2014 ­- An Any Device World?

By Paul Steiner, Managing Director, Europe, Middle East & Africa at Accellion

The workplace has always been at the forefront of technological developments. The office of today is almost unrecognisable to the workplace of 40 years ago. A recent report, conducted by researchers at the Centre for Economic and Business Research, showed that worker productivity is nearly five times higher than it was in the 1970s and could increase by another 22% by 2020. But what does the year ahead hold?

Continue reading

The smartphone is dead – long live the smartphone!

By Gary Calcott, technical marketing manager at Progress Software

If the flow of enthusiasm that greeted the idea of so-called ‘wearable technology’ started out as a trickle, there’s no doubt that it’s now turned into a formidable flood. The announcement of Google Glass a little over a year ago turned so many heads that it wasn’t long before some even began to question whether it, and other similar pieces of wearable hardware, were on the verge of replacing the smartphone. So do these devices spell the end for our use of smartphones as business tools?

Continue reading

Would You Answer Your Phone Whilst ‘Busy’ In The Bedroom?

Many British mobile phone users are so attached to their devices but so
worried about the cost of calling someone back that they’ll answer a call
whatever they’re doing, according to a new survey by Vodafone UK. We don’t
think twice about answering a call while preoccupied in the bathroom, or
even when we’re spending ‘quality time’ with our partner.

While being ‘busy’ in the bedroom topped the list of times people should
never answer the phone, worryingly, a third of mobile phone users said they
would do it. During a wedding, at the dinner table and on a date are also
times when people will take a call rather than wait and call back later,
according to the majority of those questioned.

The figures were revealed by research carried out by Vodafone to mark the
recent launch of Vodafone Red, its best ever value plan, which lets
customers talk and text as much as they want and get loads of internet.
Vodafone Red lets customers make as many calls as they want, whenever they
want. So instead of picking up the phone at a time when perhaps they
shouldn’t, customers can call back later without worrying about the cost.

Vodafone’s Mobile Manners survey of over 2,000 mobile phone users shows that
men are more likely than women to think it’s ok to talk in the loo, and
those from Cardiff are most likely to take a call while on a date.

Srini Gopalan, Consumer Director, Vodafone UK said: “It seems as a nation
we’re desperate not to miss out on the latest gossip no matter what we’re up
to. But this doesn’t mean you have to take a call even when you’re
responding to the call of nature, having a romantic dinner or in bed.

“Now Brits have unlimited calls, they don’t need to interrupt quality time
with their partner to answer their phone as there’s no need to worry about
the cost of returning a missed call. Even cutting a chat short when you do
call back for fear of running out of inclusive minutes is now a thing of the
past.”

The study into modern phone use reveals the crucial role that mobile phones
play in everyone’s lives with 90 per cent of people saying they had received
a very important call on their mobile. Over a quarter said they had been
given a job offer, nearly 15 per cent said they had been told about the
birth of a child and one per cent even said they had been proposed to via
their mobile phone. In London, the number of people who have been proposed
to over the phone rose to more than 4%.

The research also revealed while the majority of us have between one and 50
numbers in our phones, we only speak regularly to between five and ten of
those people. It also emerged around 8 out of 10 of us have numbers in our
phone’s address book that we have never called.

The research also examined why many of us choose to text rather than call.
The results showed convenience, time, cost and bizarrely, how much we like
the recipient of our text, all play a part, with teens most likely to go
through this thought process when they get their phone out.

But the research also showed that despite their love of texts, younger
mobile phone users actually want to talk more often and would make more
calls if they didn’t have to worry about the impact on their pocket.

Srini Gopalan added: “It’s time to revive the art of conversation. People
still want to talk but they want to do that without worrying about the cost.

“We’ve seen from our research that the younger generation in particular
would call more people more often and would talk for longer if cost wasn’t a
factor. And there are clearly plenty of people in everyone’s address book
that we don’t catch up with often enough. With Vodafone Red, mobile phone
users can call whoever they want, whenever they want.”

iPhone 5 sales shatter previous record

By Claire West
Apple has announced that pre-orders of its iPhone 5 topped two million in just 24 hours, more than double the previous record of one million held by iPhone 4S.

