DOES CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE DEPEND ON DATA?

We look at the latest CX Conference from IQPC for the Telco industry, where, if any market depends on data, it is this one.

You would be forgiven for thinking that this is yet another data-driven conference. It is not like we haven’t had enough of these already. And you would be both right – and wrong. But it is an awkward balance. Workshops that describe “leveraging your current data goldmine to deliver a better customer experience” – are a mouthful and redolent of putting square pegs in round holes.

Since when has a “customer experience” – been the result of some IT focus on “data”? And do customers, who presumably are the beneficiary of these discussions, care – when their only contact contact with their telco, is the guy who keeps them waiting on the end of a phone.

It’s a tricky one.

But these questions, have to be addressed. The behaviour of the guy on the other end of our phone, is determined by the solutions and methodologies that he has before him, And that includes the understanding of the psychology of the whole business of choosing, buying, keeping using a telephone. After all, it’s not as if we can do without them – and in many ways, the single unique focus on the telco industry means its focus is what its players want to know about, within their own market. This was not a touchy feely conference.

Having said that, if you accept that the data that we ourselves create when using a mobile – can be assessed to see how both sides can benefit in the future – then this is the Conference you should have attended.

And the data and tech players are many. Key specialists line up to talk about their own experience, their customer experience, with long titles such as; Head of CX; Chief Experience Officer, Data Transformation Manager – then moving on to the more commercial “VP Sales” – with which we are more familiar. It is three days of intense but relaxed discussion. You choose the sessions you want to look at, and it is up to how proactive or reactive you wish to be. Key topics range from the evergreen “how do I stop churn”, to..”how do I train my call centre properly”. They are practical, basic,

We sat and chatted with a random selection of delegates, from large and small players, who came to “keep up with what is going on” – and with a broad range of vendors, who increasingly are moving from the pure tech of handling data, to a more customer focussed look at how you and I behave.

If there was one standout dawn of realisation, it is that we have all moved on from GDPR. Nobody mentioned it to me, and I wasn’t going to start that discussion. And lets face it, as consumers, we weren’t interested in it anyway…

Healthcare. How to make AI work for You.

We look at the constant hype surrounding this overblown topic and ask; can it deliver for you?

On the basis of what we have seen – probably not. Although according to multiple independent reports “When it comes to healthcare AI, the UK is the powerhouse of Europe” – there are conflicting statements by  UK Government saying that “dealing with the NHS remains challenging”. And looking at a recent statements from others,  the evidence from startups and those tech companies who are at the forefront of developing new AI based solutions, take up is small, and there is  “little benefit to the value proposition”, from using AI per se. So there is a conflict between commercial take up – and perception of relevance.

What is worse, is that we are already seeing one hospital terminate their digitalisation journey, because – as one clinical Consultant told me – “it just doesn’t work”. 

The reasons  it “doesn’t work”  are many and varied, but largely fall into two camps,  first of which  is because the introduction of AI or Digitalisation, is not an IT or Tech discussion. It is a business process discussion. It is an HR and best use of people, discussion. If it remains easier to flip the paper pages of a file to see someone’s latest notes – then that is what it is.  But also – the announcement of a single IT decision point of the new NHSX quango, is itself a misnomer. At the upcoming Digital Health Conference, focussing on the new NHSX facility – there are no less than six Decision Makers all involved in the decision making process

So… what are the practical steps that you need to take, to get the best out ofAI based new technology?

1. Understand and create a Roadmap, of what you want to get out of this process? If it is simply to shore up your existing practices, then forget it.

2. Know which areas you  wish to include – both from a data access point of view, and also groups of people.  The more groups involved, the worse it will be.

3. Understand that what works for one hospital, may probably not work for you. Make clear choices about solutions that can deliver a specific benefit.

4. Do not engage in Trials.  AI data management is not a clinical discussion, and the algorithms used are already proven. You are already good to go.

5. Have milestones of progress. 

6. And only when you have all of the above written on a piece of paper – then involve your IT people.

You may well now find that the money you had previously allocated for something nebulous, will indeed deliver when broken down into manageable practical specifics.

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New Faces in International Healthcare

We look at the new faces in healthcare promotion, and ask; why aren’t the old ones keeping up?

It cannot be a surprise to anyone that the new kids on the block, and who are bringing a whole empire of new digital medical tools to the market – is China. Not only are we seeing – every week – an announcement from the elder statesmen of HIMSS Asia about their presence in Shanghai – but the most compelling and forceful marketing piece comes from Yolanda Li, at the CMEF Trade Fair in just a few days – also in Shanghai. What she says is this:

“The China International Medical Equipment Fair (CMEF) was launched in the year 1979. It has now become one of the world’s leading global integrated service platforms in the value chain of medical devices, covering products and technology, new product launches, procurement and trade, scientific collaboration, academic forums, brand promotion, education and training. The fair widely covers more than ten thousand products, including medical optical and electro-medical devices, smart health-care and wearable equipment, and services including medical imaging, medical examination, in-vitro diagnostics and hospital construction. More than 7,000 medical device manufacturers from over 30 different countries and regions have annually exhibited their products and services with us at the CMEF. For trading and exchanging of medical products and services, about 2,000 specialists and talents and almost 200,000 visitors and buyers including government procurement agencies, hospital buyers and dealers from over 100 countries and regions gather at the CMEF.

