It’s Just Not in the Budget…

ForeSee Blogger Kevin Gates

By Kevin Gates

“I am putting together a budget.”

“It’s just not in my budget.”

“We really need to budget for that.”

Sound familiar?

Like many people in the world today, I, too had to sit down and put together a budget for my family. I had been putting this off for quite some time as I believed it to be a very unpleasant process. Plus, and I did not want to be held to a set of rules that would determine what I could and could not purchase on a daily basis. I also knew deep down that this was going to force me to take a long look in the mirror and face some of the financial mistakes I had made in the past. What could be more uncomfortable than that?

When it's just not in the budgetTurns out, I was looking at this process entirely the wrong way. A budget is not put in place to limit our happiness or prevent us from doing the things we enjoy. A budget is put in place to assist you in analyzing your wants and needs – the things that are  most important to you in your life – so you can prioritize them and make sound decisions.

This concept is no different in business. Far too often I speak to individuals who make decisions solely based on a budget that was created 8-10 months earlier. Now, I am not saying a budget isn’t necessary – remember I have implemented one myself. However, I am realistic and understand my needs may change over time. Just like any successful business today, I need to be able to adapt to my surroundings and changes in the marketplace. My needs will more than likely change as will those of your customers. If you do not have your finger on the pulse of your clients today – you are falling behind and it may be too late to catch up. This is what the technological revolution has brought to the market – a faster paced world where only the most informed survives.

One of my favorite scenes in the movie Moneyball is near the end when Boston Red Sox owner John Henry is speaking to Billy Beane and about to offer to hand over the keys to run the team. The conversation revolves around Beane’s approach to running the A’s and making them a successful franchise with the lowest payroll in the Major Leagues. Talk about a challenging budget! Henry tells Beane that if teams are not taking his blueprint for success and implementing it immediately, they are dinosaurs.

Like most organizations, the A’s worked from a very small budget with no room for error, so each and every decision had to be the right one. Thus, Beane instituted a process of looking at his roster analytically to put together a team that would produce runs and victories. He did not worry about traditional statistics like batting average, home runs or runs batted in. He was looking for players whose production matched or exceeded their cost. His success has been well documented and the Oakland A’s continue to be one of the winningest franchises in baseball.

As an organization, how do you prevent yourself from becoming a dinosaur? Very few organizations are have the resources the Yankees do and cannot afford to just throw money at problems. We still have to deal with our budgets – and, let’s be honest, it is always limited. We must do what Billy Beane has done. We must work smarter and we must focus on what is most important. For Beane it was runs; for companies it is customers.

Thus, the focus must always be on what the customer wants, needs and expects. Companies must invest in tools that will not only collect the voice of their customers but provide the analysis to truly understand what is most important to them. Then, and only then, can you put a budget in place that will focus on what is most important to your success – your customers.

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Post-NRF Next Steps: 3 Things Retailers Need to Address in 2014

ForeSee Blogger Eric Head

By Eric Head

With the National Retail Federation’s (NRF) “Big Show”– a blitzkrieg of sorts, throwing the latest retail technology, toys, tips and strategies at attendees – behind us many of you may be wondering: What do I do now?

The Big Show is a phenomenal event for retailers without question and is a great one for us. Actually, ForeSee team members were still meeting with people Tuesday afternoon while cranes were tearing down the booths around us. But it can be a little overwhelming for retailers once the dust settles and they get back to business as usual the following days.

Reflecting back on the more than 50 meetings with prospects and conversations with clients, I discovered three main (and very important) reoccurring topics that retailers should attempt to address in 2014:

1.) Develop an Omnichannel Strategy

Omnichannel was probably the hot topic of the week. But before we try to understand the term, let’s first understand today’s omnichannel customer.

THEY ARE IN CONTROL. Not you. With evolving technology at their fingertips they are smarter than ever before and have more choices – both in where they purchase and how they engage with companies (yours or someone else’s). And when all is said and done, with one push of a button, they can express how they feel about the experience and your company across the entire social media landscape.

Build a Better Retail Customer Experience for Multichannel Customers

Today’s customers are multichannel users, attempting to migrate seamlessly from one touchpoint to another. The funny thing is that they don’t know that. They don’t know what a channel is nor do they necessarily care – this is a made-up business term to help companies better organize internally. Consumers just know they are having a singular (omnichannel) experience with a company. So what’s the difference between omnichannel and multichannel?

