With an increasing number of brands entering the market across virtually all sectors (financial services, retail, healthcare, communications, etc.) organizations are fighting harder than ever to meet their customers’ demands. But as plenty of companies are discovering, it’s one thing to create a good product or service, and a completely different thing to deliver a memorable customer experience (CX).
CX is ranked a key competitive differentiator by 82% of companies, however only 11% self-rate their CX as nine out of 10 or better. These figures highlight just how tough it can be to adapt to digitally-savvy consumers, particularly with the breadth and complexity of day-to-day customer interactions.
Delivering a superior, memorable customer experience is a challenging balancing act, requiring organisations to execute their product vision while prioritizing customers’ demands. It’s also increasingly difficult now that consumers have so many options to choose from, and far more means of expressing dissatisfaction should an experience take a downturn.
But while business leaders—including C-level executives—commonly promote their customer centricity, the reality is many haven’t quite unravelled what that really means for their organisations. And unfortunately, there are still many instances where existing (archaic) policies inhibit the ability to serve the customer.
Although there’s an understanding that customer experience must incorporate traditional telephony, apps, email, web chat and social media, it takes much more than simply providing different platforms for consumers to use. Omnichannel isn’t enough.
In order to optimise customer experience, companies must ask:
How well do our various channels communicate?
How can we reduce the number of times clients need to pass a security check without jeopardising their privacy and data?
Can we start a conversation over web chat, and then move it to phone call or video?
How can we better understand every one of our unique customers?
How can all of these elements be wrapped together to ensure the entire organisation is ready to serve?
All of these questions have something in common: they require a modern platform that is flexible enough to meet every customer’s unique needs, as well as the ability to collect and analyse data to inform intelligent decisions that will boost the value the brand can deliver. To effectively serve customers, companies need to consolidate touch points to deliver a consistent, seamless experience through various channels—but they must also ensure that every team member—in any role—is a customer experience expert who has the right tools and data when they get a query.
At Avaya, we have fundamentally transformed our services delivery model. We enable our clients to create experiences that align to the needs of their businesses while catering for the expectations of their customers. By developing a flexible software core that can be customised to almost every customer experience scenario, we are helping organisations become ready to serve, which leads to maximised customer satisfaction and subsequent retention.
Customer experience is of such prominence that analyst firm IDC argued the evolving contact centre market is buoyed by business leaders’ focus on improving CX. This demonstrates the opportunity at hand, however organisations must do more than simply provide a selection of channels for consumers to use. Long wait times are perceived as unacceptable—the limited flow of data within an omnichannel environment should be too. Companies need to let their customers determine value. And that is the approach Avaya has adopted in order to fulfil our role as the communications company for digital transformation.
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