Customer Experience Management

OpenText WFO Video Series: How can the Contact Center Align with the top Priorities of Executive Leadership?

Contact Center WFO Asurion

Competing in any market based on delivering an outstanding customer experience is ranked by many CEO’s as a top priority in the coming years. Yet, as indicated by KPMG  in the 2016 report Now Or Never: CEOs Mobilize For The Fourth Industrial Revolution, “customer loyalty is a concern for 90 percent of CEOs [and just] over half believe they are not keeping pace with customer expectations.” This reality represents an important opportunity for every contact center because customer service agents work in the front lines where customer expectations either fall short, are met, or are exceeded. Recognizing this opportunity and actually seizing it, however, are two very different things. But there’s good news: Our 2017 Video Series – Driving Contact Center Awareness Within Your Organization offers advice from industry analysts and experts about how the contact center can align with the top priorities of executive leadership – in relation not only to customer experience but to other critical KPIs as well. One of our favorite customers, Kate Drea from Asurion, participated in this year’s interview series. We love working with Kate because when it comes to partnership she walks the talk. Kate is both demanding and understanding. She knows her business and relies on close collaboration with her team and ours to keep up to speed on the latest technology. Kate listens intently and speaks with authority. You should listen to what Kate has to say about the importance of partnership at every level within her organization – all the way up to the executive suite. In the World According to Kate, partnership is the “secret sauce.” We certainly agree. This partnership with the C-suite and aligning contact center goals with those of the broader business is a really important part of being a leader, so you should take a moment to hear how the other Video Series speakers approach this topic. In all, our speakers answer eight important questions about driving awareness of the contact center within your organization and explain why this should be of interest to every contact center agent, supervisor, manager and executive: What defines a positive customer experience? Why should customer experience be a top enterprise goal? How can the contact center be positioned as a leader in customer experience? How can the contact center align with the top priorities of executive leadership? What’s the best way to coordinate contact center goals with other business units? What performance goals resonate most with executive leadership? What other tools demonstrate contact center impact to the executive team? What are some lessons learned about reporting to the executive team? And continue the conversation by using the “Get in Touch with a WFO Expert” form on the Video Series pages, or by commenting on our Video Series blog posts: We have already posted blogs related to Question 1 (authored by Steve Graff), Question 2 (from Alan Porter) and Question 3 (by Roger Lee, aka Dr. WFO). We’re excited to get all these great ideas out there in front of you. Take a moment when you can to let us know how it’s going.

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Time-Based Digital Assets are now Mission Critical

video

How much video are you watching online? I’m pretty confident it’s more than last year, or the year before. It seems that every website now features video in some form or other. Video is also becoming increasingly prevalent across the various social media platforms too. There’s a good reason, studies have shown that video is more engaging than text or still imagery. A video with a well told story that provides value or entertainment (or better yet, both) is often commented on and shared. Video is everywhere in the digital world. In fact a report by Cisco suggests that this year (2017) video will account for 69% of all consumer driven traffic on the web. Having video assets has also become important for findability with YouTube now ranked as the second largest search engine, processing three billion searches a month. Video has become mission critical The rise in voice-activated applications and devices means audio is not far behind as voice driven search is rapidly growing with some estimates suggesting that 50% of search queries will be done by voice by 2020. Audio is becoming mission critical Both Video and audio can be considered as time-based digital assets, and need to be managed, tagged, and produced in a controlled workflow just like more traditional media assets such as photography. The OpenText™ Media Management (OTMM) platform is perfectly positioned to handle traditional media and provide the functionality needed to manage and deliver the growing demand for time-based media. OpenText™ Media Management now offers an optional Advanced Video Workflow that extends OTMM functionality into the editing suite specifically to meet the needs of dealing with time-based media assets in three specific areas: more detailed metadata, more control over the asset, and improved integration with preferred editing suites and workflow. OTMM now automatically pulls additional metadata from time-based assets to improve search results and asset handling. New Logging functionality means you can now add annotations and metadata over single scenes, or even single frames, or sound-bites. The meta-data selection buttons are totally configurable and can be driven by controlled language, domain knowledge terminology, or other defined terminology sets to provide intuitive tagging. Ranges of frames can also be tagged to create defined sub-clips. The editing tool integration allows frame-by-frame broadcast quality interactions, frame search, and the support of multiple audio channels all within a browser environment. One-button toggling between low-res editing streams and a hi-res preview makes the editing workflow more efficient. Once the tagging and editing work is complete, the finalized assets are sent back to OTMM for storage and retrieval from a single digital asset platform that provides the single source for all your brand-approved assets. The Advanced Video Workflow option for OpenText™ Media Management provides key video tools so your teams can provide compelling and attention-getting content.

