I’ve just taken a few moments to go back and read the 2017 Video Series blog posts that my colleagues and I have shared with you over the past weeks (you can easily do the same: links to the first seven blogs are listed at the end of this post). And in doing so, I’ve been reminded of the valuable advice that our speakers have made available to us all. The topic of this year’s series, Driving Contact Center Awareness Within Your Organization, is one that our speakers are definitely passionate about, one that they’ve given a lot of thought to and have put a lot of effort into within their own practices, whether as analysts or contact center leaders. I’m glad to be writing about this eighth, and final, question posed to our speakers because it really does serve as a kind of summary on the topic: What are some lessons learned about reporting to the executive team? In answering this question, each speaker reiterates the imperative for contact center leaders to be fully engaged with their own executive leadership. The success of the contact center depends upon it. And to a person, they all recognize that the success of the business relies on this close relationship as well. For instance, listen to what Keith Dawson has to tell us: “What [my clients] have learned, I think, is that we’re in a period of tremendous flux. We’re in a period where all the basic assumptions that we’ve worked with for 25 years are now in question…We need to be much more active instead of reactive. We need to get out in front of problems instead of waiting for them to come to us.” Keith warns us that you can have all this stuff, “you can have a vested and accountable leadership, you can have the perfect mix of tools and technologies,” but if you don’t have a fully engaged front line of agents, you’re not going to be able to provide an optimal customer experience. To further drive home the point, here’s what Jason Goodroe had to say when answering this last question in the series: “I’ve learned is how much [the executive team] cherishes how I’ve cared for the [contact center] team members. How we treat them, how we guide them, it’s those extra attributes that they really desire for us to do.” And Jason puts it even more succinctly when he reminds us that “a moment of recognition carries years of value.” Great advice. Like all of the insight offered by each of our speakers as they answered each question in the series. I hope that you’ll take a moment like I just did to read through the blogs and take into serious consideration the advice highlighted in each post. Better yet, listen to the recorded commentary to discover each speaker’s unique perspective on the topic. And definitely share links with your colleagues to the specific video clips from the OpenText™ WFO Software 2017 Video Series landing page. Advice like that offered by our speakers could just be what you need to move the awareness needle of your contact center with your executive team. In all, our speakers provide their insight related to eight questions about driving awareness of the contact center within your organization, and they 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? I also encourage you to join the conversation by using the “Get in Touch with a WFO Expert” form on the Video Series pages. We would love to talk with you more. The OpenText WFO Software team has really enjoyed bringing this 2017 Video Series to you, and we hope that you’ll also check out our previous series and learn how interaction analytics can have a huge impact on your contact center and business. Here’s wishing you great success in your contact center initiatives.Read More
I’ll admit it, I’m a total motorsports nut. If it has wheels and an engine I’ll happily watch it race. The number of wheels doesn’t particularly matter, two or four I’ll be trackside. So when I see a link to a work-related article online with a picture of a race car in the header, it’s pretty much a given that I’ll click through. Such was the case last week when a picture of a particularly lovely vintage Ferrari race car caught my attention. The article itself went one better by describing the challenges of systems implementation by using running the Indianapolis 500 race as a metaphor. You would think that would be the perfect post for me – yet it annoyed me. The reason? That Ferrari, the same one that had caught my attention in the first place. The problem was that while the article had consistently referenced the race at Indianapolis the picture was that of a Formula One race car. F1 and IndyCar are two distinctly different branches of the sport with very different cars. That Ferrari would never have raced in the Indy500. As much as I found the article interesting, the racing and content pursuit in me was irritated. Why didn’t they use an appropriate picture? OK I’ll accept the vast majority of people reading the article didn’t even notice the incongruity; a race car is just a race car isn’t it. Imagine instead that the article had been about Star Wars, and they’d used a Star Trek image, or about the Marvel movies and they’d used a picture of Batman (yes, I’m a geek too); or it had been about an industry you work in and they’d put up something related to one of your competitors. I’ve seen that happen when I worked in both aerospace and equipment manufacturing. Incidents like that immediate undermine your message’s credibility for those who have a degree of knowledge of the subject matter. Getting the right image on your message is important. I recently hosted a webinar on using social media and one of the areas we discussed was the use of images to accompany posts, blogs, articles etc. We talked about how images need to be: Relevant, Eye-catching, Symbolic, Thematic, and ideally original. The problems, like the Ferrari one, arise with an over reliance on search and stock art. That over reliance can lead to what I call the curse of The Millennial Man, where the same stock