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Amazon, LLBean Tie at the Top for Customer Satisfaction
January 09, 2014
Retailers performed well this holiday season in terms of customer satisfaction across multiple channels, according to the ForeSee Experience Index: 2013 U.S. Retail Edition, which was released this week. The report focuses on customer satisfaction at the company level and queried consumers about every applicable sales channel, ranging from the brick-and-mortar store to the contact center to mobile.
Microsoft Buys Cloud Customer-Service Firm
January 07, 2014
Microsoft on Tuesday announced that it will acquire Parature, which provides customer engagement solutions as a service. Parature's technology will add self-service, support ticketing and other capabilities to Microsoft Dynamics. Microsoft reportedly will pay $100 million for the company. "Once the deal closes, Parature will become part of Microsoft," said Parature cofounder and CMO Duke Chung.
KlearGear Admitted to Social CRM Hall of Shame
December 13, 2013
Technology and social media give businesses new ways to interact with customers, to build stronger and longer-lasting relationships, and to create two-way conversations that lead to better products and happier people at both ends of the conversation. They also allow dumb businesses to expose their incompetence faster and to a wider audience than ever before.
Banks Get a Little Less Hate in Latest Satisfaction Rankings
December 12, 2013
Consumers seem to be softening their hate-hate relationship with the banking industry, according to a new report released Tuesday by the American Customer Satisfaction Index. In fact, customer satisfaction with financial services in general reached a new high in the third quarter of 2013, the report found. The index is up 0.3 percent to 76.7 on a 0 to 100 scale.
Consistency Is the Key to Amazing Customer Service
December 05, 2013
Seeking a competitive edge? In any economy and any market, customer service is the key. No matter what your business, if you have one competitor or 100 selling the same product or service, you can tip the scales in your favor by offering a higher level of service. Customers will drive farther, wait longer and even spend more for better service.
9 Ways to Stay Up and Running on Cyber Monday
November 16, 2013
The holiday shopping season is right around the corner, and that means e-commerce companies are now in the midst of the great run-up to the holidays -- an all-out sprint to get every possible new feature, bug fix and version tested and released in time for the big crush. This year, the stakes have been raised even higher with one less week between Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Community Action
November 13, 2013
I had an interesting conversation last week with Eric Berridge, CEO of Bluewolf, about a new report his company sponsored, "The State of Salesforce." This is the second year that Bluewolf has compiled this report. Researchers from MIT's Sloan School interviewed hundreds of Salesforce customers to learn about their attitudes, opinions and future demand.
Tablets and CRM, Part 1: A Plus for Productivity
November 12, 2013
The CRM case for tablets is quite clear: Workers are more mobile than ever and need to be able to access their systems on the go. Ditto customers and the workers who service them while on the go. Tablets are more robust tools than smartphones and allow for even greater functionality. Somehow overlooked in this business case, though, is the productivity factor.
ZipRealty Brings CRM to Real Estate Agents on the Go
November 04, 2013
ZipRealty recently released a mobile CRM app that complements its custom-built Zap online CRM system. While the mobile version, dubbed "mobile Zap," has the same functionality as its online desktop counterpart, it was designed with an eye to accommodating real estate agents' on-the-go schedules, said Jamie Wilson, the company's senior vice president of technology.
SalesAgility Sweetens CRM With Open Source Sugar
October 28, 2013
SalesAgility last week rolled out SuiteCRM, an application that's designed to offer a fully open source alternative to SugarCRM Professional Edition. Built upon the latest release of SugarCRM Community Edition, the software includes reporting, workflow, quotes, products, security and portal extensions designed to deliver functionality previously found only in the proprietary, paid-for editions of SugarCRM.
Shutl May Whisk eBay to Same-Day Delivery Success
October 23, 2013
eBay has announced a set of initiatives to speed deliveries and offer a more personalized shopping experience. Among them is the purchase of Shutl, which uses couriers to deliver goods within a few hours of their online purchase. It currently operates in Chicago, New York and throughout the UK. eBay has been experimenting with its same-day delivery service, eBay Now, in New York and San Francisco.
5 Traps to Avoid in Social CRM for Retail
October 17, 2013
It is difficult to overstate the importance of social CRM to retailers given the almost tailor-made suitability of Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest et al. for reaching out and engaging with customers. What's less clear, however, is exactly how retailers should use social CRM to talk with those customers. Is it fair for customers to expect to conduct all of their business over social media?
The Holiday Shipping News
October 14, 2013
In retail, the holidays are the best of times and the worst of times. The trick to troubleshooting shipping issues is to manage for the best scenario but expect the worst, especially during peak intervals. Prime shopping season demands that deadlines and customer expectations are managed accordingly. Customers expect great service for a value that is reasonable.
Study: Topnotch Customer Service Yields Strong Returns
October 11, 2013
There is a significant performance gap between companies that fully apply best customer service practices and those that are inconsistent in their approach, according to a new report from the Miller Heiman Research Institute. There was a gap of 13 percent between the two groups of companies in performance metrics such as account acquisition, customer retention, account billing and revenue growth.
The CRM Commodity Crisis: Escaping the SFA Mold
September 20, 2013
There's always been a dichotomy between the promise of CRM and the reality of CRM. The promise is something like this: CRM can become the nucleus of your business, unifying sales, marketing and support around a shared set of data about your customers. Not only will it make your relationships with your customers better; it will make relationships among employees who connect with customers better.
Silverpop Promises a Personalized Web Page for Every Customer
September 03, 2013
It's no longer uncommon for marketers to customize the messages they send via email, but such personalization capabilities haven't typically been extended to Web content. Enter Silverpop, which last week released a beta version of Smart Content, a new product designed to enable just that. Smart Content leverages Silverpop's various modules in marketing and tracking and website design.
Car Makers Face an Increasingly Bumpy Road
August 30, 2013
There is something odd happening between Americans and their usually intense love relationships with their cars. One survey points to a slight, but still worrisome, drop in customer satisfaction with vehicles and light trucks this past year; another shows that Americans are driving less. Is there any overlap? That is, are Americans driving less because of their growing dissatisfaction with their vehicles?
The Customer Service Disaster Domino Theory
August 29, 2013
In examining airplane crashes, investigators often discover that it's not one thing that causes the disaster. It's a chain of interrelated things that go wrong: A mechanical failure or weather event can elicit the wrong reaction from the pilot, which worsens the initial problem and starts a sequence of events that can end very badly. The same is true of customer service meltdowns.
Delta Banks on 19,000 Windows Phones to Ramp Up Customer Service
August 26, 2013
Delta Air Lines has outfitted its more than 19,000 flight attendants with Windows Phone 8 mobile devices that it expects will further customer service and facilitate on-board transactions. Specifically, the flight attendants are now using Nokia Lumia 820 devices equipped with a Delta-specific application developed by Avanade on the Microsoft Dynamics for Retail mobile point-of sale platform.
Echopass Revs Its Engines for Enterprise Contact Centers
August 26, 2013
Echopass recently unveiled a new enterprise edition of its software for corporations that use the cloud to manage their contact center operations. The offering consists of more than 40 applications and services aimed at centers that support between 500 to 20,000 agents. One early adopter typifies the type of company for which this application was developed, said the company's Rob Farris.

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