Cloud-based communications and collaboration solutions offer obvious benefits when compared to traditional on-premises PBX systems, including increased reliability, unsurpassed scalability, and overall cost-effectiveness. And while cloud technologies can drastically reduce management and implementation complexity, the transition from legacy PBX to cloud may still keep the teams tasked with managing these solutions up at night. This is where a professional services team delivers both expertise and peace of mind.
I recently sat down with RingCentral’s Derrell James, SVP of Global Services and Solutions, to better understand the strategies necessary to ensure customer success in a cloud implementation.
First off, why is it important to ensure a successful cloud implementation?
The way people work has evolved dramatically over the past decade. Employees are now more mobile, distributed, and connected than ever before. We hear from our customers everyday that the cloud has given them the opportunity to adapt to this change, scale quickly, consolidate vendors, and lower costs. But there are also other critical requirements addressed, such as increased reliability and business workflow improvements.
When we talk about these critical requirements, you get a sense for how important it is to get a cloud service implemented and functioning at full potential right from the start.
What role does your global services and solutions team play in a cloud communications implementation?
The short answer is that we provide a complete, high-touch service across the entire customer lifecycle. We can break that down into three stages of impact: sales, implementation, and ongoing support.
During the sales cycle, our professional services team is directly engaged to ensure the technology transition and adoption curve will be seamless and robust. We bring in a dedicated customer success manager (CSM) early in the process to ensure they understand the customer’s business model and their needs before going live. This CSM remains with the customer through the entire lifecycle and serves as their overall champion.
Once an organization is ready to start implementing, we partner with customers on three main workstreams: needs assessment, number porting, and user onboarding. We ensure that on the day an account is ready to go live, all numbers are properly ported to RingCentral and their service is ready to go.
Ongoing service continues to remain high touch, with regularly scheduled business reviews between the customer and the CSM, support leadership, the sales account team, and senior leadership. Our award-winning global support is also available 24/7.
You recently received the 2018 Fortune Partners Top Service Leaders Award. What does this mean to you as the recipient?
Fortune’s recognition is a clear indication that our work is positively impacting our customers’ experience. RingCentral is a company that truly understands the importance of customer service. In recent years, we have been laser focused on enhancing our global professional services, implementation, training, and global technical support services offerings. We continue to implement programs and initiatives to raise the bar and have received broad accolades from customers, won industry awards, and received notable recognition from key institutions, such as Gartner.
What is next for your team?
During the past year, we have invested in two key areas. First, by leveraging valuable feedback from our Customer Advisory Board, as well as industry consultants, RingCentral hired senior leaders and specialists who are now running our self-service revamp. We are implementing leading-edge online and in-product service solutions and technologies, a complete content refresh, and a new website design with improved user navigation. This is a continuation of our focus on providing a superior service and support experience, regardless of which service channel a customer utilizes.
The second investment we made involves instituting a comprehensive pulse survey and enhancement (eNPS) program. We fully recognize that happy and engaged employees provide notably higher levels of service excellence. Employees are surveyed across multiple areas, including how well they are set up to successfully support customers. Employee satisfaction scores continue to increase and more than 91% of our customer-facing employees are willing to recommend RingCentral as a great place to work.
And this is just the beginning. We plan to invest more in these areas and look to key technologies, such as AI, to provide additional opportunities. This points to what I enjoy most about customer service: There is always something more you can do to improve the experience a customer has with your product and company. If they’re happy, I know we are doing our job.