There has been a transformational shift in the way customers communicate with businesses. With accelerated digital channel adoption, customer communication is no longer a one-way street. Today, businesses need to respond to customers promptly, and strategically engage them in conversations at key touchpoints in their journey with a brand.
In all these interactions, speed of response and personalization are critical for customers. As is the need for a consistent omnichannel experience. According to reports, 78% of customers use multiple channels to complete a transaction. And 83% expect to interact with somebody immediately when they contact a company.
However, businesses still struggle to meet these expectations. The 2022 Omdia study, which surveyed more than 200 customer experience (CX) professionals, highlighted three major problems plaguing companies moving to a digital-first approach:
- Lack of insights
- Unnecessary complexity
- Slow digital adoption
According to this study, 61% of professionals polled say that they are unable to engage with customers across channels in personalized ways, and 55% lack tools to enable proactive, intelligent customer engagement.
Further, The Connected Customer: Delivering an effortless experience report by NTT reveals that 42% of businesses still struggle with legacy systems, and 43% have problems integrating multiple technology systems. The question then is, even as customer expectations keep rising, how can organizations keep up?
What Does It Take to Democratize Customer Experience Management?
Businesses today do not face a dearth of innovative ideas or talent. But when it comes to communication innovations, complex hardware, telephony requirements, or integration issues can lead to delayed implementations and cancelled projects.
A lot of time goes into writing custom code and managing disconnected applications. This can become inefficient, cost-ineffective, and unsustainable over the long term. With long implementation cycles, businesses simply cannot match the rapid pace with which their customer expectations are moving today.
Businesses need a platform where they can easily build customer engagement solutions that embed real-time communication solutions into their existing software, applications, and workflows. For instance, automated calls or WhatsApp messages must be placed directly from a CRM, which would require developers to have access to an open API platform that they can integrate with their existing systems to create seamless solutions.
Additionally, such a platform must be of pay-as-you-go models where these solutions can be implemented in an agile manner with zero Capex.
Communications Platform as a Service (CPaaS)
Communications Platform as a Service or CPaaS is the perfect solution to simplify telecom and digital communications for businesses. This cloud-based platform lets businesses add voice and messaging features to their existing software or application using API or code snippets.
With CPaaS, businesses can build and implement innovative communication solutions faster, giving them the freedom to ideate and prototype faster. With help of APIs, all businesses need to do is pick their preferred communication features and integrate them with the existing software stack. The result is access to best-in-breed features and tools.
CPaaS enables businesses to fully customize their communication stack. Instead of buying complete solutions with predefined features, they can integrate selected communication channels with the software they already use.
No wonder CPaaS is gaining traction with decision makers, with Gartner predicting API-enabled CPaaS market to grow with a CAGR of 28.1% in the 2020–2025 time frame.
Let’s see some use cases to make it clearer.
CPaaS for Marketing
Marketing benefits a great deal from CPaaS solutions, especially in the areas of omnichannel marketing, missed call campaigns, and tracking marketing ROI.
Brands like Monsanto, HUL, and UNFPA have used CPaaS to build innovative marketing campaigns letting users listen to music, social awareness messages, and advertisements. A not-for-profit children’s book publisher Pratham Books has successfully used this platform for innovative storytelling via phones during the COVID lockdown.
CPaaS for Customer Service
Businesses use CPaaS platforms to streamline transactional messaging like notifications and reminders to mobile payments, two-factor authentication, conversational AI, automated feedback and surveys, and integrated text-based and voice-based customer service.
Some e-commerce companies utilize CPaaS – CRM integrations to differentiate services based on customer segmentation. For instance, customer service departments can bump calls up the call queue for priority customers. They can also offer voice mail options via IVR to callers waiting in a call queue for longer than a predefined time.
CPAAS for Operations
CPaaS also enables businesses to automate scheduling for their fleet operations and create last-mile delivery solutions. For instance, Healthcare companies such as HCAH used this platform to streamline their daily status reports to the government. Other Companies use the CPaaS IVR to schedule their delivery fleet visits or connect customers directly to field sales teams or service engineers via virtual number masking solutions.
The Way Ahead
According to research by KPMG, Improving customer experience can help businesses enhance their valuation by 125–400% and75% of organizations consider a seamless customer experience a top or high priority.
CPaaS could hold the key to retaining customers and staying ahead of the curve. By facilitating an elegant integration of AI, people, and systems, CPaaS truly democratizes customer experience management, eventually leading to greater RIO for the organization. It enables businesses to execute a modern CX strategy and deliver the high level of service that customers now expect in today’s increasingly competitive business environment.
The article has been written by Chaitanya Chokkareddy, Chief Product Officer, Ozonetel
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