What recent industry announcements around mobile search mean for brands with a network of stores

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As you read in the previous blog post, a critical aspect of any company’s success is the understanding of new behaviors and expectations of the increasingly mobile consumer. Decision makers must recognize industry and market trends; understanding that mobile has become a key touch point in the customer journey. In this article Bruno Berthezene discusses how, not deploying a platform that fits the expectations of customers and the requirements of search engines can be a strategic mistake. He goes on to describe how despite clear advantages, brands are still not fully unlocking the potential of mobile local marketing. Mobile local searches are not only important for brands to embrace because they are growing in volume, but also because they represent a high purchase intent, and have excellent conversion rates; 50 percent of consumers who conducted a local search on their smartphone visited a store within a day, and 18 percent made purchases. Google recently announced that more searches now take place on mobile devices than on desktop computers in 10 countries world wide, including the US, UK and Japan. Check out the article for more statistics that come as confirmation that this is a global trend.

Read the full article at linkedin.com.

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Local on Mobile is King

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Today’s brands are looking to execute innovative strategies to help improve the customer experience based on their heightened local intent on mobile devices

In this post Trevor Marshal talks about how billions of people are walking around with extremely powerful computers in their pockets or purses; then goes on to ask this question – what does this mean to marketers and brands? The increasing mobile consumer impacts every type of business, from Hotels to Retailers to Banks to Restaurants, and encompasses millions of pieces of data. Studies have shown that the overwhelming majority of mobile searches are driven by speed and convenience, and users rate information accuracy of higher importance on mobile than desktop. Marshal also writes how getting this basic information correct on a brand website is simply not good enough, given the complex ecosystem of hundreds of search engines, directories, mapping services, and apps that exists. There is no excuse for a brand to not have actionable, perfect location information on every channel; the statistics speak for themselves:
• >50% of searches are now mobile + >50% of mobile search is local
• >50% of consumers conducting a local search visited a store within 1 day; with a many making transactions within 1 hour
• ≈ 80% of local searches on mobile phones result in purchases, with over 70% of these purchases transacting in physical stores
• >50% of businesses have some type of error/omission/duplicate business data being captured by Internet search sites

The fact is top brands, are not getting the absolute basics right and it is costing them everyday.

Read the full article at linkedin.com.

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The Internet of Things Is Changing How We Manage Customer Relationships

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In this article Ric Merrifield describes how CRM is evolving, and how the Internet of Things (IOT) can be used to get a more complete picture of consumers. Merriefield discusses how CRM pervades the way many companies track and measure interactions with other organizations, and also internally across many departments: marketing, sales, customer service, support, etc. When CRM strategies utilize big data and IOT, companies can use interactions to see into every detail of customer experience. Companies will be able to see: when customers enter a store, how long they stay, what products they looked at, etc. This increase in analytics not only changes the insight companies gain from their customers, but also heightens the expectations of the customer. This vivid view of the end-to-end customer experience is rapidly changing the way companies think about, measure, and manage their customer relationships. Check out the rest of the article to see ways technology can help companies utilize data to better serve consumers, and increase positive experiences; which translates to increased profitability.

Read the full article at hbr.org.

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U.S. companies ignore 80% of Twitter questions from customers, but they answer on Facebook

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Although the last article discussed how many companies are missing the mark with their customer service strategies on social media, people still turn to these channels to voice their concerns every day. Therefore companies must have a plan to address customer concerns before they morph into brand-shaming or negative reviews. In this post Patrick Kulp discusses how, although social media may be falling short in some regards, inquisitive customers are much more likely to get a response on Facebook than twitter/other outlets. A new report from a social media analysis firm, Socialbakers, found that nearly four out of five of the millions of questions posed to U.S. companies on Twitter go unanswered. Whereas, worldwide customer questions fared better on Facebook, where nearly three quarters of posts were addressed.

Read the full article at mashable.com.

