Telecoms: Driving Customer Service Improvement Begins in the Cloud
Many companies in the telecoms sector — even the exceptionally large players — found the sudden shift to remote working for customer support staff particularly challenging. The processes required significant resource-spend to keep customer experience quality levels constant. Unfortunately, some companies let standards slip at a time when their customers needed them most.
Part of the problem for remote staff was that they were limited to whatever hardware and software they happened to have at hand. It didn’t always allow them to work with the same quality they could when everyone was based in the physical customer care facility.
Problems stemmed from the unavailability of specialist hardware, the need to set up secure connections back into the office, and even difficult-to-crack issues like domestic routers blocking unfamiliar IP ports.
Some companies found that there was suddenly an imbalance between the levels of care and attention they usually provide and increasingly erratic connectivity issues across one or more specific channels: voice, SMS, social messaging — even email. The shift to remote working exacerbated any existing problems that the telecoms company might already have been experiencing. Unfortunately, the people who paid the cost were the customers.
At Tech HQ, we’ve been examining many cloud-based options open to various sectors when it comes to omnichannel communications platforms. One stood out: RingCentral Engage, a digital unifier for conversations and customer communications across channels like WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter, live chat, and Instagram. A significant plus of the cloud-centric nature of RingCentral offering was that telecommunications providers of any size could use its services wherever their employees are — there’s no monolithic on-premises infrastructure or fragile VPN tunnel servers that need to be considered operationally.
RingCentral’s customer engagement platform, Engage Digital, has been engineered over many years to allow simultaneous asynchronous and synchronous communications between customer care staff anywhere with their end-users. Even with a 100% remote workforce, customer experiences remain at the forefront of the business’s focus: across various channels and regardless of whether employees are office- or home-based.
It’s perhaps ironic that organisations that exist essentially as communication enablers — telecommunications providers — are not equipped with technology that ensures smooth transitions between communication modes. RingCentral’s novel platform makes conversations that shift across channels a continuous narrative for the customer. Customer experiences are now innovatively brilliant and seamless, not an irritation. Satisfaction with a service can be improved with every interaction, turning customers into loyal brand advocates.
To understand how this works better, take the example of leading Singapore based digital network operator, M1. They adopted RingCentral Engage Digital to unify the management of their channels. They used the customer engagement solution to replace the manual process and improve the way agents handled interactions. Thanks to this cloud solution, M1 gained flexibility and was able to quickly adopt various digital channels: Facebook Messenger, live chat, Twitter and Instagram.
Using a single interface for all channels, M1 agents do not lose time switching between multiple apps. When launching a new channel, they can instantly start handling interactions from the tool they already use, which immediately contributes to improving productivity. On live-chat, the digital network operator managed to handle nine times more interactions while improving its response time by 18%, thanks to Engage Digital.
“We used to have a completely manual process. At best, we could answer one interaction at a time. We were looking to scale our approach and get analytics. Which is why we chose RingCentral.” – Stamford Low, Director, Customer Experience & Retail, M1
That easy transition between channels stops customers from switching providers (an increasingly simple process) and makes them open to new services and products being proposed. Brands can individualise their offerings because customers actually enjoy working with a company they see as a partner, not an unpleasant necessity.
The ease of use and intuitive ways that customers can interact with their comms provider is reflected in the customer care staff’s experiences. The key to this is an intuitive interface that lets employees quickly navigate from channel to channel, working simultaneously on asynchronous digital channels in place of real-time voice calls. High messaging volumes — even with a new and green employee working remotely — are quickly possible to handle.
The RingCentral Engage Digital platform’s intelligent routing makes sure that those just getting up to speed in a new care role do not face intricate technical issues that are better fielded by experienced colleagues until they’re ready. Conversely, subject area experts can concentrate on their specialisation without the distraction of low-level enquiries that would otherwise impede their capabilities in giving their very best to the customer.
Your customer care and support teams need only a laptop and an internet connection to not just maintain standards but improve them. As situations in working practices change or new digital channels are deployed (Apple Business Chat, or WhatsApp, for example), the user interface remains simple to use yet inherently powerful. Customers are not affected by where their contact happens to be working, which could be a mixture of home and physical office or the other side of the globe.
In a worldwide telecoms market, the RingCentral Engage Digital platform is unlocking teams’ skills, supporting and improving support staff’s performance, and always with the goal of driving up the quality of every customer’s experience.
To learn more about how RingCentral Engage Digital will integrate into your current technology stack and the many advantages it offers, get in touch with an expert to discuss your specific use-cases, or view this free demo.