Essential Guide

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Customer experience affected by key touchpoints

This essential guide shows the different ways that the customer experience can be affected, focusing on sales and marketing strategies, marketing automation technologies, and contact center architecture upgrades.

Introduction

Customer experience is the end result of everything a company does. If customers aren't happy, companies risk losing money through defections or seeing their reputations damaged through complaints going viral. Companies need to do all they can to ensure a positive experience for their customers.

Excellence in just one area of business will not achieve this goal -- it takes a marriage of many aspects working together. Sales and marketing strategies ensure that customer retention is as important as customer acquisition; marketing automation technology cuts down on time wasted on extraneous and inefficient data collection practices, and enhancements in contact center architecture aim to improve the experience at that high-touch contact point.

This essential guide examines ways that the customer experience can be affected by advancements in these three areas. With all of them working together, companies can get the most value out of their CRM strategies.

1Evaluate-

Sales and marketing management strategies

So, your sales team has secured a sale and gained a new customer. Mission accomplished, right? Wrong. Customers need to be nurtured, and cultivating these relationships over time pays dividends for companies. Through gamification and analytics, sales teams are more motivated to grow sales numbers, but it's what companies do next that is just as important. It involves a new way of thinking, away from an overwhelming emphasis on customer acquisition and toward customer retention. New software and best practices aim to help companies excel in this area.

Podcast

Is mobile CRM a no-brainer?

Mobile CRM software allows salespeople and customer service representatives to access information on the go, helping to meet sales goals and track inventory or tweak account information. So, how come adoption is slower than expected? Continue Reading

Feature

Lead generation tools create competition, boost revenue

Gamification features and performance analytics give sales directors the power to create competition among their teams, tapping into their already competitive nature to grow sales numbers. Continue Reading

Tip

Developing deeper customer relationships

Lead generation has changed drastically in just a few years, thanks to social media and analytics. Now, new software makes it possible to cultivate better relationships with vendors and customers. Continue Reading

Tip

Redefining 'customer lifecycle management'

The job isn't done once a company acquires a customer. Rather, that relationship has to be grown and improved over time to maximize value. Continue Reading

Tip

Be honest when it comes to native advertising

Marketers risk alienating consumers when they aren't up-front about a native advertisement. These tactics can be effective where it is a seamless user experience, but it shouldn't be a bait and switch. Continue Reading

News

Embracing a new customer engagement model

With customers more active on digital platforms, companies need to find new ways to reach and retain them. The answer is improved data collection and insight, says one CIO. Continue Reading

Podcast

Don't forget about existing customers

So, you want to garner new business. That's great, but are you still displaying your worth to customers you already have? Denis Pombriant shows how customer retention should be a priority. Continue Reading

News

Dirty data can hinder sales strategy, CEM

Simply dumping sales contacts into a CRM system will lead to data problems down the road. Without good data quality practices, more time is spent cleaning data rather than serving customers. Continue Reading

Podcast

Marketing success requires blend of inbound, outbound

While inbound marketing is considered a more modern approach, outbound methods aren't dead yet. For companies to nurture different types of customers, a mix of the two is required. Continue Reading

2Best practices-

Marketing automation strategy

Marketing automation can be a good way to cut down on redundant tasks and boost productivity in your business. This doesn't mean that it's an unmitigated good by itself, as improvements are necessary to make sure it runs efficiently. It can also make some new processes possible, such as integrating with a CRM system to further save time and boost the value of your customer data.

Tip

Sales, marketing departments need to share knowledge

Marketing automation and CRM systems need to integrate in order to promote efficiency and improve communication between departments. Continue Reading

Feature

Striving for efficiency with marketing automation

At a company that provides photo and video services for weddings, marketing automation technology immediately responds to interested parties, eliminates redundant manual tasks, and frees employees to focus on excelling at their business. Continue Reading

Tip

Integration is key in marketing automation

Marketing automation can be irritating to customers rather than fostering engagement. In this data-driven age, marketers need deeper insights into their customers, so automation technologies should be integrated into an existing CRM system. Continue Reading

Tip

Navigating the marketing automation buying process

While marketing automation has existed for some time, the means of measuring its effectiveness is a relatively new thing. An expert outlines the issues companies must consider when investing in automation technologies. Continue Reading

3Upgrades-

Contact center architecture

Contact centers remain as a high-touch forum of customer engagement. Whether it's through email, social media, chat, company website or telephone, customers are interacting directly with companies; and this is where the rubber meets the road in terms of customer service. The architecture of these contact centers needs to be ready for this flood of incoming data and to be upgraded enough to be able to serve their customer base.