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OpenText WFO Video Series: How can the contact center be positioned as a leader in customer experience?

“Do or do not. There is no try.” —Yoda If you are a Star Wars fan as I am, then Yoda’s quote should resonate with you. So why do I quote Yoda when thinking about this third question posed to our distinguished panel of WFO (workforce optimization) analysts and practitioners for the OpenText™ WFO 2017 Video Series? Well, let me explain with a real-world example. I recently spoke with an executive from a 100-plus-year-old product- and services-based organization that has transformed itself from being an inbound, order taking, issue resolution company to one that now thrives with an outbound contact center which generates over 95% of the company’s total revenues. Think about this for a moment and imagine that your primary product is declining in usage due competition from other more cost-effective options. Consumers still use your product but at a much reduced rate. To reverse this trend, your overall go to market strategy must change. Yes, your consumers know you have other offerings that could be of value to them, but your business model needs to radically change to leverage the feedback and promote an end-to-end supply and service model. Yet cultural and infrastructure transformations of this magnitude are not easily undertaken. In the case I mention above, this transformation was accomplished because one executive sponsor, the vice president of customer experience, had the vision and determination to advocate within the C-suite for leveraging his organization’s contact center as a strategic weapon. Donna Fluss, President of DMG Consulting and offering advice in the first of two short commentaries on this topic, fully understands that “If you want to consistently deliver an outstanding customer experience, most organizations are going to need to change their culture.” Easier said than done, of course, but in a second clip Donna offers seven critical steps that contact center leaders and business executives should undertake to seriously pursue the goal of delivering a truly outstanding customer experience. After listening to her first commentary, you’ll find it easy to view this second clip, so I will let Donna speak for herself. However, let me offer up one other well-known quote: “Rome wasn’t built in a day.” It took time for the company I mentioned above to achieve the desired outcomes. Many conversations and interactions with consumers had to take place in order to better understand their expectations, and then, as they changes were made based on customer feedback, success stories from the contact centers were communicated throughout the organization. New opportunities were identified. A continuous effort was made to promote and celebrate the value of the contact center accomplishments. Significantly, while the transformation initiative was taking place, the customer service representatives, supervisors, managers and site leaders all continued to provide the best possible customer experience as they worked to reach their ultimate goal of exceeding customer expectations. There are more inspiring examples and words of wisdom to hear about from the other expert speakers on this year’s Video Series. In all, our speakers answer eight important questions about driving awareness of the contact center within your organization and explain why this should be of interest to every contact center agent, supervisor, manager and executive: What defines a positive customer experience? Why should customer experience be a top enterprise goal? How can the contact center be positioned as a leader in customer experience? How can the contact center align with the top priorities of executive leadership? What’s the best way to coordinate contact center goals with other business units? What performance goals resonate most with executive leadership? What other tools demonstrate contact center impact to the executive team? What are some lessons learned about reporting to the executive team? And continue the conversation by using the “Get in Touch with a WFO Expert” form on the Video Series pages, or by commenting on our Video Series blog posts below. Steve Graff’s blog provides his perspective on what defines a positive customer experience. And Alan Porter’s blog offers an overview of the commentary about why customer experience should be a top enterprise goal. Enjoy. Roger Lee, aka Dr. WFO

