Is there anything more boring than raw data? Yes, a blog that spews forth raw data. So I'll keep this short and sweet.
When CEOs doubt the importance of technology in the economy, I pull out a home grown aphorism: Technology is changing your customer, and your customer will change your company. In other words, whether you like it or not, demand will ultimately morph supply. And it's the job of the CEO to have a firm grasp of that dynamic.
So in the spirit of keeping CEOs up-to-date on the changing customer (like my 92 year old mother, shown above reading from a Kindle), here's a super-condensed summary of Forrester's recent survey of U.S. consumers.
Kofax announced yesterday the acquisition of 170 Systems. Why did Kofax do this? Well, good acquisitions have a mixture of tactical and strategic complements — and this one is long on both. With over 800 invoice processing customer using Kofax for front-end capture they now can add invoice workflow — exception management and payment for full invoice processing solutions. Add in the purchase of a Swedish EIPP provider 18 months ago and this indeed covers all bases. The 170 Systems customer base alone is a gold mine: 40% have no automated capture. There’s plenty here to give ReadSoft a run for their money.
But, really this acquisition is about moving up the value chain. Customers are looking for more complete solutions, and this deal underscores the trend by the larger capture, imaging, and ECM companies to move further into the business process applications markets.
In addition, Kofax gains better visibility into the economic buyer, and picks up a solutions-oriented sales force and the platform to grow their top resellers into top-notch integrators of supply chain and ERP financial deals, not to mention 170’s existing partners.
Also, they are primed to go into to other un-tamed processes, such as sales order processing and contract management. All in all, it’s thumbs up for this bold move by a company that has historically been timid about venturing from its paper roots.
It must be in the air... but seems like there are a bunch of announcments this week. Next up? RightNow Technology's acquisition of HiveLive. So if you were doubting that "social media" is for real or executives in your company are not sure if they should go down this path... I'd say the answer is "YEAH!" and yesterday was not soon enough.
The reality is- whether you realize it or not- your customers are talking about you in the cloud. The "cloud" here means - on blogs, on thirdparty review sites, on Twitter... And you can do the "ostrich" and continue to stick your head in the sand or you can decide to join the revolution. I know I sound a bit fanatical... but the truth is that the concept of what customers think about your company, customer as well as employee feedback is not new. If you remember... We as a nation sent Mr.
Architects can choose cost effective and flexible platforms.
Quality assurance and testing pros can make sure it works bug free.
Business analysts can uncover and document key requirements.
Project managers can craft a plan to get the app written on-time.
Managers can make sure that it is all done within the budget.
CIO's can find talent and put together teams.
This Prowess Is All For Naught If You Don't Get The User Experience Right!
But, this technical, process, and management prowess is all for naught if you cannot design a compelling user experience (UX) that is useful, usable, and desirable.
Application Development Pros Are No Less Capable Of Learning UX Design Than Anyone Else.
Unfortunately, many application development professionals are unlearned when it comes to knowing how to design user experiences that makes users say "Wow!". It is not that they don't want to design great user experiences. They do. It is just that no one ever taught them how.
So many of you came to the @CRMe09 conference where I spoke about the ROI of Social Media, in particular that derived from customer service. And a funny thing that happened there... Lithium had a booth in the exhibitors area and they had asked me to come and speak to people about my ROI model. So there I was ready to impart my wisdom. A man came up and saw the flyer on the table - it was for the Tweet-up. He picked up the flyer and asked me to tell him about Tweet-up.
I'm really interested in getting readers perspectives on why customer satisfaction research is so hot?
One thing that has constantly amazed me since I became an Analyst at Forrester Research, is the overwhelming interest in all things concerning customer satisfaction research. Easily a third of my inquiries are about how to design such studies, how to improve what they have, what are the issues with multinational studies, and how to deal with new concepts such as NetPromoter.
Even in this dire market, it seems that customer satisfaction studies are one of growth area in market research (according to Inside Research).
My question to my readers is this: are MROCs the next big thing in market research, and will they eventually take measurable share form traditional qualitative research?
It is an old story.
A new mode of research comes along, and the existing research world gives it a giant raspberry.
It happened when phone pushed out face-to-face interviews for quant in the US in the 70's (What about selection bias! It can't possibly be as projectable!). It happened in the late 90's and early 2000's with online panels (What about selection bias?! What about professional survey takers?! What about response bias and poorly constructed panels?!).
How do information workers -- people that use computers or smartphones in their job -- spend their days?
We set out to answer that question using our new Workforce Technographics(R) data. In our launch survey to understand how regular people use computers, smartphones, and applications to get their work done, we surveyed 2,001 people in the US with jobs in which they use a computer. We asked about all kinds of things, including how much time they spend with their computers and phones, which applications they use daily or even hourly, what applications they find indispensable, whether they work mostly with other employees or with customers or partners, and much more.
Our first report is a quick snapshot of a day in the life of an information worker (iWorker). (We'll be sharing a lot more data at a Webinar on Thursday at 11 AM ET; register here.)For example, did you know that:
Gen X (not Gen Y) is the most likely to use Web 2.0 technology to get their job done?
Smartphones are available to only 11% of US information workers?
Email is still the only application used on an hourly basis by most iWorkers?
This quarter I've started some research on knowledge management (KM) for the contact center and customer service. This is KM for both agent-assited and self-service. One of the biggest misnomers about customer service is how important great knowledge management is to good experiences. And no, I don't mean Sharepoint. That's a fine product- but for customer service- one needs to find answers and not documents.
Customers often wonder - why, when they do a search on a website or when they ask a customer service agent for help- they wonder why the search results are awful- meaning nothing that got pulled up in the search was even remotely what they needed. And they also wonder why the agents don't have THE answer.