We caught up with SapientNitro at the Adobe Experience Delivers tour in London earlier in the year to discuss their work and how they are approaching Customer Experience Management (CEM).
Director of technology, Piyush Patel, talked to us about how SapientNitro is pushing the boundaries of CEM by championing outstanding digital experiences. The changing environment and the process that marketers go through to reach consumers led the conversation, with Piyush giving advice to companies on the direction they need to take to create compelling, personalised experiences that get brands to the front and centre of consumers’ minds.
Below is a short video where Piyush chats about how:
Consumers are driving the change in the way they engage with brands
The creation of experiences across new channels means that consumers are now reached in ’moments’ and how brands need to unite different channels to create a timeline of ‘moments’
The importance of giving a full experience to the customer, making sure they are given the whole customer experience cycle
Piyush provides some great insight into how companies can work towards a full experience for the customer, and we’d love to know what you think.
This week has been a significant milestone for Adobe in the delivery of our Customer Experience Management (CEM) vision. We launched the Adobe Digital Enterprise Platform, a new technology platform, and a set of new Customer Experience Solutions, that enables companies to build immersive, multi-channel digital experiences.
In this blog post I’ll try and explain in a little more detail what the platform and the solutions cover, and how it will address the business problems which organisations are facing in today’s digital world.
Firstly, what’s clear is that how people are engaging with content and organisations is changing, meaning that the traditional understanding of computing, software and applications is undergoing revolutionary change. Our digital lifestyle continues to evolve. We hear talk of about consumerisation of IT all the time and this is changing perceptions of what online interactions and business applications should be, i.e. easy, engaging & social.
Similarly, expectations regarding access to brands across multiple touch points – the web, Facebook, Twitter, apps, etc – are increasing. Users expect a seamless transition of experience between these touch points, forcing organisations to re-think how they manage these relationships. Added to this, the challenge of integrating these new touch points with existing back-office systems.
In the words of Adobe SVP Rob Tarkoff, “The fundamentals of Customer Experience Management are changing faster than anyone ever imagined. Consumers are experiencing brands in profoundly different ways than in the past. Companies and government agencies are trying to catch up with this rapid change, asking themselves how they can evolve their brands while leveraging mobile, social and cloud innovations to stay ahead of the competition.”
It is against this backdrop that Adobe has launched the Digital Enterprise Platform and Customer Experience Solutions.
These solutions address an organisations CEM requirements; from creating rich interactive interfaces across multiple devices, to social brand engagement enabling interaction with customers across social networks. Marketing can optimise the customer experience across multiple channels creating more relevant, timely online conversations with customers.
These solutions are then joined together by a technology platform – Adobe Digital Enterprise Platform. This enables enterprises to build immersive, multi-channel digital interactions for today’s social and mobile customers, making this digital vision a reality. Melissa Webster of IDC adds, “What’s needed is a platform that provides businesses with a range of solutions designed to help them engage with their customers when, where and how the customers want, and lets them deliver an experience that keeps the customer coming back.”
For more on the announcement you can read our social media press release. Finally, don’t forget you can follow all of the Adobe news including new information Digital Enterprise Platform and updates about CEM on Twitter @AdobeUK, @AdobeEnterprise and follow the conversation with #AdobeCEM.
“How people are engaging with content, the notion of computing, software and applications is undergoing revolutionary change” states the voiceover as images of life and technology flicker harmoniously across the huge screen, watched by a packed hall of freshly-seated guests in London’s Hilton Tower Bridge hotel, home to the UK stop of the Adobe Experience Delivers tour last week. Watch Adobe’s Senior Director of Enterprise Marketing Neil Morgan opening the event below:
Customer Experience: Why Adobe?
Since 1982, explained VP of customer experience Kevin Cochrane, the company has strived to change the way people interact with information. In more recent times, Adobe has been growing its Enterprise business – but providing its customers with the tools to provide their customers in turn with a great experience is nothing new. Adobe remains at the forefront of digital innovation in the Customer Experience space – and the Adobe Experience Delivers tour, which arrived in London on the 17th of May, is all about celebrating, exploring and moving this forward.
The morning keynote was shared by Kevin Cochrane, Ron Rogowski, principal analyst at Forrester Research, Erik Larson, senior director, Customer Experience Product Management and representatives from two of Adobe’s customers, Logica and SapientNitro.
The key theme throughout the day was perception. It’s this, agreed our speakers, that defines CEM and sets it apart from CRM. Forrester’s definition of CEM is the perception that people have of interactions with a company – not what actually happens in these interactions. CRM defines moments that matter to the company – CEM is about moments that matter to the customer, and the way that customer recognises your brand.