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Putting the X Factor Into Customer Experience

content

For many years now we have heard that organizations must look to improve their customer experience to stand a chance of retaining their existing customer base. This, we have been told, is the cornerstone of customer engagement – but what exactly is customer experience and why is it here now? How did we ever manage without it? The fact is our propensity to always be connected means we are bombarded with information and what feels like a vast array of choices to buy the same product with the only real variations being factors like price and delivery time. What fundamental difference is there in the myriad of offers we are exposed to that leads us to choose one supplier from another? There is one ingredient behind customer experience and customer engagement that has preceded the Internet and still makes a big impact on our behavior and brand loyalty today. Walk through a modern airport or drive through the suburbs of a city and you will be exposed to advertising hoardings, walk into a dentist surgery or add yourself to mailing lists and you will encounter lifestyle magazines. These are all forms of customer experience and engagement that rely on one characteristic – they grab our attention. Often they do not lead with product data such as price or specification, they cannot measure and analyse how successful they are (unless you take into account passing traffic volume, print circulation), they simply grab our attention through something that appeals to us as humans beings – stimulus. Most often it’s visual, in the case of lifestyle magazines they might even try to appeal to our olfactory senses to advertise a scent – indeed some magazines even just smell good! But if we go back to the advertising hoardings and the lifestyle magazines examples for one moment it is easy to see that visual stimulus provides the X factor that excites us, it grabs our attention and leads us to follow up. The common name for this stimulus is content. We have all heard the phrase “every company is a media company1” and of course this is true to varying degrees – every company produces content to grab customer attention and this has transformed from a rather small set of content to what can only be described as a tidal wave of diverse material. Some talk about a “content shock2” where we are overwhelmed to the extent that we are unable to consume more, but the real issue here is that the valuable content that grabs the attention is buried amongst the volume of mediocre material. Every company faces this challenge. We have also seen that CMO’s are starting to recognize the value of content but do not prioritize its management3. Content has intrinsic value – it is expensive to produce so like any valuable material it should be collected, curated and put to use where it can have maximum impact. Could it be that we are so focused on the customer experience where we measure, analyse and try to predict our customer’s next step that we are forgetting the one factor that defines what we are? Content provides stimulus and grabs our attention. Getting our attention is the first step in becoming a customer. Lets start looking after that content. 1 – “Every company is a media company” by Tom Foremski 2 – “Content Shock: Why Content Marketing is Not a Sustainable Strategy” by Mark Schaefer 3 – “CMOs believe in value of visual assets but don’t prioritize their management” by Lisa Hoover McGreevy – Fierce Content Management

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Next-Generation CCM: Blending Customer Communications With Digital Enablement

