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Three Tech Industry Takeaways from CES 2021

For the technology industry it was that time of year again!

CES 2021 was here, but this time around the well-known conference

organized by the CTA (The Consumer Electronics Association) went digital!

For the first time in 54 years we experienced a virtual trade show, where exhibitors showcased their products by coming up with innovating ways to do so. In addition, the technology business community interacted with each other through multiple communication channels such as real-time chats, messaging and other networking tools.

As we all know CES 2021 is all about the future, as every year it exhibits the newest innovations in the technology space. It brings to the table a great variety of smart products, from robots to smart home appliances, as well as many other innovative technologies. For sure, attending a digital venue was a new experience for all!

 

Here are the top three tech industry trends we saw, which are here to stay for the long haul.

 

1. Digital transformation accelerated due to fast changes in consumer behavior

In both the B2C and B2B markets, digital technology usage rapidly started accelerating as a result of the sudden changes in our everyday lives caused by the pandemic. People were forced to adapt to new technologies at a very fast rate due to the needs they began to face. Some of these trends were already here, but the pandemic triggered a more rapid pace of adoption, from remote meetings to e-commerce and smart home.

In retail and e-commerce in particular, we saw how brick-and-mortar businesses suddenly started closing at a faster clip. As a result, or perhaps as one of its main causes, online shopping and home deliveries began to flourish during these challenging times, opening a whole new world of possibilities to the industry. Reflecting on these changes, Luke Motschenbacher, VP of Merchandising at Best Buy stated:

“Mostly the changes you have seen in retail are permanent because customers have found new ways to shop, new ways to explore, and they become accustomed to the most flexible product fulfillment mechanisms that have ever existed in the industry.”

In short, we have seen how the impact of changes in consumption patterns has encouraged innovation and has opened emerging markets across all areas of the tech industry, such as Smart Home, Digital Health, Robotics, and the like. As the world needed to act quickly, and adapt to new ways of living, technology became an asset in preserving the well-being of people during these difficult times. This paved the road to launching new products and to the acceleration of research on smart solutions aiming to improve everyday life.

 

2. The home becomes a multi-functional hub to live, play, work and learn.

For most of us, because of the pandemic, our home became a place to work, entertain, play, and learn. For this reason alone, we saw how new needs arose in terms of comfort and functionality. The “home as a hub” spurred the acceleration of the smart home market last year, as Steven Hummel, the manager of market research at CTA explained: “2020 was a spectacular year for the smart home industry. We had revenue grow by 8% over 2019 (even in the middle of pandemic)…a lot of product movement, we saw a 17% increase in shipment volumes of DYI smart home products.”

All kinds of smart home solutions experienced growth, including the biggest categories of smart lighting, smart displays, smart doorbells, smart thermostats, and smart speakers, which saw a huge surge in sales. For smart home vendors the scenario in the upcoming years is promising.

Once our behavior changed, our relationship with technology changed as well. While people continue changing their habits, investing in more smart home solutions and expanding the capabilities of the network at their homes, we will continue looking at the rise of an emerging and exciting market.

The CTA forecasted that the estimated revenue of smart home related products would surpass 28 billion by 2022. If families remain at home and continue to implement new technologies in their daily lives, we might see a new growth pattern emerge during 2021. Some of these new technologies include, but are not limited to, no-touch technology, which can be found in both home appliances and vehicles among other innovations. We also have smart security, voice-control and command technologies, in addition to gaming and streaming services.

 

3. Adoption of digital health products is here to stay

Covid-19 has certainly changed our lives, but most importantly, we have seen a global impact because of it. As a result, the digital health industry has experienced rapid growth and has thrived during the pandemic. Furthermore, as the world needed to act quickly, the digital health sector became an asset in preserving the well-being of people around the world as COVID cases started to skyrocket during these difficult times.

On the other hand, smart solutions such as remote patient monitoring, fitness wearables, biometrics monitoring devices, stress trackers, and telemedicine solutions have become essentials in our everyday lives. Trends show that consumers are rapidly adapting and are more proactive to understand their health with the use of wearables, leading to an age of personalization within the health space.

