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The Vital Role of Customer Service in the Sharing Economy
May 8, 2019
By 2022, the sharing economy is expected to double, reaching $40 Billion. Pioneers such as Airbnb and Uber are now global titans, taking in billions of dollars per year. From sharing furniture to sharing clothing, every industry seems to be trying to make its way into the lucrative sharing business. With the market becoming more saturated with products, how do companies differentiate themselves?
The Critical Role of Artificial Intelligence in Payments Tech
May 2, 2019
Long an obsession of science fiction writers, "artificial intelligence" in the modern era of fast-paced technological innovation is a term that is as ubiquitous as it is nebulous. For the payments technology industry, however, the term describes advanced analytical technology that has an outsized potential to improve the payments ecosystem for banks, payments processors, merchants and consumers.
NICE InContact Packs CXone With Tons of AI Features
April 19, 2019
NICE inContact has released the Spring 2019 version of its CXone cloud-based contact center software, with multiple AI-powered updates for smarter customer and agent engagement, plus enhanced CRM integrations. NICE inContact CXone "is the most complete, unified, and intelligent cloud contact center platform available in the market," said company spokesperson Cheryl Andrus.
Hackers Use Microsoft Help Desk to Pull Off Massive Email Breach
April 16, 2019
Hackers piggybacked onto a Microsoft customer support portal between Jan. 1 and March 28 to gain access to the emails of noncorporate account holders on webmail services Microsoft manages, including MSN.com, Hotmail.com and Outlook.com. Microsoft has confirmed that a "limited" number of customers who use its Web service had their accounts compromised.
Extreme Customer Experience
April 2, 2019
CRM guru Samson Lee has a new idea about customer experience. I don't know that I agree with it, but Lee has a way of making you question your assumptions and possibly change your viewpoint. Lee describes extreme experience as the inevitable pain you have to go through to reach nirvana -- that is, get the product or service you want from the vendor you want.
Using the Contact Center to Help Build Brand Loyalty
March 29, 2019
In 2018, 8.8 percent of all retail sales globally, totaling more than $2 trillion, were made online. As the total number of online purchases grows, a compelling case can be made that e-commerce customers expect to receive support that is as good as or even better than those who purchase the very same products in a store. In person, it is very easy to verify the proper set-up and operation.
Is Your Contact Center Ruining Your CX?
March 27, 2019
While CRM software is a vital tool, CRM itself is really a discipline: It's the cultivation of the customer relationship and the management of customer data to create better experiences for the customer and to generate better results for the business. The CRM application doesn't exist on its own in many organizations -- or in many vendors' suites of products, for that matter.
Pitney Bowes Launches Self-Service Tool to Drive Post-Buy Revenue
March 6, 2019
Pitney Bowes has unveiled Consumer Connect, a self-service post-purchase marketing solution for retailers and brands. "Retail marketers spend a tremendous amount of time and money attracting consumers and getting them to click the buy button only to leave them in the hands of third-party shipping partners for tracking and notifications until the package is delivered," noted Pitney Bowes EVP Lila Snyder.
Driving Smart Home Product Value Through AI Applications
January 29, 2019
Annual sales of all connected home devices are expected to exceed 520 million units by 2022, based on Parks Associates forecasts. Specific use cases for artificial intelligence in the smart home will help drive adoption of new devices and services as intelligent outcomes increase product value. Security use cases are the leading drivers of adoption.
Future Whisper Coaching: Will AI Do All the Whispering?
January 23, 2019
The customer experience battle is being fought in the contact center. Whether it's a service line or an inside sales call making first contact, the phone is often the medium that matters in moments of truth. When customers are talking to an inside sales rep or an agent in a support organization, the ideal interaction is often described by customers as "a conversation."
Top CRM Blogs of 2018: Countdown, Part 2
January 18, 2019
The Top 10 blogs on our top 20 list are written by people well known to CRM professionals. There's a reason for that: In order to understand and appreciate the discipline of CRM, you must be a person who values other people, and part of valuing people is being able to communicate with them. As a result, these bloggers bring a unique combination of insight and personality to their posts.
