Tech trends that will hold the edge in 2023
There are multiple megatrends that futurists cite which will influence and impact businesses, processes, and workplaces across the board in 2023 and ahead. People Matters gathers some top tech trends across various sectors.
With technology continuing to advance amid – and to surmount the challenges of – the pandemic, there are multiple megatrends that futurists cite which will influence and impact businesses, processes, and workplaces across the board in 2023 and ahead. People Matters gathers some top tech trends across various sectors.
As we enter 2023 under the shadow of global economic uncertainty, the common theme across enterprises globally is the stress on cost reduction and increased productivity. Experts say this will come on the back of artificial intelligence (AI) and cloud adoption.
There’s no doubt that cloud computing has revolutionised the way businesses operate. From making it possible for employees to work remotely, allowing flexible hours, to making business communication and collaboration a lot easier, while also amplifying the company’s growth by modernising operations and expanding IT capabilities – cloud computing has given us all.
Faiz Shakir, Managing Director – Sales, Nutanix India & SAARC Nutanix says as the dynamic macroeconomic scenario continues to strongly influence cloud economics, the year 2023 is expected to be an eventful year for the technology sector – and primarily for the cloud business.
“New decision-making around applications and their infrastructure will take precedence as companies begin to reconsider their exposure to the cost economics of a single cloud provider or a public cloud only strategy owing to the limited ability to move applications and data between clouds or to on-prem locations. Thus, portability will emerge as an important multi-cloud value as enterprises look to characterise their apps and data for optimal location in terms of performance, sovereignty, and of course, cost,” he says.
Shakir adds that enterprises will also prioritise consolidation of developer environments due to their potential to run development environments where they make the most sense for the business while having the flexibility to pivot and move without fear of lock-in to a single infrastructure provider.
“In addition to this, untethered edge operating models will become more prevalent as applications will be expected to run all the time. Furthermore, sustainably will also emerge as a deciding factor in IT investments, globally, as companies start placing greater emphasis on how technology can lower energy costs and enable the achievement of sustainability mandates.”
Rahul Joshi, CTO at Movate (formerly CSS Corp) shares his list of trends for cloud computing in 2023 and ahead.
Investment in cloud security and resilience: The industry will keep spending on cyber security and building resilience against everything from data loss to the impact of a pandemic on global business in the coming years. At Movate, we have made investments in our Contelli platform which offers great cloud security and resilience.
Multi-cloud to become popular strategy: In 2023, most businesses will start leveraging the advantages of diversifying their services to different cloud providers taking a multi-cloud approach. This approach offers several benefits, including improved flexibility and security with no vendor lock-in.
Low-code and no-code cloud services: We can expect continued innovation in the field of hyper-scale cloud services. Low-code and no-code solutions are becoming available for building AI-powered applications for companies wanting to leverage AI/ML without getting into the complex coding job. Many of these services are provided via the cloud, i.e., people can access them “as-a-service”. This trend will pick up in the upcoming years.
Leveraging the efficiency of the cloud to meet sustainability goals: Today, sustainability is the most critical criterion in IT buying decisions. Organisations will continue to shift towards sustainable efficiencies by leveraging software and cloud-based infrastructures.
Innovation and consolidation in cloud gaming: We all enjoy binge-watching and listening to music. Thanks to the cloud that has brought us streaming services like Netflix, Spotify, etc., revolutionising the way we consume content today. Although, streaming video gaming is taking a little longer to gain a foothold as it requires higher bandwidth than music or videos. With the ongoing rollout of 5G and other ultra-fast networking technologies, 2023 could be the year cloud gaming will impact.
Out of all the technologies that have been introduced over the last few years, AI has proven to be one of the biggest buzzwords in the IT industry. Every year, new use cases are being discovered and are becoming feasible with advances in AI and efficient hardware.
Joshi shares a few examples that can help companies to be more efficient in leveraging AI.
