Customer Experience Management

How to Improve Your CRO Results With Data Driven Hypotheses

Conversion Rate Optimization

A test’s hypothesis is arguably the most important factor when it comes to conversion rate optimization (CRO). The hypothesis not only establishes the purpose behind running a test, it also helps inform the design of test variants as well as helps to determine key performance indicators (KPI’s). That said, not all hypotheses are created equal, there are good hypotheses and bad. Good hypotheses are formed and supported by data, while bad hypotheses have no support and are generally based on subjective opinions. While the concept of developing strong hypotheses using data may seem fairly straight forward to some, it’s alarming to see that a vast majority of hypotheses I come across are not supported by data. CRO novices and experts alike continue to form poor, non-supported hypotheses from sources such as ones intuition, general theories, the HiPPO (highest paid person’s opinion), competitive research and even designers’ opinions. While many of these sources can, at times, lead to successful testing, none have more impact than those backed by data. If your goal as a CRO practitioner is to increase the likelihood of success, you must abandon the notion of using opinions to form hypotheses and place more importance on data. Develop Stronger Hypotheses Using these Common Sources All types of data sources can be used to form hypotheses including web analytics, CRM data, session replays and more. More importantly, each source offers a unique set of data points that help focus and streamline the hypothesis development process. The table below includes just a few examples of the different data sources and their corresponding data points to help you build better hypotheses. By no means is the list exhaustive, but this should get you started on your journey to building better hypotheses. Data Resource Typical Data Points Web Analytics Top Entry & Exit Pages Paths to Conversion Visitors Likely to Convert (e.g. new vs. repeat OR mobile vs. desktop, geography) Actions Leading to Conversion (e.g. calculator interaction, product comparison) Previous Test Data Types of Elements that Increased Conversion (e.g. headline, CTA, content) Audiences that Responded Positively Actions Leading to Conversion CRM Data Attribute Analysis of Past Purchasers 3rd Party Data Visitor Profile Data (e.g. psychographic, demographic) Voice of Customer Data (VOC) Qualitative Data (e.g. common pain points) Session Replays Causes for Abandonment (e.g. form field errors, form submission issues, data entry hesitation such as SSN) Now that we understand the types of data that can be used to form strong hypotheses, let’s take a look at a couple of examples of data supported hypotheses that led to significant impacts to our partners’ business. Example 1 – Correlation Analysis A recent analysis of a client’s shopping cart revealed that there is a strong positive correlation between visitors who click on the ‘Continue Shopping’ button and the average amount spent per visitor.  This analysis helped us to understand the fact that revenue per visitor significantly increases by getting more visitors to add additional products to their cart after clicking the ‘Continue Shopping’ button. Hypothesis Formed: Revenue per visitor significantly increases by getting more visitors to add additional products to their cart after clicking the ‘Continue Shopping’ button, therefore by drawing more attention to the ‘Continue Shopping’ option we should see a significant impact on our revenue per visitor metric. Test & Outcome: Example 2 – Visitor Attribute Analysis (New vs. Repeat Visitors) An analysis of a bank’s test data showed that there is a significant number of visitors who leave the website after their first visit and return several days later to start an online application. Hypothesis Formed: Data suggests that a significant number of first time visitors are not ready to start the application process and that many of them return to the website several days later to begin that process. By targeting these visitors with content related to the last product viewed upon their repeat visit, we expect to see a significant impact on application start rates. Test & Outcome:   At the end of the day, the hypotheses we formed and the insights that followed would not be possible without supporting data. Without data, less visitors to the eCommerce site would continue shopping, we’d see less started applications at the bank and ultimately less reservations being submitted for the car rental company. To conclude, while testing theories or listening to the HiPPO is an easier, quicker way to get tests up and running, these methods for forming hypotheses are far more inferior to using data. While you may not have direct access to data, your internal analysts, agencies or your client relationship manager typically do. Rather than forming hypotheses using subjective opinions, reach out to any resource that may help provide the data needed to form data driven hypotheses. If you need help making your tests more actionable and want to learn more about developing data driven hypotheses, get in touch with us at

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Omnichannel Communications for Your Digital-Savvy Millennials


By the year 2025, millennials, or “digital natives,” will make up 75% of the workforce. This adds a greater sense of urgency to an organization’s ability to successfully deliver digital communications. Though I’m not a millennial, I live with a few of them and I notice our differences. At first I didn’t buy the idea that this generation is that much different than their predecessors. But as I pay attention to the way my 18-year-old son interacts with his friends, how he makes decisions about brands and how he recently responded to his insurance company’s email about repairing his car after a fender bender, I begin to see the light. While he rarely talks on the phone or uses email, he sends around 10,000 texts a month, and reads online product reviews. His behavior is solidly mobile first. For a look at millennial trends and characteristics, check out this infographic. There are now more millennials than baby boomers and they have more than a trillion dollars in purchasing power! As the digital transformation takes hold, companies that recognize this trend will adapt their customer communications to appeal to this highly digital and technologically advanced group. If your company has or is moving to digital, that’s a good plan. But reconsider your path if you hear your colleagues and leadership saying things like: We’re too busy or We don’t have budget to make any changes right now Oh, millennials don’t have any money, they’re teenagers. We already send PDFs, isn’t that enough? Millennials want much more than PDFs. They want access to their brands 24/7. They have the highest adoption and usage of mobile devices of any generation and they navigate seamlessly between devices and channels, which means they expect consistent content experiences and branding across those channels. Millennials use social media like no other generation before. They like, follow, tweet, and share on all channels—actions that can make or break a brand. They engage with brands more deeply through social networks, with 52% saying they, at least occasionally, use their mobile devices on social media to indicate that they like a brand, compared with 33% of baby boomers. Also, 39% post product reviews, 35% share links about products on LinkedIn, and 32% say they follow brands on Twitter. In each case, the percentage of millennials who reported these activities exceeded that of boomers by 150% to 250%. Millennials identify with brands more personally and emotionally than older generations. Fifty percent of U.S. millennials ages 18 to 24 and 38% of those ages 25 to 34 agree that brands “say something about who I am, my values, and where I fit in.” Keeping the message relevant To sustain millennial loyalty, companies need a strong digital presence to engage this audience as individuals with omni-channel communication preferences.. That means providing anytime, anywhere access (millennials hate delays), rewarded with targeted promotions and offers. Companies should strive for messages that speak authentically to the attitudes, beliefs, preferences, and personalities of their audience because this group moves away from seeing brands as “badges” or status symbols and instead thinks of brands as “mirrors” that reflect their values and beliefs. View the infographic “Are you prepared to engage the digital natives?”    

