p> <p>We appreciate all of the helpful discussion points participants provided on the day and we hope to see you all at our upcoming Econsultancy events!</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/4566/moderators.jpg" alt="" width="800" height="533"></p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/67803 2016-05-10T00:10:00+01:00 2016-05-10T00:10:00+01:00 Practical tips for getting a CX management programme off the ground Jeff Rajeck <p>What does it even mean to launch a CX management programme? And how are marketers overcoming barriers?</p> <p>To find out, Econsultancy invited dozens of client-side marketers in the Indonesian megacity Jakarta to discuss CX management at roundtable discussions.</p> <h3>About the roundtables</h3> <p>The roundtables covered three topics all related to CX and were moderated by subject matter experts from Econsultancy and our event sponsor IBM. </p> <p>Delegates brought experiences from many different companies and industries and openly discussed their success stories and challenges with the group.</p> <p>Below is a summary of the main talking points taken from the discussions around <strong>Customer Experience Management</strong>.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/4505/cx_management_table2.jpg" alt="" width="800" height="533"></p> <h3>CX management programmes explained</h3> <p>Though participants agreed that Customer Experience was well understood, how to plan an initiative to manage CX was not. (For those still in the dark about CX, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67168-so-what-exactly-does-customer-experience-cx-mean/">read Econsultancy's overview here</a>.)</p> <h4>It starts with strategy</h4> <p>CX management programmes start with a strategy to encourage an organization to improve the customer's interaction with the company as a whole instead of just focusing on the performance of individual touchpoints.</p> <p>It differs from traditional marketing by putting the customer's opinion as the success factor, not necessarily clicks or conversions. </p> <p>The aim is to deliver 'moments of magic' which delight customers, according to one participant.</p> <h4>How do you launch a CX management programme?</h4> <p>Attendees agreed that there are three steps to implementing a CX management programme: </p> <ol> <li> <strong>Map the customer journey</strong>. Note all of the touchpoints customers use before, during, and after a purchase.</li> <li> <strong>Implement central management of touchpoints</strong>. This is required to provide a consistent CX.</li> <li> <strong>Improve touchpoints.</strong> Marketers then improve the overall CX through improving the channels which make up the customer touchpoints. </li> </ol> <h4>How do you measure success?</h4> <p>Instead of measuring conversion metrics of one individual channel, participants said that it is necessary to survey customers to get their opinions and to see how many have become advocates for the company.</p> <p>Using Net Promoter Score (NPS), <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65610-what-is-customer-experience-and-how-do-you-measure-it">described in detail here</a>, is a commonly-adopted metric for measuring CX success.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/4508/table.jpg" alt="" width="800" height="533"></p> <h3>Barriers to launching a CX management programme</h3> <p>Participants noted that there are many barriers to overcome when launching a CX management programme.</p> <h3>Organisational barriers</h3> <p>First off, <strong>many departments need to collaborate for a CX programme to be successful</strong>. Sales, Marketing, IT, Retention and Customer Service need to be at the table when a CX management programme kicks off.</p> <p>Also, because cooperation between so many departments is required, <strong>CX initiatives can be hard for marketers to manage</strong>, according to attendees.  </p> <p>Many of these departments do not typically report into the CMO, so starting a CX management programme can require a lot of work.</p> <p>And finally, even when everyone is at the table, <strong>conflicts of interest makes it hard to implement change</strong>.</p> <p>Participants noted that changing the mindset in the organisation from channel-centric to customer-centric is a difficult task.</p> <h4>Overcoming organisational barriers</h4> <p>Thankfully the tables had participants who had overcome some of these issues.</p> <p>One said that <strong>it is important to have someone in management take ownership of CX</strong> to push the project forward.  </p> <p>Without having someone to remove roadblocks in other departments, CX management programmes are very difficult to iplements</p> <p>Another said that <strong>a CX programme also needs someone in marketing to take ownership of the day-to-day work</strong> required to make the programme a success.  </p> <p>Duties for this role include setting KPIs for the various departments, producing KPI reports, and managing the CRM (more on this below).</p> <p>Finally, organisational barriers can be overcome, according to attendees, by having regular meetings with the divisions to give status updates. Without these, CX programmes are quickly forgotten, one participant noted.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/4506/cx_management.jpg" alt="" width="800" height="533"></p> <h3>Technical barriers</h3> <p>Attendees noted that CX management programmes require technology to be successful as well.</p> <p>All agreed that <strong>a well-developed customer relationship management (CRM) tool was the most important system</strong> for a CX management programme.