Why You Need an All-Seeing, All-Knowing Experience Platform

09 September, 2022

The Cambridge Dictionary defines "amorphous" as having no fixed form or shape. The same could be said of the current business environment, which has challenged companies with shifting sands of customer preferences as well as changing boundaries for retail, hospitality, travel, supply chain, and regulatory demands.

One of the biggest challenges brought on by the pandemic—and the resulting rapid adoption of digital channels—is understanding what your customers really want and how they want to be communicated. This can seem like an impossible task because there are so many potential touchpoints between your brand and its target audience!

The good news is that there is a solution in the form of a total experience platform for customer experience (CX) and employee experience (EX). This gives companies much-needed flexibility and visibility by combining inbound and outbound customer communications, as well as external and internal customers, in a single platform or space.






Inbound and outbound support

Inbound customer support happens when a customer contacts a company and a customer service rep (or bot) helps them. Live and social chat, online calls, video calls and emails are all popular contact channels. The experience throughout these conversations is crucial since happy customers become loyal fans and refer others.


On the other hand, outbound customer support is a more proactive approach in which sales &
marketing teams reach out to customers using the same contact channels. Outbound communication might include a pop-up chat initiated by your agent to provide tips and personal shopping assistance on an e-commerce website.

Today, the distinction between inbound and outbound support is less obvious. Customers don't see interactions in terms of channels or teams but as a single brand. After requesting an onsite repair from an appliance brand, for example, a customer may receive a follow-up call or SMS promoting an extended warranty programme.

When you use a total experience platform that unifies inbound and outbound support, you can offer seamless customer experiences that flow and offer cross-selling opportunities. Other benefits include simplifying communications on one dashboard, synchronising tracking and reporting, and faster onboarding for agents.



External to internal customers

When we talk about "customers," we typically mean the people who buy your products and services. And it is now commonly accepted that putting the customer first is the key to building loyalty, repeat purchases, and a long customer lifetime value. However, you should not overlook another type of customer: your employees.



The customer service industry is a challenging one for your agents. Aside from high turnover rates, agents have to deal with burnout and stress along with shift work—all while projecting a friendly, courteous and professional manner! Thus, companies must do their part to keep agents engaged and happy so they stay around longer.

Fortunately, you don't need another tool or platform to create a good employee experience. CX and EX are not mutually exclusive: engaged agents will provide great customer experiences, with positive feedback inspiring them to invest more time in their careers and driving them to deliver even more amazing experiences.

Using a total experience platform, you can address both customer and employee experiences. The same features that create good customer experiences can also be used to motivate your teams. Smart routing, for example, not only connects customers with the best agent, but also helps agents achieve first-time resolution.


 

The convergence of everything

By now you can probably assume that everything will converge at some point. Customer interactions regularly switch between inbound and outbound support, while external and internal customers are connected in a virtuous cycle. You're right! A total experience platform must be as amorphous as the business it serves.


Let's look at how the following come together in a platform like CINNOX.

1. Unified channels & touchpoints

50% of large organizations will have failed to unify engagement channels, resulting in a disjointed and siloed customer experience that lacks context.
Gartner

 

Customers expect to connect with a brand using whatever communication channel they prefer. If they find that calling a telephone number is too troublesome compared with simply sending a WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger enquiry, they will gravitate to businesses that offer the convenience of communicating using those chat apps.

On the flip side, as customers' preferences for communication channels grow, agents must be able to easily move between various apps. They must also keep track of any conversations that happen through live chat, social media, email and other multimedia. It's difficult to track interactions when they occur on separate apps.

An omniscient experience platform unifies communication channels for a better CX and EX. Customers get omnichannel customer service across multiple touchpoints that support a rich multimedia experience and more. Plus, agents benefit from breaking down data silos and collaborating for better productivity and outcomes.




2. Unified workspace & workforce

74% of organisations will move around 5% of their typically on-site workers into permanent remote working positions.
Gartner

 

The pandemic has accelerated the move to the use of hybrid and remote teams in companies. Aside from reducing operational risk by removing physical and geographical boundaries, companies are also able to hire talent around the world and ensure business continuity in the event of another pandemic or catastrophe.

