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The age of intent is a world where the smartest of chatbots-virtual agents-are powered by artificial intelligence (AI) and connected to a customer’s complete past history. These virtual agents can anticipate just what a customer is looking for, answering questions through chat, on the phone, and through smart speakers like Amazon’s Alexa. They’ll transform the business world with efficient, scalable service that’s available 24/7 and gets smarter every day.
In these pages you’ll learn about the companies that have used virtual agents to deliver a superior customer experience. You’ll see how:
• Auto rental company Avis Budget used virtual agents to automate 68% of service calls, saving millions of dollars every year.
• Danish bank Nordea’s virtual agent Nova identified thousands of intents, handled 20,000 conversations a month, and reduced emails and calls by 25%.
• Satellite operator Dish Network’s agent DiVA responded to 4 million queries a year and helped meet surging demand for pay-per-view events.
• Restaurant chain TGI Fridays used a Facebook Messenger chatbot to boost take-out orders by $150 million a year.
• Butterball ported its Turkey Talk-Line to Amazon’s Alexa smart speaker, serving 20,000 customers in the reassuring voices of its most trusted turkey advisors.
P.V. Kannan, the leader of the standout customer experience technology firm 7.ai, shares his expertise here on how and why virtual agent rollouts succeed-or fail. He explains how to architect key information systems, overcome corporate resistance and bad practices, and analyze customer journeys to make virtual agents maximally effective. You’ll learn why selling through conversational commerce is especially challenging, smart speaker platforms are tantalizing but limited, and the best virtual agent systems work hand-in-hand with human support agents.
Virtual agents will usher in the biggest change in how companies interact with consumers since the web. They’ll increase efficiency even as they improve customer experience. This is a technology shift you don’t want to miss out on … and The Age of Intent is the best place to get smart about it.
Joining the ranks of classics like The Elements of Style and On Writing Well, Writing Without Bullshit helps professionals get to the point to get ahead.
It’s time for Writing Without Bullshit.
Writing Without Bullshit is the first comprehensive guide to writing for today’s world: a noisy environment where everyone reads what you write on a screen. The average news story now gets only 36 seconds of attention. Unless you change how you write, your emails, reports, and Web copy don’t stand a chance.
In this practical and witty book, you’ll learn to front-load your writing with pithy titles, subject lines, and opening sentences. You’ll acquire the courage and skill to purge weak and meaningless jargon, wimpy passive voice, and cowardly weasel words. And you’ll get used to writing directly to the reader to make every word count.
At the center of it all is the Iron Imperative: treat the reader’s time as more valuable than your own. Embrace that, and your customers, your boss, and your colleagues will recognize the power and boldness of your thinking.
Transcend the fear that makes your writing weak. Plan and execute writing projects with confidence. Manage edits and reviews flawlessly. And master every modern format from emails and social media to reports and press releases.
Stop writing to fit in. Start writing to stand out. Boost your career by writing without bullshit.
You always knew digital was going to change things, but you didn’t realize how close to home it would hit. In every industry, digital competitors are taking advantage of new platforms, tools, and relationships to undercut competitors, get closer to customers, and disrupt the usual ways of doing business. The only way to compete is to evolve.
James McQuivey of Forrester Research has been teaching people how to do this for over a decade. He’s gone into the biggest companies, even in traditional industries like insurance and consumer packaged goods, and changed the way they think about innovation. Now he’s sharing his approach with you.
McQuivey will show you how Dr. Hugh Reinhoff of Ferrokin BioSciences disrupted the pharmaceutical industry, streamlining connections with doctors and regulators to bring molecules to market far faster—and then sold out for $100 million. How Charles Teague and his team of four people created Lose It!, a weight loss application that millions have adopted, achieving rapid success and undermining titans like Weight Watchers and Jenny Craig in the process.
Regardless of your background and industry, you can learn how to be a digital disruptor too. First, adopt the right mindset: Take risks, invest as cheaply as possible, and build on existing platforms to find the fastest path to solving a customer’s problem.
Second, seek the “adjacent possible”—the space just next to yours where new technology creates opportunity. That’s how Benjamin Rubin and Paolo DePetrillo of Zeo created a $100 sleep monitor that does much of what you’d get from a $3,000 sleep lab visit.
Finally, disrupt yourself. Use these tools to make parts of your business obsolete before your competitors do. That’s what Tim FitzRandolph did at Disney, creating a game that shot to the top of the app store charts.
With the tools in this book you can assess your readiness, learn the disruptive mindset, and innovate rapidly, starting right within your own business.
What simple innovation brought billions in new investments to Fidelity? What basic misunderstanding was preventing Office Depot from achieving its growth potential? What surprising insights helped the Mayo Clinic better serve both doctors and patients?
The solution in each case was a focus on customer experience, the most powerful—and misunderstood—element of corporate strategy today.
Customer experience is, quite simply, how your customers perceive their every interaction with your company. It’s a fundamental business driver. Here’s proof: over a recent five-year period during which the S&P 500 was flat, a stock portfolio of customer experience leaders grew twenty-two percent.
