thomas.wieberneit@aheadcrm.co.nz
a great human – bot conversation with lots to learn

a great human – bot conversation with lots to learn

Inspired by a recent panel discussion as part of the In the Hot Seat podcast that I am involved in, I opened a chat with chatGPT3. ChatGPT is a language model by OpenAI that interacts in a conversational way. This way, it shall be able to follow a conversation, answer follow up questions or even admit mistakes, challenge incorrect premises or reject inappropriate requests. Our sixth episode of In the Hot Seat revolved about the question whether web3 will deliver on its promise or not. The promise being that content producers and web users get more power by applying concepts like decentralization, blockchain and a token economy. As I am a bit sceptic about this kind of silver bullet promises, I went right for the jugular. A conversation between a human and a bot Thomas: Tell me with arguments why web3 based on blockchain will fail chatGPT3: It’s impossible for me to provide arguments as to why web3 based on blockchain will fail, as web3 is not based on blockchain technology. Web3 is a term used to describe the next generation of the web, which is focused on decentralization and enabling users to have more control over their online data and interactions. Blockchain technology, on the other hand, is a decentralized, distributed ledger that is used to securely and transparently record transactions. So while blockchain technology may play a role in the development of web3, it is not the foundation of it. Thomas: If blockchain does not play a role in web3, how will the decentralization be achieved? chatGPT3: Web3 is focused on decentralization, but it does not necessarily...
How to create winning industry solutions 

How to create winning industry solutions 

One of the terms du jour is „industry cloud“. We hear it even more often than even platform or CX at this time. Why is that? Why do we speak about them only now and not for a longer time? After all, we have seen industry solutions forever, albeit on premise. Yes, the concept of vertical solutions is that old. What is the value of an industry cloud?  How does “industry cloud” differ from “industry solution”? And does this term really describe what industries need? These are only some of the questions that we wanted to discuss with Vinnie Mirchandani as part of aCRMKonvo. Hurricane Ian intervened and Vinnie had more important things to do than a CRMKonvo. Luckily, everything turned out well for him. Good for the CRMKonvos team, that friend and Enterprise Irregular Jon Reed could jump in to what turned out to be an even more interesting topic than we hoped for. We will continue this discussion with Vinnie on a later occasion. He has quite something to say about industry clouds, and comes from another angle than Jon.  The problem with industry clouds  Most business applications have started their life as horizontal applications. This makes a lot of sense, as a good deal of the functionality that a business needs, and the application offers, is not exactly industry specific. Instead, it is applicable across a range of industries. Therefore, business software vendors at first concentrated on developing horizontal functionality, as this functionality is reusable across and customized for numerous industries. Often with only little effort. This applies to SaaS software as well as it did apply to on premise...
How to make customers for life

How to make customers for life

On November 10, 2022, SugarCRM held its annual analyst day in the beautiful Chaminade resort in Santa Cruz. In attendance was an elusive crowd of 14 analysts and six customer representatives, along with the SugarCRM executives. We gathered to inform ourselves about what is going on, what will be going on, and of course, to listen and talk to customers about how they solve their business challenges with SugarCRM. All of this in plenum- and individual formats along with good space for informal talks. The event Apart from the very important social activities that enabled SugarCRM executives, customers, partner representatives and analysts to mingle and talk, the event consisted of several informative briefings that ranged from strategy and roadmap sessions across the platform to all-important customer interviews. The last session was an open question and answer with the executive team. The customers in attendance have been very diverse, including (for profit) social business, a jet charter and service business, educational, medical businesses, and a governmental organization. Some of them are fairly new Sugar customers, some of them are with SugarCRM for a long time. What all of them have in common is that they have non-run-off-the-mill businesses and processes and that they use at least two of SugarCRM’s solutions. Some key insights that they shared were that they are often able to adapt their systems to changing needs by themselves and that, whenever they needed the support, it was readily available. Two of the stories brought very notable points. One business explained its ability to merge twenty plus acquisitions in less than two years into their system, so that...
SugarCRM Analyst Summit 2022: Bring Out Your Customers!

SugarCRM Analyst Summit 2022: Bring Out Your Customers!

