call centerDid you know that 82% of consumers have stopped doing business with a company after they’ve experienced poor customer service? That’s not hard to imagine. We’ve all been customers who have called a company for help, only to be put on hold or talked to someone unwilling to find the answers we needed. Conversely, we’ve all talked to a call center representative who was cheerful and effective. When we hung up, we were ready to move forward with our day.

lossesSince the news first broke several weeks ago, we’ve learned that the Equifax breach is one of the biggest consumer security incidents in history - potentially affecting roughly 143 million Americans. With most American credit users left vulnerable by the hack, it’s understandable that customers would be worried how this will impact their credit and their long-term financial well-being. It’s merchants, though, who are really left holding the bag for these losses.

what is the blockchain and why is it so importantEDI documents and the supply chain data ecosystem seems to be pretty secure. By secure I mean that it’s rare to hear of any cyber breaches affecting commerce. Most often cyber attacks are identified in POS systems and other environments where consumer information is stolen and sold. But just because it isn’t a hot news topic doesn’t mean it can’t or doesn’t happen. And because the documents that run the order processing systems across the globe were created long before cyber warfare was a real threat, new ways of protecting them are being introduced.

blockchain chainIt’s true that blockchain is in many ways just another technology looking to intrude on EDI’s entrenched place in the B2B world. But there are issues with the way we’ve dealt with supply chain documents that even after 40 years, have not been sufficiently addressed. Blockchain may have that silver bullet that makes the benefits of adoption worth the pain of change.

chatbotsYou’ve likely encountered chatbots even if they didn’t introduce themselves as such. Today you’re most likely to encounter them when you call a customer support hotline or online chat service. They ask questions and deliver answers and act surprisingly like human operators… except they’re much more quickly available.