Why connected technology is vital in the new age of customer experience

Being able to communicate effectively is intrinsic in modern businesses delivering outstanding customer experiences. People have so many channels at the touch of their fingertips - social platforms, voice activated devices, instant messenger - so naturally they expect to be able to contact businesses 24/7 via any channel they wish.

With this in mind, customers expect the speedy resolution of problems, and if issues can be solved quickly, customers are more satisfied with a brand.

Take, for example, what typically happens when you call into a contact centre. You speak to an agent, they try to find the right person for your query and succeed in resolving your problem efficiently perhaps half the time. The agent simply doesn’t have the data to find the right person let alone the right channel to reach them efficiently - be it via chat, email, phone or text. It’s this type of communications problem that creates poor customer experiences and leads to aggravation and lack of trust.  

In a world where customer-driven initiatives are a number one priority for businesses, it’s an issue that can directly impact the bottom line.

We know that satisfied customers stay loyal and drive business success. On the flip side, dissatisfied customers share their disappointment and cost more money. This is fact, and it should be the absolute priority of every organisation to empower their employees to deliver outstanding customer experience. Having the right technology and communications in place is vital for this.

CIOs know that IT is responsible for improving customer experience and should be investing heavily in tech and communications to support customer service, but until now there wasn’t a clear path to achieve this.

Historically, businesses have worked with different IT components cobbled together. However, this inevitably led to a disjointed service and a system that was difficult and clunky for staff to use leading to a poor working environment and substandard customer service. By bringing together fractured employee engagement systems and unifying communications together under one roof, there is finally a solution to the problem.

Read: Innovating in a new indsutry - the tech to help you get ahead

But what exactly does unifying communications mean and how does it transform the customer experience?

Essentially, this means connecting customer communications voice, video, messaging, meetings and call solutions into a single platform. By linking all operations, businesses can ensure continuity over every channel and a steady flow of information between departments.

For example, we worked with Cambridge Assessments, a business that provides a range of qualifications and tests for over 5.5 million people every year. With a network of 2,800 exam centres and over 50,000 schools all across the world, it needed a robust communications system that could support its customer service operation 24/7.

Our cloud-based system has offered Cambridge Assessments English much greater flexibility to adapt the messages conveyed to customers. Unlike the previous system, the customer service team can now quickly and easily make changes to call menus, phone scripts and on-screen messages to ensure customers always get the best experience.

The benefits are clear: for customers the person who answers your query will have the context behind the call and your history. This means the customer service agent on the other end of the phone, chat portal, or any other form of communication you might use, has the data insight and everything they need to resolve your query the first time. This completely eliminates the debacle where customers are passed between departments endlessly searching for an answer.

For staff, a cloud based unified platform means tech that is easy to manage and use. This means dealing with inbound customer queries is no longer complex but a smooth process resulting in happy and efficient staff. For larger organisations, linking all departments will result in improved cross-collaboration, bringing staff together.

This level of collaboration internally leads to a complete shift in productivity meaning employees have the time and insight to be truly customer focused.

Looking at what needs to be done in the immediate future, businesses across the board must look at how successful their customer service is and whether they are delivering outstanding experiences. From there, leaders can assess what type of collaboration technology needs to be introduced. Organisations that fail to address this crucial area will fall behind.

This is a guest blog and may not represent the views of Virgin.com. Please see virgin.com/terms for more details. Thumbnail from gettyimages.

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