Your technology selection approach is broken!

When it comes to choose and buy technology to enable business outcomes, far too many companies still use the same approach of consulting analyst reports, building and issuing RFx, going through long selection and purchasing cycles.

This approach is broken. It is a waste of people’s time and effort, as well as businesses’ money. And, more often than not, it doesn’t provide the desired outcome: the smooth implementation and adoption of a technology that is fit for purpose.

It worked well when technology pricing and licensing models were expensive, required a huge investment in infra-structure, and demanded implementation cycles of many months (sometimes even years). That is history!

Today’s technology platforms pricing and subscription model derisks decisions. Businesses can select a technology; subscribe to it for a very small amount of money and period of time; implement it in a matter of weeks; and prove or disprove its value and adoption.

G2 was created to help change the paradigm, and move the technology selection process to the 21st century – by allowing “real” people to review the technology platforms, rather than just leaving that to a select group of “biased” analysts.

I have said it more than once. What works for consumers must work for companies as well. Purchasing business technology should be as easy and effortless for company’s decision makers, as buying consumer products or services is for all of us.

That is also why G2 came to play a crucial role. It provides “unfiltered reviews” from people who actually use the technology solutions or platforms. More than that, G2 made it simple, clear and easy to navigate and understand, leaving behind jargon.

Furthermore, it innovated! And this post is also to praise them for the creation of the category that looks into Experience Management Software products – where we see Qualtrics (miles away from competition) and Medallia in the Leaders quadrant.

20200515 G2 Crowd - Grid - XM Q2 2020

Employee Engagement and Technology after COVID-19

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The world evolves every day, but some events make certain changes come abruptly. In the 20th century, things were never the same after the second World War. And no doubt things will change for good now, after this COVID-19 pandemic.

One of the things that will change is the way we work, and where we work from. Many companies will realise that they no longer need to pay whopping rents for offices in the centre of capital cities, as people can be as efficient working remotely.

But if the cost saving will be good news for companies, and the avoidance of daily commutes will please employees, the situation will pose some challenges, namely around two key things: employee engagement and technology.

1. Employee Engagement

The experience of working for a company will be completely different if people work remotely and don’t have much face-time – for internal meetings, client workshops, even coffee-breaks or team building activities.

In a not completely unlikely situation, people could even spend their whole tenure at a company without physically meeting their colleagues. We see today, many people being interviewed and hired over video-conference.

So the paradigm for Employee Engagement needs to change. HR and XM specialists will be asked by companies to come up with different ways of getting their employees to “feel the company”,live the culture” and “wear the jersey“.

This will impact the strategy, approach, and tactics used in current Employee Experience programs – be it lifecyle (e.g. on-boarding, exit), 360, or pulses. And technology will play an even bigger role in the enablement of this.

2. Technology

But if things change the way we envisage, and more companies and people adopt remote work, technology will no longer be just an enabler (something that makes it possible for a particular thing to happen or be done), it will be pivotal.

Employees will not be able to do their work without technology – I’m thinking not only of Software but also of Hardware. And this will demand technology companies to develop their platforms and devices even further, making them more powerful.

What we achieved, technology-wise, in the last 2 decades (since the Personal Computer and the World Wide Web got married) is absolutely astonishing. With that, remote working today wasn’t possible. But technology is only developing at a possible pace.

The expectation is that this crisis and the changes that will come as a consequence of it, will give a gigantic push for technology development to accelerate massively, and for its power to become unthinkable… but necessary to cope with the new normal.

How COVID-19 will change restaurant experience

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The world will definitely not be the same after this COVID-19 pandemic, and many aspects of our daily lives – even those that seem trivial – will be impacted. Some of them changed for good and, I will argue, also for the better.

Recent interactions with a good friend – Miguel Cizeron, an experienced Chef who is opening a new Restaurant in Portugal – made me think of something everyone experiences and will definitely change soon: going out for a meal with friends or family.

Every time we go out for a meal, we are looking for a enjoyable experience. Either we go to McDonald’s with our kids, expecting to see them happy and having fun. Or we go to a fancy restaurant with friends, for a pleasurable and unique experience.

But many times the experience is below par. The food is great (every McDonald’s has tasty burgers and chips, and all fancy restaurants have delicious dishes) but the experience is so much more than food – it’s the the ambiance, the service, the people around us.

More often than desirable, one of those things ruins the overall experience. You wait before getting seated; there’s so much noise that you need to shout for others to hear; people next to you hear your conversation; staff struggles with so many orders.

The social distancing measures that will need to be put in place, due to the pandemic, will most probably change a dinning experience. And, as far as I’m concerned (I hate crowded places), it will change it for the better.

We don’t know yet what governments and policies will enforce, and what the regulations will look like. But surely people will have to make reservations and arrive on time, avoiding queues and people waiting in cramped entrances.

Restaurants will have to reduce capacity, increasing distance between tables. This means customers will be much more comfortable. There won’t be too much noise, people can have private conversations, staff will be more attentive, etc.

My Chef friend asked a good question: “If restaurants reduce capacity, they’ll probably have to increase prices”. My answer, based on public research, is “No problem” – because most people (like me) will gladly pay more for a more enjoyable experience.

 

Reduce backlog and improve productivity with “Bump-Bump-Solve”

In a time where customer service and support teams are being flooded with queries and requests, it is important that technology helps not only improve productivity, but also the experience delivered.

Examples like the one below allow technology platforms like Zendesk to take care of repetitive tasks, automating where possible, and freeing up customer service for key customer interactions and conversations.

This demo and video was built and recorded by my colleague Matt Brown – Senior Consultant at Capventis, with 15 years experience in Support Management, and leading the Zendesk enablement and implementation for our customers.