By Michael Snow on Dec 18, 2013
Are You Doing EVERYTHING You Can to Keep Your Customers Engaged?
We live in very social times – in 60 seconds in today’s online world, we see 695,000 new searches on Google while 72 hours of new video is uploaded to YouTube. We send 11 million instant messages and tweet 98,000 times. There are 1389 new blog postings and 695,000 new status updates to facebook. Meanwhile, Instagram gets 3480 new photos uploaded.
Some of these figures may seem large, some may seem small, but they all show a trend for more - More - MORE as the population becomes ever more engaged with our social media world.
We see staggering statistics of social media usage across the globe – in 2011 YouTube had more than 1 TRILLION views or to put this in relative terms that would translate to 140 views for every person on the planet Earth. Over 4 billion hours of video are watched each month on YouTube. Facebook has 845 million active users that create 3.2 billion likes and comments every day. Facebook users spend an average of 6 hours, 35 minutes per month on the site. Facebook has reached 100 billion friendships. There are 250 million photos uploaded each day = 173,611/minute. Let’s face the facts – we are all hooked on socially engaging via the latest and greatest tools available.
Are you giving your customers, employees and partners the best online experience they have come to expect from their personal lives?
ARE YOU ENGAGING EVERYONE WITH EXCEPTIONAL EXPERIENCES?
Not to mention that this also usually includes managing huge QUANTITIES of business data, while replicating the QUALITY of the social media experience.
So then, how do you manage the qualities of a business – including data and interaction and replicate the quality of the social media experience?
For today’s post, I’d like to let the visuals speak for themselves as great examples of how companies are working really hard to change the dynamics of engagement to build a legion of highly loyal and engaged customers and fans. So, grab a cup of coffee and take a break to watch the videos below.
We’ll start with a video from one of our partners, LBi where Paul Beck, Global Head of Audiences and Engagement, explains that “It’s not the Steak – it’s the Sizzle!” as the secret to success in today’s marketing jungle.
Every year, one of my favorite magazines, Fast Company, puts
out numerous lists, but their “The World's 50 Most Innovative Companies“ list
is a great one to watch for some of the coolest customer engagement examples
A great example (IMO) from 2012
One of LBi’s clients, RedBull, has become a media powerhouse themselves – especially with the recent space jump spectacle that gave them maximum free advertising across the globe. If there is an extreme sport where life and death often hang in balance, you'll often find RedBull there as a sponsor. What you are about to see below really pushes the limit of both extreme sports as well as expense for sponsorship. Whether or not you drink their magic potion or not, this project (http://www.redbullstratos.com/) created an audience across multiple social channels with a vast viral distribution of the multiple videos and documentaries created before, during and after the world record-breaking event. This is RedBull's MO, creating sponsorships and spectacles for adrenalin rushes vicariously explored and experienced through their media machine and hopefully also selling some of their elixer along the way.
On 14 October
2012 Felix Baumgartner jumped to Earth from a helium balloon in the
stratosphere doing the highest parachute jump ever done by a human.. He set the world record for skydiving an estimated 39
kilometres (24 mi), reaching an estimated speed of 1,342 kilometres per
hour (834 mph), or Mach 1.24. The capsule was launched from Roswell
International Air Center at 09:30 MDT (15:30 UTC).
Standing on the step of the capsule, Baumgartner made a short address:
"I know the whole world is watching now. I wish you could see what I can see. Sometimes you have to be up really high to understand how small you are... I'm coming home now."
RedBull Stratos from AixSponza on Vimeo.
Peter Clausen Film and AixSponza created this animation above visualizing the whole process of going up and jumping down.
Title : "Red Bull Stratos - Mission to the Edge of Space" Client: Red Bull Media House GmbH
Production Company: Peter Clausen Film & TV Produktionsgesellschaft mbH, Munich
A NotWorkingFilms Tribute to FELIX BAUMGARTNER JUMP FROM THE EDGE OF SPACE Red Bull Stratos - 14 October 2012
Remixed* by Fabio Palmieri Music by György Ligeti - Requiem for Soprano (Cathy Berberian)
2012©NotWorkingFilms http://www.notworkingfilms.com Like on FB!! https://www.facebook.com/NotWorkingFilmsPage
RedBull has done some great work with car racing as well. www.redbullracing.com/
At Oracle Open World this past October 2012, our customer Nike, won a Fusion Middleware Innovation Award for their Nike FuelBand built with Oracle technologies. There is another interesting article on Fast Company’s Design site regarding this new product and direction for Nike. They were aiming to create a “Universal Currency” to engage users no matter what they were doing combining personal goals, social networks and engagement across multiple aspects of a person’s life.
