Drive Customer Engagement Results With Customized, Flexible Communications
A recent study by PwC found that 73 percent of those surveyed across 12 countries believe that the customer experience greatly influences their purchasing decisions. In today’s experience economy, businesses want—and need—to create superior experiences that keep their customers coming back again and again. It is now more important than ever to manage every touchpoint across the customer journey—and that journey always begins and ends with communications.
Great experiences are enabled by great communications. Communications is the foundation for a good customer (and employee) experience, not to mention a key driver of digital transformation. With this in mind, enterprises must find new ways to enhance the customer experience so that each interaction—regardless of the device used—promotes loyalty, cultivates a more meaningful relationship, and makes the customer feel empowered and heard. At the same time, enterprises must support their employees with tools that enable smooth, efficient, and seamless customer interactions.
Given this new environment, enterprises are discovering that it’s no longer enough to have just a unified communications solution. Rather, today’s business communications must be able to infuse the customer experience with the perfect blend of technology-driven intelligent interactions and personalized service. It starts with customization and more flexible unified communications.
Creating Intelligent Interactions
Traditional business communications and call centers are changing, influenced by evolving customer expectations and the impact of new innovations. Customers now demand intelligent, seamless interactions with businesses via their channel of choice. An enterprise’s ability to deliver on this and move beyond the traditional business communications and call centers is becoming a major differentiator. They’re under increasing pressure to stand out in how they engage with their customers.
With this in mind, enterprises are beginning to augment their existing communications solutions to meet their own unique business needs and those of their customers. APIs are one way they can achieve this. For example, programmatic call routing via APIs enables enterprises to drive more meaningful connections with their customers through personalized, intelligent, and contextual communications. They enable customers to connect with businesses in real time through their preferred channel—voice, SMS messaging, through a brand’s mobile app, over the web, or through an interactive voice response or a major chat app like Facebook Messenger. And, by leveraging natural language AI and bots to handle simple questions posed to chatbots, businesses can quickly solve customer questions or escalate to a live agent.
Enhance the Flow of Communications, Internally and Externally
At the same time, more employees across an organization are interacting directly with customers. They, too, need the proper tools to collaborate with subject matter experts internally to solve customers’ problems. This requires that communications flow smoothly internally as well as externally. To support and enable better internal employee communications and collaboration, as well as externally with customers, businesses are leveraging enterprise applications, such as unified communications and a cloud contact center solution, to bring innovative tools to the table that transform the way employees work. The idea is that by incorporating functionality into a unified communications or contact center system that includes work-stream collaboration, a unified inbox across applications, social messaging applications, and an ability to seamlessly transition from mobile to desktop applications, enterprises are empowering employees with increased flexibility to enhance the customer experience—and their own. The flexibility of these solutions also enables employees to increase productivity with options for remote access and integration with mission-critical business applications and productivity tools like CRM.
Communications: Central to Business Success
“Static, inflexible, cookie-cutter business communications solutions are key to a better customer and employee experience, and greater productivity,” said no enterprise executive ever. Indeed, enterprises understand that each interaction a customer has with a business shapes that customer’s experience. The challenge lies in how enterprises use technology to make the experience feel more personal, while also mitigating frustrations for customers and empowering employees.
With this as the north star—and because customer engagement and experience are central to success in today’s business world—businesses must move beyond traditional business communications and call centers with technologies that augment existing solutions and enable customization.
With unified communications, contact center solutions, and communications APIs that enable flexible, customized work processes and more meaningful connections, businesses can overcome today’s communications challenges and, in the process, foster a collaborative and productive environment for employees; cultivate customer engagement and a more positive customer experience; and gain increased brand loyalty from both.
Jay Patel is chief product officer at Vonage. Patel has more than 20 years of experience building and guiding top-performing product development teams, with a focus on advancing product strategy and defining and executing on the company's product road map. Prior to Vonage, he was a vice president at Motorola Mobility, where he held various senior-level roles, with areas of focus that included technology development, product development, customer–facing roles, and product marketing. Patel holds a BS in electrical engineering from the University of Illinois at Chicago.
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