Three Predictions for 2013: Self-service scheduling, BYOD impacts, Real-time collaboration
Oh, January is here, and everybody in high tech with a byline is publishing their 2013 predictions. How can I resist joining the herd? Here are my top 3 predictions for service-related technology topics in 2013:
- Self-service scheduling. NCR takes credit for inventing the concept of self-service with the advent of the electronic teller in the 60s. When was the last time you waited on line in a bank? Tech support has been successfully moving customers to self-service for more than a decade. I think 2013 will see customers demand that the self-service laggard….field service….finally join the revolution, allowing customers to schedule their own appointment times online. Rarely seen in B2C, and unheard of in B2B, with more field support organizations adopting robust scheduling and dispatch platforms, opening up appointment scheduling to end users is a natural progression, and early adopters will get a lot of press–and customer goodwill–for making the effort.
- BYOD impacts. Tablet and smartphone sales now account for some 40 percent of spending on electronics worldwide, with sales of laptops and desktops shrinking each year. I keep hearing more about “Bring your own device,” or BYOD, meaning companies assume both employees and customers are armed with the latest gadgets and the pressure is on IT to be sure all corporate data and applications can be easily and cleanly accessed via mobile devices. This means a lot of infrastructure improvements, massive UI overhauls, and companies beginning to compete on how well they deliver the customer experience to mobile users. This isn’t just about trying to be cool, either. With a new breed of young, fickle Wall Street analysts doing all their research via Blackberries and iPhones, some big legacy brands will start taking it in the shorts when they see buy recommendations downgraded because corporate websites are not easily navigable via a mobile device.
- Real-time collaboration. Salesforce Chatter has made company-wide collaboration a breeze. Community platforms such as Jive are putting a big emphasis on making internal collaboration simple and effective. Vendors such as enterprise search specialist Coveo have introduced the concept of expertise management, making it easy to identify an expert on any topic, product or feature. With high planned spending for the last 2 years on collaboration tools, I think in 2013 we will finally begin to see examples of company (and maybe even customer) experts being pulled into real-time collaborations about critical customer issues. The tools are ready, all we need now is the spirit of cooperation and collaboration, and I think with growing numbers of younger collab-minded workers entering the workforce, 2013 will be the year we see real progress toward making this a support standard.
What are your predictions? Please add a comment and keep the conversation going! And as always, thanks for reading.