Tag Archives: automation

Idea Gathering: Automated Marketing

Not just hearing, but translating innovations and insights is a huge part of the value of the Total Customer Experience Leaders. Our unique idea gathering wrap-ups between sessions facilitate alignment of customer strategy inspiration with business relevant actions and have been one of our most highly rated features in the past.

Here on the blog, we’ll be presenting weekly idea gathering wrap ups of some of our favorite customer experience strategy, design and alignment news and views.

This week our focus is on Automated Marketing.

Wikipedia defines automated marketing as the name given to software platforms designed for marketing departments and organizations to automate repetitive tasks. Automated marketing’s intention is to save time, improve efficiency, and reduce human errors. But what kind of impact does it have on the customer? We’ll discuss the pros and cons of implementing an automated marketing system at your business.
First the pros: According to the web magazine CMSwire.com, campaigns running automated marketing software that utilize automated e-mail  responses enjoy a 200% higher conversion rate. Automatic response e-mails are the most common forms of automated marketing, and are generally triggered by an action that a visitor makes such as asking a question or downloading a form.   CMSwire also suggests including a personal signature at the bottom of your automated e-mails increases open rates by 500%
Furthermore automated marketing can be utilized for phones as well. CMSwire repots that a staggering 50% of consumers who received a text message from a retailer reported making a purchase as a result. It’s in this category where the ROI of automated marketing seems to be the most significant.

Others argue that automated marketing actually does more harm then good to customer experience and that automatic replies and service can not (yet) be effectively replaced by actual people. Hubspot.com ridicules current automated reply e-mail software explaining that the available filters on most e-mail clients easily blocks or de-prioritizes automated e-mails. So while the delivery stats may remain high on automated e-mail, the actual readership does not.
Hubspot also goes on to explain how automated marketing often lacks the valuable content that customers want to be receiving whether it be in an e-mail, text, or blog post. As automated marketing programs develop larger and larger contact lists they end up mass marketing to potentially unique segments of clients.
Is automated marketing right for your business? Factors to consider are number of customers and the uniqueness of their needs. If your business has a limited number of customers who all want the same thing then automated marketing will definitely save you time and money. If not, then you shouldn’t rush into the decision and take some time to think about how your customers will feel getting e-mails or texts from a machine instead of a person.
About the Author
Jeffrey Marino is a contributing writer concentrating his focus on Business Administration, Management Information Systems, and Tech Innovations. He blogs at Fordham Nights and can bereached at JMarino@iirusa.com.

Putting a (Robotic) Face on Customer Service?

Here in NYC, we’ve just learned that the Newark, Kennedy and LaGuardia airports are getting a brand new customer service representative: an avatar. Watch the video below for a glimpse:

The Port Authority has reportedly spent $180,000 on this new development, but we have to wonder, do these avatars really deliver customer service value? Will they impact customer experiences in any significant way?

Putting a more “human” face on basic information such as the location of ground transport and bathrooms may make customers feel welcome, but as reported here “the avatar was not capable of processing or responding to human interaction…the technology currently plays a 90-second sound loop which reactivates anytime a person is within 30 feet of the apparatus.”

It’s a neat idea, and I’m sure management sees value in an “employee” that never needs a break or a vacation day, but with less interactivity then your average online “live chat” help representative, we can’t see this avatar being the next big leap in customer service.

Michelle LeBlanc is a social media strategist at IIR USA and the voice of the Total Customer Experience Leaders Summit on Twitter and on Facebook . She can be reached at mleblanc@iirusa.com.

Total Customer Experience Leaders Spotlight: David Blair of Rockwell Automation

In 2011, we interviewed David Blair, Director, Customer Experience,Rockwell Automation in advance of the 2011 Total Customer Experience Leader’s Summit. David will be returning to the event in 2012 as our conference chair. Let’s take a look back at some of his thoughts from last year:

TCEL: Tell us about a project you are working on or recently completed that you are proud of?

DB: We’ve just completed a new event-based survey that allows us to get feedback on our PROJECT business. The survey is very different from our annual customer survey in that it focuses on the individual project ‘ from proposal through design through start-up. The goal is to both ensure a successful project, and get actionable feedback on our performance.

TCEL: What do you think is the key to a successful Customer Experience program?

DB: Senior Management support. Improving customer experience can’t be done from the bottom up. Moving the needle takes hard work and real commitment. And that comes by senior management talking about customer experience, defining performance goals, linking performance to compensation, prioritizing customer experience expenditures, and taking a personal interest in improvement projects.

TCEL: What inspired you to get in the field? What keeps you motivated?

DB: Motivation is easy. In our company, the Customer Experience Office is not just the messenger for conveying customer feedback – we’re also responsible for driving improvements. So knowing the next customer survey is right around the corner, and I’ll be the one walking through results with the CEO, I’m constantly motivated to drive feedback into actions that will improve our Customer Experience scores. I got into the field primarily because it allowed me to leverage my diverse background (sales, marketing, quality, product development) and interpersonal skills to make some real differences.

TCEL: What is one thing you’re excited about for this year’s Total Customer Experience Leaders Summit?

DB: Meeting peers. In our field, we rarely get a chance to share our approaches, successes and failures with peers. Books and consultants are helpful, but there’s really no substitute for an in-depth understanding of how other companies approach customer experience. There’s no one right way, and the approaches vary widely. My goal is to gather ideas that will form the basis for a strategy that elevates our own program to the next level, and likewise I hope I can offer ideas to help others advance.

TCEL: What is one question you are looking to get answered at this year’s Summit?

DB: My question: How do you keep the vitality in your customer experience program? It strikes me that no matter how good the research is, and how well it’s presented, the enthusiasm naturally diminishes over time.

About Rockwell Automation
Rockwell Automation, Inc., the world’s largest company dedicated to industrial automation and information, makes its customers more productive and the world more sustainable. Headquartered in Milwaukee, Wis., Rockwell Automation employs about 21,000 people serving customers in more than 80 countries.

To hear more from our Customer Experience Experts, visit our resource page for a full catalog of interviews, or join us June 6th-8th in Boston.   As a reader of our blog we’d like to offer you a 15% off the standard registration rates, use code TCEL12BLOG to save. Register for the event here.