Episode 6Customer Engagement:
A True Love Story

20 Jul 2016 by Mike Gaumond

This season has been filled with tips and tricks on how to engage your customers better to gain overall business value. In this episode, we close out the season with Insight Senior Vice President of Services Mike Gaumond to discuss what you should really be looking for when thinking about customer engagemet. We'll also explore real-life examples of companies who got it right and are changing the customer experience game.

Note: Complete audio transcript found after author info.

Headshot of Mike Gaumond

Mike Gaumond

In his role as senior vice president of services at Insight, Mike is responsible for ensuring strong alignment between the company’s services practice and its business strategy, as well as the delivery of managed, professional and field services.

Audio transcript:

Episode 6 – Customer Engagement: A True Love Story

Published July 20, 2016

[Music]

Announcer: You're listening Technomics. Connecting you to insights on digital transformation and the marketplace, with your hosts: Robyn Itule and Jeremy Nelson. The hosts' opinions are their own. Enjoy the show!

Robyn Itule: This is maybe my favorite part of the season and definitely not because this is the last show of the season. But because this episode really ties things together with a lovely bow, that shows people how it gets done. People who are doing customer engagement right and thinking through it in innovative ways that are changing the face of some of the expectations that are out there. Using big data to help drive their business, learning from customers, giving customers new channels to understand their products, to gather customer service, and even to be educated. So talking again with Mike Gaumond and really having the customer engagement season of Technomics come full circle was pretty cool. So without further adieu, let's bring back Mike Gaumon, Insight's senior vice president of services. Mike how are you doing?

Mike Gaumond: I'm doing great, great to see you again Robyn.

Robyn Itule: Yeah I'm glad you're back in the studio with us. So we've had a lot of conversations since we last left our heroes, all about customer engagement. And I got to thinking about something that I've been hoping to ask you since our initial conversation which is, when you sit down to have these customer engagement chit chats with clients, how do you help them to define the business outcomes so they do the right work?

Mike Gaumond: Well you hit the key there which is the business outcomes. In many cases people are asking questions about, "What should I be doing with mobile or cloud or IOT or analytics around customer engagement," as opposed to, "What's the business outcome I'm trying to accomplish?" So go back to where we started. Looking across that spectrum of the customer engagement that you do and where they might be in that process. Asking questions like what are we trying to accomplish from a business perspective? Am I trying to build awareness with customers? Am I trying to make the engagement more convenient for them? Am I trying to increase the velocity of sales of a certain product line in certain customer segments? So you start with what you're trying to accomplish from a business perspective and then drive backwards to the solution of what makes sense from a technology perspective.

Robyn Itule: So we started this whole season by talking about why in the heck customer engagement matters so much. And its because without customers who are delighted and engaged, you don't really have a sound business at all. But there are so many different fascets to this really interesting and evolving area. We've had conversations about the omnichannel experience, Internet of Things, big data, applications, and just the overarching expectations and how to meet them. So we talked about the why, we talked about the what, but I want to talk about how its actually happening out in the marketplace and you came with some really great examples of things that we've had a chance to work on. So let's take it all the way back to Episode 1 which was really around client experience. And I'd love to hear from you who you think has done some really exciting work in our own universe.

Mike Gaumond: You know there's some great examples of our clients that have done some amazing work in really transforming their customers' experience. And I'll start with one, its an electronics manufacturer that makes robotic vacuums for your home. So the vacuums that go around and vacuum so you don't have to.

Robyn Itule: Want.

Mike Gaumond: [Chuckles] Great product to have. The challenge they had back to the business outcome was that they weren't delivering customer service to the levels that their consumers expected. So they didn't have enough good information about the way their customers' products were performing. So we helped them develop a solution that's really, really interesting. It's really cool. So we actually developed software that sits on that vacuum and it collects data from the vacuum about performance like how far its traveled in your house and about status like, "Is the dust filter clogged?" And it uses the Wifi network in your house to connect to the internet and it securely sends that product status data to our IOT platform that's stored in the cloud. Once we get that data in the cloud, we perform a bunch of analytics on it. And we compare how is that vacuum performing compared to the way its supposed to compared to specifications. And how is it performing compared to other vacuums that are out there that we've worked with from our clients and our consumers, so that we can make a decision. Then we make all that data available to the customer service representative at our customer. So now when Ms. Ituley calls customer service and says, "I'm having a problem with my vacuum," that customer service representative not only knows your name and your address and how long you've been a client of course, they know all about you. But now they know all about your vacuum as well. And they have statistics on it and they know what they should do to fix it. In fact they can download a software update over the air to the vacuum and fix your problem right there. So this is a great example of a company that has leveraged technology to transform how they're engaging with their customers in this case, to improve the customer service experience back to that business outcome.

