Last week, I was the opening keynote speaker for the annual SOMOS Toll-Free Users Summit – it’s the annual conference for the folks involved in the 1-800 industry. Obviously, there was a big focus on the issues of customer support and interaction, and my keynote took a look at those trends.
They’ve just run a blog post that captured one of the key themes in my keynote : that is, how do we keep up with the fact that consumer and customer demands are changing faster than ever before!
Keeping Up With Fast Customers!
SOMOS Conference Report, October 2017
Remember the Jetsons? Their lives in 2062 seemed like a dream — self-flying cars, automated home appliances, virtual reality shopping. But today, we’re already starting to live that dream, almost 50 years early.
As futurist Jim Carroll said on the Toll-Free User Summit stage today, technology is advancing so much faster than our world ever expected. It’s creating new market opportunities, new professions and daring new business ventures.
One of the most transformative part of our daily lives stems from the advancements around personal mobile devices. All generations rely on their mobile devices for navigation, shopping, entertainment, and business. The more consumers engage through their phones, the more chances Toll-Free Numbers have to serve as the conduit between businesses and their customers, through voice, text, and other smart services.
As Jim stated, for the Toll-Free industry, responding to the rapid transformations happening to this consumer touchpoint will make or break our ability to better serve our customers.
He shared a few of the imperatives businesses must address to satisfy today’s consumers in the context of continuous and rapid transformation.
- Deliver exceptional customer service, especially in light of the empowered consumer, and thanks to the speed and viral nature of online reviews and social media networks. To capture a customer’s loyalty, the brand experience must be personalized, instant, flexible, and consistent.
- Capture sales while you have your customers’ attention, which means being available to communicate directly with your audience at the moment of highest interest. This means having the data and ability to intelligently package products and services, customize sales pitches, make advertising location-based, and enable click-to-call and click-to-text.
- Deepen customer insights with big data and analytics. Gather as much candid and personal information as possible. And use the millions of perspectives available through voice and text data to know and serve consumers better.
Technology means increasingly rapid progress. Yet, underlying all these approaches is one fundamental truth — people still need people to get the support they need. Human interaction is a core part of the way consumers make complex and difficult decisions. And businesses need to understand the people behind the data — if they can capture and interpret the data from these conversations, they will be poised for better and deeper insights for future planning.
The future of Toll-Free lies in a new perspective. With the impending transition to IP, Resp Orgs and Toll-Free Service Providers have to transform the way they act in the industry. Jim stated the industry is no longer simply responsible for supporting voice and text conversations — but is stepping into the customer touchpoint industry. Looking beyond the core business of Toll-Free reservations, he sees new business opportunities gaining strength and engagement at the growing edges of our industry.