Providing interactive digital services and operations has become de rigueur in reshaping customer experiences for companies today, and recent research from McKinsey shows that rising customer expectations will only add to the demand. Contrast that with this telling bit of data from the story below, however: Two-thirds of companies are still struggling to meet the demands of real-time communications. That's a fairly jarring dissonance.
There are a number of ways to achieve business growth that includes a wide range of communication and collaboration tools. But a business's survival is dependent on its ability to engage customers in "delightful experiences," says TeleSign.
TeleSign, a communications platform as a service (CPaaS) company, has recently released a report, Customers Communications report: how businesses use cloud communications to fuel growth, in which 500 customer communications stakeholders were surveyed.
TeleSign's survey revealed the role digital transformation will play in the future growth of businesses. "We believe business survival is tied to the ability to engage customers in delightful experiences where, when and how they want to be reached," said Aled Miles, CEO of TeleSign.
TeleSign's study found that 87 percent of businesses surveyed said their "company's success depends on the ability to connect with customers via cloud communications." Basically, for the businesses using the new technologies, most of them have seen improvement in customer service, communications, and customer satisfaction, while 46 percent said the use of cloud communications has resulted in better sales.
How are companies doing in the transition?
Keep in mind that as new markets and technologies emerge, less relevant companies will drop by the wayside. Vonage shows that in the 1960s, companies stayed on the S&P 500 index about 50 to 60 years. By the 1980s, the speed of turnovers had doubled.
Based on these trends, by 2025, businesses are forecast to stay in the index for only 12 years. ZK Research predicts that 75 percent of the S&P 500 Index will turn over in the next 10 years as digital transformation takes hold.
And even though 99 percent of businesses say they are undergoing a digital transformation, two-thirds of them are still struggling to meet the demands of real-time communications and 60 percent are failing to meet customer expectations of 24/7 communication availability.
It should also be noted that in the TeleSign study, the primary use of cloud communications was in sending alerts, notifications and reminders, followed by sending marketing messages, enabling two-way communications, streamlining account registration and protecting accounts with two-factor authentication.
Embracing contextual information
One of the great ways that digital transformation can improve business-customer interactions is through the use of contextual information. Traditionally, when a customer talks to someone at a business, if they are transferred to another department, all the information has to be repeated.
This happens more frequently than most people can imagine. One of the major pain points in customer service stems from talking to a company representative, such as a call center agent, over the phone and then having to repeat the exact same information after the call is transferred.
However, if a system of contextual information is used, any data that is relevant to the particular individual, including such things as the person's name, location, loyalty program number, historical purchases and preferences is readily available to customer service representatives, and the customer's experience will be so much better.
While embracing cloud technology and the use of contextual information platforms is a good start for any business getting into digital transformation, success is dependent on everyone being on board. Companies need to remember their bottom line is always a reflection of customer satisfaction.
In order to build holistic and contextual customer experiences, companies need to not only see customer information across the entirety of its environment but also ensure reliable performance and swift delivery of digital services. That means pervasive visibility across your infrastructure, whether it's on-premises or in the cloud. This may sound like a technical problem, but in today's digital world, technology performance and business success go hand in hand. ~Carol Hildebrand, Senior Strategic Marketing Writer, NETSCOUT