According to Andrew Smethurst, Gamma’s Channel Sales Director: “There is no doubt that more and more businesses, of all sizes, are putting a greater emphasis on experience a customer has when engaging with them. The world is changing at pace, and there are cultural and generational shifts that are at the heart of how customers are wanting to interact with companies they have a requirement or a desire to deal with.”

And not only that, businesses of all sizes will be identifying areas that impact on CX, out with the traditional contact centre stereotypical structure.  Contrary to the traditional view, businesses are realising that CX impacting activities are embedded throughout their organisations. These are not just confined to customer service departments; they thrive in various nooks and crannies of an organisation, from the IT helpdesk to the HR personnel addressing employee queries, and even the front desk managing client interactions.

Knowing these business areas exist isn’t groundbreaking in terms of their physical presence; rather, it’s the recognition of their CX impact that marks a revolutionary shift. They exist in small businesses, healthcare providers, local vet clinics, and hidden corners of large enterprises and public sector organisations. These business areas are the unsung heroes, quietly driving customer interactions and shaping experiences. They’re also a massive and relatively untapped market, especially in the SME space.

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Andrew continues: “Recognising what you mean to a customer is important too – it’s OK to understand that your interaction with the customer might be quite transactional, a necessity (insurance, banking, MOTs), a fact of life (GPs, Dentist, hairdressers) – here a ‘pleasurable experience’ for the customer is likely to be driven around the time it has taken, the ease of carrying out the function, arriving at a satisfactory outcome as quickly as possible with minimum fuss equals a great experience, and likely repeat business.”

Recognising the CX impact of these business areas and interactions is the first step towards transforming them – and getting a foot into that hidden market. It starts with understanding their crucial role in the CX journey. By acknowledging this, businesses can unlock their true potential, elevating the customer experience from satisfactory to exceptional – with the right vendor helping them along the way. So what can the vendors do to make things better? It all comes down to Contact Centre as a Service (CCaaS).

The integration of CCaaS into these informal centres is key. As we all know, with CCaaS, CX is redefined. These tools empower staff, enabling them to deliver services more efficiently and effectively. This, in turn, leads to increased employee satisfaction, which naturally cascades into enhanced customer interactions. The transformation is profound – moving from a passive approach to customer service to an active, dynamic, and responsive model.

Of course, there are other considerations, growing from what was seen last year – Customer Contact Week Digital’s November 2023 market survey highlighted several key insights into customer experience (CX) improvements facilitated by technology. The adoption of artificial intelligence (AI) has been particularly transformative, leading to a substantial 40% decrease in the time taken to respond to customer enquiries, with 80% of customers more inclined to engage with brands that offer tailored experiences. Additionally, the integration of advanced tools and AI support has boosted employee engagement in contact centres by 25%, proof indeed of the comprehensive benefits of these technological advancements in enhancing both customer satisfaction and operational efficiency.

Andrew points to the importance of this tech: “This is where the technology we are seeing become increasingly available in our industry today is playing a huge part in transforming even small businesses ability to address these issues. Products like Horizon Contact are enabling end-users to engage with their customers in a fashion that removes complexity, increases customer interaction options (voice – call back when free, appointment scheduling; or webchat; or email), introduces efficiencies and leaves the customer with a positive experience.”

So, in 2024, we predict that simply participating in the race for superior CX will no longer be sufficient. Organisations must strive to lead. This means not settling for ‘good enough’ but aiming for ‘remarkable’ in every customer interaction. CX impacting roles and departments, supercharged with CCaaS, will become the driving force in this race, setting new benchmarks for customer satisfaction.

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