More Employees Interact with Customers but Lack Information and Guidance
BURLINGTON, Mass. – May 28, 2015 – Customer service is, literally, everybody’s job. And that job is more difficult and complex than ever. A new Analyst Perspective¹ by Ventana Research, a business technology research and advisory services firm, highlights next-generation customer engagement and analytics benchmark research which found that most business units within organizations surveyed handle customer interactions. More types of employees require relevant information from multiple systems in ways that conform to departmental business processes. Factor workforce mobility, multichannel customer communication and regulatory requirements in industries such as healthcare and financial services, and it is apparent that controlling customer engagement quality is more challenging than ever. Read the complete analyst note here (no registration form or paywall).
Customer service is an enterprise-wide activity. Customers engage with companies at many entry points – not just a call center or point of sale – and through a variety of communication channels including social media, smartphone applications and video. To succeed in this new environment, companies have to break down communication barriers between business units and provide employees with information and direction to manage interactions in real-time, every time.
Stephen Pappas advises companies on customer acquisition and retention strategies and regularly presents and leads workshops on customer experience at industry conferences. He is the Senior Vice President for North American Operations at software company, Panviva. “The ubiquity of customer touch points across an enterprise signals a new era in customer engagement; one for which many organizations are unprepared from structural, cultural, procedural and technology standpoints,” said Pappas. He identified several common problems that drag on business performance:
- Conventional, territorial thinking about who owns the customer relationship
- Lack of collaboration and communication among departments
- Silos of information
- Reliance on rigid enabling technologies due to internal reluctance to embrace new models, such as cloud, or because of external issues such as vendor lock-in
Pappas recommends operationalizing the insight in Ventana Research’s Analyst Perspective. “Customer engagement at the enterprise level requires agile people, process and technology. This is especially true of accessing and sharing information to satisfy customer needs,” he said. “Static knowledge management systems and collaboration platforms used by customer-facing employees do not provide guidance, curation or immediacy. I liken these content repositories to flea markets where you have to sort through a lot of junk to find something of value, assuming you’re successful at all.”
Pappas added that organizations should evaluate applications that adapt to business requirements, leverage existing IT investments, and are easy to use. “Complexity is the largest barrier to adoption. If a vendor does not get usability right, keep looking.”
Panviva provides business process guidance software used in 40 countries for customer relationship management (CRM) and performance management. SupportPoint Cloud helps users navigate workflows and instantly access the exact information, applications, and communication they need all in one place through a simple interface. The cloud-based solution is a fully-managed, subscription-based service for rapid implementation at lower cost. The company is headquartered in Melbourne, Australia. North American Regional Headquarters are in Burlington, Mass., US. EMEA Regional Headquarters are in London. Visit www.panviva.com to learn more.
1 Panviva Embraces Cloud Computing for Guiding People and Business Processes, Ventana Research, Richard Snow, April 29, 2015.