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The Intelligent Customer Engagement Blog

Heading to the Salesforce World Tour in New York City on Tuesday, May 2? If so, be sure to grab your ringside seat for the highlight of the day-long event at the Javits Center: The Rumble in the Urban Jungle—also known as the AppExchange Demo Jam!

Salesforce invited TimeTrade Scheduler to demolish compete against five other AppExchange app victims providers in an intense, hardcore free-for-all, where audience members will choose the survivor winner.

TimeTrade Scheduler, if you haven’t already heard, is the powerful new app that makes it easy for sales, marketing and service teams to engage with prospects and customers by accessing the power of TimeTrade appointment scheduling—right from within Salesforce!

Scheduler will flex its muscles in the Demo Jam spotlight with the able assistance of  TimeTrade heavyweights Steve “Smackdown” Connolly and Chris “Crusher” Gilmore!

The Big Show takes place at 4:30 p.m. in the Zone Theater. Each team has just one three-minute round to show its moves and avoid being KO’d by what’s sure to be a frenzied crowd of raucous Salesforce experts.

Why should the audience vote for TimeTrade Scheduler for Salesforce? Well, let me spell it out for you, brother.

To put it simply, Scheduler redefines how marketing, sales and service professionals use Salesforce by making it easy for prospects to schedule meetings with them—right from within Salesforce. Built on the Salesforce App Cloud and Lightning ready, Scheduler is available now on the AppExchange.

Users access Scheduler directly within their existing Salesforce pages and workflows. It enables them to leverage the power and experience of Salesforce—the undisputed champion CRM vendor of choice for millions of enterprises—in a whole new way. But don’t just take my word for it. Check out this cool video to learn more about Scheduler.

Scheduler business benefits include:

  • Generate a stronger pipeline—Achieve better prospecting and marketing results by eliminating endless phone and email messages. Allow qualified prospects to schedule time with your team at their convenience.
  • Close more deals, faster—Reduce the time salespeople spend on non-revenue-generating activities and increase time spent driving conversations, sending proposals and conducting calls and meetings.
  • Build and expand trusted relationships—Customers value personal connections with experienced sales and service professionals. Scheduler improves the customer experience by putting them in the driver’s seat for scheduling meetings.

Can’t make it to the Big Apple? You can also smell what TimeTrade is cooking at Salesforce World Tour Events in Boston on May 31 and Chicago on June 15.

And, we’ll be at the Wrestlemania of Salesforce events, Dreamforce, in November in San Francisco, of course.

Here at TimeTrade, we’re prone to the occasional “crush”—especially on companies that disrupt traditional business models. Basically, when we see a dynamic business simplifying dated processes and solving problems, our heart goes aflutter. So when we recently had the chance to work with LogMeIn, well… let’s just say they had us at “hello.”

In many ways, LogMeIn and TimeTrade are kindred spirits. LogMeIn’s main focus is simplifying how people connect to colleagues, companies, devices and the world around them to solve their most complex problems. Kindred spirits, right? When two companies share a commitment to facilitating interactions and improving business and experience—now THAT’S a match!

This partnership was long in the making: LogMeIn inside sales reps have used TimeTrade’s individual and business editions on an ad hoc basis for several years to drive interactions and new leads. Based on that foundation of success, LogMeIn expanded the use of TimeTrade’s scheduling solutions across its global sales organization.

How can we help? For one, by providing ways to help LogMeIn automate and accelerate key parts of the sales process. Our online scheduling software enables prospects to connect with sales reps at the click of a button. The TimeTrade scheduling link, embedded in every proactive email, lets prospects view sales reps’ calendars and easily choose a time to connect. This removes scheduling hassles and increases interactions—helping deals get done.

We’re really proud to work with this leading brand and look forward to helping this dynamic company achieve its goals. We look forward to our continued relationship!

For all the latest from TimeTrade, follow us on Twitter at @timetrade.

Consumers now want on-demand help, whether it be for car service or making a purchasing decision, and today’s leading companies are shaping this expectation by providing this help immediately, no matter what channel. These organizations are setting the bar very high for customer experience as they provide affordable help in real-time. This concierge-like service model for the masses has set the stage for what is now called the On-demand Economy.

The following are ways that organizations can equip their employees with the skills to deliver in today’s on-demand economy.

Maintaining an on-demand approach
In the on-demand economy, forward-thinking organizations are refocusing their key departments and functions and reorganizing based on providing superior customer experience. Hiring employees that are tech-savvy, have strong analytical skills and understand the nuances of providing responsive service will help the organization further evolve and adapt to an on-demand market. After hiring such employees, management will have to make sure these values are instilled in their employees to maintain the momentum of the on-demand service approach.

