Customer Experience Management

Sending the Wrong Email can be an Opportunity to do the Right Thing

customer communications management

We all get them every day. Emails that we delete without reading. Yet companies invest countless hours in developing email campaigns and messaging to try and catch our attention or interest just for us to ignore them. My wife and I were discussing last night the top email subject headers that means we will automatically delete a marketing email. My wife’s top flag was anything that gave her an order to do something. Yesterday’s winner in that category was an email she received from a company that shouted “This is important information you need – Don’t Delete!” – The first thing she did? Deleted that email. My pet peeve is over friendly emails from people I’ve never met, like this example from yesterday, “Reminder – Hey Alan, did you have a chance to review my email?” My response, check the company on the email address, not someone I do business with, then hit the Delete button. Then there’s the emails from companies that you do interact with on a regular basis, but when you read it you think “How did I end up on that mailing list?” You delete it and don’t give it much thought beyond it ramping up an annoyance factor with the company that can eventually impact your overall customer experience. But great brands and customer-aware companies can use a well-defined customer communications management strategy to turn that “How did I end up on this list?” moment into a positive experience rather than a negative one. A case in point. My car. Although my family changes cars on a pretty regular basis we are pretty brand loyal. At any given time you can bet that someone in the family is driving an example from this particular brand’s line up. At the moment it’s me, and I am driving a fully tricked out version of the company’s sportiest offering. It’s the tenth example of the brand we’ve owned. So imagine my surprise to receive an email from the company that was headed “We’re sorry to see you go.” It continued along the lines that the company had heard we had sold the car and wanted to ask a few questions of our experience with the brand, and why we’d moved on. Looking out the window I could still see my car sitting on the driveway. Yep, definitely on the wrong mailing list. I deleted the note, and didn’t think any more of it. Until two days later. A follow-up email arrived from the car company apologizing for the wrong email being sent. There was a well- worded message along the lines of “we know that you still own your car, and thanks for being a loyal customer.” This was followed with a note that by way of apology a small gift was in the mail (which arrived the next day). There was also an additional follow-up that laid out my ownership of the current car, and a note that as a token of thanks for my loyalty if I headed to my local dealer within the next thirty days they would upgrade me from my 2015 model to the equivalent 2017 model at a stated lower APR rate. One mistake = good follow up + bonus gift + acknowledgement of my customer loyalty + upsell offer. That’s good customer communications management, it helps strengthen relationships, develops good customer experience, and promotes more value and revenue across the customer lifecycle. While I’m not ready to take up that trade-in offer just yet, but when it does come time to change my car again, guess which company will once again be top of my list?

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The Future of e-Delivery and its Impact on Customer Experience

e-delivery

It seems everyone is talking about “digital transformation” but many are still unsure of what it is, why it is important, or even how to get started. Wikipedia defines digital transformation as the change associated with the application of digital technology in all aspects of human society. It has also been described as taking existing manual and paper-based processes and converting them to digital channels and documents – or “going paperless.” Many companies like yours, are talking about improving the customer experience and going digital, but don’t know where to begin. Regardless of what it means to you, a lot of companies are now realizing that digital transformation often includes e-delivery – ensuring that emails containing bills, statements, ID cards and other business critical information get to the intended recipients. They rely on their customer communications management (CCM) solution for this, but are often not aware of what is actually involved in reaching the recipient’s inbox. It can also be challenging sometimes to quantify the benefits of e-delivery and the costs associated with poor deliverability. To help you better understand the importance of email deliverability, we have a new recorded webcast available and you can register and then view it here. InfoTrends customer communications experts Matt Swain and David Stabel, and OpenText™ Exstream Manager of Product Strategy Avi Greenfield, present new research on consumer preferences and enterprise plans for e-delivery in this webcast. They also share key trends, challenges and best practices for managing e-delivery, including the impact that non-delivery can have on your bottom line. View the webcast.

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WFO Video Series: Driving Contact Center Awareness

WFO video series

I have had the pleasure of speaking with Donna Fluss, President of DMG Consulting, on numerous occasions, and she often ends her sessions with a very compelling illustration – a boardroom table with one empty seat. She then asks the audience, “How do you earn your seat at the table?” Then, with the right amount of poise and firmness, she challenges the audience to align their day-to-day lives with the quarter-by-quarter business objectives of their organization. “It is up to you,” she says, “to establish the importance of the contact center in helping the enterprise achieve its strategic goals.” In much the same way, I often see the normal cast of characters:  CEO, CFO, CMO, COO, CIO, CTO…involved in strategy, but painfully unaware of the role that their contact center plays in driving corporate customer experience goals. So to help you drive contact center awareness, OpenText WFO Software is launching a new video series with your journey in mind. Our 2017 video series is now online and features a great line-up of industry veterans and analysts. We asked each speaker their view on questions such as: What defines a positive customer experience with your company? How do you align your contact center with top priorities of your executive leadership? How do you align your goals with these other business units? And the list goes on! Visit the Video Series where you can easily navigate from question to question and  from speaker to speaker, then listen to video commentaries from each panelist. We encourage you to share the insights. Each video clip is very short, and as they are published over the coming weeks you can share a specific video with your colleagues or via social media by clicking on the blue “share” box under each video. Use the hashtag #CCTRImpact. Finally, I want to extend my sincere thanks to Donna, Jason, Keith, Kate and Roger for their time in helping us to bring this series to you. Their individual expertise is highly respected in our industry, and we all hope the advice they have offered in each video will help you get closer to having your place at the table.