Robyn Itule: So that's really interesting stuff because I love the idea that these machines are able to help resolve themselves. And that there's an arc and maybe there's a problem in there that maybe I could fix, that would be nice.

Mike Gaumond: What's cool is its kind of an example where cloud meets IOT meets analytics. And the T in the IOT in the internet of things is actually a vacuum of all things. And yet its not about the technologies, its about that customer service experience that they delivered through it.

Robyn Itule: But its not just in that consumer goods space where experience really, really matters. I want to take it to another environment that seems like there are a lot of opportunities and that's in the classroom.

Mike Gaumond: Yeah in the classroom. So if you think about education, many people don't think about customers in the context of education. But if you're in the education business or industry, students are your customer. Ultimately you're delivering a service, education, to your students. We're working with one of the larger school districts in the United States, a public school district. And they had a goal, they really wanted to transform the learning experience for their students. Again, whether they were in or outside of the classroom. And the traditional learning experience, you give them a textbook, and they do lectures, and you assign homework and they go home and they do homework. What they want to do is really change that completely so that we help them and they developed a solution that had a tablet. And a tablet was preconfigured so that it, by the way, didn't allow students to do things they shouldn't be doing. Which young children might want to do. But it was also preloaded with a full digital curriculum. And then they distributed all those tablets to the students in their district and what they found was pretty profound. First of all, the students were more engaged. Kids that age love leveraging technology and the fact that they had a tablet to use as part of their actual education experience got them more engaged in the education. The other part is that they always had the current textbook. Because the curriculum is digital you can update it and you don't have to worry about on the prior release of the Algebra II book, now everybody's got the right book. So a great example where a United States public school system used technology to transform how they're engaging with their students.

Robyn Itule: I love that there's innovation there and possibility there. My mom is a professor and so she's always lamenting and rejoicing about technology in her classroom in equal parts. So hearing how much more adoption there is always seems to be a very positive thing. Because, its an access that's got to be learned right? Technology is going to be so pervasive in any environment, in any industry, and in any career path, that regardless of the push-back. And trust me, I love the smell of a good book. I think its very important that we are helping schools get to a place where they can do this kind of engagement and help set their students up for success.

Mike Gaumond: Absolutely, its going to be a critical skill for them in almost any career that they go into when they finish school.

Robyn Itule: And I'm sure that on those tablets, there were a lot of applications and that was really the conversation that we had in the second episode was talking about apps. I'd love to hear about who we're working on applications with and what customer engagement outcome they were trying to achieve.

Mike Gaumond: Absolutely and there's some companies doing some great work in this space as well. And one of them is a great client of ours, TD Ameritrade. Probably everybody's familiar with them, large financial services company. And they had a mobile application for their customers. So again, TD Ameritrade customer of course is the individual investor. And they had an application that allowed them to do some very basic functionality in the mobile world like checking account statuses. They had a full featured desktop type application where you could perform all the different things you wanted. But again, back to where's that customer. They don't only want to be able to make investment decisions when they're sitting at a desktop. They want to be able to make them wherever they are at work, on the go, at home. So they developed a mobile application that would allow the investor to do things like conduct research on investments, to issue transactions, buy and sell orders, to check order status, to transfer funds between different accounts. All the kinds of things that an investor would want to be able to do. So by doing this, they provided a huge convenience factor and in fact, their investors who use this feel like they have more control over their investments. Which is huge for an investment type customer, and its actually increased their customer satisfaction as well.

