Almost every organisation’s tagline centres on ‘customer-first’. That’s why ‘there’s an app for that’ has become a common catchphrase. Indeed, mobile apps are now a focal point for most organisations. However, there is a disproportion between what is expected by consumers in today’s digital economy and the customer experience that is delivered by the organisations with which they interact. While consumers own powerful smart devices, many of the companies servicing them aren’t delivering the features to capitalise on these capabilities.
In the early days of the ‘app era’, many organisations bought into the mobility hype simply to have a play in the game. Over the last five years, most of these companies have added significant value to their apps, but unfortunately, haven’t undergone the necessary digital transformation to accommodate today’s and future innovations. In some instances, companies (across various verticals) have even used apps as nothing more than a means of holding customers hostage – there’s a misconception that keeping them away from Internet browsers will decrease the chance they’ll move to a competitor.
The reality is that these companies have forgotten that customer experience is the number one priority when it comes to designing apps, and not the company’s experience. Our role at Avaya is to ensure these organisation realign their focus on how the digital transition will affect the way in which customers interact with the brand on an ongoing basis to maximise retention. Besides, according to SumAll, businesses with 40 per cent repeat customers generate almost 50 per cent more revenue than similar companies with only 10 per cent repeat customers.
We are currently helping a number of organisations across various industries understand the benefits of an adequately-designed app and enabling their digital transformation to ensure they stay ahead of their competitors.
One of those organisation is a leading Australian financial services provider which is completely redeveloping its app to provide its customers with more resources and enhanced engagement through a simple interface. Once live, the app will not only provide users with full visibility into their accounts, but allow them to very raise any queries through the communication channel they prefer. Using visual cues and short questions, we have enabled the company to put its customers in touch with trained contact centre operators within just a few taps while ensuring employees have enough information to resolve issues very quickly. As a result, we have helped the organisation eliminate the need for customers to explain themselves repeatedly (as is historically the case when dialling a call centre). Similarly, we have removed the need for the provider’s customers to re-identify themselves on several occasions; two-factor authentication – using account number, PIN code and password in the first instance and then fingerprint login in the second – ensures the account is protected as the app is launched.
This is the type of personalised customer experience we are driving for organisations in not just financial services space, but also government, health, education, marketing/advertising and other verticals in order to transform communications from a traditional commodity to a critical digital asset.
While these are just some examples of the digital transformation Avaya can deliver today, over the next few years, we will continue to make significant investments in various technologies that leverage automation and data analytics to enable organisations to transform their apps and customer experience capabilities. Voice biometrics, for example, will automatically collect data on the tone of voice used by customers throughout each interaction and examine the most suitable action to remedy the situation if it becomes volatile. Should the user be angry or abusive, the system will instantly notify a senior supervisor, who will be able to assist the employee so that the customer’s concern is resolved and their opinion of the brand can be remedied.
Automation, in combination with data analytics, will also enable apps to source data and evaluate from social channels, which are becoming increasingly attractive to consumers. Today, telcos, retailers, ISPs, streaming services, banks and a whole range of other organisations have dedicated social media teams to manage enquiries that come through this medium. But many of these are isolated from the overarching contact centre. Organisations that are ahead of the game have eliminated these silos to enable social media data to communicate with the app environment. Automation and analytics feeds the relevant data to contact centre operators who are then empowered to even further improve the contact centre experience.
Mobile apps have matured, but many organisations continue to either neglect the opportunity or fail to capitalise on the full potential on offer. In order to meet the expectations of today’s consumers, organisations need to plan a digital transformation that focuses on delivering on customers’ needs rather than their own priorities. Instead of delivering apps that keep customers locked in, these companies need to invest in platforms that provide transparency and fast resolution times in order to optimise the customer experience to ensure retention.
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