Feature

The hurdle of legacy application integration

In modernizing contact center software, oftentimes it's the legacy systems already in place that present the biggest challenge. Which ones should you keep and which should you toss? Modernization doesn't have to be all or nothing, though, and some hybrid of old and new could work. Continue Reading

Feature

Upgrades needed in the move to multichannel

Companies have a responsibility to meet their customers wherever they are in this digital world. As a result, upgrades can ensure that the new data coming in is connected in a seamless view. Continue Reading

Feature

Emotion analytics marks new innovation

Human emotions can be analyzed and diagnosed, just like other data outputs. At least, that's what Beyond Verbal is trying to do. The company is developing software to help contact center agents provide better service through analyzing vocal intonations. Continue Reading

Tip

Going multichannel: How to measure effectiveness

So, you want to go multichannel. Great, but how will your company define success? Our expert runs down some metrics that can help companies quantify their efforts. Continue Reading

Feature

Automation: Friend or foe?

Automating some contact center tasks is meant to streamline and improve the customer experience, but it can sometimes lead to frustration. In order for automation to work, it needs to work in concert with the human element and best practices. Continue Reading

Feature

Why automation goes wrong

If contact center automation is poorly managed, it can go terribly awry and ruin the customer experience. Since this practice is nonnegotiable for companies these days, it behooves them to put safeguards in place so that breakdowns don't happen. Continue Reading

4Evolution-

CEM strategies

Customer experience management depends on a blend of factors working in concert with each other. Companies need to focus on harnessing analytics to gain insight on their customers' behaviors and needs in order to provide better service. Technologies such as beacons and different methods of marketing and brand-building can establish trust and further develop relationships with customers. The key is for businesses to evolve their thinking and toss aside traditional strategies, embrace mobile initiatives and determine what customers want and where and how they want it.

News

Study: CRM helps CEM, but data issues remain

A recent study of Salesforce customers paints a rosy picture of CRM and its role in improving customer relationships. However, there is still work to be done to boost data quality, analytics and mobile initiatives. Continue Reading

Feature

Building customer trust in unconventional ways

For companies that want to foster customer confidence, traditional marketing might not cut it anymore. There are other, often counterintuitive, ways to build a brand and build trust with customers. Continue Reading

News

Beacons in retail not a one-size-fits-all

Before retailers rush into a strategy employing beacons in their stores, they need to examine the goals and benefits that geolocation can provide. There's no single blueprint for companies to follow. Continue Reading

Feature

Beacon strategies come with privacy questions

With beacon technology, retailers have a new marketing tool that can potentially improve relationships with in-store customers. But before companies run headlong into a beacon strategy, privacy concerns need to be addressed. Continue Reading

Feature

Museum employs beacons to improve visitor experience

Beacons have typically been used to sell products in retail settings. But can they also be used to inform and educate people on art? One museum is testing beacons to boost engagement among its patrons. Continue Reading

News

In a mobile shopping world, discounting is not enough anymore

Strategies such as deep discounting represent a "race to the bottom" for retailers, say industry watchers. Companies should enlist communities and mobile devices to create real value for customers. Continue Reading

Feature

Analytics crucial to enhancing customer experience

Businesses don't lack data on their customers, but strive for ways understand how to analyze it. The advantage goes to comapnies that can glean insight from data and use it to improve products and services. Continue Reading

News

Data doesn't have to be where the buck stops

While data analytics gives companies insight into customer trends, human reason still must play a role in business decisions. One company uses customer feedback and weighs it in tandem with its data to help solve problems and tailor services. Continue Reading

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