Robyn Itule: That's really interesting. And one of the things that you touched on that I think goes all the way back to our first conversation is that 70% figure of your clients and your customers are doing 70-75% of their research before they ever get in touch with you. And I love that TD Ameritrade thought about that and included so much research capability inside of the application. Because, its not just about the transaction. And that was what their original iteration was, just being able to look at that and enriching the experience all the way through the experience is, I think a really important take away from that story.

Mike Gaumond: Well if you think about Ameritrade's history, in many ways that's what they built that company to do. Because the old model in this world was the old stockbroker model. Where you had to call a broker to buy or sell a stock or to buy or sell a fund. And you had to interact with them. And Ameritrade was one of the early innovators in that entire space to say, "You don't need to interact with a person to make this. You're an informed investor, we're going to give you the tools and the capabilities to enable you to make your own intelligent investor decisions. So its actually in many ways putting on steroids what they originally started their purpose to do.

Robyn Itule: That is a really interesting application and we're going to take a quick break and come back and talk some more about apps.

[Music]

Robyn Itule: And now a word from our sponsor. Engaging your customers with modern technology requires a modern platform and infrastructure. Enter Microsoft Azure.

Jeremy Nelson: All right. I have to stop you right there, Robyn. Is it AZ-ure or Az-URE.

Robyn Itule: You know we had this conversation in season one. And I believe what we landed on is, it is about the color, which is in fact AZ-ure.

Jeremy Nelson: Awesome, I’m glad that’s finally put to rest.

Robyn Itule: Although now I’ve said it so many times I feel like I’m saying it weird.

Jeremy Nelson: It’s like spoon.

Robyn Itule: We digress. The important message that you need to take away from this sponsorship is that with Azure, you can build faster, move quicker, and empower your organization to reach new heights. If you contact an Insight specialist, they can help you find out how implementing Azure will open up a new realm of possibility.

[Music]

Robyn Itule: Applications are a really tricky thing right? Especially when you're dealing with money and if you're in a transactional form of any kind, there's always that split second of hesitation before you hit checkout. But there's a comfort zone inside of an application that feels like it has more control. Do you have any other great examples of applications that we have worked on to provide really great customer experience?

Mike Gaumond: Yeah, let's go back to this whole notion of omnichannel that we talked about in the opening. And I alluded to the fact that it kind of originated in retail and its still alive and well in retail. So we're working with one of the large home furnishing retailers and they have stores across the United States and they sell everything from kitchen gadgets to furniture. And what was really interesting is imagine you were walking in Robyn and you were just going to go to the kitchen section and buy a few spatulas.

Robyn Itule: Probably wouldn't do that because I don't cook. But I am in market for some lighting in my kitchen.

Mike Gaumond: There you go. You were going to go buy a couple of counter lights for your kitchen. And you grab those and you looked up at the checkout line and you saw that there were six people with lots of stuff in line ahead of you. And you said forget it, and you put the lights back, and you left the store. So its a lost sale for them. So what we helped them develop is a tablet based, mobile point of sale system so that their store associates could be walking the aisles with you as a customer. They could check inventory if they didn't have the light on the counter that you wanted and find out if they had it in back or if they had it at another store. They could actually take your order, they could process your credit card, and give you a receipt and check you out right there in the aisle. Now there's a lot of sophistication under the covers right? So this had to tie into their inventory system. So I needed to know if I had it or not or if it was in another store. It tied into their point of sales system so at the end of the day when they counted the sales, that sale counted. It tied into a third party payment processor so that when I took your credit card, it was secure. But at the end of the day, what the application did was improve the shopping experience. So the shopper had expedited checkout, better customer satisfaction, and they were going to come back again to that store. And probably again what's most interesting thing, they avoided the lost sale. You did in fact buy those counter lights because you didn't have to wait through the line. So its another great example of how the retailer is transforming the experience even when they're in the store. They're making it look much more like an online experience than a traditional in store experience.

