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Posts from the ‘Cloud Techology’ Category

Simple Math: Big Data – Big Focus = Big Failure

As technology advances allow us to analyze every aspect of business operations, many companies are inundated with data. Although we celebrate the advances in technology, this “data revolution” has also blurred the line between valuable insight and mundane non-value added information. As a result, many companies are now buried in indecipherable numbers. To successfully pierce through the mountains of useless data and focus on the strategic insights, it is critical businesses have the tools to translate heaps of distracting data into useful information.

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Customer Service Above and Beyond – in the Cloud

amazonLast week I attended the excellent CXPA Insight Exchange conference in San Diego.  CXPA is the Customer Experience Professionals Association.  At Kronos, I’m responsible for our voice of the customer program, and always welcome the opportunity to network and learn from peers in this profession.  I walked away from this conference with a few good ideas I think we can put to work at Kronos.

One presentation I really liked was by Bruce Temkin, one of the gurus of customer experience.  Bruce talked about 5 key trends that are shaping successful customer experience efforts to provide excellent customer service:

  1. Anticipatory experiences – that is, anticipating what the customer is ultimately trying to accomplish when they engage with you
  2. Mobile first: design processes with mobile end user in mind
  3. Value as a service: examples are firms like uber, airbnb, zipcar
  4. Continuous Insights: ensuring that you are collecting the right insight, at the right time, and in the right format as you seek to improve your customers’ experience
  5. Power of culture: the idea here is that if you create the right culture, your people will do the right thing by your customers without the need for excessive controls.

I was reminded of these trends today when I received the message below from Amazon Instant Video – on my phone.  This is a great example that hits on everything on Bruce’s list, and then some:

  1. They understand my goal is an uninterrupted movie experience.
  2. They designed their communication to me so that I could read it on my phone easily.
  3. Their very service is value as a service – movies and tv in the cloud.
  4. They used their own real time analytics to detect a problem – I took no action to get this credit.
  5. Clearly their culture enables processes that put customer loyalty ahead of increased profits.

Bravo, Amazon. I think I’ll keep paying for that Prime membership.

Note from Amazon:


We noticed that you recently experienced poor video playback on Amazon Instant Video. We’re sorry for the inconvenience, and have issued you a refund for the following rental(s) and amount(s):

$3.99 – Network [HD]

While Amazon Instant Video transactions are typically not refundable, we are happy to make an exception in this case. This refund should be processed within the next 2 to 3 business days and will appear on your next billing statement for the same credit card used to purchase this item.

Please visit our troubleshooting page for tips on ways you can potentially improve your viewing

We hope to see you again soon,

Amazon Instant Video Team

Top Ten Rules for Keeping Customers Happy in the Cloud

experience you expectIn addition to my Workforce Institute responsibilities, I also manage the voice of the customer program at Kronos.  The image to the right expresses our core service message.   We do a great job with customer service at Kronos, and have the awards to prove it.  We keep it that way by by actively and constantly soliciting feedback through multiple channels.  We receive over 20,000 customer surveys a year – and we review all of them.  Of course we hear about problems through those surveys, but we hear a lot more feedback like this:

“Your representative was very easy-going & informative – made having to call in about the ticket a pleasant experience. Has very good customer service skills!”

We use this feedback to identify and prioritize improvements needed in our products, services and processes.  We help different parts of our business do ad hoc analyses to dive more deeply into specific areas.  Today, I got a question about what constitutes the ideal cloud customer experience.  Here’s my response – the top ten expectations I believe that cloud customers have of their vendors.

From what I’ve seen from Kronos customer feedback, my own experience as a VP of products and services for a SaaS company before I came to Kronos, and my experience as the manager of two SaaS vendor solutions for Kronos, the following are key expectations of SaaS customers:

  1. If there’s a problem with my environment, tell me.  Don’t make me stumble across it.
  2. When there is a problem, tell me when and how you’re going to fix it.
  3. Your privacy and security measures meet objective standards and protect me and my organization from any compliance issues.
  4. Upgrades are friction-less events; i.e. no disruption in my environment.  Adding new features that become available in a release should be up to me  and easy to configure.
  5. The more I can control my environment through self service measures, the better.
  6. It should be easy to get my data out of your solution – for reporting, integration, or other use cases I need to support within my environment.
  7. I am likely to be a non-technical user.  Speak to me in my language.  I probably don’t care how you make the sausage, I just want it to work – all the time.
  8. Provide me with a test environment so I can vet new features, and so I can update training and documentation materials that support user adoption of your solution.
  9. You know how I’m using your system, you have my data.  Can you provide real time analytics to help me use your solution more effectively?
  10. You have lots of people’s data. Can that be used to help me benchmark my organization against others like mine?

Do you use cloud solutions?  What criteria for a great experience would you add to this list?