Companies live and die by customer experience. Without a quality experience, customers move on, and companies go out of business. Though good customer experience ultimately hinges on interactions with a company’s employees, systems can make a huge difference in how customers feel about contacting your company.
In today’s environment, companies need to be present where their customers expect to find them and allow customers to connect easily on the channel of their choice. If connecting with your company is frustrating, difficult or disappointing, customers will move on to the competition.
While it’s certainly possible for any company to provide a quality customer experience on any communication platform, implementing a cloud communication solution can position you to improve customer experience in five significant ways:
1. Connection options
Cloud communications can provide customers with options beyond just a phone call. Through various apps and services, cloud communication platforms allow customers to connect in the ways they want. Whether it’s SMS or webchat, a phone call or an online conference, cloud communications give your customers the options they demand for the connection they want.
I recently purchased a vehicle completely online. I was able to connect with a car dealership and select the vehicle I wanted with the options I was interested in. My conversations with the salesperson were conducted via text or e-mail, which was my preference. The process saved me time, and I didn’t have to experience the typical frustration many people feel when buying a car in person.
These kinds of customer interactions will only increase with time, and companies that are positioned to offer these options will have a clear advantage.
2. Employee satisfaction
Happy employees give better customer service. Cloud communication solutions provide greater uptime, fewer disruptions and more options for remote work, improving employee satisfaction overall.
A 2015 survey from the firm Foresee showed a clear correlation between employee engagement and customer satisfaction at some of the world’s most well-known brands.
When coupled with findings showing the advantages of remote work for attracting and retaining talent, it’s not hard to see a straight line from offering remote work options to improved customer satisfaction. Only cloud communications can offer the full range of remote work options to power that straight line.
3. Scheduling and staff management
Many companies rely on employees being available for customers 24/7/365. In an environment where agents or reps must be on call all hours of the day, such as a hotel or hospital, cloud communication solutions provide the reporting and scheduling tools you need to ensure that staffing needs are filled and gaps are covered. In addition, cloud solutions enable companies to make sure that call overflow is routed to designated back-up options so that no customer sits on indefinite hold.
4. Business continuity
Disruption happens in every business. From weather events to global health crises, it’s not a question of if your company will face disruption, but when. On-premise systems are uniquely vulnerable to last-mile events, and even if the office is still intact, there are times when employees can’t get to it. With cloud communication solutions, employees can still interact with customers without any disruption.
One Allstream customer discovered the value of cloud in stark terms during the COVID-19 pandemic. With one location on a cloud system and the other location still operating from an on-premise system, the difference in how each location responded to stay-at-home orders was a clear case for cloud.
For the location operating on a cloud system, everyone who needed to work from home was up and running within a day. The other location was not so fortunate. While employees scrambled to find ways to work remotely, the customer initiated a required budget process in order to purchase software, headsets and servers. It took weeks for the budget to be approved which delayed the remote working project. The cloud system offered clear continuity advantages.
5. Feedback tools and improved interaction
In the modern online world, customers are increasingly giving feedback through social media and websites. With social media integration, it’s easier than ever to monitor customer feedback with cloud communication solutions. As customers provide feedback, companies can make the changes they need to improve the customer experience in near real time, ensuring that they remain responsive.
While there’s no substitute for a quality interaction with a real person to provide a top-notch customer experience, cloud solutions can provide the tools to support those interactions in ways that will “wow” the customer every time.
Allstream has the tools you need to stay a step ahead of the competition. To learn how cloud solutions can benefit your company beyond just the customer experience, download our e-book The Case for Cloud.