Robyn Itule: You know I often joke that I just need somebody to help me check out in the aisle. Especially when I am shopping with both my kids. The odds that both of them will stay behaved for the duration of the wait in line is like slim and none. And they're great kids, they really are. But yeah, they're four and a half and one and a half, come on. This is normal, normal is chaos. And so, thank you for helping me with my chaos with your application. That's the first thing. But then, the other thing is, my husband and I were commenting the other day. We actually did go out to a store and it happened that it was a large, home-furnishings retailer. And we were looking around at lights and I said, "When was the last time, when did we even talk into a store like this last?" And he was like, "How old is our daughter?" Which is true, also. But what were we going to do at the end of that experience? Probably still go home and make that purchase online. Total show-roomers, absolutely.

Mike Gaumond: Yep. But that's what more and more retailers, they clearly understand that phenomenon. But what they want you to do is to go online and purchase it from them. So you can look in the store and have it delivered to home. You can look online and pick it up in the store. You can shop in the store and then go home and order it online from them. And that gets back to if I do that well and I make it convenient and of course if I'm fairly priced, you're going to do business with me. If I don't, you're going to come shop in my retail store and then you're going to go home and go online and buy it somewhere else.

Robyn Itule: And I think that whole omnichannel environment is really something that a lot of people have room to grow on. I think that's a pitting point that you hear from a lot of people. You know, you maybe have an element in store to help enrich that experience. That then doesn't match up to what the online experience is and that can be very, I wouldn't say disconcerting for a consumer. But it can throw them off. And I would, even in my online shopping escapades, let's just call them escapades. My online shopping escapades, you get a lot of surveys coming up to ask about what that online experience is like. Because I think the translation has come so into focus and people are putting a lot of time and energy to try and develop the right applications and functionalities there.

Mike Gaumond: And again, back to our initial discussion in the first episode. It applies to a tremendous variety of industries. So if you think about again, Insight as a company, we're doing a ton of digital marketing. Our customers aren't just talking to our sales people, they are of course talking to our sales people. But they're looking at third party sources of information online. They're going to industry analysts like Gartner or IDC [assumed], etc to do their homework. They're looking at our website. They're looking at our competitors website. So they're engaging in a multitude of ways digitally, with other entities, digitally with Insight, and in a human fashion with our teammates. And if we don't do a great job of creating a great experience for our customers while they're doing that, they're going to decide to shop somewhere else. And we don't want them to do that.

Robyn Itule: Well and the data is a major part of what is fueling how that can be accomplished. Certainly from a digital marketing perspective, there's a lot of focus on personalization. There's a lot of emphasis on predictive analytics. The opportunities there, I'm just going to go ahead and call them overwhelming because the things you can do are just mind blowing. But getting there is a major, major investment of time, energy. There are people in our organization who would probably say blood, sweat, and tears. But that data is a major goldmine for every business provided that they have the right tools in place. So what have we done in that area?

Mike Gaumond: There's a great example where you talked about using data and predictive analytics, and marketing. One of our clients designs and builds motorcycles and they sell them in retail stores across the United States. And they do a fair amount of marketing, as many companies do. And they weren't thrilled with the return on investment they were getting on their marketing. So they wanted to get a better understanding of, "What are the factors that really lead a customer to make a decision to buy a motorcycle or to buy some merchandise, and what factors don't." So we did a project with them and a classic big data and analytics. We looked at a multitude of factors to try and understand what's really influencing their decision to purchase or not purchase. And it was very, very interesting, and in some ways not so surprising, but a little counter-intuitive. But weather was one of the biggest factors. So it turns out in hindsight its blatantly obvious, but if its cold and rainy out, people don't go test drive a motorcycle. They might however, buy a leather jacket or some rain gear if they already own a motorcycle. Conversely, if it is bright and sunny out, they might well be in the mood to go test drive a motorcycle.

Robyn Itule: Unless its 118 degrees.

Mike Gaumond: Unless its 118 like it is here right now. Then nobody wants to go outside period. So what we help them do then was once we'd made that insight, sift through kind of big data and analytics, is we built a real time marketing engine if you will that pulls local weather forecast data and tunes dynamically all of their marketing promotions. So that if its cold and rainy out, they promote buying rain gear and leather jackets. If its nice and sunny, and not 118, they promote, "Come in and do a test drive." So they're actually tuning in real time their promotions and marketing messages and their digital marketing based on the weather. And again the goal here is to sell more motorcycles and sell more merchandise. Back to what's the business outcome, that's what they're trying to do. But they're doing it by changing how they interact with their customers. Its a great story.

