Mobile Forces Focus and Simplicity in Interactions with Customers
TMC this year celebrates 30 years of covering customer interaction, which means it couldn’t be a better time to look at where we’ve been with customer service and where we’re going. We’re as well rebranding and retooling our customer effort. In this installment of our CUSTOMER coverage, we talk with Alex Bratton, CEO and chief geek of Lextech Global Services. Established in 2001, Lextech helps organizations figure out how mobile is going to support their business strategy, identifying what suites of mobile apps are going to provide the highest return.
Bratton: I currently serve as CEO of two Chicago area research companies, including Lextech Global Services, and founded a total of 10 companies. I wrote my first book about Apple II programming at the age of 14 and created my first company in high school.
I’ve provided business and innovation strategy, systems architecture and innovation execution expertise for more than 75 companies, including AT&T, Levi Strauss, Lucent Technologies, Zurich Kemper Life, Morningstar, Nalco Chemicals, R. R. Donnelly, Motorola, Follett, Internet start-ups, as so then as the U.S. Coast Guard, Army, Navy, and the Morton Arboretum.
Bratton: The original PC put innovation into the hands of regular people for the first time. Mobile innovation and apps are making technology in point of fact personal for the first time ever – it's now in our pocket and with us at all times.
The way we live our lives at a rate much greater
Mobile apps are changing the way we live our lives at a rate much greater and faster than the Internet. We're only three to four years into the mobile wave, nevertheless seeing faster research adoption than ever earlier, exactly because of ease of use and touch screens. Using a touch screen and interacting with apps by touching them is intuitive – even a 2-year-old understands how to touch components on an iPad. Mobile devices have bridged the research divide and put apps powered by the Internet into the hands of everyone.
How is the rise of cloud computing impacting how businesses target, engage with, and deliver product/service/support to the customer?
Bratton: Cloud computing is making it significantly easier to create data-driven systems without the multi-year implementation cycles of legacy systems. The cloud enables linking data to mobile and web platforms in new ways, including pushing data to the point of use.
The cloud all in all requires careful consideration
Use of the cloud all in all requires careful consideration, even though, especially when working with mobile, as we don't but live in a world of always available connectivity. Apps talking to the cloud need to be able to function even when they can't reach the cloud. An order entry app that only works with Internet connectivity is useless to someone who relies on it to do their job. The most effective apps will handle offline data entry and intelligently sync that information to the cloud once the user is back online.
How is the increased use and comfort level with video impacting how businesses target, engage, and deliver to the customer?
What new tools
What new tools and practices are businesses using to better leverage their own and/or outside data to target, engage, and deliver to the customer?
Bratton: Mobile is the single biggest driver for future business success and window through which clients and employees interact with an organization, the Internet, cloud data storage and each other on social platforms.
Mobile forces focus and simplicity in our interactions with clients. That's one of the key reasons mobile is growing so quickly, people can in fact understand how to use the innovation without bulky manuals or significant time-spent.
Bratton: We will see many giants stumble and new giants emerge as companies either ignore or embrace mobile innovation. Several industries have already been marginalized because mobile apps were able to replace specialized hardware solutions just as point-of-sale equipment. Mobile payment solutions for use in stores have rapidly started replacing fixed PoS stations, providing better capabilities for a lower cost and putting sales people out on the store floor, where they can better serve and interact with clients.
The latest in communications
Want to learn more about the latest in communications and research? At the time be sure to attend ITEXPO West 2012, taking place Oct. 2-5, in Austin, TX. ITEXPO offers an educational program to help corporate decision makers select the right IP-based voice, video, fax and unified communications solutions to improve their operations. It's as well where service providers learn how to profitably roll out the services their subscribers are clamoring for – and where resellers can learn about new growth opportunities. For more information on registering for ITEXPO click here.
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TMC this year celebrates 30 years of covering customer interaction, which means it couldn't be a better time to look at where we've been with customer service and where we're going. We're as well rebranding and retooling our customer experience effort. In this installment of our CUSTOMER coverage, we talk with Joe Staples, chief marketing officer at Interactive Intelligence, which sells a broad set of inbound and outbound contact center and enterprise communications products. It offers those produc… [ Read More ] 07/13/2012
More and more businesses are setting up customer service call centers in order to handle all sorts of different issues. During having dedicated staff waiting to answer calls is always a good thing, the bottom line is that you in effect can have too much of a good thing. Most of today's call centers believe that the most important task is for them to answer as many calls as possible. They believe that if the call is answered at the time the company is serving the customer to the best of their ability. The r… [ Read More ] 07/12/2012
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