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Four Keys to Managing the New Retail Customer Lifecycle

by ENGAGEcx on January 26, 2015

touch screen mobile phoneIntoday’s retail world, things are getting really complicated.  Any given customer can purchase a product online, through a partner, or in a store.  Today’s retail environment demands a business have the ability to capture the voice of the customer everywhere. If a company is not able to take a more personal view of how it interacts with customers, and how those views trend over the recent engagements the company has had with the customer, the business will fail. According to McKinsey & Company, “The future of retail will belong to retailers that can satisfy the customer, wherever he or she decides to shop.”

A CRM that identifies the customer

How can that be done? Think about the different processes companies must have at all of these different touchpoints.

Here are four key essentials to managing the new retail customer lifecycle:

1)   Individual Profiles for Customers

Customers are now in control of the purchasing process.  Retailers make it a priority to know a customer’s likes, dislikes, and preferred modes of communication–that has to be translated into the service environment. Most retailers rely on a CRM for that, yet in most CRM platforms, there is no mechanism to allow a business to use information in customer profiles or data warehouses in real time, at the moment the customer is interacting with a business.

Many enterprises have the data available, but there is no mechanism to allow them to use it when it is most helpful – at the time of interaction with the customer.

A customer-focused CRM like ENGAGE.cx utilizes contact, preference, location, relationship interest, and history data in real-time to help a firm to identify and best engage with customers.

2) Universal Personalization

The ability to recognize all customers across all channels, no matter who they are or what device they are using, is “Universal Personalization™.“ McKinsey & Company notes that their “research shows that this kind of personalization can deliver five to eight times the ROI on marketing spend and lift sales 10% or more.” With Universal Personalization™, a company can greet the customer based on data and information it knows about the customer in real time, allowing the company to create a more personal relationship with him.

Retailers study the behavior of their customers over time to understand the customers’ intent. This requires the compilation and analysis of data, and more importantly, taking the right actions on that data.

3) Voice of the Customer

Companies have traditionally used surveys to capture sentiment and emotional impact on customer engagement to better understand and incentivize loyalty. But, surveys don’t help companies when the customer isn’t right in front of them.  In this digital age, companies need feedback on every engagement so the data from engagements can be tracked over time. Tools like the ENGAGE.cx Customer Value Index are emerging as more reliable, more actionable indexes of insight.

4) The Customer Lifecycle

Understanding where a customer is on her journey with a company is critical in determining if the company’s processes and programs are delivering on a positive customer experience.  Creating and indexing the customer lifecycle is possible by identifying customers’ engagements with the business, measuring their sentiment towards the business, and keeping track of their purchases.  This accumulation of data throughout the customer’s journey with the company creates the Customer Value Index, a key measure of performance.

The key job of any CRM platform is to help a company manage its relationship with customers.  But even more than that, a good CRM needs to help a company tie its systems and touchpoints together to improve the overall customer experience.  Sadly, most CRM platforms miss the mark with this critical function. If a CRM platform cannot identify customers across all channels, doesn’t let an organization know where customers are on the customer lifecycle, or allow a business to meet the customer on the customer’s terms, it needs to be replaced.

If you agree it’s time for a new CRM, we welcome you to a free trial of Engage.CX today. Simply fill out the form below to begin.

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ENGAGEcxFour Keys to Managing the New Retail Customer Lifecycle

Does your CRM shortcut customer relationship?

by ENGAGEcx on January 19, 2015

Ask yourself these 3 questions to find out how successful your CRM is for today’s mobile, modern customer.

Depositphotos_30164827_mThe truth is the “R,” or relationship aspect, of CRM has never been there. This unpleasant fact is rooted in the history of CRM. CRM was born 30 years ago as a way to get visibility into what a company’s sales team was selling, so the firm could see how it was doing as a business. In short, CRM systems of the past, and most of the current systems today, simply measure the conversion process, analyzing one sales stage to the next. The reason for this approach is simple: In the past, customers relied upon a salesperson to educate them about a product or service. But today, it’s a very different reality. Now, with the advent of the Internet and mobile technology, customers are educated before they ever go into a store, meaning that the notion of sales conversion has changed dramatically.