image is used over and over again by everyone. The Millennial Man refers to a photo that seems to accompany nearly every article that has the word “millennial” in the title. You know the one, the bearded guy walking down the street with a coffee in one hand, looking at his smart phone in the other hand. So how do you ensure that you are using the right images? Don’t just search the web for something that might work. Use a Digital Asset Management platform that contains only brand approved art and images, or those that the company has licensed from an image library. Make sure that those images are correctly tagged with accurate and comprehensive metadata that makes searching easier and more accurate. It’s worth remembering that often the content about the content (i.e. the metadata) is more important than the content itself. Stay on track by considering the importance of metadata up front. Don’t just describe what is in the image, but think about what that image could be used to illustrate, what markets it might be appropriate for ( and just as importantly markets or circumstances where it may be inappropriate.) Defining a meta data strategy and managing it is a winning strategy.Read More
Think you know all about the range of OpenText Customer Experience offerings? Think you’ve seen it all at recent shows, or even at last year’s Enterprise World conference in Nashville? Think again. OpenText™ Experience Suite continues to grow and evolve with new products, and exciting innovative new features for the existing products. Join us at this year’s Enterprise World in Toronto to get up close and personal with all the latest CEM developments. There will be more opportunities to see the products, talk with experts, and network with your peers than ever before. Plans for the expanded CEM demonstration area in the Expo hall include: Experience Suite CEM Lab where you can see the various CEM products working together to help deliver a continuous connected customer experience from engagement to customer insights. Digital Asset Management area where you can examine top flight DAM platforms such as OpenText™ Media Management, and MediaBin, as well as industry specific solutions like Content Hub for Publishers. Web Content Management solutions to create and optimize the web experience for your customers with tools such as OpenText™ TeamSite, Optimost, Web Experience Management and Web Site Management. Customer Communications Management will highlight the new Exstream 16 release offering a unified solution for ultra-personalized communications. WorkForce Optimization that enables you to capture the true voice of the customer with products such as Qfiniti and Explore. The CEM Extensions demo area will introduce you to other products and solutions such as Experience Analytics and more to further enhance your CEM capabilities. It’s not only the product demo area that’s been extended, there will be a greater number of CEM-related breakout sessions and presentations than ever before. There will be more opportunities to learn and discuss industry trends, listen to others tell how implementing a CEM strategy impacted their business, or do a deep dive into the technical aspects of implementing solutions. It’s your choice. Whatever your level of interest and expertise, there will be something for you. If this all sounds like a great reason to spend July 10th to the 13th in Toronto, then make sure to register and we’ll look forward to seeing you there.Read More
In my previous blog in this series for Question 3: How can the contact center align with the top priorities of executive leadership?, I started my comments with a quote from my favorite guru, Yoda: ““Do or do not. There is no try.” And I’m back to tell you that this bit of wisdom applies when it comes to the tools you need to implement to share the value of the contact center across your organization. To make my point, first let me suggest that you listen to what Donna Fluss, president of DMG Consulting, has to say about tools that are available in the contact center: “If you’re looking for one version of the truth and a way to align the goals of the contact center with those of the enterprise, then you’re going to want to use something called contact center performance management or CCPM.” Donna explains that this tool allows contact center leaders to quantify their performance and report into enterprise performance management (EPM) or corporate performance management (CPM) systems. This is important because, once the KPIs that executive leaders consider to be essential are agreed upon, they can be reported and shared throughout the organization on a timely basis. Speech analytics is a second tool that Donna considers to be essential in your effort to prove the value of contact center activities to executive leaders: “…there’s a lot of value in sharing that information [discovered in call recordings] because the contact center covers topics related to the entire organization, so it has insights into what happens throughout the organization.” This is definitely a “do, not try” contact center tool that you should put into place. And if you’re not already aware, speech analytics is one of the core technologies in the OpenText workforce optimization (WFO) suite – check out OpenText™ Explore to learn more. When it comes to tools at our disposal as contact center leaders, it’s not just about technology according to Donna: “Companies should use that [speech analytics] information to create change management programs, which is also one of the really effective tools that contact center leaders should be sharing and using with the enterprise.” I couldn’t agree more. What Donna is suggesting here – and what each of the other speakers in this series also emphasize – is that management tools are critical components of any effort to increase contact awareness within your organization. Jason Goodroe mentions surveys, focus groups…and skip-level