Advanced cybersecurity: AI and ML can be used to enforce best cybersecurity practices, reduce attack surfaces, and track malicious activity proactively. More and more companies will start to invest in building AI systems that can analyse large volumes of data, including malicious code, malware, and code anomalies, to help cybersecurity teams identify potential threats.
Efficiency in IT operations: As machine data explodes, businesses are in a race to find value in their data and stay competitive. However, metadata initiatives are failing, and data discovery and retrieval are becoming challenging. This paves the way for the Growth of AI-as-a-Service. The emergence of the industrial internet and the integration of complex physical machines with networked sensors and software have forced these two areas to work together to improve resiliency, availability, and cybersecurity. Observability and controllability are areas of focus as organisations leverage AIOPs and data initiatives for enhanced correlation with increased adoption of SRE, DevOps, APM and other technologies.
Customer service excellence: Manikandan Thangarathnam, Senior Director – Platform Engineering, Uber feels 2023 will witness an increased reliance on machine learning and artificial intelligence in every aspect of providing a personalised customer experience and building intuitive systems designed to work in real-time. Applications of artificial intelligence will transcend the realm of core technology companies, and trickle into practically every business process across industries.
Hari Vasudev, SVP – Retail Tech Platforms and Country Head, Walmart Global Tech says it is an exciting time for the retail tech industry.
Recent years have blurred the lines between digital and physical, and technology will play a pivotal role in serving customers when, where, and how they want.
“Agility will be key. Adopting a ‘Four-in-a-box’ model that brings together technology, product, design, and operations will be crucial to innovate with speed and constantly evolve products and services to better serve customers. The coming times will also witness shopping experiences that are more personalised, inclusive, and accessible.
Predictive technology, leveraging AI and ML, will be vital to understand customer preferences more deeply and cater to their unique needs. AR/VR will be a game changer in bringing personalised experiences, such as virtual try-ons for apparel, eyewear, or even scanning shelves to find items that match one’s lifestyle and diet. Over a period of time, voice technology will emerge as a natural part of one’s shopping experience and an important tool for retailers to reduce customer friction,” Vasudev adds.
Saurabh Saxena, Intuit India Site Leader & VP, Product Development says although AI has been the driving force behind accelerated business transformation, it will continue to be foundational and indispensable in 2023.
“We’re already witnessing how AI and powerful data capabilities are redefining the security models and capabilities for companies,” he says.
This is borne out by a Forrester report which states that 46% of data and analytics business and technology decision-makers seek out partners to implement AI that is critical to the business.
Saxena says security practitioners and the industry as a whole will have much better tools and much faster information at their disposal, and they should be able to isolate security risks with much greater precision.
Meanwhile, the Fintech market will experience a massive and fundamental change due to various factors, including the advent of Web3 and huge technology acquisitions that most believe will open up the Internet.Web3 will provide more control for users – digital ownership and a distributed internet based on standards that will fundamentally affect Fintech by speeding decentralisation.
“In 2023, we can anticipate the pioneers to keep laying the foundation that might one day make decentralised virtual environments a reality. We’re going to experience fewer building blocks in Fintech, and these building blocks will be critical for companies and for those using embedded finance. We’ll see superhighways that become the consumer-trusted data and information connection between companies,” he adds.
5 CX trends to watch out for in 2023
In the last three years, the pandemic and economic headwinds changed the world radically and transformed the entire digital customer experience (CX) ecosystem. With the rising economic uncertainty and dire need to engage customers anywhere they prefer, enterprises are pushed to move away from their legacy systems and accelerate the adoption of next-gen technologies to transform their CX value chain.
A PWC report tells us that in the post-Covid world, 59% of customers said they care about CX. Hence in 2023 and beyond, enterprises will continue to focus on enhancing CX through data and analytics, customer journeys, the voice of customers, and intuitive automation. But, with lower demand and pressure on margins, enterprises will also focus on pruning efforts that are not bringing any business value.
Amidst these market forces, will 2023 be the year of reckoning for CX? It may well be, given the five key trends we see evolving over the next year.
