These days, the old adage, "The customer is king" could not be more on point. Faced with a competitive, digital-first environment in which customers demand higher-quality experiences more than ever before, companies have responded by greatly improving customer experience management. Meanwhile, workplace services have not gotten nearly the same level of attention as the customer experience and have lagged behind in comparison. Here's why that's a challenge for businesses and how cloud-business tools may be able to help bridge the gap:
Improved Customer Experience Management
Companies have gone all in on improving the customer experience. They're making heavy use of data insights, employing predictive analytics, and implementing automation to better understand their customers' preferences and proactively solve problems for them — ideally before the customers themselves are even aware there could have been a problem in the first place.
Some businesses are empowering their customer service professionals with contextual data to ensure each interaction is personalized and meaningful, whether it takes place on the phone or via social media. Others are using real-time geolocation data to proactively push out perfectly timed special mobile offers to loyal customers who may be near a brick-and-mortar store and ready to make a purchase. And some intrepid businesses are training chatbots to provide instant, on-demand customer service via Facebook Messenger and other apps.
Have these efforts been worth it? The proof is in the pudding. According to research from Forrester, companies that delivered a high-quality customer experience grew their revenue by 17 percent from 2010 to 2015. It clearly pays to invest in a better customer experience, which is why business considers it a top priority.
Workplace Services Lag Behind the Customer Experience
Why haven't workplace services gotten the same marquee billing as customer experience management? Companies know their survival in the digital age depends on meeting consumer expectations, so it's natural for them to focus on improving the customer experience. Businesses also tend to look at workplace services as a cost center rather than a source of ROI. Make no mistake, though—workplace services are important for these companies' long-term success.
Why haven't workplace services gotten the same marquee billing as customer experience management?
Unfortunately, many workplace services still rely on manual, traditional, and unstructured tools. When compared with the customer experience, they're still behind in taking advantage of technology advancements such as automation to create efficiencies and solve problems that may affect the business. Whether companies manage their workplace services with in-house IT staff or outsource them to a managed services provider, they frequently report there is limited flexibility when it comes to core business functions such as data center management and technical support delivery.
As a result, the workforce suffers from decreased productivity, which can have a ripple effect throughout the business that ultimately touches on the customer experience. Not only that, but manual processes and systems tend to stand in the way of innovations that could truly advance the business, crippling its ability to digitally transform. This is an area ripe for improvement as vendors adapt their legacy service delivery models to the digital age.
How Cloud Business Tools Can Help
Fortunately, companies that need to bridge this gap have valuable assets in their corners: cloud business tools. This is especially true when it comes to collaboration. Cloud-based communications tools can help employees of various departments work together far more productively and efficiently than in the past, speeding up the processes of brainstorming and problem-solving, which are critical for moving the business forward. For example, customer service representatives tracking down the answer to a customer's question about a product can message a knowledgeable colleague to get a fast and thorough resolution to the request. Convenient mobile apps make it possible for employees to collaborate with one another and respond to customers from home, a remote office, or any other location.
Cloud-based communications systems provide powerful business benefits beyond collaboration as well. Salesforce cloud integration enhances service representatives' productivity by automatically displaying a customer's record as a call comes in, while automatic call logging improves record-keeping and provides higher-quality data for better analytics insights. API integration takes communications to the next level by integrating features such as text messaging, chat, and voice directly into applications for better user experiences.
Although the customer experience is still a top priority, businesses know they need to boost the efficiency of their internal processes, too. That's why workplace services will likely play an even more important role in the future. In the meantime, cloud business tools stand ready to help companies bridge the gap and keep up with the demands of the digital age.
Contact Vonage Business to learn more about how cloud-based communications can aid your company.