What you could get from the CMEF Spring 2019:

1.An optimal opportunity to be exposed to one of the largest medical devices showcase with well-known exhibitors and their new production release;

2.The best chance to look into rapid-growing Chinese medical devices market, knowing the latest technology and tendency;

3.Meeting industrial experts on various conference and our CMEF Featured Country Day activities.

And she goes on….“Please visit our official website for the 81st CMEF Spring latest floorplan, completed exhibitor list, onsite activities and conference:
https://www.cmef.com.cn/g1225.aspx”

This compares with the latest Announcement from the VITALIS people in Gothenburg, regarding their own Conference just a week later.

Except that… I read with great interest, the announcement from Yolanda, – because it was in English. The VITALIS editorial, was in Swedish – and I brushed over this. I have no idea what they are saying.

The point of which is twofold; if you are serious about international, then it has to be in English. Doing local language says just that – you are local end of story. And as a Brit, writing on these pages – let’s not forget the importance that the “british language” has in the world.

Is There Too Much Data?

We look at the plethora of  Conferences in 2017, all focussing on the same Chief Data Officer market, and ask – why is life so complicated?
I don’t want to say we are not grateful. The specifically focussed “new generation” of Speakers and Vendors, all have something relevant to say. But this is the problem. Taken as a whole – there is just too much that people have to say.  It used to be just the one Conference, and the concept of the CDO was  twinkle in the eye. Now, we have the Chief Data Officer Europe 2017 Conference in London, from the 20th Feb, focussing on GDPR.  We have the Chief Data Officer Forum, from IQPC, in early May;  and then we have a Chief Data Scientist Conference, in September. I don’t know what a Chief data :Scientist”  is. All of which means that the whole area of expert opinion of a CDO, is diluted because from what we can see, there is no wrong opinion. What works for you, works for you.  But it might not work for someone else.
So where’s the value here?
The answer is in making it simple – and choosing the vendors, and venues, that intuitively make you feel at ease, and where the value is explained in something that mortals can understand. But “managing”  the process of your data is not just important for any corporate – it is vital and financially risky if you are not in control of the information which may reside anywhere in your ,multitude of databases.
Best up are the Adaptive Blogs, – you can register online at; http://www.adaptive.com. Their regular weekly Blog explains Metadata whilst giving you the options of digging deeper.
We talked a few days ago with Samantha Geenty at IQPC, who started the whole market in our view, just a couple of years ago; their “forum”  concept, which we have reviewed earlier on this Site – is a clever way of bringing people together at like levels of expertise and need.
And we are delighted to be reviewing the upcoming event in Covent Garden from Corinium, on the 22nd Feb.  As I said earlier, it’s not like I’m not grateful.

HIMSS after Obamacare

We look at the immediate US vendors who are keen to be visible in US healthcare in just a month or so. HIMSS orlando starts in just over one month.  expect to see a Litany of new Press announcements.
First up – Proximity Systems, Inc., the leading provider of innovative furniture solutions to healthcare will be at HIMSS 2017, Feb. 19 – 23, Booth # 4363, showcasing a new line of self-disinfecting cabinets designed to reduce the transmission of infection pathogens in healthcare environments.  With hospitals are under increasing pressure to reduce opportunities for nosocomial transmission from device workflow, the Proximity cabinets reduce bioburden on hospital surfaces around the clock, independent of human intervention.
Then we have;  Tyto Care, a telehealth company changing the healthcare technology landscape in 2017, and recently lauded as one of the top solutions coming out of CES. As the first complete telehealth solution enabling live, remote patient examinations of the ears, nose, throat, skin, heart and temperature, Tyto Care offers an experience comparable in quality and diagnostic potential to face-to-face visits— from the comfort of home.  Telehealth is transforming the US healthcare market, and we are keen to see how this will develop without the funding (if it goes that way) for US citizens generally.

How to sell in a Digital Market. Get back to basics.

We learn a timely lesson on how to make retail sales.

It’s so easy to forget, in this ecommerce world – that sales go to real people. When people go online and fish out their credit card – we are dealing with the same influences as if that person was sitting in front of us.  In fact less so – because they are not sitting in front of us.  And that process is more difficult because of that.
The eCommerce Show just a week or so ago in London – and this is similar to all of the others across Europe and USA – has increasingly forgotten that the “sales process”  is not about fulfilment, as important as this is. It is about the man relationship, or the semblance of this – during the virtual ordering process.
One of the key reasons why so many eCommerce companies bite the dust and do not have a long life expectancy, is their failure to get alongside their customers, face to face, and do this repeatedly, so that they both build up a relationship, but they also get a sale.
How do we know this?
We spent a day last Saturday signing copies of our own new Book, that was published by Austin Macauley and earlier launched at the London BookFair.  We travelled to a lovely market town in Wales, the shop owners gave customers small glasses of mulled  heated wine, and we did our magic engaging with customers. We sold ten times more books in one day than the average daily turnover.
The moral of this little story is;  get your “good customer sales process”  right – and you keep your customer for the long term.   Hide behind your digital process – and the customer will not come at all.

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