Customer Experience

Redefining the customer experience with connected tech

Today, being able to communicate effectively is essential for businesses to deliver outstanding customer experiences. People have so many channels at their fingertips – social platforms, voice activated devices, instant messenger – so naturally they expect to be able to contact companies 24/7 via any channel they wish. Put simply, customers expect brands to resolve their problems quickly – more so now than ever before.

It’s frustrating then that when customers call contact centres, too often they are passed from pillar to post and rarely have their problems solved first time. The problem is, agents simply don’t have the information to find the right person let alone the right channel to reach them efficiently. It’s this type of communications problem that leads to aggravated customers and loss of trust.

We know that satisfied customers stay loyal and drive business success. On the flip side, dissatisfied customers share their disappointment and cost more money. So, customer-driven initiatives must be the number one priority for businesses if they are to carry on being competitive.

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.

Historically, businesses have worked with different IT components cobbled together – working with siloed and disjointed platforms makes it impossible for staff to work efficiently and provide good customer experiences. However, unifying fractured employee engagement systems solves the problem by enabling employees to put their focus solely on the customer.

This means connecting customer communications including 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, 8x8 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 at all hours.

8x8’s cloud-based system has offered Cambridge Assessments 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 their query will have the context behind their call and their history. This means the customer service agent has the data insight and everything they need to resolve their query the first time, completely eliminating the all too common 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; dealing with inbound customer queries is no longer complex but a smooth, efficient process resulting in a happy and productive workforce. For larger organisations, linking all departments will result in improved cross-collaboration, bringing staff together.

The ease of internal collaboration boosts productivity, meaning employees have the time and insight to be truly customer focused.

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.

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Adapted from 'Redefining the customer experience with connected tech ', written by Kevin Scott-Cowell and originally posted to the official site of 8x8.

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