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Accelerate Your Customer Communications Strategy at Enterprise World

Enterprise World

Join us in Nashville this July at Enterprise World 2016 to learn, and share, the latest in Customer Communications and how to turn your regular customer communications into a powerful marketing asset. With OpenText™ Communications Center you can maximize the effectiveness of your communications, not only by providing a single, consistent look and feel across all devices, but also by creating a dialogue from the document. Also, because the channels are linked, a customer can, say, initiate an application from their email reader and complete it on their tablet at a later time or date. Communications Center provides the robust, enterprise-grade CCM solution that you need to effectively generate and manage communications that connect all of your business systems, while providing up-to-the-minute critical information to your customers, partners, vendors and personnel. You can find out more at the upcoming OpenText Enterprise World conference in Nashville the week of July 11th. The focus for Enterprise World 2016 is to provide more informative and detailed technical sessions alongside customer case studies, making it our most informative user conference to date. For example, the OpenText Communications Center specific sessions on offer in Nashville include: Fast tracking sales from Contract to Digital Signature Developing state of the art Dynamic Templates for Customer Communications Data Gathering Strategies for Customer Communications Management Integrating Customer Communications with Content Server What’s new and what’s upcoming for the OpenText Customer Communications offerings And that’s just a small selection of over 20 sessions around Experience Suite and 200 plus breakout sessions, roundtables, labs, and demos on offer across the whole OpenText portfolio. Enterprise World 2016 is a must attend event for anyone in the Customer Experience and Customer Communications world. If you haven’t yet registered for Enterprise World, now is the perfect time to do so. Come join us in Nashville!

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The Cloud: Bigger and Better at Enterprise World

Cloud Enterprise_World

If your business is already operating applications in the cloud or is considering adopting cloud for EIM applications, you will find many opportunities at Enterprise World to advance your plans. The Cloud is everywhere at Enterprise World this year! If you would like to better understand our cloud strategy and meet with the leaders that manage all parts of our cloud, join us at: CLD-100 OT Cloud: Strategy, Offerings, and Talk with the Experts on Wednesday morning. This panel session will offer you the opportunity to learn more about all aspects of our cloud operation and to ask questions. Directly after this session we will head to the Elite Lounge where you will be able to enjoy a coffee and talk with the cloud experts one-to-one. For those that want to dive deeper, there are several sessions that are aimed at helping you with the details of working in the cloud: CLD-200 Enterprise Managed Services in the OpenText Cloud provides a deep dive into the services that are provided when your applications are managed in the cloud. It will describe service levels, operational standards, security and compliance processes. CLD-201 Total Cost of Ownership Benefits in the Cloud provides guidance on how to evaluate your total cost of ownership on-premises and in the cloud and evaluate the possible savings for your organization. This session features a customer describing how they went about analyzing TCO for 2 systems on-premises and in the cloud. CLD-202 Embracing the Cloud in the Public Sector is a customer panel session where customers will share what they are doing and how they are advancing through the use of cloud applications. This interactive session will provide high value for all Public Sector and customer service focused organizations. ECM-223 Top Questions you need to ask when upgrading ECM to the Cloud will provide answers to some of the top questions when considering a move to the cloud as you upgrade to Release 16. You will leave this session with a clear understanding of the path to cloud success and have a chance to ask the experts about your particular situation. CEM-201 Strategies for a Successful DAM Implementation on a Cloud Platform shares practical advice on managing media in the cloud including architecture, metadata, ingestion of content and administration. Cloud is very popular for media management customers and this session will provide great practical advice. Do you want to have 1:1 practical advice for your own organization? Now is the chance to spend quality time with our Professional Services and Managed Services experts. Book a private session with our experts – go to the Professional Services area in the Expo Hall to request the time that works for you. If you don’t have time to fit full breakout sessions into your schedule, there are several Theatre sessions running in the Professional Services Expo Hall Theatre. Check the daily schedule for a 15 minute short session on:  TCO in the Cloud, Trends in Cloud Implementations, Upgrading to the OpenText Cloud and an overview of Managed Services in the Cloud. Networking: Meet with other customers who have experienced the cloud through all of the networking events and sessions. Meet with our executives and experts in booked meetings, in the Expo Hall, or after breakout sessions. We would love to speak with you in more depth. This is the best work week of the year for us as we get the opportunity to speak with you and learn together. Please take the time to talk with us, and with your peers and have a wonderful Enterprise World. See you there! To register or get more information visit our Enterprise World site

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IQPC Online Summit – Technology Roundtable Recap

contact center technology

On Tuesday, June 14, I had the pleasure of participating on the panel of an online IQPC Technology Roundtable with two other distinguished vendors. Brian Cantor, the moderator, asked each of us to share our insights and expertise with the audience of over 100 attendees regarding the current state of contact center technology. Over the course of the 30-minute discussion, we covered a number of topics, including: The current state of today’s quickly evolving contact center The role of technology in supporting this evolution Opportunities for using emerging technology to manage rapid change How contact center professionals can ensure success Great information, and great advice, was provided throughout the discussion. There was one topic, however, that did not get covered due to time, and I would like to address this in my blog today. Problem: Technology is great, but the results will not be maximized unless the business properly updates operations. What are some best practices businesses can adopt to make the most of their technology investments? Prescription: Establish a cross-functional steering committee with individuals from operations and IT who meet on a regular basis to share how technology is or is not solving their business challenges Engage with your vendor (who should truly be a partner) in quarterly business reviews. As a true partner, the vendor should clearly understand the goals and objectives of your organization in addition to sharing their expertise, product roadmap and strategy Evangelize process and technology successes (small and big wins) by proactively communicating progress throughout the contact center and the broader enterprise Ensure increased user adoption of technology by leveraging internal power users and other colleagues and peers through customer forums and vendor/partner communities I would like to extend my sincere thanks to IQPC, and especially Brian Cantor, for facilitating this roundtable. My OpenText WFO Software colleagues and I very much look forward to seeing you on June 27-July 1 at IQPC Call Center Week at the Mirage in Las Vegas, NV. Please stop by booth #1017 for a craft coffee and engaging conversations with other OpenText™ Qfiniti and OpenText™ Explore experts. Until next time…

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Wrestle a HiPPO – and Win!