According to Gartner, 70% of workers now interact regularly with conversational platforms.
We expect this number to rise in 2023 as enterprises adopt conversational artificial intelligence (AI) solutions to blur the line between agent-led and chatbot interactions and enable customers and agents to engage in more complex exchanges with digital assistants.
To drive customer satisfaction and make each experience memorable, enterprises will invest in creating AI personas for their conversational AI solutions, bringing relevancy and transparency to the customers and their conversations. Additionally, we will see enterprises using thousands of data points to improve chatbot features, navigation, and customer experience.
As we move along, we will see even more disruptions in the conversational AI space. Gartner expects that 40% of enterprise applications will have some form of built-in, more conversational AI by the end of 2024. And Juniper Research indicates that chatbots would save a staggering $11 billion in costs by 2023.
Despite the broader prospect of conversational AI adoption, chatbots still need to prove that they can create great CX experiences. A Zendesk CX Trends 2022 report highlighted that 60% of the customers were disappointed with chatbots as they lacked empathy. The solution? More conversational, empathetic AI.
It’s clear that customers crave authentic, individualized, and personalized conversations to drive their experience, and 2023 will be the year of reimagining natural human connection and delivering empathy at scale.
Empathy-driven CX across all forms of customer engagement is the answer. Forrester’s research shows that over 70% of customers want a more personalized online shopping experience. To achieve this, enterprises will offer an elevated, intimate level of personalized experience
at every customer touchpoint by leveraging integrated CX solutions, persona-based conversational AI, and data-driven customer insights. Leading tech enterprises can further strengthen their CX delivery by leveraging their passionate product users and advocates to provide empathetic support in a gig model.
Most enterprises will gather more intelligence across the entire CX ecosystem, empower teams to create customer-centric products and services using AI, ML, and NLP, and develop intuitive product recommendations and chat experiences.
Until now, the metaverse has been a concept more than a reality due to its complexity. Nonetheless, everyone has acknowledged its potential to revolutionize how customers and enterprises communicate, socialize, and consume products and services.
Many top brands have launched their metaverses in the last two years, including Nike, Adidas, Hyundai, BMW, Samsung, and Verizon. The metaverse will continue to gain attention as enterprises would not want to fall behind or miss out altogether on this fascinating trend. At the same time, because of the looming economic volatility, enterprises will be cautious while investing in the metaverse and focus on the use cases that can deliver assured ROI. In 2023, businesses will gradually move from the exploratory phase toward more real-world use case implementations and start creating valuable and integrated immersive experiences for their customers.
In the world of CX and support, metaverse as a new, extended channel can add tangible business value and would be one of the leading use cases in 2023. Consider this: Gartner predicts by 2026, 25% of people will spend at least one hour a day in the metaverse for work, shopping, education, social, and entertainment.
There are immense possibilities for brands to leverage the metaverse in the context of CX — virtual guides, immersive shopping, virtual learning, avatar-based support, and so on. It will not only transform the interaction in the real and digital worlds, but also provide strategic opportunities and innovative business models. It is just a matter of time before the metaverse becomes an integral part of the overall customer experience.
According to a KPMG survey, 91% of U.S. CEOs anticipate a recession in 2023. Therefore, enterprises are looking for ways to reduce costs, de-risk, and sustain business growth. One of the ways is with CX outsourcing. This year, enterprises will move to new-age CX providers to deliver a superlative experience and to lower overall costs.
As per a NelsonHall report, by 2026, the total CX services market will be around $116 billion and grow at 5.2% CAGR. With the rising economic turbulence and meeting ever-changing customer expectations, this is the right time to leverage CX outsourcing services across the customer experience value chain. It will enable companies to fill the gap during unexpected demand spikes and optimize and automate CX cycles and shortages of skilled talent.
