Archive for January 2007

Microsoft Embraces Coopetition with Vista Launch

January 31, 2007

With all the press hoopla over the launch of Microsoft Vista (including Bill Gate’s appearance on The Daily Show, in which Jon Stewart asked hard hitting technology questions like, “Do you use ‘flying toasters’ as your screen saver?”), I haven’t seen much coverage from the application perspective, and browsing the Vista web pages I found something which I feel is much more significant than how many consumers buy Vista in the first 24 hours.

On one of the main Vista Web pages, the line “Here are just some of the ways to get more ‘Wow’ at home or at work” is followed by a list of partner technologies that offer tight interoperability with Vista. And lo and behold, who did I find listed there with the likes of Canon, HP and Intuit? FrontRange Solutions, maker of Goldmine CRM.

MS Vista Website promoting partner FrontRange (more…)


2007 Service and Support Technology Trends: Consolidation Accelerates; Open Source and OnDemand Reach Critical Mass

January 18, 2007

Whether you are embarking on a project to evaluate and select technology, curious what options may be available to address a new business problem, or wondering if there is a better alternative for one of your existing systems, it is important for customer service professionals to stay current on the technology trends impacting our industry. SSPA Research predicts the 3 biggest trends for service and support technology and vendors in 2007:  vendor consolidation accelerates, OnDemand becomes preferred deployment options, and Open Source customer service software finds adoption at the enterprise level.

Lack of CRM Innovation Creates Opportunity for New Players

When tracking industry trends, it is helpful to start with drivers:  what are the prevailing attitudes and business problems in the industry that act as catalysts for change. For customer service and support technology, SSPA Research has identified these as key drivers:


Where Satisfaction Ends and the Customer Experience Begins

January 17, 2007

This post is my attempt to explain the birth in 2006 of what I call “the cult of the customer experience,” and shed some light on how experience-based initiatives differ from satisfaction-based initiatives. While satisfaction and experience are linked, the two are quite different, with differences in three primary areas:scope, ownership, and of course, buzz.

The simplest explanation for the difference between customer satisfaction and the customer experience is this: The customer experience is made up of multiple interactions, and customers are either satisfied or dissatisfied with each interaction. The experience, then, is how customers perceive the end to end process, with satisfaction benchmarking how well each step along the way is executed. But scope is the key here. Almost every interaction can be viewed as a series of process steps, meaning even a single interaction can be viewed as an experience, with the satisfaction of each step measured.

To illustrate this, let’s look at something we can all relate to, the Hotel Customer Experience, based on my last trip to Hawaii. As you can see in Figure 1, (more…)