CCM

Guest blog from Omer Minkara, VP & Principal Analyst, Contact Center & Customer Experience Management, Aberdeen Group. Digital has become table stakes for companies to survive and thrive in today’s market. Specifically, the term refers to the continuous increase in the adoption and use of digital technologies by both B2B and B2C buyers. It also refers to organizations adapting their activities to address changes in modern buyer / seller dynamics. To this point, findings from Aberdeen’s February 2017 CEM Executive’s Agenda 2017 study shows that 55% of businesses use at least ten channels (e.g. web, email, print and social media) to interact with customers. While the use of channels varies across businesses, the common thread is ensuring that communications taking place through these channels are personalized and yield intended results. Enter Customer Communications Management (CCM). This refers to companies using a technology platform that enables the automation of activities involved in creating and delivering personalized customer communications across all channels. These communications can include marketing materials, account statements and self-service website content. Recent findings from our 2017 CEM studies reveal that companies making effective use of CCM achieve 63% greater year-over-year growth in annual company revenue, compared to those that don’t use it (21.5% vs. 13.2%). Similarly, CCM users also achieve 5.2 times greater annual increase in customer retention rates (11.0% vs. 2.1%), and more than three times greater annual increase in return on marketing investments (18.0% vs. 5.6%) than All Others. Savvy users of CCM succeed because they exploit the opportunities digital channels and tools provide them to better interact with their customers. Figure 1 shows several examples of these capabilities. Figure 1:Use Content to Deliver Consistent & Personalized Conversations As depicted in Figure 1, CCM users are 15% more likely deliver consistent messages to customers (71% vs. 62%). This is vital for minimizing the risk of confusing buyers through different messages via multiple channels or delivered through multiple stakeholders. Additionally, CCM users grow their revenue by adjusting content delivery to become more proactive. This means that instead of sending customers content to respond to a request, clients are automatically provided with certain content without prompting the company. Proactive communications are invaluable in demonstrating to customers that the business is tuned in to regularly address client needs. In fact, by catering to customer needs through proactive (and relevant) communications, CCM users also maximize their success in cross-selling and up-selling. Specifically, they analyze content consumption patterns through service interactions such as self-service history, and use it to deliver targeted offers to drive additional spend. To this point, Figure 2 shows that CCM users are 96% more likely to regularly analyze how content consumption influences customer behavior across numerous digital channels (45% vs. 23%). Companies are able to better personalize customer conversations by using analytics to determine how each buyer reacts to different content. For example, marketers can analyze how buyers across different customer segments interact with content used across different campaigns to determine the types of content that are most likely to convert a prospect into a paying customer. Figure 2: Regularly Monitor Your Performance to Make Optimal Use of Content Analyzing customer behavior in relation to content also reveals process inefficiencies companies must address. Figure 2 shows that CCM users are 31% more likely to have this capability than All Others (68% vs. 52%).Analysis of customer experience data doesn’t just point out inefficiencies. It also helps organizations determine correlations between content and customer advocacy. Companies do this by identifying clients sharing positive word-of-mouth about their products and services, segmenting them, and determining the content used in interacting with these buyers. This ultimately helps companies use personalize conversations across each channel through the right content that is most likely to convert each buyer into a brand advocate. The Bottom-Line Digital technologies have brought fundamental changes to almost all industries. Companies using this as an opportunity to improve internal processes and external customer communications are uniquely positioned to succeed in today’s market. We recommend adopting the key capabilities listed in this article to maximize your performance results through digital enablement. View Aberdeen’s February 2017 CEM Executive’s Agenda 2017

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Digital Plants and Conveyor Belts – a Different Approach to DAM

DAM

The world’s largest museum complex is probably not the first thing that comes to mind when you think about who are the natural users of a leading edge Digital Asset Management (DAM) system. After all isn’t Digital Asset Management all about managing your online brand assets like photography and videos so that your website and apps look consistent and only use approved imagery? Not really. As I wrote recently DAM isn’t just for pretty pictures any more, as many companies are finding new uses for the technology. However most of those new uses are still centered on managing current content. Some companies have begun to use DAM technology to leverage the value of corporate archives, but these tend to be limited to the reuse of old photographs and documents. But the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in Washington DC is using the OpenText™ Media Management (OTMM) DAM platform in a whole new way; to catalog millions of plant specimens, some of which are over 300 years old. The Washington Post recently reported on this fascinating project, and the innovative conveyer belt process that has been developed to enable the team to handle the sheer volume of data they are digitizing. The specimens are pulled out of the cabinets and placed in the moving conveyor belt that automatically clicks high resolution photos at the rate of roughly one every 4 seconds. The image files are created, automatically cropped via a tool and then ingested into OTMM after a metadata tagging process. Prior to the OTMM-based digital transformation project the museum faced two major challenges: New specimens were arriving in the collection at a rate of 20,000 to 30,000 a year, and as a result the collection was growing quicker than they could catalog it. At the start of the new project it was estimated that the overall collection numbered around 5 million specimens. The traditional digitization process was too slow. It had taken 40 years to catalog the first 1.5 million specimens. The new OTMM-based project initiated by the Smithsonian’s Digital Program Office is on track to have cataloged the next 1 million objects in just eighteen months. The Natural History Museum project isn’t the only part of the Smithsonian that is using OTMM. They have 12 museums that are contributing content to the DAM and currently have millions of assets in their OTMM system and that number is increasing rapidly each day. Most or all of these images are made available to public & researchers free of cost online at the Collections Search Center site.

