Bob Thompson

Can Artificial Intelligence (AI) Improve the Customer Experience?

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is hot. One breathless press release predicted that by 2025, 95% of all customer interactions will be powered by AI. AI is not new. It's not just about "bots" for self-service. Or self-driving cars. In general usage it means the usage...

Report: “Customer Orientation” Declining, Few Large Companies Have Strong Culture

Forrester says we're in the "Age of the Customer." Posts about delivering a "great customer experience" and "obsessing" about customers abound. Why, then, is "customer orientation" declining as a top value in several industries included in a new Pomello report "People Management in 2017"? Take,...

Should Chatbots Pretend to Be Human?

In a recent post by Sandeep Raut, he writes about the role of chatbots in digital transformation. Chatbots are built to mimic human interaction, making them seem like an actual individual existing digitally. It could live in any major chat product (Facebook Messenger, Slack,...

Delighted: A Disruptive “Voice of the Customer” Solution for the Rest of Us

If you're looking to hire temporary workers, you might find yourself using Wonolo, an Uber-like service that connects job seekers with hiring companies. Wonolo currently boasts 60,000 jobs and 50,000 pre-screened workers ("Wonoloers"). According to John Flaaten, Director of Business Operations, Wonolo wanted a...

Here’s Proof from Forrester that CX Drives Revenue. And 3 Cautions That It May...

Forrester just released an excellent new report "Drive Revenue with Customer Experience, 2017" co-authored by Maxie Schmidt-Subramanian, Dylan Czarnecki, and Laura Garvin Tramm. Forrester was kind enough to provide a copy to me, and Maxie was equally generous with her time discussing the research. For...

13 Ways to Turn Customer-Centric Theory into Practice

Ready or not, 2017 is here. How will you turn the promise of customer-centricity into value for your customers and your business? While every situation is different, I thought it would be helpful to see what our 2017 Advisors recommend that business leaders do this...

12 Powers: How Marketing Leaders Can Succeed by Building Customer and Company Value

According to The 12 Powers of a Marketing Leader, a new book by Thomas Barta and Patrick Barwise, marketers are doing just fine "doing" marketing. What they need to do is update their leadership abilities to "mobilize" their bosses, colleagues, team, and self. That...

Satisfaction is Dead. NOT. It’s the Most Common Emotion in Great Customer Experiences [research]

Don't ignore satisfaction. That's one compelling conclusion from Inmoment's recent global study of 20,000 consumers. Brennan Wilkie, Senior Vice President, Customer Experience Strategy, shared key finding on a CustomerThink webinar on Dec. 8 (register to get the recording and slides here). Here are a few...

Kustomer’s new #CustServ solution — You had me at “Treat Customers as People”

Does the world need a new customer service solution? Kustomer thinks so. After a few months in beta, the new solution officially launched on Nov. 17. As you might expect with any modern customer service solution, Kustomer provides multi-channel support (email, chat, and text...

Goodbye CXM. SDL Reboots to Focus on “Taking Digital Content Globally, Faster”

A couple of weeks ago I attended SDL's annual user conference, which emphasized the company's global capabilities to manage content and localize (translate) languages. I call this a "reboot" because it's quite a dramatic change from pushing SDL as a holistic Customer Experience Management (CXM)...

The Rise of Predictive Service Experiences. Because “You, you, you oughta know!”

We've all had experiences as customers of being asked to do something that's clearly unnecessary. To my gym, I ask: "Why can't I sign up for a class online inside of two days? Calling takes 10 times as long to accomplish the same thing." What...

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,...

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