This change in lifestyle, health awareness and medical needs is opening a new array of possibilities to the industry. In this context, everything is an open game for innovation, consumers are central, and service providers are key, but it is the smart technologies vendors who will play an enabling and critical role in leading societies to a healthier and more active lifestyle.

 

Summary

With crisis comes opportunity, and what we can learn from these trends is that it will neither be the strongest or the biggest, but the most adaptable who will survive unfavorable scenarios. Hence, when businesses react early and fast to present conditions, they have found a new path to innovation and to emerging markets. As Luke Motschenbacher inferred in the session called Macro Trends Affecting the Tech Industry Session at CES 2021 “Now, you have people from different generations and demographics that many times the technology industry does not target because they are slow adapters, and this year (2020) that adoption occurred and accelerated to an extent we haven’t seen before. Now you have a whole new market that feels comfortable adopting new technology.”

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Inc. Magazine Unveils Its Annual List of America’s Fastest-Growing Private Companies – Infolink-exp Ranks No. 490 on the 2020 Inc. 5000

NEW YORK (PRWEB) AUGUST 14, 2020

Inc. magazine revealed that INFOLINK TECHNOLOGY SOLUTIONS is No. 490 on its annual Inc. 5000 list, the most prestigious ranking of the nation’s fastest-growing private companies. The list represents a unique look at the most successful companies within the American economy’s most dynamic segment—its independent small businesses. Intuit, Zappos, Under Armour, Microsoft, Patagonia, and many other well-known names gained their first national exposure as honorees on the Inc. 5000.

READ THE FULL LIST HERE: INC.5000

“Our purpose at Infolink-Exp is to be a platform for growth to our customers in the smart technology space, as well as to our team, partners and investors, so we are truly honored to have made the Inc. 500 list this year. It validates the hard work everyone’s been doing to make that happen and the solutions we bring to the market” said Infolink’s CEO José A. González.

Not only have the companies on the 2020 Inc. 5000 been very competitive within their markets, but the list as a whole shows staggering growth compared with prior lists as well. The 2020 Inc. 5000 achieved an incredible three-year average growth of over 500 percent, and a median rate of 165 percent. The Inc. 5000’s aggregate revenue was $209 billion in 2019, accounting for over 1 million jobs over the past three years.

Complete results of the Inc. 5000, including company profiles and an interactive database that can be sorted by industry, region, and other criteria, can be found at http://www.inc.com/inc5000. The top 500 companies are also being featured in the September issue of Inc., available on newsstands August 12.

“The companies on this year’s Inc. 5000 come from nearly every realm of business,” says Inc. editor-in-chief Scott Omelianuk. “From health and software to media and hospitality, the 2020 list proves that no matter the sector, incredible growth is based on the foundations of tenacity and opportunism.”

The annual Inc. 5000 event honoring the companies on the list will be held virtually from October 23 to 27, 2020. As always, speakers will include some of the greatest innovators and business leaders of our generation.

More about Infolink-exp

Infolink-Exp partners with rapidly scaling IoT technology companies to help their users adopt, learn, and leverage smart technologies to transform their lives. We augment our clients support operations along the customer journey with services to their end-users and with data-driven insights on the customer experience using our Zahoree™ CX analytics platform, to increase adoption, customer retention and expand revenue. Infolink-exp serves the technology industry worldwide with operations in North America and Europe.

More about Inc. and Inc 5000

Methodology
The 2020 Inc. 5000 is ranked according to percentage revenue growth when comparing 2016 and 2019. To qualify, companies must have been founded and generating revenue by March 31, 2016. They had to be U.S.-based, privately held, for profit, and independent—not subsidiaries or divisions of other companies—as of December 31, 2019. (Since then, a number of companies on the list have gone public or been acquired.) The minimum revenue required for 2016 is $100,000; the minimum for 2019 is $2 million. As always, Inc. reserves the right to decline applicants for subjective reasons. Companies on the Inc. 500 are featured in Inc.’s September issue. They represent the top tier of the Inc. 5000, which can be found at http://www.inc.com/inc5000.