  • Omnichannel – This refers to the company-level experience across channels. An omnichannel experience transcends individual channel activity to encompass the overall brand experience for customers.
  • Multichannel – Here, we’re talking about what’s going on within each individual channel. This incorporates the more functional aspects of interacting with customers – with a specific look at the touch-points they’re using, and experiences and interdependencies across channels. A multichannel view of the customer experience illuminates how one channel influences others and shows the path of the customer’s journey.

Despite different definitions, the goals are the same: to create a superior experience for customers. You can’t and shouldn’t expect customers to change or lower their expectations to meet your offerings. It’s up to you to make sure all of the channels are working in unity to meet (and hopefully exceed) their expectations. You need to understand the customer journey across the different channels as well as the influence and attribution of one channel on the others.

Read this article coauthored by ForeSee’s own Eric Feinberg and JJ Cramer for tips for measuring and creating both a superior omnichannel and multichannel experience.

2.) Prioritize 2014 Initiatives

Per my pre-NRF blog post there is never a shortage of shiny new retail technologies and toys at the Big Show. But investing in a platoon of holographic service agents may not be in the budget…then again maybe it is for some of you.  Unfortunately, there is never enough money to spend on everything you want.

Therefore, it becomes critical to invest in those technologies and initiatives that will have the most impact on improving the customer experience and driving desired consumer behavior – the things you NEED to run a customer-centric company.

Predictive customer analytics can help guide where to invest in new technologies…and maybe more importantly where NOT to invest. Measuring with the right metrics system will show you exactly what should be a priority. So when your mobile channel scores low due to poor functionality you will know to plan resources for that rather than a new toy for customer service. Sorry, but your virtual service agent initiative may have to wait.

Make sure your investment needs and wants are aligned with your customers’ needs and wants.

3.) Have a Comprehensive Customer Experience Measurement Strategy

Companies have done a good job of creating silos with each having their own unique way of looking at the customer. In reality, however, that is like speaking different languages across different parts of the organization. Companies need to breakdown these archaic metric silos and create a universal language understood by all.

Given the importance and complexity of the modern consumer, it is critical to have a cohesive strategy on how to best measure and manage the customer experiences across your enterprise. A consistent and unified customer metric, such as a Customer Relationship Measure, is a base ingredient to this approach and provides a common customer language across the company that everyone can speak and understand.  An effective metric such as this can help assess the overall health of customer relationship – regardless of the preferred channel of interaction – and help uncover hidden insights on how to improve the customer experience.

ForeSee cx360  is our multichannel customer experience analytics platform that can measure everything from the customer relationship level…to the cross-channel level…down to individual channels.  More specifically it provides:

Multichannel Visibility across the various customer experience points, interactions and journeys – such as shopping, account management, sales and service interactions; it also reveals insights across digital, contact center, and in-location experience points with both immediate and longer term impacts on the overall customer relationship and lifetime value.

Multichannel Insights to understand how these dynamic interactions interrelate and impact one another.

A System of Multichannel Metrics to provide precise measurement and reliable intelligence for the different teams responsible for individual touch points…for line management responsible for operational excellence at a channel level…and to inform brand-level and company level investment decisions at the executive level.

Multichannel Benchmarks to illuminate relative performance versus industry and broader market expectations – not just within an individual channel but across a set of interrelated experiences.

I’m assuming you didn’t get all of the budget you asked for this coming fiscal year.  Until next January, stay focused on what you (and more importantly what your customers!) need…rather than what you want. That’s how you will succeed in creating winning customer experiences that will drive better business results.  Which by the way…may just get you more budget money next year!

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Digital Convergence in Customer Experience

ForeSee Blogger Eric Feinberg

By Eric Feinberg

We are in the midst of a shift of how consumers use their mobile devices with retailers. The percentages of buyers and researchers are merging. It used to be that mobile consumers were primarily researchers. They still are, but the percentage of people with the intent to buy is increasing at an exciting rate.

The ForeSee Experience Index (FXI): 2013 Retail Edition shows that 39% of people came to the retailer’s mobile site or app with the intention of making a purchase, compared to 36% in 2012 (a statistically significant increase), and 48% of people intended to research a product. Retailers who cannot deliver a quality customer experience in mobile will perish. The volume of lost business associated with not being able to meet customers’ needs in mobile will be too much for some retailers to bear. When we compare mobile retail consumer experiences to traditional website experiences, the Web data shows that 37% came with the intent to purchase and 43% to research a product, remarkably similar. Our digital worlds are converging.

