Ask the Expert: How can cloud be used to change customer experience?
Who would have thought that in 2018, with all the technological evolutions we have already lived through in the past 10-15 years, from Cloud Computing, Smartphones, Social Media, Drones, Big Data, Virtual Reality(VR), Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the Internet Of Things (IOT) that customer experience could still be slow, put work on the customers shoulders and often let customers down.
- ‘33% say they’ll consider switching companies after just a single instance of poor service.’ – (Source : American Express Customer Service Barometer 2017)
- ‘For every customer who complains, there are 26 customers who don’t say anything.’ – (Source : Lee Resources International)
As customers we are more fickle than ever before. Loyalty quickly wains anyway when new world approaches and entrants are on offer – Ask Blockbuster, Toys R’ Us, Taxi Drivers fighting UBER and we could go on. Add to this dissatisfaction in service and it can only stimulate customers receptiveness to change and looking around.
Older technologies whilst functional, were not designed in mind of the environment we now find ourselves in. Examples of smart phones, social media, IOT, E-commerce were not thought of or catered for. Older products were coded in a time before these all changed our world and how we as humans behave so rapidly. We all expect smart interfaces, self-serve, faster, quicker, easier…..
So, what do cloud offerings give us to better serve these customer expectations?
Cloud based solutions are themselves based on the new world technologies and by definition are designed with the mobile user of today in mind (beware however of old technologies that have been cloudified as many are simply hosted versions of the old version, not in fact a new refreshed ‘true’ cloud offering!). You will find that they either offer mobile interfaces for your actual customer or for your own teams to use to enhance their ability to help your customer whilst they are on the move. Take Salesforce CRM for example, you can expose a community to your customers easily to enhance their interactions with you through to delivering an omni-channel interface for your own staff to enable them to better serve the customer.
Take a look and you will likely find the new cloud offerings, certainly the more recent ones, have focus on agility; the ability for you as a business to change rapidly on the fly, to change policies and have them instantly live.
Consider here old-world telephony, with heavy IT overheads and the capability to meet new customer needs heavily constrained by function and where possible to do, often taking a long time for IT to be able to deliver the businesses ask! In Cloud telephony policies can be changed quickly and easily, using a solution such as Natterbox for example a Salesforce Admin can quickly create a customer facing policy based on real time Salesforce Data all done in a friendly interface inside Salesforce. Thus the focus is on the business need, not the technical limitation and restriction.
A less obvious one, is that with cloud your IT team is removed from spending time managing, maintaining, patching and upgrading your IT system, giving them more time to spend on configuration of business policies and to work on new digital projects. Items that are of business value. The old tasks were necessary evils, not adding any value to your business or customer experience, but purely to maintain the status quo.
Cloud is a disruptor and enabler, if you can get past the perceived barrier of pain of change and the emotive barriers of often moving from a legacy technology business partner to a different vendor in the cloud then there is a great deal to be gained to benefit your own users and customers experience.
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