March 15th, 2018 by Sam Del Rowe

For its 2018 Customer Service Benchmark Report, SuperOffice analyzed the customer service quality of 1,000 companies of all sizes worldwide. In order to determine how companies handle requests for customer support via email, an email was sent to each company asking two questions: “do you have a phone number I can call you on?” and “Where can I find pricing information on your website?”. The report found that 62 percent of companies failed to respond.

With this in mind, the report offers seven tips:

  • Route requests to the right department: The report found that the average response time for the top ten companies was two hours, suggesting that the right department received the request and was able to handle it accordingly. The report suggests that companies set up rules in their customer service software or inboxes that allow them to automatically forward requests to the correct department.
  • Use automated responses to acknowledge support requests: The report advises that companies set up automated replies that are sent to customers acknowledging receipt of their service requests.
  • Follow up with customers: The report asserts that following up is an easy way for companies to get ahead of the competition, and that companies should schedule follow-up messages to be sent three to four days after their initial response to determine if the level of service was satisfactory.
  • Strive to answer questions in the first response: The report found that the top ten companies all scored 100 percent for first contact resolution. It advises that companies answer the questions they can in their first reply and include a note that they will follow up with the customer regarding any questions they cannot immediately answer.
  • Make it simple for the customer to contact support: The report found that every company in the top ten had an email address clearly visible on its homepage. The report asserts that in addition to making it easy for the customer to get in touch with the company, this practice also boosts trust as the company shows it is not afraid to hear from its customers.
  • Quality, not quantity: The report found that the top ten companies all scored highly on the content of their replies, even though some of them took several hours to respond. The report suggests that a high quality answer is better than a low quality answer, even if the high quality one takes longer to compose.
  • Use customer service tools to empower your team: The report acknowledges that delivering great customer service requires the proper tools and processes, and that companies should implement customer service software that enables them to acknowledge, track, manage, and report on all customer service requests.
February 21st, 2018 by Sam Del Rowe

Consumers increasingly expect businesses to take political and social stands as part of their public presence on social media and other channels, according to a study by Sprout Social.

More specifically, Sprout Social found that two thirds of consumers believe that it is important for brands to take a public stand on leading social and political issues, while more than half indicated that they are most receptive to brands doing so on social media. Furthermore, the study found that consumers’ most common emotional reactions to brands taking a stand on social media were positive: the top three consumer reactions were “intrigued,” “impressed,” and “engaged.”

“Brands that effectively navigate strategic decisions around when to take a stand on social have more opportunity than ever to turn potential risks into business opportunities,” Andrew Caravella, VP of strategy and brand engagement at Sprout Social, said in a statement. “People not only want brands to speak out on social, but they want authenticity and values communicated cohesively by company leadership as well. People want to feel socially and politically connected to the brands they support—and while vocalizing opinions may drive away some customers, it will ultimately engender greater loyalty and enthusiasm from people who agree.”

February 1st, 2018 by Sam Del Rowe

Data intelligence and knowledge inefficiencies cost U.S. organization $1.7 million per year for every 100 employees, and European Organizations €1.1M per year for every 100 employees, according to an Alteryx-sponsored IDC InfoBrief.

Based on a survey of more than 400 individuals performing data functions across North America and Europe, the study yielded a number of findings indicating that organizations have significant room for improvement to get the most out of their data assets and infrastructures. The study found that data professionals waste 30 percent of their time—14 hours per week on average—because they cannot find, protect or prepare data; and another 20 percent of their time—10 hours per week on average—building information assets that already exist, losing 50 percent of their time in total every week due to unsuccessful activities or repeated efforts. Additionally, they spend 60 percent of their time getting to insight, but just 27 percent of that time is spent on actual analysis.

“It is evident that many professionals are not aware of what resources are available within data assets like data lakes, how to access the data, where it came from, or how to glean trusted insights,” Langley Eide, chief strategy officer at Alteryx, said in a statement. “Unless organizations make changes to their infrastructure now, and close the gaps on data discovery, integrity and cataloging, processes will only become more inefficient as data volume and variety continues to grow.”

“Data discovery is important to all aspects of business, from operations efficiency to compliance to risk reduction, revenue growth, and beyond,” Stewart Bond, director of data integration and integrity software research at IDC, said in a statement. “Knowledge of how, where and why data is used, by whom, and what information already exists will help data professionals refrain from repeating efforts, increase personal productivity and free-up time for more advanced analytics.”

January 16th, 2018 by Sam Del Rowe

Self-installation of home electronic devices is preferred by 71 percent of consumers, according to a study by TechSee, a company that uses artificial intelligence and augmented reality to streamline technical support. The research also found that while 67 percent of consumers self-installed home electronics in the last 12 months, 30 percent had to abandon their efforts mid-process to consult customer support.

This figure is concerning given the study’s findings on consumer sentiment towards technical support. 68 percent of consumers will spend more than 15 minutes attempting self-installation in order to avoid contacting a call center, with 70 percent saying that they would rather visit their dentist than have to wait for a technician. At the same time, 59 percent reported not finding the installation process easy.

The study also yielded findings on how consumers would like to receive support. 71 percent preferred “visual guidance” such as pictures, videos, and visual prompts over other methods such as user manuals or online forums. Additionally, the majority of respondents indicated that they prefer to receive instructions via their smartphones. These preferences suggest that companies need to rethink the ways in which they deliver customer support.

January 9th, 2018 by Sam Del Rowe

Just 11 percent of marketers claim that they can personalize all content in real time, according to a study from Yes Lifecycle Marketing.

The report yielded a number of other findings that suggest that marketers have substantial room for improvement when it comes to personalizing their efforts. 27 percent of marketers can execute basic personalization tactics, such as using a customer’s name or birthday. Another 26 percent can personalize based on browsing or purchase history, but say that doing so is tedious. Additionanlly, 17 percent stated that they cannot personalize content because they have trouble collecting and analyzing data.

The report also found that two in five marketers don’t tailor their initiatives based on age. Doing so is especially important when engaging with younger consumers, as 45 percent of centennials (ages 18 to 21) and 49 percent of millennials (ages 22 to 37) make purchases based on the level of personalization in a brand’s email content.

“Personalization isn’t limited to a customer’s name; and marketers who go beyond this simple data point in order to customize communications will reap the benefits,” Michael Fisher, president of Yes Lifecycle Marketing, said in a statement. “Marketers should tailor content to their customers’ habits and demographics. Fairly easy-to-implement adjustments, such as triggered campaigns and lifecycle messaging, will go far.”


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