SAS Customer Intelligence 360 – Turn Data into Experience

SAS Customer Intelligence 360 – Turn Data into Experience

A while ago Angela Lipscomb from SAS got in touch with me to get me introduced to SAS’s concept of a Customer Decision Hub. Their Customer Decision Hub is a solution concept that shall allow organizations to derive insights and to trigger actions from interactions with external parties, like customers based upon rules and the derived insights. A Customer Decision Hub e.g. orchestrates the determination of Next Best Actions, and allows responding to an incoming request in real time using analysis and decision logic. At the same time standard communications can get suppressed based upon the same set of rules. In other words, the Customer Decision Hub fosters customer engagement based upon inbound signals that get analyzed and processed through the organization. Why is this remarkable, I hear you asking? It is remarkable because SAS Software first of all is an analytics company with a strong reputation for enterprise analytics at the higher end of performance and price point. SAS describes itself on LinkedIn as “the leader in business analytics software and services, and the largest independent vendor in the business intelligence market. Through innovative solutions, SAS helps customers at more than 70,000 sites improve performance and deliver value by making better decisions faster. Since 1976 SAS has been giving customers around the world the power to know®.” SAS is not a company that is widely known for being actively engaged in the customer engagement market (pun intended). So I was intrigued. And so should you be. Finally, a few days ago my somewhat erratic schedule allowed me to have a follow-up with Troy Kusabs of SAS Software in...
Customer Service – How to Turn a Poor Experience into a Positive One

Customer Service – How to Turn a Poor Experience into a Positive One

With mobile phones taking over our lives and conversational interfaces becoming ubiquitous there is certainly a new level of demand arriving at customer service centers. Customers do not accept a mediocre service experience anymore. With their smartphones they have the means to get to customer service with nearly no delay and they are certainly willing to use it. And they do it. In this situation customers are often already feeling some frustration or disappointment because they couldn’t achieve what they wanted to achieve in the first instance. They already had their taste of a suboptimal customer experience. Frustration, disappointment – customers’ negative emotions towards a brand have a corresponding negative impact on the business. Customers just might go buy somewhere else. After all, in times of smartphones this has become simpler than ever. The support center now has best chances to add the feeling of being disrespected and outright anger into the mix. Or it can create a feeling of relief, of being respected, valued, even some satisfaction; this in spite of having come into the need of asking for support. Here the service agents have the opportunity to create a positive customer experience out of a poor one – one that will overlay the negative one. Use Customer Service To Create Positive Emotions Which one is better for the company – and the company’s bottom line? The answer to this question is pretty obvious. Inmoment Research recently released a study that clearly established links between positive experiences and positive outcomes for a company. And this was not the first study finding that investing into positive customer experiences results...
SAP CRM Into S/4HANA – Did SAP Hit Bulls Eye?

SAP CRM Into S/4HANA – Did SAP Hit Bulls Eye?

After having talked with Volker Hildebrand about the future of SAP CRM and whether or not there will be a CRM component in S/4HANA at CRM evolution 2017 I now had the chance to follow up with some folks back at SAP in Walldorf. A little Recap Volker told me that, unsurprisingly, SAP is working actively on adding CRM functionality into S/4HANA. In fact, they are merging SAP CRM into it. This is in my eyes meanwhile also the preferred of the two possible options; the other one would be marrying SAP Hybris C4C into S/4HANA. This is the approach which I originally preferred as it would lead to a cleaner code base. I changed my mind, putting customer friendliness reasons over technological cleanliness. The main advantages of merging SAP CRM into S4/HANA over SAP Hybris C4C are that this approach Opens a future roadmap for current SAP CRM customers that stretches beyond 2025. These customers else are at risk of defecting. Provides the continued chance for customers to run their SAP instance on-premise. According to Volker there are still a good number of customers that do not want to run their instance in the cloud. The key word here is choice. It simplifies the system landscape and its operation And this approach works, in spite of SAP seemingly having numerous studies that lay out in detail that SAP CRM could never work as part of an ERP. Now What is Going On? As said, SAP is merging SAP CRM into S/4HANA. This will not be a simple merge but CRM will become and Add On to S/HANA. This...
Freshdesk becomes Freshworks – A Snap Analysis from Down Under