meetings as critical to the success of the contact center initiatives that he leads at Aflac. Back in the day when I was a contact center leader, I also used skip-level meetings to effectively bridge the communication gap between management and executive leadership. Here’s an unabashed bit of self promotion: in my commentary, I explain how skip-level meetings can come in many different forms. The bottom line here is that you need to step into the role of contact center leader by getting beyond “try” and reach “do” by making your contact center an essential and valuable hub of employee and customer engagement By now you should be aware that our OpenText™ WFO Software Video Series features a number of contact center experts sharing invaluable advice on how to make this all happen. So please take advantage of the insights offered in these short video clips to hear what the others have to say about this important topic. In all, our speakers provide their insight related to eight questions about driving awareness of the contact center within your organization, and they 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? I also encourage you to join 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. I do hope that you’re enjoying all of the insightful advice available in our 2017 Video Series, and you should also know that there’s a previous series that’s available, too. Check it out and learn how interaction analytics can have a huge impact on your contact center and business. It’s always a pleasure sharing with you. I hope you’ll reach out and keep in touch.Read More
I’m really excited to write about this sixth question being asked as part of our OpenText™ WFO 2017 Video Series because it’s a question I’m often asked when meeting with customers and other contact center professionals. It’s also a question that our expert panel of speakers are dealing with in their professions, some are well-respected industry analysts and others highly successful practitioners. It’s a privilege to have their expertise to share with you. Today’s contact center leaders understand how important it is to gain the support of executive leaders in order to secure the necessary resources, technologies and budgets required to hit mandated KPIs. But that’s no easy task when the contact center is focused on metrics that are not well understood or even considered business-critical in the C-suite. So here’s the question again: what contact center goals or metrics resonate most with the leaders who make the high-level strategic business decisions and who control the purse strings? Keith Dawson, Principal Analyst at Ovum in knows that it’s important to distinguish between “activity metrics” and “outcome metrics.” Here’s how Keith describes the difference in the second of his two video clips on the topic: “Contact centers have been asked to report on how many, how often, how many minutes, how many calls, how many agents, etc. This is all well and good, it will never go away, and we’ll always be using these numbers…but the reports [executives] get should be related to customer feelings, customer sentiments, customer experiences. How much friction did that person encounter, how many transfers were there, how many contact channels did a person come in on? Are we able to relate what one person did on one channel to what a customer did on another channel? Was there effort expended by the customer in moving from one channel to another?” Those “how much and how many” metrics are, of course the activity metrics, and as Keith reminds us, few if any executives fully understand or actually even care about this level of detail when it comes to contact center operations. Rather, executives are concerned with the outcome metrics, as well they should be. The goal – and the way to earn the support of executive leaders – is to work with them to develop the infrastructure and analytic capabilities that can “paint a picture of a customer not just as a series of transactions, but as a person with a potential to do business with you in certain ways.” Yes, easier said than done. But Keith also makes the point in his first video clip related to this question that it’s important “to stand up and take the risks that are necessary to make sense of a very complicated operational environment.” This is so true. The other experts on our 2017 panel offer their own take on reporting up to executive leaders, so I encourage you to take a moment and listen to what the others have to say about this question – and all the others. In all, our speakers provide their insight related to 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? You can join 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: Question 1, authored by Steve Graff Question 2, from Alan Porter Question 3, by me, aka Dr. WFO Question 4, by Matthew Storm Question 5, posted by Brian Hardyman On behalf of the entire OpenText WFO Software team, I hope that you’re enjoying our 2017 Video Series. There’s also a previous series that’s available, too. Check it out and learn how interaction analytics can have a huge impact on your contact center and business. Thanks for reading through this blog. I hope you’ll reach out and keep in touch.Read More