The world is getting back to normal, which means two things: Vendors are shifting back to in-the-flesh conferences, and I’m writing again. The convergence of these two facts leads to me cranking out a short blog about SugarCRM’s Analyst Summit, held Nov. 10 in Santa Cruz, CA.The real highlight of the event for me was speaking to Sugar’s customers, a healthy handful of whom were in attendance. This is a change from my usual experience, where I’m more absorbed in what the host company is doing in terms of strategy and/or product. These customers—I interviewed executives from an air travel contractor, a for-profit shoe charity, and a surgical instrument sterilizer, among others—were the stars of this show. It was a refreshing experience. Feel the Message The expected updates to Sugar’s product road map were there, along with some healthy discussion of messaging. As always, I appreciate Sugar’s leadership team and its willingness to listen to feedback on how the company presents itself and adjust accordingly, or at least tell us why they will keep what they have. But the real message for me was those customers and their relationships with Sugar. Most of the time, there’s a certain sameness about the reference customers vendors trot out at events like this; they’re either recognizable brands or have easily explained businesses, they have a typical application and employee environment, and the ROI story is A-B-C. Vendors want you to understand why their customers chose them, and sometimes a challenging story can delay that understanding. Truthful Tales, Timely Told SugarCRM’s spotlight customers for this summit brought their passion for their work with...
How Zendesk Intelligent Triage steps up the customer service game

How Zendesk Intelligent Triage steps up the customer service game

The News On September 14, 2022, Zendesk announced the release of its new customer sentiment and intent functionality: Intelligent Triage and Smart Assist. These new AI based solutions shall “enable businesses to triage customer support requests automatically and access valuable data at scale. Intelligent Triage and Smart Assist are the next step in Zendesk’s vision to create accessible CX AI for companies of all sizes. The technology uses proprietary industry expertise and insights from trillions of customer data points and applies a vertical lens. This creates models custom to each business capable of identifying the intent, language and sentiment of each customer interaction. This unique approach to applying machine learning creates more personalized and informed interactions to better serve customers. For example, specific inquiries, such as “I’m having problems with payment”, can be automatically sent to an agent who is equipped to handle billing for a quicker resolution, while inquiries that include language written in all capital letters or in a sarcastic way will indicate a highly negative sentiment and be routed to the top of the queue. The new capabilities include: Instantly route and prioritize revenue drivers, ensuring agents are working on business-critical requestsAnalyze distribution of requests so businesses can better plan operations, collaborate across departments and identify improvement opportunities supported by data for more efficient CX operationsAutomatically guide agents on how to best resolve a customer’s issue in real-time, understand context, recommend solutions, and improve coaching and training with valuable insightsContinuously boost accuracy as the AI solutions receive feedback on predictions and recommendationsDetect sensitive information automatically to meet compliance and security needs or extract confidential data like...
UX and CRM – How to make them a match

UX and CRM – How to make them a match

When talking about CRM systems, people – especially managers – mostly think about functions, features, and control. How can a process be supported and managed? How can I get good analytics out of the system? Does it fit into the existing IT landscape? These and many similar questions take precedence when it comes to selecting software systems. Usability and UX are often only an afterthought or, even worse, lip service. The result of this is often an abysmal user adoption of systems, as they do not do what the users want, don’t help them or, on the contrary, cause even more work than the users had before. The CRM Sales and Impact report 2021 study by Arlington Research shows that on average 52 per cent of sales leaders report that their CRM platform is costing them revenue opportunities. This average increases up to 65 percent in specific industries. On the other hand, a study by UsabilityGeek finds that it is beneficial to fuse UX and CX. Similarly, according to research by Jacob Nielsen, when good UX design enhances the customer experience, companies see an average increase of 83 percent of the measured KPIs across marketing, sales, and service. Apart from the revenue boost, benefits include increased and accelerated adoption, higher productivity, improved customer satisfaction, reduced training time and lower support cost. Therefore, the main question to ask is not whether, or rather in how far improving the UX does improve the acceptance, use, and helpfulness of a CRM system. Instead, one needs to ask what it takes to come to a better UX and what the inhibitors are. This blog post is based on...