</p> <p>This was a barrier for most participants as they were working with a CRM tool which was unable to report on the CX journey or conduct analysis on touchpoints.  </p> <p>Additionally, everyone was having problems with recording, measuring, and reporting offline data.</p> <h4>Overcoming technical barriers</h4> <p>Once management are convinced that a CX management programme is a worthwhile effort, they need to allocate budget as well.</p> <p>Attendees said that when asking for budget for the CRM system, <strong>marketers should also ensure that they have budget for the resource to manage the CRM</strong> as well.</p> <p>In order to get that level of buy-in, argued one participant, <strong>the marketing department should first develop strong KPIs for each department involved in the programme</strong>.  </p> <p>This will help both with budget and illustrate the positive impact the CX programme will have on each department.</p> <p>And finally, with a CX management resource, <strong>the team should commit to delivering data, insights, and competitor analysis</strong> to demonstrate ongoing success. Reporting ROI will help too!</p> <h3>Market barriers</h3> <p>Participants then discussed some of the challenges that Indonesia and other developing markets face when launching a CX management programme.</p> <p>Indonesia has transformed dramatically in the last five years. Internet users in the country have doubled since 2010 and the younger generation are much more 'information seeking' than older generations.</p> <p>So, it is a challenge for companies to keep in step with both the 80% of the country which is non-digital and the 20% which is newly digital. </p> <h4>Overcoming market barriers</h4> <p>One of the most important ways to deliver excellent CX to a market in flux is to acknowledge that<strong> offline interactions may still be more important than digital.</strong></p> <p>Then, when launching your programme be sure to include them, even though offline touchpoints are much more difficult to manage and measure.</p> <p>Also, one marketer said that their company had very successfully educated offline customer about their digital channels, which improved their ability to provide high-quality customer experiences, measure the effect, and improve continuously.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/4504/cx_management_table.jpg" alt="" width="800" height="533"></p> <h3>The CX management future is bright</h3> <p>Overall, marketers agreed that there is a strong will to make Indonesia the South-East Asia role model for CX.</p> <p>With its human capital, striving marketers, and growing digital society, attendees said that Indonesia has the potential to be a CX world leader without limits.</p> <h3>A word of thanks</h3> <p>Econsultancy would like to thank all of the client-side marketers who participated on the day and our sponsor for the event, IBM.</p> <p>We would like to extend a special thanks to the table moderator for the Customer Experience Management:<strong> Frederik Neust, Digital Marketing Manager at Celebrity Fitness Group.</strong></p> <p>We appreciate all of the helpful discussion points participants provided on the day and we hope to see you all at our upcoming Econsultancy events!</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/4507/moderators2.jpg" alt="" width="800" height="533"></p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/67776 2016-04-27T01:30:00+01:00 2016-04-27T01:30:00+01:00 Joining up offline & online data channels in Singapore Jeff Rajeck <p>One of the biggest barriers to success, though, is joining up online and offline channels data.  </p> <p>So, <strong>how are companies handling to the O2O data challenge?</strong></p> <p>To find out, Econsulancy recently invited dozens of client-side marketers in Singapore to discuss progress on this and other CX topics.  </p> <h3>About the roundtables</h3> <p>The roundtables covered three topics all related to CX and were moderated by subject matter experts from Econsultancy and our event sponsor IBM. </p> <p>Delegates brought experiences from many different companies and industries and they openly discussed their success stories and challenges with the group.</p> <p>Below is a summary of the main talking points taken from the discussions around joining up online and offline data channels.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/4244/cx.jpg" alt="" width="800" height="533"></p> <h3>What is O2O?</h3> <p>In order to figure out how companies were joining data from both online and offline channels, participants on the day first wanted to define what O2O meant to their brands.</p> <p>They arrived at three high-level definitions. To the attendees, O2O meant delivering: </p> <ul> <li>A non-stop loop of activation.</li> <li>Seamless brand presence.</li> <li>And a lasting impression.</li> </ul> <p>For each of these, participants offered real-world examples and thoughts about the data required to make them happen.</p> <h3>A non-stop loop of activation</h3> <p>If there is one thing which is always top of mind for marketers it is activating visitors and making them customers.  </p> <p>Too often, however, online and offline activations are siloed, as are the resulting customer data.</p> <p>What businesses should aim for instead, according to participants, is connecting existing online and offline customer activation initiatives.</p> <p>Doing so will amplify reach, conversions, and tracking and create a 'non-stop loop of activation.'