It’s amazing how even the brightest ray of sunlight can ruin months of work. Several years ago I was part of an industry team working on developing a set of standards for a defined group of symbols and colors to be used in the way that automotive service information was to delivered. We worked diligently for several months to come up with the right experience. Then we built a prototype and showed it to several service technicians who all liked what we had done. Then we visited one technician to proudly show of our work, but he didn’t want to meet us in his office. He wanted to use the prototype in a real-life scenario. Outside, next to a big greasy machine! It was all going well until the sun came out from behind a cloud, hit the laptop screen and promptly made everything we had done unreadable; the color palette we had selected washed out and everything looked the same. Back to square one on designing the experience! I was reminded of this after stopping to get gas on the way into the office yesterday morning. My local gas station has pumps with a nice big digital screen front and center. Once you have selected your gas and started pumping it plays a mix of short TV news and entertainment clips, along with some marketing messaging. Yesterday the rising sun was at just the right angle to make the screen almost unusable for both delivering the step by step instructions for purchasing and pumping gas, and for any of the digital marketing designed to engage and entertain me for the few minutes it took to fill the car. A simple lip across the top of the screen that would provide some shade would have probably fixed the problem. Recently a friend of mine tweeted that it’s a mistake to only test your marketing content on giant monitors. You should review content on the mobile devices your users will use. Excellent advice, but based on experiences like the ones outlined above I believe that to ensure the sort of customer experience that we believe we are designing and delivering we should also test indoors and outdoors as sun glare and lighting conditions can impact the experience. And not just the mobile devices either; as the customer experience moves beyond the browser, we should also be thinking about embedded screens in “Internet of Things” connected products, or seat backs, digital signage, or other outdoor static screens. The list is growing and so are the environmental factors that will impact the customer experience. Find out more about OpenText™ Experience Suite.Read More
OpenText WFO Video Series: What’s the Best way to Coordinate Contact Center Goals With Other Business Units?
Hopefully you’ve already taken a moment to check out the OpenText™ WFO 2017 Video Commentary Series and read our previous blog posts which highlight some of the valuable insights shared by our panel of expert analysts and practitioners. In this series of blog posts, we’re up to number 5, and I’d like to take this opportunity to introduce you to my colleague, Roger Lee, who is also well known in the contact center community as Dr. WFO – although I would guess that many of you already know Roger pretty well given the extensive evangelism he puts out there in customer meetings, industry events and online. Roger is our host for the 2017 Video Series, and that’s his smiling face welcoming you to enjoy and learn from the commentary when you visit our website. In addition to hosting the series, Roger also contributes to the wealth of information shared by offering his own take on each of the series questions. In the case of question 5, when it comes down to figuring out the best way to coordinate contact center goals with other business units, Roger makes it clear that proactive communication from the contact center out to other departments is the most important thing to do. This is what breaks down the usual silos found within too many businesses. View Roger describing a real world use case in some detail where a contact center worked closely with marketing to understand an outbound campaign, feeding valuable information back to marketing so that changes could be made to call scripts and advertising promotions. This close collaboration significantly reduced customer effort because self-service orders were made easier and sales calls were handled more efficiently. And this in turn reduced average handle time (AHT). It was a win/win/win success: the customers were happier with the service, the call center reduced an important KPI, and the marketing campaign contributed to higher sales. This is just one example of the insightful information share by our panel of experts, so take a moment or two and view and hear what the others have to say. 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? You can 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: Question 1, authored by Steve Graff Question 2, from Alan Porter Question 3, by Roger Lee, aka Dr. WFO, and Question 4, by Matthew Storm The entire OpenText WFO team and I hope that you’re enjoying our 2017 Video Series. Continue the conversation with me @BrianHardyman or with the entire team at @OTQfiniti. We’re here to help, to listen and learn from you too. So keep in touch.Read More
At the beginning of the 19th century, English textile workers called Luddites destroyed weaving machinery to protest “the fraudulent and deceitful manner” in which the “modern” machinery was bypassing standard labor practices. Their fear that technology was threatening their jobs has made Luddites synonymous with an opposition to industrialization and technological progress. Today, some of these Luddite-inspired trends are alive and well in the “neo-Luddites” who resist the pull towards a world where digital is the norm, rather than the exception. While they are not destroying the modern equivalent of weaving machines, they still show a resistance to technology. New Luddites and their turn away from the latest tech When it comes to technology adoption, only 28% of Americans hold strong preferences for being early adopters of new technology products, with 26% placing themselves at the opposite end of the spectrum, indicating a stronger preference for familiar technology products. These statistics confirm that certain segments of the population will always hang on to older technology, requiring businesses to offer customers the experience they desire, regardless of how they choose to interact. The latest tablet with high-resolution display is simply not for everyone, and those less inclined to adopt new tech won’t change just to engage with your company. Across the marketplace, lower-tech trends are surfacing. Recently, Nokia rebooted its 3310 in Europe, 17 years after its