Each year CX technology spending grows, and yet many customer experiences are still falling short of customer expectations. While digital tools and self-service platforms have helped customers help themselves, when they need to pick up a phone and talk to a human being, the experience breaks down.
For years, companies have outsourced their call center operations and implemented call center automations in an effort to reduct the need for a human-to-human experience and yet only 9% of customers report resolving their issues completely via self-service, according to Gartner, Inc.
Long wait times—up to full days on hold—during the pandemic, testify not just that people switch to voice channels from digital channels in a crisis, but also to the length they are willing to go to to have a conversation with another human being.
At times, people simply need to speak to another person to actually solve their problem, and this last mile of human communication is where the gap exists. From the perspective of the customer, the multi-channel approach can be disjointed and frustrating and from the perspective of the business, the multi-channel approach can result in a lack of visibility or control over the conversations happening in each channel.
As a result, some companies cannot see the whole customer journey, it is fragmented across silos within the business, or breaking down completely in the face of shut-downs and disruptions.
A loss of oversight into the customer journey at this vital juncture has left many companies in the dark at a time of rich potential learnings, and looking for ways to better quantify the customer experience.
In a new survey by Salesforce, sales ops leaders identified the following big challenges tracking customer experience in today’s current climate:
Difficulty tracking and measuring the effectiveness of various customer interactions
An opportunity gap between customer expectations and outcomes
Lack of standardization across processes and workflows slowing sales
Lack of timely or relevant information during key customer interactions
Too many system interfaces and lack of integration impacting productivity
Limited visibility into post-sale customer interactions to identify up-sell and cross-sell opportunities
As learnings like these trickle in, they provide less of a view into an ideal future then a snapshot of the current state. As companies assess their capabilities and identify challenges and opportunities, they can use these insights to design their own ideal workplace and create an experience built around the needs of their customers and employees.
Leveraging mobility for a better customer experience
Customer support work can be done from anywhere, and when workers can access their workplace experience from their personal devices, the business, the customer and the employee all win.
The customer wins because they can talk to someone when they need a human interaction the employee wins because they can work where they are, and the business wins by gaining a flexible scalable workforce and an improved customer experience. Work becomes as easy as logging into an app.
- Secure cloud infrastructure to ensure employee privacy and mobile security
- Mobile-first tools to drive productivity and enable a better user experience for employees
- Seamless integration into key business applications and systems, allowing critical information capture and compliance with business processes
Redefining the workplace experience
As the workplace becomes less centralized, software and technology become key enablers of the workplace experience, allowing business to happen anywhere, anytime, and empowering the enterprise to build a more resilient and flexible workforce.
The new hybrid workplace is distributed but connected, with software linking work, culture and employees to customers, processes and outcomes.
Enterprise mobility can unlock its power by allowing employees to access their work experience and vital customer information anywhere, anytime, on a secure channel. The mobile phone becomes a universal remote for business anywhere, unlocking a workplace experience that flows seamlessly from the office, home, and in the field.
Innovating the future
In the end, how we work is changing more than where we work.
Companies who have moved forward boldly, will have a critical advantage in shaping the future of work. Coinbase is one company who has doubled down on remote work. CEO Brian Armstrong announced in May that it would create a remote-first workforce, emphasising that this would change not just how people worked at home, but also when they did come into the office.
In a Medium article, Armstrong laid out his reasoning as well as a vision of work well beyond the current crisis:
In contrast, other firms have faced challenges getting back in the office, including Goldman Sachs in Manhattan, which recently had to quarantine a work group after a trader tested positive for Covid-10.
Earlier in the same week Goldman Sachs Chief Executive Officer David Solomon had reinforced to the bank’s traders the importance of people coming back to work and the deleterious impact on culture if a return to normal didn’t happen soon.
In the absence of normal, companies will have to adapt, even if the way forward looks slightly different for each organization.
Whether a company decides to go remote-first, or simply keep workers safe in a more traditional environment by adopting a hybrid approach where groups or individuals can rotate in or drop out, being able to seamlessly transition between the office environment and the home will be a critical component of business continuity, regardless of what model a company chooses to adapt.
Delivering this seamless and coherent experience can be challenging when there are disruptions in the world, creating uncertainty for employees and customers alike. Delivering it at scale and adapting it in the field as conditions change requires soft infrastructure that is flexible and adaptive. This makes simplicity, mobile-first UX and ease of use a critical design component for a remote-enabled mobile workforce.
Mobile-first for remote-first
When employees can access key business applications and tools on their mobile devices, they are able to work wherever they are. Secure mobile first tools empower employees to stay connected and engaged on their own devices without sacrificing privacy or performance. Flexible work drives productivity, job satisfaction and supports a more diverse, inclusive culture by tapping a wider talent market and giving people more choices about how and where to work.
Cloud-based solutions can secure your mobile channel and provide oversight and risk mitigation across your entire network, even on mobile phones. The personal device becomes the central hub and command center, bringing key business processes and tools directly to the user on their phone, and allowing work to flow seamlessly between home and office, and business and life.
Mobile-first tools must be easy to use on personal devices or they will not be effective. Seamless setup, ease of use, and flawless integration drives adoption and compliance across the entire organization. Software designed for how people work on mobile phones allows work to happen as easily, on a single screen using swipe, tap, touch and talk tools.
Automation and AI tools can be used, not to automate the customer-facing experience, but to empower people, driving productivity and boosting job satisfaction. Applications can effortlessly collect, share, and analyze data from the mobile edge, document business phone calls, and ensure business protocols are followed. Simple, mobile-first design drives a better people experience which trickles down to an improved customer and user experience, and ultimately better business outcomes and organizational efficiency.
The fast track
Today, there remains many open questions about the path forward while the time to close the digital gap has substantially shortened. Companies need solutions that can start working immediately while transitioning legacy systems to a more distributed model and ensuring compliance across all devices.
This is a time of leapfrog innovation, with rapid change creating both risk and opportunity for the business enterprise. Companies moving forward proactively rather than defensively can think about not just how to survive, but how to drive productivity and support innovation.
As network effects set in, companies who transition sooner rather than later to a more flexible, technology-enabled model will have significant competitive advantage from the perspective of productivity, improved customer experience, better business intelligence and wider appeal to emerging talent markets around the world.
How is your organization adapting to the new normal, and what challenges and opportunities do you face? Join our live event on October 14, How to Secure and Enable Enterprise Mobility in the Emerging Hybrid Workplace, for brand new insights and business stories about the current state of enterprise mobility.