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The 10 Best Customer Service and Customer Engagement Platforms

June 27, 2017 by Tom Pick The emergence and spread of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) has dramatically changed the game for both B2B vendors and customers. Producers of a wide array of products—from vehicles to machine tools to jet engines to officer copiers—now have access to the kind of user and usage data that, not long ago, only …

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How Marketing & HR Can Build a Much Stronger Brand Together

June 15, 2017 by Michelle Smith Enduring brands are built by people – not ads, clicks or views. Marketing has traditionally taken the lead in communicating the corporate brand promise, but when it comes to delivering on those promises, its people from all around the organization who have to do the meticulous work of successfully bringing the brand promise to …

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The (Fixable) $600 Billion Hit to Your Bottom Line

June 13, 2017 by Carla Johnson I’ve written many times before that no company can deliver remarkable customer experiences without an eye to employees and their level of engagement. Marketing and sales often make promises and write emotional checks on which employees never deliver. It’s not that they can’t deliver, but rather, they don’t want to because of how they’re …

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“Fine” is the F-Bomb of Customer Experience

June 2, 2017 by Shep Hyken Not long ago I was interviewing Kevin Berk, founder and CEO of ServiceGuru, on Amazing Business Radio. We were talking about the word fine. He commented that it is a four letter that begins with the letter F that you never want to hear from your customer. I then joked that fine is the …

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Do You Remember Your First Kiss?

May 18, 2017 by Carla Johnson First kiss. I remember mine. It was 7th grade. A brief chapped-lip peck that was awkward for both of us – like so many things during those middle school years of transition when you’re no longer a kid but not quite a young adult. But I will always remember my first kiss because of …

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Digitization or Integration: What’s Marketing’s Holy Grail?

May 11, 2017 by Carla Johnson One of the primary drivers of change for businesses in the last decade has been digital transformation. But with the shift to a heavy digital-first experience, marketers have neglected the bigger picture: creating a connected, integrated and seamless experience for customers who bounce between online and real-world interactions with brands. When we look at …

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3 Top Trends in Customer Experience

May 9, 2017 by Carla Johnson I remember seeing the first Terminator movie. Holy crap, the machines scared me. They felt no pity, no remorse, no pain, no fear. It was a far-fetched idea in 1984, but now that our vocabulary is infused with artificial intelligence and virtual reality, some people have a great deal of empathy with Sarah Conner. …

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How Giving Useful Ideas and Secrets Builds Trust

May 4, 2017 by Brian Carroll I had coffee with a potential partner, and our conversation ebbed to us talking about business philosophy, marketing, and lead generation. I talked about freely sharing ideas and helping people. He replied something like,  “I think companies [like yours] give away too many of their trade secrets on their website and blogs. They provide …

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10 Things Marketers Need to Know About AI

April 11, 2017 by Carla Johnson Artificial intelligence (AI) is seeping into more and more industries, including marketing. While brands aren’t ready to hand over the reins of responsibility to AI quite yet, smart marketers are getting a handle on what it means to them and the future of their profession. A recent article in CIO points out that AI-enabled …

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10 Things Marketers Need to Know About AI

April 11, 2017 by Carla Johnson Artificial intelligence (AI) is seeping into more and more industries, including marketing. While brands aren’t ready to hand over the reins of responsibility to AI quite yet, smart marketers are getting a handle on what it means to them and the future of their profession. A recent article in CIO points out that AI-enabled …

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Human-Centered Design: What It Is And Why It Matters in Marketing

April 6, 2017 by Carla Johnson I’ve been watching the backlash to Pepsi’s Kendall Jenner ad this week. According to data from Amobee Brand Intelligence, digital content engagement around Pepsi has increased significantly (366 percent in just a day), but 43 percent has mentioned Black Lives Matter, 31 percent has labeled the ad as “tone-deaf” and 10 percent has tagged …

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Human-Centered Design: What It Is And Why It Matters in Marketing

April 6, 2017 by Carla Johnson I’ve been watching the backlash to Pepsi’s Kendall Jenner ad this week. According to data from Amobee Brand Intelligence, digital content engagement around Pepsi has increased significantly (366 percent in just a day), but 43 percent has mentioned Black Lives Matter, 31 percent has labeled the ad as “tone-deaf” and 10 percent has tagged …

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Hearts or Minds, Which Do You Want?

March 30, 2017 by Carla Johnson Elliot was a good husband and father. Then he began to complain of headaches and seemed to lose his concentration and sense of responsibility. He took a battery of psychological tests, but they showed nothing. Elliot was coherent and smart with a near-flawless memory. He was referred to Antonio Damasio, head of neurology at …

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Empathy, Orwell and Experiences

March 16, 2017 by Carla Johnson In his book Down and Out in Paris and London, author George Orwell (of 1984 and Animal Farm fame…) tells the story of penniless British writer Eric Blair and his adventures on the streets of…you guessed it…Paris and London. It was Orwell’s first novel and in good part, autobiographical. Although he came from a …

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If LEGO Built Your Brand Experience, What Would It Look Like?

March 9, 2017 by Carla Johnson Marketers love massively creative work. We hype Super Bowl ads. We study the most innovative companies. And we follow curious minds. But that’s where much of our inspiration ends and reality sets in. We have bosses who would never go for such wild ideas. Budgets that can’t stretch that far. There’s too much bureaucracy. …

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Why Customer Experience is Rooted in Story

February 23, 2017 by Carla Johnson Stories have characters – heroes, villains and mentors. They have a setting. They have plots that unfold over time. And they have themes. The same must be true for story’s function in marketing. Brands that make themselves the hero of the story waste opportunities to become relevant to their audience. Customers’ worlds revolve around …

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How Empathy Will Grow Your Sales & Marketing Pipeline

February 14, 2017 by Brian Carroll We have more marketing channels and more content than ever before, but it’s become harder to actually connect with customers. Here’s what I mean. Today’s crazy-busy customers are weary of pitches, cold emails, hype, and manipulative messages, and as a result, they tune them out. In our rush to obtain leads, drive opportunities and …

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Improve Employee Engagement to Improve Customer Experience

January 24, 2016 by Carla Johnson 2016 certainly had its share of customer experience challenges – airline system outages, tainted burrito ingredients and exploding balancing scooters. Understanding how these gross mishaps come about begs a straightforward question: how can corporate chiefs allow an environment in which checks and balances miss catching these contemptible mistakes?  Are the values they hold as …

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Creating the Connected Customer Experience

January 3, 2016 by Carla Johnson We live in a world of constant connections – access to anything, anytime, anywhere. Consumers and customers are empowered with more information than ever before. This makes the quality of every connection that much more critical. It’s no longer enough to be simple and fast. We have to think beyond new tactics and strategies …

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Why Context is More Important than Content in Marketing

December 20, 2016 by Tony Zambito The transformation to a digital economy has shifted behaviors considerably in the past decade.  Meaning marketers today must account for how to adapt to behavioral shifts caused by the omnipresence of digital and online information. As a for instance, people today have no more than a 7 to 10-second span of attention when online.  …