first launch. At around $51, its battery lasts an amazing 31 days but its features are designed for the customer who basically just wants their phone to make calls and not much more. Even in the workplace, the trend of lower adoption of new technology is evident, with one study saying that “old-school” methods of emails, phone calls, and texts still make up 75% of all communications with co-workers. The voices of those craving a less digital path are definitely out there. An omni-channel customer experience that includes everyone For this reason, organizations are wise to implement the full breadth of omni-channel capabilities, to accommodate customers whether on the company website, via mobile devices, or through more direct, potentially less digitized, communications. Catering to customers who prefer a super-rich, perfectly orchestrated website experience, as well as those who prefer a lower tech interaction, requires organizations to take an omni-channel approach that is mindful of each group’s unique needs. A truly omni-channel solution will allow you to deliver personalized experiences that give each user what they’re looking for at every point of interaction—physical or digital, direct or on any device—across every phase of the customer lifecycle. This approach allows businesses to maintain the high-touch, customer-centric service that all your customer deserve, whether neo-Luddite or early adopter. Digital transformation is happening everywhere, and though it is an imperative to remaining competitive, it doesn’t always track exactly with the personal technology choices and preferences of customers. Every business needs to capture information across multiple channels, whether data comes in from a call center as a voice file, or in clickstreams from online orders. Businesses have to be able to understand it all; structured and unstructured. Customers are in control, so your business has to be ready to handle those preferences. So when you encounter a modern-day Luddite, be sure not to bury your head in the sand; remain agile as you cater to the younger generations, and don’t ignore the preferences of your existing base. Remember that information is everything, and providing a unified and consistent experience for all customers will determine your success. Find out how your organization can get more value across the customer lifecycle. Check out OpenText Experience Suite 16.Read More
Discover the Latest Customer Experience Management Trends and Innovations at Enterprise World in July
Is there anything good happening in Toronto in July this year? Sure there is. How about joining us for the biggest and best OpenText Enterprise World event yet? There will be a lot of different activities and events to choose from for anyone involved in planning and delivering exceptional connected customer experiences at this year’s event, with a strong focus on delivering exceptional, valued content for customer experience management professionals; be they strategists, practitioners, or solution developers. Enterprise World will be your chance to get a first look at product roadmaps, innovations, and new features in: Digital Asset Management Customer Communications Management Web Content Management Work Force Optimization As well as associated technologies such as analytics, web site optimization and for capturing the voice of the customer, business, and employees. Topics under discussion will range from industry trends, to product roadmaps, to deep dive technical sessions, and everything in between. As an example, just a few of the CEM topics already scheduled include: Ten Customer Experience Management Trends for 2017 OpenText CEM Strategy and Roadmaps for the Experience Suite products Build the Right Foundation for Future Digital Experiences Migrating and Upgrading to the latest Experience Suite products Adding to the mix will be customer panels, access to special product demo areas, as well as the Innovation and Developer Labs where you’ll have access to a wide range of CEM experts. This is your chance to provide direct feedback and ask for those product enhancements you’ve always wanted. Enterprise World will also give you the ideal opportunity to network with your industry peers and hear their stories. Share your story too, and learn from each other. If this all sounds like a great reason to spend July 10th to the 13th in Toronto, then make sure to register and we’ll see you there.Read More
We know that the General Data Protection Regulation is giving Compliance and IT some heartburn as these teams work to understand the GDPR’s new requirements and how it will affect their organizations. But perhaps the biggest impact will be to Marketing; specifically digital marketing, which will require a cultural shift that presents challenges, but for smart organizations, opportunities to succeed as well. Consent is king The days of implied, sneaky, and bundled consent are gone. Starting in May 2018, brands have to collect active consent that is “freely given, specific, informed and unambiguous” to be compliant with GDPR. Someone provided their email address to download a whitepaper? If they didn’t actively agree that it is okay to use their data to send marketing messages, it won’t be legal to add those email addresses to your mailing list. Also, because there is no “grandfather clause” for data captured before the GDPR, we expect to see lots of re-permissioning campaigns to establish clear consent to use the personal data they already hold. The GDPR will change how gated assets are used, how leads are collected, and how referral programs work. In other words, the method of “collect it now and figure out what to do with it later” will become a high-risk strategy. The challenge for marketers will be providing “granular choice” for consent in a way that is minimally intrusive and not detrimental to the customer experience. Legitimate interest is not a get-out-of-jail-free card The