Because the products and services of companies in the same industries are increasingly similar, customer contact is now the main way in which businesses differentiate themselves from their competitors. This is all the more true now that physical contact is more difficult. This is why Vodafone Business is looking for ways to integrate customer contact into the digital workplace.
“This digital workplace is becoming an increasingly important service in our portfolio”, says Edwin Fluit, Head of Sales and Business Development of Vodafone Business’s Digital Workplace. “Our business customers experience the network connection and the digital workplace as a whole. That is why we have also started offering digital workplaces based on Microsoft Office 365, in addition to our connectivity services. This platform gives companies all kinds of possibilities to collaborate remotely via tools such as Microsoft Teams. But what it does not offer by default is a way to maintain customer contact through different channels. In almost all companies, a customer contact solution is still reserved for the customer contact center. And that is strange, because all employees are, after all, customer contact employees. And so you also have to offer all employees access to a customer contact solution.”
Improving customer experience
In order to unburden customers as much as possible, the Vodafone Digital Workspace portfolio has been expanded with customer experience services that meet the requirements and wishes of current and new Vodafone Business customers. Part of relationship supplying these servies, we spoke with with Michael van den Brink, Country Manager of Content Guru Netherlands, which offers a flexible and scalable cloud contact center solution called storm.
Michael: “storm has been developed entirely based on customer needs. We have translated how our customers’ customers want to be served into functionalities to improve the customer experience. The software is not only intended for large contact centers, but for any organization that wants to serve customers optimally.” This fits perfectly with Vodafone Business’s vision of improving customer contact experience.
The business issue is central
“Our consultants are trained to get to the bottom of business issues, and develop tailor-made solutions to them. The focus, in these cases, is not on technology, which is seen as a means to an end. The focus is on making a good inventory of the objectives and devising a solution for them. As a rule, the larger a company, the more variation there is in the business issues surrounding customer contact,” says Edwin.
Because the issues are so versatile, Vodafone Business works together with an ecosystem of partners who take care of parts of those questions. In the field of advanced customer contact solutions, their main partner is Content Guru.
Edwin: “Because Content Guru supports Vodafone Business with their advanced technology and specialist knowledge, we can focus on customer demand. Together we are much stronger than alone and we can serve customers better and more professionally.”
The sales and implementation processes for each customer is quite different, Michael notes. “As Edwin points out, no organization is the same. They all have different needs. Sometimes they can work fine with a standard solution and sometimes adjustments are required. Due to its high degree of flexibility, we can therefore offer adaptable solutions through storm.”
Being able to offer customized services more often seems to be a requirement for larger companies, but also occurs in organizations with smaller customer contact departments. “For example, for a car wash with only four digital workplaces, an implementation was delivered that was completely tailored to their customer journey. While at a large trade union with hundreds of users, standard functionality was delivered, so that the entire process from the first customer contact to delivery took only six weeks.”
Both Michael and Edwin see that coronavirus has sparked interest in customer contact functionality in every workplace.
Edwin: “for a long time now, we have wanted to better support employees outside of the contact center in their customer contact. This topic has not received the attention it actually deserves in recent years. Now there is plenty of attention for it. Homeworking issues have to do with security, among other things. How do you ensure that all customer conversations are properly secured and that data is GDPR proof? How do you make applications with customer data, such as CRM and ERP, securely accessible at home and on any device? But it is also about processes. For example, how do you organize knowledge management? These are exactly the challenges that Vodafone Business and Content Guru have developed a solution for by means of the storm solution.”
Customer contact is constantly innovating. Edwin: “developments in the field of customer engagement, Internet of Things, and 5G are happening fast. Machines and equipment will also be part of the customer contact process for the foreseeable future. How handy would it be if a machine plans its service itself instead of the owner having to call to arrange this.”
The possibilities are endless. And the great advantage of the as-a-service business model of Vodafone Business and Content Guru is that existing customers will soon be able to use new, innovative services. These could include services that allow them to create a 360-degree customer view, or to set up a good workplace at home. Van den Brink concludes: “We have a clear dot on the horizon, but we don’t yet know exactly how the road will go there. What we do know is that our innovations are lead by customer needs. That is always our goal: to develop services that allow us to better serve our customers. ”
This article was previously posted on Customerfirst.