Avaya is bragging about its Customer Experience Management (CEM) solutions -- and for good reason. A new study shows that companies using its product are more likely to outperform the average firm in using technologies and processes to drive a differentiated customer experience.
What's more, the Aberdeen study found that Avaya customers are seeing substantially greater annual contact center performance gains that increase customer satisfaction and reduce costs than their peers.
Aberdeen identified the top challenge confronting companies' CEM initiatives: serving more "empowered customers" who have access to more technology tools, a variety of channels and are more educated about the products and services they seek to buy. At the same time, the firm said, companies need to rein in rising contact center operational costs. The answer: Companies need to focus on optimizing customer care activities and operations to survive in the "new normal."
"The customer experience is the central driver of every aspect of business," said Mark de la Vega, vice president and general manager of the Contact Center Business Unit at Avaya. "As the world becomes more collaborative with the growth of social channels and mobile platforms, customers expect companies to provide them with more than a simple customer service call."
High Scores Across the Board
Aberdeen's report found that 73 percent of Avaya users direct customers to the channels that are best equipped to address their needs. And 61 percent of Avaya users can handle customer requests across multiple channels to deliver seamless multi-channel care.
Aberdeen also noted that, for companies concerned with regulatory and service level compliance, call recording and performance management processes and technologies support adherence to guidelines and quality assurance. Avaya users are more likely to have these policies and technologies in place compared with industry-average firms: 84 percent of Avaya users achieved a 6.1 percent year-over-year increase in quality compliance, as compared with a 1.3 percent industry average. And 44 percent of Avaya users are more likely to use call recording technology and 40 percent are more likely to enforce call recording polices compared with industry average firms.
"Customer needs are constantly changing," said Omer Minkara, research analyst for Contact Center at Aberdeen Group. "Best-in-Class contact centers address these rapidly evolving needs through deploying analytical tools and processes such as the capabilities provided by Avaya, to streamline their data management activities and ultimately improve CEM results."
What Really Matters to Customers
For Avaya customers, 71 percent of their senior executives have created a culture of trust in contact center data collected through numerous systems and channels, compared with the industry average of 50 percent. Avaya customers are also 63 percent more likely than industry average firms to provide agents with easy access to timely, relevant information through their desktop. Finally, Avaya customers are 12 percent more likely than industry average firms to engage in a practice of scaling activities up and down to meet varying customer demand.
"The corporation's function is simple: acquire and keep customers. The idea that organizations can somehow manage, which implies control, the customer and the relationship he chooses to have with a company or brand is a purely company-centric view," said Barry Dalton, senior vice president for Multi-Channel Strategy at Telerex, a consumer engagement firm that serves Fortune 1000 companies.
"An eye-opening alternative is to take a customer-centric view. In thinking about customer jobs to be done, companies can get away from this notion of 'relationship.' It's important to think about every business process, every function and every touch point, because all could and does impact a company's customers' experience -- even those functions that, on the surface, seem so far removed from the customer."