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Ovum Names OpenText as a Leader in Web Experience Management

web experience management

The research and analysis firm Ovum has released a report naming two OpenText products as leaders in web experience management – also commonly known as web content management (WCM). The Ovum Decision Matrix: Selecting a Web Experience Management Solution, 2016-17 report cited OpenText™ TeamSite and OpenText™ Web Experience Management as market leaders because of their strengths in technology and execution. Here are strengths Ovum attributed to OpenText WCM solutions: Top-rated for maturity Strong roadmaps and long-term strategy Ease of use and interoperability Large portfolio of capabilities Ovum considers web experience management as a key element of digital transformation for today’s enterprise organizations, and we at OpenText fully agree. Organizations need to attract, engage, and hold the attention of their customers through round-the-clock, connected digital experiences. While web experience management or WCM initially focused on websites, it now encompasses so much more: WCM, digital asset management (DAM), web analytics, social, mobile experiences, etc. Sophisticated enterprise solutions cover the entire customer journey, and connect with other key platforms for marketing automation, e-commerce, and customer relationship management. Market leaders not only score high in key capabilities but are also widely accepted as best-of-breed. Read more details in the report and take a look at OpenText WCM offerings.

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“One Step” to Make Agent Guidance Easier

Agent Guidance

Have you looked at the desktop of the average customer service employee lately?  Even with unified communications and the consolidation of systems such as CRM and ERP, most desktops look more like a NASA command center than a helpful application to deliver a great customer experience. I have good news…and bad news. Let’s start with the bad news – your IT department has a long uphill journey to merge systems, unify the tools in use and reduce the chaos of customer data. The good news is that there are ways to provide agent guidance and overcome desktop application challenges that don’t include a forklift upgrade to a single desktop application. But don’t look for an easy trail to follow with the typical solutions on the market. Tools for guidance and automation are quite common from vendors the likes of OpenSpan (now Pega) and Cicero, but we find that today’s contact centers struggle to prioritize these efforts for several valid reasons — deployment and product complexity. In fact, in the report, “These Overlooked Assistance Tools for Your Customer Service Agents Can Boost Productivity,” Brian Manusama and Jim Davies of Gartner evaluated the complexity, deployment, vendor and ROI level for such tools. Here’s is one of the tables in the report: Table 2. Technology Category Overview In layman’s terms, I believe these tools are hard to configure, hard to use and hard to deploy. But why?  First, most of these tools are designed to be professional-service-revenue-generators and not happy-customers-that-use-it-generators. Second, your IT department doesn’t want to deal with yet ANOTHER thing on the desktop to configure or install. This is exactly why the OpenText™ Qfiniti team has made Qfiniti Optimize, our agent desktop automation and analytics solution, native to the OpenText Qfiniti platform. If you’re using another call recording and quality management solution, then let us show you our integrated WFO suite. If you’re already using Qfiniti today, then most likely you have everything you need to push guidance and automation previously installed and ready to test. To show you exactly what this means, we’re inviting you to see how easy it really is. We call it the Qfiniti Optimize One-Step. One Step. Give us one broken application workflow and let us show you how to message, guide, automate and monitor the agents to better AHT, compliance and accuracy. One Team. Give us one team of agents and let us enable Qfiniti Optimize in a manner of minutes, to try the “One Process” steps to improve their efficiency. One Month. Allow that team to use the automation and guidance during a one month trial. Nothing to install, configured by you, and monitored by us. We think that you’ll like what you see, and the agents in your “One Team” beta group will like it too.  I’ve thrown dozens of pizza parties in my time for call center agents, but perhaps your beta team will throw you and IT a pizza party for a change.

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Why DAM Isn’t Just Pretty Pictures on the Web Any More

DAM webinar

Why do you purchase and implement a Digital Asset Management (DAM) platform in the first place? If you’re like me when I ran the content management team at another company, it was originally to control the flow of approved images to the company’s online presence. We were revamping the website and eCommerce platform and a key part of the project was to improve the images used, and to make sure that they were both brand and safety compliant. It didn’t take long for the word to spread that we now had a single safe source for brand approved images. Soon we were talking to other groups in the company, and even our dealer network about how they could contribute to, and access, the DAM. Instead of just storing the images selected for use on the website we were soon storing every picture from a product photo shoot, then came interest from the company archives. In the space of eighteen months we had passed one million assets and over eight-thousand users accessing them. But the most interesting part was the way that the DAM became the source for applications and use cases that we had never considered. We had developed a way to create lightweight 3D models of our products, and started storing the source files for those on the DAM too. Suddenly the DAM was the source driving Augmented Reality proof-of-concept innovations, being used to populate digital signage at dealer showrooms, as well as training, facilities planning, trade shows, coffee table art books, calendars, licensed merchandise, and more. At the point where I left the company we had recorded sixteen different use cases for the content stored in the DAM, and I’m sure there’s even more now. The thing is, I was far from alone in witnessing how a good DAM platform can be used in different. powerful ways. Since joining OpenText I’ve seen other uses, such as: Media companies who use their DAM to deliver DVD packaging and advertising banners that automatically resize and place the correct logos and text based on the intended markets and distribution channels. Drinks companies where the DAM is a central component of their high-profile sports sponsorships programs A rail company that uses the DAM to manage rail inspection videos from cameras mounted on the front of locomotives An aerospace engine company that uses its DAM to store and analyze images of parts from any engine involved in an accident So how are you using your DAM platform? Join us on Wednesday February 15th for a webinar on how to Unlock New Potential (and ROI) From Your DAM. Click here to register

