Nicola Millard

On bananas, boots or books: unravelling the omnichannel conundrum

By Nicola Millard, Customer Experience Futurologist BT

Where would you buy bananas, boots or books?

I’d probably buy my bananas in-store, because I want to check how ripe or bruised they are. Boots I might want to try on and see how they look but I might also opt to buy online and return them if they don’t fit. Books I would almost certainly buy online — either in physical or digital form.

You may have different preferences, though. We all have different goals and motivations when we buy. These are also likely to change with circumstances — if the book is a Christmas present and it’s Christmas Eve, I will probably go in-store and buy the paperback. If I have a hole in my shoe and it’s raining, buying boots online is probably not my first priority. If bananas are part of a big weekly shop, I’ll probably order them online. [Read more…]

Nicola Millard

Are reports of the high street’s death greatly exaggerated?

By: Nicola Millard, Customer Experience Futurologist, BT

It is easy to see the effects of our changing shopping habits on our local high streets. Are we turning into a nation of online shoppers? Is the high street becoming irrelevant? Or is there an upcoming renaissance linked with convenience and the fact that we are no longer doing a weekly ‘big shop’ anymore.

New technologies, the changing structure of family life and financial pressures caused by a long and deep recession have observably changed the way that we shop, possibly forever. Significant players of the past are now struggling as relative newcomers exploit consumer cynicism by providing new choices, new technologies and new value options.

So are we all becoming disloyal, connected and virtualised consumers? [Read more…]

Nicola Millard

Can Your Contact Centre Agents (and Managers) Leap Tall Buildings

The world of work is getting more complex. As technology takes away the routine, mundane and predictable, we humans are left to do the heavy lifting. Few professions are immune to the march of the machines – and contact centres, in particular, are having to rise to new challenges.

[Read more…]

Nicola Millard

How autonomous customers challenge utilities companies

By Nicola Millard, Customer Experience Futurologist BT

Customers never contact you to say thank you. Some would say that’s ungrateful of them but, when it comes to water and power, we expect things to work at the flick of a switch or the turn of a tap.

In fact, utilities are services that we only realise we have, when we don’t! The product is either all or nothing. It can’t really be physically differentiated (peppermint water on tap anyone?) In fact the only thing we tend to notice is the money that gets taken from our accounts on a very regular basis. [Read more…]

Nicola Millard

The reinvention of the office: does distance still matter?

By Nicola Millard, Customer Experience Futurologist BT

Technology seems to be heralding the death of distance as we become untethered from our desks by a combination of mobile technologies, connectivity and cloud. Packed commuter trains and rush hour traffic jams show us a different picture. Maybe work hasn’t changed as much as the digital revolution initially promised and distance does still seem to matter.

The truth is that co-location may look like an easy solution for fostering collaboration but it doesn’t guarantee it. It is just as easy to feel isolated in an office as it is working from a remote location and the people just five bays down might just as well be on the moon to people in many offices. [Read more…]