I first began investigating customer experiences in 1984. I was nine years old and fascinated with robots. With no robots around, I found the next best thing: Interactive Voice Response (IVR) telephone systems. I spent hours dialing the toll-free numbers of big companies, pushing buttons and navigating the then-new technology. It felt like talking to a robot, just as it does today whenever I dial an 800 number and an IVR picks up. Some things never change!
But some things do. Jumping forward to the early 2010s, the software industry was undergoing a major change. SaaS was beginning its rapid takeover of the software industry, and new SaaS products were popping up daily. I had a front row seat as a software analyst for Gartner, the IT consulting firm.
In Gartner’s Software Advice division, I analyzed new SaaS solutions, including those for:
Chatbots and Live Chat
Call center analytics
Survey and opinion-gathering
IT Services Management
Though software has been central to my research, my focus has always been on how that software improves or detracts from customer experiences and customer relationships.
In recent years I’ve held managing editor positions for a variety of business and IT-strategy sites including The Motley Fool and Digital.com.
The Technology I Use I’m a big fan of Airtable for managing publishing workflows. It provides the right balance of functionality and flexibility. Google Docs is my preferred word processor, mainly because it’s lightweight and streamlined. It seems to have 1/10th as many functions and options as Microsoft Word yet, somehow, it’s 10X more enjoyable to use!