Archive for April, 2010

Did you ever welcome friends or family with a gun? Even opening your door to unknowns, without being polite and in a cool behavior? Sometimes your customers could have feeling about being less loyal, rude or stressed. Why?
Considering the famous quote with “don’t do others what you don’t want others do to you“, let’s spend a while to build new relation…talking about “critical importance of customer service” is not only “talking”. It’s listening too. And supply all customers want, no more or less, to make them satisfied enough to talk about your brand as a  bright model. Yes, that maters and that’s a question of brand awareness. A brand vision, to keep customers, make them satisfied and make them talking about you to non-customers, that will make become customers.
And no, that don’t need any gun or unfriendly method.

Some facts:

Study from GBC consulting on “global consumer survey” from 2006/2007, put on highlights some facts, only blinds can’t see. Over more than 4.300 companies answered that customer service is the biggest influencer on customer loyalty, and more than 74% of them would do business with a company based on a great contact center experience. Study shown that telephone is still the most dominant channel used by customers to contact a company, despite Google, search and e-mail fever.
According to F. Reichheld’s book “the Loyalty Effect”, a new customer costs five times more to acquire than nurture existing ones. You understand now how strategic becomes customer attention and relation management.
If you’re searching for a job, you already heard about “first impression effect”. Don’t waste time but in the first contact. Because people have no time to waste, and time eats time, you have to be precise, accurate and striking the essential in a few minutes. The “front door” concept is a reality: welcoming customers is a serious matter, before even thinking about their request. In the field of companies business, welcoming is often dedicated to a contact center (from few agents to hundred), and becomes obviously the “front door” to the corporate brand. And still according to previous survey, customers have often to fight with IVR fronts, which offer some surprises: waiting and hold times of call, IVR structure “product oriented” vs “customer oriented”, non functional options, repeat informations too many times…Bad experiences for bad effects: fed up, angry comments. Negative energy. If “first impression” counts, then build your “front door” as a professional. Whatever the solution you choose, be “your first customer to come”, act as if you would like information, or buy, and take time to think WHY you could not buy or make business with you!

The Failure:

Be aware of what’s going on, in building bad experience, creates a “domino effect” on the whole company starting with:

  • frustration (customers and agents)
  • increasing acquisition costs and churn rates
  • missing opportunities of cross-selling business
  • agent moral plummets and turnover rise up, due to stress, frustration and low-value tasks
  • bad brand notoriety drives to no recommendation, and can go to angry et deny

I was telling you the story: listening can give you half of the tip…and the standing half is in creating value for customer, before he even asks for anyone. Welcoming him…

Building your front door:

No, don’t need  a furniture supplier, but need to know where and how long is your vision and involvement in this part of your company’s brand attention. As IVR could be the last fashion model, be aware of for example an ASRNews report saying that “the most complain of virtual, is the fact that customers has to repeat to the agent, informations he already gave to IVR”…useless. But if you take some time to build it correctly, these are some efficient results you can draw from:

  • natural speech = constant voice and loyalty
  • create a whole folder for brand consistence experience
  • automatize simple tasks to concentrate on value-added conversations for agents
  • capture and use IVR recorded informations
  • learn to your system: stare, listen IVR and customers behavior and give it back some improvements

Ready to get in for new shape of relation? Ready to boost business in improving your brand footprint?
Be natural, be true, use natural speech for natural and enhanced relationship.

More is less, but more for more information:

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Live from NABShow 2010, facing huge changes in value constructions, among several major actors of the playing field, TV became more social, driven to another kind of content thinking and producing. Because audience becomes now the real influencers, because customer has, like any other sector, power to give voice and opinion, it burst the former theories of building TV. Getting it anytime, anywhere and increasing the effect of broadcasting progress, quality of picture and sound, and finding abillity to build new formats, new opportunities of consuing video, tv and online streamings, we’re facing a strong move in TV industry. Some lateral changes, and siding effects, because actors want to make other’s jobs, to add value, experience and increase their financial assets in their core business. But the essential quote now for TV, is a huge field of influencing: how medias, actors, audiences can live together and bring “social” and interactive concepts, to this industry. Trying to clear the situation, bringing some shifts like:

  • Contents, with formats and new abilities to generate audience and keep it
  • Quality: 3D, and sound improvements, bringing them to home market for a better experience ; the need for a standard to come (like HDMI 1.4 or middleware and soft enhencement with TV/box manufacturers). Like Sky said “re-defining the rule book”…; already saw large 3D screens for urban uses and ads broadcasting
  • Online web tv, video and streaming platforms and the new opportunities for entertainment, and also brand reputation, brand exposure and personal ads ; these fields is particularly impacted with mobility and mobile winning platform for tv/video entertainment (as we already see the next generation for mobile cast, in 4G)
  • Screens and equipment: LCD technology, 3D screens and cameras processing, dealing with existing settings
  • Connecting: see how IPTV boxes try to build connected platform with services, embed in manufacturers equipment ; see adb (adbglobal.com) for example or sling box with Echostar
  • Search: Google in the market for search TV, a function that never really existed, but can find a business model in targeting audience for ads, bringing search and indexation competences to TV with Dish tests-on. No evidence but the fact that everything is to come yet…
  • Ubiquity with slingloaded box from Echostar, the TV everywhere strategy for now…
  • Unseing middleware competencies, that stand the reactor for piloting datas, broadcast and services in a box/tv
  • Voice and sound improvement, despite the fact that no device yet is planned to be piloted with voice recognition, which could be an interesting feature to come. Future will tell…

