Monday, January 24, 2011
Forrester's Dean Davison and Bradford Holmes recently did a great webinar on sales enablement. There are some great insights that tie really well into how can think about customer experience management and the role sales plays in getting this right.
Clearly the role of technology vendors is changing as we face margin erosion, increased competition and commoditization forces at the same time as we are challenged to grow the business. And in IT we have an opposing set of forces that add to this complexity with things like changing business models driving new business demand, cost pressures and more options than ever - all the time serving a business that is likely focused on delivering a best in class customer and employee experience.
- What makes a vendor strategic?
- What makes a meeting valuable?
- How prepared are you?
- Does your value proposition need a tune-up?
Hopefully you find it of value and I welcome any discussion on the subject.
Register to view the slides and listen to the talk at http://www.forrester.com/salesperformance - Registration Required
Saturday, January 08, 2011
Might be fun to post these all on Quora...
Read more at www.bnet.com
Think you’re prepared for your next interview? Well, if you can answer these, you probably are:
- If you were shrunk to the size of a pencil and put in a blender, how would you get out?
- How many ridges are there around a quarter? (Reportedly from Deloitte)
- What is the philosophy of martial arts? (A spokesperson for Aflac, where this question was used, says she hopes the candidate quoted Kwai Chang Caine from the 1970s TV show Kung Fu: “I seek not to know the answers, but to understand the questions.”)
- Explain to me what has happened in this country during the last 10 years (Reportedly from Boston Consulting)
- Rate yourself on a scale of 1 to 10 how weird you are (Reportedly from Capital One)
- How many basketballs can you fit in this room? (Reportedly from Google)
- Out of 25 horses, pick the fastest 3 horses. In each race, only 5 horses can run at the same time. What is the minimum number of races required? (Reportedly from Bloomberg LP)
- If you could be any superhero, who would it be? (Reportedly from AT&T)
- You have a birthday cake and have exactly three slices to cut it into eight equal pieces. How do you do it? (Reportedly from Blackrock Portfolio Management)
- Given the numbers 1 to 1000, what is the minimum number of guesses needed to find a specific number if you are given the hint “higher” or “lower” for each guess you make? (Reportedly from Facebook)
- If you had 5,623 participants in a tournament, how many games would need to be played to determine the winner? (Reportedly from Amazon)
- An apple costs 20 cents, an orange costs 40 cents, and a grapefruit costs 60 cents. How much is a pear? (Reportedly from Epic Systems)
- There are three boxes. One contains only apples, one contains only oranges, and one contains both apples and oranges. The boxes have been incorrectly labeled such that no label identifies the actual contents of its box. Opening just one box, and without looking in the box, you take out one piece of fruit. By looking at the fruit, how can you immediately label all of the boxes correctly? (Reportedly from Apple)
- How many traffic lights are in Manhattan? (Reportedly from Argus Information and Advisory Services)
- You are in a dark room with no light. You have 19 grey socks and 25 black socks. What are the chances you will get a matching pair? (Reportedly from Convergex)
- What do wood and alcohol have in common? (Reportedly from Guardsmark)
- How do you weigh an elephant without using a weigh machine? (Reportedly from IBM)
- You have 8 pennies. Seven weigh the same, but one weighs less. You also have a judges scale. Find the penny that weighs less in three steps. (Reportedly from Intel)
- Why do you think only a small portion of the population makes over $150,000? (Reportedly from New York Life)
- You are in charge of 20 people. Organize them to figure out how many bicycles were sold in your area last year. (Reportedly from Schlumberger)
- How many bottles of beer are [consumed] in the city [in a] week? (Reportedly from Nielsen)
- What’s the square root of 2000? (Reportedly from UBS)
- A train leaves San Antonio for Houston at 60 mph. Another train leaves Houson for San Antonio at 80 mph. Houston and San Antonio are 300 miles apart. If a bird leaves San Antonio at 100 mph, and turns around and flies back once it reaches the Houston train, and continues to fly between the two, how far will it have flown when they collide? (Reportedly from USAA)
- How are M&Ms made? (Reportedly from USBank)
- What would you do if you just inherited a pizzeria from your uncle? (This question comes from Volkswagen. A spokeswoman for the company tells BNET while the question is certainly not standard, the company’s business analysts often have to take over and manage projects started by other people, so this question may have been a manager’s attempt to see how a job candidate would run a project they ‘inherited.’)
