Okay, so Verizon Wireless (VZW) now will offer iPhone 4s to its customers on its 3G network. (The official launch date is February 10, 2011). What does this mean for content & collaboration professionals? A lot, as it turns out, as yet another brick is laid in the post-PC future.
Forrester customers can read the new report by my colleague Charles Golvin analyzing the impact on the industry and the consumer market. Here are some thoughts on what this deal means for the enterprise and for content and collaboration professionals. iPhone-on-VZW means:
You have yet one more reason to support iPhones. Mobile service provider choice is important on smartphones and tablets, both to provide good network coverage to employees and also to keep competition high hence prices low. AT&T Mobility’s lock on iPhone in the US was one reason some firms have been reluctant to support iPhone. With iPhone-on-VZW (not to mention the aggressive $30/month introductory pricing for an unlimited data plan), that barrier is gone.
Yet more employees will bring their personal iPhones to work and ask for your help. Verizon Wireless has been driving the consumerization of Android devices; it will now also spend some money promoting and selling iPhone-on-VZW. This will only increase the “osmotic pressure” of employees aka consumers bringing their personal devices to work. And they will want more than just email on their personal smartphones; they will also ask for SharePoint and the employee portal and and and . . .
Customer service has traditionally been defined as the interaction between a customer and a company — either its employees or its online channels — to obtain information or resolve an issue before, during, or after a purchase.
As we enter 2011, I’ve been thinking about how the definition of customer service has been changing. There are three forces that I think are challenging our traditional definition:
Social media is tightening the relationship between support and brand. Social customer service is about using social technologies to provide or facilitate customer service or support. As I noted in my report “Getting Social Customer Service Right,” the essence of social media is having conversations, and customers want to talk about their experiences and get resolution for their issues. Social customer service is offered publicly: The complaint and resolution (or lack of) are out there for the world to see. Marketers are acutely aware of the impact this has on brand sentiment and reputation. As a result, customer service is becoming an essential element to brand strategy.
Customer service is becoming more proactive. Traditionally, customers initiated contact with companies to request assistance. But proactive technologies are changing that. Proactive chat and click-to-call have been associated primarily with sales objectives, but there is growing interest among eBusiness leaders to employ proactive live help technologies to assist with customer service issues. This means proactive chat capabilities that have sat on the sales side of an organization are shifting onto the customer service side.
A year ago, I tried to highlight what the key trends for 2010 would be. I wrote: “I’m not going to say that 2010 will be ‘the year of mobile’ or ‘the year of mobile marketing.’ I think 2010 is more likely to be the ‘year that every firm needs a mobile strategy.’ Mobile is simply too disruptive to merely have a year. After all, who remembers the year of the TV or the year of the Internet? Instead, I think 2010 will be a key year in mobile's transition to center stage in the digital marketplace. A new mobile decade is opening up, and now is the time to start your journey. In the past 10 years, mobile phones have changed the way we communicate and live. In the next 10 years, they will change the way we do business.”
Interestingly, that report — “2010 Mobile Trends” — was one of the most-read at Forrester, highlighting that a growing number of companies are starting to take mobile seriously.
So many things happened in 2010 that it is difficult to sum up the year. However, my colleague Julie Ask and I took a step back to offer our high-level take:
• New entrants are disrupting existing mobile ecosystems. Non-telco companies, such as Apple, Facebook, and Google, increased in importance as key players in the mobile ecosystem. Together, Apple and Google are closing in on controlling about half of the smartphone market and mobile advertising share in the US and have obtained a lot of traction in Europe and other regions of the world.