The 4 P's Of Customer Service

Kate Leggett

We all know the 4 P’s of marketing – product, price, placement, promotion – that dictate the success of your marketing initiative. But, what about customer service? To me, 4 different P’s apply, which are:

  • Pain – Or more specifically, lack of pain. Customers want effortless service from the touchpoint (web, tablet, in person, etc.) and communication channel of their choice (ex. voice, chat, email, social). They want to receive an accurate, relevant, and complete answer to their question upon first contact with a company. They want to be able to start a conversation on one touchpoint or channel and continue it on another without having to repeat themselves. Forrester data backs this up: 66% of customers say that valuing their time is the most important thing a company can do to provide good service. 45% of US online adults will abandon their online purchase if they can't find a quick answer to their question.
  • Personalization – Customers don’t want a “one size fits all” service experience. They want the interaction to be tailored to the products and services that they have purchased, to their specific customer tier, to their past interaction history, and to their specific issue at hand.
  • Productivity – Customer service organizations must pragmatically walk the balance between customer satisfaction and cost. A customer service experience has to be reliable and efficient. This is a service experience that gets positive customer satisfaction ratings and that can also be delivered at a cost that makes sense to the business.
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TechnoPolitics Podcast: Can Apple Mac Attack The Enterprise?

Mike Gualtieri

Bring Your Mac To Work?

Are you or someone you know a Mac lover but brutally forced to use a PC at work? Don't fret or give up yet. Many firms such as Genentech are saying "no" to PCs and "yes" to Macs. And other firms  are instituting BYOC (bring your own computer) programs that allow Mac followers to worship at work. Is this a trend that has legs, or have we entered the post-PC era where it doesn't really matter what hunk of hardware employees use?

Macs have less than a 10% share in enterprises. But, Senior Analyst and Forrester's resident Mac-whisperer Dave Johnson says that is changing and changing fast as a result of increasing BYOC programs and smaller firms that standardize on Macs. 

Listen to Dave's authoritative, balanced analysis in this episode of TechnoPolitics to find out if Macs can make it in the enterprise.

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The Customer Service Market Keeps Consolidating: Consona And CDC Software Merge

Kate Leggett

Or perhaps I need to title this blog "Another One Bites The Dust" as this is just one more merger in the multitude of mergers and acquisitions that are happening  in the customer service space.

On August 7, CSC Software merged with Consona Corporation to form a new entity called Aptean (see the press release about the news here). There have been no details communicated about the go-forward plan for both companies’ products, but here are my views about their respective CRM assets.

Consona, founded in 1986, has its roots in ERP. Over the years, it has acquired a number of ERP solutions, which include DTR, Cimnet Systems, AXIS, Encompix, Intuitive, Relevant, and SupplyWorks - which have good strengths in a variety of vertical markets. More recently, it has acquired an open-source, SaaS-based ERP software vendor, Compiere. In 2006, it made a foray into the CRM market by acquiring Onyx CRM and then KNOVA for knowledge management (2007) and SupportSoft (2009), a support automation vendor. Its recent CRM focus has been on customer support automation application for the high-tech vertical, as there is good synergy between CRM, support automation, and knowledge management for this user base.

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TechnoPolitics Podcast: Microsoft Windows 8 - Bold Move Or Catch Up

Mike Gualtieri

Forrester TechnoPolitics guest Frank GillettMicrosoft is faced with its biggest challenge ever - to stay relevant in a post-PC era. Is Windows 8 the answer, a first step on the path, or will it fall flat? Forrester Vice President and Principal Analyst Frank Gillett's expert analysis reveals all. Frank is a member of Forrester's Business Technology Futures team. His current focus is on the dynamic between consumer and business technology markets, the future of back-end and end user hardware in the post-PC era, and a new and emerging software platform - the personal cloud. 

Podcast Listening Options

Click here to download Forrester TechnoPolitics MP3 file

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Key Questions To Ask Yourself Before Embarking On A Big Data Journey

Boris Evelson

Do you think you are ready to tackle Big Data because you are pushing the limits of your data Volume, Velocity, Variety and Variability? Take a deep breath (and maybe a cold shower) before you plunge full speed ahead into unchartered territories and murky waters of Big Data. Now that you are calm, cool and collected, ask yourself the following key questions:

  • What’s the business use case? What are some of the business pain points, challenges and opportunities you are trying to address with Big Data? Are your business users coming to you with such requests or are you in the doomed-for-failure realm of technology looking for a solution?
  • Are you sure it’s not just BI 101Once you identify specific business requirements, ask whether Big Data is really the answer you are looking for. In the majority of my Big Data client inquiries, after a few probing questions I typically find out that it's really BI 101: data governance, data integration, data modeling and architecture, org structures, responsibilities, budgets, priorities, etc. Not Big Data.
  • Why can’t your current environment handle it? Next comes another sanity check. If you are still thinking you are dealing with Big Data challenges, are you sure you need to do something different, technology-wise? Are you really sure your existing ETL/DW/BI/Advanced Analytics environment can't address the pain points in question? Would just adding another node, another server, more memory (if these are all within your acceptable budget ranges) do the trick?
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TechnoPolitics Podcast: Big Data Is Value At Extreme Scale

