For a large part of my working life as Managing Director of some well known travel companies, I’ve been very used to the demands of consumers wanting the right information and service at the right time with the best price – right now!
So when I joined Syntec to help the founders develop the business and its services I understood implicitly that the contact center management services we provide to our customers must always help them in turn keep pace with their own consumers’ fast-moving demands. Because in today’s digital age customers increasingly expect us to be permanently available via one channel or another, just as they themselves are empowered by phablets, smartphones, social media and ‘big data’ connecting everyone all the time, wherever they are.
On holiday in Turkey this year, I was able to turn my new phone around and connect with my 88 year old Mom on Skype, to show her the sun setting over the Aegean coast in real-time – something I could only dream of as a schoolboy, reading the futuristic adventures of writers such as Isaac Asimov. The idea that you could actually speak to people face to face on a hand-held electronic device was truly in the realms of science fiction back then. And OK, I wasn’t yet in space but sitting at a beach-side bar, so I guess I’ll still have to await Richard Branson’s invitation for his new space program for that one!
But if this is the power of technology now already in consumers’ hands, then we have to be able to harness that power to serve them too, or else we will fall behind their expectations and not service them the way they expect – if it’s available to them then they expect it to be available to us, too. Which is where the cloud comes in because, as my teenage daughter knows (and better than me in fact because she’s been brought up with it), the cloud is where all this smartphone and social media empowerment to connect us resides. And so organizations wanting to use ‘next generation’ technology need to look to the cloud too, as legacy premise-based/hardware-based technology is increasingly unable to keep pace with change to the degree that multi-tenanted systems can, switched on and implemented almost at the touch of a button and delivered by the now-ubiquitous world wide web from cloud servers, just as Facebook, Twitter and Linked In are.
To help inform the direction of travel for our own contact center products and services for the future, we’ve undertaken two major pieces of of research amongst IT managers, contact center managers and consumers this year, to produce two white papers and also inform our own customers such as Charles Tyrwhitt, Miele, Delfont Mackintosh Theatres, Calor and Teletext Holidays on topics such as multi-channel, card payment security, marketing analytics, consumer expectations and more.