Tag Archives: CRM

Building New Businesses with Data

Katja Suentzenich and Christian Heller

“The goal is to turn data into information, and information into insight.” – Carly Fiorina, former chief executive of HP.

During the Marketing Analytics & Data Science Conference, Katja Suentzenich, Senior Manager, CX & Connected Car, MHP Inc., and Christian Heller, Manager, CRM, Porsche Cars North America, discussed “How SAP’s Analytical Power is Building New Businesses.”

Katja and Christian explained how today’s customer wants a relationship with a brand, not a channel. Connectivity and big data are critical for automotive OEMs to support a unique customer experience, especially for millennials.

Big data is also key for innovation. Porsche uses SAP’s HANA for CRM on a global scale with a full integration of previously independent channels.

Here’s what Porsche learned en route to the “real-time enterprise” with connectivity and big data:
- Went from a “rear-view mirror” perspective to immediate, actionable insights.
- Big data readiness and experience varies largely depending on the industry.
- Need new types of employees: Big Data Business Analysts, Data Scientists and Model Builders.
- It’s all about the “right” big data sources and use cases. Mobile is dominating user experience.

Big data is also enabling Porsche to provide highly personalized customer life-cycle communication to support increased customer enthusiasm and loyalty. 

Watch for additional #MADSCONF follow-up stories!

Peggy L. Bieniek, ABC is an Accredited Business Communicator specializing in corporate communication best practices. 

Connect with Peggy on LinkedInTwitterGoogle+, and on her website at www.starrybluebrilliance.com

How to Create a Customer Experience that Sells

Today, businesses of all types and sizes must provide high quality products, but customers tend to remember the details of their experience with the product or the company better than the product itself.
So now it is more important than ever for businesses to focus on developing customer experiences that enables them to grow and retain their customer base. Here are a few ways businesses can create a customer experience that truly sells the product.
Recognize Your Customer. A key step you can take to enhance your customer experiences is to personally recognize your customer when they return to make a purchase. It’s the personalized treatment that adds value to a purchase, makes the customer feel special, and injects loyalty into your customer base. Evaluate your business operations to for areas where you can ensure that your customers know you are paying attention to their purchases.
Provide a Personalized Experience. It is also important to focus on providing your customers with personalized shopping experiences. Integrating interactive experiences along with in-store shopping is an excellent way to do this. Customers expect VIP treatment from brands in both online and in-person experiences. Providing customers with the same personalized experience when shopping online as they receive when they are in the store can go a long way toward encouraging repeat business.

Tapping into the Customer’s Emotions. For many consumers, shopping is an emotionally driven experience. No matter what they are shopping for, consumers are seeking opportunities to connect those events with their experiences with products. So, provide consumers with the option to build shopping lists and share with friends. Along with seeing what people close them are shopping for, these lists also make it possible for consumers to save the products they like for future reference, increasing the chance of making a sale.

Customer Experience is the Way to Grow a Business Today

As the marketplace becomes increasingly crowded with products, it is becoming more difficult for companies to stand out amidst the noise. In the past, product packaging and messai8ng was the most important way to stand out from competitors. Today, these elements are still critical, but in addition, you need to offer the customer a special experience.
The customer experience is a blend of a company’s physical performance and the emotions evoked, intuitively measured against customer expectations across all touch-points. The customer experience should be a reflection of everything that makes up your brand ‘ not just the products or services, but its attitudes, values and key differentiation. This means that every time a company and a customer interact, the customer learns something about the company that will either strengthen or weaken the future relationship – and with that – the customer’s desire to return, spend more and recommend.
Here is an infographic produced by Nunwood  that shows just how important customer experience is to a growing business:

Live From #TMRE13: How to Defend Market Share from Disruptive Category Entrants

At TMRE 2013 in Nashville this afternoon, Anne Hale, Ph.D.,
BAI US Specialty Care Lead, Pfizer and Chet Zalesky, President, CMI spoke about
informing brand strategy in the pharmaceutical industry.
Today, in the pharma industry, you simply can’t hide from
your competitors as there are very few of them. A few years ago, Pfizer had a brand
that was competing in a market that was not dynamic. The company was confident
that its segmentation was very effective and its share remained stable over
‘We were feeling very comfortable with business as usual strategy,
but there were disruptive elements on the business horizon,’ explained Hale. We
can predict the future far more accurately than most industries.’
According to Hale, you have to figure out what will be a
game-changer vs. something like a ‘little pebble in a pond’. In the pharma
industry this process must be begin years before the launch of a product because
it needs a long lead time. ‘We realized we didn’t have a plan in place for this
game-changer, and we could take a substantial hit,’ said Hale.
So, what did Pfizer do? It wanted to proactively refine the brand
strategy in anticipation of the disruptive event. The company needed to do
several things including target opportunistic segments, prepare differential
messaging, create new sales aids, and train the sales force.
Then, Pfizer held workshops to help frame the decision pathways
it was thinking about, move to a quantitative study, and further, to a
segmentation. Almost a year and half out, the company had develop all of the possible
profiles and what it needed to be concerned about for the final process ‘ and finally
pull all the pieces together.
There are a lot of reasons people do something. Pfizer
wanted to understand the different triggers to know why exactly they happen. According
to Hale, Pfizer used the Decision Pathway Process to take the specific pathway created
and find out what physicians are making decisions in a similar way. This allows
for differential messaging to target the trigger points on their decision pathway,
and ultimately, move from triggers to segments.
For Pfizer’s path, a lot of the variables had a lot to do with
the patients. Hale said, ‘We got an idea what the market looked like (patient-centered,
low risk, and key opinion leader), then we needed to look at what our segments
looked like to develop a strategy.’

the Author:  Amanda Ciccatelli, Social Media Strategist of the Marketing Division at IIR USA, has a background in digital and
print journalism, covering a variety of topics in business strategy, marketing,
and technology. Amanda is the Editor at Large for several of IIR’s blogs
including Next Big DesignCustomers 1st, and ProjectWorld and World Congress for Business
. She previously worked at Technology Marketing Corporation as a
Web Editor where she covered breaking news and feature stories in the
technology industry. She can be reached at aciccatelli@iirusa.com. Follow
her at 

Get Personal with Your Customers through Data

Today, companies of all shapes and sizes are struggling to keep up with the fast-changing customer experience landscape. In fact, a Harris Interactive survey found that in the United States, 68 percent of consumers say brands need to find ways to offer more customized interactions. Within the context of persistent economic uncertainty, competition for consumers has never been stronger.  CEO of cloud contact center provider inContact Paul Jarman recently told Wiredthat organizations who ignore this demand for a personalized experience will be at a disadvantage.
‘There’s a huge amount of value in those bottomless wells of information that most companies are under-utilizing or outright ignoring. Mining that gold can unearth a wealth of insights and advancements that can ultimately lead to a more forward-thinking customer experience,’ he said.
Here are some key steps from Jarman that will help you give your customers a more personalized experience:
Listen to Your Customers
The importance of listening to the Voice of the Customer means collecting customer feedback, using speech analytics, and listening on-demand to customer conversations, and all of these sources of feedback to improve outcomes. This concept is evolving to include all of the interactions that customers have with your organization, including written communications through chat, text/SMS, and emails that are becoming increasingly popular. So, this data needs to be easily accessible to those interacting with customers directly.
Image via jameskaskade.com
Get Social
With over one million Twitter accounts created in 2012, social media presents new challenges and new opportunities as a key source of customer data. In fact, a new Aberdeen Group study on using data to deliver superior customer care finds that 60 percent of contact centers are using social media as part of their efforts. The report shows that businesses received about 200,000 customer requests over the past 12 months that originated in Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn.
Personalize It
All of the data in the world is useless if you aren’t applying it in a way that truly impacts your customers. At the most basic level, this can happen when technology automatically provides data about a customer in real time, allowing the call to be routed and handled accordingly. Using a data-driven approach, a customer whose data identifies him or her as high profile can be instantly moved to the front of the queue or routed to a more appropriately skilled agent.
‘Ultimately, data is the currency of business and the foundation of the customer-driven economy,’ said Jarman. If you really listen to your customers and to your data, you’ll finally achieve a more holistic view of your customer that allows you to anticipate their needs before they even have to ask.

Amanda Ciccatelli, Social Media Strategist at IIR USA, has a background in digital and print journalism, covering a variety of topics in business strategy, marketing, and technology. She previously worked at Technology Marketing Corporation as a Web Editor where she covered breaking news and feature stories in the tech industry.  She can be reached at aciccatelli@iirusa.com. Follow her at @AmanadCicc. 

Combining Digital Data with Traditional CRM to Enhance Customer Experience

Putting the customer at the heart of your business strategy has been the key to success. It seems obvious, however, data & CRM specialists agree it is still an aspiration for many. CRM systems that combined digital, mobile and social data alongside traditional touch-points are outstripping those that don’t.  In fact, brands like Domino’s Pizza and Starbucks have cracked the customer service game thanks to their combined approach.
‘The art of CRM doesn’t change, but the channel has. It’s all about talking to customer in relevant way, at the right time, on the right channel and adding value to the customer’s life. Combining the digital alongside offline data has enabled companies such as Pizza Hut and Domino’s, to identify individuals rather than just households,’ said Celerity’s Managing Director Jason Lark.
According to Econsultancy.com, the benefits of joining up digital, mobile, social and offline CRM data include:
No Duplication
Businesses that have integrated all touch points into a single view CRM system are outperforming those that aren’t because they don’t duplicate messages.
1-2-1 Conversations
Data drawn from Facebook, email and other social media channels means large multinationals have an opportunity to have a 1-2-1 conversation with customers.
Real-time Relevance
Using mobile as a channel to collect and harness data has allowed companies to create targeted, personalized offerings.
Agile Customer Service
Companies that have embraced social media, now respond to conversations with customers instantly, demonstrating agile customer service.
By tracking offline and online activity organizations can personalize content to reward to the customer.
Tracking Former Customers  
Data created from the digital wallet allows you to track the consumer once they’ve left your site. 

Steps to Driving Action on the Front Line in a B2B Environment

Tim Berry from Microsoft spoke of driving your sales force to enhance the customer experience. Every company should try to become a trusted partner with its customers. Microsoft has gone on a journey toward deeper customer satisfaction. When Microsoft was being perceived less positively, Bill Gates made a decision to start listening to customers. Since then, the company has received more and more positive feedback as it shifted to the Web, and now through the transition to the Cloud. Understand what your moment of truth is: It’s when a customer is most focused on you and when they make their assessment of how satisfied they are with you. The goal is to drive change. Use customer feedback to find out how to make the experience better. This can be measure by the Relationship Management Score (RMS). Have a consistent and predictable customer engagement model. This information can be used to create tools and resources to optimize the sales force. Listen to customers to find how they define success. Create actionable Customer Satisfaction Metrics to hold people accountable ‘ all the way down to the individual level. ‘What gets measured gets done.’ Make sure the data is being used. Here are Tim’s tips to drive relationship health: 1. Consistent Sales Methodology 2. Listening Methods 3. Drive Execution Excellence 4. Close the Loop You must know the value proposition for all your constituents, whether they be external or internal. The sales force needs to be funneled toward execution excellence. Start with a Strategic Relationship Map. Define which roles and relationships are needed and who can fill them. Be sure to communicate the results to customers and to employees. Create an action plan to improve upon what you learned. Focus on having CPE information stay close to the sales team. Formalize Corrective Action Plans ‘ if an issue comes up, be transparent and open. Create a conversation Start this movement from the top down. If the CEO isn’t behind it, others won’t come together either. Create a central group that supports the vision ‘ they will drive the overall strategy. Remember that CSAT is a long-term strategy and every internal and external factor has an impact. Tailor the process to each segment. Create actionable CSAT metrics to drive change. Then measure, and do it all again.

NACCM 2009: The Little Things Are the Biggest Things

‘Oh no you didn’t!’ Have you said this to yourself after having an unbelievably disrespectful or frustrating experience on a customer service call? Emily Yellin, author of Your Call is (Not That) Important to Us, shared with us that we should focus on the little things that have the biggest impact on service.

