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Recent technology development focused on CX (customer experience) has increased consumer expectations to unprecedented levels. Organisations that are able to offer competitive prices, a seamless and personalised purchase journey and high-quality customer service are leading their industries.
Organisations that can offer competitive prices, a seamless and personalised purchase journey and high-quality customer service are leading their industries.
The customer journey is becoming increasingly valued; customer service significantly influences the purchase decision. Whether inquiring about new functionality or asking vital questions regarding a product’s specs, customers expect to be assisted by reliable experts that can solve their issues immediately. Under these circumstances, managing customer relationships is a critical priority for all companies that want to thrive and stay ahead of the competition. Furthermore, organisations are starting to grasp the vital importance of truly listening to a customer’s voice and are using the insight they learn to adjust their strategies, not only to meet expectations but to exceed them by providing flawless pre-sales and aftersales journeys.
Sourcing the right CX partner
A key component of delivering excellent customer experiences is a high-performance contact centre. One where companies communicate with clients and ensure their needs are addressed quickly and easily.
Organisations that have adopted the right methodologies and technologies towards CX are winning, and can:
- Manage customer journeys and optimise their experience to improve satisfaction
- Build efficiencies to lower costs
- Reduce employee churn and engage staff
- Improve customer acquisition to fuel growth
Workforce Optimisation is integral to the success of any CX solution. Open platforms that integrate omnichannel functionalities and connect their contact centre with multiple CRMs and communications systems are paramount. When implemented correctly and with proper training, they empower agents with easy access to all the data required to resolve customer issues quickly. As a result, contact centres have become a sophisticated ecosystem of processes, technologies, data, knowledge and people.
However, sourcing the partner for a high-performance contact centre and negotiating best-in-class pricing, beneficial terms and conditions is complicated, time-consuming and a resource-intensive process.
CIOs and contact centre managers face a wealth of sourcing challenges and an overwhelming number of vendors and distributors. Moreover, while a competitive market allows businesses to compare products and negotiate prices, it can take significant time to evaluate vendors, understand what technology to invest in and find the right fit for the company’s needs and development plans.
The process becomes exponentially more complicated when companies migrate from on premise-based solutions to the cloud. CIOs now must consider a higher number of functional capabilities and have to decide what will be needed immediately, in the mid-term and the longer term.
And while migrating to the cloud is a significant challenge for many companies, adopting solutions leveraging Machine Learning, RPA (Robotic Process Automation), the Internet of Things and Blockchain, it’s not a ‘nice to have’ anymore but a ‘must have’, if companies want to deliver personalised customer experiences that increase brand awareness, loyalty, and revenue.
Because there are so many variables involved in configuring a contact centre, in many cases, companies get lost on vendors’ features and functions, losing sight of the primary purpose of the contact centre – improving customer satisfaction and retention rates by managing all communications from customer inquiries to distributing marketing collateral via email or social media and other channels. The ability to handle the customer on their terms, whether it is by phone, email, live chat, social media or text has become crucial. In addition to being able to handle multi-channel communications, contact centre analytics and Workforce Management Software are also vital components in operating a world-class contact centre.
At the same time, every business has unique KPIs, traits, strengths and weaknesses and needs a personalised contact centre configuration to deliver the desired business outcomes.
Under these circumstances, partnering with sourcing experts who understand the company, its products and services but also the importance of customer satisfaction becomes a critical step that can have a significant impact on a company’s future development.
Thankfully, sourcing services available to the contact centre market have kept pace with technological advancement, and nowadays companies can use agnostic sourcing companies that can help CIOs and procurement navigate the complexity of choosing the contact centre technology that is the right fit for the specific needs of an organisation.
A significant benefit of using an agnostic tech sourcing agency is that they do all the heavy lifting with researching available technologies and top-tier suppliers, and the organisation can ditch cumbersome and expensive tender programmes, reduce costs when negotiating prices and save time with vetting suppliers.
Furthermore, in many cases vendors and suppliers are driven by sales quotas they have to fulfil while a sourcing agency acts as an adviser, only focusing on the best technology for the project.
Additionally, a CIO doesn’t have to deal with numerous contracts, SLAs and providers – they can manage everything within a single agreement with one point of contact whose team manage the delivery of the agreed outcomes.
