In the recently concluded CES 2015, among the plethora of gadgets and promises of a tech suave future, there was one particular concept that caught the imagination of the people present there. The rose-tinted glasses came out and internet enabled devices made one imagine the “ordinary” at a slightly more connected and “intelligent” way. Cisco predicts that there will be around 25 billion devices that will be connected to the internet in the year 2015; these statistics are all but surprising after experiencing the array of devices that were showcased.
Social media is big and omnipresent, it is a big ecosystem of physically separate yet connected individuals around the globe, their collective association and participation makes it a platform which no company can ignore if it has to connect effectively to their customers. The sheer number of people in this virtual space itself speaks for the hidden potential that this medium has to offer, think about these stats for a moment; there are 1.39 billion active monthly users for Facebook which means that if Facebook was a nation it would be the third largest country in the world.
There is no dearth of information available on the World Wide Web; in fact the volume of information sometimes is so massive that there is a dearth of “relevant” information. Time and time again, there would have been instances where much effort had been put into finding the relevant information at the expense of creative work that could have otherwise been performed. There can be arguments on the necessity of search effort but the fact remains that it is not the search but results that matter.
I would rather be a glass half full person rather than be a pessimistic, digital warmongering, glass half empty sort of person. The whole balance of the world in fact resides with the magic that is of opposite energies, but time and again there has been promise of a utopia and closely followed cynicism of a muddled dystopia. Even more profound is the promise of technology being the new savior to help us from this dystopia and help us get to the point of the promised digital utopia.
Remember the scene where Professor Charles Xavier locks himself up in a room, wears a helmet and then connects to a world beyond his reach? In that world he voices his thoughts that travel far and wide to gather a crowd of audience. Social media! Considering the fact that it gives your ideas and eloquences a reach that was not previously possible in real time is similar to what Charles Xavier uses in X-men. It has now become an essential two way media that shifts the paradigm where human and business interactions takes place.
Social media! The implications this new paradigm of communication and its use as a treasure trove of latent information is unquestionable. Then again, there comes the question of it being really “social” to the means of connecting people or rather not, that let us leave for another day’s bout. One thing that can be said free of much polarity is the potential of the data that gets generated from the different social platforms. How to make use of this data? And the ways to engage the customer is a different ball game altogether.
The internet as we know it is essentially a human to human medium of interaction. It has been the major change agent, improving the way we connect, exchange, consume, learn, work and play; in short it has made life more easier and comfortable. Internet has constantly evolved from the days of Tim Berner-Lee’s “read-only web”, Web 1.0, to his “read-write web” era of Web 2.0. From the present day Web 2.0 we are now witnessing the next stage of evolution in much greater magnitude as we step into the era of Web 3.0 the “read-write-execute web”.
With the advent of IoT, ubiquitous computing is set to be the norm to which our normal lives are marching to. All things that are now not connected would find themselves more in place with connectivity features being embedded onto it-- making it a gigantic network of interconnected things. The pros associated with are promising so is the disclaimer which asks us for more secure and seamlessly communicable devices that can speak the same language.
When a customer walks into a retail store he will be treated as a king. The shopkeeper will see to that his customer is comfortable with the services they offer. Similarly a visitor who lingers into e-commerce store expects same level of comfort and service. E-Commerce has grown almost three times in a span of four years which is tremendous! In spite of this, there is a lag between customer expectations and what they actually receive.
It’s a hard reality that Enterprises are realizing that their IVR systems are nearing end-of-life or that their system is next on the obsolescence. Enterprises have challenges of high annual maintenance charges with poorly supported legacy technology Today’s customers are engaging with different brands and are already experiencing advancements in IVR with conversational interface, better speech recognition built-in. These busy consumers would not hesitate to shift brands for want of better customer experience.
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