Nike Achieves Scalability with Oracle: Nike supports 8 million global users to monitor active lifestyle in social environment with 150,000 requests per minute using Oracle
Another interesting leader on the list is an Oracle client
that won an Innovation Award this year as well, Life Technologies. They are
praised for bringing the cost of gene sequencing down to a manageable level
from both a cost and time perspective in a rapidly growing market of biowares.
They have used Oracle WebCenter Technologies to build their service portal that provides yet another proof point in the Internet of Things that can communicate from machine to machine and provide service, maintenance and proactive care to keep very expensive equipment up and running for peak utilization. Increasing customer satisfaction and engagement by removing a task and letting researchers focus on research not the maintenance of their equipment.
Looking back at our Social Business Thought Leaders from
2012, there are a couple that immediately come to mind when we talk about
trends in Engagement across both Mobile and Social.
“Mobile is the New Face of Engagement”
featuring Ted Schadler, Vice President, Principal Analyst, Forrester
featuring Mike Fauscette, GVP, Software Business Solutions, IDC
Employee engagement goes far beyond the existence of technology and tools – it is something that needs to be well baked into the culture of the organization. I stumbled upon a wonderful paper on a great site I found that was chock full of interesting articles on employee engagement and the psychology of work and employment and living life to the fullest being personally satisfied and rewarded. The article entitled, “A call for the HIGH PERFORMANCE HUMAN WORKPLACE” by Dominique Giulini, General Manager Novartis Healthcare, Canada talks about the shift in thinking that is required now to promote full employee engagement. Companies are increasingly challenged to create opportunities to fully engage their employees to increase both retention as well as quality of work. I’m sure that many won’t like his approach or suggestions as they do challenge the historic sacred cow of corporate culture – Profit. His premise is quite simple yet presents a significant challenge for today’s leaders:
“This shift is from seeing profit as the goal to profit as the result of meaningful things done in fulfilling ways.”
This shift is best described by using the examples from his paper that talk about one major aspect to this shift – based on numerous studies, employees prefer to have a "Noble Purpose."
“This is Noble Purpose - Some Examples:
Noble Purpose is not jargon or a slogan. If it is not genuine it doesn’t work. It starts in a leader’s heart and mind. It is always available if you become 100 percent responsible for it in your company culture.”
When one starts doing research on "Employee Engagement", there are a couple of very well known groups that appear frequently having conducted major research on employee or "human capital" patterns of behavior. Both Aon and Towers Watson have provided insightful research on the topic.
From Aon's "Trends in Global Engagement" Report:
"Engaged employees deliver better performance, which is critical for business success. They understand their role in the business strategy, have a strong connection and commitment to the company, are more involved, and strive to go above and beyond in their jobs. The bottom line is that employee engagement matters—now more than ever. And the solutions for maintaining or improving engagement are increasingly complex for companies operating in an environment of instability and varied economic conditions. Striving to maintain a higher level of employee engagement not only contributes toward short-term survival during economic volatility, but is also a key factor for longer-term business performance and better positioning when market conditions become favorable. The companies that get engagement “right” will enjoy a source of competitive advantage in talent strategy and business results that is hard for others to replicate."
Embed engagement into business practices - engaging employees can't be a side thought. It needs to be part of the culture and fabric of the organization. Growing a culture of collaboration that allows employees easy and rapid communication speeds up both internal and external, employee and customer satisfaction.
From the Towers Watson 2012 Global Workforce Study — conducted with 32,000 employees across 30 countries:
“The first gap is effectively enabling workers with internal support, resources and tools, which can take a variety of forms. Think of the helpful supervisor who prioritizes and organizes work, regardless of whether the employee is in front of him or her, or 1,000 miles away working at home or in a remote office. Think of efficient technology that works (and a helpful help desk when it doesn’t). Think of a collegial work team ready to jump in to help. Or of online tools and processes that give remote or contract workers access to information and guidance to make good job-related decisions in real time.”
“When engagement starts to decline, companies become
vulnerable not only to a measurable drop in productivity, but also to poorer
customer service and greater rates of absenteeism and turnover.” (from Towers Watson 2012 study)
Keeping employees engaged leads to happier employees and ultimately that translates to happier customers. This is outlined clearly in a post on the Harvard Business Review Blog by Tony Schwartz, entitled "How Employee Engagement Hits the Bottom Line". In this post, Tony Schwartz praises the results of the 2012 Towers Watson study that "makes the most powerful, bottom line case yet for the connection between how we feel at work and how we perform."
He writes further; "For leaders, the key is to begin thinking of themselves as Chief Energy Officers. Energy is contagious, for better and for worse, and disproportionately so for leaders — by virtue of their influence. "The manager is at the heart of what we might think of as a personal employee ecosystem," the Towers Watson study concludes, "shaping individual experience ... day in and day out.""