Consumers expect to be able to accomplish their goals in any channel. And when those needs are not being met, our predictive analytics show that they are significantly less likely to engage with that retailer in other channels like stores, contact centers and websites (not just mobile).

While mobile and Web users score equally in the likelihood to purchase in-channel (73), what really differentiates mobile from Web is the customer’s likelihood to purchase in another channel. Mobile users score a 79, compared to 66 for Web users, when asked how likely they were to purchase from this company in the future using a channel other than its mobile site or app (i.e., website, phone, catalog, store, social media site).

Digital Convergence in Customer ExperienceThis comparison to Web shows that consumers are equally interested in purchasing through their mobile devices, making it all that more important for companies to ensure their mobile experiences are meeting expectations. Is mobile becoming more important than Web? Not quite yet. Retailers shouldn’t take their focus off of their Web experiences — they still need to be excellent there — but they better get caught up on mobile because it has influence far greater and far sooner than they might have imagined.

To read about mobile and other channels covered in the comprehensive multichannel ForeSee Experience Index (FXI): 2013 Retail Edition, download the full report for free here.

The ForeSee Experience Index: 2013 U.S. Retail Edition: Download the Report

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Customer Experience: Price Doesn’t Matter as Much as You Think

ForeSee Blogger Don Morrison

By Don Morrison

There’s no question that the Web is an ultra-competitive environment that accounts for a growing percentage of commerce during the holiday season.

As found in the recently released ForeSee Experience Index (FXI): 2013 Retail Edition, the interesting thing is that during the holiday shopping season, when most retailers depend on customer loyalty, we found that only 9% of people visiting a company’s website said that it was the only company they considered. Another 24% said they considered other companies but prefer this one. That means 54% said this company was one of several companies they considered equally and 13% said they considered this company but preferred another, showing that two-thirds (67%) of Web visitors do not have a strong allegiance to the company they visited.

It’s no surprise at all that those customers who considered only that company are most satisfied (88) and have the highest Future Purchase Intent score (90) out of the segments where Satisfaction ranges from 67 to 88 — one of the most distinctive ranges in the study. Those who considered the company but preferred another scored the lowest.

At first glance you’d think this might be a price-driven issue – people looking for the best deal. But based on the aggregate, it is not about price. In the FXI, Price – only 7% of retailers found Price to be an issue – is the lowest-scoring element with the smallest impact on satisfaction, while Merchandise is the high-priority element for 57% of retail websites. When you look at mobile, not a single retailer registered Price as the top priority to concentrate on in 2014. In fact, Functionality reigns at the top for 38% of retailers in this channel. For the store channel, only 8% of the measured stores recorded Price as the top priority, whereas Merchandise is the number-one element to focus on in order to improve the customer experience.

Customer Experience: Price doesn't matter as much as you thinkRetailers have a huge opportunity to capture the hearts and wallets of customers who are on the fence with where to land their loyalties. Those who have superior customer experiences could gain the greatest gift of all — a few (hopefully a lot of) new and loyal customers through 2014.

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ForeSee Summit Conference Registration Is Open

Registration for the 2014 ForeSee Summit Is Open!
Learn More & Register »
ForeSee Blogger Don Morrison

By Don Morrison

One of the events I anticipate most each year is the ForeSee Summit, a conference that brings together our clients, product experts and the ForeSee team in a relaxed setting and gives us all the chance to learn from one another. So it’s my pleasure to announce that event registration is now open for this year’s Summit, which takes place April 29 to May 1.


The 2014 ForeSee SummitPracticing What We Preach … in Las Vegas

Using the ForeSee methodology to measure attendees’ satisfaction with the Summit last year, we recorded our highest rating ever – an 89 on our 100-point scale. But, as we tell our clients, good is never good enough. We know we have a lot of competition for our customers’ time and travel budgets. So, with insights gleaned from our clients, we’re making this year’s event better than ever.

More Networking.

The 2014 Summit will be held at Red Rock Casino, Resort and Spa in Las Vegas. Overlooking the stunning Red Rock Canyon, this beautiful resort is large enough to offer both accommodations and meeting space under one roof (we outgrew the available sites in Ann Arbor, Michigan!). Hosting people and events at this single site will leave more time for formal and informal networking during the conference.

Actionable Content.

