Riding the storm of change
There’s no getting away from it, change happens. As the Greek philosopher Heraclitus put it, “The only constant in life is change”. But it may feel like change is coming at you thick and fast from all directions at the moment. For example, climate change is seldom out of the news these days, presenting environmental challenges across the globe.
However, by making savvy choices you can ensure that your business rides the storm of change and thrives in these turbulent times. With the right technology and the best partner to help you navigate through the tempest, you can strengthen your organisation and set course for a brighter future ahead.
Customer expectations are also changing. They now expect a seamless, omnichannel experience in their communications with you, and it’s vital that you can meet these demands. Delivering a consistent customer experience has never been more important than in these times of change and challenge.
In fact, a recent study found that more than 65% of people have higher expectations for customer service today than they did three to five years ago. Findings also showed that businesses are failing to meet these expectations, as over 50% of participants reported that they hadn’t seen any improvement in customer service over the previous 12 months.
The importance of delivering exceptional customer experience can’t be underestimated, as according to Gartner, customer experience drives over 60% of brand loyalty, more than price and product combined. And research has found that 71% of people recommend a product or service after receiving a ‘great’ customer experience.
Indeed, a report by PwC, which surveyed 15,000 consumers, found that one in three customers would leave a brand they love after just one bad experience. Furthermore, delivering good customer experiences could even add value to your products, as research has found that 86% of buyers are willing to pay more for a great customer experience.
So, what’s the answer to this challenge? How do you ensure that you can deliver exceptional customer experiences with ease? And, in this ever-changing, post-pandemic world, where hybrid working is widespread, how do you enable your employees to have the flexibility to work from anywhere?
Well, the solution is in the cloud, with contact centre as a service (CCaaS), delivered by an experienced and reliable technology partner.
would leave a brand they love after just one bad experience.
Future-proofing your business with innovative technology
So, what makes a high-quality CCaaS solution so excellent at providing the best customer experience? Well, CCaaS solutions offer the omnichannel service expected today, which means your customers don’t just get a multichannel experience, where they can contact you on a choice of communication channels, they get a consistent, unified, and seamless service across all these channels. So, they can switch between methods of communication and still get an exceptional customer experience. For example, if a customer wants to email you one day with a query, they can then call you the next day to continue the conversation, without having to recap.
With an omnichannel contact centre, you can keep the conversation flowing and fully transcribed across all platforms. This way, you can avoid customers becoming frustrated and jumping ship to your competitors. In fact, one study found that businesses with a well-defined omnichannel customer experience strategy achieved a 91% higher year-over-year increase in customer retention rate, on average, than companies without this.
Such leading-edge technology also enables you to provide an excellent agent experience, which is essential if you want to deliver good customer service. After all, happy agents equal happy customers, which you shouldn’t overlook if you want to achieve success.
A good CCaaS solution will help your agents to work more efficiently, thus reducing stress levels and improving employee engagement. Some CCaaS platforms include gamification features to boost morale and foster a fun, interactive environment for agents. These encourage healthy competition, fuel high performance, and increase productivity with a variety of customisable games and prizes.
A cloud-based contact centre solution can also enable businesses to tap into a much larger talent pool when hiring, as employees don’t need to be located nearby. Agents can log on from anywhere and work just as effectively remotely as they can in the office, thus improving their work-life balance and reducing staff turnover.
As well as being easy to deploy and use, a reliable CCaaS solution will include many feature-rich native integrations, such as access to your CRM platform, that can help you support your remote-based agents during their working day. This innovative technology can help you future-proof your business by boosting productivity and enabling workforce optimisation.
A high-quality CCaaS platform provides a single, user-friendly interface, with all the relevant information in one place, enabling your employees to resolve queries quickly and efficiently. It can also bridge the gap between contact centre agents and subject matter experts anywhere in your organisation, in real time, with Microsoft Teams integrations. This allows agents to seamlessly call, chat with, or transfer a call to an expert, and provide a faster resolution to the customer.
AI-powered features also deliver efficiency-boosting options, and perhaps offer a taste of the future. Intelligent virtual assistants, or chatbots, can benefit customer experience and productivity by responding to customers instantly, 24/7. This not only minimises customer waiting times, but allows your support agents to focus on high-priority tasks. If a query becomes too complex, the chatbot can then seamlessly pass the customer and full context of the conversation on to a human agent.
Businesses with a well-defined omnichannel strategy achieve a 91% higher customer retention rate, year-on-year, than those that don't.
- Aberdeen Strategy & Research
Why invest in technology now?
So, clearly, investing in such cutting-edge technology provides powerful benefits, but why is now the right time to do this? When the economic climate is taking a downturn you might think that it’s more a time for austerity – battening down the hatches and cutting all spending – but this would be a short-sighted strategy.
Adopting the right technologies during a crisis can help you survive it, and strengthen your position for when the crisis is over. Organisations that invested in technology and escalated their digital transformation during the Covid crisis, rode the storm and put themselves in a stronger position coming out of it. The right technology can boost your business’s resilience in difficult times.