Friday, January 07, 2011
Forrester, Varolii, Sitel, Portrait and 50 or so others weigh in on key customer experience trends for 2011.
Great collection of predictions curated by Peppers & Rogers on key trends that will alter the customer strategy landscape this year. They queried on which customer strategy trend would make the biggest impact in 2011 in four specific areas: customer service, mobile, multichannel marketing, social media, and voice of the customer.
"We will see a growing number of e-businesses contacting customers through social networks to proactively detect and resolve customer service issues. We have [already] seen some leading companies achieve service and brand success with online support communities. These companies tested the waters and we can expect to see a growing number of companies jump in during the next year, so look for an increase in peer-to-peer support." – Diane Clarkson, Analyst Serving eBusiness & Channel Strategy Professionals, Forrester Research
"I see 2011 as the year of mobility and immediacy. No matter what channel a customer wishes to communicate across—whether it be email, SMS, voice, social, chat, or a smoke signal—companies must be ready to support these multiple and mobile channels with the service levels expected by consumers today…and be personalized. Companies must know their customers and understand how to communicate with them in a way that is beneficial and meaningful to both parties." -- Mary Cook, Director of Contact Center Solutions, Varolii
"As companies are all trying to figure out what to do with social media and how to capture its power, the call center will be well positioned in 2011 to help them with three fundamental things that we've all become accustomed to: listening to customers, monitoring the conversation around the company, and taking the next step to engage customers in an intelligent way…. Social Media is like word of mouth on steroids. Ignored or wrongly handled, and a consumer's opinions online can whizz around the globe in seconds damaging a company's brand and even market share. Businesses will require more tools, more expertise, and more engagement into capturing every customer word online." – Joe Doyle, Marketing Director EMA, Sitel
"I don't think anyone can ignore the fact that social media will play an increasingly important role for any marketing or customer care program in 2011. Social media has become another highly trafficked marketing channel, and organizations will continue to align systems and strategies to affect better customer engagement through it. As with call centers, social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook present marketers with the opportunity to personally engage with their customers. However, it's crucial that as organizations integrate social CRM across their channels their marketing messages remain highly targeted and tailored to each customer. —Mark Smith, Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Portrait Software
"Customers are now reaching out to companies through many channels and even multiple social media sites. In 2011 businesses will need to enable a multichannel social media approach for customer service if they're going to actively reach and engage in conversations with all of their customers. By being active on Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, YouTube, and elsewhere, retailers can interact with and engage shoppers in ways not possible just several years ago. Social customer service is also replacing the comment card; consumers who use social media express honest opinions about what they like and don't like, and businesses need to take these comments seriously, especially because of the viral nature of social media sites. Doing it right when it comes to social media will increasingly mean getting customer service and call center teams to help." – Duke Chung, Founder and Chief Strategy Officer, Parature
"A lot of people will be talking about experiences they had via mobile. By next year…there will be a lot of dynamics and challenges and there will be far more people transacting on their mobile devices. The question is, 'How do you support them?' The agents will have to say, 'What version of phone are you on?' 'Are you on 3G or not?' Are you on Wi-Fi?' There are a lot of things adding into layers of complexity, making it hard to get their arms around.
– Geoff Galat, Vice President, World Wide Marketing, Tealeaf
"What we may see is the blending of the role between traditional service and sales…. Another factor at work is the increasing use of text-based interaction over voice. In a customer service setting, there are clear advantages in the customer service agent interacting with multiple channels simultaneously." – Steve Castro-Miller, CEO, Bold Software
"Customer service will become a valuable moment of truth. As more companies do customer journey mapping, they will realize that customer service has a disproportionate impact on customer perception and loyalty. Companies will begin optimizing customer service interactions to build long-term loyalty, no longer obsessing about squeezing 50 cents out of the cost of a call. Say goodbye to average handle time as the key metric." – Bruce Temkin, Customer Experience Transformist and Managing Partner, The Temkin Group
"There will be an increase in proactive customer service in 2011. Proactive chat and click-to-call have been associated primarily with sales objectives, but e-business leaders will increasingly explore proactive live help technologies to assist with customers with service issues."