With cloud-based contact centers and exciting advances in CX technology, service providers can drive hyper-efficiency and growth for enterprises. Additionally, CX outsourcing will reduce the cost of talent onboarding, enterprise spending on infrastructure and utilities, and building a maximally adaptive, resilient, flexible, and agile workforce to scale as per the demand.
Gig models have gained momentum recently with the growth of internet-backed digital platforms that facilitate easy access to gig work. Today, with technology-enabled gig work, platforms are flourishing. It is estimated that there are as many as 1.1 billion gig workers worldwide, with over 55 million in the U.S. alone. A research study from TSIA partner Kantata found that more than 50% of Millennial and Gen-Z workers have considered becoming freelancers or contractors.
The upward trend of gig work will also reflect in the CX industry. Enterprises will find that they will have to pay increased attention to Gen Z’s expectations of work — it must be flexible and rewarding.
In 2023, more brands will leverage gig-based support models to provide world-class customer support 24/7, while managing demand fluctuations. As new waves of the pandemic threaten to hit us, early adopters of gig-based support will prove to be more resilient against its impact. Leading companies will explore advanced models like Movate’s blended gig-enabled support model. This is a one-of-a-kind model that offers the flexibility of the gig industry and the resilience of a full-time support ecosystem. Moreover, it leverages the product’s existing users to provide high-quality, empathetic support for complex issues, enables brands to manage surges in contact volumes efficiently, and drives tangible cost savings.
A flexible, fluid workforce will be vital for businesses to scale and downsize as required. Frontline gig workers will work with advanced technologies and the existing workforce, resulting in an enhanced CX.
Experience is everything today, and great customer experience is key to building trust, loyalty, and a strong connection with a brand. Customer-centric enterprises know that designing great CX is not a “nice-to-have” anymore, but a “must-have.”
From AI to machine learning (ML) to hyper-personalization to the metaverse, enterprises will leave nothing unturned. As per recent Salesforce research, 89% of customers are more likely to make another purchase after a positive customer service experience. We live in the era of digitally savvy customers who are empowered and willing to make choices based on their interactions on different channels. Brands will be listening to their voice more closely than ever. In 2023, it will be the year of rediscovering CX and placing the customer back as the focus of all business.
Syriac Joswin, Movate on how to maximize value returns from your technology investment
Organizations are focusing on short-term goals to create operational efficiencies quickly and reduce costs and not taking customer experience seriously enough. Rising customer expectations are increasingly placing more demands on every product, service, and experience, which should be one of the driving forces of your digital strategy.
The past few years have witnessed the rise of the digital transformation market, predicted to surpass the trillion-dollar market size by 2025, according to an IDC report (and let’s be honest, it’s only getting started). Nevertheless, companies are still struggling to reach their estimated returns on digital transformation investments.
A Deloitte report points out that 70% of digital transformation efforts fail. The reason? Organizations are focusing on short-term goals to create operational efficiencies quickly and reduce costs and not taking customer experience seriously enough. Rising customer expectations are increasingly placing more demands on every product, service, and experience, which should be one of the driving forces of your digital strategy
The future of digital transformation is experience-driven. Industry leaders realize that creating systems that deliver unmatched always-on customer experiences; can drive incredibly consistent revenue and bring higher returns than high-performing marketing campaigns.
The Next Tech Revolution
There’s no doubt that cloud computing has revolutionized the way businesses operate. From making it possible for employees to work remotely, allowing flexible hours, to making business communication and collaboration a lot easier, while also amplifying the company’s growth by modernizing operations and expanding IT capabilities – cloud computing has given us all! Rahul Joshi, CTO at Movate (formerly CSS Corp), shared his thoughts on cloud computing trends. Also, he talks about how AI/ML can be leveraged to become more efficient in 2023.
▾Cloud Computing Trends in 2023
• Investment in cloud security and resilience: The industry will keep spending on cyber security and building resilience against everything from data loss to the impact of a pandemic on global business in the coming years. At Movate, we have made investments in our Contelli platform which offers great cloud security and resilience. Our solutions combined with industry leading solutions gives a greater realtime detection and prevention of known and unknown threats.