About Inc. Media
The world’s most trusted business-media brand, Inc. offers entrepreneurs the knowledge, tools, connections, and community to build great companies. Its award-winning multiplatform content reaches more than 50 million people each month across a variety of channels including websites, newsletters, social media, podcasts, and print. Its prestigious Inc. 5000 list, produced every year since 1982, analyzes company data to recognize the fastest-growing privately held businesses in the United States. The global recognition that comes with inclusion in the 5000 gives the founders of the best businesses an opportunity to engage with an exclusive community of their peers, and the credibility that helps them drive sales and recruit talent. The associated Inc. 5000 Conference is part of a highly acclaimed portfolio of bespoke events produced by Inc. For more information, visit http://www.inc.com.

 

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PODCAST: Using Better Customer Intelligence To Optimize Services

Listen to our CEO José A. González as he joins Betsy Westhafer and Tony Bodoh on the Really Know your Customer Podcast to talk about how Infolink-exp Customer Journey Support Model helps technology companies scale.

Really Know your Customer Podcast Website

 

“When a business is ready to scale, it’s no longer about the product or marketing. It’s all about keeping relationships with the customers” José González.

 

José González as a tech entrepreneur himself, knows the challenges that IoT/Tech companies encounter along the way as they experience growth. José brings all his expertise of the past 25 years to the table to chat with us on how to keep your customers happy and bring Customer Success best practices into the consumer based smart product marketplace.

If you are in charge of Customer Experience, Customer Success, Customer Support, and Marketing in a tech company, you can not miss this podcast! Stay with us to learn what it means to be a customer oriented company in the IoT/Smart B2C world.

 Preview

Betsy: I’m excited to dive into this, Tony. We’re going to be talking about how you can utilize your customer support people as actual customer success people, what that look and why that’s important. José has a lot of other great insights on what it means to be customer centristic in this type of world.

Betsy: José, welcome to the show. It’s good to have you here.

José: Thanks for having me…

 

You can read the podcast transcript or listen it here:

Infolink-exp is a support partner to smart tech companies, delivering great customer experiences. If you’d like to explore working with us, feel free to Schedule a Discovery Call or visit our SCALE-SMART FAQ page.

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Webinar “The Emergence of the Transformation Economy”

DESIGNED FOR: CONSUMER IOT AND SMART TECH COMPANIES

Did You Miss Our Webinar? Watch It Here!

The Emergence of The Transformation Economy

Want to learn how to leverage your Customer Support and CX teams to generate revenue at your consumer IOT or smart tech company? On May 28th, 2020 we joined #1 Best Selling Author Tony Bodoh and Infolink-exp CEO José Antonio González on a live webinar. If you are in charge of  Customer Operations, Customer Experience, Customer Support, Customer Success, and Marketing in a technology company or startup you can not miss it!

Watch now to learn…

  • You’ll learn how a B2C smart tech company can use a customer success paradigm and their support team to guide customers to the outcomes they seek and to their highest potential.
  • About a silent revolution in our economy that few are aware about, which will create a shuffling of the companies that succeed, fail or transform.
  • How Customer Experience (CX) data should drive the optimization of your customer support operations.

Infolink-exp establishes its European office in Málaga

Infolink-exp was feature on ‘INVEST IN SPAIN’ by ICEX, the Spanish Institute for Foreign Trade.

Read the full article here:

www.investinspain.org

 

Infolink-EXP partners with rapidly scaling IoT technology companies, to deliver an unsurpassed customer experience to end users. That is why we have developed the Customer Journey Support methodology, to help vendors support their customers throughout their lifetime, from pre-sales to activation and on-boarding, first-use, ongoing support, and upgrading.

We augment our clients support operations along the customer journey with services and data-driven insights, to increase adoption, customer retention and expand revenue.

 

Our team of leaders in global technology support is growing!

Meet our new Head of Operations at Infolink-exp Europe.