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OpenText WFO Video Series: Why Should Customer Experience be a top Enterprise Goal?

WFO Video Series

When faced with a choice of products, or suppliers, how to decide which one to use? Is it simply price, or like most people does your previous experience with the company or product factor into your decision? In today’s fast-paced world no one really has the marketplace to themselves anymore. New innovations quickly give rise to competitors. As a result everything is a commodity, making it ever more difficult to achieve market share based on product alone. Customer experience has become the key business differentiator. Management consultant and author Peter Drucker once wrote that “the purpose of a business is to create and keep a customer.” This may seem to be an obvious statement, but many companies traditionally focus on the first half of the statement to the detriment of the latter part. It can be argued that keeping a customer is more important than finding a new one – for a repeat customer is often an engaged customer. According to a 2015 article from McKinsey & Company, developing a customer experience strategy is now one of the top 3 initiatives for 90% of CEOs.  And as stated by analyst Brian Solis in “The 2016 State of Digital Transformation,” of 500 participating digital strategists who were responsible for digital transformation, 55% cited “evolving customer behaviors and preferences” as the primary catalyst for change. In today’s digital world the customer is not only driving the decision on when and how interactions are made, they are also demanding a more personalized experience. But simply improving individual transactions with the customer at specific points in the process is not enough: to make a real difference the customer experience should be a continuous connected journey that allows data to flow across every step of the customer lifecycle, leaving the customer with a “they really know me” feeling. One of the most commonly overlooked areas of the customer journey is post sales when the greatest value is to be obtained. A well-defined post sales process aligned with a foundational customer experience strategy can increase the customer’s lifecycle value and often deliver overall revenue multiple times that of an initial product order. The companies that are focused on delivering exceptional customer service are demonstrably winning more business and are on faster growth paths. Customer-centric brands generate more loyalty and find that their customers become their strongest brand advocates. Think about the brands and companies that you like to deal with. Shouldn’t you be delivering a similar, or even better, experience to your customers at every interaction? For a real life example of why customer experience should be a top enterprise goal, Aflac’s Jason Goodroe discusses how customer experience has been defined as one of the four key pillars of the business. Listen to Jason explain why customers, irrespective of technology or process, want to build loyal relationships with companies that provide value and trust. And don’t forget to hear how the other Video Series speakers explain why customer experience is a top enterprise goal in 2017. In all, our speakers answer eight important questions about driving awareness of the contact center within your organization and explain why this should be of interest to every contact center agent, supervisor, manager and executive. So when you have a few moments be sure to hear how our panel of experts answered all of these questions: What defines a positive customer experience? Why should customer experience be a top enterprise goal? How can the contact center be positioned as a leader in customer experience? How can the contact center align with the top priorities of executive leadership? What’s the best way to coordinate contact center goals with other business units? What performance goals resonate most with executive leadership? What other tools demonstrate contact center impact to the executive team? What are some lessons learned about reporting to the executive team? Continue the conversation by commenting on our blog posts, check out Steve Graff’s blog to read his take on the first question in the series, What defines a positive customer experience?

