Getting back to a pandemic-free... futureApril 14, 2021
Back to the Future is, to those that already don’t know - really now? - a famous 1985 science fiction film, regarded as one of the greatest films of all time.
At the end of the film, the leading characters, Doc, Marty, and Jennifer, are getting ready to take a trip to 2015 and Marty expresses his concern that Doc isn't giving himself enough road to get up to 88 miles per hour, the actual speed required for time travel in the movie.
Doc responds with "Roads? Where we're going, we don't need roads."
And then the DeLorean time machine flies off to the future...
Alright, so Doc Brown might have been a few years off, as in 2015, even still 2020, roads would have still been there for the DeLorean.
But what about 2021?
Now, just take a better look… roads are still there, but do we really need them?
Rather not Doc, since it now seems that all that we really need is a steady internet connection.
There’s no going back to the future that once was - the future is here, and it’s very different from how we left it, as COVID-19 has changed many aspects of our lives,
The Covid pandemic has landed on our heads, changing our lives abruptly; our perception of socializing, remote working, our work-life balance, as well as our digital vs organic self’s projection in our everyday lives are changes that have already taken place.
Only to name a few, here some clear signs that will most likely move our lives forward to the new future:
- Common ground. This is one of these truly rare times in human history that almost all people and nations have been getting together to avoid a catastrophe from happening; this global engagement can be our solid foreground and will help us collaborate better with many more universal problems to come, such as climate change.
- Science strikes back. We reminded ourselves to listen to the experts and value the scientific way of thinking. For sure, fake news is still here but, as things went tough, we trusted our future in science’s hands and that’s good news.
- A new life-balance model. Having managed to stay quite as productive at work as before the lockdown, we feel at the same timeless worn-out, more refreshed, and relaxed. A “do nothing after work '' culture is beneficial to our work-life balance and this extends to our social life’s side, not only works as we would imagine.
- The new proposition. The economic model is also re-assessing itself and politicians are struggling to figure out what the new proposition is to the citizens - the global citizens? This is a golden opportunity for them to lead with purpose and humanism, finding ways to integrate these fine attributes into their new proposition.
- Remote working is already the new normal. This will be also a huge push in business productivity where people from anywhere in the world will collaborate and feel like working in the same office. It will also be a win against geographical inequality, allowing people to enjoy a higher quality of living outside business metropolitan areas.
- Talking about Pobuca, we have had the infrastructure for remote working since 2010, however, we realized the value to its full extent now with the lockdown. For sure we need live human interaction too, as there is always a potential lack of innovation with remote teams, as great ideas usually come from physical teamwork and strong human relations. And we can therefore see more flexible collaboration practices in the near future: co-working spaces and more hot-desking, hybrid live and virtual meetings on any device and place, isolated deep work from home (or in a café), and many more.
- The Digital era has arrived (faster). There was a rapid digital transformation of the private, as well as public sector globally, that would otherwise take years or decades. This is the key asset for the day after, as the main prerequisite along the way of the 4th Industrial Revolution.
- Disruption time. Artificial Intelligence, together with IoT are for many the key disruptors of our times, most probably set to change our world and humanity in the years to come, more than any other technology in the past; changes that will bring a profound shift in human culture, in the way we perceive life, our projection of the future, even in our own dreams. Disruption 2.0 has already started and these groundbreaking technologies can redefine the tech and business landscape, with IoT promising to digitize physical attributes of the world that we live in, while AI will be the one to be solving the equation of turning big data into actionable insights.
- Data-driven social growth. AI and IoT, two distinct technologies whose paths are clearly intersecting, unleashing unimaginable opportunities and data is the fuel that they both run on. Yes, data is the ‘’meta-petrol’’ that will fuel our economy in this 4th Industrial Revolution and everybody is looking for it. As we do in Pobuca since we are in the business of mining all this data that is hidden within organizations, to feed it into our AI algorithms and produce valuable, actionable insights.
Our line of business
While COVID-19 became in one night our Chief Innovation Officer, it’s about time that we can safely take over now. Covid-19 was a future accelerator, it allowed us to have a glimpse of the digital services that customers will ask for in the future; let's grab this opportunity now and prepare our businesses properly, without the "pandemic urgency".
In our own statement of purpose in Pobuca, we aspire “To unleash business creativity and offer to the society”. We will empower the business creativity by automating with AI the boring Customer Experience tasks and letting you do the creative stuff. Moreover, AI is one of 4th Industrial Revolution’s disruptive technologies and we will deliver it in a social responsible way.
For us in Pobuca COVID-19 acted like a business plan validation. Before 2020 we tried to predict the future and how customer behavior will change in some years from now in order to plan our R&D efforts in AI and product development. Now we leveraged the "Covid time machine" to go some years ahead and see our plans from a different perspective. We obtained actual data of how consumers will behave and how they want to be treated in a digital, omnichannel world! Most importantly, we can share this knowledge with you, our customers, since we are embedding the findings into the Pobuca Platform.
Let me share the key findings of the new B2C landscape: For B2C, change has been a long time coming, and the hardships brought forth by Covid-19 have been the right catalysts. The main goal of Customer Experience management to "connect with your customers at any time, on any device, and at any point in the customer journey" remains the same, however, the means to achieve it changed:
- The customer journey now has far more digital touchpoints than physical ones.
- Digital touchpoints offer consumer data and those businesses that will analyze them properly will have a competitive advantage.
- In order to analyze "tons" of consumer data, we need AI, NLP (Natural Language Processing), and Machine Learning algorithms.
- Customer service is transforming to omnichannel with remote human and virtual agents replacing retail salespersons in physical stores.
- The Last Mile Experience is becoming a dominant topic. This is the experience that the customer receives from the time she pays with her credit card until she actually uses the product she ordered.
- We should turn a satisfied customer into a loyal customer and even a brand ambassador. Loyalty is part of the broader Customer Experience and not a "silo" with points and rewards.
We are undoubtedly at the bring of a new era, as the pandemic washes away, we are getting ready to get ourselves back to a new future for us all; rebirth takes place, as a process that used to take decades, even centuries across human history, now begins to unfold in only a few year’s spans.
Let’s get ready for the challenges ahead and get geared up with all the right tools, as the Pobuca platform offers, to turn to change into success in the new, digital era.