Is It Time to Make the Leap Into the Gig Economy?

Tired of the 9-to-5 corporate grind? You aren’t alone. Fortunately, it’s never been easier to slip the shackles, become a “digital nomad” and stake out your spot in today’s growing gig economy.

While toiling away at your job, have you ever caught yourself musing “I’d give anything to be working from a beach today?”

Who hasn’t?

After all, who wouldn’t want to trade a noisy, open-office space for a warm, sandy beach? Or exchange the corporate attire for a pair of shorts and flip flops?

The good news is… it’s easier than ever to do – if we’re willing to make a few sacrifices. Continue reading

Why We Can’t Escape Noise – and Why That’s a Good Thing

Are barking dogs, roaring traffic and the din of the workplace driving you crazy? There’s a good reason why we have a hard time escaping the noise around us (and you probably won’t like it).

Woman standing in the middle of street full of noise

It’s every airline passenger’s nightmare, and one we’ve all experienced. The shrieking child two rows back.

Pity the poor parents; they try everything but with no luck. The meltdown persists. Escape is impossible. You and 100-plus other captive passengers reach your breaking point. Nerves fray. Tempers flare. Continue reading

New Technologies Find a Voice… And it’s Ours

Imagine being able to navigate your way through life using only your voice. While it may sound futuristic to some, it is reality to others.

Database table

It’s official. Technology has caught up to the most basic and yet powerful human capability: Our voice.

How else to explain the rapid rise of digital assistants Siri, Google Assistant, Cortana, Alexa and the newest entrant, Samsung’s Bixby? These systems rely on voice commands rather than touch to control devices or applications, providing us with near-seamless access to a dizzying array of information, services, shopping, you name it.

All I can say is… it’s about time. After years in which the titans of technology have seemingly impeded access to their devices with unintuitive navigation, mind-numbing interfaces and diabolical dropdowns, they’ve finally embraced the simplicity, elegance and power of the human voice. (How long they continue to do so is anybody’s guess. But more on that later.) Continue reading

Listen! This is also Augmented Reality

Overshadowed by all the latest augmented reality buzz is augmented reality for our ears. Find out how audio augmented reality is radically transforming how we interact with the world of sound around us.

 Woman wearing the augmented reality Jabra Intelligent Headset

In case you haven’t heard – or experienced it – augmented reality (AR) is all the rage.

We’re surrounded by apps that add a new visual layer to our personal environment, enabling us to drive virtual cars, send holographic messages, paint graffiti in thin air, preview virtual furniture in our living rooms and do lots of other cool stuff.

All I can say to Apple, Google and the other industry giants who have embraced this new technology is “Welcome to the club!” Continue reading

Meet the Company That Asks Its Customer the Perfect Question

It’s time that we stop considering customer service as a cost and start focusing on the value it creates for our customers – and our business. Let’s look at how one successful organization does it.

 

“Do you feel in safe hands?”

For travelers who face an emergency in a foreign land, it’s a question that could mean the difference between life and death. Continue reading

Your Customers Are Calling…. But Who’s Answering?

With consumers now firmly in charge of the digitized customer journey, the demand for prompt, accurate and personal service is critical. It is time to once again move our customer service efforts closer to those who matter most: the customer.

Among the biggest casualties of companies’ decades-long drive to cut costs has been the customer service organization. With an eye toward short-term results, many “conversations” with customers that were previously handled in-house were either outsourced, shipped overseas or both.

That no doubt pleased investors and made our finance people heroes, but it’s also had the perverse effect of placing our customer service functions even farther away from the customer, instead of closer. Continue reading

Google Searches Leave Customer Service with the Tough Calls

Thanks to the explosion of information online, customers are more knowledgeable – and more demanding – than ever. Here’s how to make sure that “hyper-informed customers” also remain loyal, satisfied ones.

At the dizzying rate information accumulates online, we see a staggering rise of what I call “hyper-informed customers” – those who diligently scour social media, blogs, review sites and more to know virtually all there is to know about our products and services. Continue reading

The True Power of Sound – from Embryonic to Old Age

The wrong sounds will make you and your loved ones stressed, tired and anxious. Get expert advice for creating a healthier, more positive sound environment and have sound work for you – not against you!


Welcome to Part 1 of my conversation with Lyz Cooper, founder of The British Academy of Sound Therapy and who have spent more than two decades conducting research into sound and offering courses, training, sound therapy and music to promote health and well-being.

Peter Hartmann: Why is sound so important in our lives? Continue reading

6 Rules for Mastering the Art of Conversation

Conversations are the lifeblood of interpersonal communication. But, for some people, they’re the equivalent of a trip to the dentist. Here are some tips for breaking the ice and engaging in good, meaningful conversations.

I recently attended a great dinner party. It had everything you’d expect of a terrific get-together – fabulous food, interesting people and fascinating conversations all around the table.

Well, almost…. Continue reading

Who owns Customer Experience in your organization?

Unboxing an Apple product – Wow!

Buying products from Amazon and ease of returning – Wow!

Being put on hold for 15 minutes during a customer support call – Terrible!

The battery lasts for 3 hours compared to the promised 5 hours – Frustrating!

We all have experienced moments of delight and despair during our interactions with “brands”. The above examples are not of good/bad products, but of “experiences” that we have around products or services that we buy. Continue reading