It’s a complicated, multichannel world out there, and our clients tell us they want to see how their colleagues are putting the ForeSee customer experience measure platform to work. There will be plenty of customer-lead, industry-specific case study presentations and best practices sharing at the event.

This year’s Summit will feature content focused on the strategic value and use of customer experience analytics across brands and channels, as well as deep-dive sessions to help day-to-day users get more value out of the ForeSee tools. We’ll also be demonstrating and talking about the recently launched ForeSee cx360 Executive Portal, a tool to help management gauge what’s happening across the business at a high level, and the ForeSee cx360 Platform, which is enabling companies to measure and understand the multichannel customer experience and the interactions between channels.

Expert Insights.

Our Summit attendees always rate our keynote presentation as one of the most satisfying aspects of the conference. So, two industry-expert speakers are better than one, right? This year, we’re very excited that Jonah Berger and Don Peppers will be joining us.

Jonah Berger is the author of the bestselling book Contagious: Why Things Catch On and the James G. Campbell associate professor of marketing at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. He’ll combine groundbreaking research and powerful stories as he shares why ideas spread, some products get more word-of-mouth than others and certain online content goes viral.

Don Peppers is one of the leading authorities on customer-focused relationship management strategies for business. An acclaimed author and a founding partner of Peppers & Rogers Group, he’ll discuss how you can create the maximum value from your scarcest resource – your customer – as he takes us all on a whirlwind tour of some of the latest thinking in business competition.

Register Now

It’s going to be a fun, productive conference, so reserve your space now. I look forward to seeing you at the 2014 ForeSee Summit in Las Vegas!

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Answers and ForeSee

by David Karandish, CEO of Answers

Three weeks ago, Answers acquired ForeSee and this might have resulted in some head-scratching. What would a company like Answers, best known for the consumer Q&A community, possibly want with a customer experience analytics company?

For me, the answer is as simple as our shared mission: we want to satisfy the consumer., which appears regularly on comScore’s top 25 list of U.S. websites, has been fielding queries from millions of information-hungry consumers since 1999. But as much as we relish responding to everyday people like you and me, we also recognize that we have an amazing opportunity to extend our platform to support retailers, brands, and organizations across the entire web and mobile experience.

The continued rise of the omnichannel purchase experience has inspired us to leverage our technological expertise to help our clients improve their customer journey and better inform their purchase decisions through better user experiences, more trusted content, and more authoritative advice. For clients, working with Answers has resulted in deeper customer engagement and of course, higher sales.

How did we get to be a leader in the cloud services space? In 2012, we acquired ResellerRatings, the premier platform for merchant ratings, reviews and reputation management. In 2013, we extended our platform with the acquisitions and integrations of Webcollage, which helps manufacturers create, publish and syndicate rich product descriptions, videos and interactive tours; and Easy2 Technologies, a top provider of online and mobile interactive merchandising content. Finally, we finished off a fantastic 2013 with the acquisition of ForeSee, a perfect complement to our world-class technological offerings, allowing us to provide a complete customer lifecycle solution–from optimizing customer acquisition to analyzing the customer experience to predicting future purchase behavior.

I’m truly excited about the opportunities this new partnership with ForeSee will bring, which will be nothing less than inspired product innovation for clients and intriguing new opportunities for our enterprise teams.

ForeSee and Answers

Finally, it’s with sadness that I announce that Larry Freed has decided to step down as President and CEO of ForeSee. Over the past 12 years, Larry has done a phenomenal job building ForeSee into the industry’s leading platform for customer experience analytics. He will be deeply missed by his ForeSee family but I have no doubt that he will be equally successful in his future endeavors.

As part of this transition, Don Morrison, our Senior Vice President of Sales, has agreed to step in as Interim General Manager of the ForeSee business. Over the past 4+ years, Don has played a critical leadership role in driving significant growth in our business. I’m very confident that Don will be able to continue the success that ForeSee has achieved over the past 12 years in delivering value to our clients.

In summary, I want to say that I’m incredibly excited about the future and building upon the value that Answers, with ForeSee, can deliver to clients. I’m looking forward to meeting many of you in the months to come.

Still curious about Answers? Please visit Or post your questions in the comments

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What’s in Store for Stores

ForeSee Blogger Eric Head

By Eric Head

Are stores on their way to becoming purely distribution centers?

