And a fine good morning to one and all, thank you for tuning your dial to Radio CBM 98.6, the pride of Madison County, all Grateful Dead all the time:
After talking to 16 Fortune 500 food & beverage, financial services, automotive, retailers and sporting goods brands, researchers found that “petitioning for a government bailout” is the #1 marketing and development strategy, followed by “involving customers directly in the planning and development of company products, services and marketing initiatives” via private online communities.
The study found that these interactive communities provide “deeper insight into customers’ needs than traditional market research,” have “increased customer advocacy and loyalty,” and can help “score U2 tix.”
Evidently 86 percent of respondents say that private online communities provide richer insight into customers, 33 percent report that the community input alone has actually changed product designs and marketing plan and 96 percent report that their marketing department is “deriving value” from collaboration with customers. A remarkable 71 percent say they plan to create more “Five Things” lists on Facebook and find out what ’70s sitcom character they are.
SaaS services automation vendor QuickArrow has announced the launch of their Small Business Edition, designed to simplify professional services management for small businesses and teams with up to ten users. Early beta testers include such small businesses looking to cut costs and increase efficiencies as Chrysler and GM.
The product is targeted to guys who currently manage their business on manual spreadsheets, use rotary phones and train carrier pigeons to deliver business correspondence. “Manually tracking time and expense, billing, and project management on spreadsheets drastically limits the overall effectiveness of many services organizations today,” says QuickArrow CEO Kevin Bury, adding that pigeon feathers “get really messy in the mail room too.”
“In the PS space, most small business owners start off with a vision of being their own boss and creating financial freedom, but inevitably, without the right tools in place, they become overwhelmed by the manual administration of the business,” Bury said. “Nine times out of ten, that means project and cost overruns, and countless nights and weekends away from the family, just trying to keep their heads above water. But let me tell you, tenth time’s the charm,” he added, propping his feet up on the desk and lighting a cigar with a $20 bill.
“I used to spend half my work week updating spreadsheets and preparing reports,” said Mark Foster, director of professional services at Troux Technologies. “But with QuickArrow it only takes a couple of hours to pull my reports for detailed data on the health of our services department, and I’m free to spend half of my work week telling people how to spell and pronounce the company name.”
In politics President Barack Obama, realizing that it had been nearly 45 minutes since he had changed the topic, suddenly announced a major initiative to eliminate fine print, sudden rate increases and late fees for credit cards. “In these times of the rapid nuclear weaponization of Iran, the Taliban gaining control of nuclear power Pakistan and North Korea showing a defiant willingness to not only develop nuclear weapons but fire them on rockets that can reach the West Coast, it will be the top priority of my administration to get late fees on credit cards down to levels that Americans are comfortable with. Until lunch anyway,” he added, checking his watch. When asked about progress on his announcement last week on securing an arms control with Latin America he appeared perplexed, saying “Man, you’re still talking about ancient history?”
Ransys developed the ACE system to get “continual customer experience monitoring” and to offers organizations a way to initiate daily feedback from customers “transferred into actions that will improve the service experience.” It’s promising managers “a detailed and continuous real-time picture of customer satisfaction,” complete with “facial expressions and spontaneous verbal utterances as the customer interacts with the product” obtained via an intricate web of hidden cameras and voice-activated microphones placed in the customer’s home, work place and at several other sites frequented in the customer’s day.
Tony Harris, Director of Technology and Operations at Bace One, said the combination of Attentive ACE and Bace, “through the analysis of both structured and unstructured data within the contact center,” will create a “compelling proposition.” For an additional fee the customer can be tailed by a team of surveillance operatives who record her every interaction with every product in the day.
In sports the NFL’s Kansas City Chiefs traded probably the finest tight end in league history, Tony Gonzalez, to the Atlanta Falcons for a draft pick. Discounting criticism that Gonzalez was past his playing prime, Falcons Head Coach Mike Smith said once the team upgraded Gonzalez’s walker “we expect him to recapture the Pro Bowl form he displayed during the Ford Administration.”
Genesys and InQuira have announced the integration of their respective software suites to give consumers “a seamless consistent experience” when they interact with a company’s contact center, regardless of the communication channel they use.
The deal combines Genesys’ customer interaction software with InQuira’s knowledge management applications, and lets customers use non-voice channels on the Web and mobile for customer support, using multi-lingual natural language processing from InQuira to discover the “true intent” of each question for “the most relevant answer as quickly as possible.”
With the ability to determine and act upon customer intent, company officials say, customers are directed to the right channel: “For example, when an online customer asks a question about opening a new account or a price request, the software determines the nature of the inquiry to be high-value and directs the interaction to the right channel for immediate live assistance. And look at this clown here—sure it looks like a benign request, but we can determine his true intent, which isn’t pretty,” the official said, pressing a button to redirect the call to local police.
That’s the show for today, we’re off to check our doorstep again.