One of the toughest challenges for every data-driven marketer is dealing with someone higher up in their organization, who can and does make decisions based on gut, “experience”, or maybe ego, rather than data-driven customer insights. They are the HiPPOs – the Highest Paid Person in the Organization (or sometimes, the Highest Paid Person’s Opinion). We here at Optimost have a lot of experience helping our customers address cultural challenges like this, so I wanted to share our recommendations for turning your HiPPO from a scary creature that tramples over your best ideas to a supportive, empowering, roadblock-clearing champion. Why does your HiPPO matter? Everyone talks about the elephant in the room, but the HiPPO often doesn’t get the mention they deserve. And that’s too bad. HiPPOs are one of the top conversion killers when they base decisions on conjecture instead of data. It’s like a wild card. Their opinions may make perfect sense, or they may be totally left field. Either way, their suggestions may not actually be best for the business or your customers. Don’t believe us? Look at this: In reality, your users may feel or act much differently. To maximize profits, your site needs to reflect what works best for your customers. But, you can’t know what that is if you aren’t testing. HiPPOs eat data for breakfast Famed 20th Century American engineer, statistician, and management thinker Edward Deming said, “In God we trust, all others bring data.” Most senior managers would prefer to make decisions based on data rather than gut, but rely on their experience instead because they lack complete information for many of the decisions they make. A HiPPO with a testing suggestion, like the one above, might just be trying to be helpful. Or he might think his wife is a web design expert. But he almost certainly doesn’t have the data necessary to make the right decision. So tame the HiPPO by bringing them data instead of anecdotes. That means testing, measuring, and analyzing every step of the conversion funnel on your website. Any site changes should be made because you have quantitative proof that they will improve the outcome you’re driving. That said, if your HiPPO remains adamant their opinion is right, co-opt them through data-driven testing. Incorporate your HiPPO’s suggestions into your test planning and prioritization. It’s a great strategy to help you get ahead, because it helps show your HiPPO you value their ideas. Doing so is important to garner their support. Also, planning and prioritizing helps you to bring order to the chaos and decide what to test first. If you can show your HiPPO that their idea is likely to be marginal at best and will delay a really important test, they may be happy to withdraw their request. Senior management will love you if they see that you’re not only doing the work right, but doing the right work. When you do both, your HiPPO can show he or she is delivering more overall value to the company. And, in turn, your work will be deemed more valuable. As the CRO owner, you probably already have much more detailed data than your HiPPO. So, you can easily use it to your advantage to fuel your CRO/testing agenda. Speak in HiPPO As marketers, we know intuitively that if we don’t communicate with our customers in ways that are relevant and relatable to them, we won’t be in business long. But somehow we often forget this when it comes to internal communication. Everyone, at every level, has specific language and metrics that resonate with them. For you, it might be site traffic. For your colleague, it might be to email sign-ups. But, to really engage your HiPPO, translate your successes to their language and communicate results in terms of that they care about. Here’s an example: If you ran a great test and achieved a 9% boost in adds to cart, don’t go to your CEO and say, “This test achieved a 9% boost in adds to cart.” They probably won’t know what you mean or why they should care. Instead, do say, “For every 1% boost in adds to cart, we earned $10 million in annual revenue. As a result, this test could bring in $90 million in annualized revenue.” Now, that’s something your CEO will want to hear! (Quick diversion: watch this if you want to learn to speak in actual HiPPO. It’s pretty amusing.) What matters to your HiPPO? In order to measure and communicate appropriately to anyone in your organization, ask yourself and your management questions like: What kind of data does my boss ask for again and again? What kind of results do my bosses report to their bosses? What is being tracked on management dashboards? What metrics do executives communicate to the organization? What metrics do stock analysts estimate and report on (for public companies)? Make a HiPPO your Executive Sponsor Sometimes, despite your best efforts, you simply don’t have the rank or pull to push your testing agenda forward, so identify and cultivate an executive sponsor. An executive sponsor is a senior person within your organization who believes in and supports your CRO mandate and has the authority to push forward higher level executive decisions. They will help you: Define and advocate the primary business goals and objectives of your CRO program Expedite approval of strategic decisions on what tests to run Evangelize tests results and widely share them throughout the organization People often get stuck when they lack testing support in their direct management chain. If you’re up against a wall, look elsewhere. Your executive sponsor doesn’t need to be your boss or bosses boss. Look for an executive sponsor that works in any area where data is highly valued; for example, in analytics, marketing operations, or finance. Any of these teams will be predisposed to support you: Analytics’ mission is to better understand and improve website performance Marketing operations wants to ensure marketing maximizes the value of every marketing dollar Finance is always eager to add to the top line or reduce costs Bring HiPPOs into the club with a testing workshop and quarterly reviews At Optimost, we’ve had a lot of success transforming customers’ testing cultures through testing workshops, or hackathons. Testing workshops are one- or two-day team building sessions designed to bring together key stakeholders and raise awareness about testing. The sessions help build testing ideas through a fun, engaging atmosphere. We’ve found team building activities, like testing workshops, help everyone tangibly see and experience the value of CRO. Giving everyone the opportunity to brainstorm, share and present their testing ideas, and have their voice heard fosters collaboration. Stakeholders who aren’t involved in testing day in and day out welcome the chance to feel like they’re having a direct—and positive—impact for customers and the business. Let’s face it. Your HiPPO is a busy person. There are a lot of issues to take care of on the wide savanna. So in addition to inviting them to the occasional workshop, keep them aligned with regular high level reviews. We find quarterly reviews are about the right cadence. In the session, present a high level view of what’s been achieved and what’s in the testing pipeline. With everyone in attendance, state in clear terms how testing goals are being met and how they’re supporting the goals of the business When reporting your achievements, make sure to use KPIs your audience will respond to and understand best – see below When key stakeholders see and hear how your testing program is positively impacting their bottom line, you’re more likely get their buy in Let the wrestling match begin So remember my four tips for wrestling HiPPOs: Bring your HiPPO data. Their decisions will be better! Communicate to them in terms they understand and care about Look for HiPPOs that are on your side — in your management chain or elsewhere Bring them into the club with workshops and regular reviews I hope the tips above help you engage the HiPPOs in your organization confidently and successfully! We’re putting the finishing touches on Trade Up: From Cube to Corner Office, a comprehensive guide to taking charge of testing and optimization in your organization, which goes into a lot more depth on these issues. Please let us know in the comments or by email if you’d like to receive a copy when it’s ready in a few weeks. You can also read more on HiPPOs and testing programs in previous blogs here and here. What other ideas have you successfully used? Please add them to the comments.