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3 Tips to Gain Mindshare for Your Contact Center

Contact Center

One of my favorite discussion topics with OpenText WFO customers and other contact center professionals is about the internal brand perception of the contact center within any organization. Contact center brand perception? Yes, exactly. Every enterprise contact center is perceived differently by other business units and C-level executives depending on how the company approaches its customers and markets. Is the company strictly bottom-line driven, wringing every last dollar out of its budgets in order to maximize profits? Or is the company customer-centric, doing everything it can to improve customer service in order to compete effectively in the marketplace? I love talking about this at customer meetings and industry events because we all know the contact center holds the key to vast and rich customer information, exactly the kind of customer knowledge that every department and every executive should want to understand in some form or another. Better business decisions are made when more is known about customer preferences, behaviors and opinions. So why is it that the contact center is more often perceived as a cost-center rather than a customer experience leader? Why are we constantly tasked with delivering better service, hitting higher sales targets, scoring higher customer satisfaction responses but with ever-tightening personnel resources and budget dollars? Why is the contact center constantly tasked with delivering better service with ever-tightening personnel resources and budget dollars? I invite you to register now for a webinar on February 23 when Ken Landoline, Principal Analyst for Customer Engagement at Ovum, and I will explore this issue that I’m so passionate about. Make no mistake: this is an internal brand perception issue. But we will approach the discussion from a very practical point of view, offering you specific tips on how to secure greater investment and ensure organizational mindshare. In this webinar we will share proven methods about how to get more in order to do more in your contact center: – Learning what KPIs matter most, identify, provide and relay metrics that matter – Setting up your dashboard, quickly identify information to make real time decisions and predict behavior – Becoming an indispensable resource, understand and coordinate contact center goals with others in your organization With this actionable information in hand, you can then manage or influence up and be the agent of change who helps evolve the internal brand perception of your contact center from cost center to value center. I look forward to you joining us at this webinar. Doing More with Less? 3 Tips to Gain Budget and Mindshare for Your Contact Center Webinar Date: Thursday, February 23 Time: 2:00 PM ET / 1:00 PM CT / 12:00 PM MT / 11:00 AM PT Register Now

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100,000 Pieces of Content a Day

content

It often feels like we are being deluged by content, we are exposed to more stories, images, video, and audio than ever before. Yet most of that content (social media aside) has been sorted, indexed, written, edited, managed, and gone through a publication process before it even gets to us, the consumer. How do those who produce the content deal the vast amounts of raw information, text, and images etc., that go to make up the stories that we see? And how do they make their publishing efficient enough to keep up with the unedited real time content streaming across the various social media platforms? These were the sort of problems facing News UK the publisher of some of the biggest and most popular British newspapers. The Times, Britain’s oldest daily national, and The Sunday Times are the world’s best-known quality newspapers. The Sun is the most read British newspaper, with more than four million readers each day. News UK also operates a number of digital channels, including Sun Bingo, Sunday Times Wine Club, and Riviera Travel. News UK receives and generates more than 100,000 new digital assets each day, and manages in excess of 25 million assets in total. The assets including text, images, pages, video, graphics, and audio needed to be captured, indexed, and quickly made available to users across the business. Their existing digital asset management system (DAM) had served the business well, but was more suited to print media, with limited options for moving towards a converged, multichannel solution. It also lacked the ability to be easily integrated to its chosen editorial system. “We need to drive a greater responsiveness for global news coverage, rapidly publishing articles that provide a consistent, rich multimedia experience for readers across all channels and publication brands,” says Simon Pumphrey, Systems Manager at News UK.” Against a backdrop of technical change, we have to ensure we remain at the forefront of how news is delivered, across all channels.” In looking for a replacement for their legacy system the new DAM solution had to be faster, easier to use, and be more cost-effective than our existing system. It should also help us ensure compliance with usage rights of the assets we use, with comprehensive tracking, audit, and reporting. We wanted a browser-based solution, based on open standards, which would be straightforward to integrate to our editorial system. OpenText™ Content Hub for Publishers (CHP) meets all of these criteria and more,” says Pumphrey. CHP has been introduced as part of a large-scale transformation project to increase collaboration across editorial teams. “The business critical deployment of OpenText CHP allows News UK to collect as many as 100,000 or more new digital assets and news feeds submitted each day by multiple journalists, photographers, and agencies into a single system. The OpenText content Analytics engine automatically tags these assets, ensuring content can be quickly found and retrieved across the various editorial desks.” Not only can the assets be easily repurposed across The Times, The Sunday Times, and The Sun, but the solution ensures the correct rights are associated with each asset, helping to mitigate the risk of digital rights infringement. “In today’s connected world, customers are choosing to engage with our newspapers across a growing number of devices and, increasingly, we need to manage the growing types of digital content to create a richer digital experience. We chose OpenText CHP as the scalability of the platform has enabled us to move from a print-centric process to one where journalists can associate multimedia content directly into different channels,” You can find more information about the News UK implementation of CHP here, and download the white paper on Content Hub strategy.