Side Note: Interestingly enough, Tony Schwartz also has the record for the most read blog post in 2012 on the HBR site with a post that everyone should read to reset their multitasking behavior and expectations for more depth and productivity. "The Magic of Doing One Thing at a Time" by Tony Schwartz
Most of the social engagement rhetoric comes down to directing an organization’s focus on building a customer-centric organization starting from the inside out. Without the employee and customer-centric internal health of the organization, the external or customer-facing engagement is doomed for failure. Here’s an interesting video from the 2012 Oracle OpenWorld Customer Experience Summit Keynote with one of our partners, SapientNitro speaking with customer, Vail Resorts, on the importance of building a customer-centric corporate culture.
There has been a lot written about how to better engage with your customers across all of the new and existing or "legacy" channels of communication. Most companies were used to evaluating how well they were doing in retail or other face to face engagement modes. With the rapid growth of online and social engagement venues, today's successful organizations have been forced to align their channels for message consistency, culture, and context.
For a deeper dive into this subject, not so long ago, we hosted Ray Wang, Principal Analyst & CEO
from Constellation Research as part of our Social
Business Thought Leaders Webcast Series where he spoke on the 9 C’s of Customer
Engagement - How to Engage Your Customers and Employees.
This week, we'll be hosting our last Social Business Thought Leader Series Webcast for 2012. Our featured guest this week will be Brian Solis of Altimeter Group. As we've been going through the preparations for Brian's webcast, it became very clear that an hour's time is barely scraping the surface of the depth of Brian's insights and analysis. Accordingly, in the spirit of sharing Brian's perspective for all of our readers, we'll be featuring guest posts all this week pulled from Brian's larger collection of blog postings on his own website. If you like what you've read here this week, we highly recommend digging deeper into his tome of wisdom.
Guest Post by Brian Solis, Analyst, Altimeter Group as originally featured on his site with the minor change of the video addition at the beginning of the post.
This is the End of Business as Usual and the Beginning of a New Era of Relevance - Brian Solis, Principal Analyst, Altimeter Group
The Times They Are A-Changin’
Come gather ’round people
Wherever you roam
And admit that the waters
Around you have grown
And accept it that soon
You’ll be drenched to the bone
If your time to you
Is worth savin’
Then you better start swimmin’
Or you’ll sink like a stone
For the times they are a-changin’.
- Bob Dylan
I’m sure you are wondering why I chose lyrics to open this article. If you skimmed through them, stop here for a moment. Go back through the Dylan’s words and take your time. Carefully read, and feel, what it is he’s saying and savor the moment to connect the meaning of his words to the challenges you face today.
His message is as important and true today as it was when they were first written in 1964. The tide is indeed once again turning. And even though the 60s now live in the history books, right here, right now, Dylan is telling us once again that this is our time to not only sink or swim, but to do something amazing.
This is your time. This is our time. But, these times are different and what comes next is difficult to grasp. How people communicate. How people learn and share. How people make decisions. Everything is different now. Think about this…you’re reading this article because it was sent to you via email. Yet more people spend their online time in social networks than they do in email. Duh. According to Nielsen, of the total time spent online 22.5% are connecting and communicating in social networks. To put that in perspective, the time spent in the likes of Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube is greater than online gaming at 9.8%, email at 7.6% and search at 4%.
Imagine for a moment if you and I were connected to one another in Facebook, which just so happens to be the largest social network in the world. How big? Well, Facebook is the size today of the entire Internet in 2004. There are over 1 billion people friending, Liking, commenting, sharing, and engaging in Facebook…that’s roughly 12% of the world’s population.
Twitter has over 200 million users.
Ever hear of tumblr? More time is spent on this popular microblogging community than Twitter.
The point is that the landscape for communication and all that’s affected by human interaction is profoundly different than how you and I learned, shared or talked to one another yesterday. This transformation is only becoming more pervasive and, it’s not going back.
Survival of the Fitting
But social media is just one of the channels we can use to reach people. I must be honest. I’m as much a part of tomorrow as I am of yesteryear. It’s why I spend all of my time researching the evolution of media and its impact on business and culture. Because of you, I share everything I learn in newsletters, emails, blogs, Youtube videos, and also traditional books. I’m dedicated to helping everyone not only understand, but grasp the change that’s before you.
Technologies such as social, mobile, virtual, augmented, et al compel us adapt our story and value proposition and extend our reach to be part of communities we don’t realize exist.
The people who will keep you in business or running tomorrow are the very people you’re not reaching today. Before you continue to read on, allow me to clarify my point of view. My inspiration for writing this is to help you augment, not necessarily replace, the programs you’re running today. We must still reach those whom matter to us in the ways they prefer to be engaged. To reach what I call the connected consumer of Geneeration-C we must too reach them in the ways they wish to be engaged. And in all of my work, how they connect, talk to one another, influence others, and make decisions are not at all like the traditional consumers of the past. Nor are they merely the kids…the Millennial.
Connected consumers are representative across every age group and demographic.
