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How may my technology help you?

By Francis Moran

Canada’s national broadcaster, the CBC, is airing a special series on its national radio news programs called, “How may I help you?” I caught the first in-depth piece yesterday evening and I so badly wanted to call in immediately and share my endless stack of customer service horror stories. Many fellow listeners obviously felt the same way; as of late this morning, fully 279 (!) individual stories of lament had been posted to CBC’s web site.

The issue put me in mind of an article, authored by Graham Technology’s Frank Kirwan, that we secured in Customer Management magazine earlier this year.

As I was listening to the radio piece last evening and reading some of the horror stories posted online this morning, the key point that kept coming back to me from Kirwan’s article “Dissatisfaction is a greater driver of (customer) defection than satisfaction is of retention,” he said. And judging from the number of CBC listeners who wrote that they would never again do business with that bank, telephone company, travel agency or whatever, clearly it takes just a single outrageous example of lousy customer service to trigger that defection.It really doesn’t have to be that way.

Because we have been working with Graham Technology for about a year and a half now, and with other companies like PIKA Technologies and Vocantas whose products and services can help companies sharpen their customer service, we know that the effective deployment of the appropriate technology solution can dramatically improve what seems to be a near-universally dismal record. The irony is that technology implementations are often cited by customers as the most egregious part of the problem. (Bell Canada’s voice avatar Emily surely would be hung in effigy from city to city across Canada if she was anything more corporeal than the ultimate in service-preventing disembodied interactive voice response (IVR) systems!)

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Scotland IT skills shortage

Scotsman

By Danny Sullivan

ScotlandIS, the trade body for the Scottish IT sector has been in the news this week as it seeks to drive more students to take up IT-related courses at University. As the Scotsman reports, “Figures showed a 47 per cent drop in UK applications to university courses in IT between 2001 and 2006.”

ScotlandIS’s Polly Purvis said, “I think the perception is that, after the dotcom crash, there are no technology jobs left in Scotland. That is just not true. There is a massive shortage of UK students taking up places on related degree courses.”

Web 2.0 is so passé

By Danny Sullivan

Just as we thought we were starting to get a handle on Web 2.0, the next installment, imaginatively titled “Web 3.0,” is emerging as the next big Internet thing.

I read a couple of articles this week that helped make things a little clearer. First, Yahoo!’s Julien Lecomte wrote Is This the Birth Of Web 3.0? for Jupiter Media, and then I read Ruth Mortimer’s piece on the same topic in Marketing Week. The semantic web, eh? Ooooh, aaaah!

Of course, after realizing that Web 3.0 is clearly well understood and in some ways already here, I just had to take a look around to see what comes next…

Well, you can try your own search for that, but I liked Alain Sherter’s lighthearted observations for The Deal.

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