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The Customer’s Perspective of the Redefined Customer Journey

digital customer journey

The digital customer journey is being redefined – it’s never been easier to buy stuff. All it takes is a few clicks of a button. But there are an almost infinite number of websites and online sources from which to make purchases. How do you choose? In today’s digital age do you simply buy something, or do you create ongoing relationships with the companies that meet your needs and provide a good experience? I’m guessing that it’s probably more of the latter. Several blog posts ago I talked about how the customer journey is being redefined in the digital age from a linear process to an ongoing loop of BUY then OWN with the companies you choose to deal with becoming more and more engaged in every part of the cycle. But how does that on-going loop look like from a customer perspective? Although the overall experience is continuous it is made up of 10 distinct stages: Awareness: Do you know what is available in the market place that relates to your activities, business, or lifestyle? Need: Why do you buy something? It is generally to fill a business or personal need. Is it something to solve a problem, make life easier, or just to provide pleasure? Defining a need is an essential part of the purchasing process. Research: Once a need is identified and you’ve matched that need to an awareness of what is available, you will often start to ask questions. What has anyone else used or purchased to meet a similar need? In the digital world research is playing a more and more important role with the majority of purchasers doing their own research rather than engage with a sales person to get answers to questions. Evaluate: How do various products and solutions compare? What are other people’s experiences in using those products and solutions? The collective experience of a peer groups are becoming a vital part of the evaluation process in an increasingly connected social world. Buy: Once a decision has been made the ideal purchase experience should be frictionless and consistent irrespective of which channel you use to make the purchase. Delivery: This is the point where the experience moves from the BUY to OWN part of the process, and is often the point where many companies step away from the relationship with the customer. Delivery, be it digital or physical, should be well documented, well communicated, and as fast, and as efficient as possible. Use: The everyday use of a product or solution is the longest part of the customer experience, and yet is often to most overlooked. How easy is it to actually use what you have purchased? Does it meet your needs and expectations? Does the company you purchased it from provide information on its continued use, or ways to connect with other customers to compare experiences? Maintain: What is something goes wrong? How easy is it to get help, or receive product updates? Advocate: Do you talk about products, services, and solutions that you enjoy? So will your customers. Customers who have a positive experience will become brand and product advocates. Recommend: And good advocates will recommend to others. Or they will self-recommend and make repeat purchases based on having been engaged as part of a well-designed and delivered continuous journey. The full engaged customer journey cannot be addressed by separate applications at different parts of the process. To be fully effective, it has to provide an exceptional continuous experience made up of a combination of the many different experiences and processes. In an upcoming blog post we’ll take a look at the next layer related to the company’s activities in providing a continuous connected customer experience. In the meantime this white paper “A Better Way to Engage – Redefining the Customer Journey for a Digital World” is worth a read.

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What Happens in Vegas Should be Shared in Vegas!

Contact Center Week

If you missed the opportunity to attend the ICMI Contact Center conference this past May in Long Beach, California, we’re hoping you will join us in Las Vegas at IQPC Call Center Week. Sure, you might be tempted to drop some coins in the slots, but be sure to also drop by our booth and learn how to stop playing games of chance with your contact center agents and your customers. The OpenText WFO Software team is proud to be a gold sponsor of this event, and you won’t want to miss out on the nuggets of learning and inspiration that you can pick up by speaking with our expert staff – not to mention the opportunity you’ll have to win fantastic prizes while enjoying the craft coffee being served. June 27 – July 1, 2016 IQPC Call Center Week                                                                                                      The Mirage Las Vegas, NV OpenText WFO Software at booth # 1017/1019 Tuesday, June 28, 2016 | 11:15a-2:15p Workshop L Service Delivery Optimization: Tackling Your Biggest Challenges with Best Practice Processes This fast-paced workshop will cover best practice processes in key operational areas so that you can consistently deal a winning experience to your customers by optimizing service delivery. Presented by Roger Lee, Principal Evangelist, OpenText WFO Software and Deb Alvord, Global Lead – Contact Center Advisory, CX Transformation, Hewlett Packard Enterprise Tuesday, June 28, 2016 | 6:00p Call Center Week Excellence Awards Gala Please join us at the award ceremony to see if HSN (Home Shopping Network), one of our customers and a finalist for Best in Class Contact Center (Over 200 Seats), can walk away from the table with the top prize! Wednesday, June 29, 2016 | 3:00p-3:40p Track 3 Power your Customer Experience with Data-Driven Analytics Don’t rely on lady luck to win over your customers. Turn your big data into actionable insights and create real-time, personalized customer experiences through deep behavioral analytics. Presented by Stephanie Shaffer (Asurion) and Roger Lee, Principal Evangelist, OpenText WFO Software Stay tuned for additional information regarding this must attend event.

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The HiPPO Goes to the Movies!