In response to this shift, many companies decided that marketing was the new catalyst for sales conversions. No matter if companies were blasting out customer emails or bombarding customers with offers, it became a numbers game. The more marketing messages a company sent out, the more sales were likely to trickle in. Even with this change in tactics, CRM continued to be about conversion.

Consumers are in control of the sales process

Consumers in today’s environment are looking for brands for which they can advocate. That means businesses must recognize that the consumer is in control, and they must give the customer a process that is trustworthy and reliable. Customers must be met on their terms. Offering a sales process tailored to the customer creates sustainable performance improvement–not transitory upticks based on campaign blasts and conversion. Thus, it’s imperative for a business to have a CRM that measures customer engagement and experience. Unlike the traditional sales funnel, which purely focused on sales, the Customer Lifecycle truly represents the relationship between a business and its customers.

Here are the three signs to look for to determine if the relationship component is absent from your CRM:

1)   Not being focused on the customer, but rather being focused on the product or internal processes.

How does a management team know if its business fits into this category? Well, the business cares more about what its product does than what the consumers want. This tends to be a matter of culture in the company. If a business isn’t focused on the customer at the highest levels of the firm, that’s a clear sign the business will struggle. In addition, if a business can’t recognize customers across all channels, that’s another red flag that the CRM isn’t focused on forging relationships with customers–just conversion.

2)   If a business is trying to create more and more messaging to create more and more sales.

This is the numbers game referred to earlier. If a firm is spamming customers with marketing messages to get more sales, this is another sign that the business is focused on the wrong things. It’s an easy trap in which to fall because companies often see that sales increase as the number of marketing messages increase. But at the end of the day, by doing this, a business is still not focused on the customer and, in fact, can be distancing themselves from any meaningful customer loyalty or a sustainable business model.

3)   Being overly concerned about conversions.

Since the customer is in control, the customer controls the sales conversions. So, if a business is measuring conversions but isn’t in control of it, by definition, the company is setting itself up for failure. Continuing to focus on conversions indicates a business has not embraced the paradigm shift of the customer being in control – it’s the customer who decides when the conversion happens.

Is your company’s CRM driven by customer experience?

Here a few questions to ask yourself so you can rate your own customer-experience centricity:

  1. Does your CRM allow the company to recognize customers consistently across all channels?
  2. Does it let your organization know where your customers are in the customer lifecycle instead of in the sales funnel?
  3. Does it allow your business to meet customers on their terms?

If the answer to any of these questions is no, your business needs a modern CRM. These are the questions that will set the framework for all CRM systems going forward. If your business can answer no to any of them, then it hasn’t embraced the customer-focused paradigm shift. If you want to see the benefits of focusing on the customer lifecycle, sign up below to start a free trial of ENGAGE.cx today.

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ENGAGEcxDoes your CRM shortcut customer relationship?

The CX Challenge Part 3 – Beware, You ARE what you measure!

by David Trice on January 12, 2015

In our last post, the CEO’s Epic False Sense of Security, we left our CEO with his business performing well and his metrics all reading positively. The security felt by the management team is borne out by the fact that the company has identified the metrics they care about and are diligent in adhering to the measurement process.

businessman hand working with new modern computer and business sYet the CEO is not seeing the improvement in his business that he anticipated, and this has caused him to question the management team’s approach.

Inspect What You Expect

Like many business leaders, our CEO implemented the most popular metrics, like Net Promoter Score and Customer Effort Score, to try and get insight into how his organization is delivering on its Customer Experience objectives. As the CEO evaluates the company’s performance, he decides to inspect the processes and key metrics the management team is currently using to analyze what the team is telling him.

The metrics are as follows:

Net Promoter Score (NPS)

The Net Promoter Score is an index measuring the willingness of customers to recommend a company’s products or services to others. It is used as a proxy for gauging the customer’s overall satisfaction with a company’s product or service and the customer’s loyalty to the brand.

NPS is sort of a survey that is taken after key moments of engagement with a brand. Our CEO learns that his company is capturing NPS feedback at the end of a purchase process and during the product return process. The NPS scores seen by our CEO are generally positive, suggesting his brand is well liked. After further investigation, he learns that scores are typically collected after customers utilize the company’s generous return policy.

Net Promoter Score Shortcomings

There are several problems with how the company is using NPS:

  1. NPS is not reflective of the entire customer base, as it only represents the sentiment of a small percentage of the firm’s customers.
  2. The NPS scores are more reflective of a returns process and NOT the company brand. The CEO realizes that continuing down this path will not build loyal customers; rather it will encourage transient customers that are loyal to a process. Overtime, this will erode the brand that the company invests so much in developing.
  3. NPS is available for use after the fact – as a set of reports and recommendations. It is helpful in gauging broad sentiment and where to tweak processes, but it does not help with a customer in the moment of truth.

Customer Effort Score (CES)

This is an approach that the CEO uses as a predictor of increased spending and of re-purchase by customers. The technique simply asks, “How much effort did the customer personally have to put forth to get a request handled by the company?”

Our CEO uses CES during the sales process with customer-facing associates and in his call center to determine how effective his business is in addressing customer needs. The data collected by the firm is also used as a proxy for customer happiness and brand affinity, and it is also used as an input to predicting future sales.

Customer Effort Score (CES) Shortcomings

Once again, the CEO realizes that what is being learned by this metric are different that the original assumption:

  1. Customers don’t want to answer the question about how much effort they had to put forth. The CEO sees that, more often than not, customers opt out of answering this question.   As a result, the data they have is very skewed towards the few really happy customers or the few customers who are really mad with a given product or service.
  2. This measure is more indicative of a particular customer interaction – like a long hold time – rather than the overall brand experience. The CEO realizes the metric is interesting, but not likely “worth his effort.”
  3. Once again, this metric does not give the CEO ammunition to change the way customer interaction is currently happening, which leaves him wondering if there is a better way to improve Customer Experience.

Customer Satisfaction (CSAT)

CSAT measures how products and services supplied by a company meet or surpass customer expectation. Like many organizations, our CEO administers a CSAT survey several times annually across segments of his business to try and keep his thumb on the pulse of his customer base.

The findings from these surveys influence all aspects or our CEO’s business – from sales to product development to support. However, there is a growing trend that he has seen from this process in recent years:

Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) Shortcomings

Since CSAT surveys are customary for most businesses, customers are generally familiar with the process. Over the last two years our CEO has witnessed the following:

  1. Participation in surveys is trending down and in-survey abandonment is up
  2. Offers of discounts are more frequently required to drive the completion process
  3. The responses are becoming more watered down and less instructive to his business

Will the “loyal customer” please stand up?

The result of the processes above has left the CEO realizing that he really does not have a good read on customer loyalty and is uncertain what is driving advocacy and his brand’s relationships with his customers.   As one last foray into his review, he decides that meeting with key customers to dive deeper into their experiences with the firm is an appropriate next step. To identify possible participants, he asks his team to create a report of key advocates and influencers to see how many overlap, participating in both the measurement programs and in the company’s social community programs.

The response was staggering; there was no way to find out! Each of the processes was so fragmented that there was no way to identify the advocates the CEO had hoped to find. Sure, there were email addresses for some of the surveys, but there was no way to determine who responded positively across all measurement processes.

The CEO realized that all of the investment made by the company in measurement had not provided him with the insight he had hoped for on whether his businesses could deliver an exceptional customer experience. More importantly, he learned that using any of this data as a proxy for or predictor of future performance was dangerous and could likely cost him his job.

Our CEO has adjusted his thinking and is now on a quest to find a way to measure customer experience and better correlate it to financial performance. In the end, visibility into this relationship is the only thing that will sustain his brand in the new customer-centric world – and save his job.

Up next in this series, how the CEO finds a way to index and measure the impact of Customer Satisfaction against his business’ financial performance.

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David TriceThe CX Challenge Part 3 – Beware, You ARE what you measure!

Universal Personalization™: The simple secret to instant revenue

by David Trice on January 5, 2015

How Universal Personalization™ unlocks 5-10% increases in revenue

Screen Shot 2015-01-05 at 10.32.24 AMTo sell to a customer, a company needs to know the customer.  It’s a pretty simple concept but, in today’s world of constant connectivity, can be very difficult to execute.  To know the customer over time, a company must study his behavior, read his signals, and understand his intent – all of which require the compilation and analysis of data, and even more critically, taking the right actions on that data.

