Why Our Digital Assistants Say the Dumbest Things!

Ever wondered why our digital assistants often fail in such spectacular and hilarious fashion? The surprising answer can be found within one of the most basic human skills.

Is your digital assistant having a hard time understanding you?

You know. Like when you ask: “Is it going to rain tonight?” and get back a cheerful, “Rain. A noun. Definition: Moisture condensed from the atmosphere that falls visibly in separate drops.” Continue reading

Where is Employee Autonomy Heading, and Are You Coming?

Increased autonomy in planning our workdays promises plenty of benefits for employers and employees alike. So why are some companies moving away from it or avoiding it altogether? Here’s how you can drive work/life integration in the workplace.

Man working from top of mountain

“I missed my daughter’s piano recital last night… too much work.”

I was dismayed to overhear those words while queuing up to board a plane recently. As every parent knows, missing a child’s after-school event is one of the worst feelings in the world. Continue reading

Forget Looking…. Listen to What’s in Your Blind Spot

“Seeing is believing” – or so the old expression goes.

Close encounter with lion

While that may be true, I’d like to add an important qualifier: “…but hearing is surviving.”

It’s easy to overlook just how critical our sense of hearing is. Sure, it allows us to be entertained and informed, enables us to communicate clearly and effectively with others and plenty more.

But perhaps more than anything, it helps keep us alive. Continue reading

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