</p> <p>The aim is an O2O campaign which is more than the sum of its parts. ROI will increase for both the online and offline portions.</p> <h4>Example</h4> <p>An example of this virtuous circle was Singtel's 'Need 4G Speed' campaign. </p> <p>The goal was to encourage more customers to recontract and purchase devices which supported the new 4G service.  </p> <p>Singtel used both online and offline advertising for the campaign and highlighted a hashtag (#need4gSpeed) in each.</p> <p>When potential searched the hashtag on Twitter they found a series of entertaining videos created with the help of a local celebrity and suggestions from the public.  </p> <p>Once there, visitors were encouraged to register online, visit a Singtel shop and participate in creating the videos.</p> <p>The online to offline experience started with a single piece of data, the hashtag, which then led visitors to more promotional, as well as entertaining, content.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/4237/need4gspeed.jpg" alt="" width="800" height="450"></p> <h3>Seamless brand presence</h3> <p>Another aspect of CX which requires both online and offline data is ensuring that the customer has a consistent brand experience.</p> <p>This is becoming more important as the buyer's journey involves an increasing amount of touchpoints.  </p> <p>A brand which cannot offer consistent information along the journey is at risk of looking out-of-touch with the customer.</p> <p>With the right data, though, offers and recommendations can be made through both online and physical channels, say at point-of-purchase for someone using a loyalty card.</p> <p>Using data in this way has an impact across the whole marketing ecosystem, according to one participant.  </p> <p>Another suggested that brands will be using data more in this way now that convenience, offers and recommendations are valued over privacy by most consumers.</p> <p>The importance of the customer journey to marketers was highlighted in a recent global survey by Econsultancy, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/understanding-the-customer-journey/">Understanding the Customer Journey: More Than Just Online</a>.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/4239/Capture.PNG" alt="" width="626" height="430"></p> <p>Survey respondents indicated that understanding the customer journey had wide-ranging benefits from identifying cutomer pain points to driving revenue and profits.  </p> <p>Managing online and offline data effectively can help accomplish these goals to a great extent.</p> <h3>Lasting impression</h3> <p>The third way that high-quality O2O management affects CX is by leaving a positive, lasting impression of the brand with the customer.</p> <p>With the right data, brands can design promotions which are impactful at each touchpoint:</p> <ul> <li>Offline promotions to drive online behavior.  </li> <li>Online promotions to drive online visits.</li> </ul> <p>This may sound easy, but execution is very complicated.</p> <p>One participant said that the key to driving this sort of behaviour is to first be able to segment your offers, then to target the segments with offers which speak specifically to their goals.  </p> <p>Brands, then, create bridges between the online and offline through relevant and personal campaigns.</p> <h4>An example</h4> <p>Starbucks is a great example of a company that has been able to create a lasting brand impression through its use of both online and offline channels.</p> <p>Visitors who register with Starbucks and pre-pay their loyalty card unlock useful features on an app.</p> <p>The app allows smartphone users to:</p> <ul> <li>Pay for an order.</li> <li>Earn points.</li> <li>Place and pay for a customized order before arriving.</li> <li>Send gift cards.</li> <li>And even find out what songs are being played at their local Starbucks.</li> </ul> <p>Then, when the person visits the store and pays with the app, Starbucks can register their visit and use it to make better, more relevant offers for the customer.</p> <p>One participant said linking up online and offline data to this extent is almost like placing an 'offline cookie' on the customer.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/4240/starbucks_reward_card_singapore.jpg" alt="" width="800" height="534"></p> <h3>So...</h3> <p>Joining up online and offline data is essential for brands that are trying to provide excellent CX through both physical and digital channels.</p> <p>Doing so well allows brands to create virtuous circles of activations, a brand presence which extends between the mediums, and leave a lasting impression on customers to keep them coming back for more.</p> <h3>A word of thanks</h3> <p>Econsultancy would like to thank all of the client-side marketers who participated on the day and our sponsor for the event, IBM.</p> <p>We would like to extend a special thanks to the table moderator for the Joining Up Online and Offline Channels Data table, <strong>Bilal Serlaman, Regional Marketing Manager of APAC &amp; ANZ at EXFO.</strong></p> <p>We appreciate all of the helpful discussion points participants provided on the day and we hope to see you all at our upcoming Econsultancy events!