Expectation proved another important theme; specifically, how perception is now defined by changes in consumer expectations. People expect a personal, immediate and reactive level of engagement, and much of this is due to the rise of constant access. With tablets, smartphones and even televisions (Forrester calls it “The Splinternet”) providing information and services via attractive ‘app’ interfaces anywhere and at any time, customers are growing less used to, and as a result less tolerant of, awkward opening hours and complicated automated telephone systems.
Adobe partner Logica built on this message – the ‘Don Draper’ approach of building brand reputation goes nowhere when confronted with new ways for customers to share their perceptions of your brand. For example, it’s now far easier, and often perceived to be more valuable, for customers to complain via social channels than to your call centre. Customers are growing wise to the fact that they can often get a faster and more comprehensive resolution to their problem if they name and shame via Twitter.
Look for the incentive
Finally, the speakers discussed the fact that it’s not always the customer driving change; sometimes there needs to be a real incentive for your users to embrace new technology. One fascinating example, given by Adobe’s senior director of Customer Experience Product Management Erik Larson, relates to banks giving users the ability to turn off paper statements and only check their statement online. In fact, many customers didn’t choose this option – they weren’t interested in saving the banks money on postage and wanted something they could read through on paper. There was no incentive to change – so one leading bank created one. By making online statements fully interactive and adding the ability to query payments by clicking on them, it created a real incentive for users to change their habits.
Afternoon Breakout sessions
Following the keynote, the conference splits into three breakout tracks, with attendees choosing the most relevant for them. Speakers range from Adobe evangelists to customers such as Southwark Council and the Royal Courts of Justice. We’ll be looking at some of the great CEM examples highlighted in the afternoon in a little more detail over the coming weeks.
We’ll also be bringing you video interviews, filmed on the day, with speakers from Adobe and its customers – as well as highlights from the keynote itself – on this blog over the coming days.
Meanwhile, if you’d like a little more detail on the above, head over to AdobeEnterprise.tv for the full keynote video, as well as interviews filmed on the day. You can also read what we tweeted throughout the event, and tweets from a number of other attendees using the #AdobeCEM hashtag.
One of the important factors for organisations trying to improve their business processes and user experience is the need to access applications across multiple devices. In particular the need to enable fully functioning business apps on mobile devices.
Adobe is making great strides in developing its technologies and partnerships to make this a reality. Last week Adobe announced new plans for further integration with SAP – one of the world’s largest providers of enterprise business solutions. The integration – between the SAP NetWeaver Gateway technology and Adobe Flash Builder 4.5 – will enable the development of rich mobile and Web applications for the enterprise that harness the functionality and power of SAP applications.
This new integration will allow developers to improve front-end experiences and extend SAP business and consumer processes, providing enterprise customers instant reach to critical business data across a broad range of devices and platforms, including Android, BlackBerry Tablet OS and iOS.
If you’re interested in learning more about this announcement take a look at the video below from Adobe’s CEO Shantanu Narayen, plus check out Adobe TV for a design demonstration.
Thursday, 12th May 2011 at 2 pm (45 minute programme)
Tomorrow we’re excited to be hosting 45 minutes of engaging insight into how new developments in technology offer simpler ways to transact – and streaming the debate live to your computer.
Public services are moving inexorably online, and the UK population becoming ever more digitally savvy. The panel will be discussing how best to take advantage of new tech developments in order to meet the needs of both the organisation and its customers.
On the panel will be:
Glyn Evans, Socitm President, Corporate Director of Business Change at Birmingham City Council and CIO Council member
Peter Bole, Director of ICT at Kent County Council
Alan Banks, Managing Director, Adobe UK
Helen Olsen, Managing Editor, ITU and UKauthorITy
You’ll need to register in advance to access the webinar, and we recommend logging in three or four minutes before we’re due to start – click here to sign-up.
During the programme, which will be broadcast live over the internet using Adobe Connect, we will be asking the audience to participate in polls to gain their views. You will also be able to submit questions to the panel during the interview but due to the volumes we are not able to take all live submissions.
@AdobeEnterprise will also be tweeting live from the webinars and you can follow and participate in the conversation on Twitter using the hash tag #AdobeGovLive.
For some time Adobe (particularly here in this blog) has talked about the need for organisations to firmly embrace customer experience management (CEM) and to develop strategies, underpinned by technology, which put the customer at the centre of the organisation. This applies equally in both the public and private sector.
So it was with great interest that I read news announcements yesterday from a number of the UK’s leading banks. Barclays, Royal Bank of Scotland, Santander and Lloyds Banking Group have all made bold pledges to improve their customer service.
These investments to improve customer service range from speeding up the time it takes to issue new bank cards, to refurbishing branches and investing in new technology.
Comments made by Anthony Jenkins, head of global retail banking at Barclays, are particularly interesting: Jenkins makes a strong connection between how improving customer service levels has have a direct, positive impact on shareholder value.