Demand for iPhone 5 exceeds the initial supply and while the majority of pre-orders will be delivered to customers on September 21, many are scheduled to be delivered in October.

iPhone 5 is the thinnest and lightest iPhone ever, completely redesigned to feature a stunning new 4-inch Retina display; an Apple-designed A6 chip for blazing fast performance; and ultrafast wireless technology*–all while delivering even better battery life.

“iPhone 5 pre-orders have shattered the previous record held by iPhone 4S and the customer response to iPhone 5 has been phenomenal,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing.

“iPhone 5 is the best iPhone yet, the most beautiful product we’ve ever made, and we hope customers love it as much as we do.”

When is a smartphone not so smart? When it’s a phone, silly!

Today, there are an estimated 1 million mobile applications, representing 40 billion downloads by consumers across the globe. By 2017, it’s predicted that there will be a staggering 2 billion smartphone devices worldwide.  Richard McCrossan, Strategic Business Director at Genesys, takes a look at the opportunities offered by the increasing consumer shift from PC to mobile, and how companies should make the most of the capabilities of today’s smartphones to enhance the customer experience.

Most apps are transactional. For example, they enable customers to check a balance or their flight schedule, but nothing more. Yet as increasing numbers of customers turn to the use of smart devices, they expect more from these apps, including answers to their customer service queries. Many organisations’ customer service departments are disconnected from the company’s mobile applications.

When live assistance is required, customers often have to exit a mobile application and find the correct contact centre number to call for their query. As a result, customers are forced to wait on hold, re-authenticate, traverse again through complex phone menus, and repeat the nature of their transaction when eventually connected to the correct person.

The buying power of mobile

Recent research from Deloitte shows that smartphones currently influence 5.1 percent of annual retail store sales, translating into $159 billion in forecasted sales for 2012.

Mobile’s influence, based on consumers’ smartphone use, is expected to grow to represent 19 percent of total store sales by 2016, amounting to $689 billion in mobile-influenced sales.

Enabling a ‘smart’ customer experience on mobile

Here’s the dilemma: according to Ovum, over 20% of smartphone customers in developed countries prefer to use smartphone applications to communicate with organisations, particularly in financial services, travel and communications. Yet still, over 80% of smartphone customers prefer phone calls with a customer service representative.

As mobile applications become increasingly powerful customer touch points, many companies are failing to leverage them in order to engage with consumers. According to recent Genesys research, only 20% of companies currently have a mobile customer service app. The research also showed that the phone is still king for contact centres, but companies need to understand that the smartphone customer wants to engage directly with them from their smartphone.

Many mobile app developers often see a phone call as a failure of their app. But as consumers become more and more used to buying via their smartphone, they will increasingly demand customer service via their smartphone.

It’s still good to talk

The phone just isn’t going to go away. Human interaction is a very valuable customer experience, and either a call or web chat can be helpful to the consumer. Companies need to enable a smart customer experience through a smart device, which enables the customer to contact an agent directly if required.

If we take just one example, the Genesys Mobile Engagement solution provides a customer care solution which provides smartphone users instant access to agents in the contact centre, all at the press of a button within a company branded mobile application. Companies need to make it as easy as possible for the customer to use whichever channel they prefer.

Effective mobile customer care requires a seamless transition between self-service applications and live assistance. It also requires companies to raise the bar on personalisation, delivering a customer experience that is increasingly dictated by the customer – when they want service, where, and over what channel.

Drive the customer conversation

By empowering customers who need live support to quickly engage customer service agents or specialised workers – such as personal bankers or travel agents – the customer experience can be significantly improved, enabling companies to proactively and personally connect with mobile consumers, driving a new level of the customer conversation over smartphones.



