With remote working steadily becoming entrenched in several sectors, companies are looking for ways in which to provide their employees with access to tools that help them do their jobs more easily and efficiently, and give them the information they need to meet and exceed customer expectations.
With businesses and consumers pushed into the digital world, simply having an email address and a voice line – be it traditional or cloud-based – is no longer enough. Having to manage customer communications over multiple channels poses its own challenges for organisations though.
In response, a growing number of businesses are turning to Communications Platform as a Service (CPaaS) and Unified Communications and Collaboration (UC&C) tools in an effort to bring together this fragmented environment and more effectively manage multichannel communications and collaboration, be it internally, or with customers, suppliers and service providers.
While being able to attend to voice calls, emails and social media posts from within a single platform helps cut down on admin time, more can be done to get the best out of this technology for business.
Companies are also looking for integration into their customer relationship management (CRM) systems. This ensures that when a customer makes contact, the service agent has a full history of past interactions, and is able to use this context to better understand the customer and their queries, and provide a better, more personal level of service.
Having a single platform handle all of this means that a business has full transparency and control over their communications expenses, while also standing to benefit from the rich statistics they can derive out of the platform.
Maintaining quality experiences
A key challenge for businesses that scale quickly is that they find they are no longer able to maintain a high level of customer satisfaction, which might have been the differentiator that helped drive growth in the first place.
While chatbots might seem a quick fix, research shows that customers with a problem are looking for empathy – and that’s only available from a person. The answer isn’t as easy as simply adding more contact centre agents either – an Erlang calculator already exists to give you the optimum number based on the call volume you receive.
The challenge is improving your business processes in order to better equip and empower the contact centre agents who represent your brand. While businesses are already making use of the rich statistics received from their communications platforms to better understand call volumes, drop off rates and issue resolution, more can be done to optimise a contact centre’s operations.
Here, there will be a growing reliance on analytical tools and services that combine the best of human knowledge and experience with artificial intelligence (AI) to analyse recorded calls, benchmark against local and international standards, and provide recommendations on operational improvements.
Working with actual analysts helps and organisations go beyond simple speech and sentiment analysis – which often lacks any context – and look at whether delays in issue resolution are caused as a result of upstream (such as delays or breakage in service from suppliers, which are beyond your control) or downstream (where they delay in resolving the customer’s complaint is internal) factors.
Making it easier for users
As organisations start making use of multiple online services, more of them are turning to single sign-on in order to improve security and ease of access for employees. Instead of having to remember complex passwords for different systems, users prefer using one login – be it from identity providers like Google, Microsoft or OAuth, for example – to access multiple online services.
To cater for employees on the move, companies are also wanting seamless handover between devices – for example from a mobile device to a laptop or desktop – without there being a break in the call. This could even happen automatically, based on the WiFi network the user is connected to, or their proximity to a specific device.
Finally, as more businesses turn to remote working, cultivating a new working culture that takes work life balance, as well as the need to ‘unplug’ has come to the fore, and there is a growing focus on better management of an individual’s time. By using a CPaaS, activities such as meetings, and presence indicators (available, away, do not disturb, etc) will be synchronised across applications (voice, video calls, calendars) and user devices (webphone, mobile app, desktop device).
-Rob Lith, Chief Commercial Officer, Telviva