Biographical Information

Ian Jacobs

vice president and research director, Forrester Research

Ian Jacobs is a vice president and research director at Forrester Research.

Articles for Ian Jacobs

Automation Is a Choice, Privacy Is Under Siege, and Other Final Nuggets

Our Last Line columnist delivers his last lines for CRM.

Inclusive Experiences Start With Inclusive Language

Companies have learned and are demonstrating that words matter.

Are Robots Turning into Us, or Us into Them?

Automation technologies seem intent on turning reps and agents more and more robotic.

Oh, Paw-lease: Canines, CRM, and CX

As any pet owner will tell you, dogs have opinions. Perhaps even on customer experience?

A Trip Down Social Media’s Memory Lane Uncovers Emotions

And it's not just social media; CX can produce memorable (hopefully positive) feelings.

Remembrance of CRM Things (and Sweet Desserts) Past

For the author, there's a lot of history in these pages.

Your Employee Technology Also Drives Your Customer Experience

Customer service reps deserve tools that help, not impede.

Is Near-Real-Time Machine Translation Nearly Here?

Believe it or not, we might yet overcome the fall of the Tower of Babel.

Do You Have Contact Center Stars? Advertise Them

Having high-performing agents should be a selling point for your business.

Great Customer Experiences Don’t Require Disney World Delight

Businesses should set their sights at a lower, more important target.

Are Customer Service Metrics Gauging the Right Things?

We could be getting trapped by our historical systems of measurement.

Will Uberization Ruin Contact Centers?

A community-based gig economy model is giving way to a more utilitarian model.

Digital Humans Are Here to Serve You

Animated avatars for customer service are becoming too good to dismiss.

Wake Me Up When the Chatbots Write Their Own Scripts

They're a long way from that now, but AI points toward that future

What Do Customers Really Want From Chatbots?

And do they themselves really know?

2021: The Year Customer Service Embraces Empathy

Customer service has always had something of an identity crisis. But that could be about to change.

We Don’t All Want to Work From Home

Efficiency goes up, but does employee happiness?

Stop Trying to Make Us All Productive

Instead of hyper-focusing on productivity, companies must also consider their workers' well-being

As Agents Already Know, Emotional Work Is Real Work

Compassion fatigue can be a big issue in contact centers

What Post-Pandemic Contact Centers Will Look Like

Will agents return to the office or remain remote? The answer is, likely, yes to both

Empathy Has Its Limits, and It’s Also More Critical Than Ever

Accept that we're all human and let that be your guide, in personal and business contexts

To Succeed in Customer Service, Forget the Rule Your Parents Taught You

Why is my preference assumed to be your preference?

Here’s One of the Best Ways to Make Your Customers Happy

Make your agents happy first—and outsourcers demonstrate innovative ways to do that

Being Insensitive to Customers Is an Odd Business Plan

Some of the travel industry's offers seem suspiciously like extortion

Analyzing CX Means Looking at the High Points, Wherever They Are

How customers feel at the end of interactions is only part of the story, not the climax

The ‘Cost Center’ Notion Must Go (Finally)

Companies claim to be customer-obsessed, but customers themselves feel otherwise. What's not adding up?

To Truly Work, AI Needs to Get Really Personal

Artificial intelligence must do more than reflect back what it thinks it knows about us

Speech Recognition Is Not Speech Understanding

Companies and contact centers strive to communicate with customers across countries and languages, but are their efforts getting lost in [machine] translation?

Yes, Companies Can Influence Customer Emotion

How experiences make customers feel is crucial. Ignore that at your own peril.

Conversational AI Should Speak Plainly and Carry a Big Meaning

Highly technical or lawyerly utterances should be eschewed—in other words, lose the jargon

How Chatbots Can Create a New Kind of Agent

Conversational AI will change customer service, and humans will still matter

AI Isn’t Inevitable—It’s a Choice

Companies should approach automation with judgment and analysis, not resignation

Is Customer Service Ready for the Nonstop Chatter of Messaging Apps?

When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro

Where Is Amazon Go-ing With This?

The staffless Amazon Go stores seem like a convenience revolution—though for now, the experience might be beside the point

With Customer Experience, ‘Good’ and ‘Consistent’ Aren’t Always the Same Thing

Experiences that lead to happy customer outcomes can yield less-than-ideal business outcomes

Virtual Agents Hear What You Say. Do They Know What You Mean?

Deciphering intent is best left to humans, who have a hard enough time with it

Customer Service Needs to Tackle Customer Emotion

How a customer feels about an interaction is the biggest contributor to good CX

Real-Time Analytics Provides ‘Quality Assurance’—and Privacy Concerns

Those QA recordings can also be recording your emotional state. Should they be opt-in?

I Give and I Give, but You Take and You Take

Companies should try providing a little value before begging for more of our personal information

The Dawning of a New Era in CRM (Magazine)

‘Willkommen, bienvenue, welcome…fremde, etranger, stranger!'

‘Chatbot Hell’ Can’t Become a Thing

Let's not re-create the bad customer experience known as ‘IVR hell' with chatbots. Please.

Personalized Customer Service Means Recognizing Low-Key and Diva Moments

Journey maps can help companies understand—and adapt to—context.

3 Ways Mobile Messaging Boosts Customer Service

Messaging tools are wildly popular, but that's not the only reason to make them a service option

Why Increased Self-Service Can Be Good for Agents

Customers do everything they can to avoid talking to them—except when it really matters

Social Customer Service: The Hype Gives Way to Practice

But the model you choose will depend on who's using it, and how

Future Shock? Or Not?

Is frustrating customer service inevitable?

In Vino Veritas

Drinking in customer experience.

All I Know Is That I Don’t Know Nothing

Blending knowledge management with customer service is critical

Fundamentals Trump Everything

Providing an extraordinary experience should never compromise the basics

Hosted Contact Centers Poised for Growth

Purse strings loosen on capital spending, which may bring rapid deployments

New Tools and Old Mistakes

Contact centers risk wasting powerful technology on the automation of imperfect processes

Location’s Not Really Where It’s At

The danger of uniting location-driven applications and customer interactions

Postcards from the Edge

Just because you can engage with a community doesn't mean you have to.

Combine and Conquer

Consolidation can benefit customers and companies alike.

A by Any Other Name

What do you do when your brand no longer reflects your offerings?

The Lessons of the Magic Curry Kart

Your local street-food vendor can teach your company a thing or two.

The New Interaction of Social Media

Beyond marketing, the popular tools and techniques can also serve as a channel for support.

An Opportunity in Chaos

Customer retention is the best use of a bad situation.

Bad Economy = Bad CRM?

Before the markets hit the skids, companies had just begun to target customer experience.

Socialized CRM

CRM has never prioritized the individual salesperson—but social networking changes all that.

We Are What We Expect

Shifts in customer satisfaction need to take into account shifts in customer expectations.

Your Customers Are Everywhere

Beyond the comfy confines of your corporate Web site, people are talking -- and complaining.

Playing at the Speed of the New

When online businesses put customer feedback to use quickly, customers begin to expect it from all companies.

Across the Universe

Not all agents are created equal.

We Can't Rewind, We've Gone Too Far

Stop regarding video as another technological nuisance--video will achieve the CRM trifecta of lower costs, better service, and happier customers.

Gethuman? Get Real.

The new project's standard could work to deepen, not reduce, consumer dissatisfaction.

Culture and Skills: The Right Route

Sending customer service queries to employees who are not trained in customer care is the wrong way to go.

Hell's Bells

The problem with automated phone systems is, companies neglect the various environments of a typical user experience.