According to McKinsey’s DataMatics 2013 Survey, companies that use analytics extensively are “twice as likely to generate above-average profits as those who don’t. They also:

  • outperform their peers across the entire customer lifecycle,
  • are nine times more likely to enjoy superior customer loyalty, and
  • a whopping 23 times more likely to outperform less analytical peers on new-customer acquisition.”

Universal Personalization unlocks 5-10% more revenue

The key to unlocking these significant milestones is “Universal Personalization™, or the ability for a company to recognize all customers across all channels – no matter who they are or what device they are using.  This is a key concept, because according to Google, customers now “move seamlessly between devices – sequentially, simultaneously, and interchangeably.”

Once a customer has been recognized, he or she must be greeted consistently across all touchpoints.  As McKinsey notes in its DataMatics survey: “The objective of recognition and responsiveness is to turn new customers into loyal repeat buyers or to ensure that a long-time customer whose loyalty is wavering doesn’t leave for a competitor. Our research shows that this kind of personalization can deliver five to eight times the ROI on marketing spend and lift sales 10% or more.

Find 5-10% more revenue in your customer engagement approach

The right analytical software tools tracks patterns of  behavior across all channels, helping the company treat a customer according to his or her needs, and increasing the likelihood of developing customer loyalty. The Engage.CX platform accomplishes each of these objectives, in part, by interfacing with apps, systems, and devices.  Imagine being able to recognize and present the same offer or greeting to a specific customer, no matter if they are on the website, on their phone, or checking out at a point of sale terminal.  If you want to see the benefits of Universal Personalizationincluding the revenue lift–start a free trial of Engage.CX today.

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David TriceUniversal Personalization™: The simple secret to instant revenue

Touchpoint Dashboard Partners with ENGAGEcx to Offer a End-to-End, Digital Customer Experience Management Solution

by ENGAGEcx on October 7, 2014

Touchpoint Dashboard, LLC (TouchpointDashboard.com), the world’s first and leading customer journey mapping platform, has joined forces with ENGAGEcx (Engage.cx), the premier omni-channel customer engagement execution platform.

tpd

The two firms will leverage the complementary capabilities of their independent cloud-based systems to deliver greater value to their clients and offer the global marketplace a complete, end-to-end customer experience management solution.

This announcement comes on the heels of the joint Touchpoint Dashboard, ENGAGEcx presentation delivered at the 2014 National Customer Experience Day networking event in Atlanta on Oct. 7.

“ENGAGEcx offers impressive CRM technology, and its leadership team brings extensive customer experience expertise to the table. Our tools complement each other perfectly, and we’re honored to have the opportunity to partner with them,” said Bryan Surface, executive vice president of Touchpoint Dashboard.

According to Surface, the first step a company must take in managing its customer experience is to take an inventory all of touchpoints across all channels and lines of business, map the customer journey, and understand how a customer thinks, feels and acts when doing business with them. Touchpoint Dashboard simplifies and automates that process with its collaborative, intuitive journey mapping tool.

The next step, Surface said, is to take action to make improvements and continuously monitor the customer journey and watch for ways to better serve and engage customers. That’s where ENGAGEcx comes in. The innovative, CRM-like system monitors all aspects of a company’s customer journey as it occurs in real-time. It listens for buying moments through multiple media channels, creates a clear picture of a buyer, and delivers that prospective customer – along with his or her personalized buying profile information – to the right sales expert, in the right location, at the right time.

“This partnership will automate and dramatically transform the way businesses manage their customer experience,” said David Trice, co-founder and CEO of ENGAGEcx. “By giving our respective clients the option to couple Touchpoint Dashboard and ENGAGEcx together, we will close the loop that so obviously exists in the marketplace between the planning and strategy side of customer experience management—which is addressed with journey mapping—and the implementation of those strategies and overall customer engagement—the area where ENGAGEcx excels.”

For now, Touchpoint Dashboard and ENGAGEcx will continue to be sold independently through their respective websites. The companies are, however, exploring opportunities to integrate their technology.