What happens when a millennial CEO hires a retiree intern? Valuable real-life digital marketing advice from the movies! I recently watched The Intern, a great Nancy Meyers comedy starring Robert De Niro and Anne Hathaway. She plays Jules Osten, a millennial startup CEO, and he plays her new intern Ben Whittaker. That’s right — her company hired a retiree as an intern. Comic gold. We first see Jules about 10 minutes into the movie, entering the office and immediately set upon by her assistant, making quick decisions and taking charge in a classic Hollywood walk-and-show-decisiveness shot. It’s updated for a startup culture because she bikes through the office, but otherwise it’s a familiar movie device. Part of the scene shows her meeting with her web team and asking for design changes to the day’s homepage. “Try making the photo grid bigger.” “I love that 5. Can we make it more graphic?”     At OpenText™ Optimost, we talk a lot about HiPPOs, or the “Highest Paid Person in the Organization”, and the unfortunate role HiPPOs often play in website decision making, to the exclusion of data-driven customer insight. This scene is a great comedic illustration of the idea, and you can read more about HiPPOs here. A bit later in the movie, Ben shows that he’s savvier than the clueless old person his millennial colleagues take him for by sharing some insights he found looking at the marketing and advertising data. “The most expensive place you’re advertising is actually bringing you the customers who are spending the least and the channels you’re least investing in are adding enormous value…” To her credit, Jules listens and empowers him to fix it. As you can watch in the movie, he is still a bit unorthodox — he looks at the data on paper?! Lesson: Sometimes you have to help your HiPPO help you This is something we help our customers with every day at Optimost. If you are trying to wrestle with HiPPOs in your organization, here are three things you can do: Watch the movie! It might not help but at least you’ll get a good laugh Stay tuned for my next blog post: Wrestle a HiPPO — and win! Let us know how we can help In the meantime, have you seen other good examples of HiPPOs in the movies? Please share in the comments!

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ICMI Contact Center Expo & Conference at Long Beach, CA

contact center

From the desk of Dr. WFO: If you haven’t attended an ICMI Contact Center conference, you are missing out! This is a worthwhile investment for all contact center personnel. We were one of the sponsors at this year’s conference in Long Beach, CA, and the entire OpenText WFO Software team was impressed by the turnout of over 1,500 attendees. Another interesting fact was that about half of the attendees had never attended this type of conference before, so in other words, 50% were newbies. Lots of great content was delivered which focused on all aspects of content center management – people, process, technology, and strategy. The overall theme for the event was tied to improving the overall customer experience, along with how to promote the value of the contact center within the organization. It was most interesting to hear about the challenges that contact center professionals were looking to solve and the best practices they were hoping to learn from industry experts and other peers. Dr. WFO presenting to a standing room only crowd on Selling the Value of the Contact Center to the Enterprise Dr. WFO with colleague Jessica Overton and leadership team from Church Pension Group (CPG) The event had several interesting keynote speakers, but one in particular stood out for me. Scott McKain’s featured keynote titled “The Ultimate Customer Experience: The Key to Lifelong Loyalty and Endless Referrals” was engaging and fun. His message was make it easier to do business with you. He shared his model of 4 corners of distinction: Clarity – Be crystal clear on what sets you apart, define purpose; mindshare precedes market share Creativity – Be creative at one thing, be considered innovative Communication – Write a story about how a customer improved his/her business as a result of your efforts Customer Experience Focus – Unique experience I would highly encourage you to attend a contact center industry event. If you were unable to make this most recent ICMI event, you still have an opportunity to attend the upcoming 17th Annual Call Center Week & Expo (CCW) in Las Vegas from Monday, June 27 – Friday, July 1. The OpenText WFO Software team would love to see you there! Until next time…

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Accelerate Your Customer Experience Plans at Enterprise World

Enterprise World

Join us in Nashville this July at Enterprise World 2016 to learn, and share, the latest in Customer Experience Management and the keys to delivering a continuous connected experience for your customers. The new OpenText™ Experience Suite helps you deliver high impact digital content, interactive customer communications and gain analytical insight to continuously refine your customer’s experience, and we’re excited to have te opportunity to show you the benefits that come with the new Release 16. Included in the Enterprise Suite experience are : Communications Center Enterprise introduces Immersive Authoring with a new user interface and templates that make it easier to create correspondence that excites your audience Digital Asset Management is enhanced with Adaptive Media Delivery and the Media Hub to make sure your creative images and video look great on every device, every time. Web Content Management provides the latest in web publishing, marketing optimization and mobile marketing activities Workforce Optimization brings the customer contact center and voice of the customer programs front and center in the Digital Customer Journey With over twenty sessions devoted to Customer Experience Management there will be lots of opportunities to learn, network, and engage in great conversations. Breakout Sessions will include topics such as: Experience Suite Strategy and Product Direction: Designing a Continuous Digital Customer Experience Excellence in Customer Service: Marketing’s Secret Weapon Enhance OpenText Experience Analytics with custom insight Integration of Communications Center with Content Server Fast-track Sales from Contract to Digital Signature Responsive Design and Web Experience Management Media Management and Adaptive Delivery Visit us at the Digital Experience theater in the Expo Hall to see the latest demonstrations and also to setup 1:1 meetings for: OpenText™ Communications Center OpenText™ MediaBin OpenText™ Media Management OpenText™ Qfiniti OpenText™ TeamSite OpenText™ Web Experience Management If you haven’t yet registered for Enterprise World, now is the perfect time to do so. Come join us in Nashville.

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OpenText’s Innovative DAM Solution Wins Industry Accolade!