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Bye-Bye Repetitive Marketing Tasks, Hello Compelling Customer Conversations

For nearly two decades, email has been the main message bearer in marketing. But with tightening regulations, it is becoming less and less viable to simply email your database—not to mention the ‘email fatigue’ we all feel; it’s simply becoming a less effective tactic. As marketers look to uncover alternative ways to get their message out, many organizations are opening deeper, more effective dialogues with customers through compelling content. Today’s customers desire interactive conversations with organizations, to get to know not just the product but the organization behind it. Email as a marketing tool will be dead in 5 years or less, and marketers need to think quickly about what will replace it in the age of the digital customer. Content and conversations, self-service and self-selection will form the epicenter of B2B and B2C marketing. Creating rich, engaging and, most importantly, timely customer interactions from initial contact through to buying takes time, data and a deep understanding of both current and future customer requirements. And while many of today’s marketing leaders recognize this, most would admit that they just don’t have the insight they need to really deliver on a customer-centric approach. But, today’s marketing automation tools can help create digital experiences. These tools nurture close relationships, and engage customers at every step of the decision journey to drive brand loyalty, revenue, and customer lifetime value, freeing up marketers to focus on creating compelling content. The Power of Content Content alone is not enough. It must be compelling. It must be engaging. And, it must be optimized to reach your customers at each touch point. Compelling content draws audiences in to your message. They begin a journey with the brand, from awareness to consideration to decision and advocacy. Unlike email, the ultimate interruption-driven marketing tool that pushes your message, content and experience marketing drives the journey through engagement with your customer, and is more efficient—costing over 60% less (62% less) than traditional campaigns. The Journey There is no single “channel” that today’s marketers can rely on to engage with customers. Customers today interact via multiple avenues, whether through social channels, a brand’s “owned” digital properties or more traditional routes like the media. In each case, the customer must experience a continuous, personalized and authentic digital journey that offers the best experience at every point of interaction and in every phase of the lifecycle. With a lineup of engaging content, customers can delve into the information they are looking for in their preferred medium. For instance, almost 50% of Internet users look for videos related to a product or service before visiting a store (Google, 2016). In a recent report on demand generation, 96% of B2B buyers said that they want content with more input from industry thought leaders, and over 50% said they relied on content as they researched buying decisions—from both the vendors and independent third parties. With all roads leading to the power of engaging and personalized content, it’s time to re-focus on the future of marketing. The Freedom to Create More Content Knowing how important content is, it’s time to balance your efforts. The bottom line is this: a big driver of today’s conversion rates is compelling content. The better the content, the better the conversion rate. But with all the technology and touch points and channels in play, there’s no question that marketers are making tough choices on where to spend their time. Automate your marketing processes and free your big thinkers to create the kind of content that speaks to your audiences in personal terms. For more information on how you can automate your marketing operation, check out the OpenText Experience Suite.

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Five Compliance Challenges Facing Your Organization in 2017

