Future-proof — the RingCentral Engage Digital open framework for omnichannel comms

22 October 2019 | 1546 Shares

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In many of today’s verticals — not just the telecoms industry — the reliance on massive, centralized applications is gradually decreasing. Large ERPs remain in many organizations, but the emphasis now is on joining applications via APIs (application programming interfaces). That produces a bespoke and ultimately more powerful meta-package that’s better-aligned with business strategy.

In the telecoms industry, creating a practical interchange of information between discrete applications is especially sensitive.The end user’s interactions with the company (the “customer experience”) can determine crucial satisfaction metrics. The better the customer experience at every touchpoint, in every channel, the better for business.

It’s complicated to provide hyper-personalized customer care that today’s end-users expect, and that’s why telecoms companies turn to omni-channel communications platforms.

But, it’s of significant importance that the chosen omni-channel platform is open, one that connects to other data repositories throughout the enterprise. Without that connectivity, end-users may be able to communicate with an operator or chatbot via their channel of choice, but they will experience a series of fractured interactions as operators (human or AI) won’t have access to all relevant information.

The fractured experience mirrors the existence of what’s known as silo-ed data — information that’s captured in, for instance, the company CRM, a hosted bot, a WhatsApp message, or email software.

In our last article we touched on several of the possible frustrations caused by disjointed communications with customers, especially as conversations switch between channels, from bot to operator, from voice to email. When customers have to repeat information, data gets “lost” (left in an unreachable silo), and the customer experience suffers.

Reasons for deploying an open omni-digital engagement platform go deep. Breaking down back-end data silos creates massive opportunities for telecoms providers to differentiate themselves. Those possibilities include taking customer care to the next level — a full 360-degree view of each customer — but also involve making chatbots pro-actively effective and being able to aggregate data so insightful business intelligence can be gathered. Let’s consider those possibilities:

The unleashed chatbot

If there’s an aspect of customer care that’s guaranteed to divide customer loyalties, it’s the chatbot. But whether it’s loved or hated, a well-integrated chatbot, when deployed via an open omni-channel comms platform, can segue any more complex customer query to a human operator quickly and efficiently. That routing can take place without the end-user having to repeat any information: that relies on an open platform.

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An open platform like RingCentral Engage Digital turns what could be a source of frustration into a bot that can field the easy queries and pass on more difficult questions to an appropriately-skilled human, complete with all necessary information.

That could be a SIM unlock, a porting of a number, or providing billing information. Anything more complex passes on seamlessly.

And with an open interchange of data, the possibilities for bots suddenly multiply. Via APIs and the use of open markup languages, queries can be parsed by machine learning algorithms to improve performance. Every interaction improves the bot, and again thanks to APIs, a single bot can be deployed down multiple channels.

Waiting in the wings: business intelligence

One thing telecoms vendors possess in abundance is data. With every interaction, the telecoms provider builds on its information. By using an open platform as a conduit between CRM, ERP, marketing, and operational data, customers can be offered more suitable price plans, be cross-sold better products, or given bonuses or perks according to their tastes and recorded behaviors.

Furthermore, companies can see over- and under-use of specific services, and be better able to predict the trends that will drive the business’s strategy. As IoT-based services gain traction, and 5G deployment opens new markets, there are new opportunities for telecoms vendors, and it will be in the inter-joining of discrete apps that vendors will discover hidden metrics and produce significant competitive advantages.

An open omnichannel communications management system offers a route to the type of specialist business intelligence that telecommunications service providers need.

From the CRM to the beyond

By drawing into the human operator’s dashboard the customer’s records from the enterprise CRM, the human (or bot) operator begins to get a 360-degree view of each customer — their tastes, previous behaviors, statements of historical interactions, and general preferences. That means a telecoms contract is individualized, creating a fuller customer experience that can only grow, turning each customer into a loyal brand advocate.

As the rest of the business undergoes its digital transformation processes, the open communications hub from RingCentral Engage Digital will adapt without service interruption. The platform’s open nature and interoperability mean that whatever course the company takes in the months ahead, the customer-centric view of the contact function will remain, providing the very best in care and experiences.

To learn more about RingCentral and the open, interoperable back end of its omni-digital customer care platform, click here for more information.