Bob Thompson

Do Rewards Programs Drive Real Loyalty? Zappos Says “Yes” — If Focused on Engagement

The Zappos logo says it all: "Powered by Service." The company has built a cult-like following by making "wow" customer service a differentiator. One of the most amazing stories I've heard is a call that lasted for 8 hours simply because the customer wanted...

Forrester: Good and Bad News on CX Day

On CX Day, Forrester released a new report "Why CX, Why Now?" by Maxie Schmidt-Subramanian and Samuel Stern that highlights the (sorry) state of CX adoption. Good news: 84% of companies aspire to be CX leaders. This is consistent with many other studies that find...

SAS ups the ante on machine learning, cognitive computing. How will it improve CX?

Last week I geeked out at the SAS conference Analytics Experience 2016 in Las Vegas. It was a heady mix of business and technical sessions on how to take advantage of the power of analytics. Of course there are innumerable applications for analytics, from fraud...

TD Bank Study: “Thanks” is Best Delivered In Person to Customers

A few years ago I found in a research study that customers want to be "rewarded" for their loyalty. Now you might immediately think this means points, but it was more complex than that. What consumers really want is to feel appreciated for their...

Spirit plans passenger experience makeover. Can low price and great CX coexist?

Quite a few years ago (ok, more than 2 decades, ouch!) I worked at IBM, selling to a large enterprise. IBM's strategy at the time was all about bundling a full set of service/support (including on-site Systems Engineers for large accounts) as part of...

5 Fails by Angie’s List — Why “Soft Skills” are Key to Customer Service...

One might think that a small company like Angie's List (~$100 million/year) would outperform e-commerce giant Amazon.com (~100 Billion/year) on customer service. Sadly, no. After moving to San Diego, I was a happy Angie's List customer, using the service to find local service providers for...

At the Center of Customer Conversations: Q&A with Pypestream Chief Customer Officer Donna Peeples

Chief Customer Officers are becoming more common in recent years. According to the CCO Council there were fewer than 20 CCOs in 2003. Now there are hundreds, maybe thousands (although not all using that title) in this role, defined by the CCO Council as: An...

Citrix, NetScout, and Haemonetics share secrets of award-winning B2B customer service

I recently had the pleasure of speaking at the awards dinner of SCORE, an annual conference by Omega Management Group. In all, 40 companies were recognized for excellence in customer service. What's very cool and I believe unique in the CX industry is that the...

Smart Practice for #CustServ Channel Optimization: Less is More

Recently my car battery died and I resigned myself to a few hours of inconvenience. I'd have to find a local repair shop, figure out how to jump my car to get it there (hello, neighbor!), wait for the replacement to be installed,...

Qubit Helps Digital Marketers Shift Gears on the Road to a 1-to-1 Future

If you’re an avid cyclist looking for components, clothing, or even a shiny new set of wheels, online searches will eventually take you to ChainReactionCyles.com. A business that started as a local bike shop in Northern Ireland in 1984 now runs the world’s biggest...

Creating and Selling Change (X>XY>Y) — 5 Questions for the Authors of “Selling Vision”

Everyone knows that buyers today are behaving differently now, thanks to easy access of information via the Web. The problem is that while buyers are changing, sellers have struggled to keep up. I was pleased to review a new book that doesn't dodge the core...

Top 5 signs you’re doing a REAL Customer Experience Management (CXM) initiative

What does it really mean to do a "Customer Experience Management" (CXM) initiative? Theoretically, it could include anything because customer experience includes everything. Identifying Critical Success Factors (CSFs) is a planning technique to focus on the important few things. If it's truly "critical" and...

5 Questions for Richard Shapiro About Saving “The Endangered Customer”

Richard Shapiro’s book The Endangered Customer: Eight Steps to Guarantee Repeat Business is an exclamation point on his three decades of experience in customer service. Learn how to make customers welcome, earn their trust, and surprise them in ways that keep them coming back,...

Are You Competing on Customer Experience to Keep Up, Get Ahead, or “Leave a...

Painting is self-discovery. Every good artist paints what he is. —Jackson Pollack Three years ago, MassMutual embarked on a journey to reconnect with its customers. This 165-year-old financial services firm realized that "you can't spray paint excitement" on largely...

Innovation: The Art of Implementation — 5 Questions with Robert Brands

We've all seen those magazine lists of "most innovative" companies. Typically included are companies like Apple or, more recently, Tesla. Some are little more than popularity contests, others like Forbes do a better job of assessing how innovation is contributing to business success. Without change,...

3 Strategies to Sell the CEO on Customer Experience Management (CXM)

These days everyone seems to be on the CX bandwagon. Various studies find that upwards of 70% of executives believe CX is the key to differentiate in a world where it's not enough to offer a competitive product or price. And, in recent years...

Can You Trust B2B Software Review Sites? Doveryai, No Proveryai

Short answer: No. I mean Yes. Let me explain. There is no such thing as a completely unbiased review. So if you're looking for one and only one source of B2B software info to help you decide which software is "best" for your business, you're...

New Study: What Separates Innovation Leaders from the Rest?

A new report by PA Consulting finds fear of failure one the big reasons that companies aren't more successful. There is some indication that innovation is related to better business results. Of the group of "innovation leaders" (identified as those who strongly believe their...

Customer Success Management: Training Wheels for CXM?

A couple of years ago a Forrester analyst told me that "Customer Success Management" would be the next big thing. I'm beginning to think he may be right, but I have some concerns. The term has been popping up more and more of late, so...

Has CXM “Jumped the Shark,” trying to be the Theory of Everything?

The term "jump the shark" originated in a 1977 episode of Happy Days, when the Fonz literally jumped a shark on water skis. In common usage it means "the moment when a brand, design, franchise or creative effort's evolution declines." I'm worried that's what...

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