As you can see, use of social networks, media sharing sites, microblogs, blogs, etc. equally span across Gen Y, Gen X, and Baby Boomers. The DNA of connected customers is indiscriminant of age or any other demographic for that matter. This is more about psychographics, the linkage of people through common interests (than it is their age, gender, education, nationality or level of income. Once someone is introduced to the marvels of connectedness, the sensation becomes a contagion. It touches and affects everyone. And, that’s why this isn’t going anywhere but normalcy.
Social networking isn’t just about telling people what you’re doing. Nor is it just about generic, meaningless conversation. Today’s connected consumer is incredibly influential. They’re connected to hundreds and even thousands of other like-minded people. What they experiences, what they support, it’s shared throughout these networks and as information travels, it shapes and steers impressions, decisions, and experiences of others.
For example, if we revisit the Nielsen research, we get an idea of just how big this is becoming. 75% spend heavily on music. How does that translate to the arts? I’d imagine the number is equally impressive. If 53% follow their favorite brand or organization, imagine what’s possible. Just like this email list that connects us, connections in social networks are powerful. The difference is however, that people spend more time in social networks than they do in email.
Everything begins with an understanding of the “5 W’s and H.E.” – Who, What, When, Where, How, and to What Extent? The data that comes back tells you which networks are important to the people you’re trying to reach, how they connect, what they share, what they value, and how to connect with them.
From there, your next steps are to create a community strategy that extends your mission, vision, and value and it align it with the interests, behavior, and values of those you wish to reach and galvanize.
To help, I’ve prepared an action list for you, otherwise known as the 10 Steps Toward New Relevance:
1. Answer why you should engage in social networks and why anyone would want to engage with you
2. Observe what brings them together and define how you can add value to the conversation
3. Identify the influential voices that matter to your world, recognize what’s important to them, and find a way to start a dialogue that can foster a meaningful and mutually beneficial relationship
4. Study the best practices of not just organizations like yours, but also those who are successfully reaching the type of people you’re trying to reach – it’s benching marking against competitors and benchmarking against undefined opportunities
5. Translate all you’ve learned into a convincing presentation written to demonstrate tangible opportunity to your executive board, make the case through numbers, trends, data, insights – understanding they have no idea what’s going on out there and you are both the scout and the navigator (start with a recommended pilot so everyone can learn together)
6. Listen to what they’re saying and develop a process to learn from activity and adapt to interests and steer engagement based on insights
7. Recognize how they use social media and innovate based on what you observe to captivate their attention
8. Align your objectives with their objectives. If you’re unsure of what they’re looking for…ask
9. Invest in the development of content, engagement
10. Build a community, invest in values, spark meaningful dialogue, and offer tangible value…the kind of value they can’t get anywhere else. Take advantage of the medium and the opportunity!
The reality is that we live and compete in a perpetual era of Digital Darwinism, the evolution of consumer behavior when society and technology evolve faster than our ability to adapt. This is why it’s our time to alter our course. We must connect with those who are defining the future of engagement, commerce, business, and how the arts are appreciated and supported.
Even though it is the end of business as usual, it is the beginning of a new age of opportunity. The consumer revolution is already underway, and the question is: How do you better understand the role you play in this production as a connected or social consumer as well as business professional?
Again, this is your time to define a new era of engagement and relevance.
Originally written for The National Arts Marketing Project
Note from Michael: If you really like this post above - check out Brian's TEDTalk and his thought process for preparing it in this post:
Simple. Powerful. Proven.
Face it, your organization is broken. Customers are not the focus they should be. Processes are running amok. Your intranet is a ghost town. And colleagues wonder why it’s easier to get things done on the Web than at work. What’s the solution?
Join us for this Webcast. Christian Finn will talk about three simple, powerful, and proven principles for improving your organization through collaboration. Each principle will be illustrated by real-world examples.
Time to Fix What’s Broken
Register now for this Webcast—the tenth in the Oracle Social Business Thought Leaders Series.
Engaging Customers is Critical for Business Growth
This week we'll be spending some time looking at Customer Engagement. We all have stories about how we try to engage our customers better than ever before. We all know that successfully engaging customers is critical to an organization’s business success. We also know that engaging our customers is more challenging today than ever before. There is so much noise to compete with for getting anyone's attention. Over the last decade and a half we’ve watched as the online channel became a primary one for conducting our business and even managing our lives. And during this whole process or evolution, the customer journey has grown increasingly complex. Customers themselves have assumed increasing power and influence over the purchase process and for setting the tone and pace of the relationships they have with brands and you see the evidence of this in the really high expectations that customers have today. They expect brand experiences that are personalized and relevant -- In other words they want experiences that demonstrate that the brand understands their interests, preferences and past interactions with them. They also expect their experience with a brand and the community surrounding it to be social and interactive – it’s no longer acceptable to have a static, one-way dialogue with your customer base or to fail to connect your customers with fellow customers, or with your employees and partners. And on top of all this, customers expect us to deliver this rich and engaging, personalized and interactive experience, in a consistent way across a variety of channels including web, mobile and social channels or even offline venues such as in-store or via a call center. And as a result, we see that delivery on these expectations and successfully engaging your customers is a great challenge today.