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Matthew Storm Joins the OpenText WFO Team

WFO

If you follow Matthew Storm on social media you may see “marketer, speaker, traveler, foodie, a farmer’s son, a customer service fanatic, lover of life and empty-nester.”  Sounds more like a transformer to me! Matthew has been working on mobile solutions for the past year as part of the OpenText team and as of this month, has stepped up as the product marketing team leader for OpenText™ Experience Suite.  This includes Workforce Optimization, Customer Communications Management, Digital Asset Management and Web Experience Management. Matthew has spent the last decade working overseas and leading a great team at NICE Systems, in addition to his years of contact center operational experience. He has a proven track record of delivering innovative and action-oriented results that unerringly focus on what matters most to both his internal and external customers. Fun and engaging, highly collaborative, deliberate when necessary but with a keen sense of speed to market – these are some of the attributes you’ll appreciate most when working with Matthew. I spoke with him about his new role, and here are three reasons he’s thrilled to be at OpenText: Analyst Recognition The Ian Jacobs-led team of Forrester researchers recently looked at what contact center teams are doing and what problems they’re solving with WFO solutions.  In their research, Forrester also took into account how easy it is to work with the vendors.  At OpenText, a valuable two-way relationship is based on how much a vendor listens to its customers. One of our references told Forrester, “We have had a seat at the table to influence the overall product road map.”  We are excited to bring new innovation to this space and honored to be categorized “Strong Performer”. Download your copy of the Forrester Wave for Workforce Optimization here. WFO Innovation The OpenText™ Qfiniti team has been busy!  In the past 18 months, the OpenText Qfiniti platform has released key innovations in agent guidance, desktop analytics, analytics-based QA, mobility, gamification, and managed services, all with a consistent user interface and unparalleled scale. Matthew was instrumental in the early stages of Qfiniti’s birth in 2003 and said, “I’m proud to see that the fresh innovations to OpenText™ WFO Software are grounded in the longstanding best practices of usability and customer-driven advancement.” Connecting Customer Journeys Finally, while many vendors talk about the multi-channel experience, OpenText has the depth of portfolio to actually “create” digital experiences on the web and social media that match the conversations happening in the contact center.  Matthew recently shared with an analyst that, “every department in an organization thinks that their group sets the tone for the customer experience; but in reality each department is driving amazing silos of mixed delight.  OpenText is more than just multichannel and journey-speak – our solutions touch every angle of customer experience management and seek to connect experiences to drive customer lifetime value.” Learn more about OpenText Experience Suite today. Welcome to the team, Matt!

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Check Your Coaching Program Expiration Date

coaching

One night while visiting family in Tulsa, I developed one of the worst headaches I’ve had in years.  The Advil container in my travel bag was empty, and I set out across my in-law’s house to find a solution to my pounding forehead. I faintly remember seeing some medicine in the laundry room on a previous visit and so I walked quietly, head in hand, through the dark house. My father-in-law is a veterinarian, so my first pass through unusual bottles in the cabinet allowed me to quickly rule out rabies, ringworm and even equine diabetes. Finally! The “human” shelf.  Advil, and not the horse version of ibuprofen, but the people stuff. I don’t care if you read this as 2007 or 2001, neither date pattern is good. And just as I was about to throw that bottle in the trash, standing in the light of the medicine cabinet, I weighed the good and bad and decided it just wasn’t worth it. To make matters worse, I finally remembered seeing a single-use packet in my computer bag, and so I just put the bottle back on the shelf and made a mental note to say something to my family in the morning. Expiration Dates Defined But did you know that these expiration dates really do stand for something?  They don’t go bad, but according to a Harvard Medical School article, expiration dates are the date at which the manufacturer can “still guarantee the full potency and safety.”  My expired Advil might make my headache go away, but after that date they can’t guarantee results. Don’t do it! So don’t risk it. I challenge you today to ask yourself this question – have you checked the expiration date of your coaching and quality monitoring program lately? Have you turned over and looked at the label on your old NICE, Verint or Calabrio system?  Do you feel like you’re either not at full potential (think targeted coaching) or fully safe (think masking and muting credit card data for PCI compliance). If you are tired of the same frustrating results or aren’t sure you’re safe anymore, it’s time for a refresh. At OpenText WFO we know that throwing the old bottle away is hard. In fact, we even know that the upgrade path alone for many of these old coaching applications is brutal. But consider the effects on your staff — supervisors that don’t coach, employees that rarely get feedback or executives that don’t see results. If this describes the expiration date on your program, I invite you to check out the infographic with ICMI. This infographic explores the challenges of using outdated coaching techniques, shares industry research that shows the root causes and potential damage of bad coaching, and makes recommendations on technologies that enable better coaching conversations in today’s dynamic contact center environment. Don’t put it back!   Don’t just put that bottle back on the shelf. Throw it away and keep it fresh in 2017. Download the infographic below today for more information.