At a time when banks have been cutting costs across their business it’s entirely encouraging to hear such positive talk about investing in customer service. An article in Tuesday’s Independent cites increased competition and the need for diversification of products as driving factors behind this.
The most recent CBI/PwC financial services survey showed banks planning to invest in customer service even though they are cutting costs elsewhere because they need to find new ways to generate income. As well as the fallout from the credit crunch and setbacks on overdrafts and selling payment protection insurance, the banks face competition from PayPal, Tesco, Metro Bank and other new entrants.
Talk of investment in customer service is also not just limited to the banking sector, but stretches more broadly across financial services. A fascinating interview in the Financial Times yesterday with Mark Hodges, Aviva’s UK chief executive also revealed that customer experience ranks high on his agenda. Hodges’ very open and frank assessment is that Aviva’s customer service – particularly within its call centres – just wasn’t very good and they are taking measures to improve it.
One of the most interesting statistics is that by dealing with initial customer calls more thoroughly and conclusively and solving the complaint first time – they have managed to reduce the number of calls to the centre by 20,000. This objective – to reduce the number of calls and increase the quality of customer interactions – is similar to what Adobe is achieving in the public sector with Southwark Council.
17th May sees Adobe UK host its “Experience Delivers Tour”, where technology and strategies to address the customer experience and the customer journey will top the agenda. Some of the stand out keynotes include: The Importance of Customer Experience Management delivered by Kevin Cochrane, VP Customer Experience at Adobe, The new era of experiences: mobile, social and immersive delivered by Ron Rogowski from Forrester and Future of Tablets: next generation of devices with mobile tablets presented by Michael Chaize, Platform Evangelist at Adobe.
Furthermore, there will be a host of opportunities to hear how other organisations are managing their own customer experience. Details of the agenda are available here and you can register for the event now.
Also, keep checking this blog and Twitter (#AdobeCEM) for further details, including customers who will be presenting at the event.
Next month the Adobe Experience Delivers Tour comes to London. The 17th May will be day jammed packed with a series of talks and discussions from independent industry experts and Adobe senior executives. It will also be an opportunity to hear from Adobe customers and partners on some of the fantastic work being done right now around customer experience management (CEM).
Presentations, discussions and case studies will include:
Importance of Customer Experience Management - Kevin Cochrane, VP Customer Experience, Adobe
The new era of Experiences: mobile, social and immersive - Ron Rogowski, Principal Analyst, Forrester
How digital interactions are impacting customer experiences - Delivered by Sapient
Consumerisation of IT: key driver in increased customer expectations - Delivered by Logica
Tomorrow’s Soup: The customer journey - Erik Larson, Senior Director, Customer Experience Product Management, Adobe
Future of Tablets: Next generation of devices with mobile tablets - Michael Chaize, Platform Evangelist, Adobe
Customer success of devices being used for multiple platform delivery by a leading asset management firm
Three break out tracks: Web Experience Management; User Experience Applications; and Customer Orientated Processes with 9 compelling customer sessions:
Strengthening your brand image with a digital platform
Delivering an improved customer and citizen service through CSR experiences
Improving collaboration and productivity via online meetings and web conferencing for enhanced employee experiences
For more information on Adobe Experience Delivers Tour and for details on how register visit http://www.adobe-cemevents.com/london/. You can also follow updates on the Adobe Experience Delivers London event on Twitter @AdobeEnterprise and we will of course be tweeting, so do follow #AdobeCEM.
We’re very excited to say that today (Thursday, 14th April) there will be not one, but two Adobe Government webinars taking place. The topics up for discussion are “ID and Authentication”, followed by “Designing and Delivering Intuitive Online Processes and Service Transactions”
Full details of the expert panellists copied below. As ever you need to register in advance to access the webinar – click here and sign-up.
Thursday 14th April 12pm – ID and authentication:
Panellists include Dane Wright, IT Strategy Manager, London Borough of Brent (Mydex pilot and gov gateway) and Gilles Polin, Head of Government Solutions, Adobe
Thursday 14th April 2.30pm – Designing and Delivering Intuitive Online Processes and Service Transactions (Web Experience Management)
Panellists include: Graham Walker, Government Director for the UK Digital Champion; Dr Lorna Peters, Connect Digitally, Dept of Education and Hertfordshire; and Gilles Polin, Head of Government Solutions, Adobe.
@AdobeEnterprise will also be tweeting live from the webinars and you can follow and participate in the conversation on Twitter using the hash tag #AdobeGovLive.
The Customer Experience war is fought on the front lines
Ed Thompson, VP and distinguished analyst at Gartner, delivered a number of key messages in his session, titled Putting Plans for Customer Experience Into Practice. Notably, he urged CEOs and managers to look to their front line employees for input – as they are the ones dealing with the customers and witnessing their frustrations and concerns first hand.
