Getting big business CX on a small business budget

Refining and improving customer experience (CX) is a digital transformation priority for businesses as they seek to maintain and improve their competitive advantage. Generally, when speaking about CX, businesses and their leaders are referring to a customer's journey with that business and this journey is most often defined within customer service departments and their available tools.
Kelvin Brown
Kelvin Brown

However, a great CX should not be the exclusive privilege of a contact centre. Think about it, if CX is defined as a customer’s journey, through various tools within a contact centre, what about businesses that don’t have one? Even small businesses have customer-facing teams and in these contexts, CX is equally crucial. The same tools should be available to every user in an organisation, no matter the size or nature of the business.

Sound fanciful? It’s not, and it’s available, but before we get there, let’s consider a business’s typical digital journey. Smaller businesses are fairly evolved when it comes to digital transformation because the cloud has levelled the playing field and opened up a world of best-of-breed applications.

Small businesses can, and do, make use of CRM systems, telephony and unified communications apps, email and accounting systems, among much more. The subscription model has opened this world of services for small businesses who have embraced the cloud.

Whereas there may have been a degree of trepidation before, the degree to which smaller businesses have embraced the cloud is not surprising because of how easy it is to do. Not too long ago, investing in the types of technologies available through cloud-based apps would have been out of reach and out of budget.

Ultimately, because of how easy cloud computing is, smaller enterprises tend to evolve quicker because they are adaptable and embrace new technologies that will make their businesses more efficient. Their digital journey consists of important milestones, such as moving to a cloud-based CRM or accounting service. Each milestone investment drives improved efficiency in an area of the business.

How a business interacts and engages with its customers is crucial to its success and overall performance. This means that the pursuit of improving CX is an important milestone on a small business’s digital journey.

And so, when a business owner considers how to drive efficiencies through CX, he or she will be shown a number of tools and solutions to roll out in the business with the aim of getting customers to talk to his or her team.

Let’s look at a typical cloud PBX solution. This enables customers to call in and be managed by staff. However, this is 2022 and most businesses have embraced some form of hybrid working. What if another black swan event occurs? Unrest? It’s not easy - in fact almost impossible - for agents to unplug their desk phones, pack them in their bags and take them home and work from there.

When the business owner thinks about this, he or she may then decide to subscribe to a unified communication application and use Microsoft Teams, for example. In this scenario, the business owner’s staff can use a popular UC application by simply plugging in a headset. Problem solved - or is it? This type of application may work well with internal teams, but the rigidity and need to schedule meetings is restrictive and not fluid enough to manage customer-facing interactions, especially something like a two-minute call.

Needing this type of fluidity, the business owner may then consider over-the-top services such as WhatsApp or Telegram. After all, they are free and they work. However the caveat is that the business owner’s staff must share their personal numbers and information, and this is a risk to the business should they leave. Who would want a sales executive to leave with a customer or hot lead?

There are also other tools such as live web chat. Here, the business staff can have live text chats with customers who are browsing the website in real time. If the idea of digital transformation is to drive efficiency and simplicity, it doesn’t quite resonate with needing to create another login, for another service, for selected staff to sign into and manage. What happens when people are on leave?

The business owner would typically look at all these obstacles when considering CX and land on the need for an omni-channel solution for a contact centre environment. Omni-channel is the best in customer service, allowing customers to communicate with a call centre agent via telephone, web chat or whatsapp, among other channels. It queues calls and chats, and brings it all together into a single interface for the agent. Beyond this, it also provides reporting and analytics on all interactions.

Omni-channel licences are expensive from the perspective of smaller businesses because they are designed for contact-centre type operations. However, the small business owner will rightly ask: “Why should omni-channel be exclusive to contact centres when my back office and customer-facing teams such as sales also need the same functionality?

Democratisation of the omni-channel

This is exactly why we developed a multi-channel, inbound, real-time communication platform for contact centres or customer-facing teams such as sales, finance and support. The question needed to be answered because cutting-edge CX should not be the preserve of large contact centres. Essentially, we have boosted our existing UC&C platform, which offers standard features such as voice, chat, video and collaboration, mobility and presence, to include a new feature called Telviva Engage.

Engage takes some of the more popular features of an omni-channel, and extends them to the standard business user in a single browser-based interface. Driven by the pursuit of impeccable CX, a customer can chat via text to a department of their choice in real time - with the unique ability to switch to voice at will for a faster resolution.

The point is that CX, just like other crucial business characteristics, is an important milestone in a business’s digital transformation. Until recently, a true omni-channel solution to bolster CX was the privilege of a contact centre. True to form, the power of digital innovation is its ability to democratise value, and this is set to play into the hands of smaller and agile businesses.

Are you a smaller business that is looking for a solution to help you interact with your customers across multiple channels? Contact us today to find out how Telviva Engage can help you.

About Kelvin Brown

Kelvin Brown, director at AnD, a Telviva subsidiary.
Telviva, formerly Connection Telecom, is a market leader in cloud-based communications for business. Seamlessly integrating voice, video and chat in one intelligent platform, Telviva enables you to have better quality conversations with customers, suppliers and staff.
Read more: CX, Kelvin Brown, Telviva

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