Obama: Technology and customer service

In advance of Obama’s election victory, it was clear that the US and global economies would be in trouble for a while. Whoever would become President-elect, one lingering consequence would be the need for companies in most, if not all, sectors of the economy to reduce capital expenditures. That didn’t mean customer service should have to suffer or that technology expense would cease, but that enterprises would need to find alternative solutions to meet both ends of the customer care requirements: keeping their technology current and meeting customer service goals.

With the election results now in, what’s different? Well for one, the Obama administration is likely to appoint the first government chief technology officer. And, based upon how the Obama campaign embraced a “non-traditional” use of technology on its road to the White House, it’s a good assumption that we’ll see further embracing of alternative technology deployment — not for the sake of technology itself but in order to serve “the customers”: the US citizens.

What’s the connection? Tradition has given way to innovation, customer care still matters, and in order to meet the challenges ahead it’s likely we’ll have the government and its CTO spending on technology wisely and carefully.

In combination, this confluence of forces is likely to further propel the rise of software-as-a-service (SaaS) hosted customer care solutions. Numerous Fortune 500 and enterprise companies have aging technology infrastructures that need to be upgraded or replaced. Additionally, capital funding will be reduced at the same time that customer service needs to improve. Because of this, within the contact center industry we’re likely to see an acceleration of hosted contact center deployments that require no capital expense, yet let firms compete better and still focus on providing high levels of customer service. And the example being set may not just be by other companies that have already seen the benefits of this type of hosted technology deployment, but by the new regime in Washington.

Bruce Dresser is the CMO of Echopass, a provider of call and contact center services. Reach him at [email protected].

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