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ENGAGEcxTouchpoint Dashboard Partners with ENGAGEcx to Offer a End-to-End, Digital Customer Experience Management Solution

ENGAGEcx Announces JourneyScaping™

by ENGAGEcx on August 29, 2014

Now companies can digitize customer journeys, execute CX strategies and measure CX performance across all touch points in a single platform.

 

journeyscaping

ATLANTA – September 2, 2014 – ENGAGEcx, the world’s first and only Customer Engagement Execution platform today unveiled JourneyScaping™ with ENGAGEcx.  ENGAGEcx is a SaaS solution that delivers omni-channel customer engagement to eliminate customer experience failures caused by application, departmental and functional siloes that hinder today’s organizations.

With JourneyScaping, companies can consolidate all customer touch points, spanning digital and physical, into a single measurable journey and present a consistent, personalized experience to consumers regardless of where, how or with whom they engage.

“ENGAGEcx is a remarkable platform,” said Carlos Pimenta, President of Macquarium.  “Following a recent demonstration, a senior executive of a large financial services firm commented, “I’ve been actively involved in customer experience management for over 2 1/2 years and have never seen a solution like ENGAGEcx.  It’s not just in the white space between CRM, marketing automation and journey mapping solutions – it’s in the bleached white space.”

The emergence of the on-demand, digital-physical-mobile customer has permanently altered how brands engage with their customers.  Brands are under intense pressure to satisfy customer expectations for a consistent and personalized experience.  Specifically:

  • Customer needs and preferences are very different across micro-segments.  “One size fits all” does not satisfy the expectations of customers in today’s world.
  • The “Do it Now” customer expects needs to be addressed with precision and expertise on every interaction.  The reward for performance is customer loyalty and advocacy.  The penalty for non-performance is more than just a lost customer – social media provides a platform for any unhappy consumer to broadcast their bad experience globally.
  • Functionally oriented systems, processes and employees are designed to support the performance of a department, but were not designed to deliver a seamless customer experience – often resulting in customer disappointment, abandonment and erosion of brand equity.

“JourneyScaping enables companies to digitize the walls of post-it notes used to capture customer journeys into an enterprise platform that institutionalizes the process,” said David Trice, CEO.  “For the first time, companies can take their customer experience strategy and, with ENGAGEcx, digitize their customer journeys, execute personalized CX strategies and monitor performance in one integrated platform.”

JourneyScaping with ENGAGEcx enables:

  • Customer Engagement through open, easy to use channels and APIs that enable truly authentic, Digital & Human-to-Human (H2H) interactions
  • Programmatic micro-segment engagement strategies to drive bottom line performance
  • Automatic mapping of real-time customer events to engagement life-cycles with the capture of sentiment on every event
  • Employee CX Empowerment via an “in the moment” customer dossier and event timeline
  • Enterprise delivery of customer journey information to cross-functional teams through Apps, Widgets and soon Wearable devices
  • Performance Measurement through a Customer Value Index and CX Analytics
  • Easy Big Data, Multi-dimensional Analysis via revolutionary data orchestration

Pimenta added “we are excited about our ENGAGEcx partnership. Their platform allows us to track the holistic customer journeys, and it can be used in unique, contextual and personalized ways to enrich the customer experience.”

ENGAGEcx provides its solution to companies in the Hospitality, Gaming, Finance, Retail, Professional Sports and Healthcare industries.  You can learn more at www.engage.cx or visit us at our next event at G2E (Global Gaming Expo) September 30, 2014 in Las Vegas, NV.  Booth 1532.

ENGAGEcx™ is the world’s only Customer Engagement Execution platform.  ENGAGEcx is designed from the ground up to deliver fully integrated, uniquely personalized customer journeys; empower employees to play a critical role in the customer experience; and analyze CX program performance in a single, easy to use application. With nearly 10 years of research and development incorporated into the platform, ENGAGEcx enables organizations of any size to integrate and consolidate customer interaction information across all channels in order to deliver real-time, personalized touch points at every step of the customer journey.

You can download our JourneyScaping with ENGAGEcx whitepaper here.

 

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ENGAGEcxENGAGEcx Announces JourneyScaping™