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These days, technology change seems to be outpacing the passage of time. Advances are coming at us faster than our ability to keep up. Another year has come and gone; what are we talking about as we look ahead? How technology is transforming our lives as managers, workers, customers and citizens. As we at Sutherland look ahead to 2022, there are four tech-related changes that are top of mind for us as an experience-led digital transformation company. Each involves the rapid pace of technology advancement and how we all struggle to keep up — both in the marketplace and in the workplace. We think these changes should be top of mind for you as well. ...

Being Human in a Virtual World

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These CX Trends Won’t Just Guide You. They’ll Define You. The Covid pandemic has brought great change to the consumer world. Brand relationships that were once defined by visiting stores, attending public gatherings, or face-to-face conversations with salespeople are now—by necessity—being reimagined. The widespread adoption of remote work and the shift to conducting all modes of home business over the web happened literally overnight. The result? Well, let’s just say that we’re all spending more time online than we ever thought we would. This mass migration to a virtual world has meant accelerated digital transformation for business and consumer alike—consolidating ...
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What a business does in the earliest days and weeks of its relationship with a customer really matters. Every action or initiative an organization takes during this period to understand a customer, serve them and meet or exceed expectations is critical. Indeed, it lays the foundation for how the brand and that new (or existing) customer will interact and experience moments of truth across a whole range of touchpoints across the organization. Most of the time, the business processes during this period — from customer onboarding to order management, billing and collections to reconciliation and reporting, and all the activities in between — are referred ...
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These days, dealing with uncertainty is the new definition of business as usual. What hasn’t changed is the hospitality industry’s laser focus on driving occupancy, RevPAR, loyalty/retention and competitively differentiated guest experiences. To maintain that focus while taking ongoing developments in stride, hotels, cruise lines and other sectors of the hospitality industry must rapidly pivot with evolving conditions. Here are some key digital capabilities hospitality companies can leverage to nimbly navigate today’s ups and downs while also favorably positioning themselves for the long term. Use predictive modeling to meet changing circumstances with superior ...
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In our rapidly spinning world, airlines need to pivot fast to keep customers happy. Whether confronting a sudden overload of refund requests after travel disruptions or a subsequent spike in re-bookings, airlines that don’t adapt to changing circumstances in real time, every time, risk losing customer confidence and future revenue. The good news? While it’s impossible to predict all flight disruptions well in advance, it’s not impossible to prepare right now for their customer service impact. Far from it. Here are a couple of systematic digital measures airlines can take this moment to stay nimble throughout even the most turbulent times: Ramp up robotics ...
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A day in the life of a consumer-packaged goods (CPG) company has changed considerably over the past few years, with the surge in online shopping being a key driver. In the US alone, online sales penetration remains well above 2019 levels, with many consumers across all categories saying they intend to continue shopping online for good. To meet shoppers there, global consumer brands are increasingly engaging in direct-to-consumer (D2C) sales. Along the way, they’ll need to rethink core promotional strategies, spanning advertising to coupons, keeping the following objectives in mind: Maximize Loyalty With Behavioral Insights Brand switching is commonplace ...
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Some quick serve restaurants (QSRs) accelerated faster than others when drive-thru traffic surged to 90 percent of QSR sales early last year. Take Taco Bell: In the third quarter of 2020 alone, the brand had already served 30 million more customers than it had in all of 2019. Addressing investors on a recent earnings call, Taco Bell’s owner Yum Brands described its QSRs’ drive-thru experience as an “increasingly competitive advantage [1] .” Done right, drive-thru experiences can give all QSRs a competitive advantage in the broader restaurant industry. And not just for the time being. The majority of consumers say takeout food has become essential to their ...
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Are you getting as much out of Salesforce in the Contact Center as you should be? If you suspect your answer to that question is “no”, you’re far from alone. While Salesforce has the potential to totally transform customer experience by automating processes, streamlining workflows, and supporting customer service agents, those outcomes don’t just happen automatically. You must optimize Salesforce to maximize its usage for achieving contact center results that lead to a truly transformational customer experience. Here are 8 question you should be asking yourself if you hope to learn how. 1. Do your agents enjoy a single view of the customer? Or do they toggle ...