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Is Your Website a Reflection of You or Your Customers?

web content management solutions

“Hey Dad, did you have any feedback?” That text from my daughter last week was part of an ongoing discussion around the website that she was designing for a new business venture that she and a partner will be launching in a few months. It was the third iteration of the site, and this was the first version that was fully mobile friendly. My feedback was that with just a few minor tweaks, this iteration was very close to where they needed to be for the launch. It told a good story and provided the basic information their customers would be looking for. It wasn’t always the case. Early in the process of them developing a business case I asked my daughter and her business partner what they wanted the website to communicate. The immediate response was “We want it to let people know what we do.” A logical answer, but my response was something along the lines of “That’s great, but other people do what you do. What makes you special?” “We are focused on people with a particular problem area.” “Great. So think about the people who need help solving that problem. What are they going to be looking for?” As these sort of discussions continued, the website design and prototypes evolved from their description of what the new company did, to a series of short articles that addressed the potential customer’s problems, and how my daughter and her partner can help. They also looked at the list of services they were offering and decided to focus on the three where they have had the most interest. Now instead of a webpage with a shopping list of things to pick from, each solution article has information about the relevant service, with pricing and contact information. But it’s not only small businesses or start-ups that need to be switching their thinking from a website that, no matter how slick it’s presented, is little more than a digital brochure. Often these sort of “inside-out” websites end up being a reflection of the corporate structure accompanied by a list of products. Switching the mind set to a customer driven “outside-in” view can pay dividends, not only in an improved experience that can help customer’s solve their problems, but they can also have a direct impact on the company’s bottom line. I once worked on a project for a large company whose website was a perfect reflection of their corporate and business unit structure. You had to know what part of the company was responsible for a particular product to be able to find it; even the employees had a hard time figuring out where to find information. But a customer focused analysis showed that 80% of the traffic went to the website for just four things: to look up product specifications, pricing, buy spare parts, or get support. Once we rebuilt the website around making those tasks as easy as possible, traffic, leads, and online parts sales revenue all increased, and support costs decreased. Improving the customer experience is now regularly cited as a top strategic imperative for many companies, and the website is the always-on global showcase for that. Delivering a customer-driven web experience means not only changing the mind-set and the content, but also delivering a more engaging relevant and engaging experience that delivers value to the individual customer. It can rapidly become a complex process and needs the right sort of management tools to enable and support an effective web presence. OpenText™ Web Content Management (WCM) solutions are an open, flexible, and connected platform to solve the next generation of digital experience challenges faced by marketers and business managers. OpenText WCM brings together content, process, and applications to create and deliver optimized and personalized multi-channel interactions across the full customer journey.

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Was one of Your Resolutions Better CX? If not, it Should be

customer experience

Ever wonder why some companies seem to do so much better than others? Is there one competitor you always feel like you are chasing to catch up with? If yes, you might want to look at the customer experience (CX) you deliver and how that compares to others in your market. Many analyst firms are talking about the importance of making customer experience a top priority in a business.  Forrester Research recently released their latest CX Index findings and it continues to show that CX leaders consistently outperformed laggards in the market. So, it’s no wonder that companies continue to invest in CX. Better CX leads to a higher ROI and CX leaders tend to beat CX laggards on a number of metrics, ranging from compound annual growth to shareholder returns. CX leaders are also more likely to: Grow revenue faster Drive more purchases Dominate pricing Lower their service costs Reduce regulatory compliance risks   If you are interested in learning more I encourage you to watch this one-hour webinar. Forrester Research CX expert Margaret Rodriguez shares why CX leaders grow revenue faster than CX laggards; demonstrates how to link CX investments to ROI; discusses how to prioritize investments to continually improve customer experience and offers practical advice on how to drive  improvements. View the webinar here.

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An Account Number by any Other Name

online customer experience

All I wanted to do was give a business some money. Yet they seemed determined to make it as difficult as possible for me to pay my bill. We had received our first invoice from them as a paper bill in the mail (how 20th century!), but as we pay all of our regular bills digitally we decided to go online and pay that way. Two steps into the website process it asked for our Account Number; which was not printed anywhere on the paper bill, nor on the covering letter. A few clicks and we managed to find our account profile online. Still nothing labeled as “Account Number” anywhere. Ok we’ll pay by check this time around just to make sure it gets there. Then we saw the following note on the payment instructions: “Please include your account number on the check.” – You mean the “Account Number” that you haven’t told us? A few more clicks around the website and we eventually found an email address to send a question about how we could find this elusive number. The response was “Oh we get asked that a lot. You just go to your account profile and combine the abbreviation from Box 3 with the number from Box 5 so the account number looks something like ABC1245.” As I ran this frustrating scenario back through my mind (after I had managed to pay the bill) it raised several Customer Experience questions: If you have customers repeatedly asking the same question about a part of your process, then that part of your process is broken. You need to fix it. And not in a way that makes it easier for you, but in a way that it makes it easier for the customer to complete their task, like giving you money on time! If there’s a vital identifying piece of information that customers need to be able to interact with your business processes, then make sure it’s included on any, and all, customer correspondence or interaction, be it physical or digital. Names are important. Think about what you call something. Don’t expect the customer to know the terms you use internally. Pick names that the customer will recognize and use it consistently. As a further example of this last point, I once worked with a company where one of the product lines was known internally by its engineering name. No-one outside the company used the term to describe that sort of product. No-one in the industry, and certainly none of the company’s customers or prospects did. But the engineering name was embedded throughout the company’s processes and even used on the website. No-one ever searched for that name and as a result it never came up in search engine results and online lead generation for that product line was almost non-existence. After a lot of discussion we eventually got the product people to agree to using the more common name on the website – i.e. the term that customers and prospects used when searching. In a week the relevant webpages started popping up in the top 10 search results. In a year the lead generation increased exponentially with a resultant growth in product revenue. The customers were also happier, and support costs dropped, because they could now find the information they needed quickly and easily. All because the name was changed to the one that the customers used.