Top CRM Blogs of 2018: Countdown, Part 1
January 10, 2019
After several years of instability on this list, 2018 saw things settle down a bit. In past years, blogs would make the list for a flurry of great posts one year, then fizzle the next. Sometimes, bloggers would change careers and their CRM content would dry up. Once in a while, a great blogger would get hired by a major vendor and see his or her output bent to fit the corporate line.
Wix Launches 20-Product CRM Suite for SMBs
December 13, 2018
Wix has launched Ascend, a CRM suite consisting of 20 products, including tools for site promotion, cross-channel customer interaction management, intuitive search engine optimization, content creation for social media channels, lead capture, and the ability to respond to queries automatically. Its chat-centric interface allows real-time interactions with customers.
Salesforce IoT Insights Could Turbocharge Field Service
December 6, 2018
Salesforce has announced the addition of IoT Insights to Field Service Lightning. The new tool permits signals from IoT devices to show up directly on Salesforce Service Cloud and Field Service Lightning mobile app consoles, alongside CRM data. Service organizations can draw on those IoT signals to anticipate and diagnose issues remotely, determine the source of the problem.
Virtual Reality: Slow Growth but Expanding Use Cases
December 3, 2018
When the Oculus Rift launched in 2014, industry stakeholders speculated that the new, high-end in-home virtual reality headset would disrupt the entertainment industry. Just four years later, the technology has reached a crossroads, still lacking adoption by mainstream consumers. In a recent survey, 25 percent of broadband households indicated they were familiar with some type of VR technology, but just 8 percent actually owned a headset.
Transforming Customer Insights Into Actionable Intelligence
November 28, 2018
From technology innovation to the workplace, the business landscape has been evolving rapidly, and companies now are tasked with adapting to fast change in a world of digital transformation. There is one element that will remain a constant requirement for success: meeting the needs of customers and delivering a quality experience. Nurturing customer relationships is vital for a company's success.
Chatbots Gaining Altitude
November 15, 2018
How do they really know? That's the question that immediately comes to mind in reviewing the top-level data from Voxpro's recent survey of customers and their relationship with chatbots. The data show that 68 percent of consumers haven't used chatbots to contact a brand. About 1,000 people answered the survey. How reliable is that number, though? I'm not disrespecting Voxpro -- just the opposite.
Dialing Up CRM: Harnessing the Power of Voice
October 30, 2018
Until fairly recently, industry pundits had all but written off voice as a customer engagement channel. Considering there were more than 100 billion inbound calls via mobile devices alone in 2018, the past year has proven them wrong. There has been an incredible resurgence of voice as the new UI of choice, and it remains the chief channel for complex customer inquiries and interactions.
6 Tactics to Bring Out the Superpowers in Retail SMBs
October 23, 2018
There could be as much as a 22 percent increase in holiday sales this season. The 2018 U.S. retail e-commerce season will reach $123.4 billion, up from $106.14 billion in 2017, according to Statista's estimates. If you are a small business retailer, these numbers no doubt will bring a twinkle to your eye. However, to get your share, you will need to step up your game.
Harnessing Video for Customer Advocacy
October 22, 2018
Video has risen in recent years to the forefront of any marketing campaign, recognized as the optimum medium to elevate brand awareness and share a company's latest product buzz with an increasingly diverse and sophisticated audience. It's so easy to work with; platforms are readily available, simple to learn, and hyper affordable. High-quality results can be achieved on a budget.
10 Things People With Disabilities Wish Online Retailers Knew
September 20, 2018
Many shoppers would be just fine if they could never set foot in a retail store again. After all, everything is available online: books, groceries, pizza, household necessities, even big ticket items like mattresses and cars. However, 15 percent of people worldwide have a disability that affects their daily life, and many retailers are unaware that their websites are not always accessible to them.