GDPR states that “legitimate interest” of a controller can provide legal basis for using personal information without obtaining consent (GDPR Article 6.1(f)). However marketers should use this clause with caution. Legitimate interest can only be invoked provided that there is “no undue impact” on data subjects. In other words, a business that intends to use personal information must balance its legitimate interest against the rights and interests of the individual and bears the onus for demonstrating such. Personalization…and privacy – consumers want it all A recent study found that 90 percent of consumers have privacy concerns, but also seek highly personalized and tailored customer service. Personalization is key to modern customer experiences and customers make purchase and loyalty decisions based on the level of individualized service they receive. This introduces a challenge for many businesses and marketers – in order to provide highly personalized offerings they need to have a better understanding of their customers’ needs, purchasing histories and attitudes. That means collecting, analyzing and managing customer data related to these preferences and behaviours. However, it has also been found that consumers have growing concern over their privacy and the use of their data. Marketers will have to find ways to comply with the GDPR while continuing to deliver the personalized products, services and customer experiences that their consumers demand. Pseudonymization – Marketing’s new hope? The EU has been explicit that the GDPR should facilitate – not inhibit – innovation within business. In fact the regulation calls out “freedom to conduct a business” as one of the fundamental rights it respects. The tracking and analyzing of consumer behaviors and preferences are valuable tools that marketers and sales functions rely on to be successful. The process of pseudonymization may provide a way for regulators and businesses to meet in the middle. The GDPR defines pseudonymization as “the processing of personal data in such a way that the data can no longer be attributed to a specific data subject without the use of additional information.” It is a privacy-enhancing technique where directly identifying data is held separately and securely from processed data to ensure non-attribution of that data to an individual. As it turns out, controllers don’t need to provide data subjects with access, rectification, erasure or data portability if they can no longer identify a data subject. Organizations should look to technology tools as means of pseudonymizing or masking consumer data and encrypting personally identifiable data, in combination with organizational process changes, to ensure compliance. It’s May 2018. Do you know where your personal data is? A majority of businesses have stated that they are not ready for the GDPR. A big reason for this is the potentially onerous requirement for organizations to be able to quickly assemble a data subject’s personal data upon request for purposes of erasure, rectification or export. According to a recent GRPR Readiness survey, only 26% of respondents currently keep an up-to-date register of the personal data they hold and the purposes for which they are used. If there was a time to get one’s arms around all the personal data they hold, what type of permission was obtained, and a governance structure to manage it, that time is now. Information classification schemes, data storage methods and records retention programs need to be reviewed to ensure that data portability, removal, or correction is not only feasible but efficient, if and when needed. How OpenText can help The GDPR is a game-changer for digital marketers and there will be challenges to overcome, however the game can change in their favor too. Yes the days of “data maximization” and blanket consent appear over. But it’s for those very reasons that the GDPR will lead to new marketing opportunities. The GDPR forces businesses to develop more thoughtful approaches to targeting and lead acquisition. Prospects who opt in are better qualified, more engaged and want to be marketed to. Because consumers have more control over how their data is used we’ll see better quality relationships between businesses and prospects. OpenText™ Enterprise Information Management (EIM) solutions help organizations meet regulatory requirements and should be central to your overall GDPR compliance and data protection strategy. According to Forrester, “77% of consumers have chosen, recommended, or paid more for a brand that provides a personalized service or experience.” Utilizing Workforce Optimization solutions within our Customer Experience Management portfolio, we can provide sentiment analysis to help measure the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns; provide guidance on appropriate promotions to communicate based on whether or not the consumer has given consent. Learn more about our solution here. Stay tuned for our next blog post in April on “Disrupt Yourself – Personalized Marketing in the Age of GDPR”. You can also read some of our previous blogs on this topic: Five 2017 Compliance Challenges GDPR and EIM GDPR – Opportunity or Threat for B2B Discovery Analytics and GDPRRead More
OpenText WFO Video Series: How can the Contact Center Align with the top Priorities of Executive Leadership?
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.Read More
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.Read More
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. WFORead More
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 ManagementRead More
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 2017Read More
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.Read More
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?Read More
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.Read More
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.Read More