• Multi-cloud to become popular strategy: In 2023, most businesses will start leveraging the advantages of diversifying their services to different cloud providers taking a multi-cloud approach. This approach offers several benefits, including improved flexibility and security with no vendor lock-in.
• Low-code and no-code cloud services: We can expect continued innovation in the field of hyper-scale cloud services. Low-code and no-code solutions are becoming available for building AIpowered applications for companies wanting to leverage AI/ML without getting into the complex coding job. Many of these services are provided via the cloud, i.e., people can access them “as-a-service” This trend will pick up in the upcoming years. At Movate, we have built our Analytics and BI platform on top of LCNC platform. This has helped us to reduce our GTM over ~60%. This also enabled our business users to develop the dashboards on their own through DIY model.
• Leveraging the efficiency of the cloud to meet sustainability goals: Today, sustainability is the most critical criterion in IT buying decisions. Organizations will continue to shift towards sustainable efficiencies by leveraging software and cloud-based infrastructures.
• Innovation and consolidation in cloud gaming: We all enjoy binge-watching and listening to music. Thanks to the cloud that has brought us streaming services like Netflix, Spotify, etc., revolutionizing the way we consume content today. Although, streaming video gaming is taking a little longer to gain a foothold as it requires higher bandwidth than music or videos. With the ongoing rollout of 5G and other ultra-fast networking technologies, 2023 could be the year cloud gaming will impact.
Can the Outcome-Based Engagement Model be the Key to Your Firm’s Success? By Rajasekharan Sankaralingam
To businesses following a Fixed-Price Pricing or even Time & Material model in 2022 — hate to break it, but linear pricing is struggling.
In a recently conducted Enterprise Customer Success Study and Outlook survey, Deloitte researchers found that 76% of enterprise customers were keen to discuss outcomes with their IT providers. The evolution of customer preferences has begun. Surviving in today’s volatile market scenario without a progressive monetization strategy is as difficult as it gets. This is where outcome-based pricing comes in.
Customers seek high values first; industry giants have cracked this code and are charging based on the outcomes they deliver or pay-as-you-go, not fixed rates. But should hypergrowth or mid-size enterprises care? I think so. Outcome-based pricing could give such businesses a much-needed boost with a lower initial capital requirement despite the high uncertainty factor.
Pricing is an exchange rate for the value an enterprise offers to the market. But here’s the problem: the market is always out of control. Effort-driven services leveraged traditional pricing strategies, including cost/value-based or market/competitor-based in the yesteryears. Then the pandemic happened, and the market has been volatile like never before.
Simultaneously, we saw the advent of an all-digital world in which the traditional models were incompatible with technology-led disruption and increased clients’ demands of higher value and reduced costs over bone-stock product features.
Outcome-based pricing rose as the well-deserved shift from traditional pricing. The “why” is simple. In 2023, customers will have loads to choose from. It’s all about linking the cost of service to the value derived from them. These models are flexible enough to take various shapes and forms depending on the client’s unique situation and the nature of the business. IT companies that commit to certain outcomes and promise an attractive ROI will have the upper hand.
Not as far as we can see. While outcome-based pricing can reap rich rewards, it requires thorough consideration. Although many of Movate’s clients have 10x-ed their business with these models, we have advised quite a few to choose alternatives.
Clients and providers engaging in an outcome-based model must thoroughly study every underlying parameter in detail — the client’s need for control, investment requirement, plans, and scaling vision, and the provider’s current operational expertise, risk appetite, and core competence. Blanket adoption without due diligence only leads to failure. However, overcoming the temporary roadblocks with strategic planning leads to incredible paybacks.
Outcome-based pricing makes increasing revenue and customer retention easier for IT companies. First, customers today only continue using and referring service providers to others if they consistently exceed expectations. Post the initial contract, repeat service agreements, project-based service agreements, etc., are governed by the provider’s performance. This strategy creates a win-win situation for both clients and providers.