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Media Management – A “Rosetta Stone” for Rosetta Stone

media management

The Rosetta Stone the famous tablet, found in 1799, that displayed the same text in three ancient languages: Greek, Demotic (Egyptian script), and hieroglyphics, provided the key to enable deeper understanding and more accurate translation of those languages. In doing so it gave us a broader view of the ancient world and enabled other discoveries to be put into context. Sometimes the various different aspects of a large corporation can feel like they are using different languages to describe the same thing. What we need is a digital “rosetta stone” that can help facilitate conversation around shared assets from marketing, through sales, support, finance, legal, and other lines of business. One company that has successfully addressed that issue is the company named after the aforementioned archeological find – Rosetta Stone.  Rosetta Stone provides cloud-based learning for more than 30 languages in close to 150 countries. It serves schools, businesses, governments, and millions of individual learners across the globe. It’s an often repeated truism by those of us in the content industry that every company is a publisher, and this view is reinforced by Donna Bible, the Senior Digital Asset Manager for Rosetta Stone. Everything that Rosetta Stone does starts with content, and Bible and her team manage more than a million images, videos, and audio components used by professionals across the world to develop interactive lessons. “My role is to use the right system to collect all that content, catalog it, and enable the creative services teams who make videos for our end users, as well as the product and the images within it.” “We work with our creative and legal teams to harness the most recent videos and licensed imagery,” Bible states. “Using OpenText™ Media Management, I am able to gather the latest versions and final published documents and ensure that people see something that is out to press or published on the web and approved.” Media Management enlivens creativity and productivity, according to Bible. “If you are able to harness content, relocate it and reuse it, you are at a completely different scalable level of work,” she says. “You save your creative team time and you save the legal team time from having to contest rights.” OpenText Media Management meets the company’s expanding needs while maintaining a rich collection for its growth across borders. “Having a consistent vision of retaining knowledge and content … and integrating the different departments has brought and kept a lot of people together,” Bible states. “It’s also allowed us to on-board people more easily by giving them insight … Media Management has become more than just a work tool. It’s really an archive of history for the company.” For organizations implementing digital asset management, Bible offers this advice. “At first, involve as many people as you can,” she says. “Then, when you implement, focus on one group: get that right and use it as a service model.” Results compound quickly, Bible notes. “Trust that there is a snowball effect of value you’re building. After some years, it can be very satisfying.” Check out the video and download the white paper for more on the Rosetta Stone story. Or view this on-demand webinar to learn how another Media Management customer, Monster Energy, benefited from their  asset management initiative.

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Personalizing the Customer Experience is the Key to Success in 2017

personalized customer engagement

As consumers, nothing is worse than a bad customer service experience. Most of us have experienced entering information in an automated phone system as fast as possible in hopes of eventually talking to a real human. But when we finally got a real human on the line, instead someone ready, willing (and able) to solve our problem, we were made to first verify our name, address and birthdate and remember some obscure PIN number. And then after all that hassle – it turned out our issue couldn’t be solved – at least not right then by the person we were talking to – yet that person had the gall to ask “is there anything else I can help you with?” before ending the call. According to Forrester’s 2017 predictions understanding and personalizing engagement with customers is one of the most prized leadership dimensions in today’s customer-led, digital-centric business landscape. In the consumer space, we’ve come to expect a personalized customer-service experience – intelligent call routing that gets us where we need to be faster, credit card fraud detection that proactively alerts us to purchases we didn’t make, and internet-enabled self service that lets us upload documents to accomplish transactions instead of faxing or mailing in paperwork then following up by phone. Not only does well executed, personalized customer service delight customers and turn them into brand advocates – it’s necessary for customer retention. Customer loyalty is only as strong as the last customer interaction – in fact it takes 12 good experiences to make up for one bad interaction. And customers are making good on their threats – 89% of consumers have stopped doing business with a company after experiencing poor customer service, and they’re four times more likely to buy from a competitor if the problem is service related vs. price or product related. In the B2B space, customers are looking to buy business outcomes – and demand their suppliers have more “skin in the game.” B2B buyers have become wary of sole-source contracts and vendor lock-in tactics – in fact they’re increasingly choosing “pay-by-the-drink” consumption models such as software as a service – that guarantees performance with Service Level Agreements – and they’re building systems with the mindset of being able to easily switch providers if they don’t get the service they expect. At ECD, our Customer Success practice offers a holistic approach to the personalized customer engagement. It starts with consulting services that help customers with upgrades and migrations or even creating custom mobile applications to search, view and browse Documentum. We offer Education Services that can fine-tune training to the customer’s needs – whether you’re unfamiliar with our products or an experienced user. And our Value Added Support Services take the personalized customer experience to the next level with technical account managers and dedicated support engineers who know the customer’s unique environment so they can do things like quickly resolve service issues or ensure upgrades are backward compatible.