– Diane Clarkson, Analyst Serving eBusiness & Channel Strategy Professionals, Forrester Research
Read more at www.1to1media.com
"In 2011 customer service will start to be recognized as a critical part of the customer experience ecosystem. Executives will stop treating customer service as a cost center and will instead leverage it as a high-touch loyalty driver and, wherever possible, a revenue generator. We'll also see customer service employees gain stature in organizations as a resource for prized customer insights." – Kerry Bodine. Vice President, Principal Analyst, Serving Customer Experience Professionals, Forrester Research
Thursday, January 06, 2011
A very entertaining TV documentary about statistics and data visualization hosted by Hans Rosling, which means that you will get some insightful and funny stats on Sweden. I particularly enjoyed the enlistment of Florence Nightingale to the ranks of UX pioneers.
Monday, January 03, 2011
Jordan Edmiston Group report on M&A trends from 2010 provides useful insight to marketing tech trends.
The report offers several key insights, such as:
- number of deals has rebounded but attributed deal capital has not
- unprecedented cash levels on S&P 1500 balance sheets
- private equity firms have $400B in capital overhang
- media convergence as marketing moves into tech and tech moves into marketing
The report also dives into the online display ad and other marketing tech datapoints that clearly point towards the opportunity in accumulating and selling data as it discusses the rapidly changing interactive advertising landscape. Publishers are learning to leverage data, analytics, and video to enhance their offerings for advertisers/clients.
Tolman concludes the presentation with five humorous predictions you won't want to miss!
Download it here: http://www.jegi.com/files/docs/IABMIXX.pdf
Check out other reports from JEGI here: http://www.jegi.com/industry-reports
Sunday, January 02, 2011
I found my way to this link from one of the articles in my user-experience daily on paper.li. The essayist takes the stance that while we do have an opportunity to do more than we used to and to broaden our horizons, most people will instead exhibit traditional behavior patterns regardless of the network or change of delivery channel. This is contrary to the hype created by media experts (especially social media experts) wherein the internet is purported to transform everything from democracy to the economy.
Read more at www.hnn.us
We knew the revolution wouldn’t be televised, but many of us really hoped it might be on the Internet. Now we know these hopes were false. There was no Internet Revolution and there will be no Internet Revolution. We will stumble on in more or less exactly the way we did before massive computer networks infiltrated our daily lives. Just look around and you will see that the Singularity is not near. For some reason we don’t want to admit this fact. Media experts still talk as if the Internet is new, as if it is still evolving, as if it will shortly “change everything.” They tell us that the Web will let us build super networks (The Wealth of Networks: How Social Production Transforms Markets and Freedom), organize ourselves in magical ways (Here Comes Everyone: The Power of Organizing without Organization), and even learn new things (Infotopia: How Many Minds Produce Knowledge). These new powers will in turn enable us to transform our economy (Wikinomics: How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything), revolutionize politics (The Revolution will Not Be Televised: Democracy, the Internet and the Overthrow of Everything) or perhaps even destroy our culture (The Cult of the Amateur. How Today’s Internet is Killing Our Culture).
Saturday, January 01, 2011
If you don’t keep in mind the essential humanity of it all, technique will dominate.
~Irving Kirshner 1923-2010
While Kirshner was specifically talking about film and the act of directing, there is a universal truth to this idea. All experiences risk becoming a thesis on technique when the act of creation and the process bleed through to the front of the glass.
While it would seem that to subvert the necessary and the humane for the sake of recognition of technique seems at conflict with the very act of creating an experience, there may be cues provided to the audience that can only surface through explicit technique.
Sharing the story of the technique and craft becomes part of the experience. At one extreme all magic and mystery is maintained to increase the ability to participate in the idea; while at the other end of the spectrum the very act of creation and design is part of the experience. Both approaches to keep the essential humanity in mind and both approaches benefit from the same degrees of imagination, execution ability and craft.
Technique will dominate.
All parties benefit when we decide to share how we arrived at an idea, how we solved a problem or how we created an experience. Depending on the specific outcome desired, the appropriate time to share technique may differ. Eventually the question of how will come forward. Even when we know that a magician will never disclose the truth behind an illusion we still seek to understand without their participation.
While film sets a unique challenge in this regard, exceptional data visualization actually unfolds the solution to this predicament perfectly. The ability to rationalize, consume, comprehend and take action on information is assumed. The relationships inferred between discrete bits of information are used to inform the process of understanding. The source is obfuscated until such time as it needs to be revealed.
In this regard we could say that when we keep the essential humanity in mind, technique may dominate as required.