Companies spending the most on improving customer experience are generally either the very best or very worst at it
The very best companies at customer experience management (CEM) invest heavily each year in measuring customer experience in order to stay on top. The very worst companies invest heavily each year in a bid to quell the constant bashing by the media. It’s the companies sitting quietly in the middle that have yet to appreciate just how important customer experience is to their business.
Process is important, but so is the flexibility to break it
We all have tales of times when customer-facing staff have gone that ‘extra mile’ for us; whether upgrading us on a flight or hotel room or giving us an unofficial loyalty discount. In fact, the most successful companies allow rule-breaking “by design”; while process remains the key to a good customer experience, giving your front line sales and customer service operatives the flexibility to step outside that process in the right circumstances is a sure way to create happy customers.
Measuring your customers’ experience requires more than one method
Direct – Customer communicating directly with you via survey, letter or phone.
Indirect – Customer talking about you to others – this includes social media
Inferred – That voice inside a customer’s head that no one hears, but affects their future decisions
The challenge for companies is to take a holistic view of all three of these together, and to understand just how strongly one compliments the others. Jim cited a great case study of a leading Middle East mobile provider. For years, number portability didn’t exist in Israel. Changing provider meant changing phone number, which was enough of an inconvenience to keep many with networks they weren’t happy with. When portability was introduced, the network experienced a massive increase in customer churn that surveys hadn’t predicted. Implementing a speech analytics system analysing word spotting, emotion detection and talk patterns led to an 85% increase in customers identified as a churn risk – 75% of which proved accurate.
The public does not trust technology
Technology is feared for its unreliability – from the murderous haywire robots of 1960s sci-fi to media reports of lost USB sticks full of valuable data. The hardest challenge for any company investing in CEM is to gain its customers’ trust. Services must be robust and offer constant feedback; if a user fills out a form online, for example, but does not receive a confirmation email, they will in most cases phone a customer service line. Reducing complexity also increases trust – the simpler a form or service is to complete, the less perceived risk in it going wrong.
Customer experience online begins at the development stage
Adobe’s VP of Enterprise Marketing Kevin Cochrane joined forces with Yohan Founs, Principal Consultant at leading French IT specialist and Adobe customer SQLi to demonstrate how Adobe Air enables fast development of cloud-based collaborative interfaces. Meanwhile, Gartner’s Ray Valdes offered insight into designing delightful, or dreadful digital user experiences. We’ll be looking at what was said on development in the coming days – watch this space!
Ed Thompson of Gartner highlighted a number of pieces of research covering the main drivers behind the increased focus by organisations on the customer experience. One that really stood out was a study byBrand Keys that found that only 21% of products and services had any points of differentiation that were meaningful to consumers. This is nearly 10% less than a benchmark study conducted in 2003. In an undifferentiated world, the customer experience is king.
Social and mobile are huge opportunities for delivering great customer experiences
Alongside some great examples of social initiatives (below) Gartner was predicting spend on social software would be more than $1 billion by the end of next year. Another stat that stuck in the mind was that 80% of businesses are losing revenue from not supporting web-based customer service on mobile. However the audience were pretty bullish about how quickly mobile is and will be adopted as channel over the next 3 years (more on that below as well).
Management of the customer experience is spread across multiple disciplines, departments and has numerous metrics.
Gartner highlighted 4 different customer experience themes – Customer Satisfaction / Loyalty & Advocacy / Brand & Reputation / Quality – and 4 different elements within each of these themes. That’s 16 different elements of the customer experience with 16 different metrics and very little integration or synchronisation of these metrics, according to Gartner. We think that joining up these metrics is key to managing, measuring and delivering a holistic customer experience and we know that some organisations are making good progress. We’re running a survey at the Adobe booth at the show to ask a wider audience, so if you’re there do take part. More on the results later in the week!
That CRM practitioners are a lot more bullish about how quickly CEM will develop than the Gartner analysts
Adobe’s Kevin Cochrane was on a customer experience panel with other sponsors after the Mark Raskino’s keynote introduction. The analysts had already provided predictions for progress against a number of different elements of the customer experience. The panel discussed and the audience voted on these predictions. A great example of the audience’s bullishness was a question about the percentage of sales, marketing and customer service processes on mobile by 2015. The analysts predicted 30%, the audience were at 60% along with the panel. Great to see the excitement in CEM and the potential of new tech at a practitioner level!
Companies that really understand the value of customer experience are embracing mobile, social and multi-channel
QR codes are beginning to take off in the UK, today we learnt that they’re huge in Japan where Gap is using them in store windows to enable consumers to sign up for promotions without even stepping inside the store. Something that it’s now doing in the US as well. Lufthansa’s www.myskystatus.com is a service that automatically updates a travelers Facebook and Twitter profiles with where they are, even if they’re flying with someone else. While www.thejohnnycashproject.com is just a great example of the power of social to create something really shared and very special.