Customers expect a personal, engaging and consistent online customer experience. Today’s consumer expects to engage with your brand and the community surrounding it in an interactive and social way. Customers have come to expect a lot for the online customer experience.
· They expect it to be personal:
o Accessible: - Regardless of my device Via my existing online identities
o Relevant: Content that interests me
o Customized: To be able to tailor my online experience
· They expect it to be engaging:
o Social: So I can share content with my social networks
o Intuitive: To easily find what I need
o Interactive: So I can interact with online communities
These expectations are not only limited to your
customers by any means. Your employees (and partners) are also expecting
to be empowered
with engagement tools across their internal and external communications and
interactions with customers, partners and other employees. We had a great conversation with Ted Schadler from Forrester Research entitled: "Mobile is the New Face of Engagement" that is now available On-Demand. Take a look at all the webcasts available to watch from our Social Business Thought Leader Series.
Social capabilities have become so pervasive and changed customers’ expectations for their online experiences. The days of one-direction communication with customers are at an end. Today’s customers expect to engage in a dialogue with your brand and the community surrounding it in an interactive and social way. You have at a very short window of opportunity to engage a customer before they go to another site in their pursuit of information, product, or services. In fact, customers who engage with brands via social media tend to spend more that customers who don’t, between 20% and 40% more. And your customers are also increasingly influenced by their social networks too – 40% of consumers say they factor in Facebook recommendations when making purchasing decisions. This means a few different things for today’s businesses. Incorporating forms of social interaction such as commenting or reviews as well as tightly integrating your online experience with your customers’ social networking experiences into the online customer experience are crucial for maintaining the eyeballs on your desired pages.
93% - Cone Finds that Americans Expect Companies to Have a Presence in Social Media - http://www.coneinc.com/content1182
40% of consumers factor in Facebook recommendations when making decisions about purchasing (Increasing Campaign Effectiveness with Social Media, Syncapse, March 2011)20%-40% - Customers who engage with a company via social media spend this percentage more with that company than other customers (Source: Bain & Company Report – Putting Social Media to Work)
This first-ever Oracle Customer Experience Summit @ OpenWorld kicked off yesterday, bringing together established thought leaders and practitioners in customer experience. The first day saw noted marketing and customer experience thought leader, Seth Godin, take the stage to discuss how rapidly accelerating change and adoption are driving new behaviors and higher expectations in a massively disruptive transformation in which the customer now holds the power. His presentation gave us in-depth insight into this always-connected, always-sharing experience revolution we are witnessing.
If you haven’t yet made it over to the Oracle Customer Experience Summit at The Westin St. Francis and the recently made over Oracle Square (aka Union Square), there’s still time today and tomorrow to network with industry peers and hear best practices from those who have steered their ventures through the disruptive trends of customer experience and have proven, successful strategies to share for driving strategic customer-centric initiatives.
If you’re interested in learning how Oracle WebCenter helps businesses meet the demands of the customer experience revolution, be sure to check out these sessions at the Oracle Customer Experience Summit later today:
Using the Online Customer Experience to Drive Engagement and Marketing Success
Thursday, Oct 4, 4:15 PM - 5:15 PM - St. Francis - Georgian
Mariam Tariq - Senior Director Product Management, Oracle
Stephen Schleifer - Senior Principal Product Manager, Oracle
Richard Backx - Business IT Architect/Consultant, KPN NL Netco CE Channels Online
The online channel is a critical means of reaching and engaging customers. Online marketing efforts today must be targeted, interactive, and consistent to provide customers with a seamless experience. These efforts must include integrated management of Web, mobile, and social channels—supported by cross-channel customer data and campaigns—and integration with commerce to drive an engaging and differentiated online customer experience. Attend this session to learn how you can use the online channel to increase customer loyalty and drive the success of your marketing initiatives.
Empowering Your Frontline Employees: Sales and Service Enterprise Collaboration
Thursday, Oct 4, 5:30 PM - 6:30 PM - St. Francis - Elizabethan AB
Stephen Fioretti - VP, Product Management, Oracle
Peter Doolan - Group Vice President, Sales Engineering, Oracle
Andrew Kershaw - Sr Director Business Development, Oracle
Marty Marcinczyk - VP Customer Experience Engineering, Comcast
A focus on the employee experience is critical, because it can make or break your customers’ experiences, directly or indirectly. Engaged and empowered frontline employees become your best advocates and inspire your brand champions. This session explores proven approaches and tools, including social collaboration tools, that can help you empower and enable your frontline teams to improve customer and employee experiences.