Digital Asset Management

OpenText™ Media Management wins the 2016 SIIA CODie Award for Best Digital Asset Management (DAM) Solution, continuing to build momentum in the industry. The Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA) CODiE Award is a prestigious honor for OpenText. Each award winner was reviewed by a field of industry experts, whose evaluations determined the finalists. SIIA members then reviewed the finalists and their votes were combined with the scores from the industry experts’ to select this year’s CODiE Awards winners. “SIIA’s 2016 Business Technology CODiE Award winners are some of the most innovative products impacting businesses across the world. Recognized by their peers, the CODiE Winners should be proud of this prestigious accolade honoring excellence in business technology products,” said Rhianna Collier, VP & Managing Director for the Software & Services Division at SIIA. “We congratulate all of this year’s CODiE Award winners, and thank them for the contributions they have made to their industries.” This recognition validates OpenText’s DAM efforts, especially with the innovations in our latest Media Management release. However, this award is really for our customers as none of this would have been possible without your valuable input and insights. OpenText Media Management is a recognized leader in the industry. Our latest release adds new capabilities to keep us at the forefront of the industry, including embedded analytics, adaptive media delivery services, Media Management Cloud Edition and usability. See the CODie Award Press Release.

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Turn Regular Customer Communications Into a Powerful Marketing Asset

customer communications

When you receive a bill or an invoice do you ever give it a second glance? Most bills that arrive at my house just get dropped on the desk in my wife’s office to get paid. All except one. The monthly bill for our power consumption is more than just a straight forward demand for payment, it’s a tool that we use to run our house. As well as telling me my consumption for the last month, it is personalized to show the last three months, and a comparison with the same three months last year matched against the average temperatures. It also shows me what time of day I’m hitting peak consumption. We check it each month and adjust our thermostats accordingly to make sure we are using the power we pay for in the most efficient manner, while keeping the house at the comfortable temperatures we want. As a customer I appreciate the information that matchs my personal needs against the larger data set that the power company has access to. It has made me more loyal, as we’ve stayed customers despite several opportunities to switch to other suppliers over the years. The invoice as a customer retention and sales tool is one aspect of the customer experience that many companies overlook. Yet by delivering a more personal and interactive document (be it in print, on mobile, web, or even a well-crafted text message) a company can deliver a better customer experience and accelerate the customer acquisition. This in turn, has shown to improve retention rates and total Customer Lifecycle Value as well as giving the company’s personnel more time to focus on fulfilling customer’s needs, addressing their questions and concerns, thus deepening the relationship and expanding sales opportunities. With OpenText™ Communications Center you can maximize the effectiveness of your communications, not only by providing a single, consistent look and feel across all devices, but also by creating a dialogue from the document. Also, because the channels are linked, a customer can, say, initiate an application from their email reader and complete it on their tablet at a later time or date. Communications Center provides the robust, enterprise-grade CCM solution that you need to effectively generate and manage communications that connect all your business systems, while providing up-to-the-minute critical information to your customers, partners, vendors and personnel. You can find out more about the benefits of using Communications Center here.

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A DAM Fine Time in New York – now on to Nashville

media management

Last week I got to spend time with Jon Snow, Mr. Peanut, and some monster trucks – thanks to spending a day at one of the regular OpenText™ Media Management User Group Meetings. This gathering of Digital Asset Management aficionados was kindly hosted by HBO at their building in mid-town New York. As well as the use of their impressive theater we also got to enjoy some great views of The Empire State Building from the top floor location. Customers like HBO, Kraft-Heinz, Monster Energy, and others, shared how they use the Open Text Media Management (OTMM) platform as the core of their digital marketing and content channel distribution (you can see us in the photo at the top of this blog). In these meetings each customer brings new perspectives and insights on building business cases, implementation, usage, and extending the use of DAM across the enterprise. Another highlight of the day was the opportunity for the customers and partners in attendance to hear, and see, what is in the recent Release 16 version of OTMM, and ask detailed questions of the product team. The session was highly interactive with great questions, observations, and some impressive feature demos. Overall everyone seemed very impressed by what they saw of the latest release. These single day User Groups are a great place to network with industry peers and find out what other people are doing with a technology solution; as well as get ‘under the covers’ with the folks who are developing the software. We’ll be taking this approach to a whole new level at the upcoming OpenText™ Enterprise World conference in Nashville the week of July 11. The focus for Enterprise World 2016 will be to provide more informative and detailed technical sessions, alongside customer case studies, making it the most informative user conference to date. For example, the OpenText Media Management specific sessions on offer in Nashville include: Best Practices and tips for a Scalable, Secure and Performance Tuned Media Management Platform Media Management – System Monitoring, Troubleshooting, and Logging. Creating custom widgets and transformers in Media Management How to Leverage the new Adaptive Media Delivery features in V16 to publish assets to your WCM And that’s just a small selection of more than 20 sessions around the Customer Experience Suite and the 200 plus breakout sessions, roundtables, labs, and demos on offer across the whole OpenText portfolio. Enterprise World 2016 is a must attend event for anyone in the Customer Experience and Media Management world. Check out all the details, and register at the Enterprise World website.

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Oh Behave! Marketing, Optimization and Testing Convergence


The OpenText™ Optimost team just got back from BEHAVE 2016 in Austin, a wonderful conference for digital marketers interested in translating behavioral insights into how they create and optimize digital experiences for their customers. A big shout out to our friends at WhichTestWon who put it on! I was impressed and gratified by attendees’ passion and belief for testing everything, and using science to drive marketing success. It was clear that this was our flock – and that it’s healthy and growing. But it was equally clear that when dispersed in our respective offices and organizations, some people feel frustrated and stymied. Their efforts run into brick walls of internal politics or those who feel threatened by a data-driven approach. This isn’t just happening between the doers and middle management, Steven Levitt (of Freakonomics fame, and a hilarious speaker to boot) told a wonderful story of the CEO of an electronics retailer bringing him in to look at their major TV and newspaper ad buys. The retailer was very consistent: TV spots 3 times a year (Fathers’ Day, Black Friday, and Christmas) and newspaper inserts weekly, without fail, for the last 25 years. The CEO wanted to know the ROI of these buys, but because there was no variation in the tactic from week-to-week or market-to-market, it was impossible to know for sure. Levitt suggested running an experiment to turn off the inserts in random markets for random weeks, to see what would happen to sales. No one in the C-suite was willing to try it. So it’s clear that even in the highest levels of the organization experimentation can be a tough sell. The disconnect between the power of an experimental approach and how most organizations work today may explain the overflowing demand for our bootcamp, which focused on practical strategies to get buy-in, resources, and accelerate the success of digital optimization efforts. I’ve shared the presentation at the end of this post, also WhichTestWon’s Test of the Week last week covered similar ground. The bottom line is, as bearers of a relatively new (and appealing, effective, efficient, and scalable!) approach to marketing, we all need to learn to manage up, down, and sideways to build support and move our organizations forward, or we will all suffer for it. At another conference I attended last week in Austin, a CMO said, “the one thing worse than being wrong is being irrelevant.” Make sure you are the champion of relevance!

