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

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

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

Why a Nice Lunch Beats Facebook and LinkedIn – Every Time

Emails, LinkedIn, Facebook, and other digital solutions are great for information sharing but are killing innovation, collaboration, and efficiency in modern knowledge-based companies. It’s time to enter the era of meaningful conversation. I just rediscovered an old book that shows us how.

Just the other day I finished re-reading the New York Times bestseller, “Never eat alone,” written by Keith Ferrazzi. The book is basically a cookbook in achieving success by building and utilizing your personal network to get better jobs, more business, new opportunities, or whatever you crave in life.

The concept is simple: if you build a large personal network, the network will, over time, reward you with more opportunities in life. All you need is to plan your targets and execute your plan, and, of course, buy Mr. Ferrazzi’s book.

“Never eat alone” is about your personal success; re-reading the book made me realize that it also holds a hidden gem for the successful companies of the future. Continue reading