Enterprises want to avoid paying for lofty promises and ill-fated efforts; outcome-based pricing solves this challenge by charging for practical solutions and results while eliminating unanticipated costs and haphazard budget provisioning.
Outcome models transfer the risk to the provider significantly from the client. Service provider revenues are a direct reflection of customers’ business outcomes. Being bound by a risk-sharing engagement in hand cuts out any room for slack and motivates the provider to perform better.
Despite numerous benefits, even outcome-based pricing has its fair share of roadblocks. Forecasting the efforts or resources, factoring the risk-to-reward margin, and integrating both into a mutually agreed pricing strategy is complex.
Establishing an array of outcome metrics on which all stakeholders of the corporate hierarchy can mutually concur is the most difficult struggle. In most cases, the metrics that the customers prioritize vary from those that the provider finds important. The outcomes must be carefully drafted by having both parties on the same page.
When a provider willingly pivots toward outcome-based pricing, instances, where the capacity fluctuates from predicted results, are common. Thus, the provider must revise its resource allocation capabilities for optimal utilization and better output.
Macroeconomic factors, like declining revenue within or across industries due to external influencing factors or changing priorities with internal challenges, can impact the results and should be factored in.
Customers today are highly value-driven and cost-conscious. The key to customer acquisition and retention in today’s market is constantly reinventing ideas and revamping operations.
Outcome-based pricing is definitely an answer. But right now, pure outcome-based pricing excels in a limited number of environments. It is only for some, but if chosen with the right awareness, shared enthusiasm, and proper approach, it could significantly boost your business growth with predictability, transparency, and flexibility in budgeting and pricing.
How businesses aim to leverage disruptive technology to get the most out of their digital investments in 2023
Rahul Joshi, CTO at Movate (earlier CSS Corp)
“There’s no doubt that cloud computing has revolutionized the way businesses operate. From making it possible for employees to work remotely, allowing flexible hours, to making business communication and collaboration a lot easier, while also amplifying the company’s growth by modernizing operations and expanding IT capabilities – cloud computing has given us all!
Developments in AI/ML in 2023
Out of all the technologies that have been introduced into the mainstream over the last few years, AI has proven to be one of the biggest buzzwords in the IT industry. Every year new use cases are being discovered and are becoming feasible with advances in AI and efficient hardware. Here are a few examples that can help companies to be more efficient in leveraging AI:
Here is how HR leaders are managing their emails
It is a known and obvious fact that emails are an inevitable part of communication at work, especially in white collar jobs. But have you ever calculated the time you spend on an average on emails? A study by Adobe says that an average person spends as much as three hours a day managing their work email. When compared to the total work hours, three hours is not a small number!
Sometimes clearing all emails and achieving ‘inbox zero,’ is a kind of mental relief. But considering the incessant flow of messages these days, is spending that much time on emails really fruitful? It is understandable that not every email benefits the work. Wisely managing insignificant mails that drain one’s workflow and attention span matters, as it can in the long run affect one’s productivity to do other value driven tasks.
According to a study by the University of California Irvine, it takes workers almost 24 minutes to get back to their previous level of focus when faced with an interruption. So, every time you interrupt your work to check your email, it takes you nearly 30 minutes to get back in the groove and back to your original level of productivity, attention and focus.
In this context, ETHRWorld interacted with HR leaders to know how they manage their emails and understand what are the ‘dos and don’ts’ practices they follow to effectively manage the time and productivity.
Jharna Thammaiah K, Director – HR, Intuit India, says she checks mails at regular intervals throughout the day, even in her meetings. Though she hasn’t calculated the average time she spends on emails, it differs from day to day, depending on the type of work week, meetings and travel schedule.
Punitha Anthony, Senior Director – HR, Movate, spends around 2 to 3 hours on emails. Checking and clearing emails is the first thing she does in the morning when the work starts. Anthony says that this helps her to prioritise matters that need immediate attention. She also does the same thing at the end of the day to ensure that nothing is pending.
