In the classic 1947 film Miracle on 34th Street, Kris Kringle is hired to play Santa at Macy’s flagship New York City store, located on 34th Street. He advises a shopper on the availability of a toy at a competing store. The shopper is so surprised and impressed by Kris’s helpful information and his willingness to share it, that she declares her loyalty to Macy’s.
Fast forward this message to today where at the most successful and resilient companies, the helpful provider of product and service information and availability is now crowdsourced in the form of testimonials and automated in responsive chatbots powered by AI. The customer experience is architected and directed by humans; however, the flow of data and the customer interaction throughout the experience is almost completely automated.
This doesn’t happen accidentally. Successful companies have embraced and internalized the fundamental messages of honesty and transparency showcased by Kris Kringle into their core business practices and the systems and platforms that support them.
Innovation and the ability for companies to pivot quickly based on market conditions means that systems and platforms must leverage artificial intelligence, machine learning, chatbots, blockchain, and the internet of things. Plus, they must be accessible to customers and employees anytime and anywhere.
While the debate between “Best of Breed” and “Unified Platform” solutions is alive and well, leaders across all industries agree that the technology solutions chosen must serve their employees as well as their customers. Technology must simplify and streamline the business and equip employees to focus on activities that add value to the organization and its customers – thus reinforcing their value and significance as members of the greater team.
The cost of implementation and maintenance cannot be ignored. Native integration does not take place systematically in a hybrid on-premise and cloud solution. Planned and unplanned (often hidden) costs associated with connecting, reconnecting, and testing disparate systems and applications add up quickly and take a toll on human resources. Simply stated, the more tools, the more energy, and money is spent on tool upkeep and the higher the risk on system security and availability.
In today’s version of Miracle on 34th Street, Kris Kringle is still a person providing honest, helpful information to a customer or a fellow employee. Kris is also an AI-powered chatbot that answers questions and leverages machine learning to anticipate human inquiry and engagement and guide the journey to discovery. Kris is supported by innovative technology in a unified, best-of-suite, and best-of-breed cloud platform that aggregates information in seconds and directs it securely to where it is needed anytime, anywhere.
I wrote in my last blog, Facts Over Fears: Why the Time is Now to Move to the Cloud how overcoming the fear of moving to the cloud enables organizations to provide unified solutions to their workforce with applications that can drive positive engagement and well-being. The 2021 Gartner Board of Directors Survey results agrees, stating that “Driven by the onset of COVID-19, digital technology initiatives will serve as the top strategic business priority for BoDs over the next two years, followed by customer engagement and managing the remote workforce.”
Your customers and your employees want technology to work for them, not the other way around. The time really is now to invest in a modern, best-of-suite, and best-of-breed back-office platform that unifies enterprise resource planning, budgeting, planning, and analysis, with the entire human capital management process – from “hire to retire”. This holiday season, give the gift of data accuracy, accessibility, and process automation to your employees. Watch as your teams develop and share insights that add value and improve employee and customer engagement, satisfaction, and loyalty. Share the joy of a happy and productive workforce equipped with technology solutions to do their jobs well, allowing them to spend more time with the people they love this holiday season.
From the Birdsall family to you and yours, have a safe, healthy, and Happy Holidays!
Tune in for more wellness topics this December as we move to the second day tomorrow.
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