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Customer retention and loyalty is heavily dependent upon a businesses’ ability empower their customers. Products are becoming more complex with each release cycle and, even with strong usability designs, customers require more information to become experts. The challenge for businesses is figuring out how to capitalize on this need, lower the barriers to entry, and provide quality support services so that their customers can educate themselves in the shortest amount of time possible. Companies that focus on customer success enjoy a high ROI for a simple reason: your product is only as good as your customers’ ability to use it.

In the following video MindTouch CEO Aaron Fulkerson and Forrester Research Principal Analyst Kate Leggett will offer strategies, statistics, and data on trends in the customer success space. MindTouch, a SaaS organization, has top-tier clients such MakerBot, Intuit, and Paypal and knows how B2B and B2C businesses should engage their customers. Get the MindTouch & Forrester Research Webinar HERE. If you want to stay one step ahead of the competition and incentivize your customers to learn, you need to watch this video.

Why not just send my customer to a customer support agent?

Customers have high expectations and want easy access to information. By forcing your customer to engage with a support agent as the only means to obtain knowledge, you are increasing the probability that the customer may have a poor interaction with your agent. Traditionally, customers run into the following problems:

  • Broken Cross-Channel Communications – Customers cannot start an interaction on one channel (such as chat, SMS, or email) and continue to another channel (such as phone or voice) without having to repeat themselves and start the conversation again.
  • Lack of Knowledge Expertise by Agents – Many businesses are cyclic and bring on temp. workers for customer support. Due to the unintegrated, complex web of unintegrated technologies, agents (especially those who are temps.) have a hard time finding the information they need to answer a customer’s questions which may result in delays, poor answer quality, and ultimately unsatisfied customers.

Most importantly, customer support agents are expensive. Depending upon the volume of support tickets, businesses can easily spend millions just to support a faulty, broken infrastructure. This is why industry leaders such as Accenture, Paypal, MakerBot, Intuit, and many others, are adopting MindTouch customer success tactics to cut costs and better engage their customer base, support their customer service agents, and deflect tickets.

So, how should I engage and educate my customer?

Customers are using search engines such as Google, Yahoo, and Bing, to find answers to their questions. This is why it is important for businesses to deliver knowledge in a web-native, SEO-friendly format instead of bulky, traditional PDF files. By giving customers this option of self-service and prompting discovery, businesses incentivize customers to become experts, lessen customer dependence upon traditional, fractured communication channels, and lessen the business costs associated with maintaining a customer support infrastructure.

About: MindTouch has helped thousands of businesses improve their customer success metrics by utilizing machine learning algorithms to guide product and customer subject experts (both internal and external to an organization) so that they can capture & reuse quality content, and collaborate with one another so that they can author, edit, and request documentation in real time; all of which is aimed towards helping businesses invest in customer success, create a self-improving knowledge center, and identify up-sell opportunities. MindTouch clients can also seamlessly utilize MindTouch to intuitively cluster content knowledge, surface articles in real time (such as while a customer types a support ticket or search query), and auto-recommend engaging, pertinent content to users so that they will be prompted to explore, discover, and learn.

If you to save money, keep your customers happy, and stay one step of your competitors, you should watch the MindTouch & Forrester Research Webinar, Making Leaders Successful Every Day: Customer Support Practices For Creating A Profit Center  to understand what the best techniques are for promoting customer success.

In a compelling new eBook, Open Minded CEOs: A collection of essays and interviews from opensource.com, we learn that working the open source way isn’t always easy and the reward of fanning idea sparks into successful product bonfires takes more than effort, it takes passion and determination. CEOs that make every effort daily to implement open source philosophies in their companies face some central and challenging questions: How can we bring people together to do great things? What motivates them? How can we coordinate them when they unite? How does working the open source way allow us to anticipate the future and adapt to thrive in it? And what counts as success?

This eBook features CEOs from some of today’s most fascinating companies, including our own Aaron Fulkerson who …”has emerged as a true open source leader. Aside from being a much sought-after public speaker and prolific blogger, he has grown and managed MindTouch to a company of more than 50 that was voted one of the best places to work in San Diego, CA .”

