A contact strategy from the holidays…

Now is the end of the year and the time when many of us send good wishes to our family, friends, and colleagues.  It is after all a good time to get in contact with folks and also send across your latest contact details.

However this year, for me, a couple of trends really stuck out.
1.  Everyone is pretty much moving to sending cards or messages online
2.  People are changing their online contact details with ever greater frequency

Your ‘real card’ is more likely to be an ‘eCard’.
In the last couple of years we seem to have seen an acceleration in the number of eCards/emails sent with a corresponding reduction in physical/’real’ cards received.  This year we reached a new record, a turning point maybe.

My lawyer, real estate agent and financial adviser, all sent ‘real’ cards, however for most family and friends, it was simply a nice email or eCard with a message.

Now I am not saying that lawyers, real estate agents and financial advisors do not genuinely just like me for who I am…..they are nice people too after all.  It just seems we are reaching a turning point in terms of email adoption and wider acceptance of electronic alternatives for personal communication.  The ‘eConversion’ is almost complete.

The ‘ever changing addressbook’.

The other trend that was apparent was the increasing number address changes.  It seems we all now have multiple email addresses and these are changing on a more frequent basis that ever before…. moving companies, changing email providers…… it is moving every year, all the time.

However in my address book (and in most customer contact systems I have seen) there is an underlying assumption that there is a unique set of records or attributes that describes your address.  There is a space for home, work address, phone and email, this is it….the ‘location’, to find you.

However today and especially online, it seems we are in a constant state of flux, everyone is moving, using multiple email addresses, adding and deleting accounts etc.  The traditional contact and address book paradigm is struggling to keep up.

Meanwhile back at the office.
So there are a couple of thoughts for the new year.

1.  The eConversion of the wider population, the one we discussed for the last 10 years, is almost complete. As such we must all have a robust eCare strategy, it is going to accelerate and become ever more important.  (… put another way, when your own family is preferring to send eCards, you know you ‘gotta have’ a robust eCare strategy)

2.  Increasing the flexibility in recording and retaining contact details will become increasing important. These are a flow of locations to find someone, not an absolute point or destination.  It will evolve over time and we need to be ready for this.

Best wishes for the new year everyone

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