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5 December 2016

The Riskiest Move In Business Technology

Frank Mirecki

Last week I was talking with some of the heads of a substantial Toronto-based financial company, and here is what they told me: “We are finally ready to make some technology changes and take advantage of some of the new tools associated with current technology. We cannot continue to use this traditional technology and build our company. We are bleeding money, and we're not getting the technology that we need to meet the expectations of today’s customers.

We want a well-established company to sit down with us and help us with our roadmap and explain to us the advantages and the disadvantages of why we should be looking at something more advanced like Cloud technologies.”

I have conversations like these all the time. While some companies look at tech costs as just another line on a ledger, others are UTILIZING TECHNOLOGY—especially communications technology—to provide their company with an ADVANTAGE over the competition in their industry… an advantage that is gained by ENGAGING CUSTOMERS better.

Customer service and the customer experience (CX) is the new battleground. Accessible, intuitive technology is an integral part of interacting with customers and tracking success with quality reporting tools. The top players in every market use technology to do something vastly different than the others. The “Customer Journey” is a popular topic these days, and there is a distinct advantage to businesses who understand that every interaction, every touch point, every call, email, and chat contributes to that customer’s impression of your company. In this new context, Omnichannel routing and outbound campaigns are helping not only the customer journey but the measurement of that journey.

Another example: I was speaking with a manufacturing company in the Waterloo region. They mentioned to me a few weeks ago that their current technology that they're using is outdated and even though they feel that they could squeeze another year or so out of that technology, they realize that—as far as their competition is concerned and their vertical—if they are going to ATTRACT NEW CUSTOMERS and INCREASE PROFIT MARGINS, they desperately need to take a look at the tools necessary to help them engage their customers. They believe that technology is the advantage that will allow them to step ahead of the competition in their industry.

In today’s tech world, this can be difficult for a company to navigate. There are many needs to be met in customer service while trying to accommodate multiple generations. Boomers love the phone call… Millennials consider it torture.

How do you decipher this slippery road?

For those companies that consider technology a cost, think about this clearly:

  • What are you missing out on?
  • Do you keep track of the business you may have lost due to weak customer service practices?
  • Do emails get lost in a company “info” box that no one pays attention to?
  • Is there a person in charge of this at your company?

The companies who have the kind of help that allows them to nimbly and resiliently navigate these technological waters are the ones with the advantage over their competition.  Unfortunately, the ones thinking of technology purely in terms of cost instead of advantage are getting left behind. Yes, you'd better believe there are risks involved with taking a step towards new technology but there are risks involved with ANY step forward.

The reality is that—today—businesses of any size that do not measure their success “and failures” are bearing substantial risk… no matter what vertical or industry they're in.

The riskiest move is to do nothing.

Frank Mirecki
5 December 2016

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