Meaningful, real-time communication
To maintain this momentum, a mantra of real-time communication will be key. As consumers increasingly expect more personable and real-time interactions with brands, employees will need to focus on strategies that deliver such experiences, such as providing services immediately, greeting a customer promptly and even following up with the customer shorty after a transaction to make sure they are satisfied. In today’s consumer setting with the power of social networks, every customer is an influencer and superior customer experience will be noted and passed onto those in their circle of friends and family.

Emphasis on personalization
Today’s consumers have more choices than ever before and what is going to set organizations apart is personalization. Many brands today are making investments in technology and training that will allow employees to provide a highly personalized service. The use of analytics allows an organization to have 360 degree of the customer so employees will know their preferences by looking at their customer profile. And, not just equipping employees with the right tools, but making sure they are attentive and personal in nature is also key. The trust that is established between an in-person interaction will help build trust in a brand.

Keep an eye out for Generation Z consumers
There is so much talk about Millennials, but in today’s on-demand, concierge economy, employees must also be mindful of Generation Z. Defined as those born between mid to late-1990s and 2010, Gen Z is even more tech-savvy than their predecessor and their comfort with technologies will represent both an opportunity and challenge for brands who want to reach them. This generation is entrepreneurial, independent-minded, and socially responsible. Compared to Millennials, Gen Z is may be much harder to interact with, but like other generations, they are looking for brands who they can trust and relate with, and can help with their needs and wants.

Well-known for its tagline “Never Stop Improving” and focused on providing customer-valued solutions with the best prices and services, Lowe’s strives to do whatever’s necessary to make it “the first choice for home improvement.”

As the world’s economy emerges from recession, U.S. home improvement product sales growth is expected to increase by 6.5% in 2014 to $309 billion (after a 4.2% increase in 2013), according to the Home Improvement Research Institute (HIRI). Still, as Lowe’s 2013 Annual Report cautioned, “The home improvement retailing business includes many competitors.”

To compete and succeed against a wide variety of competitors (including home improvement warehouse chains and lumber yards, traditional hardware, plumbing, electrical, home supply and general merchandise retailers, mail order firms, warehouse clubs, online and other specialty suppliers), Lowe’s sees five factors that customers value foremost and which the company seeks to deliver…

Click here to download the Industry Brief

Customer loyalty is a dying breed in retail banking today as banks consistently miss the mark on what really matters when attracting and retaining customers, according to a new Banking Customer Experience survey from TimeTrade.

Banks and retailers are suffering from the same problem – they’re selling what customers want, but they’re doing it the wrong way. This new data confirms the ‘satisfaction gap’ – customers just want someone smart enough to help them, and fast enough to be useful.

The missing link: faster, smarter service.

TimeTrade’s latest survey of more than 1,000 retail banking customers reinforces widespread dissatisfaction with bank customer service and uncovered why consumers are ditching their current banks. It adds more perspective to the conclusions shared by Ernst & Young earlier this year, which showed that one of every two banking customers is ready to bolt within the next 12 months. According to TimeTrade’s findings:

  • More than 75 percent of consumers said they had to wait ‘too long’ – or couldn’t find the right person to help them;
  • And 65 percent couldn’t get the right answers once they finally got employees’ attention

No business can survive with 75 percent customer unhappiness. And this is an easy fix. Customers want convenient, one-on-one attention. It’s time to make that connection.

The growing incursion from alternative digital banking services is another threat for retail banking as we know it today.

In a recent ABA Banking Journal article, Gartner’s managing vice president, Eric Rocco, states: “Digital business is an unstoppable and irresistible catalyst for change—change that will affect the fundamental foundations and baseline assumptions of every business. The digital business revolution is underpinned and enabled by the macro technology forces of cloud, social media, analytics…and mobility.”

Consumers couldn’t agree more: 88 percent of respondents said they’re actively considering switching to a digital banking service, such as Venmo or LendingTree.

The demand for improvement is massive and urgent, with 9 of 10 consumers saying they had to wait for the right person to help them; the ‘right person’ meaning an associate that knows exactly how to answer their questions. That’s a tremendous disconnect when 95 percent said personalized service is one of the top considerations when choosing a bank.

Banks have ignored their customer service shortcomings for too long, and now they are paying the price. If retail banks want to thrive – rather than continue on their downward spirals – anticipating, and exceeding, customer expectations must top the priority list.

So what are retail banks doing to address consumer demands? Check out our latest national survey of retail banking executives, the 2015 State of Banking report.