Visiting London is always exciting but this time I had one special reason for the trip. I am just returning from Facebook’s London headquarters where we (Sitel)  co-hosted an event dedicated to discussing how Messenger and other messaging apps are reshaping Customer Care from Contact to Conversation hubs. It was a unique opportunity to learn from the insights and experiences of prominent thought leaders and experts like Julien Decot, Sarah Burnet, Thomas Rudelle, Vanessa Boudin-Lestienne, among others.

To give you a brief taste of the discussions that took place, I summarized my Top 2 most memorable takeaways from the event. I hope they are as useful and inspiring to you as they are to me.

Real Connections Can Never be Replaced by Technology

This statement should make us pause and reflect about today’s innovation paradigm — especially considering it is coming from a Facebook fellow. Technology is abundant and talked about all of the time; but Julien Decot’s view is that technology’s mission, including his own platform, is to help build connections, not to replace them.

I couldn’t agree more with Julien. A couple months ago, debriefing with a friend who is the CEO of a dedicated smart-home solutions company, the two of us came to the conclusion that he doesn’t sell technology. The technology he sells removes elements taking up excess time and energy thus simplifying things to suit a happier lifestyle. In short, he sells to his customers a “happier lifestyle” – or improved experiences, if you rather. This is what we should all be doing nowadays.

Of course some purely transactional events during the customer journey will move to pure self-serve and automated models, but the main objective of platforms such as Facebook, Messenger, WhatsApp, WeChat or solutions like bots and chatbots are to enhance our ability to connect and build trust – not to replace our role in building true relationships with customers.

Cyber Security: A Growing Concern

The incredibly fast, dynamic and scalable options that the evolution of internet provides to businesses across industries has resulted in an environment where the security is not as well attended to as we wish.

After the debate, the conclusion is that there is a clear space of improvement and an immense security opportunity to still be addressed. As companies continue to better understand and apply existing standards and regulations to emerging channels, there are noticeable security business challenges and uncertainties –  not counting solid responses and appropriate controls – which holds back some top-tier organizations and prevents them from making real progress in the new digital economy.

And they still have reason to be conservative. Statistics reveal no good sign for the future as it has been estimated that by 2021, the cost of cyber-attack damage will exceed  $6 trillion – while no one is truly safe from these cyber attacks. I mean, not even social media king Mark Zuckerberg is protected as his Twitter and Pinterest accounts were both hacked in 2016, not to mention John Podesta’s email hack, Yahoo’s billions of personal data stolen, Tumblr’s millions of accounts hacked, Tesco Bank customers’ account exposed, PlayStation accounting hacked and the more recent Equifax breach.

The security aspects of our new and digitally driven business environment still need to be clearly identified and different industry players must ensure they are taking on different ways of approaching things in order to deal with these changes.

If you want to keep this conversation going or learn more from the 2017 CX Change event, feel free to send me a message – you can also find me on Twitter (@GesnerFiloso). I look forward to hearing from you!

Gesner Filoso

Raised in São Paulo and currently living in Madrid, Gesner Filoso is a seasoned Marketing & Strategy professional with almost 20 years of marketing & customer service leadership and expertise. Gesner is currently the Global Head of Brand Strategy Marketing Communications of Sitel Group, one of the largest customer experience companies in the world which provides services from +25 countries throughout North America, South America, Europe, Africa and the Asia Pacific region.