Adam Wilson, regional channel manager for EMEA at Vonage, spoke to Comms Business about the key differentiators in customer experience, shifting customer needs, and the company’s Salesforce integrations.
Comms Business Magazine (CBM): What recent development has been most significant for the contact centre?
Adam Wilson (AW): “The ability to seamlessly integrate unified communications solutions into the contact centre, while adding layers of AI, machine learning and programmable APIs are key differentiators in customer experience. With lockdowns and social distancing likely to continue into 2021, businesses must adapt to new ways of working and interacting with customers virtually. However, this will mean little if the experience isn’t frictionless, seamless and embedded into the applications customers are already comfortable using. Organisations that meet consumers on their communications channel of choice may emerge from this turbulent era stronger than before. It is important for businesses to understand customer frustrations and interact with customers through a variety of communications channels.
“Many contact centres have also been struggling with efficiencies in managing traffic surges without adding resources – long wait times are not helping the customer experience while high call volumes and not enough insight into who is calling and why are not helping the agent experience. This situation can be addressed with value-added AI solutions like dynamic routing, speech analytics and a virtual assistant – without requiring additional resources or costs associated with full scale transformations.”
CBM: How have customer experience needs changed over the past year? What are you doing to react to those changes?
AW: “We are seeing the critical need for organisations to ensure business continuity across functions, and to seamlessly enable remote work. Businesses have been challenged to accelerate their digital transformation through communications at an unprecedented pace. We carried out research to understand changing consumer preferences and behaviours to help businesses better engage with their customers to drive better experiences. If there was ever a question that organisations needed to digitally transform their communications not only to survive but thrive, Covid-19 eliminated any doubt.
“The pandemic has also accelerated the adoption of newer communications channels while increasing fragmentation in channel preferences, especially in the ways that consumers interact with businesses and service providers. Our way of working has fundamentally changed, and this will likely remain as workforce strategies continue to embrace a distributed, but highly connected, work environment. The need for companies to accelerate their digital transformation has never been greater.”
CBM: You offer an integration with Salesforce – why does the Salesforce platform work particularly well with your own products?
AW: “Vonage Contact Center for Salesforce is designed to leverage Salesforce capabilities and data to revolutionise the way businesses engage with their customers and prospects. From routing using any Salesforce object to popping up the right CRM data and call history for agents and offering analytics across CRM and call data, the solution helps deliver a personalised service to every enquiry. Agents, admins and managers never need to sync between applications or swivel between apps, making it easier to offer a differentiated customer experience.
“Service teams can reduce customer effort, help drive customer loyalty and dramatically improve NPS and CSAT scores, while sales teams are more productive. Organisations that use our solution experience flexibility, scalability and reliability, irrespective of their location.”