Aaron is featured in a section titled MindTouch CEO on open standards, culture, and working at Microsoft, originally published in May 2010. Since then MindTouch has grown into a global company with hundreds of employees serving thousands of companies large and small alike around the world. From its open source beginnings MindTouch has evolved stridently from an enterprise collaboration leader to a company that is reinventing and reinvigorating product help with web, social and mobile innovations that dramatically improves the customer experience and provides business with fresh key benefits and ROI from their product help and documentation investment.

Click here to receive a free copy of Open Minded CEOs: A collection of essays and interviews from opensource.com

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SAN DIEGO, CA. October 1, 2012— MindTouch, the company that is reinventing product help with web, social and mobile innovations, today announces a partnership with Salesforce and the AppExchange certification of a new MindTouch CRM Connector that makes available, for the first time, enterprise grade knowledge for Salesforce CRM and Salesforce Service Cloud. Users will dramatically improve the speed and effectiveness of their customer support teams.

MindTouch, a cloud delivered social help system and knowledgebase, is used by millions to deliver exceptional product help experiences. The MindTouch CRM Connector automatically scans the Salesforce support case and in real-time recommends to support agents the best help and product content. Support agents can select or drag-and-drop and then send without ever leaving the Salesforce case window. Furthermore, MindTouch embeds robust search functionality within the Salesforce case window so that support agents can define their own search queries into the help center, knowledgebase and even the contents of file attachments. Lastly—again without ever leaving the Salesforce application—agents can now post their case solutions to the MindTouch powered knowledgebase.

Scott Collison, VP of Business Development said, “I’m thrilled that MindTouch is a partner of Salesforce, and that they are on AppExchange. We think that user help and documentation is extremely important to our customers.” He added, “MindTouch is going to be a really important partner of ours in the future, by providing a documentation platform for all kinds of software companies and cloud services.”

Support agents using the MindTouch CRM Connector for Salesforce resolved support tickets, on average, 47% faster (proven in usability testing across 50 replicates). Also, the end users are taught to self-serve, which 65% prefer (2011 TNS research).

“Many of our customers have been asking us to deliver our enterprise grade knowledge to their Salesforce deployments,” said Aaron Fulkerson, founder and CEO of MindTouch. “It’s great that we’re now making it available with ease so that users can increase speed and improve their customer support experiences.”

MindTouch CRM Connector Benefits:

  • Faster, more accurate support ticket resolution: Decreased resolution times lower support cost and make your users happier.
  • Better consumer product and support experiences. Customers love having the right solution delivered fast. Plus MindTouch automatically organizes the content so personalized and related content is offered to deepen user adoption and promote self-service support and brand engagement.
  • A seamless and unified help experience. MindTouch makes it easy for support, product, marketing and subject matter experts to collaboratively author knowledgebase articles, help content and how-tos. The content is automatically organized, searchable and the content organization is automatically optimized by users behaviors.
  • Actionable data and knowledge collection from your frontline support team. Integrating MindTouch with Salesforce removes critical solutions knowledge from the support silo and makes it quickly available to all the channels in your company, and your customers as well; promoting innovation, growth and better customer experiences.

Resources:

Video: Salesforce and MindTouch Announce Partnership

Video: CRM Connector for Salesforce

Video: Tour of MindTouch Integration with Salesforce

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Request a Live Demo of MindTouch Integration with Salesforce

About MindTouch

MindTouch is revolutionizing the way companies deliver help and product content by applying a decade of innovation from web and social software to make customer support faster, easier and more satisfying. With MindTouch, consumers and support agents get the right answers faster. Collaboratively author or convert existing technical, help and product content into a two way communication channel that increases self-service support, agent effectiveness and customer happiness. As a cloud delivered product, MindTouch can be deployed in a day and begin delivering value that same week. Millions use MindTouch every day.

Great companies like SuccessFactors, Intuit, Paypal, Autodesk, Hewlett-Packard, Palm, HTC, RSA, SAP and EMC rely on MindTouch. Read more at www.MindTouch.com.

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Every once in a while, I sit back, push away from my desk and look around at all the amazing things that are happening at MindTouch, and how much we’ve grown over the past few years. It’s true, we have a really great product…but there’s more to it than that, and I thought I’d share what we’ve learned as we’ve grown from a small open-source start-up to a company trusted by thousands of other companies, large and small, around the world:

1) Understand why your buyers or users love working with you

At MindTouch we use our very own customer experience features to gather customer feedback at the conclusion of each and every customer project as well as at key milestones in all parts of an on-going relationship.

