The recent presentation by Taher Behbehani, the Chief Marketing Officer at The BroadSoft Connections event in Phoenix, Arizona was extremely engaging. He described how behaviours in the world of business are constantly changing and how the use of mobile and messaging apps are transforming business communications.
His story of attending a One Direction concert with his teenage daughters was particularly striking; he described this as giving him a marketing epiphany and a product insight breakthrough. In a stadium of 65000 people, he observed that almost every child held a $600 phone in their hands videoing throughout the event. They were not only recording it, they were posting it, pinning it, sharing it and socialising it.
Taher told his audience of BroadSoft partners and suppliers that these children, this generation, are digital natives. They are the millennials that have grown up with today’s technology. In the next five years, this group will make up 50 per cent of the workforce including 15 per cent of the management who will make the decisions on what to buy, what brands to choose and what software to buy.
This world is no longer about telephony, but about productivity. And this group will expect technology to enable them be more productive and more effective in their jobs; they will expect a single place from which to communicate, message, access content, watch entertainment and make payments.
To serve this market, Taher introduced Project Tempo, BroadSoft’s cloud service that will allow individuals and teams to reach new levels of productivity by integrating real-time communications and collaboration, cloud applications, and contextual intelligence, into a unified end-user experience.
Taher’s strategy and the positioning of Project Tempo is very much in line with our own thinking at Tollring. Tempo is all about integration with all other elements within the workplace. We are no longer delivering technology but opportunities to help customers to be more productive. This is what drives Tollring’s development agenda as we endeavour to ensure our services are always needed and relevant.
Another thought provoking speaker at the same event was the innovation expert Hamish Taylor, who previously worked for Proctor and Gamble, was Head of Brand Management at British Airways and Chief Exec of Eurostar.
His presentation focused on understanding what customers’ think. His view is that if you want to drive innovation and change within your business, you need to change the way you understand your customers. This understanding has traditionally been about data and information, but since everyone now has access to virtually the same information, having a really good understanding of your customer, solving the little things and reacting to your customers’ mood, is the way to make a real difference.
To gain an edge over competitors you need to access valuable insights into your customers. The advice here was not to pre-judge but to research properly. This means starting with a blank piece of paper rather than putting a boundary around the insights you are going to collect since you might just miss the most vital piece of information.
Hamish expanded that being able to share these insights within your company is particularly valuable. There is no point having one group in your business understanding and sympathising with customers’ issues if they then can’t then act on this feedback to make changes and improvements.
This final point is really important. At Tollring, whilst we are always mindful that we listen to our vast population of multi-tiered customers, we are always listening to our staff too. These are the people who receive first-hand feedback on the customer’s experience and whether we are meeting their expectations. It’s essential that staff are on side with their focus on delivering improvements in usability and productivity to ensure success.