The bottom line is that many new-generation technologies can and will provide practical solutions to common day-to-day challenges faced by contact centre managers but matching the right technology to the company’s priorities and goals might make the difference between a highly successful organisation or a struggling one.
NOTE: This article was initially published by Global Banking and Finance Review.
Due to the accelerated rise of new technologies and ever-increasing consumer demands, rapid change has become the new norm.
A significant number of organisations are struggling to keep pace and constantly devise innovative strategies that deliver high quality services and garner customer loyalty.
According to Forrester ‘every company now continuously reinvents its business with technology at the core — or watches while its customers defect and its markets are disrupted’.
But with all the hype around emerging technologies, machine learning and AI, companies find it increasingly challenging to wade through a marketplace full of complex technology suppliers, to find and decide which technology is the right fit for their company’s requirements both short and long term, which will also save time and cut costs.
As a result, in many cases, organisations get stuck with unsuitable solutions that instead of driving productivity are, actually, hindering efficiency.
Furthermore, for too many years companies have been using the same practices when it comes to cost reduction, vendor selection, evaluation, approval of vendors and so on. However, the IT industry has seen some tremendous changes in the past decade and these processes are not effective anymore.
What worked two years ago might already be obsolete.
If IT leaders don’t do their homework and stay up to date with the latest market trends they are destined to fail.
By learning and testing new approaches constantly, organisations can predict market disruption, adapt to new trends and enjoy long term success.
So how do modern CIOs and IT sourcing managers, who all too often are under high pressure to deliver complex technology systems with tight deadlines, ensure that they’re sourcing the optimal technology for the company’s objectives and development plans?
Thankfully, as technology evolves so do service providers.
Slowly but surely the market is disrupted by agnostic IT sourcing companies that help CIOs and vendor managers to discard cumbersome and expensive tender programmes, reduce costs and save time.
In order to gain significant results through a sourcing strategy such as this, CIOs must rely on the right set of experts.
Associating with competent IT sourcing providers is a fundamental step. When it comes to sourcing, there is no place for a one size fits all approach. This is because every organisation is different. So are their objectives and spending capabilities. Sourcing experts help devise innovative strategies that can capture the company’s requirements and align them to the right suppliers.
When it comes to high performance tech infrastructure many companies invest their resources internally, looking to streamline internal processes and save costs through automation. But agile, forward thinking organisations first look outwards and focus their approach on creating and implementing a customer centric strategy that will keep customers happy and loyal.
They do this because they understand that for savvy customers, price is not the principal driver of decisions anymore, value and customer service are more important.
But how should CIOs and IT managers design high performance tech infrastructure focused on the customer and its interaction with the brand on all communications and sales channels?
Omnichannel customer services
A crucial part of a customer centric strategy is the contact centre – the voice and face of the company. Many companies are still running premise based contact centres and are struggling to migrate to the cloud in order to improve the customer experience, scale up or down according to business needs, and save costs and time.
Some organisations underestimate the impact of contact centres on customer experience but in a highly competitive arena where customers are bombarded with thousands of offers every day, if the contact centre experience is not up to scratch, consumers will quickly look elsewhere.
Furthermore, because contact centres deal with sales, providing information, solving problems, capturing data and researching innovative ways to improve the customer journey, they play a pivotal role in understanding customers’ needs, creating a personalised experience and overall shaping the business strategy.
As a result, companies that understand the huge competitive value of providing customers with a high quality seamless experience on many different communications and sales channels are placing contact centres at the top of their priority list.
This is where IT outsourcing consultancies play a crucial role in helping CIOs access and assess accurate data about various providers and the most efficient technology platform that would enable an organisation to set up omnichannel interaction platforms that empower employees to communicate more effectively and efficiently with customers.
Regardless where CIOs and IT managers choose to focus their efforts and resources, the reality is IT outsourcing is not a choice anymore. With maturing cloud based services and the arrival of new technology and suppliers, there are simply too many options to consider and the stakes are too high to manage everything internally.
The key thing is finding a trustworthy sourcing company that truly understands business priorities and is committed to finding the best suppliers aligned with the company’s needs, strengths and weaknesses.