Amy Bills

Principal Analyst, Customer Engagement

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Author Insights

Blog

Is Your Content Helping Or Annoying Your Customer Success Team?

Amy Bills September 11, 2020
Data from the SiriusDecisions 2020 Customer-Facing Roles Survey indicates that the right content makes the difference in the ability of CSMs to meet customer expectations. Just as important: The right content reduces time wasted searching for material, which means B2B organizations are more likely to keep those CSMs around.
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Blog

Try a Little Tenderness: Customer Focus With a Timely Twist

Amy Bills June 9, 2020
  • Offering a port in the storm provides an opportunity to strengthen the company-customer relationship
  • Customer advocacy practitioners should not be afraid to provide a measure of kindness and humor
  • Authentic engagement nurtures customer relationships, yielding long-term benefits across the board
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Blog

Spinning Gold Out of Customer Insight Threads (Yes You Can, Rumpelstiltskin!)

Amy Bills March 25, 2020
  • Many B2B organizations collect customer insights but do not share or activate them
  • This is a lost opportunity to improve the customer experience
  • Company cultures should support creativity and innovation in activating insights
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Blog

Sales and Marketing Approach Shifting During a Crisis? Customer Advocates Can Help!

Amy Bills March 13, 2020
  • Customer advocates, by definition, expand your reach via their own networks and interactions
  • Crises present an opportunity for your advocate network to share information and advice
  • Ensure advocate activation is part of an ongoing, mutually beneficial relationship
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Blog

Are Your Customers Getting Caught in the Middle Between Field and Headquarters?

Amy Bills August 14, 2019
  • Organizations are increasingly focused on creating customer-centric experiences, but they lose sight of customer needs as they negotiate field and headquarters roles
  • Headquarters and field teams may not see eye to eye on what constitutes a customer-centric experience or how to deliver it
  • Alignment begins with agreement on the customer lifecycle and the appropriate interactions for customer and company
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Blog

Give Advocates the Floor: Authenticity Matters for Customer Engagement

Amy Bills July 8, 2019
  • B2B buyers and customers are digitally savvy and rely on peer insight for decision-making
  • Successful organizations must encourage customers to share their knowledge freely
  • The customer advocacy ecosystem that enables knowledge sharing includes a range of online and offline platforms
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Blog

What Value Reviews Have in Common With “Finding Nemo” (Sharks Not Included)

Amy Bills June 25, 2019
  • Customers should be kept aware on an ongoing basis of the value they are attaining from an offering
  • A regular value review cadence ensures an ongoing conversation with decision-makers
  • Value reviews lay the groundwork for satisfaction, retention, growth and advocacy
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Blog

Demand Marketing, Customer Marketing, and the Sibling Rivalry of Cross-Sell

Amy Bills March 8, 2019
  • Customer marketing’s wheelhouse historically has been nurturing, loyalty and the creation and activation of references and advocates
  • When organizations seek to expand existing customer accounts, customer marketing should contribute to cross-sell and upsell
  • The marketing organization must align internally, as well as with partners in sales, customer success and account-based marketing to optimize account expansion
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Blog

Don’t Fear Your Customers! A Better Way to Ask for References

Amy Bills February 27, 2019
  • Growing customer advocacy programs require increasing numbers of willing customers
  • Organizations often avoid asking customers for references because they see it as asking for favors
  • Keeping customer motivation in mind helps to frame the relationship and facilitate successful reference requests
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Blog

Answering the “Where Do We Start?” Question for Customer Engagement

Amy Bills February 18, 2019
  • Organizations seek to improve growth and retention through refined customer engagement
  • Knowing where to start and what to expect can be a daunting, even paralyzing, challenge
  • Peer insight into what’s working and what failed can guide priorities and resourcing efforts
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Blog

Laying the Foundation: What’s the Right Digital Approach for Customer Engagement?

Amy Bills January 14, 2019
  • Digital and non-digital interactions have a place in the customer journey just as they do in the buyer’s journey
  • Determining appropriate interactions begins with understanding the customer journey
  • Organizations should start orchestration of the customer journey with three key steps
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Blog

Three Ways to Set the Stage for Customer Onboarding

Amy Bills December 11, 2018
  • As new buyers become customers, smooth onboarding should be a top priority to set the stage for value achievement, retention and growth
  • B2B organizations should consider what information to transfer from the buying process, how it will be shared and who is responsible for sharing it
  • Sales and customer success, in particular, play an important role in building the foundation for effective onboarding
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Blog

Customer Health Scores: A Not-So-Secret Weapon

Amy Bills September 11, 2018
  • Organizations must see opportunities and risks in existing customer accounts to drive retention and growth
  • A customer health scorecard is a useful tool for providing that insight to customer success and customer marketing
  • Organizations should make technology decisions on the basis of their ability to gather the relevant data for a health scorecard
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Blog

So, You Think You Can Dance? Try the Sales-to-Customer-Success Cha-Cha

Amy Bills September 10, 2018
  • The need for a customer-centric, data-driven approach continues as the buying process transitions into the post-sale customer experience
  • Teams responsible for the post-sale customer experience rely on the transfer of accurate profile and activity data from the buying process
  • Sales and customer success teams must be particularly clear on their roles as partners in this transition as the customer relationship progresses
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Blog

Not Sure Where to Start With Customer Advocacy? Take These Five Steps (and One Deep Breath)

Amy Bills August 7, 2018
  • Even an organization sold on the value of customer advocacy may struggle to choose a starting point
  • Customer engagement teams should first align on advocacy goals to avoid wasting effort and resources
  • Program considerations include expected outcomes, interlocks, technology and ability to measure
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Blog

Summit 2018 Preview: All Aboard the High-Speed Advocacy Train

Amy Bills April 20, 2018
  • Interest is high in customer advocacy as technology advances and the buyer’s journey evolves
  • Attendees at Summit 2018 will find a heavy dose of customer advocacy–related content
  • Guidance on customer advocacy includes building a business case, narrowing down technology options and infusing structure into program planning
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Blog

Summit 2018 Preview: Prescriptions for Your Customer Engagement Headaches

Amy Bills April 10, 2018
  • Even with convincing evidence that customer engagement matters to the business, practitioners may find it hard to get started
  • Summit 2018 provides attendees with a wealth of customer engagement best practices, from basic frameworks to a new model for advocacy
  • Learn how to connect the dots between engagement and brand and ensure employees are aligned on the brand experience they are meant to deliver
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Blog

Why Can’t We Be Friends? A Framework for Customer Advocate Marketing

Amy Bills April 5, 2018
  • Turning engaged customers into a powerful army of advocates requires a different strategy, skill set and type of technology support than standard reference programs
  • Even enthusiastic practitioners struggle with building a business case and prioritizing the program components for customer advocacy
  • A framework for advocate development and activation should consider the objectives of the company and potential advocates
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