Ian Jacobs

Principal Analyst

Forrester Bio

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A Recession Looms — How Will You Keep Experience In Focus?

Ian Jacobs 6 days ago
In this short video, I ask a simple question with no simple answer: How can customer service organizations avoid wild swings between a focus on experience and a focus on efficiency if macroeconomic conditions deteriorate? Let me know your thoughts on what your organization is doing to avoid this oft-repeated behavior. Email me at ijacobs@forrester.com. […]
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Cut Through The Chatbot Hype To Find The Right Conversational AI Solution For You

Ian Jacobs June 26, 2019
In this short take, I discuss the lessons learned from evaluating 14 vendors for the Forrester New Wave™: Conversational AI For Customer Service, Q2 2019. Check out the video below. For more insights, Forrester clients can dig into the full evaluative research here. And if you have more questions, reach out via inquiry.
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Stop Trying To Replace Your Agents With Chatbots — No, Seriously!

Ian Jacobs April 17, 2019
Will chatbots save you money? Your short-term savings likely won’t outweigh the long-term damage caused by continuously frustrating your customers.
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Forrester’s Latest Infographic: Consumers Don’t Believe The Chatbot Hype

Ian Jacobs February 4, 2019
Consumers really don’t like your chatbot. It’s not exactly a relationship built to last — a few clicks here, a few sentences there — but Forrester Analytics data shows us very clearly that, to consumers, your chatbot isn’t exactly “swipe right” material. That’s unfortunate, because using a chatbot for customer service can be incredibly effective when done […]
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Emphasize Emotion In Your Holiday Customer Service

Ian Jacobs December 4, 2018
This blog post is part of Forrester’s Holiday 2018 retail series. As the holidays approach and the post-holiday return rush quickly follows, a few things will occur simultaneously: Hundreds of millions of customers will make purchases, total holiday retail sales will push the $720 billion mark, and millions more will send odd, ill-fitting, or unwanted gifts […]
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The Rise Of AI-Fueled Speech Analytics: Key Takeaways From Forrester’s New Wave™

Ian Jacobs June 28, 2018
The recently published report, “The Forrester New Wave™: AI-Fueled Speech Analytics Solutions, Q2 2018” report identified the 11 most significant players in this market: Aspect, CallMiner, Clarabridge, Cogito, Genesys, Invoca, Mattersight, NICE, OpenText, Tethr, and Verint. Based on our comprehensive criteria, Forrester identified CallMiner and NICE as Leaders in the space today. Forrester’s clients can […]
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The Rise Of AI-Fueled Speech Analytics: Key Takeaways From Forrester's New Wave™

Ian Jacobs June 28, 2018
The recently published report, “The Forrester New Wave™: AI-Fueled Speech Analytics Solutions, Q2 2018” report identified the 11 most significant players in this market: Aspect, CallMiner, Clarabridge, Cogito, Genesys, Invoca, Mattersight, NICE, OpenText, Tethr, and Verint. Based on our comprehensive criteria, Forrester identified CallMiner and NICE as Leaders in the space today. Forrester’s clients can […]
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Personalized Service vs. Privacy: When Customers Want Both

Ian Jacobs February 6, 2018
Your customers are walking, talking contradictions. Forrester data shows that more than half of them want you to value their time, follow them across channels, and answer their questions quickly and easily. At the same time, these customers are overwhelmingly worried about how they share personal data – 60% of online North American adults believe […]
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Chatbots Mature Into An Enterprise-Class Customer Service Tool — Explore The Leading Vendors In This Market

Ian Jacobs June 29, 2017
Over the past year, Forrester clients have been brimming with questions about chatbots and their role in customer service. In fact, in that time, more than half of the client inquiries I have received have touched on chatbots, artificial intelligence, natural language understanding, machine learning, and conversational self-service. Many of those inquiries were of the […]
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How self-service technology is changing the contact center job landscape

