Anheuser-Busch Briefing Center, U.S. Chamber of Commerce
1615 H St NW, Washington, D.C.
Registration and Breakfast: 8:00 a.m.-8:30 a.m.
The old adage, “You only have one chance to make a first impression,” is timeless, a lesson many of us have learned from experience. In today’s consumer landscape, there is another adage gaining ground – companies only get one chance to make a bad impression. A wealth of consumer data is revealing that customer service can mean the difference between business success and missed opportunity.
Recall the Soup Nazi character from the sitcom, Seinfeld, who on receiving any customer interaction that deviated from his rigid process would snatch away his much-desired product, proclaiming, “No soup for you!” While the Soup Nazi’s Mulligatawny and Crab Bisque may be worth the abuse suffered by Jerry and the gang, this isn’t the ‘90s and today’s consumers are just as quick to declare, “no sales for you.”
In a recent Oracle survey, more than half of respondents indicated they would immediately switch to a competitor following a negative customer service experience, while only 39% said they would give the company a second chance. Odds are there will be no third chance, underscoring the importance of making a positive impression on every interaction.
Europe is in a world of trouble. For more than three years, the continent has hurtled from one economic crisis to the next, narrowly avoiding total ruin but never escaping the tidal wave of debt. European austerity measures have aimed to reduce spending while increasing revenue, but for the most part, austerity has simply yielded higher taxes. Indeed, some European leaders (and American leaders too) seem to think they can tax their way back to prosperity, but many are also starting to realize this miscalculation is doing more harm than good. Economic recovery is not about taxes; it’s about growth.
Whatever happened to tomorrow? We used to talk about a future brimming with unheard-of technologies. Just take a look at these vintage Popular Science covers to see what I mean. We used to dream big—and then something happened. The Cold War ended and the Space Age was mothballed along with the Shuttle. With these developments came an end to both to the existential incentives to innovate as well as the grand missions that inspired big dreams.
Perhaps it’s time then that we take a hard look at tomorrow once again. Thanks to the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Emerging Technologies, we have a list of the top 10 most exciting technology trends happening right now. They have shown tremendous progress in just the past year and are nearing the point of full-scale deployment.
Global energy demand will increase by 30% by 2040, according to ExxonMobil, and embracing new technologies will be the essential way to meet this demand. How can we stimulate this energy innovation? The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) decided to find out by surveying over 700 leading energy executives across the world—some of their answers may surprise you.
When asked which energy source will see the most technological advancement in the next 10 years, respondents overwhelmingly picked solar (71%), together with biofuels (38%) and wind (36%). Nearly 90% of those surveyed believed that renewables will have to become cheaper though if they are to become dominant sources of energy. Oil, on the other hand, was the least popular choice (5%), which seems surprising considering the recent advances in drilling methods that have unlocked enormous oil and gas resources in the United States.