We are glad to welcome Marit Hov Bjellvag to our team! Her background of over 20 years in user and product support with global tech companies makes her the perfect leader for Infolink-exp’s expansion in Europe.

Her experience as a global IT manager for EMEA, America and APAC markets led her to work for well established brands in the IT space such as Cisco Systems, where she led product and customer support teams for Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, and Poland markets.

Infolink-exp Head of Operations – Europe (bottom-center) visiting Juarez, Mexico office.

Marit is a people person and seeker of customer solutions, while focused on improving and motivating her teams inside and outside of the workspace. Her pursuit of continuing learning environments and innovative industries led her to Infolink-exp, where she is now ready to serve our global clients and their users across Europe.

We are proud to welcome her to our growing team of leaders, driving the best customer experiences and customer transformation in the IoT space.

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Infolink-exp expands its global presence with a new support operations center in Málaga, Spain.

Infolink-exp, a leader in global technology support services, announced the opening of its European office today.

 

SAN JOSE, CA, November 4, 2019. – Infolink-exp’s new office will be based in Málaga, Spain and will serve European and Asian companies, as well as North American clients moving into the European IoT market. “Some of our U.S.-based clients, companies out of San Francisco, the Silicon Valley, and New York City among others, are growing rapidly and expanding into overseas markets with their products. Often the first step in their expansion is the EMEA market, and we at Infolink-exp want to be in a position to serve them there and become a global partner to them in supporting their users“, says José Antonio González, Founder and CEO of Infolink-EXP. “In addition, Europe has a large and growing number of their own technology companies providing innovations in the smart home, automotive, healthcare and environmental spaces, among others. We also want to be in a position to deliver our customer support and customer experience solutions to them, as we help them scale”.

In recent years, the Internet of Things (IoT) has been gaining ground with consumers, who are starting to see the benefits of using IoT devices to simplify tasks in the home and to manage things around them using apps. According to CSG, just in the smart home, adoption of devices is already in the mid twenties (23%), but expected to rise rapidly, and a strong majority of consumers feel that the most valuable attribute of IoT devices is to make life easier.

The Andalucía Technology Park (PTA) in Málaga provides the perfect environment for Infolink-exp’s landing in Europe, where the company will be able to tap into multi-national and multi-lingual customer support and engineering talent. Infolink-exp, with current operations in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico and San Jose, CA, will be serving clients –B2C and B2B IoT brands– out of their Spanish operations center starting in November of 2019.

ABOUT

Infolink-EXP partners with rapidly scaling IoT technology companies, to deliver an unsurpassed customer experience to end users. That is why we have developed the Customer Journey Support methodology, to help vendors support their customers throughout their lifetime, from pre-sales to activation and on-boarding, first-use, ongoing support, and upgrading.

We augment our clients support operations along the customer journey with services and data-driven insights, to increase adoption, customer retention and expand revenue.

In the Media:

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PRWeb

RealWire

MarTech Cube

 

5 Shocking Stats on Bad Customer Experience

Earlier this year the world was shocked by a graphic video of David Dao, a Kentucky man, who was dragged off a United Flight, his face bloodied and body limp. But this wasn’t the first time United had problems. There was the famous 2009 music video, United Breaks Guitars, created after the bassist for the band Sons of Maxwell saw his $3500 Taylor bass guitar nonchalantly thrown to the ground by United baggage handlers.

Incidents like these and others turn viral on social media. They shock us, offend us, even outrage us. But are these highly visible events exceptions, or do they happen more often than we believe?

Unfortunately they’re just the tip of the iceberg. We researched the topic and found some shocking statistics about the pervasiveness of bad customer service in business today, and turned it into an infographic.

Here are some of the findings

86% of customers have to contact customer service multiple times for the same reason

Have you ever tried to get a problem resolved by calling a company’s customer service line, only to get no resolution? Fully 86% of customer service calls don’t’ resolve the issues the calls were about, forcing customers to call over and over again to try to get resolutions to the same problems.

