With the ability to provide great customer experience (CX) playing a growing role in business success, organisations have increasingly turned to technology to provide this personalised level of service. While traditionally limited to large corporations, the advent of the cloud is now bringing this level of functionality – in a cost-effective way – to small and medium-sized businesses too.
South Africans are currently spending well over 10 hours per day online, and want to be able to interact with brands in multiple ways. Rather than just using the phone or email, they want to be able to use the channel they are most familiar with, whether it is through instant messaging, social media platforms or even real time chat (webRTC) on a company website.
While this may appear daunting, the quest for improved customer experience is driving local businesses to invest in the right technology to empower their employees to better manage customer engagements, provide consistent levels of service across the board and even identify areas for improvement.
For example, Telviva currently provides three cloud-based contact centre offerings that not only enable contact centre agents to work seamlessly from remote locations, but also provide supervisors and managers with agent monitoring, advanced analytics and reporting that provides them with actionable insights – all of which help in improving customer experiences. However, these solutions are often targeted at larger businesses that operate dedicated contact centres to handle a larger volume of customer service interactions.
SMBs are embracing SaaS
So what about addressing the needs of small and medium-sized businesses (SMB)? Reassuringly, they have not been left behind; given their size and nature, they are often far more agile and adaptable than bigger organisations, and were amongst the first to take full advantage of the benefits of software-as-a-service (SaaS). They have been able to pick and choose from the best of breed cloud-based solutions including for VoIP telephony, chat, unified communications, email, customer relationship management and more.
Given the nature of the SaaS model, smaller businesses can subscribe to as many of these services as they need, with the full knowledge that they are paying based on consumption, and that these services can scale up and down in line with their business needs – all without having to invest in costly IT infrastructure upfront.
The challenge for SMBs has been when it comes to servicing customers across multiple channels, which can be seen as a key milestone in their digital journey. These businesses have often turned to an assortment of applications to enable this: a cloud-based PBX for voice, an application for video conferencing, an application for website chat, and one or even two for instant messaging – say for example WhatsApp or Telegram.
Fragmentation = inefficiency
These have their limitations however, as a VoIP desk phone doesn’t cut it for remote or hybrid working, while using a video conferencing application means that you have to schedule and send meeting requests to clients or customers; while video conferencing apps might be great for internal communication, they lack the fluidity to be used for external engagements. Having people use instant messaging in their personal capacity also poses a risk in terms of loss of intellectual property and the customer relationship should an employee leave the business.
Then, there’s the website chat – another tool, another administrator, another set of login details, another vendor or service provider to work with. Ultimately, this fragmented approach means that providing seamless customer experience across multiple channels becomes impossible. What is needed is to simplify the technology stack.
Great CX for all
Usually, an omni-channel solution will be used to bring all of these channels together, though this is a far more costly solution for small business, and is traditionally associated with full on contact centres. But, what if you don’t have a contact centre? The reality is that omni-channel capabilities should not be exclusive to the contact centre, as SMBs and even back office administrators might require this level of functionality.
What is needed is a single, robust, cloud-based unified communications platform that synchronises all these channels. When coupled with Telviva One, Telviva Engage provides a multichannel, inbound real-time communications platform for contact centres or even any customer facing team or personnel. It provides a single pane view for phone calls, video calls, and chat, as well as functionality to engage with customers using instant messaging, social media platforms or even text and audio based webRTC that can be upgraded to a voice call during any stage of the conversation.
Even better, this functionality is available through a web browser and mobile phone application, making it perfectly suited for hybrid or remote working, while giving some protection against interruptions such as load shedding – all you need is internet connectivity, be it fixed line or mobile.
Nurturing the customer experience and customer journeys are now relevant for organisations of all sizes, and not just large businesses. As such, the ability to provide great customer experience should not be the exclusive right of businesses that have contact centres. By making these tools more widely accessible, Telviva Engage brings big business functionality to small businesses in a remarkably cost-effective manner.
Are you interested in improving customer experience at your small or medium sized business? Contact us today to find out how Telviva Engage can help you.