Yellin is a Journalist who has traveled the globe covering 4 continents to talk to CEOs and customer service experts. What drew her into the customer service conversation was that she sat on hold for what seemed forever on a customer service call with a home warranty company. Not happy with the experience, she decided to investigate why customer service folks keep missing the mark.

Yellin reports that Americans make 43 million customer service calls a year. About 70% of businesses use call centers today as the main way to interact with customers. In studying the call center industry, she uncovered several things they are doing right and several things that can be improved. Yellin states that ‘this is a time in customer service that is really exciting’.

She talked about an experience she had with a call center employee by the name of ‘Pablo’. After several frustrating attempts to get a product delivered, she was ultimately able to speak to Pablo who was able to take care of the problem. Pablo worked as a supervisor for a call center in South America. She contacted the company and arranged a visit where she met with management. And there sitting at the end of the table was Pablo. He told Yellin he had never met a customer before.

Her research led her to discover three themes that companies who have ‘got it right’ have been following. These are:

1) Design for it
2) Follow through
3) Provide value

Design of a customer service system is important. Getting feedback from front liners can be critical to creating good customer service systems. Putting yourself in your customers ‘shoes’ or observing your customers as they experience your service are some of the best ways to evaluate your design.

Follow-through will make or break the perception of your service experience. In her research, she discovered that what call center employees say and what customers interpret are often two different things. For example, when a call center employee says ‘I’m not authorized to do that’, it really means ‘I’m not going to help you’ to the customer.

Yellin suggests we watch the words we use to describe our roles. For her, Customer Relationship Management has a negative connotation. She doesn’t want to be managed. Words are an agreement between us, she says. Be sure you are speaking your customers’ language.

One thing the customer wants to hear from you is ‘Yes’. Anything you do to get in the way of ‘yes’ is a problem. She identified typical call center mistakes:

1) No information
2) They don’t have authority
3) They don’t care

The final theme is that successful companies provide value. We cannot lose our humanity, says Yellin. It starts from the top down. When you’ve had your very worst experience, what emotions did you feel? asks Yellin. Feelings include frustration, disappointment, and anger which spread easily. According to a Customer Rage study, 70% of angry customers felt rage, 28% raised their voices to an employee, 8% cursed, and 57% of customers took their business elsewhere.

The opposite feeling is when the experience is good. ‘Shouldn’t that be our goal’? asks Yellin. Let’s spread the good and create those good feelings. Minor indignities are the seeds to horrible things says Yellin. When we talk about the carbon footprint, we refer to the little things we can do to make our earth better. Yellin suggests that those of us in customer service should be encouraged to make a ‘karma’ footprint. What does your service footprint say about you?

Value from CRM, even in today’s economy

William Brand recently posted six ways for you to derive value from your CRM in the coming year, even with the current state of the economy.

1) Emergence of the social customer
2) The imperative that CRM strategies deliver business value
3) The requirement to fully cost justify CRM investments
4) The necessity to reduce risk of CRM initiatives
5) The need to get more value from customer information
6) The battle to redefine vendor pricing and licensing agreements

Merits of CRM

In this news report, they discuss the merits of CRM. Since the conception of CRM systems, much has changed. In 1997, 39% of contact centers said they “had a single view of the customer” with 45% planning to follow their lead within 2 years. By 2007 this number had dropped to 34%. As Stephen Loring, a business development manager for customer interactive solutions stated:

“The rise of the Internet, and the use of different channels such as IVR and Web self-service has disrupted the unified 360 degree view of customers in CRM. At the same time the payback period for CRM installations is too long for many of today’s business managers.”

This has lead people to question the usefulness of CRM. In response Pete Marston, a Forrester Research Analyst had this to say:

“If you have customers won over you need to maintain those relationships, on the marketing side you need to get people interested in your product or service by understanding their buying behavior is, and then on the sales side you understand what the customers’ needs are. The various CRM tools help you carry out these functions.”

What is your take on this debate?