Robyn Itule: I love that example, but we need to motor out for just a second and we'll be right back with some more Technomics.

[Music]

Robyn Itule: You know, when you're like Jeremy and I and you work in technology, often times you see a news headline and you just start thinking, "Hmm, I wonder how many data centers are required to power that initiative."

Jeremy Nelson: All the time, its so funny. You see traditional headlines come through and my brain goes into what's underneath that from an IT perspective.

Robyn Itule: Well because, lets be honest, we live in a day and age where you don't have a lot of opportunity to really dive deep into some of the areas and some of the headlines that come across that are really, really important. And from a technology perspective, where technology is fueling so many of the things behind the breaking news, somebody's got to start telling those stories.

Jeremy Nelson: Absolutely, as intriguing and important as the headlines are, for us in the technology space, the solutions that power those decisions is just as important.

Robyn Itule: So that's what we did. We produced a digital magazine called Technically because we found that technically there's so much more to discuss when you're talking about things that really matter and impact our daily lives. So if you want to take a deeper dive on headlines from a technology perspective, I really encourage you to subscribe to Technically. We push an issue once a quarter, and its always going to be relevant and well researched. You too can subscribe today at www.technicallymagazine.com.

[Music]

Robyn Itule: So data is manifesting major, major customer engagement opportunities. Not just in the retail space, but also in places like healthcare to help drive positive public health outcomes.

Mike Gaumond: Absolutely healthcare, talk about a data rich environment. There are almost inundated with data and can't, in many ways, translate it into information. So there's a really neat example with Steward Healthcare which is one of the largest healthcare providers in the Northeast. What Steward was trying to do was reduce the length of stay in the hospital. Because of course, the hospital is the most expensive point of care. So they wanted to reduce the cost of care, but also improve the quality of care at the same time. So they wanted to understand, "What are the factors that really lead to a longer stay in the hospital?" So we helped them do big data analysis no a wide range of variables to understand, "What's driving the length of stay of a patient in the hospital?" And what's really interesting here is its not what you would typically think of. It's not, "I have a pre-existing condition, or I have complications from a procedure, or I have an infection after surgery." Those are the things that I would have thought of. Turns out the number one indicator of the length of stay in that hospital is whether or not the patient has a drivers license. And that's because they don't have transportation readily available after they're ready to go home. So now of course, Steward didn't say, "If you don't have a drivers license you can't come to our hospital." That would be cold-hearted and they're not cold-hearted. What they said is, "We're going to work with those patients ahead of time and do things like work with their families or Uber and schedule transportation." So what they've done here, two really intelligent application of big data and analytics, is reduce the length of stay in the hospital which reduces the cost of care. But they've also improved the quality of care because it turns out you're more likely to get an infection in a hospital then you are at home. For example, because of all the sick people who congregate in hospitals. So they achieve their objective of actually reducing the cost of care and improving the quality of care. And we helped them leverage big data and analytics to do that. So that's a great, great example of that.

Robyn Itule: I think that there's a lot of practicality to that and it kinda goes to one of those early conversations we had about that you might find that the outcomes you need to tackle are not necessarily what you originally thought they were. If you're an administrator in a hospital, you're probably thinking, "We got to take a closer look at the kind of infections that are keeping people here. We need to think about the complications that are extending the phases of recovery. Very unlikely without the assistive data that you're going to go and look at transportation as being the leading factor that was keeping people in beds.

Mike Gaumond: That's the beauty of facts. Sometimes facts can cloud your theories.

Robyn Itule: Well another set of theories that turned out to prove really, really accurate also had to do with healthcare. And its another provider who was looking into leveraging wearables, which is a really big trend for a lot of different types of industries. But let's stick with healthcare for a minute and talk about what they did.