Even Amrit Jaidka Arora, CHRO, Digit Insurance, starts her day by checking emails, as this helps her to set an agenda for the day. “I keep a tab of my mails every 30 minutes to ensure prompt replies and spend about five minutes each time. So, roughly around 1-2 hours are spent on reading mails,” she says.
Anthony of Movate says, “Though emails are the most effective way for communicating important information, giving praise, sharing positive news or documenting the details for future reference, we often tend to get so absorbed with emails that we lose focus on the personal connect needed.”
According to Anthony, personal conversations, connecting with employees, picking up the phone and speaking to them directly often work better, faster and have a greater impact.
Arora of Digit Insurance shares that they, as a company, take pride in the quick turnaround times for their customers. Hence, it is imperative for them to ensure that the same trickles down to all employees too.
“You have to ensure there are no unnecessary delays, especially in cases where teams are awaiting final sign offs. One needs to manage time efficiently and make it a part of the routine. That way, one won’t spend a lot of time on emails and can ensure productivity doesn’t get affected,” Arora points out.
Thammaiah of Intuit is of the opinion that if emails are managed with discretion and the right balance, it helps in improving productivity and enables positive collaboration. At Intuit, they deploy many collaboration tools for varied functions.
With everyone experiencing meeting overload and exhaustion, Intuit is gravitating towards asynchronous ways of sharing information, enabling collaboration and decision making wherever possible to support employee wellbeing.
Thammaiah says in that sense, emails do come handy and help productivity without adding the pressures of excessive meetings, even if it is only used for the first or last mile of any collaborative assignment.
However, she adds that there are certainly some productivity challenges that come with emails being used without discretion, especially when one feels compelled and stressed to constantly stay on top of ‘all emails’.
Anthony of Movate sorts out her emails on two parameters, such as urgency and importance. She creates a mental 2X2 matrix and categories her emails based on these.
Urgent emails are responded first, followed by the important ones, which necessarily has a time allotted.
As an HR leader, employee grievances are the top listed emails which Anthony responds to instantly. And, similarly, emails from the leadership team are something she keeps on the radar.
Arora of Digit Insurance has set certain rules in Outlook to categorise mails into different labelled folders. For example, anything to do with skip-level discussions, car lease, ESAR etc are automatically tagged to a different folder.
Thammaiah of Intuit says that prioritising emails is still an area of improvement for her. “I have a long way to go in getting better. Currently, I try to scan through my emails first thing in the morning. So that I am mentally aware of what came from the previous night and if anything is still pending in my inbox,” she says.
Thammaiah then colour codes them to be able to differentiate her mails based on priority and importance like mails that can be addressed later, ones that need an immediate response, work that requires deeper research, etc.
She tries to get the emails that need further delegation or quick responses out of her way by acting on them immediately so that she does not become a blocker to any further action needed.
“Something that also helps me is deleting emails that are clutter or move out mails that I have already acted on to the respective folders so that my primary inbox only has emails that need action from me,” she says.
Why And How To Utilize Gig-Enabled Customer Support
Vivian Gomes, Chief Marketing Officer at Movate.
The future of work arrived yesterday.
Even before the global pandemic disrupted set models of work, work as we know it had been quietly shifting. And nothing has highlighted that shift more than the rapid emergence of the gig economy.
The gig economy is not new. It has been here for a while—longer than you may imagine—because the word “gig” was first coined by jazz musicians back in the early 1900s. But the modern gig economy really took off with the growth of internet-backed platforms that facilitated easy access to gig work. Being hyper-connected with the growth of social networks has fueled new technology-enabled ways of working. And the key word for me is “technology.”
Gartner predicts that gig work will make up about 35% to 40% of the workforce by 2025.
