One thread seems to weave its way through the predictions of ‘the big issues of 2014.’ There are reams of stories from pundits predicting a huge rise in mobile payments solutions (if MCX launches it will be the ‘next big thing’), the almost concrete prediction that this really, really is the year of real-time and that wearable technology and Google Glass will create a new generation of people with too much information to process so that they become disfunctional. Among all this is a small glimmer of golden hope.
Several stories have emerged in the last few weeks where common sense has prevailed – but only just. Eric Priezkalns relates how Marketing can come up with a price plan of, say, $5 a month. Operations input the plan as a 5c plan and things progress. Computers do no pick it up because computers do not have common sense. Humans like Eric – quite rightly – get paid to spot these errors, using common sense, thus saving potentially millions of dollars.
What happens is that we are blinded by the nirvana of technology. We have been convinced that analytics is about computers not common sense. But analytics is about common sense and the computers are there simply to scale the analysts’ efforts.
The same goes for customers and customer experience. We are, again, blinded by the scale of the problem of looking after the number of customers that telcos need to look after. Customer experience needs a dose of common sense. A teenager might seem like a customer that is hardly worth keeping. But in these days of shared plans, is the bill payer for the family also the communications decision maker for a company. With modern customer service, common sense may well be best delivered via a self-service solution. Once customers truly start specifying what they want from a provider, then this should create a virtuous circle. There will be fewer in-bound – frustrating for everyone – calls and the service provider will learn a huge amount about his customers. And continue to do so as the interactions continue.
If we can input common sense into our analytics, customer experience and big data projects, we will gain a better understanding of our customers and our business.
Perhaps, then, it should be more of a Resolution for 2014 than a prediction, but wouldn’t it be to everyone’s benefit if 2014 was the Year of Common Sense and Starting Small?