Are You a Customer Service Hero…or Zero?

When it comes to being customer-centric, are you plugged in to customer needs or tuned out? Your network could be to blame.

What tools does your company use to be more “customer-centric?” No doubt, most enterprises would mention their CRM system, their call center, sales force automation…

True, these tools are important, but just as the world’s top chef can’t be successful without flour and salt, these sophisticated apps provide limited value without the right foundation – a converged voice and data network.

So often overlooked when it comes to customer experience, your network is the keystone to a truly customer-centric organization. Converged networks integrate disparate systems, allow data to be collected no matter where it originates, enable that data to be analyzed, and provide new levels of flexibility for a swift response to customer need.

And yet, IT and business execs feel they’re falling short when it comes to changing business practices to meet customer needs.

In a recent survey Qwest did with IDG Research, we uncovered some interesting information about businesses’ effective use of technology. For example:

  • Less than one-third of IT execs believe that their companies are “highly effective” at adapting to changing customer needs.
  • While 68 percent of IT executives and 64 percent of business leaders saw technology as very important in understanding customer priorities, more than two-thirds admitted their companies did a less-than-stellar job of using technology to meet customer demands.
  • Fewer than 40 percent of companies use quantitative metrics to understand customer behavior.

Think about the expanding number of ways customers interact with your company. Customers speak to sales reps, contact customer support, visit your website, interact on social media platforms and hear from current and former customers on social forums. If data is not being compiled from all of these touch points, businesses cannot get a complete view of the customer and thus cannot adequately adapt to customer needs.

With a robust network and the right solutions in place, your enterprise can respond swiftly to changing needs, allocate resources from staffing to inventory on a near-real time basis, and use sophisticated algorithms to understand and predict customer behavior. Without these resources, businesses can only watch their better-equipped competitors turn customer-centric processes into market share.

Have you made changes to your network infrastructure that enable you to better meet your customer needs?

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