Freshdesk becomes Freshworks – A Snap Analysis from Down Under

On June 6, 2017 Freshdesk announced its rebranding to Freshworks. Freshworks is a new umbrella brand for the suite of applications that Freshdesk built and acquired since its founding in 2010. The core statement by Girish Mathrubootham, CEO and founder of Freshworks is: ”Today, I’m happy to announce that we are rebranding the company as Freshworks. We’re not in this just to change the way businesses do customer support, but to refresh the way they do business.” Let’s have a look at select paragraphs of the press release. Following breakout growth of the company’s customer support software, and the introduction of new products for IT Service Management (“ITSM”), customer relationship management (“CRM”) and cloud-based call centers, Freshworks products are designed to help companies better engage and communicate with their customers and employees. The company surely had a significant impact on parts of the CRM market, also as evidenced by being named a CRM Watchlist Winner 2017 by industry luminary Paul Greenberg. They, in my eyes, however, do not yet have a CRM. A CRM encompasses marketing, sales, and service, supporting multiple channels/being channel agnostic and based upon analytics. Freshsales, what is referred to as their CRM, is a sales tool. “Today, the Freshworks suite of products includes: Freshdesk: a multichannel customer support helpdesk which allows organizations to collaborate and support their customers through email, phone, websites, forums and social media Freshservice: a cloud-based service desk and IT Service Management solution to address the growing complexity of teams’ IT support needs through a simple but powerful interface Freshsales: a full-featured CRM solution for sales teams handling high-velocity leads Freshcaller: a...

Call Center and Soccer: Two of a kind

One of the eternal problems in a call center is getting an enquiry routed to the right agent. This is doubly true in a mobile world that demands conversational support in near real time. Add to this the fact that most customers seeking support already failed to find an answer to their inquiry using an FAQ, a community, or other self-services. In this situation customers expect an answer within few minutes, if not seconds. On top of this, the ability to make engagements with the company easy, efficient, and ideally joyful, is becoming more and more a distinguishing factor for companies. Customer experience is the result of engagements, and for humans the experience gained from the most recent engagement tends to have a higher influence than older ones. Consequently, a positive customer experience matters, not only during marketing- and sales, but even more so in situations that require active help of the company that sold the product or service. So, getting a solution to an issue must be as easy and as human as possible. The challenge is that every support organization needs to live and work with limited resources – human as well as technical ones. It is Like a Good Game of Soccer 11 players and a ball. There is a goal keeper, are defenders, midfielders and attackers who play as a team against their opposition, trained by their coach and guided by the captain. There is a core team, and some players may be assigned to different roles, even within one game. Depending on the opposition team, the coach and the captain change player assignments, tactics...
Helpshift to Salesforce Integration – Where Peanut Butter meets the Jelly

Helpshift to Salesforce Integration – Where Peanut Butter meets the Jelly

The leading in-app support company Helpshift just released a seamless integration with the Salesforce Service Cloud. This integration is now available on AppExchange. Here a copy of the press release for your convenience, followed by my analysis:     Helpshift Announces New Integration Capabilities for Its Customers on the Salesforce AppExchange, the World’s Leading Enterprise Apps Marketplace SAN FRANCISCO – (BUSINESS WIRE) – MAY 25, 2017 – Helpshift today announced an integration with new capabilities available on the Salesforce AppExchange. This integration is meant to improve the mobile user experience by enabling service agents to deliver support to app users directly from within their Salesforce Service Cloud Dashboard – In-app! When a customer contacts support from inside the Helpshift-enabled app, a Salesforce case is created that the agent responds to, creating an in-app conversation. Customers get notified via banners, notifications and badges, enabling them to continue at their pace. “Organizations are seeing an explosion in demand for mobile solutions from their customers,” said Esteban Kolsky, president of thinkJar, a customer strategies advisory firm, “and they quickly realize they can’t offer outdated and incomplete solutions without real time data. Direct integration with systems of record are at the core of their strategies to support this trend.” Built on the Salesforce Platform, the Helpshift integration is now available on the Salesforce AppExchange. Enterprises can benefit in the following ways: In-app Messaging: Helpshift’s new integration capabilities allow existing Salesforce customers to provide support to mobile customers, which extends their ability to reach mobile customers where it matters: Directly in the app, and supported by the smartphones’ powerful notification mechanisms. Enhanced Knowledge Capabilities:...