Today’s web self-service creates delight – for masochists!

Leading furniture retailer Search: Sofa with foot-rest Answer: No results found. Were you looking for sofa with forest? Leading satellite TV operator Search: Blurred video Answer: No document matched your query….Try more general keywords. Search: Delayed image (same website as above) Answer: One page’s worth of completely irrelevant hits about packages, investor relations, policies, etc. Leading utilities provider Search: Do you provide incentives for solar panels? Answer: Do you provide incentives for water heaters? (and other irrelevant hits, including a…

Knowledge management

The case for Case-Based Reasoning

When it comes to knowledge technologies for customer engagement, Case-Based Reasoning (CBR) tops the list in guiding not only search but also decisions and process. The results? Transformational change in customer experiences, engagement ROI, service productivity, and sales conversion. Here are some examples: Premier home appliance manufacturer: $50M in average annual savings by eliminating unwarranted truck rolls through CBR-guided resolution process in the contact center and website Semiconductor giant: 59% increase in web self-service adoption, 30% increase in First Contact…


Wonder why your product returns are up? Hint: Hot weather in Timbuktu could spur job growth in Michigan!

Timbuktu weather and Michigan job growth? An asset management firm claims to have such clairvoyant insights that have enabled them to maximize returns for its customers (although most 401K account holders might dispute such claims from any asset management firm these days!) The link between the ability of your contact center (and web self-service site) to effectively solve customer problems when they try to figure out how to use your product, and the rate of product returns, may not be…


When it comes to customer experience, take a “whole-chain” approach for success

Businesses pay a lot of attention to their supply and demand chains as they make and take products to market – and for good reason. What they often forget is the experience chain, or how the experience of in-house or partner sales and service agents (including outsourcers) affects the end-customer experience. Instead of taking a “whole-chain” approach to improving experiences, they fixate on and fix parts of the chain, only to fail or realize limited success from their experience initiatives….


You need the shopping cart and the findability horse to move product on the web!

Web retailers justifiably focus on reducing shopping cart abandonment. Real-time customer engagement tools like proactive offers, chat, and cobrowse can surely help here, and so can best practices outside technology. However, you need the shopping cart and the findability horse to “move” product (no pun intended) in a big way. Shoppers go through three distinct steps in their purchase process when they are on a website—find the product they need, decide or select among alternatives (including not buying), and buy….


Want to excel in customer engagement? Go “Dolly” in your contact center!

Those of you that are old enough like me might remember “Dolly,” the first-ever sheep to be cloned. Did you know that your best sales and service agents can also be cloned to maximize performance? We’ve perfected that process and it’s all legal and ethical, and it even benefits the business and society at large! Let’s go part by part. First, you need to clone the “face.” This has become important even for sales and service outside retail or the branch…


We have hypermetropia, and no plans to fix it

McKinsey recently found that among all digital initiatives, digital customer engagement is the top priority for CEOs. PwC found that 90% of respondents in its 2013 US CEO survey are planning to invest more in customer and client engagement programs. We couldn’t agree more. After all, eGain was launched as a company in the late ‘90s based on that exact vision of digital customer engagement—some might say we have hypermetropia to be able to see that far ahead! “Thought-leading” the thought leaders (McKinsey included!)…


When it comes to consolidating CRM systems, remember President Bush Senior’s advice: “Be Prudent”

Yes, without some level of system consolidation in CRM, you’re going to have chaos. However, you don’t want to go from chaos to vendor bondage by rationalizing too much. This would mean putting up with the tyranny of product mediocrity and going through the bait and switch roller coaster, where you were offered a mediocre product at low cost, only to be hit with sticker shock when the contract is up for renewal. History has showed time and again that…


Desperately seeking findability

I’m not a big fan of Madonna’s acting talent—I have not even seen any of her movies. However, I get reminded of one of her 80’s movies titled “Desperately Seeking” someone or the other when I see contact center agents or sales reps desperately trying to find answers with the time-constrained and often irate customer waiting on the line. When agents venture to use keyword search or other legacy search methods that are still around in some places, they get…


Want to turbocharge web sales this holiday season? Go on a (mystery) shopping spree now!

If you are a retailer, the holiday season is when the rubber meets the road. I’m sure your sales and market share goal has been upped a notch or two this year and you are expected to pull it off no matter what, while keeping costs down, of course. You know that you can only get this done by investing in technology, process, practices, and people. You need to do something real soon since summer holidays are almost here, and…