Learn How Your CX Practices Measure Up By Completing Forrester’s New Survey

Maxie Schmidt-Subramanian

We identified 12 essential CX practices every organization must master to create and sustain experiences that drive customer loyalty. An exceptional customer experience (CX) doesn’t happen by accident!

Take our simple new Customer Experience Practices Survey to learn how well your organization is performing in the essential 12 practices.

You’ll see these key practices and how we evaluate them. We’ll keep your response confidential, anonymize all responses, and use them in a benchmark study – and we'll send you a copy of the final report as our thanks for participating.

Learn How Your CX Practices Measure Up By Completing Forrester’s New Survey

Rick Parrish

An exceptional customer experience (CX) doesn’t happen by accident. There are 12 essential practices every organization must master to create and sustain experiences that drive customer loyalty.

To learn how well your organization is performing in these 12 practices, take our simple new Customer Experience Practices Survey. You’ll see these key practices and how we evaluate them. We’ll keep your response confidential, anonymize all responses, and use them in a benchmark study – then send you a copy of the final report as our thanks for participating.

Google's biggest threat? Amazon.

Collin Colburn

If you've been following Forrester's search marketing research over the past few years, you'd know that we talk a lot about search marketing evolving to a broader discovery marketing strategy. As a refresher: a discovery marketer creates programs that help users find your brand in their preferred medium and during their moment of need. Some marketers, especially retailers, have begun to take on this new and challenging charter and are looking to new channels and websites to increase their discoverability.

Enter: Amazon, Google's newest, and biggest, rival in the search marketing space. We set out to determine two things about Amazon search marketing: what factors do they take into consideration when ranking products and what type of ads are available for brands on Amazon? The research report just went live today and you can read our findings here.

To summarize what we found in the research:

Amazon search moves customers along the customer life cycle. Google has long dominated the discover stage of the the customer life cycle. But Amazon is playing an increasingly large role in how customers find products. In fact, according to Forrester's Consumer Technographics data, 31% of US online adults who made a purchase in the past three months started their shopping research on Amazon. And it doesn't end there. Amazon is also a place for customers to research product choices and even transact.

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The Data Digest: Are Australian Companies Living Up To Their Clients’ Online Expectations?

Reineke Reitsma

Australians are often seen as laid-back, taking things as they come. However, this doesn’t translate to their need for great customer experience. When we analyzed the Australian results of Forrester’s Customer Experience Index (CX Index™), we found that the vast majority of companies in Australia are still providing only mediocre CX.

In his report “The Australia Customer Experience Index, 2016,” my colleague Tom Champion shows how companies in more CX-mature markets in North America and Europe have turned their attention toward making positive emotional connections with their customers to drive loyalty. However, the focus in Australia is still very much on measurement.

So, what’s going on in Australia? How can companies live up to the changing expectations of their customers?

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The Case For Coverage Clarity: Why Health Insurance Providers Need To Make Things Clear

Danielle Travaglini

Have you ever thought about going to the doctor and questioned, even momentarily, “Hmm, I wonder if my insurance will cover this?” Or have you ever received a medical bill that was higher than expected? If so, you know these situations don’t elicit a great feeling — and you’re not alone.

The fear of not being covered or the disappointing surprise of finding out you owe more than expected are all-too-common and unpleasant feelings that customers face when it comes to dealing with health insurance companies.

We used Forrester’s Customer Experience Index (CX Index™) Consumer Perspective Online Community to understand specifically what consumers feel when there is lack of clarity surrounding policy coverage details. They say: 

But the key question you are probably asking yourself is, “Do these negative emotional experiences matter — do they affect the bottom line?” We find that the answer is a resounding “Yes.” Lack of clarity or fear of not being covered impacts the overall emotion a customer has about their health insurance provider, which in turn significantly impacts their likelihood to recommend their health insurer to others.

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Introducing The Forrester Wave™: Digital Intelligence Platforms, Q2 2017

James McCormick

Early Digital Intelligence Platform Players Deliver Great Value - Yet Have Many Opportunities For Improvement

As digital disruption continues its unstoppable march, digital engagement is rapidly evolving and customers’ expectations that they will get what they want during moments of digital interaction continue to grow. Now more than ever, firms need to understand their customers during and across these moments — and use this understanding to surprise, delight, and personalize. To do this, firms and their insights pros need to cultivate digital intelligence (DI), which Forrester defines as:

The practice of developing a holistic understanding of customers across digital touchpoints for the purpose of optimizing and perfecting the experiences delivered and decisions made by brands during moments of engagement.

To build a holistic understanding — and synchronize engagement optimization — across a growing digital customer engagement edge, firms have procured a plethora of DI tech to deliver capabilities such as web analytics, mobile analytics, behavioral targeting (personalization) capabilities, and more. Initially, the tech was procured in isolation by various relevant teams, including those for web, digital, marketing, mobile, and products. But leading practices have reached a tipping point; they are starting to mature their DI strategies to the point of coordinating the adoption and integration of this tech. The result is that the last 18 months have shown a growth in interest and adoption of platformsthat deliver multiple DI capabilities.