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Report: Social Media is the Slowest Way to Resolve Customer Service Issues

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Social Media could and should offer excellent opportunities for companies to provide customer service. However, Kimberlee Morrison describes how many companies fail to provide a positive or even adequate experience. Companies must realize that customers have high expectations for customer service in all categories, and also recognize the areas where they are falling short. Morrison writes how social media presents a fast, highly interactive way to solve a customer service problem; yet 63 percent of customers have to contact a brand at least twice before an inquiry is resolved. With customer service timing is incredibly important, therefore companies must find ways to use social media and other channels to meet customer concerns/inquiries in real-time. Check out the rest of the article to see other statistics that show how companies are missing the mark, with social media strategies.

Read the full article at adweek.com.

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Three key takeaways from our Customer Experience Excellence Trends Briefing: Digital Cream 2015

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In this post Christopher Ratcliff discusses why customer experience has been made a top priority for marketers over the last 12 months. Today’s customers are more tech-driven, and have higher expectations from brands. This trend has led to new roles and teams being developed entirely devoting efforts to the managing and optimizing of customer experience (CX). Ratcliff also points out how CX involves the entire-end-to-end journey of a customer’s interaction with a company: from when they first heard of the company, through to making first and repeat purchases. Three ways to make sure you are optimizing CX are: Net Promoter Score (NPS), Taking full ownership of your customer’s experiences, and delivering consistency across devices. Check out the rest of the article to see what else was discussed during the Digital Cream 2015 event.

Read the full article at econsultancy.com.

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Using Social Insights to Improve Customer Experience

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The more you know your customer, the better you can serve them.

Customers are using social channels in record numbers. In fact, customers initiate hundreds of millions of social conversations with brands each day. In this article Tristian Bishop discusses ways to utilize social channels to better understand consumers and more importantly serve them more efficiently. Customers today seek convenience; they want to feel welcomed and respected. As Bishop puts it, consumers want to connect with brands and employees: they do not appreciate waiting, being forced in a queue, re-authenticated at every corner, and sent into a labyrinthine of loops of endless decision trees. Consumers seek courteous, friendly and personalized service. He goes on to describe ways social media and social insights can help identify critical information, which will not only translate to an increase in sales, but also the best possible experience for your customers. Social insights can help create a single, authoritative view of the customer, and help companies to be even more effective in building customer relationships.

Read the full article at computerworld.com.

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5 Ways To Make Customer Reviews Work To Your Advantage

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Nearly all businesses have online platforms where consumers have access to their products and services. Customers today are free to share any information related to their experiences about the goods/services that they paid for. Steve Olenski talks about, how reviews can make or break a business. According to BrightLocal’s 2014 consumer review survey, almost 9 out 10 customers have looked to reviews to help make a decision about a brand in the last 12 months. Customer reviews influence purchase decisions, but can also increase sales, provide credibility to your brand, and build trust between the business and potential customers. Olenski goes on to describe 5 ways businesses can ensure customer reviews are being used as an advantage to improve customer interactions.

Read the full article at forbes.com.

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Smartphone technology offers VIP hospitality experience

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Technology is providing tools for businesses in the hospitality industry to strategically communicate with smartphones and provide a platform to enable high touch customer service. Guests today not only want things just the way they envision them, but also expect to be known and served; they want to know where to go to avoid any lines/inconvenience. Julie May shows ways hotels, restaurants, museums, etc. can strategically place Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) beacons to communicate with smartphones, to help enhance experience and send notifications or any information based on proximity/location. Furthermore, the experience can be fully personalized if guests choose to receive “push” notifications to their phones. Other technologies allow the company to create a mobile concierge, which will add many features such as:
• Transportation confidence: With BLE beacons, you just provide your preferences online and upon arrival at your destination terminal, your smartphone receives a message of the precise location of your rental car along with directions to get to it from your gate.
• Dining Experience: BLE hits a high point by offering you a spot on restaurants’ waiting lists before you even enter the restaurant, you can also order before arrival/request drink specials, or make note of food allergies.
• Travel tips: Push notifications can make recommendations for dining, the arts and activities, based on location and social profile

Read the full article at tennessean.com.

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