It's no surprise that our recent survey data shows that customers of all ages are increasingly using self-service channels (web, mobile, IVR) for a first point of contact for customer service. In fact, for the first time in the history of our survey, respondents reported using the FAQ pages on a company's website more often than speaking with an agent over the phone. Self-service gives you that "pain-free" experience that consumers want. Customers escalate the harder questions to a live agent - whether its chat, email or a phone agent - and these calls become opportunities to help build stronger relationships with your customers to garner their long-term loyalty.
What is comforting is that the 2015 survey results from Dimension Data is saying the same thing too. This report is based on responses from over 900 global contact center decision makers covering 12 industry verticals. Some of their key findings say that "Customers want a frictionless, easy, and immediate journey on channels of their choice. They want a connected omnichannel journey across channels. Complexity levels are intensifying as contact centers evolve into channel resolution hubs."
The majority of large enterprises are using cloud platforms now but few have shifted this use from their DevOps team over to central IT — but will in the next 1-2 years. When you do, you should quickly get your networking team involved as most of the Dev-to-Cloud connections that have been put in place by your developers may not meet your corporate security or WAN performance standards. This is a key finding in the latest report from myself and Andre Kindness that is now available to clients at Forrester.com.
As you no doubt know by now, from reading our research, cloud use is not an isolated activity. Most applications built in the cloud are native hybrid, meaning they connect to something outside the cloud. Most commonly these applications reach back into your corporate data center to talk to systems of record, such as databases, CRM or ERP systems or other key corporate resources. The connections established most often by these developers are public links secured with SSL or VPN constructs. These are easy to establish by the developers but are often set up without the QoS or security controls your networking teams have established for other corporate WAN links. So if you want consistency in your WAN policies, it’s time to get the networking experts involved.
I have recently joined Forrester as a Senior Analyst on the Infrastructure & Operations (I&O) team based out of New Delhi, India. I’m delighted to be a part of Forrester and have begun work on my first report, which will focus on cloud trends in AP and provide a regional view of a report my colleague Lauren E. Nelson wrote in February titled Adoption Profile: Private Cloud in North America, Q3 2014. This report and my new role will enable me to continue pursuing my passion for new age solutions like Cloud Computing, Automation and Customer Experience Management and their ability to support business objectives.
As I reviewed Forrester’s 2014 Asia Pacific Business Technographics Survey of 607 business technology decision makers in Australia, China and India, I found concerning indicators on the private cloud initiatives of the region’s large enterprises. In fact, a finer analysis of the 121 most senior executives from large enterprises (companies with 1000 or more employees) found that nearly half (43%) of the private cloud deployments in AP will fail to meet business objectives for the following reasons:
· 26% of private clouds will not offer self-service to developers
· 17% are looking to discourage developers from using a public cloud
I would like to welcome you to the "Modern Service Delivery" playbook. In this playbook, we are researching how you can take your tech operations team and transform it into a modern operations team. You know already that in the age of the customer, I&O must transform to support businesses by accelerating the speed of service delivery, enabling capacity when and where needed and improving customers and employee experience. You must buddy up with your application development team! Get used to a new way of working. That gets me to the point of this blog – CALMSS! Yes – you are reading this right. CALMSS is not just a scramble of words – it is a fine assessment of characteristics with the purpose of describing a methodology. The first acronym - CAMS (Culture, Automation, Measurement, Sharing) was coined by John Willis and Damon Edwards in 2010 in the first US based Devopsdays in Mountain View, California. Later on the “L” for lean was added by Jez Humble. We at Forrester have added an additional “S” for sourcing as we believe that DevOps must be supported with a solid sourcing strategy to extend the ecosystem. This then brings us to the arcronym of CALMSS.
After a great conversation with Patrick Debois – godfather of DevOps – we are working on a Forrester CALMSS research report (publishing April 2015) where we list what we think are the characteristics of each letter that supports measurement at individual, project, intra-company and inter-company levels. We will be focusing in our playbook on the project level so that you can measure and benchmark yourselves.
In the Tony Award-winning musical “Fiddler on the Roof,” Tevye, the father of five daughters, bemoaned the erosion of tradition where his daughters wanted to marry for love instead of cultural preservation. The cultural norm was to make use of a matchmaker to seek out mates that satisfied familial desires and goals on both sides. In similar fashion, more traditional queuing and routing schemes used in contact centers may get a customer to a qualified agent, but their style and approach may not produce the “magic moment” of a highly satisfying interaction.