Having distributed teams also means that agents can provide the highest service quality for their regions by localising the human touch based on shared culture and viewpoints, as well as using smart routing to distribute enquiries by language. Furthermore, markets are becoming more fluid since even small local businesses can easily reach out to global customers for new market potential!

To make the most of the benefits and flexibility of a global workforce, companies must also install software and hardware infrastructure that serves a distributed workforce. Remember that customers interact with a single brand regardless of who is serving them, where your agents are located, or what time zone they work in.

When your teams utilise a comprehensive experience solution, they can access a single platform from which to collaborate and get their job done. When all channels for communicating with customers are consolidated in one place, your teams can get a unified view of those customers from any location with an Internet connection.




3. Unified view of the customer journey

71% of consumers expect companies to deliver personalised interactions.
McKinsey & Company

 

It's difficult to get an overview of the customer journey when your channels are not unified. Previously, you may have had to piece together various interactions, such as those via email and live chat. This wastes time for your agents and some conversations may fall through the cracks, resulting in a poor customer experience.

When you're able to map out the customer journey, touchpoint by touchpoint, your agents can visualise the entire experience of the customer and what they are going through. This empowers them to uncover gaps in the buying journey that need to be filled, or see if they can personalise the experience to WOW the customer.

For example, a visitor lands on your e-commerce store. Your agent knows their browsing history and the pages they have visited. The prospect is interested in luxury bathrobes because they enquired about coupons in a chat session before. They just added bathrobes to their cart and started another chat. Your agent can deduce that they now want something a little extra before they click to buy!




4. Unified customer data

60% of decision-makers are battling data silos while 52% are constrained by business silos.
Dell x Forrester

 

Data silos are a problem that many companies face. Departments often work independently of one another since they are focused on meeting their immediate business goals. As a result, data silos form in which different apps are used by separate teams, with some teams unaware of the type of data gathered by others.

Unified data provided by a total experience platform brings together separate data sources to present a single, true view of the customer that is available to all your teams. When issues such as ownership of data and inter-departmental rivalry are removed, your teams can mine actionable insights from customer data.

Say, for example, a customer recently updated their marketing preferences to receive audio podcasts instead of email newsletters because they have failing eyesight. Your agents can use this insight to create a comfortable customer experience, using audio or video calls instead of typing words through live chat.

Gathering all of your data in one location also allows you to extract knowledge from "dark data" that would otherwise go unnoticed. Using AI and machine learning, you can search your call recordings using audio transcription as well as gather predictive analytics based on consumer sentiment data to improve your goods or services.


 

5. Unified technology stack

The number one barrier that organisations are facing in achieving growth is the lack of technology.
Accenture

 

Companies often end up with various digital tools and solutions as they grow. Starting with an email solution, for example, live chat is added for interactive support, followed by a CRM package then a support ticket platform to address increasing enquiries. All this results in data silos, multiple apps on the desktop, and overlap.

When you unify your technology stack with a total experience platform, you are integrating and consolidating various functions that were previously done by separate apps. This may help you maximize your ROI as you only need to deal with one vendor along with potential cost savings from removing overlaps between apps.

A unified tech stack also helps you get a holistic view of the customer. If you look at data from different apps one at a time, you'll get a fragmented and piecemeal view. But when you use open APIs to connect to other apps, you can trace the flow of data from beginning to end, providing you with fresh insights and different points of view.

For example, analysing the metrics for your mobile banking app, you noticed that the number of logins and session times has been falling. This may suggest that customers are less engaged and are doing less banking! However, when paired with customer interaction data using an open API, you discover that customers actually like your new UX/UI and find it easier to get banking tasks done with minimal fuss.




Stay agile with a total experience platform

In an unpredictable and volatile economic climate, businesses like yours must be shape-shifters. Pandemics, supply chain disruptions, trade disputes and digitally savvy customers need you to be always on the lookout for threats and opportunities. You can achieve this by building your company's foundation on an adaptable total experience platform like CINNOX.

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