Mike Gaumond: Yeah Partners Healthcare, which is also based in the Northeast, this wasn't about in hospital care. They were conducting a study with patients on the affects of caffeine on health. So they were trying to figure out, "How can we leverage technology so that when we interact with these patients, we can do that study more effectively and really understand the impact of caffeine on health." So they combined a couple of really interesting things. We helped them develop a solution where they have a wearable band. Many people are familiar with these personal wearable bands that you can have. And a couple characteristics, it collects biometric data like pulse and those kinds of things, temperature, about the patient. But interestingly, they did this as a study with patients who frequented Starbucks. They integrated the application with the Starbucks application and they could actually determine through the application whether you were, and how many caffeinated beverages you were purchasing at Starbucks. So what they did is then aggregate the personal biometric information along with the amount of caffeinated beverages and then correlated that through the health outcomes to determine if different caffeine levels higher, lower, or no caffeine, had impact on the overall health of the patient. And what was interesting here is they found that they got much more accurate data from the wearable than you typically get from the patient. The patient might say, "I only had one cup of coffee on Tuesday." And they say, "Well, you bought four. So did someone else drink the other three." And then they go, "Oh yeah, I just remembered I was really tired on Tuesday so I did have four." So it actually makes a lot fewer mistakes so they had better data that actually fed into their analytics engine to help look at that impact of caffeine on health.

Robyn Itule: So those were some of the main areas that we talked about over the course of this season. Are there any other unique stories that come to mind for you of work we've been doing or clients who are really exploring what if?

Mike Gaumond: Yeah another really neat example is an organic grocery company that we work with. And they set a goal to transform their shoppers experience whether they were in or outside of their stores. What's fascinating is that this started out as a shopping experience goal and they wanted to transform that experience. So we helped them upgrade the infrastructure across all their stores because their infrastructure wasn't ready to support that. But once that infrastructure was in place, they've done things within the store. They've launched Apple Pay, they were one of the first in the country to launch Apple Pay, so that you could do payment through your smartphone. The other thing that they did in the store is they created a guest mobile application that was targeted specifically. And they know Robyn, if you go into the store frequently, if there's certain things you really like and they can help with that. They created, again to expedite your checkout, let's say you went in and you just wanted to buy a sandwich at the deli counter which they have there. In the old world, you'd have to take the sandwich to the checkout lane and get behind somebody with three shopping carts full of groceries.

Robyn Itule: Or two children.

Mike Gaumond: Or two children and three shopping carts full of groceries. Now they could do mobile checkout right there. You could in fact, at a kiosk, order and pay for your deli sandwich. And then when its ready, they hand it to you when you leave the store. So they transformed the in-store experience. But they also transformed the out-of-store experience. So they leveraged an application called Instacart which allows you to remotely and virtually shop the aisles of your store. So you go down the aisles of your favorite store, you pick the items that you want, your credit card information's securely stored in there, you make your purchase, and then you tell them, "I would like it delivered to my home between 5 and 6 PM. Or I'm going to stop by your store between 5 and 6 PM on my way home from work and I'm going to just pull up, up front and you're just going to put it in my trunk and I'm going to drive away." So they've transformed that experience, whether their shopper is in or outside of the traditional brick and mortar store. And its having a huge impact. What's really, really interesting is that, and this was a surprise to them, the average size of the shopping cart from their consumers outside of the store is bigger than the average size of the shopping cart of their consumers in the store.

Robyn Itule: I am not in any way shocked by that.

Mike Gaumond: They were surprised.

Robyn Itule: Let me tell you why. In the process of trying to be organized and making a list to go and have an effective grocery shopping experience, you get into the environment and there are a lot of things that pull your attention from getting another bag of coffee. Or its the random little thing that you remembered at the last minute but you didn't write it down on your list and you just said, "You'll remember that Robyn." And then you don't. So its an inconvenient thing to later realize, "Well darn it, I don't have peanut butter now, this is a problem for everyone in my household." If you're able to do it in a virtual setting and put it into an organizing system, so its not so much a transaction system, it is now an organizing system that ensures that I'm getting everything though the door that I really do need for the week. It also enables something that I find I do not have the capability to do in my own life, which is go to particular stores. I find myself having to maybe go to a store that has, maybe more groceries plus other sundries etc, etc. And maybe not getting to the places that have the quality of product that I want.