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The Covid-19 pandemic has triggered breaks in sometimes long-established consumption patterns. Customer behaviors have changed and changed again—often on the fly. Customer preferences have adjusted. Brand loyalties have been called into question. In some ways, today’s retail customers have become altogether new for the brands that serve them. This new customer is a mystery of sorts—with purchase behaviors and engagement characteristics that continue to evolve as circumstances change. But businesses are getting acquainted with this new customer, exploring new ways to keep them happy, engaged, loyal…and spending money. Here are just some of the new ways brands ...
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The pandemic has turned many of your customers into a mystery. The time has come to get reacquainted. Pandemic or no pandemic, consumers want to be known, engaged, and rewarded. And brands are happy to oblige. Gaining a better understanding of your customer empowers personalization—helping them get more of the goods and services they desire, how and when they want them. The result? Businesses get better top and bottom lines and customer loyalty grows. It’s a win-win proposition. Pre-Covid, brands were well on their way to knowing their customers better than ever. Advances in consumer analytics and digital technology, driven by years-and-years of consumer ...
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I grew up in the hotel industry and after more than 30 years have weathered many storms, including the aftermath of 9/11 where we saw negative bookings. However, I never imagined I would see the impact which the global pandemic has had on the industry. While COVID 19 has inflicted a devastating blow which, some say, may take until 2023 for demand to reach pre-pandemic levels, it is fascinating to see how the industry has quickly adapted and evolved. As part of an on-going blog series, I thought it might be helpful to begin sharing some of my own thoughts & questions about how all of us in the industry might navigate through this next phase of our ...
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#ArtificialIntelligence #ChannelStrategy #EmployeeEngagement #DataAnalytics #ConversationalAI
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Never before has the internet — and information we consume — been in such a considerable state of flux. We’re facing a true crisis of misinformation, where fake news is 70 percent more likely to be retweeted than true stories. The consequences of this cannot be understated, from affecting public perceptions of reality to shaping human emotions, distorting election campaigns or even leading to violence in more extreme cases. As the sheer amount of content, including fake content, continues to rise each day, many sources of information have also become more polarized and contentious, resulting in a precipitous decline in public trust. It therefore comes ...
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Where a finance and accounting (F&A) department sits in terms of digital maturity often reflects where an organization sits as a whole. As Sutherland’s SVP of Business Process Automation, Timothy Leger, previously explained , that’s because the modern-day Chief Financial Officer (CFO) is less often a bookkeeper and instead a strategic changemaker driving innovation and automation initiatives. As part of this broad mandate, CFOs are increasingly exploring intelligent automation in order to boost productivity and improve executive decision-making. Intelligent automation fuses machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities with process ...
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For many years, the hype surrounding artificial intelligence (AI) overshadowed its real-world impact. More recently, AI is delivering on its much discussed promise . This shift has resulted from an exponential increase in both computing power and available data. Today, 40% of marketing and sales teams say that machine learning algorithms are critical to their success. And by 2030, PwC expects AI to contribute up to $15.7 trillion to the global economy. However, our analysis is that businesses will need to more thoroughly understand how AI can drive real business impact to reach that lofty growth projection. For example, Gartner reports ...
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Customers expect their needs to be satisfied every time they engage with a brand. If an organization fails to deliver at any moment, it could trigger the end of the relationship. Of course, it is quid pro quo. Satisfied customers demonstrate greater brand loyalty. For example, organizations that prioritize customer experience transformation achieve an average annual revenue growth rate of 15% over other companies. However, designing world-class customer engagements that foster long-term relationships is not easy. It requires organizations to undergo a transformation process that begins with customer journey mapping. What Is Customer Journey Mapping? ...
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For lasting brand loyalty, a strong customer engagement strategy is key. Customer engagement means creating interactions that anticipate customers’ needs and ensuring that they are supported at every stage of the buyer’s journey. In increasingly competitive markets, it’s critical for enterprises to build personal connections with their customers. Many businesses view growth through the lens of new customer acquisition, however, customer retention is the backbone of any sustainable growth model. In fact, improving retention rates by just 5% can raise profits by 25% to 95%, according to Harvard Business Review . Moreover, investing in net new customers ...