Archive

Archive for the ‘Technology’ Category

Welcome to the Future: Example of GE Augmented Reality

February 12, 2010 Leave a comment

This is just amazing technology. To try this out for yourself visit: http://ge.ecomagination.com/smartgrid/#/augmented_reality

10 Things Happening on NYC Tech Scene in ’10

January 22, 2010 Leave a comment

Excited To Be Attending TEDxTO

September 8, 2009 Leave a comment

tedx_toronto_logo_en_CA

I was honoured to learn I received an invitation to attend the TEDxTO Conference (tedxto.com) that takes place September 10, 2009 in Toronto. There is going to be an amazing and diverse group of speakers at the conference (see http://www.tedxto.com/?q=node/2). If these speakers are of interest to you there are going to be venues setup across the city that will be broadcasting the conference- see website for more details.


Will Internet Savvy Web 2.0’ers Lead to the Demise of the Traditional Call Center Model?

April 29, 2009 Leave a comment

Recently, I have read that Twitter of all things is apparently the cause of significant call center layoffs. It was stated that more people than ever are taking advantage of corporate Twitter sites to ask customer service questions, which means less traditional phone call inquiries (you can read the article here ).

And what is this I am hearing about ‘super users’? -people that enjoy products so much that they surf the web and online corporate communities, jumping at the chance to help their fellow users by answering customer service questions. From a recent tmcnet.com article:

Since last summer, Verizon has transferred much of the responsibility in certain divisions that require high levels of customer service to volunteers – people who have a passion for the wireless, Internet and TV technologies that Verizon peddles, and who like to feel useful. Sound strange? It is. But it’s also true. They’re called “super-users,” and they work through online forums that are gradually developing into self-sustaining databases where customers can go to answer all their questions.

Does this all mean that the end of the traditional customer service call center is near?

I don’t think so.

Don’t get me wrong, there are great self-service companies out there like Bazaarvoice and Lithium, and they have a place in this ecosystem, but I think people are forgetting to examine the other side of the spectrum and companies like Zappos.com – the reigning King of the customer service experience.

How does one explain Zappos.com’s success in this new self-help world? For gosh sakes they don’t even set limits for how long their agents can talk to callers, and I believe the longest service call they ever had was over 5 hours…..

My current thought is that there is a middle ground, and that appropriate and tempered call deflection is the key to success.

What I mean by this is:

Companies should take advantage of these new technologies, incorporating items like robust self-help sections to their websites, and they should also use communication channels like Twitter, live chat and email (which are usually more cost effective than voice support to deploy because of concurrency). But as is the case with Zappos, there is no replacement for the service that can be achieved through voice support. The experience is unparalleled, and for more complicated support issues it is the only viable channel that can be used to adequately understand and address a customers needs.

Although a lot of startups are finding the initial cost savings of self-service tools appealing, as these companies mature, if they hope to develop a long term and re-occurring customer base they are going to have to invest in multi-channel customer service which is anchored by traditional phone support. Simply put, customer’s expectations are higher than ever, and consumers expect a multitude of contact options so they can interact with a company in the way they feel most comfortable.

To conclude, I think self-service is here to stay, and I think it works amazingly well for simple customer services issues. In these challenging economic times, the technologies discussed will also help businesses to reduce their overall customer service expenditures. With that being said, call deflection can only be taken so far. For companies that care about their brand and their overall customer experience, there will always be a need and a role for the kind and caring customer service representative who is available to speak with consumers by phone.

Tim Peters

Presence: The Next Generation of Customer Interaction

March 17, 2009 Leave a comment

Excerpt:

Presence has been practiced informally in contact centers for at least 10 years. Agents who could not answer inquiries would call, e-mail, or IM the questions to someone in their organizations who had helped them in the past or would get their name from colleagues or supervisors, then get back to callers. But this process was too slow.

LINK: http://www.toptechnews.com/story.xhtml?story_id=100005BY72L0&page=1

Have People Had Success Implementing Video on Their E-Commerce Website?

January 27, 2009 Leave a comment

I have always been a big believer in online video. Generally speaking, I think the more we can make online shopping like shopping in a brick and morter store- the better sales results a company will see. I read today that the number of online shoppers who watched retail videos grew 40% in a single year.

Jeffrey Grau, eMarketer senior analyst and author of the new report, Video Usage in E-Commerce: The Best Is Yet to Come states that some of the benefits of online video are: “a lower number of abandoned shopping carts, reduced return rates and higher sales.”

It is also interesting to note that Internet Retailer found that adding video topped online retailers’ to-do lists for 2009.

To read more about online video trends visit emarketer.com 

Salesforce.com Keeps Ahead of the Conversation

January 19, 2009 Leave a comment

Salesforce is a company that just ‘gets it’. Their PR/Marketing team does a great job of keeping them in the news- I am sure it helps that they always have interesting new initiatives to promote. This is an article on Salesforce by Steve Gillmor at TechCrunchIT:  http://www.techcrunchit.com/2009/01/16/salesforce-keeps-ahead-of-the-conversation/

Categories: Marketing, Technology Tags: