In the second of a three-part series (read part one here), Verint’s Simon Rudkin, Vice President – Cloud and Hosting, EMEA, explores how cloud-based customer engagement gives organisations the flexibility and agility to face unpredictable change and deliver amazing customer experiences.
With just weeks left to run in 2020, the question on everyone’s lips is, ‘What’s around the corner?’ COVID-19 has left a deep scar on society and the economy, upending personal plans and business strategies. But what lies beyond it?
Will the pandemic wither or linger? Will it result in a global recession, or will the economy spring back to growth post-COVID as it has in China? Will people return to the physical workplace, or do we face a future of looking at individuals’ front rooms through Zoom?
Answering that is like guessing next month’s weather. The fact is that tried and tested models have been upended. The old rule book is gone. There will be no return to the old ways of operating.
However, one certainty does remain: future change will be fast, fluid and unpredictable.
Your customer engagement strategy needs to keep pace with this turbulent change. As the COVID-19 crisis and whatever follows evolves, you need to be agile and adaptive, pivoting at speed to navigate this ‘new normal’ and accommodate fast-evolving customer attitudes and behaviours.
With flexibility built into your customer engagement, you can continue to deliver amazing customer experiences, drive deeper loyalty, maintain growth, create a loyal following, and achieve those sought-after five-star ratings.
Here’s the problem. Legacy customer engagement platforms aren’t geared to cope with this agility. Typically, on-premise and layered in complexity, they take time, money and resources to adapt – with change in one area potentially impacting downstream elsewhere.
Just when you need pace, they bring problems.
Adapt fast to an uncertain future
This is where the cloud comes in. A cloud-powered customer engagement infrastructure enables you to adapt more quickly to whatever changing business circumstances you face, while new customer and employee initiatives can be launched in days not months. Software updates occur just like they do on your mobile device – instantly and transparently. Moreover, with a trusted third-party managing your platform, you devote less time to operations and more to what matters: connecting with customers, innovation, and decision-making.
Your move to the cloud doesn’t need to sacrifice openness or create integration chaos either. Selecting a secure, open platform allows you to support current investments while enabling your business to modernize at a speed that works for you.
The market is marching with its feet. According to Saddletree Research’s 2020 survey of contact centre professionals, 41% of the industry now relies on the cloud for call routing. Beyond that, 48% of the market has one or more of their core applications, such as workforce management, quality management and IVR in the cloud.
Forward-thinking Verint customers are capitalizing on this cloud opportunity: using the flexibility of the SaaS model to adapt faster to both the pandemic crisis and whatever may follow behind it.
Following the Covid-19 lockdown, the leading financial outsourcing company Equiniti, for example, redeployed and reskilled its agents to at-home support in just two days, using cloud-based Verint Knowledge Management. Acknowledging this agile response, the customer commented, “We have the confidence that agents have the information they need to support our customers.”
As the sudden trend for remote working grows, social collaboration has also made online communities a critical forum for delivering both social customer service and improved employee engagement. The private equity investor Hg is using Verint Community to do just that. “This innovative digital community enables members, together with our investment partners and employees, to collaborate, learn and succeed,” says Jess Greenhalgh, community manager at Hg. “For Hg, Verint Community is a game-changer.”
This cloud agility shines through in other use cases too. The insurance giant esure is using Verint Speech Analytics to listen, analyse and act on the ‘voice of the customer,’ deliver a connected customer journey and stay in front of change.
esure’s Margaret Maclean comments, “It’s transforming the way we work by giving us insight that we never had previously. We can find out a lot more about our customer behaviour, our customer demands and our employee behaviour.”
The cloud is bringing modern flexibility to the back office too. Capita, for instance, uses Verint Work Manager to see over the horizon. The company’s John Barker says, “Work Manager provides the foundation for our service modernization programme. The immediate visibility of 100% of customer demands enables us to take control of our operations, and measure, analyse and improve the end-to-end customer experience using actual data.”
If 2020 was all about ‘making do,’ then 2021 and beyond will be all about ‘making good.’ By moving customer engagement to the cloud, organisations gain the agility and flexibility to adapt quickly both to the current crisis and whatever challenge may lie over the horizon.