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Measuring Customer Lifecycle Value

customer lifecycle value

As the analysts have been telling us for a year or so now, digital business puts people right in the center of activity – they can get what they need, where, when and how they want today. The traditional model of finding a new customer, selling to them, and then moving on to the next opportunity has changed. Research has consistently shown that it costs less to sell to an existing customer than to find a new one, and that customers who feel engaged with a brand or product will spend more on repeat business through the lifetime of ownership. However traditional measurements like Net Promoter Scores or Customer Satisfaction scores are reactive, descriptive, and sentiment-based, while what is needed is something that is predictive and performance based – a measurement of the Customer’s Lifecycle Value (CLV) to the business. Customer Lifecycle Value is usually formally described as amount of revenue, or profit, that a customer, or defined group of customers, generates over their projected lifetime of interaction with a company. This could be argued to be a somewhat myopic viewpoint as it presupposes a traditional sales cycle and a finite predefined timeline of customer engagement. In today’s digital world, by delivering a continuous connected customer experience, it is possible to grow a customer’s interest and investment in a redefined relationship that delivers benefit to both the customer and the enterprise, resulting in a CLV model that measures interaction and investment at different stages of interaction. Digitally sophisticated customers and partners increasingly research products, make purchases, track orders, and manage their accounts or subscriptions online. Customers increasingly expect these transactions to seamlessly transition from one digital platform to another, while retaining a consistent personalized experience, with data, information, and assets moving seamlessly from one environment to another. Serving your customers across a continuous digital experience journey maximizes Customer Lifecycle Value and increases revenue potential If you invest in your customers they will invest in you with their time, information, brand loyalty, recommendations, and ongoing sales. Investment in customer experience means delivering a continuous connected digital experience that will increase a customer’s lifecycle value to you as a business. The CMO Council recently looked at how marketing executives quantify customer engagement success. More than a third of respondents said that revenue metrics, like Customer Lifecycle Value (CLV), revenues per customer, and overall revenue increases were the primary type of metric they used to measure consumer engagement. Mathematical models (Segmentation and Lifetime Value Models using SAS, Malthouse 2013) have shown that changes as small as a 5 percent increase in customer retention can bring increases as high as 80 percent or more in a CLV. In mathematical terms maximizing the Customer Life Cycle Value in a continuous connected digital engagement model can be expressed as: The more other departments invest and buy in to the overall direction, the greater the experience, the greater the customer’s investment. The benefits from committing to a combined, systematic approach to growing and measuring Customer Lifecycle Value across the enterprise include: Increased customer retention rates Increased customer satisfaction scores Increased revenue It has been proven that increases in Customer Lifecycle Value can drive revenue. By taking that a step further and managing on CLV to deliver outstanding customer experiences you can also drive sustainable growth across the enterprise To find out more, you can download the whitepaper “Drive More Revenue by Measuring and Managing Customer Lifecycle Value.”

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How Digital Disruption is Shaping Customer Experience – Webinar Invite

digital disruption

On May 12, I am the key speaker on a customer experience webinar entitled ‘From Drones to Smart Homes’. It’s the first in the new OpenText Digital Innovation webinar series that takes a fresh perspective on important issues that are affecting every business today. So, I thought I’d take a moment to give my perspective on delivering an excellent customer experience beforehand in the hope it persuades you to join me on the day. Perhaps the place to start isn’t with experience at all. Perhaps the place to start is with customer expectation. In almost every industry there are transformational changes in the experience companies are delivering to their customers. Think about moving from 28 days to same day delivery – then to real-time tracking of your order in transit. Today it seems that we’re not far from having delivery drones landing on our lawns! The first time you experience something like this, it feels like a revelation. By the tenth, it feels like it’s the norm. We have to live by one rule of thumb: customer delight always turns rapidly into customer expectation. You can occastionally afford to not delight your customer on a few of the interactions you have with them –  but you are in big, big trouble if you consistently fail to meet their expectations. The challenge is that, with every digital customer experience innovation we deliver, we consistently raise the bar on customer expectation. So what do customers expect? They expect a consistent experience with a company no matter which stage they are in their buyer’s journey. They expect to be able to connect with the company on any channel they choose. They expect to begin an interaction – buying a product or receiving support – on one channel and complete it on another seamlessly. They expect more transparency, more honesty and more information from their chosen suppliers than ever before. They don’t hope for this experience. They don’t want this experience. They expect this experience. And, they will go elsewhere if they don’t get it. Customer experience expert Steven Van Belleghem says: “The amount of trust consumers put in brands is decreasing all the time, and a typical consumer will now switch brands without hesitation if they get a better offer.” In this world of digital disruption, it is all too easy for an organisation to become the architect of its own downfall. In a rush to provide better and better external experiences, the company overlooks how closely tied external and internal processes actually are. In doing so, they set themselves up to disappoint the expectations of their customers. There is little point in marketing painting a wonderful picture in the customer’s mind if the product or the service fails to meet the expectations set. A customer can have the perfect purchasing experience but if the product arrives damaged or doesn’t arrive at all then all that good work is undermined. Organisations want to go digital on the outside. They know they need to be able to accommodate the growing number of data types and communications channels that their customers are embracing. They also want to go digital inside – creating new systems that transform digital operations, streamline internal processes, reduce information glut, and integrate business applications with information stores. Most companies find the prospect of tackling both at the same time too daunting and risky preferring to focus on internal processes. But, even here, creating end-to-end processes is challenging when you are faced with information silos built up over years or decades. On top of breaking down the silos, you have to layer on the ability to integrate the new data types and channels. Digital disruption is challenging the customer-facing parts of your business, but business transformation is an even greater force. At this point, business transformation becomes the bigger initiative and digital transformation falls under the larger umbrella. Unless carefully managed, the initial reason for embarking on the transformation – to deliver excellence digital customer experience – can become lost in the drive to improve internal processes. From my perspective, a more productive and longer term strategy is to redefine what you mean by digital outside and inside your business. You can instead see then both as a single cross-functional process that flows seamlessly between customer behaviours and internal functions. This allows you to focus on changing a single business process – such as supply chain management – rather than taking on two huge transformation projects simultaneously. It reduces the cost and risk involved in effectively responding to digital disruption and delivering consistently excellent customer experience today and into the future. I hope this has captured your curiosity and you’d like to know more about how OpenText can help you deliver an ever better customer experience. If so, I’d like to invite you to join me on the ‘From Drones to Smart Homes’ webinar on May 12 at 2pm BST for an hour.