compliance challenges

2017 is turning out to be a tumultuous year for compliance. A combination of Brexit, a Trump presidency and the reform of EU privacy rules has put regulatory change and uncertainty back into the spotlight. Mega-size fines have returned too and compliance officers worry about personal liability more than ever. 1. The GDPR – the countdown is on If your company hasn’t familiarized itself with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) yet you may already be behind. The GDPR was ratified in May 2016 and designed to bring personal data protection into the digital age. It imposes stringent requirements about how companies store and handle the personal data of EU citizens. The regulation will have far-reaching impacts – from how organizations obtain consent, use cookies on their website, to giving teeth to the right to be forgotten. Don’t think that, as this is EU legislation, that GDPR won’t affect you. It affects any organization that collects and stores personal data of EU citizens. With the GDPR becoming enforceable in May 2018, the countdown is on for organizations to prepare. The GDPR will impact more than just the Compliance team but indeed many other parts of the business. Key Steps An important first step is to have clarity of the personal data processing practices and content within your organization, including: • What personal data you process? • Where it is stored across the organization? • Who has access to it? • What consent has been provided and where it is documented? • Where it is transferred from and to (including to third parties and cross-border)? • How it is secured throughout its lifecycle? • Are there policies and processes in place to dispose of personal data? Visit OpenText GDPR to learn more about the regulation and how OpenText can help. 2. Pressure on the Compliance function not letting up Compliance officers have never had a higher profile than they do now but with great power comes great responsibility. Pressure on the compliance function has been steadily increasing and 2017 is no exception. For example, sixty-nine percent of firms surveyed in 2016 expected regulators to publish even more regulations in the coming year, with 26 percent expecting significantly more. In addition, personal liability appears to be a persistent worry. Sixty percent of survey respondents expect the personal liability of compliance officers to increase in the next 12 months, with 16 percent expecting a significant increase. In addition, with the GDPR comes the rare explicit requirement to appoint a qualified compliance role, the Data Protection Officer (DPO). Though the GDPR does not establish the precise credentials DPOs must have, it does require that they have “expert knowledge of data protection law and practices.” Key steps Compliance officers don’t need to be technology experts but need to know how to leverage governance, risk and compliance solutions to make their jobs easier. Other key steps include ensuring your policy framework is up-to-date and that staff understand and are trained their compliance responsibilities. Read the AIIM white paper and infographic: Managing Governance, Risk and Compliance with ECM and BPM. 3. A new administration means changes in regulatory priorities President Trump has been clear and consistent on his desire to reduce the amount of regulations in place. From financial services to the environment, compliance officers are bracing for the changes and what it will mean for them. Most industry experts agree that even where regulations are streamlined or reformed, there will be plenty of work for your team to do to address the vacuum left by previous regulations or to interpret the way the new regulations need to be applied. The picture may be uncertain at the moment but you can be certain that regardless, any changes means there’ll be work to do for your Compliance team. Key steps How do you prepare for the unknown? Many pundits advise wisely that it’s business as usual and not to re-draft policies and procedures just yet. Now’s a good time to evaluate your overall compliance program however. For example, if your organization does not have its regulatory information management house in order now is the time to clean up. Whether your firm is based in or works with the United States, the result of the potential changes to the regulatory landscape means that businesses will need to be adaptable in order to quickly take advantage of opportunities, mitigate risks, and stay in compliance. Learn about OpenText compliance solutions. Continue to read compliance challenges 4 and 5 on page 2.

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OpenText WFO Video Series: Defining a Positive Customer Experience

WFO video series

To paraphrase that old adage about art: I may not know much about customer experience, but I know what I like. As professionals in the contact center business, we know a thing or two about customer experience because we live and breathe it every day. We would generally agree, I think, that customer experience is commonly described in terms of our customers’ personal opinions about their interactions. So the simple definition of a positive customer experience might include delivering a service that leaves customers with a feeling of having been heard, of having received satisfactory resolution of an issue, and of thinking that, yes, they just might recommend us to a few friends. But the full definition of a positive customer experience is much more nuanced because it must take into consideration both the customer and business sides of the equation – the employees and technology in place that actually enable the delivery of effective interactions, as well as voice of customer analysis and reporting that make it possible to gain insight into customer expectations. What defines a positive customer experience? is the first question asked of our 2017 Video Series speakers, and for his part Keith Dawson maintains that there are in fact two components to customer experience: What the customer perceives What impact it has on the business Listen to what Keith has to say about the importance of “tangible business benefit” in understanding what defines a positive customer experience. While you’re at it, hear how the other Video Series speakers define what they mean by a positive customer experience. You might find that your own definition of a positive customer experience is confirmed..…or perhaps tested and ultimately broadened. In all, our speakers answer eight important questions about driving awareness of the contact center within your organization and explain why this should be of interest to every contact center agent, supervisor, manager and executive. So when you have a few moments be sure to hear how our panel of experts answered all of these questions: What defines a positive customer experience? Why should customer experience be a top enterprise goal? How can the contact center be positioned as a leader in customer experience? How can the contact center align with the top priorities of executive leadership? What’s the best way to coordinate contact center goals with other business units? What performance goals resonate most with executive leadership? What other tools demonstrate contact center impact to the executive team? What are some lessons learned about reporting to the executive team? And continue the conversation by commenting on our blog posts with #CCTRImpact or by using the “Get in Touch with a WFO Expert” form on the Video Series pages.

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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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