Investing in cloud-based technology solutions, like CCaaS, is also a great way to lower your operational costs, as you can cut energy expenses and will no longer have the overheads of on-site servers, additional software, and on-site management. In fact, Gartner lists migrating to cloud solutions as one of the nine winning actions to take as recession threatens, saying:
This creates the potential to reduce the impact of rising energy costs and supports the movement to a more nimble adaptive organization.”
It also states that:
Investing in the right digital initiatives at the right cost can blunt the negative effects of economic pressures in the short term and build long-term competitive advantage.”
What’s more, it points out that 62% of boards say that the top expected outcome of becoming more digital is improved customer loyalty. So, it would seem that investing in cloud-based customer contact centre technology at this time is a win-win strategy.
Now is the ideal time to invest in technology that can improve your relationship with your customers, as this could give you the competitive edge you need to thrive while others flounder. In addition, your agents are your greatest assets, so empowering them with the right tools and resources to strengthen your business is crucial. Investing in such technology also gives your business improved scalability and agility, to grow and cut down when necessary, without sinking the whole ship.
The bottom line is that recessions come and go. According to Forbes, there have been 13 recessions since World War II, so we will get through this, but when you think about your business 12 months from now, what do you hope to either improve or change? If 2023 is about steadying the ship, will 2024 be the year you can hoist the sails and move forwards?
62% of boards
say that the top expected outcome of becoming more digital is improved customer loyalty.
Choosing the right technology partner
So, you’ve decided you need to embrace the latest technology to deliver a consistent customer experience, but want to find the right provider to partner with. After all, it’s vital that you choose an organisation that you can rely on, through thick and thin, to deliver what you need, when you need it. While you have to meet your customers’ expectations, it’s only reasonable for you to expect to have your needs met too.
In times of uncertainty, you must be sure that the technology partner you pick has stability and only offers solutions from reliable organisations you can depend on. So, to set you up for a successful partnership with the right technology provider, here are six key questions you should ask a potential supplier:
1. Are they suitable for the long term?
When you start a partnership with a technology provider, you need to be sure that they’re in it for the long haul and won’t leave you high and dry. Being forced to chop and change suppliers is time-consuming, costly, and disruptive. You therefore need to be confident that the provider you pick can go the distance. With Onecom you can be sure that you’ll have a partner you can depend on to stay the course, demonstrated by our long track record of providing high-quality solutions.
2. What levels of service do they provide?
You’ll need to ensure that the provider you choose can deliver the high-quality service you demand and deserve. It’s important to minimise downtime to limit the impact on productivity, and agree a service-level agreement (SLA) that works for you. Onecom offers a resilient platform, with strong SLAs, that’s easy to deploy, manage, and use, and that will guarantee you’re always available when your customers need you most. We build our key performance indicators (KPIs) around your goals, to meet your needs.
3. What vendors do they rely on?
To have peace of mind that you can count on your technology provider, you need to know what vendors they rely on. In these challenging times, it’s important to know that the vendors your supplier relies on are also first-rate and dependable. You certainly don’t want to get caught in a domino effect, where your technology partner can’t deliver because their vendor’s let them down. Onecom only partners with the very best technology vendors.
4. How much experience do they have in your market?
It can help if your technology provider has experience of working with customers in your industry. This is beneficial as it means your supplier understands the day-to-day challenges your business faces and has dealt with any sector-specific issues in the past. Over the many years Onecom has been in business, we’ve gained extensive experience of working with partners across a wide range of sectors. So, we are perfectly placed to deliver a successful outcome for your business. Take a look at our customer success stories, to learn more about the organisations we've helped.
5. How do they support your internal teams?
You’ll no doubt want to make sure that your chosen technology partner will be there for you, if you need assistance. It’s therefore a good idea to clarify what support you’ll get, when needed. At Onecom, we’re here to help and support you. Your success is our success, and we deliver tailored solutions to meet the needs of your business. We offer dedicated UK-based account managers and support teams. Our priority is to deliver unparalleled customer service at every level.
6. Can they innovate and consult as well as provide?
Finally, it makes sense to ensure that the technology provider you partner with can offer you innovative, up-to-the-minute solutions. After all, you don’t want to lag behind your competitors. You also need to make sure that the technology you adopt will best suit your needs, and there’ll be a comprehensive consultation process to ensure this. Onecom takes a consultative approach to digital transformation. Our accredited cloud experts work with you to develop a clear picture of your operational needs and create a personalised cloud solution to match.
How we made our choice
Like our customers, we also partner with technology companies, to provide the cutting-edge solutions we offer. So, similarly, we need to make wise choices when picking the organisations we work with.
Onecom only partners with the best global technology and communications companies, to ensure we supply our customers with the best solutions on the market. That’s why we chose to partner with Five9 to deliver our contact centre solution as a leading provider of the intelligent cloud contact centre leading the cloud revolution in CCaaS since 2001.
As an industry-leading provider of the intelligent cloud contact centre, Onecom made a great partner choice with impressive expertise. We also need to be sure that the technology organisations we choose to work with have the stability and reliability we and our customers require. With Five9, named after the company's dedication to reliability (99.999%), and many years of experience as a front-runner in the field, the organisation's dependability was clear.
Offering state-of-the-art technology, Five9 is the perfect strategic partner for Onecom, enabling us to provide our customers with a transformative contact centre solution. Our partnership was also recently strengthened when we were named EMEA Partner of the Year.