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Are customers at the heart of your business strategy?

Blog

Do connected employees help keep your customers connected?

It’s an accepted truth that the organisations that will thrive are those who put their customers at the centre of their business strategy - but why?

Organisations are complex ecosystems that link their brand with their customers and their employees. The interactions that customers have with an organisation, through its technology, products, its brand or through its employees -  impact customers’ perceptions and ultimately the company’s financial performance. Customers are also not hesitant to let others know about their experience with a brand, both through word of mouth and, increasingly, social media.

The 2019 Global Customer Experience Benchmarking Report (CXBR) found that 9 out of 10 organisations surveyed see customer experience (CX) as a competitive differentiator. However, only 10.3% of organisations are satisfied with their CX capabilities, while only 10.9% say their customers rate CX at a promoter level.

The survey also showed that only 11.1% of prestige brands operate with no formal CX strategy, compared with almost 30% of budget brands. We can see that the most successful businesses today understand the value of CX in driving business growth and the importance of this is only going to increase in future.

So, as organisations strive to adapt to transforming business environments and more demanding customer expectations, they are challenged to create exceptional experiences for both their employees and their customers alike.

The question organisations need to be asking themselves today, if they want to remain relevant, is: ‘Am I able to empower my people to engage with my customers on a meaningful level to create value?’. Failure to do this will at best impact growth today and at worst put the organisation at risk of finding itself irrelevant in the future.

To do this, they need to develop a strong CX focused culture which is the result of a fusion between business vision, employee energy and customer engagement. These elements, enhanced with appropriate technology, will help them enable great CX. While technology is a critical component of great CX, it’s where technology and people come together that exceptional CX is created.

In the past it was possible for even large organisations to build personal relationships with individual clients on a one-on-one basis. An example of this is the bank manager who would know every one of their customers and their individual preferences. However, this kind of relationship is simply not possible in the modern, hyperconnected, always-on world. Customers want to be able to connect with organisations on their terms, via effective journeys, but organisations need to create an ethos and a supporting channel landscape and workplace that support this.

Woman working on computer

It requires you to provide your customer-facing employees with the tools they need to delight your customers. With an ever-expanding choice of technology, employees are looking for simple, intuitive tools to carry out tasks and stay connected with colleagues, partners and customers across multiple channels and touchpoints; regardless of where they are located or what device they may be using. Listening to the needs of your employees and supporting a flexible and integrated approach to technology in their working environment, will ensure your teams remain energised and more likely to deliver increased productivity.

A modern collaboration environment will lay the foundations for an optimised workforce – where maximised customer satisfaction is the ultimate outcome. Employees who feel engaged, empowered and energised in their work will generally deliver improved customer experiences and have greater engagement with the organisation and its goals.

As highly transactional activities continue to be reduced by automation, employees are required to handle interactions that are more complex in nature, generated by multiple channels and devices. This means that to be empowered and effective, they must remain connected to intuitive interfaces providing content rich and context-based interactions, to supported valuable connected customer journeys.

Simply put, energised and connected employees help to create great customer experiences by supporting connected customer journeys.

There are three key questions that every organisation needs to address when creating an intelligent workplace that will drive optimal engagement with their employees and customers:

  1. Do I understand what tools and processes I need to implement in order to empower my people to deliver an exceptional customer experience?
  2. Have I considered how to manage the presence of legacy UC applications when looking at upgrading to a modern collaboration platform?
  3. Do I have the skills necessary to manage complex multi-vendor collaboration environments, as well as keep pace with the number of new features being launched on evergreen platforms? Because employees are having a greater say in selecting the tools they prefer for their specific tasks, this has introduced a wide array of hybrid technologies and given rise to compatibility, interoperability and application management issues (which in turn has increased costs and reduced employee satisfaction).
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