Posts tagged "Jim Davies"

Gartner CRM Conference Day 2

Day 2 of the Gartner CRM Conference 2011 is at an end; what are the key messages we came away with?

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.

Gartner CRM

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

Gartner’s Jim Davies took to the stage to explain that measuring your customers’ experience demands a multi-faceted approach in his presentation titled Voice of the Customer: Listen, Analyze and Act To Improve the Customer Experience. He broke this down into three categories:

  • 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!

Gartner CRM Conference – Day 1

So day one of the Gartner CRM Conference 2011 behind us and day 2 well underway. What have we learnt so far?

Customer Experience Management is here to stay

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.

Day 2 of the conference sees Adobe partner SQLI present some of the innovative projects we’ve been working on together across Europe – Delivering improved Customer Experience to enhance business value at 9.15am – and more from Jim Davies, Ray Valdes and Ed Thompson of Gartner. More details on the blog to follow soon.