Dell Business Laptop Deals

Improving customer experience on Smartphones & Tablets

Mobile marketing and tablet marketing are often discussed in the same breath, mostly because they are both relatively “new kids on the block” and they are both “mobile”. However, to reach target audiences, it is important to discover the way in which people use these devices to determine the best marketing methods for these mediums. Currently, the complexity of tailoring the experience to the medium is a real challenge for marketers.

Marshall McLuhan, a prolific contributor to media theory coined the phrase, “the medium is the message.” If you were to transpose this theory to today’s smartphone and tablet possibilities, you could say that both of these mediums offer unique and specific customer experiences. They offer experiences that can be used to build brand, optimize the way products are presented and sold – as well as enhancing the goods and services that you market.

Smartphones:

The real potential of mobile marketing emerged with the commoditization of Smartphones. This carry-everywhere phone/navigation tool/address book/browser/mp3player/camera/text messaging system/game device/ email system is now in everyone’s back pocket – if not in their hands. Smartphones are virtually fused to our every day existence.

This “extra limb” has fundamentally changed the game when it comes to reaching audiences anywhere – at any time. Marketers are starting to take advantage of this trend by providing an ever-increasing number of location-based offers. Applications are also being created that take into account weather, time of day, and personalised interaction that make purchase decisions easy and instinctive, because they match an individual’s behavior and preference.

Tablets:

Tablets provide size and interactivity, and their touch screens offer a larger real estate than smartphone screens – immediately presenting great marketing opportunities. But indicators show the real difference is in how people use them. Tablets are inherently “leisure devices.” With the exception of job-related tablet use, most people associate tablets with time when they’re relaxed. While Smartphones are “on the go” devices, tablets are about down time.

Typically, tablet owners spend an hour or more on their tablets per day. They use their tablets at home and have decreased their computer use in favour of the tablet. In addition, research shows that the average purchase on a tablet is much higher than purchases online or via mobile.

One approach does not fit all:

This fundamental difference between Smartphone and Tablet use means that, while marketers need to create a cohesive and consistent experience – regardless of device, they must also tailor their marketing tactics, based on the actual behavioural preferences people show when using them. When deciding how you want to use Smartphone or Tablet opportunities to meet your goals, traditional marketing principles apply:

 

  1. Know your target audience. What is best suited to their experience: an app or a website?
  2. How can you best apply your message to the medium to create an immersive experience?
  3. When visitors interact with your brand on a tablet or mobile phone, what do they do and what do they want to do? Is the best vehicle to interact with them an application, website or advertisement?
  4. How can you best reinforce your brand image and identity? Are there innovative ways in which you can use this to reach your markets?
  5. How can you synchronize your channels to provide a cohesive experience?

This comes back again to Customer Experience Management and tailored delivery to exceed customers’ expectations.

Technology should enable:

Customer Experience Management has emerged as a new paradigm that crosses an organisation’s strategic goals and the entire customer lifecycle. This means that marketers need tools that empower them to use any medium. A truly cross-channel approach ensures consistency of brand messaging and more powerful, effective, campaigns. This approach also builds a more solid customer experience that goes well beyond a customer’s initial product acquisition or service interaction with your organisation.

Therefore, the best approach for marketers is to combine rich content marketing data – within their content management system, customer data stores, marketing campaign management, email delivery, and rich media assets. The key is to capture customer attention by reflecting what customers want to do, how they want to interact with your brand and by tapping into their likely behaviour, based on what you already know about them.

This also means that marketers need to access and utilize the increased number of multimedia, text and application assets they want to use to engage with customers – across all communication channels.

For Smartphones, this may involve offering a special deal based on where that customer is located – at that moment. It may involve allowing the customer, using their Smartphone, to enter a photography contest that was originally promoted through an ad campaign on a bulletin board’s QR code. Or it could be creating a really immersive experience when a customer visits an online shop – by combining the power of video, games and interactive views of products.

By Ingrid Froelich, SDL Web Content Management Solutions

Click here for the latest technology solutions