In this 5-part Blog post series, we'll cover how a cloud phone system can help your Small and Medium Business improve revenue, productivity, dramatically reduce costs and increase customer satisfaction by providing details about 5 major advantages of moving your phone system to the Cloud.
Delivering the Best Customer Service is more important today than ever before. Consequently, your decision needs to include how your systems will deliver the customer engagement preferences (e.g., Phone, Text/SMS, email, fax, chat and Social Media) that build loyalty and focus on providing the best customer service.
A New Battleground to Win Customers has been declared.
80% of CEOs believe their companies deliver a superior customer experience (Source: Bain & Company)
89% of companies plan to compete based on customer experience (Source: Gartner 2015 CMO Spend Survey)
Less than 8% of customers agree (Source: Bain & Company)
Obviously, there is huge disconnect between what customers are experiencing and what companies and organizations are delivering. Part of the reason is companies are not offering the methods or preferences that meet the respective generational demographic expectations.
The chart above shows the current U.S. population breakdown by generation. Baby boomers and even Generation X’ers are on the decline from their position of prominence. Millennials and Gen Z are moving into the majority position as consumers. This next generation of customer delivers a very different set of expectations when it comes to the customer experience. They bring about a unique set of attitudes when dealing with customer service expectations, including:
Support of various forms of technology
Expectations are higher, the “next generations” (Millennials/Gen Z) of customers do not have the patience of the previous generations. The next generation grew up with information available instantly to them, so why would they expect anything less when it comes to meeting their customer service requirements. They want a highly responsive and intuitive experience like the apps on their smartphones. They don’t want nor will they tolerate being bounced from one agent to another during a call. Generation Z grew up with the internet, they are the first generation that always had it. They operate at digital speed and expect their customer experience to do the same. It’s all about efficiency and meeting their preferences.
Gen Z’ers and Millennials are not shy in sharing their customer experiences on social media, both positive and negative. They aren’t loyal to brands but rather to the experience of their purchase or service, and they won’t hesitate to switch their business to another company after just a single interaction.
What Isn’t Broken...Can Be Improved
One thing that hasn’t changed over the past 40 years is how inbound customer calls are routed. Forty years ago calls were routed to the first available agent with no consideration of the agent’s ability or skill to handle that call. Call routing today works much the same way, with one major and important improvement. Skills-based routing is used to make sure that interactions get routed to an agent with the skills to handle the call. Skills-based routing requires specific knowledge or skills such as: Bilingual Skills, Sales Knowledge, Product Information, Billing, etc., and ability to handle all types of transactions or media types, i.e. voice, email, SMS (text), chat, or social media. A new skill set is now required to address the preference that the new generations are expecting – preferences like text/SMS, Chat, Social Media, Voice, e-mail, etc. Premise-based communication systems are behind in this area, and multi-channel capabilities are very expensive to add.
The businesses that will survive and thrive will have incorporated Generational Routing Intelligence into their customer service strategy. Those businesses who don’t adapt will struggle and likely will follow the way of the brick and mortar companies who didn’t adopt to online shopping. Cloud Phone Systems include what is called Omni-channel contact center technology. This allows interactions to be routed based on the way the customer prefers; Voice calls, emails, SMS (text), chat and social media can all be routed to individuals that are trained on that media. Each type of interaction can be measured and deliver full analytical reports that indicate the media preferences by generation. The effectiveness of each media type can be measured, and proper agent staffing will be attained.
The rapid changes in the contact center industry are not to be feared. Disruptive change means opportunity for the savvy company that stands out as an industry leader in customer service.
Cloud telephony allows all businesses to enjoy call center functionality, whether there is a formal contact center or not. Historically, contact centers cost tens of thousands of dollars. Cloud telephony does away with that expense, and charges are incurred on a per user basis. Many SMBs have a one person contact center with cloud telephony. This offers high functionality for minimal costs.
Mobile Smartphone & Device Integration
Today, it is critical to your SMB business that your telephone system integrates with your mobile personnel’s smartphone & mobile devices. Mobile device adoption has become the standard and Apple alone has over a Billion iPhones in use today. However, it is essential your integration is secure, flexible, and able to grow and change, and has the ability to take advantage of the advancements in employee productive applications.
Unfortunately, most premise-telephone systems are not designed to integrate their personnel’s mobile devices. If the technology is available it is very expensive to install, maintain and update. Cloud Telephone Systems, on the other hand, are designed to integrate with mobile devices of all kinds, along with a multitude of business applications that help SMB’s increase productivity, growth and expansion. They improve profitability and offer tools to deliver excellent customer service. Cloud Phone Systems are designed to provide the best methods and preferences in how customer’s chose to engage with your business (e.g. voice, email, text/SMS, fax, chat, web, social, etc.).
Compared to Cloud Telephone Systems, premise-phone systems are more difficult, expensive or most often not capable of adding advanced features. These advanced features can make your business more productive, efficient and nimble. Cloud Telephone Systems have access to a multitude of applications and the (API’s) that makes them easy and cost effective to add these advanced features are included in your single monthly bill and supported and maintained by your Cloud provider.
Request a quote or give us call at 713.910.1401 to speak with a Technology Advisor to explore available Cloud Solutions that will improve your team communications and enhance the way your SMB communicates and manages your telecom expenses. For more information, click here to download our White Paper "Is a Cloud Phone System in your Future? A Guide for Small to Medium Businesses"