Ian Jacobs January 5, 2017
Over the holidays, I was a guest on the Modern Customer Podcast, a wonderful podcast hosted by Forbes’ blogger Blake Morgan. She describes the podcast as providing “surprising and counter-intuitive insights on customer experience, social customer service and content.” No pressure there, then. During our episode, Blake and I discussed the ways that increased usage […]
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The Competitive Dynamics Of Workforce Optimization–A Critical Driver Of Customer Experience–Unpacked

Ian Jacobs September 6, 2016
We’ve all heard the idea so much it is now approaching hackneyed cliché: technological-driven disruption can—or will—hit every industry. Uber and Lyft have monkeyed around with the fundamental order of the taxi and livery business. 3D printing threatens manufacturing. And so on and so on. The result of all this disruption: customer experience has become […]
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Let’s go back to the future–it is time to start planning now for customer service in 2021

Ian Jacobs June 28, 2016
This a guest post by Meredith Cain, a Research Associate on the Application Development & Delivery (AD&D) team. Let’s take trip back to 1989. One of the big movies of that year was “Back to the Future: Part II.” One of the great things about that movie was its view of the future—or, because so much […]
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Facebook Messenger: The Future Of Customer Service?

Ian Jacobs May 11, 2016
This a guest post by Meredith Cain, a Research Associate on the Application Development & Delivery (AD&D) team. As Francis Bacon wrote in 1625, “If the mountain will not come to Muhammad, then Muhammad must go to the mountain.” Although he did not write this with Facebook Messenger or customer service in mind, the meaning still […]
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The New Customer Service Mandate – It’s No Longer Socially Acceptable To Not Be Social

Ian Jacobs August 17, 2015
This a guest post by Danielle Geoffroy, a Research Associate on the Application Development & Delivery (AD&D) team. Customer service teams are facing a dilemma that may bring back high school nostalgia – if you want to be one of the cool kids, you need to be social. But simply being present in the social […]
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Contact center outsourcers move strongly to omnichannel—brands’ attitudes need to catch up to that change

Ian Jacobs July 27, 2015
Contact center outsourcers have gotten a bum rap. Customers frustrated with offshore accents, agents with no power to actually solve problems, and overly scripted interactions have complained, sometimes loudly, about the practice. Comedians have mocked offshore agents, often mercilessly. In particular, the shared services outsourcing model in which a single agent supports multiple brands at […]
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Get your customer service ready for the digital-first generation

Ian Jacobs May 12, 2015
This is a guest post by Danielle Geoffroy, Research Associate on the AD&D team who helps with our customer service and unified communications research. Do you hear that swooshing sound of a tweet being sent in the middle of a Google Hangout? It’s faint, but strong, and it means they’re coming.  Generation Y—a generation raised […]
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Measure and improve contact center agent experience in order to improve customer experience

Ian Jacobs April 20, 2015
Contact center agents have a huge impact on customer experience. Unhappy contact center agents equal unhappy customers. It's that simple. Contact center agents who feel disengaged, unhappy with their job or their lot in life, or are simply having a bad day can make a customer's contact center experience seem like root canal surgery. Given that, […]
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Contact Center And Customer Service Metrics Must Support Broader Company KPIs

Ian Jacobs April 7, 2015
OK, it is certainly a cliché and clearly suffers from an incomplete view of the world, but many contact center executives would still nod their heads in agreement with the statement, “You can’t manage what you can’t measure.” Contact centers generate a huge volume of data, and everyone from agents on the floor to CEOs […]
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Start Planning To Provide Social Customer Support Beyond Twitter and Facebook

Ian Jacobs February 20, 2015
Industry analysts travel—a lot. It is, therefore, no surprise that I care deeply about airlines’ frequent flyer programs and track the changes to those programs as closely as baseball obsessives track star players’ slugging percentages. When I want information on what these changes mean practically in my situation (Will the new loyalty program make it […]
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Understand The Promise Of Real-time Speech Analytics To Prepare To Overcome A (Large) Budget Hurdle

Ian Jacobs February 6, 2015
“With the gift of listening comes the gift of healing.” –Catherine de Hueck Doherty We’ve all heard the canned notifications when we call companies for customer service: “this call may be recorded for security or quality purposes.” Most customer service organizations today record their phone interactions with their customers. Often those recordings just sit untouched […]
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