Seeing Sony, including some browsing services as Google or Youtube browsing and so long, we just wonder if, filling tv with services is sufficient enough to modify behaviors, to complete convergence in “social” trends for TV. I already wrote on the subject and there’s obvious limits by now. But the increasingly involvement of people in creation (acting, doing something online, chatting, creating videos, music, art design…) is real, and boosts on the “pc-like” screens. Seems that influenced (target), now influences contents and services too: TV media always considered as one way media (one-to-many) gets wings: the ability for modern TV to be plugged on audience’s desires is a bright step toward customer relationship management. As many shows has developped licences, goodies…temptation is straight to adress the audience with added revenues like these sources.

The diagram shows us that a passive audience (influenced) become active through interactive TV and contents “home-made”, that can fill the timeline. Is TV becoming a marketplace with collaborative (in a group idea) ideas and community, I don’t think yet, keeping a private household network and enable only personal communications. But the commoditization of uses on other screens (laptops, PDA, pc) could make an envy to transform our old TV device: game box, that can be considered as individual act on screen, already did invade TV.
So the infernal machine “TV”, grows energy by users now too, by the fact that audience doesn’t want to be passive anymore and wants to give a call. TV actors must now learn to listen other things than audiences monitoring, but start to consider audience as customers who want to express themselves. Nothing special in fact, in a competitive economy trying to get attention and to keep it…

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TV always used to be a collective pleasure. Remember how families met around the next big thing, the prime-time event that grew up our minds and entertained the bulk. Interest rose with the whole offer: more colors, more channels, more catchup broadcast. Technology supposed to be a strong ally to stream these big events and used to get the best off them, threatened theatre, sports spots and children movies. And brought lots of opportunities in consuming TV: recording, ads shifting, original sounds and voices, quality of sound and high definition for picture.
As I’ve been involved in several business, including TVs matters, for 15 last years, I could follow lots of changes in programs, box, new comers and technology: from satellite to DTT, and live to VOD/catchup, it never stopped really to be a collective show, for a whole group.

But social actions and networking is nothing but individual acts, as we don’t show us, linking others or chatting in a group session. More individual, because one-to-one action, talk and debate. As if whole family could stare at a member that would enter into networking…and being passive for hours. Dumb, no interest of course.
I’m wondering how can be the result to come for the recent moves with manufacturers, that add contents or access to contents, to their TV devices (which already include set top box functions inside), as youtube, google browser and so long…I’ve been a witness for start of what we called interactive TV, which was a lab for “e-working or e-entertainent”, that took place in TV at the time and never been a real success…why? Because any individual act has nothing to see with “TV representation”, facing the family: what could be fun, to see someone making its shopping, boring the audience in the room…You see what I mean?
What I can say, living with these strategics moves is that social networking is definitely an individual pleasure. how can anyone spend time, watching a private conversation, talk or chat without being active? Is that’s because skype is starting to collaborate with LG and Panasonic, on HDTV devices, that it makes the next big picture and makes it “social”. Not at all, it stays like a private conversation with a big screen video conference.
I believe convergence has limits, in the way that technology grows faster than our agreement for. That’s not because tech can, that we want. And in the case of bringing social apps to TV screens, there’s a lot to bet in losing the essence of social: having a fresh private space of freedom and expression. Looking at youtube for my fav video doesn’t mean all the audience is gonna like it. Using Google on my TV screen will uncover my own research, as my own passions. That doesn’t mean it match with my surrounds. Are you ready to have a look at IM or your mails, in front of your whole family? Your bank accounts? At your private dates?

I tried to resume as short as I could, the main schemas of using “screens”, with the targeted utilities. We see that nothing is obvious, even if we can call it “all screens” or “any device”, focusing on the way we can (must?) use these for. I don’t declare anything as “definite truth”, but put me in front of my experience of TV business development. As years passed, and saw such more and more “clever” ideas, there is limit to convergence, and these limits are social, not technical. For Heaven’s sake we still can control machines and make them  what we really want them to do, for us. Let’s consider them as “tools” (as social apps are…), and use them. So social TV is more a concept than a screen, in fact. And last but not least, a “3D” concept: Deep, Disturbing and Desired. An easy way to bring new shape to old stuff.

Let’s start your uncovered trip, to Social Screens Skip!

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