7-Eleven Gives Nod to Apple Pay, Google Pay
September 12, 2018
7-Eleven has begun accepting Apple Pay, and Google Pay at participating U.S. stores. The stores will add support for the services throughout this month. The convenience store chain has more than 66,000 stores in 17 countries worldwide; 11,800 are in the United States. "A 7-Eleven is a 'hit-and-get' kind of experience," noted Michael Jude, program manager at Stratecast/Frost & Sullivan.
Sign of the Times
September 11, 2018
Well, here's one Dreamforce idea I never heard of. A group of groups opposed to the Trump administration's immigrant detention and separation policies has announced that it will picket Dreamforce. It already has called on speakers attending the event to pull out. A long time ago, a very underfunded Salesforce marketing team tried a similar stunt, disrupting Siebel user group meetings.
Square's Cash App Supports Bitcoin in All US States
August 15, 2018
Square on Monday announced that Cash App users could buy and sell bitcoin in all 50 U.S. states. Square began testing Cash App's bitcoin purchasing option last fall and officially launched the option early this year. However, it was not available in four states -- New York, Georgia, Hawaii and Wyoming -- because of their more restrictive regulation of bitcoin transactions.
CVS Offers Doc Visits via Smartphone Video
August 9, 2018
CVS Health'a retail MinuteClinic on Wednesday announced MinuteClinic Video Visits, a new virtual healthcare offering designed to assist people with minor illnesses and injuries, skin conditions, and other wellness needs. The telehealth offering will provide 24/7 access to healthcare services via mobile devices. It is available for both Android and iOS in nine states and Washington, D.C.
Slide Over, Salesforce? Freshworks Scores $100M in Funding Round
August 1, 2018
Freshworks has secured $100 million in funding from Accel and Sequoia Capital India with the participation of CapitalG. That brings the total amount of capital raised since the firm's 2010 launch to $250 million. "The new funding will be used to invest in our platform and to continue scaling internationally," said Arvind Parthiban, Freshworks' director of marketing.
The Pain and Potential of Making a 180-Degree Policy Shift
July 20, 2018
Photo-hosting service Photobucket in May quietly restored third-party hosting of photos, reversing its unpopular year-old policy that required users to pay nearly $400 for hosting privileges. Many irate users claimed their photos were "taken hostage." Hosted photos on blogs, forums and other sites were replaced by an image of a dial indicating the hosted data quota had been surpassed.
To Drive Change, Let Your Customers Be the Messengers
June 30, 2018
Before I was a parent, I was a youth leader. As individuals, teens had unique personalities, skills and stories, but one thing that was universal was the effect that parental communication had on them. Whether it was a criticism, a suggestion, or merely a bit of helpful information, the teens tended to look down on it, or even become hostile toward the messenger.
IBM's Watson Enlisted for B2B Sentiment Analysis
June 27, 2018
B2B customer support firm TeamSupport has added sentiment analysis technology, powered by IBM's Watson, to its customer relationship platform. The new tech provides automatic text analysis of email or chat responses to assess how a customer feels, so customer support teams can prioritize and personalize their outreach efforts. It includes predefined categories such as "satisfied" and "frustrated."
7 Keys to Global E-Commerce Success
June 26, 2018
If you operate an e-commerce company, the world is at your fingertips, and global markets offer the enticing promise of increased visibility and sales. "International expansion is a great way to mitigate risk and reliance on a single market for all your sales," noted Chris Vincent, global CEO of Practicology. How to get started may seem murky, though.
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Rakuten Super Logistics
Is "too much screen time" really a problem?
Yes -- smartphone addiction is ruining relationships.
Yes -- but primarily due to parents' failure to regulate kids' use.
Possibly -- long-term effects on health are not yet known.
Not really -- lack of self-discipline and good judgement are the problems.
No -- angst over "screen time" is just the latest overreaction to technology.
No -- what matters is the quality of content, not the time spent viewing it.