Mike Gualtieri

Big Data is about handling extremes, cost effectively. But, what it means to be "big" is an upwardly moving target. In this episode of TechnoPolitics, Mike Gualtieri speaks with Forrester Principal Analyst Brian Hopkins about big data. Brian covers emerging technology and its impact on business and IT. 

Podcast Listening Options

Click here to download entire Forrester TechnoPolitics MP3 file

Next Episode - Windows 8: Bold Move Or Catch-Up?

Be sure to catch the next episode of TechnoPolitics to hear Forrester Vice President Frank Gillett's analysis of what Windows 8 means to Microsoft, consumers, and businesses. Frank's analysis of Microsoft Windows 8 will blow your mind. Microsoft is faced with its biggest challenge ever. Is Windows 8 the answer, a first step on the path, or will it fall flat?

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TechnoPolitics Podcast: BYOD Explained By Christian Kane!

Mike Gualtieri

BYOD (bring your own device) is a momentum torpedo.

Younger workers at the bottom and executives at the top of businesses assert their desire (they think it is a right) to use their own smartphones, tablets, and laptops instead of company-issued hardware. In this episode of Forrester TechnoPolitics, Mike Gualtieri interviews Forrester Analyst Christian Kane about the future of BYOD.

  • The what and why of BYOD?
  • What are the hazards of BYOD?
  • Is BYOD a trend that has legs?
  • Bonus: A Cambridge, MA, area BYOB restaurant recommendation.
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TechnoPolitics Podcast: Our Take On Google I/O & Mobile App Development

Mike Gualtieri

Listen to Forrester analysts Mike Gualtieri and Michael Facemire's lively discussion on this year’s Google I/O Conference, including the over-the-top Google Glass skydiving keynote emceed by none other than Sergey Brin.

  • Google I/O Conference highlights
  • Native versus HTML5: The mobile app development debate continues
  • iPhone and Android own the market now. Will Microsoft be number 3, or will Amazon surprise everyone again?
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The New Knowledge Management: What Does A Collaborative Content Hub Look Like

Kate Leggett

66% of customers say that “valuing their time is the most important thing a company can do to provide good service.” A knowledge base is typically used to empower agents and customers with answers to customer questions. But traditional knowledge management is a difficult because of the confusion around the term and its checkered reputation.

Instead of a knowledge base, companies should be investing in a collaborative content hub that looks like this:


It includes the following capabilities:

  • Easy content capture. You should be able to flag information from any source (email, discussion forum thread, social media interaction) and kick it off to be included in your collaborative content hub.
  • Democracy. Everyone within an organization, and customers as well, should be able to recommend information to be included in the content hub.
  • Flexible authoring environment. You must be able to create and publish content without arduous workflows. Not all content should be subjected to the same workflows. Some content must be able to be published instantly, for example a service alert. Other content should be able to be routed through review or legal compliance flows.
  • Social content: Anyone who comes into contact with content should be able to rate and comment on content.
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Products Are Going Digital -- What Leading Examples Are *You* Seeing Out There?

Randy Heffner

Here's a flash of the blindingly obvious: More and more products are going digital. You know this, but what I'm interested in is how they are going digital and to what degree. I see three major aspects: (1) the product itself becomes digital; (2) a physical product adds digital technology; and/or (3) processes and context around a physical product become digitally infused. Let me offer a sort of continuum of examples, and then I want to ask a question:

  • Music (nearly 100% digital). The greater part of music bought these days is in the form of a 100% digital product. 
  • Health band. With a health band (e.g., Fitbit, Nike FuelBand), I don't really care about the physical product, but I'll put up with it to get the digital benefit: lots of data (and more) about my workouts and health.
  • Cameras. A digital camera is a physical product that uses a combination of physical and digital technology, and I actually care about some of its physical design (e.g., lenses). It produces a 100% digital artifact (photos), and the process around the photos is digitally infused.
  • USB picture frame. Part physical, part digital. By replacing the center of a picture frame with a digital screen, I get a new twist on an old standby. But, working with the digital part still requires a high degree of physical manipulation (carry a USB drive to the frame, etc., etc.).
  • WiFi picture frame. Part physical, even more digital. The WiFi bit bumps it way above a USB picture frame in terms of seamless integration into a digital world. I can email a picture to the thing, or maybe tag a photo on Facebook and suddenly it shows up.
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