Mike Gaumond: But you're doing it for convenience.

Robyn Itule: Exactly.

Mike Gaumond: Because you're going to stop once instead of twice or three times. But now you don't have to stop.

Robyn Itule: If I can just slow down and they can just chuck these things in my car, I'm doing it.

Mike Gaumond: And to your point, you forgot to buy the peanut butter. This application can build the intelligence that says, "Here's the kinds of things you buy once a week versus once a month versus once a quarter." And have that there for you.

Robyn Itule: So it sounds like Instacart is definitely going to be our new thing. So lots of exciting things that are actually happening right now. As you look ahead to the possibilities in customer engagement, what's one thing that you really hope happens?

Mike Gaumond: I hope companies embrace it, but look at it through the lens of the business outcome, not the technology. Again, we're in the technology business, but that's a means to the end. So if the companies go out there and really think about, "How do I transform my customers' experience, how do I increase share of wallet? How do I drive profitable growth from different product lines by transforming how I engage with customers?" Then the technology questions get pretty easy. But if you start out by asking it the other way around, I think its going to be a long, confusing journey.

Robyn Itule: Mike, we're so grateful that you joined us today, and we're really excited to have you back for the next season of Technomics.

Mike Gaumond: Thank you Robyn.

Robyn Itule: So that's that. That's how its getting done. That's some of what people are trying to tackle out there.

Jeremy Nelson: Oh I should talk.

[Laughter]

Robyn Itule: Do you have jet-lag from traveling to all those client locations?

Jeremy Nelson: I do and I have to say, I was pretty disappointed to miss this particular conversation. Mike Gaumond is one of my favorite people to just sit down and chat with. He just has so many cool things to say and the way he presents them is amazing. So I was pretty disappointed to not be able to be here in studio with you guys.

Robyn Itule: Well you were probably out on site, helping to make some of those things a reality, which I'm certain Mike would support.

Jeremy Nelson: Oh absolutely. I don't think there was a question on where I should be. But it definitely was disappointing to not be there. But its great having the opportunity to go out there and kind of participate in some of those things first hand.

Robyn Itule: Well this season has been pretty eye-opening and very relatable because we get to talk about it not only as people who are working in technology, and getting to get our hands dirty in this stuff. But also, because every one of us is a consumer. And we can think through it in terms of how we would want to be engage by technology. How we want big data used to help us find new products. How we could come up with the next great idea through pretotyping, and the ways that we can think about design, which is near and dear to me. And how that helps to make the process richer and not just for consumers, but also for businesses and thinking about what their value is.

Jeremy Nelson: Yeah, absolutely. And it really boils down to how do you get a one on one experience or feel from an organization that you may never actually have a direct interaction with. A person to person like back in the "olden days." So making sure that you still feel like an individual.

Robyn Itule: Well its something that Mike said very early on in today's episode. Which is that its not about the technologies at all. Its about the customer service experience. And I think that is pretty foundational. Its foundational because the conversation keeps going. The next layer to the Technomics approach is going to be talking about workforce enablement. You want to offer customer service, someone has to be offering it. And the way that technology is shaping how the workforce is reaching customers and acting within the business is being radically changed by the new technologies that are emerging.

Jeremy Nelson: Absolutely and I'm sure as we kind of close with Mr. Gaumond, I wouldn't doubt that he has a few things to say in Season 2 as well as some of our featured guests. So I'm really looking forward to continuing this on into the next chapter, if you will, of the conversations.

Robyn Itule: When we're talking about technology and we're talking about customers, somebody is providing the engagement with them. And that's the workforce. The workforce plays such a pivotal role in how all of this comes together. They're the front lines, and the way that businesses are arming them with new technologies and new ways of engaging is changing radically. There's a lot to talk about here which is why that is what season two is all about. We hope you will join us and listen to Technomics Season 2: Workforce Enablement.

Jeremy Nelson: Thanks for listening to Technomics. If you want to find more episodes, you can download the podcasts from iTunes, Google, or your favorite podcast provider. And for more stories on intelligent technology, visit www.insight.com.

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