And before you go, you'll also want to explore the Innovation Tents in Oracle Square which feature leading-edge customer experience demonstrations; attend our customer journey mapping workshop; and learn at sessions focused on innovating differentiated experiences that drive cross-functional alignment.
This week we’ll be looking at the ever evolving topic of systems of engagement. This topic continues generating widespread discussion around how we connect with businesses, employers, governments, and extended social communities across multiple channels spanning web, mobile and human face to face contact.
Earlier in our Social Business Thought Leader Webcast Series, we had AIIM President John Mancini presenting "Moving from Records to Engagement to Insight" discussing the factors that are driving organizations to think more strategically about the intersection of content management, social technologies, and business processes. John spoke about how Content Management and Enterprise IT are being changed by social technologies and how new technologies are being used to drive innovation and transform processes along and what the implications of this transformation are for information professionals. He used these two slides below to illustrate the evolution from Systems of Record to Systems of Engagement.
The AIIM White Paper is available for download from the AIIM website.
Later this week (09/20), we'll have another session in our Social Business Thought Leader Webcast Series featuring R “Ray” Wang (@rwang0) Principal Analyst & CEO from Constellation Research presenting: "Engaging Customers in the Era of Overexposure"
More info to come tomorrow on the upcoming webcast this week.
In the spirit of spreading good karma - one of the first things that came to mind as I was thinking about "Engagement" was the evolution of the Marriage Proposal. Someone sent me a link to this link a couple of months ago and it raises the bar on all proposals. I hope you'll enjoy!
Does your portal environment foster collaboration between your business and your customers? Are you effectively managing your customer, employee, and partner relationships and engagement? Can your users access information through Web, mobile, and social channels? Online engagement solutions give organizations the ability to listen and respond to their customers, provide targeted experiences, and encourage interaction among customers and employees.
Join us for a webcast on Thursday, April 12, 2012 at 10 a.m. PT / 1 p.m. ET, where Sachin Agarwal, Senior Director of Product Management and Kellsey Ruppel, Senior Product Marketing Manager for Oracle WebCenter, will tell you how to transform your portal experience and optimize online engagement. With Oracle WebCenter, you can:
Register today and learn how to make your portals more interactive and engaging across multiple channels.
This week, we’ll be continuing our conversations about Customer Experience (CX) on the Oracle WebCenter blog. While we all know that customer experience is critically important for acquiring new customers and engendering long term brand loyalty, I thought we could kick this week off by taking a look at the numbers of customer experience. I’m sure you’ll agree that nothing quite puts things into perspective like numbers and figures.
A whopping 86% of consumers say that they are willing to pay more for a better customer experience. But many companies are failing to step up to the challenge. And when companies fail deliver on customer experience expectations, they leave money on the table.
A huge percentage of customers, 89%, begin doing business with a competitor following a poor customer experience. Breaking up isn’t hard to do and today’s empowered customers have no qualms about taking their business elsewhere when their expectations for customer experience are not met.
Over a quarter of consumers, 26%, posted a negative comment on a social networking site like Facebook or Twitter following a poor customer experience. Today, individual customer service failures have the ability to easily snowball. An unsatisfied customer has the ability to easily share their rancor with their entire social network and chip away at your brand’s reputation.
A large number of consumers, 79%, who shared complaints about poor customer experience online had their complaints ignored. Companies ignore customer complaints at their own peril. And unsatisfied customers, when handled effectively, have the potential to become advocates for your brand. Of the 21% of consumers who did get responses to complaints, more than half had positive reactions to the same company about which they were previously complaining.
Half of consumers will give a brand only a week to respond to a question before they stop doing business with them. The clock is ticking when customers have questions about your brand and a week is an eternity in the realm of customer experience.
The source for these stats is the 2011 Customer Experience Impact (CEI) Report, which explores the relationship between consumers and brands. The report is based on a survey commissioned by RightNow (acquired by Oracle in 2012) and conducted by Harris Interactive. If you’re interested in seeing more facts and figures about customer experience, download the full report.
A couple of weeks ago I was urging those of you in chilly climates to head south for fairer skies while taking in the latest thinking on customer engagement at Gartner’s conferences in Orlando this week. How was I to know that the Gartner Portals, Content and Collaboration Summit and Garner Customer 360 Summit would both coincide with a week of unseasonably warm and spring-like weather across the northeastern United States?
At any rate, those of you who made it down to Florida for Gartner’s event this week, may have had the opportunity to catch Oracle WebCenter’s Vice President of Product Management and Strategy, Loren Weinberg, present on the topic of customer engagement in her session, "Here Today, Gone Tomorrow: Engage Your Customers Or Lose Them." For those of you who were unable to attend the session yesterday, I’ll highlight some of the salient points.
