Enterprise leaders are realizing that being ‘good’ when it comes to customer experiences (CX) is no longer enough to compete. Customers are going online to access research, reviews, and price information that gives them real control over their relationships with businesses. As it’s harder to gain an edge with price or product, and customers can quickly jump to competitors, enterprises must continually win loyalty by being ‘great’ with their customer experiences.
This is excellent news for those that can deliver. According to research from Oracle, 86 percent of consumers will pay more for a better customer experience and 89 percent of consumers will start business with a competitor following a poor customer experience. This makes it critical to innovate in sales and service by understanding customers, anticipating their needs, and delivering responsive experiences on their terms.
To create truly memorable engagement journeys and empower sales teams, an enterprise must develop a strategy that enables agile and seamless customer experience. New offerings must be deployed with agility to support customers in the way they choose to interact. Seamless experiences are required across multiple interaction points to satisfy customers that view an enterprise as a single entity. Getting there with traditional infrastructure approaches can be prohibitive in implementation timelines and costs. More enterprises are finding their answer to CX strategy in the cloud.
Delivering Great CX with the Cloud
In the journey to CX transformation, more organizations are adopting the cloud. According to IDC research, cloud technology is becoming a staple to organization’s infrastructure as 70 percent have at least one application in the cloud. And it will only grow as 56 percent of organizations are still identifying IT operations that are candidates for cloud hosting.
Cloud enables an agile and seamless CX strategy by deploying sales and service capabilities with flexible scalability, lower costs, far shorter timelines, and significantly less risk. A host of cloud-enabled tools on the market are putting power in the hands of enterprise CX leaders, enabling connectivity, accessibility, and integration of customer data across the enterprise to support immersive customer experiences. It’s reshaping the enterprise CX strategy in exciting ways.
Four Transformative Capabilities of the Cloud
- Collaboration: Enterprises are using cloud-enabled internal collaboration tools to better manage the development and deployment of new CX capabilities. With the cloud, companies can rapidly deploy a collaboration platform that extends beyond the organization’s boundaries to include suppliers, manufacturers, partners, vendors, internal teams and even customers to create an ecosystem to share experiences and expertise, thus driving sales.
- Integration: Cloud-based systems are enabling enterprises to use data to create a single view of their customers. CRM systems can be deployed rapidly and at lower cost to enable integration and tracking of customer interactions across touch points to engage customers on the right channel and improve service through automated CX features.
- Time to market: Cloud tools enable quick deployment of new service channels that customers prefer to use, whether its mobile app, SMS, text, or email. Enterprises can use the cloud to even offer advanced capabilities such as chatbots, automated self-service options, customization and others at lower cost and risk than traditional approaches.
- Personalization: Cloud tools bring together data about customer experiences that reveal insights to help understand and predict customer behavior. This offers enterprises opportunities to further improve CX, such as creating personalized communication, delivering messaging on preferred contact channels, capturing upsell opportunities, and analyzing service performance.
Cloud-Based Transformation in Action
Let’s look at how South Africa’s leading telecom provider, Cell C, transformed CX with the cloud. The company used the cloud to integrate disparate applications and data to support a next-generation contact center management system. It implemented digital service across channels, self-service features, one-click escalation of requests, and real-time reporting. The cloud solution enhanced agent productivity, lowered operating costs, and improved customer service to deliver a modern customer experience.
As with any business transformation, cloud-based CX means getting many things right. Although it’s tempting to move fast, it is essential to ground the strategy with practical insights. It starts with a CX vision by enterprise leaders that’s communicated all the way to front-line resources. It takes shape in tactical roadmaps that support quick wins and long-term goals. Organizational change management and a culture of continual learning and improvement also play a key role in building on success at each step.
Expanding the Cloud Conversation
The need to keep pace with digitally empowered consumers has brought cloud-based CX transformation to the forefront for enterprises across industries. For CX transformation, the time to wait and see is over. Now is the time to start an engaging conversation on the exciting new possibilities that CX transformation offers enterprises that are willing to make the change.
About the author(s)
Sanjeev Kumar is the Global Head, Oracle CX practice, which is part of the Enterprise Application Services unit at Tata Consultancy Services (TCS). Sanjeev leads a team of highly motivated CX consultants and manages a portfolio that spans the entire spectrum of CX offerings from advisory services to implementation and niche solution development to help Fortune 500 companies realize their CX transformation journeys.