There’s a new breed of consumer lurking out there. They were raised on access to nearly perfect information at the speed of the internet, and they have little patience for poor customer service or ill-informed agents. For example, according to Forrester, 45% of US consumers will abandon an online transaction if their questions or concerns are not addressed quickly. Other surveys show a shocking share of customers (9 out of 10) will defect to a competitor if they have a poor customer service experience.
45% of US consumers will abandon an online transaction if their questions or concerns are not addressed quickly.
But there’s no need to fear these demanding and fickle customers. Because there’s also a new breed of collaboration apps that integrate teams across your line-of-business groups to instantly provide fast, informed answers to customers’ questions. Collaboration apps replace slow, one-to-one email communications with instant one-to-many team collaboration.
It’s all part of enterprises adopting cloud-based business productivity applications at a frenetic pace. In fact, according to a Harvard Business Review Analytic Services report, 50 percent of IT professionals surveyed plan to implement apps in customer service to further tighten collaboration across departments associated with sales.
The HBR report analyzes the transformational impact of apps on the enterprise. The chart below shows how survey respondents are access the outcomes from their use of business apps.
For example, an enterprise-grade collaboration app—i.e., the same collaboration platform spanning sales, marketing, service, and finance—can deliver a personalized and consistent customer experience. Integrating real-time, effective collaboration throughout the customer lifecycle allows an organization to put all the information a customer wants in one place—and makes it accessible instantly. The result is a seamless experience that eliminates frustrating sales and customer support calls wherein the agent must spend time searching for information, waiting for systems to respond, or toggling between a complex set of screens. For example, a sales agent not only has access to all product information within the app, but also can pull in finance on a voice call to see if the customer’s account is current and whether they qualify for an upgrade. From the agent’s perspective, this all happens within one app, and the customer has a seamless and painless experience as well.
Using these apps to give people the information they want is also transitioning to predicting what information they will want. The HBR survey cites an example of one company that sees predictive analytics as an important tool for eliminating customer churn. “By analyzing data to spot key behaviors of a customer about to leave, it can alert us and give recommendations about how to avert it,” says the company’s IT leader. “Getting smarter about predicting future behaviors is going to be key.”
Another key to enterprise-wide benefits of collaboration is choosing apps that share a common platform. This allows businesses to connect to their existing technology solutions—CRM, ERP, and others—while eliminating silos that stand in the way of holistic workflows that stretch across the enterprise. For example, the sales-order processing department at a high-end bicycle manufacturer can pull in inventory information from the ERP—or have real-time collaboration with warehouse staff—to determine an accurate lead time for a large order.
Download this ebook to learn how the RingCentral Glip cloud communications app can transform your sales and customer service by putting instant access to the organization’s entire knowledge base at their fingertips.
Originally published May 22, 2017, updated Jan 30, 2023