Each leap in technology does not create happier customers, it merely sets the bar higher as it pertains their expectations. Faster and faster internet speed means today’s pace will not be acceptable tomorrow. In the same way, new technologies that enable customers to engage with businesses in new and meaningful ways are rapidly becoming the standard, and companies that aren’t deploying will find it tougher to compete.
You don’t need to go far to hear a company proclaim they want to provide an “exceptional customer experience.” If done well, benefits include customer loyalty, increased brand awareness, customer satisfaction and higher profitability. But just as technologies continuously change, so has the definition of what makes an exceptional customer experience.
In this series, we’ll explore five ways the “exceptional customer experience” is being redefined through:
- Empowering the business
- Ease of use
- Democratization of customer care
- IT-less infrastructure
Empowering the business
Until recently, technology that was built and sold for specific business purposes, such as call center software, needed to be procured and run by your IT department. As a contact center salesman during the 1990s and early 2000s, my purchaser was almost without exception a technical buyer within IT. Call center operations and teams, such as marketing, had only minimal moderate influenceeven though they were the primary users and beneficiaries. IT’s responsibilities naturally included installing and maintaining the physical servers, software, updates/patches, and network and security. Due to the complexity of the application, IT needed to also fulfill more operational tasks such as moves/adds/changes and running reports.
Today’s story is quite different. And, one reason is that this same contact center technology, albeit a much more advanced version, is readily accessible. The driving force behind the accessibility can be summed up in one word – cloud.
True cloud solutions
True cloud solutions have numerous characteristics that make them accessible as they are both browser-based and priced as a month by month subscription, thus lowering both cost and risk. Business users are now able to trial complex solutions, giving them a hands-on experience and confidence that the solution will meet their business needs.
The result? Organizations are empowered to act quicker and execute their customer care strategies. What takes many months with an on-premises solution can now be installed and running in a matter of days. And once deployed, you can rapidly test and tweak for maximum effectiveness and efficiency. Other benefits of true cloud solutions include:
- ability to instant scale up and down to meet seasonal or changing business needs
- continuous deployment model whereby updates are ongoing and available at the next login rather than more labor intensive all-at-once upgrades
- easy to turn on new – and future – capabilities such as email, chat, mobile and social
- means to future proof your business against imminent social and technological changes on the horizon
Providing an exceptional customer experience is still the goal, and its now more attainable than ever as those outside of IT gain easy access to new technologies.
And if you’re looking to better understand the real cost of cloud versus on-premises call center solutions, I invite you to attend our upcoming webinar Tuesday, June 14 as Keith Dawson, principal analyst at Ovum, and David Fuller, Sr. Director of Strategic Consulting at Interactive Intelligence, discuss Ovum’s recent research on cloud TCO. Attendees will also receive a copy of Ovum’s “The Total Cost of Ownership of Cloud- and Premise-Based Contact Center Platforms” report, complements of Interactive Intelligence.