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Why Customer Engagement is Critical to Your Success

customer engagement

Customer engagement is a term that is everywhere now. The industry is moving from touting “customer experience” to “customer engagement” because we all know that “engagement” is much deeper; it is about interactions, not just transactions. Excelling in customer engagement is a critical component to outperforming your competitors and delivering lifetime customer value, but how do you that? Why should you do that?   Well for one thing, your customer base is changing. Baby boomers are giving way to millennials, Gen X, Y and Z, and digital customers are becoming the norm. Within 10 years, 75% of the labor force will be born digital and they don’t like paper communications; they use digital media and social channels like no other generation. Are you going to be able to speak their language? Find out why a multichannel customer communications strategy is important with this infographic and also read how OpenText™ Exstream can help deliver this for you.

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Can You Afford Desktop Analytics and Agent Guidance?

desktop analytics

This is another in a series of blogs about desktop analytics, desktop guidance and automation. In the previous blogs about desktop analytics and agent guidance, we’’ve discussed numerous features that could lead to a strong business case for this kind of investment. As a call center professional for many years, it became an annual ritual for me to devise return-on-investment (ROI) studies for an abundant variety of contact center technology investments. Given the profound potential effect of a well-designed desktop analytics and guidance solution on a number of call center cost drivers, the business case for these products is remarkably strong. The non-invasive, open architecture of an intelligent desktop guidance solution will allow integrations without development costs and lengthy timelines. Before we discuss the potential financial and service-level benefits of agent guidance and desktop automation, it’’s worth a mention that the ability to measure desktop and workflow activity at granular level is, in itself, a significant analytical advantage. For example, the ability to identify which agents take the more time to complete various workflow steps would help supervisors target their coaching with outliers towards more cost-efficient behaviors, and to measure improvements on an agent-by-agent basis. Today’’s leading contact centers use agent guidance solutions to connect disjointed applications and reduce the number of required steps (and the amount of time required) to complete tasks. Handle time is reduced by eliminating duplicate data entry Suggesting talking points to agents at strategic junctures reduces customer misunderstandings and helps guide conversations to the best next action more quickly Transaction times and accuracy are improved by pushing just the right information to the right agents at the right times or via automatic navigation next correct screen, next correct selection on the current screen, new application or new URL Fewer keystrokes means fewer clerical errors  Process guidance improves compliance and helps agents through unfamiliar and complex procedures, which also reduces process errors Don’’t forget to factor this reduction in errors into your ROI for desktop automation. Errors often result in customer callbacks, losses, chargebacks, and for some companies, product-return and re-ship costs. In some cases, the most significant financial benefit of agent guidance and desktop automation might simply be better first-call resolution. Finally, in terms of cost-saving benefits, if your desktop analytics solution has the capability to send commands to a server, you could realize substantial savings by automating a variety of manual processes. Virtually anything that your agents are tracking via tick sheets and manual logs could probably be automated via triggered commands that pass data from the agent screens to a database. With a bit of creative programming, call center organizations could automate their call disposition process, post transaction information to databases or trigger the delivery of confirmation emails to their customers in real time. An integrated desktop analytics product means users can capture any value from agent screens and attach it to the current recording as a search parameter. In addition to cost savings, your ROI for desktop analytics could include using the solution to generate revenue, especially in a sales or upselling environment where better contextual scripting or quick access to product information could result in incremental sales. The ROI model for desktop analytics is strong enough that a simple AHT-savings proposal usually makes the case. We’’ve devised a number of ROI proposals for OpenText™ Qfiniti Optimize and have yet to encounter a customer that wouldn’’t break even within a year with the purchase of this solution and a moderate implementation effort. If you’’d like to learn more about desktop analytics, we’’d be glad to explore how this solution could radically improve your understanding and control over your cost and savings drivers. Learn more about Qfiniti.  

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Transforming Your Business Processes

business processes

Many people think of digital transformation as nothing more than the act of going paperless. However, at OpenText, we believe it is much more than this. In fact, we consider digital transformation to be ongoing business processes – a journey instead of a destination. Going digital radically redefines how we innovate, regardless of industry. It accelerates the pace and scale of a business, and creates opportunities for new ecosystems to thrive. With this in mind, business processes need to do more, use more and change more. They need to better adapt to manage routine and non-routine work, and support structured and unstructured processes. And all these processes require content, from forms and documents to images and many other types of media. As this content moves through the business via various processes, the two – content and processes – need to be tightly connected. This is where OpenText™ Process Suite 16 together with enterprise content management (ECM) and customer experience management (CEM) delivers the solutions that support digital transformation. With Release 16, Process Suite supports tight integration between content and processes to connect the right person, system or thing with the content it needs – at the right time. We call this ‘information-driven’ design: it focuses on how your information assets need to be managed and then allows you to build the right processes to manage them. By connecting your business processes with your content, you’re able to create context: your users can stay in the flow of work, uploading and sharing content as needed while the content management transparently happens behind the scenes, applying metadata to content, enriching its contextual value. This enhances your business processes and gives you the opportunity to ensure the right information is acted on at the right step in the process, providing the context so that action can be taken to move forward. To learn more about how OpenText Process Suite 16 and how it can help you create context for your business process, check out the Process Suite Executive Overview.

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