Today, advances in processing power, software algorithms, and availability of consumer information have come together to allow for a more advanced method of matching agents with callers. Behavioral analytics applies models of behavioral styles, tracks successful matches that drive better interaction outcomes, and provides an ongoing feedback loop to tune the model for each enterprise. Case studies from Mattersight and Satmap, two vendors who specialize in this software, have demonstrated uplifts in revenues and positive impacts on handle time and customer satisfaction.
Satmap helped one of the largest telecommunications carriers in the United States boost sales conversion rates by 6%, driving $100 million in incremental revenue over a two-year period. The trial included alternating periods of turning Satmap on, and then off, to provide outcome comparisons.
CVS Caremark adopted Mattersight Predictive Behavioral Routing and was able to drive an 8.4% reduction in average talk time during their proof of concept trial. CVS is also using the data to better target training and coaching to agents.
On February 25, 2015, Google publicly announced its latest functionality and updates to the Android OS, titled "Android for Work" (AFW). Some of the new functionalities include secure work profiles, secure personal information management, and an enterprise app store through "Google Play for Work." These new changes in AFW will impact the businesses, the Android ecosystem, and the overall market in a far-reaching way. EMM vendors and enterprise EMM buyers must review these technology changes and understand how they will influence future product direction before making any purchases. It took just a few years for core MDM functionality to commoditize to a $0 price tag. I wonder how long until the advanced security components being folded into Android via AFW are also essentially free?
That's right, Forrester's Customer Experience team is jumping on the podcasting bandwagon and launching a weekly CX podcast! Each week me and my cohost, Senior Analyst Sam Stern, will be speaking with an analyst from our team about their hot-off-the-press research or discussing relevant CX topics in the news. We'll package these up in easily digestible 10 to 20 minute episodes and best of all, these podcasts are available to everyone.
In our first episode, Sam interviews me about how to build a shared customer experience vision. You can listen below, but we recommend you subscribe on iTunes or through your favorite iPhone podcasting app by searching for "Forrester's CX Cast" so you never miss an episode. If you need help accessing or subscribing to the podcast, please contact our producer Curt Nichols at email@example.com.
Cloud Data Protection (protecting data in SaaS, IaaS and PaaS workloads with a centralized and industrial strenght solution) remains a key priority of CIOs, CISOs and architects.
In this market overview report, we identified 17 key vendors in the CDP space (see the figure below) that provide data protection in SaaS, IaaS and PaaS environments. This report details trends and predictions in CDP and also our findings about how each vendor is approaching CDP and to help security and risk (S&R) professionals select the right partner for CDP.
All broadband is local. If the Internet pipe that reaches your home or small business is too slow (or too expensive), then all the net neutrality regulations in the land won't help citizens avoid the Netflix spinning wheel (or the logy load times of valuable Internet services for education, employment, communications, and banking).
Companies -- both technology leaders and marketing leaders -- should care about the quality of broadband to homes and small businesses. Why? Because your ability to deliver great digital customer experiences is hampered when broadband speeds are low.
I'm all in favor of a robust national discussion about net neutrality, particularly if the discussion balances market conditions for Internet services against market conditions for broadband providers, a challenge that begins with transparency and competition rather than controls. (See this for some ideas on the importance of transparency, market forces, and local competition.)
And I'm certainly massively in favor of Internet-driven "human rights, innovation, and progress" as Tim Berners-Lee espouses. But I am not convinced that over-regulating our country's Internet pipes will solve our spinning wheel problems. Ask yourself these questions:
Why did the Internet at home slow to a crawl during the Boston blizzards?
Why does Google invest some of its massive profits to provide 100 gigabit bandwidth to homes in Kansas City, Austin, and Provo, with 34 more cities coming?
We all know that empowered customers expect brands to deliver contextually relevant experiences based on their individual preferences for content, timing, location, and channel(s). How do customer insights (CI) professionals decide the appropriate course of action – not just for a single customer, but for all customers? How do they then execute on those decisions and measure the impact? Systems of engagement like Real-Time Interaction Management (RTIM) provide answers.
Forrester defines RTIM as: Enterprise marketing technology that delivers contextually relevant experiences, value, and utility at the appropriate moment in the customer life cycle via preferred customer touchpoints. In my latest brief “Demystifying Real-Time Interaction Management,” I explore evolving RTIM requirements.