</p> <p> <img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/4243/Untitled.jpg" alt="" width="800" height="547"></p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/67551 2016-02-22T14:51:25+00:00 2016-02-22T14:51:25+00:00 Private messaging is social's next big ad frontier Patricio Robles <p><a href="http://techcrunch.com/2016/02/18/facebook-messenger-ads/">According to</a> a document obtained by TechCrunch, Facebook plans to bring ads to Messenger, its messaging app, in the second quarter of the year:</p> <blockquote> <p>The document...says businesses will be able to send ads as messages to people who previously initiated a chat thread with that company. To prepare, the document recommends that businesses get consumers to start message threads with them now so they'll be able to send them ads when the feature launches.</p> <p>The document also notes that Facebook has quietly launched a URL short link fb.com/msg/ that instantly opens a chat thread with a business. Facebook confirmed the existence of the URL short link functionality. That seems to back up the validity of the leaked document.</p> </blockquote> <p>Those short links are already active and available to all Pages. According to TechCrunch's Josh Constine and Jon Russell, Facebook is already working with a number of brands, including Canadian telecom provider Rogers, to use the short links for customer service use cases.</p> <p>Interestingly, according to the document they obtained, "If businesses achieve a 90 percent response rate to messages within 24 hours over the past week, their Messenger handle will become searchable on Facebook."</p> <p>What isn't clear at this point is what Messenger ads will look like and what restrictions Facebook will place on their use beyond limiting ads to users they've interacted with previously.</p> <p>Ostensibly there will be some restrictions designed to ensure that overzealous businesses don't bombard users with unwanted ads. </p> <p><em>For more on this, read: <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67553-what-will-facebook-messenger-ads-mean-for-marketers/">What will Facebook Messenger ads mean for marketers?</a></em></p> <h3>Twitter joining the messaging wars?</h3> <p>While Facebook appears to be prepping to make Messenger more business-friendly, Twitter looks like it is preparing to make its service more messaging-oriented and business-friendly as well.</p> <p>On Thursday, in an effort to better support customer service use cases, Twitter <a href="https://blog.twitter.com/2016/making-customer-service-even-better-on-twitter">announced</a> that it has launched the ability to add deep links to tweets that initiate Direct Messages.</p> <p>To enable this feature, a business must update its privacy settings to allow Direct Messages from all users.</p> <p>After that, deep links can be added to tweets by adding a link with the format <em>https://twitter.com/messages/compose?recipient_id={numeric user ID}</em></p> <p>In addition, Twitter announced a new feature, Customer Feedback, that gives businesses the opportunity to poll users after a customer service interaction.</p> <p>Initially set to launch with select partners, Twitter hopes that Customer Feedback will help brands obtain quantitative data about these interactions.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/2122/NPSFeedbackhalf.gif" alt="" width="199" height="353"></p> <p>"Care teams have told us they love the open-ended feedback they get from people via Tweets and Direct Messages, but they also need the ability to survey customers in a structured way to better measure and improve their service experience," Twitter product manager Ian Cairns explained.</p> <blockquote> <p>With this feature, businesses will be able to use two industry standard question formats: Net Promoter ScoreSM (NPS) and Customer Satisfaction (CSAT).</p> </blockquote> <h3>How will users react?</h3> <p>While there is no disputing the fact that large numbers of consumers are using social channels for customer service, and are interacting with brands generally on platforms like Facebook and Twitter, it's not clear that they'll welcome the growing commercialization of messaging experiences that are largely personal today.</p> <p>Facebook in particular could be courting a backlash by introducing ads to Messenger.</p> <p>WhatsApp founder Jan Koum, who joined Facebook's board of directors after <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67536-three-dark-social-channels-with-a-billion-active-users-how-to-use-them/">WhatsApp</a> was acquired by Facebook for more than $19bn, previously voiced opposition to ads.</p> <p>So did Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg, who stated, "I don't personally think ads are the right way to monetize messaging" after his company bought WhatsApp.</p> <p>But with <a href="http://newsroom.fb.com/news/2016/01/heres-to-2016-with-messenger/">more than 800m</a> active users each month, it's going to be increasingly difficult for Facebook to ignore Messenger's ad monetization opportunities.</p> <p>Of course, if Facebook doesn't tread carefully as it explores these, and users revolt, it could make it more difficult for businesses to use Facebook to provide customer service.</p> <p>After all, if people become aware of the fact that their customer service interactions are what allow for ads to be delivered to them via Messenger later, they might avoid using Facebook for customer service altogether.</p> <p>Another possibility is that social platforms like Facebook and Twitter, and their business users, will find ways to embed ads in messaging experiences in ways that don't turn users off.</p> <p>For inspiration, they might look to the East, where popular Chinese messenger apps <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67490-10-things-you-didn-t-know-about-wechat">like WeChat</a> are much advanced when it comes to monetization.</p>