So, while gig work is not new, what has changed is that technology-enabled organizations are now using gig platforms at scale to reach a large talent base across the globe. Now, many organizations are focusing on building a maximally adaptive workforce: one that is flexible and agile. As the chief marketing officer at a company that provides on-demand workforce augmentation, I saw many companies and departments in the CX space embrace the gig workforce during the pandemic when the limitations of a traditional contact center environment were brought to the fore. I believe gig support models have gained popularity for their flexibility and scalability.
Yet, traditional gig support models present certain challenges of their own.
Businesses have to significantly invest in training their gig workforce to meet their quality standards. But that training is often limited to providing competence in handling their customers well, not necessarily creating experts who know their business products or services. The result is sometimes poor CX.
Add to this the challenges of availability, the onboarding of gig talent, and IT security concerns, and the traditional gig support model begins to creak at the hinges.
Rebuilding The Gig Customer Experience Ecosystem
As we go forward, I believe organizations will realize more and more that gig engagements shouldn’t be random: They should be part of the long-term strategy and be cohesive, agile and integrated. I am talking about rebuilding the entire gig customer experience ecosystem—one that has the flexibility to manage surges in demand, achieves tangible cost savings, ensures enterprise privacy and security, is agile in deployment, and offers a deeper and more empathetic experience to customers.
And one of the ways we can do that is by creating a gig-enabled support model that complements full-time agents with gig experts (people with domain and product experience) while leveraging technology solutions that drive higher efficiency and automation through the resolution process. When you do this, the possibilities are immense. Think of the gaming industry, for example. I’ve found that gaming is often affected by disruptions in demand, especially during the holiday season, which causes a surge in customer requests. To manage these surges and fluctuations, companies should develop an on-demand, gig-enabled support model that not only scales up and down effortlessly but also delivers empathetic customer support along with traditional support.
The model should bring gig experts’ native skills and real-life knowledge of the product to the problem the customer is facing. Gig experts should not just be skilled workers but also the actual product or service end users. With this model, companies could drastically reduce their training requirements.
The gig-enabled support model can not only transform the customer experience but also enable organizations to bring down their operating costs by leveraging a pay-per-resolution approach. The idea is to create a consumption-based model for the organizations and charge them only for resolutions.
Impressive as those potential benefits are, there’s more. I have also always believed in building a personal level of service. People connect to the experience a brand offers, and they connect to its humanity. An on-demand, gig-enabled support model could provide exactly that personalized human connection because it provides a struggling customer with contextual and relevant advice.
Building A Successful On-Demand Support System
To start off, clearly map out the processes against the resource type for efficient routing. Gig-based peer experts are best for product-specific queries. Account-specific requests that require access to the CRM can go to traditional support teams. As your gig ecosystem matures, the balance may shift from traditional to on-demand support.
Where you source your gig talent from can sometimes be a deal breaker for your support quality. Though there are several gig portals available today, they do not necessarily all do thorough background checks that can ensure you work with high-quality talent. You can leverage your product alpha users or community forums to source gig peer experts. It is easy to identify such product practitioners through digital channels, and they can be quickly assessed at the hiring stage to ensure faster onboarding of skilled gig talent with minimal or no training. Also, you can incentivize your gig workforce to perform well. For instance, you could provide workers with high CSAT scores and peer reviews with financial rewards.
I believe another key to success is technology. Consider how you can leverage automation in processes like onboarding, QA and payments to help you integrate your gig workers into traditional models. Think about how to use technology to make it easier to blend the gig ecosystem with traditional delivery models to achieve the stability of the traditional model with the scalability of gig.
Convert Your Best Customers Into Brand Ambassadors
It’s the human connection that drives me to believe that this is not just the future of work but the tomorrow of customer experience. When you use your best customers to provide support to other customers and deliver exceptional service, you are also building brand ambassadors.
Traditionally, customer service has always been seen as a cost center. But with this model, I think it’s time to see customer service as a value-adding center. The time is ripe for faster adoption of empathetic, expert-driven gig support. Are you tapping into it?
CSS Corp is now Movate