When it comes to customer service, quality and convenience have become baseline expectations. According to PwC1, nearly 80 percent of American consumers say speed, convenience, knowledgeable help and friendly service are the most important elements of a positive customer experience. The report also found employees are not meeting customers’ expectations, stating only 38 percent of U.S. consumers said the employees they interact with understand their needs.
Why such a disconnect?
One assumption is lack of mobility. Employee mobility is often referred to as a job “perk”, enabling employees to be more flexible and stay connected while away from the office. Some businesses think mobile devices are more of a distraction than a work tool. However, forward-thinking companies are realizing the many benefits of mobile applications. Research shows that employee mobility leads to a 30% improvement in processes, a 23% improvement in productivity and 100% improvement in employee satisfaction.
Efficiency, productivity and their impact on customer experience
Mobile tools are transforming how employees work and access the information they need while away from their desk. Earlier this year, Forrester reported that companies who succeed in customer experience, are those that empower their employees with information and autonomy. We’ve seen this play out first-hand at Windstream Enterprise. It’s one thing to offer our UCaaS solution OfficeSuite UC®, but it’s more significant when we see the platform work for ourselves.
When employees have access to real-time data and communication capabilities with customers and colleagues, obtaining answers to customer inquiries are more seamless, improving employee productivity and most importantly, the customer experience.
Let’s analyze a few scenarios.
- Field technicians. A field technician’s primary job is to go to customer locations to troubleshoot or install services. Quite frankly, field techs can be the face of your company. They sometimes have more interaction with customers than any other employee and this experience leaves a lasting impression. When field techs are not only equipped to complete the task at hand but can also access up-to-date account information and answer questions while on-location, it enables a new level of service. This service sure outshines the days when techs were forced to go out to their vehicles to try to call the corporate office, or worse, told customers to call themselves.
- Salespeople. It’s no secret that a successful salesperson must function efficiently outside of the office. But with today’s technology, it’s no longer a game of trying to bounce in and out of the office to catch up on missed calls and emails. Unified communications features like call twinning, SMS messaging, softphones and mobile conferencing are ensuring salespeople are always accessible at one business phone number and never miss the next big opportunity.
- Business continuity. We see the benefits of this all the time first-hand with our customers. Whether due to a natural or manmade disaster, closures of any kind can have grave and costly consequences. When employees can continue to answer customer calls, change greetings, access voicemail and email, and even meet with customers via video conferencing remotely, business continues, employees are productive, and the customer experience remains intact.
Let’s talk more about the impacts on productivity.
How many times a day (even on weekends) do you check your work email on your phone simply because it’s easy to access? In the past, how many times outside of business hours, did you check your work email? I’m betting not as many because it required you to either go to the office or sit down at a computer. Mobility allows business to carry on outside of business hours without employees feeling burdened by spending extra time “at work”.
In fact, many companies are using mobility to lower overhead costs. Why lease expensive office space if your employees can conduct all their business in a professional way from home or on the road? The latest unified communications as a service (UCaaS) platforms integrated with other applications, such as CRMs, make this possible.
Happy employees result in happier customers
We know this to be true, employees are happiest, and productivity is highest when employees have access to the tools that enable them to work efficiently. For any organization looking to streamline processes and improve how and when you serve your customers, unifying your employees, locations and systems is a good place to start.
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