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Great article from Salesforce CMO, Michael Lazerow on the future of customer service and connection. Brands must utilize data and feedback to meet the future of consumer expectations.
I couldn’t sleep last night. So at 4 a.m. I spent time digesting last week — we hosted Dreamforce in San Francisco. Innovative executives from around the globe joined us, looking to find ideas to escape the gravitational pull of the past. As the guru and author Deepak Chopra noted at the event, “Every time you are tempted to react in the same old way, ask if you want to be a prisoner of the past or a pioneer of the future.”
The future that everyone was talking about puts customers at the center and connects them to companies and products in new ways, thanks to mobile, social and cloud. No one I spoke with argued that this doesn’t make sense. But many are confused about where to start.
Here is a raw framework I’d like to share. This is me thinking out loud, so please share your thoughts.
Connecting = helping. To connect is to help. Mobile devices and always-on connectivity give companies many more opportunities to help. But just to help is not enough. Companies have been doing that for hundreds of years. In the future companies will need to provide help when and how the customer wants it.
Yesterday, customers needed to go into a store for help, during the hours that the store was open. Today, customers expect to be helped at whatever time they need it, with whatever device they prefer. Companies that get this are reaching new heights and many are revolutionizing their industries.
Take Uber, for example, the mobile app that is turning the traditional model of city transportation on its head. The help Uber provides is simple: I need to get from here to there. That help is provided when I want it: I need a ride now! And the help is provided how I want it: Press a button and the driver comes to me. This form of service is why Uber, which was not around a few years ago, generates hundreds of millions in revenue and is being valued by investors at $4 billion.
Customers will make tradeoffs, if they get something in return. Customers will drive hours out of their way to an outlet store, at significant personal inconvenience, for steep discounts. But few executives would agree that outlets are the best way to connect with customers in the future. Those stores are still helping customers on the company’s terms, not the consumer’s.
Last week, one of our customers, Ford, showcased its vision for the future. The car is connected to the network. A message pops up on the dashboard that says, “Hi Mike. You have driven 8,000 miles on your filter. It’s time to change it. Press this button to schedule the appointment.” And I bet in the future, Ford will come to you to pick up the car and then drop it off when it’s done. Why? Customers will expect that in world of on-demand products and services.
Here are several other quick examples. The Delta app helps us check in to flights. When? Whenever we need to. How? I push a button on my phone. The Amazon Kindle helps us find the right book or piece of content? When? Immediately. How? I push the “mayday” button on the device.
Data make this all possible. We have discussed what customers will expect in terms of help. But how do we make this happen? To deliver on this level of customer expectations, we need to get serious about data. Data drives relevancy. And relevancy drives business results.
You need a unified view of your customers, with a data-built understanding of customer journeys and connections. And you must deliver communications to each of those customers, based on the help they need at that moment.
Are you prepared to connect in this new way? You’d better be. Your future depends on it.
Read more from the source: adage.com
With 2013 coming to a close, you have to wonder what great tech advancements we will see in 2014. This article highlights the stellar achievements (Twitter going public and Google Glass promos) and some not-so-fabulous ideas (Myspace’s redesign and Blackberry’s struggling sales) of the tech world.
2013 was a year of tech comebacks — from Netflix to Nokia — but not all turnaround attempts fared so well. Myspace, anyone?
As we look back on the past year, certain “winners” clearly conquered the industry. Others fell dramatically short.
From the $1.1 billion acquisition of blogging platform Tumblr to the growing popularity of Snapchat, which reportedly turned down a $3 billion bid from Facebook, startups hit the mainstream in a big way.
Google also had a tremendous year, thanks in part to the buzz around its high-tech eyewear, Google Glass, which hasn’t even hit the consumer markets yet. Take a look at our full list of winners in the gallery above.
Other companies made valiant attempts at innovation, but some — such as Samsung with its Galaxy Gear smartwatch — didn’t quite hit the mark. We rounded them up, too.
Read more from the source: Mashable
From time-lapse videos to gameday promotions, Instagram videos are used in a variety of ways to engage followers. If your brand isn’t using this platform, here are 16 excellent ways to get started.
Now that Instagram Video has reached the ripe old age of four months (about 600 years in Internet time), we’re seeing mind-blowing, app-specific content on a daily basis.
With just 15 seconds, you’d think it’d be difficult to create visually compelling videos, but more users are getting the hang of it every day.
Artists, athletes, journalists and musicians are all using Instagram to express themselves in fascinating ways. Below, we’ve gathered some of the most creative Insta-vids we could find, for your perusal. Highlights include a music video made entirely through Instagram, a new generation of Saturday Night Live promos and an extreme GoPro adventure.
Like what you see? Start posting your own videos today. Getting involved is as easy as tagging your post with the latest “Weekend Hashtag Project” — the best are featured by Instagram’s blog.
Read more from the source: Mashable