If Amazon has anything to say about it, they are. Whether their delivery drones become a reality or not, Amazon’s push for same-day delivery could have a major impact on stores. The ForeSee Experience Index (FXI): 2013 Retail Edition, released earlier this week, shows that 38% of people purchased at a retailer’s store location instead of from the company’s website, mobile site or app because they wanted the product immediately (Satisfaction 81).

Only 6% purchased offline for the option to talk to a sales person (Satisfaction 83). And only 1% purchased from the store location simply because they couldn’t find the information they needed online (72).

All signs seem to point to the diminishing role of the store in the retail ecosystem. Is it that stores are becoming less influential within the multichannel, multi-device world we live, shop and purchase in…or is it a result of store visit not meeting customer expectations?

Service is an integral part of the store experience, and retailers simply aren’t doing a good job of it. For stores, Service is one of the lowest-scoring (Satisfaction 79) and highest-impact elements, or drivers of customer satisfaction, making it the top priority for 35% of retailers in the FXI.

Service is a priority for stores. Download the ForeSee Experience Index to learn more.Retailers are clearly struggling in the service department, and it’s not going unnoticed by the customer.

If retailers focus on what is important to consumers, such as improving customer service at store locations, their actions will put value back in the store — value that cannot be matched by a pure-play retailer such as Amazon. At an aggregate level stores have an opportunity to improve their service, which could turn the brick-and-mortar experience into an asset instead of a liability.

Read more about the state of stores in the FXI: 2013 Retail Edition.

The ForeSee Experience Index: 2013 U.S. Retail Edition: Download the Report

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New FXI Sheds Light on Retail Customer Experience

The ForeSee Experience Index (FXI): 2013 U.S. Retail Edition Now Available
Download the Report
The ForeSee Blog

The ForeSee Blog

Welcome to a new era of ForeSee Reporting.

Today we released the landmark ForeSee Experience Index (FXI): 2013 U.S. Retail Edition. Whereas the ForeSee E-Retail Satisfaction Index (U.S. Holiday Edition) that we’ve produced for the past eight years focus was mainly the Web experience, the FXI was developed with the multichannel, multi-device consumer in mind and for those retailers looking to better understand this generation of customers.

The ForeSee Experience Index (FXI): 2013 U.S. Retail Edition: Download the ReportBased on 67,600 surveys collected between November 29 and December 17, 2013 for the 100 biggest U.S. retailers as reported by the Fortune 500 and Internet Retailer’s top 100 websites, the five-part report features Company-level and channel-specific (Web, Mobile, Store, and Contact Center) customer satisfaction analysis for the top U.S. retailers.

The result is one of the most comprehensive reports centered on the retail customer experience.

The data shows that customer loyalty for retailers is on the decline, yet consumers are satisfied with the top retail brands and had the best experience with retailers who mastered the multichannel experience. Key findings for this study are further explored in the full report available here and include:

Company Level:
  • L.L.Bean tied Amazon to set the bar for customer experience excellence, recording the highest Company-level satisfaction with a score of 90 (on the study’s 100-point scale). While this is the first time ForeSee has studied company-level satisfaction for the top retailers, the L.L.Bean website has scored an 80 or above in ForeSee holiday e-retail reports eight out of the nine years measured. Amazon has topped the list every year.
  • – the only travel site in the study – came in with the lowest Company-level satisfaction (76), as well as the lowest Web satisfaction (75) and Mobile satisfaction (73) scores.
Store Channel:
  • Apple, which prides itself on stellar Apple Store customer experiences, lost to the supermarket chain Publix Super Markets with a Store satisfaction score of 86 – three points higher than Apple’s score of 83.
  • 53% of retailers registered merchandise as the top priority affecting in-store purchases, while 35% of retailers register service.
Web Channel:
  • Amazon (satisfaction 88) leads the pack for Web satisfaction.
  • 57% of retailers identify merchandise as the top driver affecting customer web experience, compared to only 7% that register price.
Mobile Channel:
  • In a category that saw satisfaction stagnate this year, Walmart (80) was the only company to experience a significant increase of more than three points in Mobile satisfaction, seeing a five-point improvement from 2012’s score. Again, Amazon led the pack with a mobile satisfaction score of 87.
  • 38% of retailers register functionality as the top priority affecting the mobile customer experience, above both merchandise (34%) and content (31%).
Contact Center Channel:
  • QVC (88) beat Amazon (85) in Contact Center satisfaction by three points. Costco and O’Reilly AutoParts tied with Amazon.
  • 55% of retailers record knowledge of the customer service representative as the top priority affecting the customer contact center experience.
 Customers’ loyalty wanes:
  • 12% of customers surveyed said they only considered one company when making a purchase (satisfaction 91).  Almost half (49%) of people reported that the company they visited was one of several companies they considered equally when shopping (80).
Multichannel retailers satisfy shoppers:
  • The most satisfied shoppers this holiday season were the ones that interacted with a retailer across multiple channels. The majority (57%) of customers were single channel users with a satisfaction of 82, and the remaining 43% who used two or more channels to engage with the company recorded a satisfaction score of 85.
Customer satisfaction is predictive of 2014 business success for retailers:
  • When comparing the future behaviors of highly satisfied customers (with satisfaction scores of 80 or higher) to less satisfied customers (with satisfaction scores of 69 or less), ForeSee found that highly satisfied customers at the Company-level report being:
    • 71% more likely to prefer the company to others
    • 57% more likely to retain loyalty to the company
    • 72% more likely to purchase additional products or services from the company
    • 64% more likely to purchase next time they are in the market to buy similar products or services
    • 63% more likely to give a positive recommendation
    • 60% more likely to trust the company

