Toddlers, Toys, Technology (and your Contact Center)

I was recently told a story by a colleague that really got me thinking about the customer experience and how the expectation of the consumer changes with every new technology, toy and toddler that comes (or toddles) along.

Yes, the toddlers of today, using the technology of today, built into even the simplest of toys are going to drive our next generation of business solutions and user demanded experiences.

In fact, I am not sure I have ever seen a child pick up an iPad and not have it figured out within seconds.

So, what was the story that started this train of thought?

“Grandma’s Not There”

This colleague of mine (we’ll call him Greg) has a daughter – I believe three or four years old. When Greg is traveling, she talks to him via video. Maybe FaceTime, maybe Skype, maybe Avaya Scopia. Regardless of the tool, it’s a video call.

She can “see” her dad on the other end of what is, in fact, a phone call, and talks to her grandparents the same way.

One day Greg had her grandparents on a phone call. (That’s right, no video, just a traditional telephone call). He handed his daughter the phone and said, “talk to grandma.” She looked at the phone, handed it back, and said in a very factual manner, “Grandma’s not there.”

Greg quickly realized she was looking at the phone trying to “see” Grandma because they have really only ever talked over video.

Yes, I am laughing now too just picturing it). He puts the phone to her ear, asking grandma to talk – Grandma is still not “there.”

I started thinking about it: What’s the expectation of this “customer?” What happens if things aren’t what she expects? She doesn’t play! And, by the way, she is potentially already influencing the purchase of products from your company.

I’ve never met her, but if I had to guess, I’d say there is no lack of technology toys in her world. For many children today, technology is everywhere!

Sorry, “Real-World” Playing Cards Don’t Respond to Touch

Let me give you another true story as an example.

I was on a family vacation a couple years ago and was playing solitaire; not on an iPad, but with an actual deck of cards (gasp!).

My nephew came over and I asked him if he wanted to play. He said yes, came over, and tapped twice on a card.

Think about it for a minute: The physical interaction with the card didn’t exist for him, since he’s a technology baby. He expected the card to flip over by “clicking” on it.

It’s a fact: Things have changed and continue to be supplanted by new technologies and ways of doing mundane tasks. Digital clocks replaced traditional face clocks long ago, cell phones replaced home phones, iPad solitaire replaced a deck of cards, and video calls are replacing phone calls.

Consider the results of a recent study: 69% of respondents expect unique treatment, contacted in a way they want, with others tailored to them.

Do you know what your modern customer expects, not to mention what Greg’s daughter is going to expect when she becomes a member of the disposable income group you’re targeting?

Are you losing existing customers, or not winning new ones by ignoring their preferences?

Yes, this is what I think about every day – how customers behave, what they want vs. what they need (both call for a different response), and how business can/should respond to be the most effective and successful (as well as profitable) they can be.

Here at Avaya I put this curiosity in action by sponsoring a global consumer and business research project to provide you with some insights into the customers you are targeting today.

While I can’t yet pinpoint what Greg’s daughter or my nephew will expect, I can help you with the consumers of today.


To learn more about this research, download the global survey results summary here.

To read the press release, click here.


Survey Methodology:
The survey was conducted globally across 13 countries by independent market research firm Dynamic Markets on behalf of Avaya including: United States, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, United Kingdom, Germany, Netherlands, Russia, China, Singapore, Japan, India and Australia. 1,268 businesses with more than 1,500 employees were interviewed, 54 percent of who are at senior-management level or above. 8,500 adult consumers were surveyed; 49 percent of who are male and 51 percent female.

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