Engaging Customers Isn’t As Simple As It Used to Be
Engaging your customers is a lot more complicated now that everyone is connected through the online channel. The number of mobile device types and the number of people using them have increased exponentially. Information is now readily accessible to most anyone, at any time, on any device, in increasingly varied digital formats. At the same time, social computing has made the online channel a hub for participation, sharing, interaction and community. As a result, providing an engaging experience across the customer journey is an increasingly complex endeavor.
Today’s Customers Have High Expectations
Today’s customers expect you to know who they are. They expect you to recall the details they’ve provided to you on your website, on your Facebook page and to your sales people or CSR’s. They expect every interaction with an organization to be personalized and highly relevant. They expect anywhere anytime access to information and transactions, and they expect to be able to interact socially in all that they do.
Unmet Customer Expectations Can Have High Consequences
When customer expectations are not met, brands get dumped for their competition. And with only a small percentage of customers feeling that their expectations for a good customer experience are always met, it is easy to see why the relationship between brands and customers often flame out. And today, individual customer service failures have the ability to snowball. An unsatisfied customer has the ability to easily share their rancor with their entire social network and chip away at your brand’s reputation.
Engagement is the Key to Gaining and Retaining Today’s Customers
Engagement has really become the key to gaining and retaining customers. Today’s empowered customer is in the driver’s seat. And the only way to attract their attention and keep it, the only way to cultivate and maintain relationships with them, is to engage them in meaningful ways along the customer journey.
Delivering contextually relevant, interactive and multichannel online experiences is now essential for converting prospects into customers and for engendering long term loyalty. A one-size-fits-all online customer experience is the way of the past. Companies today must deliver personalized and contextual experiences to their customers, with information that is specifically tailored to their needs and interests, anytime and anywhere, whether on the desktop at the office, the laptop at home, or on any of the thousands of different mobile device types customers carry when they are on the go. Additionally, companies must foster a social and interactive online experience by enabling customers to contribute, participate and share their experiences.
Optimization is Essential to Successful Customer Experience Initiatives
And finally, optimizing engagement across this increasingly complex environment is critical to effective marketing and customer experience management initiatives. However, successfully using the web to drive these initiatives is more challenging than ever before. In order to succeed in optimizing online engagement, organizations require the help of technologies that can offer a means to manage a multi-channel online presence with ease, including targeting, multiple geographies, social elements and much more, and this must be integrated with their systems for managing customer data. Then a layer of analytics and optimization must be applied to understand the customers’ journey and what will help them successfully accomplish their goals and be delighted by the service they receive.
While the Gartner Portals, Content & Collaboration Summit draws to a close today, there is still the opportunity hear more about customer experience from Oracle at Gartner Customer 360 over the following days. Be sure to follow the #gartnercrm and #webcenter hashtags to learn more.
Today's guest post is from Alakh Verma, Director or Platform Technology Solutions at Oracle.
In today’s constantly changing and competitive business environment, consumers are seeking more personalized care and services for any engagement enter into prior to committing to any transaction. Relationships begin with humble greetings and a smile, progresses to a natural conversation and eventually evolves to understanding the needs and behavior in the process.
User engagement involves a mixture of quantitative and qualitative analysis. Quantitative analysis offers useful patterns and is generally more scalable and easier to conduct. User engagement also involves contextual study and ethnography. These provide information about the people, what their routines are in daily life and what their needs are for which they have visited the electronic website, physical store or workplace.
A few weeks back, I walked into a Wells Fargo branch in San Jose, to conduct a normal banking chores of depositing a check. I was overwhelmed by warm greetings from the store manager, Robert Borcherding, and he offered to fill out the pay-in-slip while I was waiting in the queue for the teller. Realizing it might take longer, he came by again to offer assistance and accept my check for the deposit by personal banker. He kept talking and displaying his humility to offer the best care he could while I stayed in the branch.
Last week, when I walked in his branch again for some other banking transaction, I was pleasantly surprised to receive his personal greetings where he greeted me by name with smiles and again offered to assist with humility. I could see his urgency to satisfy me the fullest. This time, I was in his branch to meet his banking manager, Rosa S. Aguirre, regarding a refinance. When he saw that she was still busy with another customer, he offered to help speed up the process by making all the necessary photo copies of my documents that she might need. While he was doing this act of an extended personalized service, he was winning my trust and my heart in the process. By then, Rosa was free and ready to meet with me with all my documents in hand. I would categorize this act as a clear display of personalization that would go a long way in building trust and gaining, growing and retaining business for his store and for Wells Fargo in general. On the other hand, I have receive numerous aggressive and disturbing call center calls from a competitor bank for their services and I refuse to take those calls. I am sure many of you have encountered similar situations in your lives and we can all appreciate the significance of personalization and personalized care in business settings.
