There was a time when quality products and reasonable prices were enough to earn a customer's loyalty. Not anymore. In today's overcrowded, tech-driven marketplace, customer experience matters most.
According to MyCustomer, it costs five times as much to attract a new customer than to retain an existing one, so providing an extraordinary experience is key to not only building, but also saving revenue. Most business leaders have already gotten the memo: 89% of companies see customer experience as a main driving force of loyalty and retention, said MyCustomer. And according to Salesforce, 58% of customers say technology has changed their expectations of how companies should interact with them.
Therein lies the opportunity for Vonage channel partners. With the right UC customer experience integration, your clients can empower employees to interact with customers across more channels than ever, while using communications data to continually improve the experience with each interaction.
So, how can you help your customers improve their customer experience with the Vonage communications platform?
The Building Blocks of UC Customer Experience Integration
Not long ago, cloud communications simply meant Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) — phone systems that connect over high-speed internet and automate certain tasks, such as directing callers to the correct representatives or letting them request callbacks when the wait time is long.
Then came unified communications (UC) and unified communications as a service (UCaaS), a cloud-based platform that combines voice, video, messaging, and conferencing. With UC, employees can interact with customers across channels and easily switch from one channel to another based on customer preference. Better yet, with CRM integration, employees can see all the relevant information about incoming callers, so they can greet customers by name, anticipate their questions, and provide thorough personalized answers.
Simply put, with cloud-based platforms like CX Cloud Express, employees can easily collaborate to deliver the seamless, personalized customer experience that consumers want and your clients are struggling to provide.
UC alone can improve customer service and sales. With easy CRM access, automatic call logging, and the ability to connect from any internet-enabled device, salespeople can stay connected to their clients from anywhere and ensure that customer information is always up to date. Deploying UC is just the first step in modernizing communications, however. The next step is leveraging communications APIs, such as:
Chatbots. Provide 24/7 customer support, AI-based recommendations, and even self-checkout options via chatbots or voicebots.
SMS alerts. Alerts allow you to keep customers in the loop with personalized offers, shipping and delivery updates, and other timely communications.
Geofencing. Send personalized messages based on customer location using geofencing technology.
Phone number verification. Shorten the login experience for customers with automatic verification.
The Case for Integrations and Add-Ons
These features help brands provide seamless communication from the moment a customer initiates contact with the company. But what about the folks who haven't reached out yet — for instance, a prospective customer who enjoyed a blog post or discovered a product on Instagram? Of course, a simple Google search could help them contact the company, but for impatient customers or impulse shoppers, that might be one click too many.
Enter communications platform as a service (CPaaS), a set of developer-friendly APIs that let companies embed real-time communication features (voice, video, messaging) into their mobile apps, websites, and social channels. So, if a customer finds the brand on social media, they don't have to log off and look up contact info. Instead, they can start a conversation with the brand directly from the social page, using whichever communication channel works best for the situation.
Finally, businesses that field a steady stream of customer communications can benefit from contact center as a service (CCaaS). Like UCaaS, CCaaS is a multichannel communications platform, but whereas UCaaS is designed for office workers, CCaaS is designed for call center employees.
Businesses can typically integrate CCaaS and UCaaS to get the functionality of both solutions. However, with Vonage Business, your clients can get it all from one solution: CX Cloud Express. This solution layers the CRM-integrated contact center platform on top of a traditional UC platform. This way, employees can communicate with each other and with customers, using the same technology with the same customer data.
Simply put, with cloud-based platforms like CX Cloud Express, employees can easily collaborate to deliver the seamless, personalized customer experience that consumers want and that your clients are struggling to provide.
The Benefits of UCaaS Extension Customer Experience
If your clients still aren't convinced they need to modernize communications to improve the customer experience, a little data might help. According to a 2017 study conducted by Vonage and IDC, communications "powerbrokers" — companies that leverage UC, CPaaS, automation, and integration — significantly improve the customer experience and enjoy better business outcomes because of it.
These powerbrokers decreased customer service resolution speed and hold times, improving customer satisfaction and loyalty by 42%. And these changes in customer experience led to an improvement in the bottom line, too: powerbrokers saw a 34% reduction in costs and a 47% improvement in go-to-market speed for products and services, which led to increased profitability.
For companies that truly prioritize the customer experience, nothing is more important than modernizing communications. And as a Vonage channel partner, you're perfectly positioned to help them do it.