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Lower the Drawbridge and let the Data Flow

customer experience

It’s not often that Game of Thrones provides a moment of insight into data exchange, but that’s what happened this week. I am just catching up with season six of the top rated HBO series; and when the “Kingslayer” Jamie Lannister walked back across a drawbridge, having failed to persuade the leader of the forces under siege in the castle to surrender, it made me think about permeable data. In my last blog post I presented the idea that rather than trying to break down and remove the invisible walls that keep core customer data siloed and isolated in different parts and layers of the organization, we should let each group keep the keys to their (data) kingdoms, and benevolently grant access to the data to other groups and departments. In the world of Game of Thrones, with its ever shifting alliances and loyalties, the one thing that remains constant is the need for information. That information is often delivered via messenger ravens, and occasionally through personal contact as the various characters meet and interact. On the face of it, Jamie Lannister’s interaction on the drawbridge may have been seen as a failure. Yet, the more I thought about it, the lowering of the drawbridge allowed some significant “permeable data” to flow between the two systems in play. Each commander shared a little about their intentions and reacted to information that the other one shared. While Lannister may not have persuaded the besieged commander to surrender, he walked away with enough information to develop a way to later end the siege with relatively minimal casualties. And the commander of the castle knew more about his opponent, his strengths, and his thinking – even if he chose not to act on that information. Once that drawbridge came down, it was inevitable that data would be exchanged. We need to lower our system drawbridges. By making the data silo walls permeable, allowing the data to flow freely to and from the different repositories, a company can make the most out of its investment in the technology being used to garner that information, and keep the kingdom’s (data) monarchs happy at the same time. Data bridges allow the flow of information. Once enabled, the company can collect a piece of data once and share between systems, in a way that respects system ownership and allows each repository to use the data in the best possible way to fulfill its own line of business needs and tasks. OpenText™ Experience Suite builds on this concept. It lets data flow between the various products in the Customer Experience Management portfolio, so vital information and assets can be connected from Digital Asset Management tools through to the Web Content Management and Optimization tools and on to Customer Communications and even the Call Center, where data around sentiment analysis can be fed back to the Web Content design team. Each product can stand alone and address the needs of a particular line of business, or be an Enterprise content single source of truth. Yet by passing data between them, with other OpenText tools, or existing enterprise business systems etc., they can be the foundation of a fully connected continuous customer experience.

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Customer Experience, Digital Transformation, and Commitment to the Success of our Partners

ECD partners

This is the time of year when we try to pause from our busy schedules and take some time for friends and family. As the calendar year winds down, we would also like to take a moment to say thank you to our customers and partners. For the ECD partner organization, our primary customers are you, our partners, and we recognize that we can’t be successful without you. So thank you for everything you do. In 2016 we made your experience with ECD a top priority. We focused on the partner experience as we also invested significantly in two related areas: customer experience (CX) and digital transformation (DX). In fact, these goals are all interrelated.  “Being customer-centric and maintaining a continual focus on improving the customer experience is a necessity for any organization looking to move forward as a digital enterprise.” We believe that to become a digital enterprise, you must not only focus on the customer experience, you must become obsessive about customers. Here’s what we wrote in our digital transformation eBook: “Digital enterprises make the customer relationship priority #1. They center the business around customer needs and customer experiences. They leverage technology to enable collaboration in cross-functional, cross-organizational teams, always in the service of the customer relationship.” Erik Raper, who heads Marketing and Advisory Services for Paragon Solutions (which was named the ECD “DX Partner of the Year”) shared similar thoughts in a blog post he published on digital transformation: “It’s crucial for enterprise leadership to be the champions of digital change, recognizing digital transformation is not a one-time project but, rather, a long-term initiative to positioning the enterprise for greater operational efficiency, customer engagement, and strong market growth.” We couldn’t agree more. Our investment in digital transformation – from our updated digital marketing platform to LEAP, our new cloud-based product platform – is creating new opportunities for us to collaborate digitally with our partners. Together we can help customers embrace digital and transform the way they do business. Your feedback, input, and passion around the software and solutions we create is tremendous. We appreciate your trust in us. We take that commitment seriously. And we look forward to our next chapter and to continuing this journey together. Happy holidays to all of our partners. Thank you for a great year, and here’s to continued success in 2017!

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Webinar: Secrets to Increasing Contact Center Capacity and Efficiency

Contact center webinar

“There isn’t enough hours in the day to get my work done.” Sound familiar? Contact centers are continually asking their staff to do more without adding headcount. It can be an overwhelming task, but is one that’s critical to the success of every organization. Join me on an upcoming ICMI webinar that will explore staffing techniques, planning best practices, process optimization strategies, and technology shortcuts that will enable your existing staff to handle higher workloads – without the obvious risks of agent burnout, increased error rates and lowered quality expectations. Optimizing the Contact Center: Secrets to Increasing Your Team’s Capacity and Efficiency December 8th — 1:00 pm Eastern Time I have the pleasure of joining an esteemed group of speakers including:   Jeremy Hyde, Board of Directors, Midwest Contact Center Association Jeremy Hyde has over 10 years experience working in both inbound and outbound contact centers. In his current role he is responsible for vendor management and process oversight within the contact center for Ucare, a MN based health plan. Jeremy also serves on the Board of Directors for the Midwest Contact Center Association which aims to bring together a network of peers focused on collaboration and education. Jeremy is passionately focused on employee development, team culture and customer experience.   Justin Robbins, Group Community Director, HDI and ICMI Justin Robbins is a customer service expert focused on contact center operations and helping organizations appropriately define and achieve success. Over the past two decades, he’s coached thousands of individuals around the globe on customer experience best practices. Justin leads the content strategies and community engagement initiatives for HDI and ICMI and is a speaker, trainer, and writer on topics such as customer service best practices, key performance indicators, and motivational business leadership. He’s a professional member of the National Speakers Association and has been featured by the New York Times, NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt, Fox News and numerous other media outlets. To register for the webinar, please visit the ICMI registration page here.