85% are put on hold for too long

Do you think being put on hold for 5 minutes is a long time? That’s the time when people usually hang up the phone, because of the perception they’ve been left hanging for too long. And 85% of consumers calling into customer service lines feel like they’ve been put on hold for too long.

84% of customer service agents can’t answer the questions

Not being able to answer questions is so frustrating, principally because you call customer service to get your questions answer and your problems solved. A lot of this is either a training problem, a hiring problem, a process-flow problem or all three.

82% of customer service agencies are impolite or unfriendly

Now this goes directly counter to the purpose of customer service, which is to help customers. When you call into a help line you’re usually irritated, angry, and frustrated. If the customer service rep who answers is unfriendly or short with you, it could be the spark that makes you explode. The fact that 82% of reps are insensitive to the emotional state of the people calling in is completely unacceptable.

83% of consumers have to repeat the same information to multiple reps

This is my pet peeve. I have seen my emotional state go from mildly frustrated to infuriated in just a matter of minutes when I’ve been bounced from rep to rep, only to repeats my story three or more times. Unfortunately this is way too common as well.

5 negative customer experiences

5 negative customer experiences [infographic]

 

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Customer Loyalty on the Cloud is priceless

Sales and marketing gurus love to focus on how to create more awareness, generate more leads, and close more sales. It’s what’s “sexy” in the blogging world.

But the old refrain, “It’s easier to sell to existing customers than to new ones,” is truer now than ever before.

In our infographic on Customer Loyalty In The Cloud” we share some of the key business benefits of loyalty for cloud vendors:

Loyalty tips

  • Communicate with your customers
  • Provide great customer service and support
  • Optimize your customer’s experience
  • Build employee loyalty

Why is Loyalty Imperative

  • It costs 5 times more to acquire a new customer than it does to keep an existing one
  • 80% of revenue for most companies comes from 20% of their customers
  • It’s easier to sell a new product to your existing customer base than to new customers
  • 91% of dissatisfied customers who switch to another company will never come back
Customer loyalty on the cloud

Customer loyalty on the cloud [infographic]

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Infolink EXP Blog: One of the Best Customer Experience Blogs to Follow

Companies today are prioritizing the creation of amazing customer experiences. They know that excellence in sales and marketing is not enough – they must also delight their customers throughout the customer journey, both before the sale and after the sale.

Belgian Big Data company NG Data recently researched the top blogs in the industry dedicated to helping companies design, execute and support excellent customer experiences. They came up with the definitive list of the top 50 customer experience blogs, and we were pleasantly surprised to find that Infolink’s blog was included in the list.

They listed our blog along with such industry heavyweights as Conversation Agent by Valeria Maltoni, Customer Experience Matters by Bruce Temkin, and the Forrester Blog for Customer Experience Professionals.

They also listed their favorite Infolink blog posts:

  • The Customer Experience is Key to Growth and Profitability on the Cloud
  • Customer Experience Management through service…beyond operational metrics
  • (Customer) Experience Matters

Read the full write-up by NG Data on the top 50 customer experience blogs.

Our Biggest Takeaways from the NG Data Post

Creating a customer-centric culture is essential

The folks at NG Data believe companies that create amazing customer experiences will excel at business. In fact they stated: “…businesses that knock it out of the park with customer experience management that lead the pack in their respective industries.”

The importance of Big Data for delivering an awesome customer experience

It’s not surprising that a company with the name “NG Data” would talk about the important of Big Data. But we agree, which is why we launched Zahoree, a Big Data Analytics as a Service company to help companies accelerate their time to insights without the large cost outlays of typical Big Data companies.

In their post, NG Data says that Big Data allows marketers to create enriched experiences to improve the effectiveness of their lead generation, nurturing and conversion.

The importance of the customer experience throughout the customer journey

NG Data believes what we believe: companies must deliver an excellent experience through all phases of the customer journey: from awareness, to acquisition, product usage and finally to repeat use and loyalty.

It’s no longer enough to provide a great sales experience. In order to survive – and thrive – in today’s business climate, you have to take care of the complete customer journey.