Customer services have been widely used and misused and now businesses need to re-evaluate the paradigm shift of customers’ needs and expectations. With recent technology and tools, we can easily build and deploy virtual web stores to deliver consumers near real-time, personalized user experiences.
Personalization implies that the content and experience are changed for each user based on implicit data, such as items previously purchased or pages recently viewed. On an intranet or B2E enterprise Web portal, personalization is often based on user attributes such as department, functional area or role.
There are three categories of personalization: a) profile / group based ; b) behavior based; and c) collaboration based. Web personalization models include rules-based filtering, based on "if this, then that" rules processing, and collaborative filtering, which serves relevant material to customers by combining their own personal preferences with the preferences of like-minded others. Collaborative filtering works well for books, music, video, etc.
There are three broad methods of personalization: a) implicit; b) explicit; and c) hybrid. With implicit personalization, the personalization is performed by the web page based on the different categories mentioned above. With explicit personalization, the web page is changed by the user using the features provided by the system. Hybrid personalization combines both two approaches to leverage the best of both worlds.
Personalization is also being considered for use in less overtly commercial applications to improve the user experience online. Facebook introduced Instant Personalization recently. This new technology is different from Social Plug-ins, which many B2B and B2C sites are already using. Social plug-ins include things like Facebook live streams and “Like Buttons” and are intended to drive user engagement and make a website more ‘social’. With Instant Personalization, Facebook shares data with a handful of non-Facebook websites.
Have you taken a look at your web site recently and thought about if you’re delivering a personalized experience to your users? Oracle WebCenter personalizes the online buying experience with a comprehensive, highly scalable user engagement platform and applications. Built on a foundation of proven capabilities, including personalization, business user control, cross-channel support, and a flexible platform, WebCenter boosts cross-channel business growth by helping customers quickly find desired products, learn about new offerings, comparison shop, register for gifts, preorder products, redeem coupons, and easily complete their purchases. For more information, visit oracle.com/webcenter.
As we approach the end of 2011 fully entrenched in the holiday spirit, this week’s topic is appropriately focused on Community Engagement. Like many of us, we hope that our readers spent their holidays surrounded by the warm glow of friends and family and are recharging their systems to blast into 2012. From the perspective of the WebCenter team here, the upcoming year surely looks like it will be even more engaging than the past year and we welcome you to join us in this journey.
To kick us off in the holiday engagement spirit, we thought we’d share a some of our favorite images and a couple of recipes from this past week.
From the great Northeast – this time of year wouldn’t be complete without my family’s annual Hanukkah celebration with more Latkes than anyone should eat in one sitting. We filled 17 bellies full of these wonderful potato pancakes and then left town the next morning for Christmas with the in-laws only to come back to a house 3 days later that still smelled like Latkes.
FAMILY HANUKKAH POTATO LATKES
(thanks to my sister – Nancy Snow)
GRATE TOGETHER: (food
processor chopping blade works well)
1 Tablespoon of Flour
¾ teaspoon of Salt
1/8 teaspoon of Pepper
1/8 teaspoon of Baking Powder
LET SIT FOR A FEW MINUTES
Drop by Teaspoons full into ½ inch
Fry until golden brown – (flip to brown each side)
Drain on paper towels before serving
Serve with apple sauce, sour cream or Greek plain yogurt
EAT UNTIL GONE!!!
During the years when Hanukkah and Christmas are close in the calendar, as an intermarried family, we go from the grease of Latkes to the traditional pleasure of spending the Christmas holidays with my in-laws in my home town of Marblehead, MA – a small historic seacoast community on a peninsula North of Boston which is always adorned in the full spirit of the holidays.
Christmas eve Lobster dinner
starts the festivities followed by more food and celebration for the entire
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From the great state of Wisconsin, another WebCenter team member, Kellsey shared her mother’s famous Jalapeno meatball recipe and some pix. I can’t wait to try this recipe!
Kellsey’s Mom’s Famous Jalapeno Meatballs
2 lb ground beef or turkey
1 c. quick oatmeal
1 tsp salt + pepper
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can of diced jalapenos or 1 jar of sliced jalapenos
Mix all together and shape into meatballs. Place in 9 x 13 pan (do not need to brown first). In a separate bowl, mix together soup and jalapenos (do not drain). Pour over meatballs and bake at 350 for one hour. You can also do these in the Crock-pot, but you need to either freeze them first or bake them in the oven so they don’t lose their shape. When putting in the Crock-pot, place frozen or browned meatballs in Crock pot, mix soup with jalapenos and pour over top of meatballs. Bake for 3-5 hours (depending on if they were frozen or browned).
Oracle WebCenter is the center of engagement for business—powering
exceptional experiences for customers, partners, and employees. It connects
people, process, and information with the most complete portfolio of portal,
Web experience management, content, imaging and collaboration technologies.