Most of us have little insight into how well our listening skills are performing in our working relationships. And yet research is showing that effectiveness in the workplace hinges partly on an overlooked ability to actively (consciously) listen. And research goes even further to say, success at work and in leading teams depends on a particular form of listening, empathetic listening.
Recently Karen Bachmann, Perficient Digital Research Director, and I co-presented on the topic of improving listening skills and awareness during a workshop hosted by amUX in Atlanta. She shared the obvious and nuanced differences between listening and hearing, along with some of the barriers that affect listening. I spoke about the importance of attuned communication (i.e., conscious listening), the doorway to empathetic listening and development of meaningful working relationships.
Empathetic listening: the gateway to building human capability
Karen kicked off the workshop with a quote from Greek Philosopher Zeno of Citium, “We have two ears and one mouth, so we should listen more than we say.” To fully understand and explore this idea, first know that you and I have a habit of hearing, essentially taking input, a passive mechanism of the ear. Hearing is not the same as listening. Listening is an active, conscious and selective skill that can be practiced and consequently improved. As Bachmann mentioned to the audience at Polygon Atlanta, it starts with understanding the differences between hearing and listening:
Mechanism of the ear
Continuous and pervasive
Ears are only one input
Making meaning from sound
Conscious and selective
Hi FIRST NAME,
It’s like nails on a chalkboard…broken personalization. However, personalization and contextually relevant messages will continue to be a highlighted email marketing trend this year. With new technology paving the way, we will likely see more trends emerge as the customer journey evolves and ISPs get smarter.
Whatever does happen this year, it will hit hard and fast and brands will need to adjust their strategies to accommodate this dynamic and ever-changing industry. Here’s a look at some of the big industry trends predicted by the gurus: Read the rest of this post »
Retail has become lower touch and no touch. I viewed the emergence of touch-screen vending machines that interact with you as a consumer. You have the option on one that was in Microsoft’s booth to see a large scale nutrition guide for the product prominently displayed after choosing the product. In the supermarket category, you now have the ability to self scan a full cart of groceries with a higher accuracy than when a clerk scans them. Not sure who handles the bagging at the end, though.
There were several vendors showing virtual dressing rooms. The thought behind this is that you get your body scanned and the virtual dressing rooms allows you “try on” different selections without having to get undressed. One even featured a POS right the in the virtual dressing room. The clerk then pulls the purchased items and you proceed to the checkout. Read the rest of this post »
2016 had a rough start for music lovers. With so many extraordinary musicians passing, it got me thinking about the impact music has on our lives. Music is both an influencer and a mirror. It creates trends and it reflects them. Of all of the deaths this year, David Bowie’s was the most painful for me personally.
I’m not alone in my sadness. He was a musician, songwriter, painter, and actor. But above all, he was an innovator.
In celebration of innovation, I put together a list of songs that praise or denounce technology.
Welcome to cyberspace, I’m lost in the fog
Everything’s digital I’m still analog
When something goes wrong
I don’t have a clue
As we are half way through day 2 at NRF, large crowds are grazing through the expo halls while innovative speakers are educating attendees on top trends and imperative solutions that are driving the retail industry this year. As the retail industry moves fast and furious, businesses must not only improve customer experience and drive innovative products but be agile and adaptable. Agility was a key component discussed among sessions the first day of the show.
The digital age has revolutionized the retail industry and with that organizations must evolve their strategies for experimenting, designing and operating their businesses (both physical and digital) as well.
Here are a few key points from this session:
How can an organization be agile? Read the rest of this post »
While there has been much discussion about Apple TV and its impact on the home entertainment market, Google has been quietly building a digital eco-system that already has game-changing potential. Building upon the success of the Android operating system, Google has developed a Smart TV platform that succeeds where others have failed in the past. Android TV goes beyond the basics of streaming movies and videos. It is a robust multi-media platform, that seamlessly integrates with mobile and other connected devices to create an interactive television experience. Here’s what makes Android TV different than the Smart TV platforms of the past.
A Usable Interface
The first thing you’ll notice about the Android TV OS is how quickly the interface responds. Clicking the home button on the remote immediately loads the available applications. There’s no more waiting for your TV to connect to the network or getting a cup of coffee while Netflix decides to load. The interface provides instantaneous feedback and allows you to quickly navigate the available content. Additionally, the interface features a voice-activated search that displays results from multiple categories.
This year is shaping up to be the best year for the retail and consumer products segments since the recession. Moody’s recently upgraded its retail forecast to a 5.3% growth rate in 2016, almost double the growth rate in the last few years, with particularly strong growth expected in home improvement and grocery. Although apparel sales are flat, consumers are spending instead on vacations and dining out. eCommerce will continue to outperform broad retail, and with it all elements of digital marketing, content, and creative.
Trends to watch out for: Read the rest of this post »
Moody’s recently upgraded its retail forecast to a 5.3% growth rate in 2016, almost double the growth rate in the last few years.
We’ve done a lot for retail companies in the past two years to plan for this growth and evolve and improve their systems to accommodate it.
Because we are so focused on helping our clients deliver the best possible experience to their customers, we are thrilled to exhibit at Retail’s BIG Show, NRF 2016. At the booth, we’ll be telling the stories about how we:
Find us at Booth #1024, and learn about what we’re building with some of the leading retailers in 2016 to enhance the customer journey.
Part 1 of this post shared some ways that I’ve seen user experience debt burgeon from projects. This includes all manner of usability flaws and poor experiences. Here, Part 2 offers a strategic framework for addressing those problems. It’s divided into the following 3 sections as “Why”, “What” and “How.”
Strategy must begin with genuine purpose. As the business philosopher Jim Rohn said, your success in life will be measured by your impact on other people. What is the purpose of your design? How will improving your user experience help the world in some small way? Read the rest of this post »
The 2015 2H Digital Marketing Outlook report from the Society of Digital Agencies was recently published. It’s a sort of “State of Digital” report, so our teams here are very interested in what it has to say.
I found it interesting the way that SODA defines “digital marketing” to cover what I would simply refer to as “digital”…or “digital experience:”
“A quick word about the phrase “digital marketing.” Today it means almost every activity within organizations which touches their consumers, from advertising to product innovation to customer experience.”
Here are the 4 biggest takeaways I found from the report:
“The digital agency of the future needs more than technical and creative expertise. It needs business consultants who have a deep understanding of the client side and the right skillset to engage effectively with professionals from a wide range of company disciplines, including logistics, production, sales and marketing.”
“Only with this insight can an agency offer sharp, workable solutions. Such consultants can talk the same language as clients and will help agency teams move beyond being experts in digital strategy to become agents of business transformation. To really challenge a clients’ business performance, agencies must understand every aspect of that client – from production and sales, to customer service and product development. By developing a deeper understanding of the business challenges our clients face, we can articulate more meaningful solutions and ensure that our offers aren’t seen as experimental or simply a bit of fun.”
“We need to put the client’s business at the centre of our strategic planning and think like business innovators rather than digital creatives. This is a huge cultural challenge.”
As I said in my blog post announcing our acquisition of digital agency Enlighten last month, one of our digital agency’s missions is to help the world’s leading enterprises digitally transform. We aim to do that for our clients by offering them the coupling of excellent creative capabilities with a deep understanding of the enabling technologies.