thomas.wieberneit@aheadcrm.co.nz
How to engage for customer experience and success

How to engage for customer experience and success

It is time for a stake in the ground again. Of late, every vendor who used to play in the CRM arena positions itself as a „customer experience“ player and claims that its software “delivers customer experiences”. This is quite a claim. It also raises a lot of important questions. What is “customer experience”? And who is responsible for it? How does “customer experience” differ from “customer experiences”? What is the difference to customer engagement? How do they relate to customer expectations? And then there is “customer success”, too. What about customer satisfaction? Finally, how does CRM fit into the picture? As you can see, there is a lot of scope for confusion. And this confusion has definitely materialized. So, let’s start with some definitions Friend and industry luminary Paul Greenberg has ventured here already back in 2015 (and before). Still, as time moves, the industry evolves, and things tend to get forgotten, let me take another stab at it. The more fundamental concepts are perhaps engagement, followed by customer expectation and customer success. You can also watch my take on customer engagement vs. customer experience in this 90 second video. Customer engagement According to Merriam-Webster, engagement is “the act of engaging” or “the state of being engaged”. Well, let’s look at the verb, then. Amongst some other meanings, engage is defined as “attract and hold by influence or power” or “induce to participate”. So, engagement is essentially about interacting with each other. This is usually mutual, but mandatorily involves communication, reaching out, by the company. Importantly, this engagement can also happen the product or service itself, for instance...
How to successfully engage with students and their parents

How to successfully engage with students and their parents

Schools, universities and other educational institutions have one challenge in common. They need to constantly communicate with their students and often the parents as well. Obviously, the students and their parents are different generations; and guess what, that means they have different communication styles, prefer different communications channels and are on different timeframes. They also have different information needs. What they have in common is that they do have a smartphone and do not necessarily want to see yet another app on their phones’ home screens, or anywhere at all on their phones. They want and need timely information and an easy and simple way to supply information or, in the case of the students, work results. It is a valid assumption that the members of both stakeholder groups also have and use services like text and one or more messengers. Naturally, they all have email addresses. An increasing number of people also use unified communications software like MS Teams or Slack. And, let us not forget about the personnel on the other side, the teachers, assistants, or members of the school boards. Outbound use cases include attracting new students, ongoing information on offers and events to parents and students alike, requests for information, work assignments to students, notifications about upcoming deadlines for pending work, and many more. On the inbound side we have requests for information, submission of information and work results, again amongst many other use cases. And then, there is collaboration; virtual “classroom” education, townhall meetings, briefings, etc. Given all this, how can an educational institution effectively and efficiently communicate with its two main external stakeholder...
Why privacy is not an option

Why privacy is not an option

Data breaches, ransomware, stolen identities, collecting of data for no benefit of the customer, are only some of the things that we do see every day. There does not seem to be any privacy anymore. This makes privacy and data protection hot topics not only for customers, but also for software vendors – or at least should make it hot topics. Apple put in some privacy controls and got chided for it by Facebook and the rest of the adtech industry. Google, with FLOC, tried to establish a technology that aimed at being able to track users in a post cookie world. To adapt a quote of the Asterix books: The whole world tracks users and customers. The whole world? No, there is one brave company that doesn’t. All this is reason enough to have a #CRMKonvo with one of the most accomplished and outspoken protagonists of privacy in the enterprise software arena and we were very excited about the opportunity to have an intense and interactive discussion with Raju Vegesna of...
What’s hot and important in Customer Service

What’s hot and important in Customer Service

The Covid crisis had a profound impact on customer service centers, on sales and marketing processes. Personnel needed to be sent to home offices with infrastructure for this not being really in place. Coordination became more difficult, especially in environments that did not base on trust already before. Morale was affected, too. What did companies do to address the challenges that came up? With what success? Did leadership behaviour change? We talked to one of the foremost analysts who cover the customer service and customer engagement arena: Kate Leggett of Forrester Research. Lots of ground to cover in a mere hour. But Kate knows her stuff. Be informed and listen to what she has to say. It is worth the...
Ecosystems are about the customer! Are they? Think again!

Ecosystems are about the customer! Are they? Think again!

Ecosystems is all I say – was his post in Linkedin. And as you can imagine, this sparked quite a discussion. Why? Because “he” is SAP’s venerable Chief CX Evangelist Esteban Kolsky. Not that it needs a reason to invite Esteban to a CRMKonvo (because he is always good for a well founded opinion) but this discussion and the topic itself certainly made it highly interesting to cover some ground and Esteban is always good for a lively discussion. What is an ecosystem – and how does it relate to the word “symbiosis” – if at all? How does one get an ecosystem viable? What is fairness in that context? Is trust a factor? Fairness? Or is that all too fuzzy? And – spoiler alert – as you can imagine by the title: They do not revolve around the customer. I will not tell you what it is though and leave that to Esteban himself. Best of all: Some highly interesting insight in the comments as well. Enjoy the CRMKonvo. We certainly...