In an age when customers have access to vast amounts of data about your company and its competitors, customer experience is the only sustainable source of competitive advantage. But how to excel at it?
Based on fourteen years of research by the customer experience leaders at Forrester Research, Outside In offers a complete roadmap to attaining the experience advantage. It starts with the concept of the Customer Experience Ecosystem—proof that the roots of customer experience problems lie not just with customer-facing employees like your sales staff, but with behind-the-scenes employees like accountants, lawyers, and programmers, as well as the policies, processes, and technologies that all your employees use every day. Identifying and solving these problems has the potential to dramatically increase sales and decrease costs.
Marketing to these entitled consumers requires a new strategy: consumer-first marketing. And this book is the first to lay out how to do it. Based on focus groups and survey answers from real consumers, combined with the authors’ experience with hundreds of different brands, Marketing to the Entitled Consumer shows you exactly how to apply consumer-first marketing in your organization. You’ll learn which data to collect—from purchase histories to pollen counts—and how to deploy it consistently across online, mobile, and real-world channels. You’ll master the art of building meaningful consumer connections with the three R’s: reciprocal value, relevance, and respectful empathy. You’ll even get instructions on how to win over your fellow marketers and the rest of your company.
Marketing to the Entitled Consumer features practical case studies from dozens of marketing practitioners and thought leaders—learn how a clothing retailer, a self-storage company, and a European department store all personalized their marketing outreach strategies to suit their individual customers and how those changes maximized company growth. Read the book that the legendary marketing thinker Don Peppers called “a warning shot across the bow of traditional marketing.” Then get to work. Your entitled consumers are ready for a new approach . . . are you?
When consumers you've never met are rating your company's products in public forums with which you have no experience or influence, your company is vulnerable. In Groundswell, Josh Bernoff and Charlene Li explain how to turn this threat into an opportunity.
In this updated and expanded edition of Groundswell, featuring an all new introduction and chapters on Twitter and social media integration, you'll learn to:
· Evaluate new social technologies as they emerge
· Determine how different groups of consumers are participating in social technology arenas
· Apply a four-step process for formulating your future strategy
· Build social technologies into your business
Groundswell is required reading for executives seeking to protect and strengthen their company's public image.
In this new world, dealing with empowered employees and customers --Insurgents -- is only going to get more challenging. Employees are using this technology in the workplace and customers are using it in the marketplace, and neither obey the rules you set up.
This chaos is your future as a manager. You could try to shut it down and shut it off. Or you can harness it and reap the business benefits.
According to Josh Bernoff and Ted Schadler of Forrester Research (the organization that brought you Groundswell), your defense against insurgents is to enable them. At its heart, this is a book about how to scale the management of insurgency, both the innovation of insurgent employees and the energy of insurgent customers. The key is a process Forrester calls E Triple S, for the four elements of managing insurgents effectively: empowering, selecting, scaling, and socializing.
While it's based in current trends, the core concept of Managing Insurgents -- that the next management and innovation challenge is harnessing individuals empowered by mobile, social, and connected technology -- is a new idea. In the wake of Groundswell, dozens of social-technology-for-business books cropped up. And there are plenty of books on improving your customer service. But there's no serious business book about management, marketing, and innovation in the throes of this trend. When Insurgency hits, it will be perceived not just as a sequel to Groundswell but as the start of a new management philosophy.
Your customers now turn to their smartphones for everything. What’s tomorrow’s weather? Is the flight on time? Where’s the nearest store, and is this product cheaper there? Whatever the question, the answer is on the phone. This Pavlovian response is the mobile mind shift — the expectation that I can get what I want, anytime, in my immediate context.
Your new battleground for customers is this mobile moment — the instant in which your customer is seeking an answer. If you’re there for them, they’ll love you; if you’re not, you’ll lose their business. Both entrepreneurial companies like Dropbox and huge corporations like Nestlé are winning in that mobile moment. Are you?
Based on 200 interviews with entrepreneurs and major companies across the globe, The Mobile Mind Shift is the first book to explain how you can exploit mobile moments. You’ll learn how to:
• Find your customer’s most powerful mobile moments with a mobile moment audit.
• Master the IDEA Cycle, the business discipline for exploiting mobile. Align your business and technology teams in four steps: Identify, Design, Engineer, Analyze.
• Manufacture mobile moments as Krispy Kreme does — it sends a push notification when hot doughnuts are ready near you. Result: 500,000 app downloads, followed by a double-digit increase in same-store sales.
• Turn one-time product sales into ongoing services and engagement, as the Nest thermostat does. And master new business models, as Philips and Uber do. Find ways to charge more and create indelible customer loyalty.
• Transform your technology into systems of engagement. Engineer your business and technology systems to meet the ever-expanding demands of mobile. It’s how Dish Network not only increased the efficiency of its installers but also created new on-the-spot upsell opportunities.
Mobile is rapidly shifting your customers into a new way of thinking. You’ll need your own mobile mind shift to respond.