Last week our CEO, Aaron Fulkerson sat down with the information from our own feedback system from over the last year or so, to evaluate the remarks pertaining to precisely what customers really love about working with MindTouch. He rather quickly uncovered two things that clients simply love about us – we are always actively thinking about them (we have knowledge of their enterprise, are subject matter experts, supply actionable insights, as well as anticipate likely problem areas) and furthermore we really care (we are exceptionally quick to respond, very flexible and easy to work with, go the extra mile, and place a lot of emphasis on superior quality).

If you happen to be gathering feedback data from your customers, you should carry out the same exercise to expose the fundamentals of what makes you exceptional to the customers who always keep coming back.

2) Recognize who your very best customers are

When businesses begin accumulating user feedback data, the impulse is almost always to focus attention on fixing the negative feedback. Even though this is very important, it shouldn’t come at the expense of focusing on your very best customers. I describe these folks as our Passionate Promoters. For any company, Passionate Promoters are essential to company stability and growth. They really want to work with you, they advocate for your product to colleagues and across social networks, and they cheerfully spend their dollars with you. Always keep these people completely satisfied, and when a problem crops up, deal with it fast.

3) Know who your very best staff members are

Behind each and every loyal customer are extraordinary employees or, as I refer to them, Brand Ambassadors. Have you figured out which of all of your employees are nurturing your best clients? Furthermore, are have you been actively learning from them to help you coach and strengthen the skill-sets of your other employees?

4) Uncover what your very best customers want more of

We find among MindTouch users in every sector that fully engaged customers actually want to spend considerably more money with a business that engages with them proactively. The MindTouch TCS solution incorporates an environment for users to recommend if there is anything  more they would wish for, like a feature or improvement. Often times customers aren’t familiar with all of the products and services you sell and incorporating feedback tools will give you an opportunity for you to educate and inform your customers about your total suite of products or services as well as an environment to enable them to share with you a need you may possibly not have previously unearthed. One of our customers recently unveiled a $100,000 opportunity by simply using the customer feedback tools of their MindTouch powered product documentation.

5) Monitor the engines of your success

When evaluating customer engagement it is often possible to obsess over the “Mega Metrics” the big numbers that seem to indicate organizational success. However to do so could very well detract from being focused on the unique elements you can personally identify as present or not present in your company and that either drive engagement for your customers or otherwise kill opportunities.

Creating truly engaging customer experiences doesn’t require that your organization gets lopsided but it does require an investment in creating exceptional experiences and gaining the ability to tune into your customers’ sense of product and support fulfillment. Doing so means that you, your employees, your clients, and your prospects will know exactly what it is that makes your company great.

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This year MindTouch is proud to send it’s CEO, Aaron Fulkerson and it’s Customer Experience Manager, Corey Ganser to the 10th annual LavaCon Conference on Digital Media and Content Strategies  to be held October 7–9 in Portland, Oregon.

Aaron Fulkerson will deliver a presentation titled Tech Comm and Support that Delivers Customer Happiness: Field Tested Social Design Patterns That Work. 

” Every company wants their customers to be ecstatic with their products. The best way to achieve customer happiness is to convert users into product experts in the shortest time possible. Great documentation can help, but applying social design patterns to help and documentation has been proven successful by companies like Zappos, Intuit, Autodesk, Paypal, ExactTarget, Mozilla…. Fulkerson will call upon these companies as real world examples to demonstrate field tested social design patterns that create thrilled users experts, product advocates and successful businesses.”

Corey Ganser’s presentation is titled What Makes a Superhero? Doing What Others Can’t and/or Won’t.

“In this session, Corey Ganser from MindTouch will review how customer support departments, technical writing teams and product teams are coming together through a centralized documentation community.  During this presentation, Corey will present case studies from customers like Zuora, Plato Learning, and SuccessFactors highlighting metrics of success along with the steps they took to get there.”

If you’ll be attending LavaCon 2012 you’ll definitely want to catch these presentations.

For LavaCon tickets visit http://lavacon.org and register by September 1st  using the referral code MINDTOUCH to get $50 off your conference tuition.