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Removing the Data Barriers to get the Bigger Picture

Data barriers

Doing something over and over again and expecting a different result is EITHER practice, or insanity.  The difference is simply in how long you’re willing to wait until things start to change. Similarly, treating all customers the same and simply doing the same things over again in new channels, is equally unproductive. To successfully meet the experience expectations of today’s customer demands removing data barriers and agility in how companies leverage their customers’ data in order to deliver individualized experiences in preferred channels. This kind of agility requires connectivity and fluidity within an organization. Customer Experience takes a village It takes a collection of divisions and departments within an organization to deliver goods, services, and the desired brand experience, to customers. Similarly, customers interact with organizations via multiple touchpoints spread across multiple departments. So why would any company think a single source of data from any one department or division could provide the multi-faceted, let alone complete, picture of the customer it needs? To develop and implement a truly omnichannel and customer-centric customer experience strategy, companies need to gather insights from multiple data points to connect those experiences together. But even that is not enough. That data, all that data, also needs to be accessible by the myriad teams that contribute to delivering the customer experience for their own analysis and interpretation. Limited by data fiefdoms We’ve all heard the rhetoric of “breaking down the silos”. Many gasp and shudder at the thought of having to share the proverbial access code to the vault that contains THEIR data. Over the span of their careers employees develop areas of knowledge expertise, and maybe even fiefdoms, around particular systems and associated data. They develop a sense of ownership. The angst of now having to share their domain is brought on by many fears; What if they (the other departments) mess up my data? What if their findings contradict my own? What if …? What if …? What if …? This individual apprehension is compounded by the larger picture of company priorities and culture. Companies invest large amounts of money in existing systems, and with those systems adoption come established, good or bad, procedures and policies. Once these become intrinsic to the way a company does business they are difficult to adjust. Nobody likes change, and it isn’t realistic to expect these things to change, or as some cases may deem, disappear, overnight. But who says they have to? Permeable data silos Rather than trying to break down and remove the invisible walls that keep core customer data siloed and isolated in different parts and layers of the organization, let each group keep the keys to their (data) kingdoms, and benevolently grant access to the data to other groups and departments. By making the data silo walls permeable, allowing the data to flow freely to, and from, the different repositories, the company can make the most out of its investment in the technology being used to garner that information, and keep the kingdom’s (data) monarchs happy at the same time. By building these data bridges the flow of information from one system to the other is enabled, and subsequently encouraged. And instead of collecting the same data over and over again – a better experience for the customer already – companies can collect it once and share between systems, in a way that respects system ownership and allows each repository to use the data in the best possible way to fulfill its own line of business needs and tasks. Internal systems shouldn’t drive the Customer Experience; it should be the other way around Some might think that to solve this problem companies have to first look at the systems in place for collecting and storing the data. At some point, yes, there are likely redundant repositories that can be sunsetted once the data landscape is better understood. For a bigger, transformational impact, companies should turn to their teams and data-related activities. Understanding by whom, and how the data is used, agreeing to what it means across the organization, as well as in different teams and departments, is how the true value of data is extracted. By creating a customer-centric perspective internally around customer-related data, organizations enable the different parts of their business to consume and analyze data in a way that makes most sense for them, thus allowing them to have more insight into the customer, and therefore are better able to contribute to delivering a more customer-centric experience. Data driven companies that take a holistic view of their data, develop “data journeys” that transcend internal company borders and boundaries, and mirror their customers’ journeys, are winning the customer experience race. (This blog post was co-authored with Cathy McKnight of the Digital Clarity Group).

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Empathy Resonates in Chicago at the DX Summit

empathy

Empathy – If there was one word I heard more than any other at the recent DX Summit in Chicago, it was this one. Not something I expected at, what on the surface, appeared to be a technology conference. The Digital Experience Summit billed itself as the place to discover the strategies, technologies, and thought leadership that deliver game changing digital experiences. The Digital Experience showcase area included booths and displays from many leading companies with a range of Customer Experience solutions, including OpenText highlighting our Customer Experience Suite. Why in this technology-driven environment was such an emotional word ‘Empathy’ so prevalent? What do we mean by empathy? The dictionary defines it as the ability to understand and share the feelings of others. As many of the speakers at the conference pointed out, in order to provide an exceptional customer experience you need to understand your customer, their needs, and the context within which they operate. In short, it doesn’t matter what technology you employ to manage and deliver your customer experience if you don’t also have a degree of empathy – without it you will never fully engage the customer. Understanding the need for empathy is a definite step in developing a level of Customer Experience Maturity, and it was one aspect, among many, that was discussed in our own conference session on “The Redefined Customer Journey.” We had a great turnout for the session with a standing room only crowd as we presented many of the ideas and concepts covered in some of the previous blog posts around the idea of the Continuous Connected Customer Journey. As part of the session we also introduced the idea of a Customer Experience Maturity Model, that will be the subject of an upcoming white paper, and were delighted to see many of the session attendees participate in a short interactive questionnaire as part of the exercise. Thanks to everyone who attended the session, or visited the OpenText booth where we had some great conversations and were energized by the number of companies who are treating the delivery of an exceptional customer experience as a strategic goal.

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