The business landscape is changing rapidly. Like it or not, digital transformation is something that will impact on every company, so it’s vital that firms understand what impact this will have on their operations – and in particular, how they engage with customers in an omni-channel, digitally-focused environment.
More than ever, customer engagement strategies need to evolve to break free from traditional boundaries and legacy limitations, in order to provide the high level of experience today’s customers expect. That’s why we’ve introduced Aspect Via, a complete, cloud-based engagement solution to give businesses the tools they need to connect.
To celebrate the launch, we also held an online roundtable via Crowdchat to really get a feeling of what our customers want and offer our thoughts on where the contact centre is heading in this new environment. Taking part in the discussion from Aspect’s side were senior vice-president for Europe and Africa Stephen Ball and solutions expert Chris Streete, joining Bloor analyst David Norfolk and head of contact centre at Sysnet Global Solutions Gerald McGauley.
Here’s a brief rundown of some of the topics that were discussed.
The impact of digital transformation
Explaining the need for digital transformation, Stephen kicked things off by noting that these challenges will force companies to get creative when it comes to delivering better services than their competitors. In many cases, this will require a major cultural shift – led from board level but reaching down throughout the organisation. David added that if firms don’t get this right first, any new technology they add to aid their digital transition will not deliver.
When it comes to the firms leading this charge, Stephen said: “Insurers, banks, hotels and retailers [are] probably most impacted, as they engage directly with consumers. They are all being hit by newcomers with fully digital modes.”
The shifting customer expectations
One theme that many of our participants highlighted was that the channels customers use are changing. In a world where people are increasingly distracted, it’s getting harder for businesses to direct conversation to only their preferred channels.
Therefore, they must be prepared to move through several different channels over the course of an interaction. And being able to be where the customer wants them to be, when they need them, is at the heart of today’s customer engagement.
David stated that this means customer engagement has to be consumer-focused, not vendor-focused. To be successful, the customer must not only get an acceptable outcome from the vendor’s perspective, but the consumer must also enjoy the interaction.
This means giving people options – including the option not to engage directly with a business by offering self-service solutions. It was agreed that to be seen as a truly forward-thinking organisation, you must provide the channels customers want to engage on.
Where to find inspiration
The panel went on to discuss some of the industries that are leading the way on this. For instance, Gerald noted that despite some public perception, one sector that’s particularly strong when it comes to customer engagement is financial services. He said banks are “redefining customer engagement through mobile”.
Stephen agreed, and also identified online retailers as another sector that has paved the way for what can be achieved with strong customer engagement solutions.
As Gerald said during the discussion, “customer engagement has never been so competitive and complicated”, so it’s vital businesses place a strong focus on improving their offerings if they’re to stand out from the pack.
Learn more about Aspect Via and how it can help transform your customer engagement strategies.
Steve has held leadership roles in Computacenter, EMC, Orange, and most recently as RVP for Hitachi Data Systems, where he was responsible for leading HDS regional restructure and Transformation, succeeding in driving growth and market share.
Steve is passionate about delivering world class Customer Service, Technology and hiring and developing great people. He believes how you engage with your customer defines the success of any business, with the client demanding ease of interaction, when they want it and how they want it.
With a simple view that focusses on these three areas, Aspect is ideally positioned to accelerate its growth and Market share. Steve is working with the EA leadership team to create a plan and vision for Aspect EA that underpins the competitive advantage that the Aspect suite of software provides to its clients.
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