Supporting the New Customer Service Standard with More Than Just a Toll Free Number

michael.wood
By Michael Wood
Vice President of Marketing, VeloCloud
August 8, 2017

Image_Customer-Service-RatingIt’s no secret that companies that deliver truly exceptional customer service gain a competitive edge with all other things being equal. Why? Because nearly everyone has some innate need to feel special, supported and important and those companies that can provide that feeling throughout the customer journey will set themselves apart. In a SaaS or subscription environment where switching between competitors has become relatively easy, it’s even more critically important to retain your customers’ loyalty.

There are two key factors for companies seeking to deliver an exceptional customer service experience:

  1. Empathetic and skilled support personnel who are driven to solve customer issues, advocate for the customer’s needs and create a relationship that encourages the customer to keep coming back.
  2. An infrastructure that enables the growth of resources, services and applications that allows support personnel to do their job well.

Let’s take a deeper look at how these concepts work together from a customer’s perspective.

Typically, when one reaches out to a company with questions, for technical support, or problem resolution, we want them to respond with two things: speed and knowledge.

 

Key Factor 1: Speed

First, we want to connect with the company quickly. The days of waiting on hold for hours or waiting for a return call or email are long gone. And having one single method of contacting your vendor is no longer acceptable. To accommodate both the sense of immediacy and choice of communication methods, companies need to provide multiple connection options including live customer service personnel, sales and service chat functions, service portals with documentation, video tutorials, email, and social media.

While there should be a varying level of human touch behind these various interfaces, many can be automated but require large amounts of data and bandwidth to accomplish, as well as be available on a 24 x 7 basis.

 

Key Factor 2: Infrastructure

Second, we want the companies that we do business with to know exactly who we are and maybe even have an idea of why we’re contacting them. No one wants to call into a customer service center and have to explain our specific situation and history each and every time we’re transferred to a new service person. This just increases anxiety and frustration levels and delays time to resolution. In an ideal world, we choose our preferred method of communication, our situation is quickly identified, and resolution happens shortly after.

Those companies with end-to-end visibility who can anticipate immediate needs and respond will gain a competitive advantage. Viable network solutions must have the ability to bridge together every communication channel with big data analytics tools and deliver them in seconds to customer service representatives and service interfaces.

 

Outcome-Driven Customer Service

To create the type of outcome-driven customer service program that users desire today requires a vast amount of data collection and storage and the ability to synthesize it and deliver the results within seconds. While response time to the customer is key, it needs to be backed up by deep knowledge of the customer’s account, usage and potential pain points. Behaviors and usage information needs to be collected and delivered to a central data repository, housed appropriately, and upon a customer-initiated contact, delivered to the customer service application of choice. Bandwidth and storage capabilities become significant dependencies.

Companies, and specifically CISOs, need to not just look at customer service programs that can securely support this type of integrated, dynamic and evolving customer demand, but to ensure that their network infrastructures are capable of scaling to meet the demands of the new systems and applications. The size and speed of the data being securely transferred between the customer and company data analysis systems will require high levels of bandwidth and transport systems that can scale appropriately.

 

Old School Networks Won’t Cut It

Today’s common network infrastructures will struggle with the ability to scale to future demands. To best serve customers in the future, these infrastructures need to be updated or enhanced with services that will optimize data and information delivery.

One such technology that brings companies into the modern age quickly and provides a future-proof outcome-driven platform is Cloud-Delivered software-defined WAN (SD-WAN). SD-WAN is non-disruptive to an organization’s’ infrastructure as it acts as an overlay, utilizing existing transport infrastructure such as MPLS, broadband, and LTE services.

Because it drives the rapid and efficient delivery of traffic, maximizes bandwidth capabilities, and enables the incremental addition of servicing applications, SD-WAN will support the necessary connectivity to support comprehensive customer service initiatives. As it is an overlay to existing infrastructure and unifies the entire network, any customer service representative or connected customer service-oriented application will have immediate and quick access to all customer-related data.

To learn more about how to implement a platform that results in the types of customer service outcomes you desire, tune into our webinar “How to Build an Outcome-Driven SD-WAN Network.” Register today.


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