Download the full ForeSee Experience Index: 2013 U.S. Retail Edition here.

The ForeSee Experience Index: 2013 U.S. Retail Edition: Download the Report

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Her & The Potentiality of Mobile

ForeSee Blogger Eric Feinberg

By Eric Feinberg

I have been thinking about my year-end blog post for some time. Usually, I put together a summary of key mobile industry-themed posts from the year. But then I saw the movie Her, starring Joaquin Phoenix and Scarlett Johansson, on Saturday. I realized that what has happened in 2013 pales in comparison to what’s in store for us in 2014 and beyond.

Her is relevant, prescient, interesting, layered and original. Beyond Spike Jonze’s exploration of human entanglement and his inexorable directorial search for connection is a massive exploration of our relationship with our mobile devices. And that’s what this blog post is about…

ForeSee Blog Her and the Potentiality of Mobile As we endeavor into 2014, we as marketers, as mobile measurers, as mobile thinkers and mobile users have the power to shape it. I live in Los Angeles, the setting for this film, and it’s wildly realistic. If I imagine a future based on present day L.A. – elongating time appropriately – we would be where Joaquin and Scarlett intertwine. Where our mobile devices and ourselves intertwine – where they and we simply become we. Our mobile devices are an extension of ourselves. They enable and are capable of so much more than we have built in 2013, more than even we have considered building in 2014, but after watching Her we can start to collectively fathom what’s possible:

  • Enabling: Mobile can make every experience better. It augments and complements, adds color and depth and nuance to all digital experiences and maybe all experiences.
  • Additive: My life is better because of my mobile device. No question about it. Isn’t yours? Sure, there are times when I wish I could be a little less connected but the value exchange of incredible access is to know when to meter it.
  • Unique: Joaquin most definitely had a unique experience with his mobile device. That made me realize how incredibly great the chasm is between what consumers expect from mobile and what we’re actually delivering. We have a one-size-fits-all mentality in mobile. We built a mobile site and hope it serves all well. We do not deliver unique enough experiences for each mobile visitor to our sites and apps. What about purchasers? Researchers? Lookyloos? First-timers? Offline purchase preferrers? People who are engaging with your brand for the first time in mobile? We need to do better here in 2014 and beyond.
  • Predictive: Shouldn’t your mobile device be able to predict what you should purchase for yourself or as a gift for others? In Her, we get that. Scarlett chooses, purchases and has shipped – all via mobile – the perfect gift on Joaquin’s behalf. He didn’t even have to think about it. After all, we already give our mobile devices permission to use our location and our Facebook and other public personas (LinkedIn, etc.). Add in permission to use our previous purchase history (easily accessible from our own credit card statements), and what’s available on our friends’ profile pages, we can have a curated set of what we should buy next for ourselves and predict what our friends want as gifts. If you manage analytics to enable cross-selling and upselling, this is it! Talk about the future of mobile shopping!
  • Fun. Joaquin laughed more and more deeply when connected to his mobile device. Mobile should be fun. As mobile experience creators, we have a responsibility to deliver on the most personal of consumer devices. It is always with us and consumer expectation is continuously on the rise. We have given the mobile device permission to wake us up, interrupt us with push messages, show us the world around us, augment the reality around us, and so much more. Sure, in cases where mobile is an extension of a more serious experience like your finances or insurance or healthcare, it can be less fun and more utilitarian but still easy and additive and unique.
  • Cloudy: In the movie, everything was in the cloud, literally and figuratively. Literally in that every scene except for three scenes (the beach, the surrogate, the lunch) took place in a high-rise building, on an elevated walkway or a raised commuter rail, and eventually on a rooftop. Figuratively because the characters never connected any of their devices to anything. The screens were wonderfully crafted art-piece monitors with touch-everything. My hope for mobile in 2014 is a world with no iTunes, with no dependence on ‘connecting’ to anything beyond a charging cable (and come to think of it, why do we need that either?!). Why do we need these things? To back stuff up? No. To manage our libraries? No. iTunes and its corollaries are a product of a client/server age. Please, mobile developers, let’s never do this again. Apple Inc., are you listening? We need to be thinking about mobile’s future in an elevated fashion.
  • Not Wearable: We’re on a charge now for wearable technology. Watches, GoPro cameras on our heads, etc. I just don’t see it. I have thought for some time – and clearly Spike Jonze and I are on the same team on this one – that it’ll resolve to a singular smartphone-style ‘brain’ of computing power with an infinitely scalable screen externalized from the device. It won’t be unlike Joaquin’s Bluetooth-style singular earbud (offering incredible stereo sound in one ear; don’t ask me how, it hasn’t been invented yet) accompanying a small business card case-style form factor in size and weight. It certainly won’t be the ungainly things you see now. No phablets; they’re a phad. The display will be elegantly externalized from the device itself. Count the days because when that finally happens the word ‘mobile’ will no longer be relevant; we’ll be an experience everywhere culture. I look forward to that.
  • The Mobile Moment: As in this movie, there will come a moment in the future when all that exists is the omnichannel experience, with little/no demarcation between mobile and desktop and tablet and contact center and store.  Preceding that, in the reality of the present, the next and biggest fundamental step ahead for many ForeSee clients and friends is The Mobile Moment. Things change for companies when the majority of their usage and traffic shifts from desktop to mobile devices. For Facebook, it was two years ago. When is your Mobile Moment? Or has it happened already? Are you at 10% of your traffic from mobile? 20%? 30%? 50% or more? Wherever you are, when you don’t measure you simply don’t know what you’re missing. The mobile audience is different and difficult to conceive of their needs and wants when you don’t measure them.

What do you think? What am I missing here?

The New Yorker’s Christine Smallwood had a strong summation: “It’s a good twist: humans who have given all their attention to their devices find that they can’t hold their devices’ attention in return.” I saw this movie Her on the big screen and I am thankful for it. There are big ideas in the movie about the future state of and the potentiality of mobile. We have come to expect a lot of mobile. As we should.

As a measurer of mobile, I see the experience from the consumer’s perspective and they want more than what we’re giving them. Her sure takes it to the extreme but somewhere between there and present day here is something wonderful. If you want to read about how 2013 wrapped up, check out The ForeSee Experience Index (FXI): 2013 Editions.  If you want to see how the mobile world unfolds in 2014 and beyond, subscribe to this blog.

Looking forward to a great 2014! Happy New Year!

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The Changing Front of Financial Services Companies

The ForeSee Blog

The ForeSee Blog

Financial Services is an industry that is experiencing rapid change with customers reducing their in-person interactions and shifting in large numbers towards digital interactions. The customer journey now takes place on multiple devices across multiple channels. Think about the shift in customer interaction from branch to ATM to web and now to mobile – with each advance in technology we continue to see each transition get shorter than the last.  Keeping this in mind firms need to be able to:

  • Manage the integration between their legacy back-end systems and new customer digital touch points;
  • Monitor emerging competitive threats like mobile wallets offered by non-financial players;
  • Compete against other firms with similar products, prices and fees.

In this highly competitive environment, your greatest asset is your customers and they are your best source to move you forward.

Financial Services Customer Experience

ForeSee’s data and insights allow financial services leaders to bring the customer into the room with them as they work with internal stakeholders across organizational silos.

One of the great things about ForeSee is that from top to bottom we practice what we preach. We believe that the customer experience is the most important thing in order to succeed. And we stop at nothing to ensure our own clients are satisfied and are using ForeSee’s data to create experiences (whether web, mobile, branch, contact center, social media) that meet and exceed their customer expectations. That way everyone wins.

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