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Marketing’s Dirty Little Secret

Dipanjan Chatterjee

For all the talk about customer centricity, there’s a dirty little secret that no marketer will easily admit to: Marketing — as a discipline and as the core of most traditional business school marketing curricula — is inward-looking. Take the much-vaunted four Ps: build the right product, price it correctly, put it in the right place, and promote it to induce purchase. It’s all about the brand, not about the consumer. The consumer responds predictably, robot-like, to the various strategies cooked up by marketers.

Meet Homo economicus — the rational consumer. The foundation of modern marketing. Shhhh! Don’t tell anyone. She doesn’t really exist.  

It’s taken a while for the marketing community to even talk about this. When I was at the University of Chicago, I sat in Richard Thaler’s Ph.D. class on behavioral economics, which was, even in late 1990s, well ahead of its time and disconnected from the MBA curriculum of the abovementioned four-P flavor. In 2011, Nobel laureate Daniel Kahneman offered two very different thought systems for mass consumption in Thinking, Fast and Slow. Thaler recently reviewed the Michael Lewis (of Liar’s Poker and The Big Short fame) book on the collaboration between Kahneman and Amos Tversky. Here’s the basic idea: There are two systems that drive our decision-making. The first is highly analytical and was presumed to be the epicenter of our rational being.

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CX Sydney Forum 2017: Guest Q&A With Australia Post’s Christine Corbett

Michael Barnes

Successful business leaders drive their organizations to create experiences that continually meet or exceed customer expectations. At our CX Forum in Sydney on May 9, Forrester thought leaders and a world-class roster of industry innovators will come together to explore the current and emerging best practices for the design and delivery of exceptional customer experiences in digital channels.

I recently caught up with one of our keynote speakers — Christine Corbett, chief customer officer at Australia Post — to discuss the importance of creating and nurturing a CX-driven culture. Here’s what she had to say:

How has the age of the customer affected the postal service? How have your customers’ needs evolved?

While the rise of the digital economy has created challenges for our traditional letters business, it has opened up exciting new opportunities for Australia Post in parcels. With the rapid growth in online shopping, our customers are looking for greater access, convenience, and choice in the way they transact with us. They are looking for omnichannel experiences: digital for simple transactions, with the option of face-to-face when they need more assistance. More than 50% of our customer interactions are now digital.

Our customers are also looking for more personalised experiences, particularly with parcel deliveries where they can elect to have their parcel left in a safe location of their choosing if they know they’re not going to be home.

What has Australia Post done to improve its customer experience?

We have four key customer focus areas that we have aligned our teams around: creating seamless experiences across channels; listening to customers and taking action; knowing our customers; and empowering our people.

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Fix Your Mobile Foundations To Make The Most Of Bots, Agents, VR and Other Emerging Tech

Thomas Husson

Emerging consumer technologies such as bots, intelligent agents, extended reality, connected objects, and IoT will not replace mobile — instead, mobile will be the key to unlocking these new touchpoints.

Facing limited budgets, marketers feel pressure to prioritize much-hyped new consumer-facing technologies over their foundational mobile work. Jumping directly to the latest shiny objects of VR, IoT, etc., without first implementing a proper mobile foundation is a costly mistake, as marketers will not be able to effectively scale innovative technologies beyond a small testing audience. With over 5 billion smartphones forecasted to be in use worldwide by 2020, mobile will play a key role in activating adjacent connected experiences.

That’s one of the key messages of my new “2017 Mobile And Technology Priorities For Marketers” report written with my colleague Jennifer Wise.

In the past few weeks, I had the opportunity to sit down with many of our clients across different industries. A marketer at one of the largest CPG brands told me they currently had 18 chatbot pilots across the world! The Chief digital and customer experience officer at a global insurance company told me conversational interfaces is his top priority for the next 3 years. The SVP e-commerce and marketing at a global travel brand think extended reality will become a key differentiator. Beyond, these anecdotes, our quantitative survey among marketers, shows that:

  • 6% use intelligent agents regularly and 18% are piloting or planning to use them in the next year
  • 5% use bots regularly and 40% are piloting or planning to use them in the next year
  • 3% use augmented reality regularly and 30% are piloting or planning to use AR in the next year
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Channeling My Inner Millennial

Mary Shea

As a very late Boomer or — as The New York Times columnist Richard Pérez-Peña likes to call us — a Boomer reboot, I find that I have Millennials on my mind all the time! I’m not on social networks for 3 hours a day; I’m just an avid user. I sleep with my smart phone on my bedside table, and I’m a pretty good multitasker. I work with a group of phenomenal Millennials at Forrester, and I now clock more than a year in terms of researching, writing, and speaking about Millennials in the workplace. As I think about our team of researchers, I’m reminded of a Forbes quote of the day that Caroline Robertson shared with me recently: “If you put Boomers and Millennials together in the same place and with the right setting and conditions, it’s amazing how they spark each other.” I wholeheartedly agree.

Check out our most recent report, “Millennial B2B Buyers Come of Age,” and see if you agree. Shanta Samlal-Fadelle and I coauthored this report, which looks at the impact that the heads-down generation is having on purchasing decisions for their firms. Although 73% of Millennials in B2B organizations tell us that they have involvement as influencers or decision makers, our research shows that B2B marketing and sales leaders are not paying enough attention to this increasingly present and influential constituency. In the report, you’ll hear directly from Millennials regarding their engagement and channel preferences, while Shanta and I provide actionable advice on how to fine-tune your approach to attract, rather than repel, Millennial buyers.

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