Customers’ expectations are on the rise when it comes to service and support: they want easy, omnichannel options; and quick, seamless resolutions to problems when they arise. Brands are trying to keep up, realizing they need to change their approaches and deliver differentiated customer experiences (CX).
But evolving to meet modern-day CX demands is a challenging undertaking, especially when companies use numerous solutions that have been developed with different strategies and goals in mind. Add into the mix multiple service providers with different agendas, and limited integration capabilities, and it can become a daunting task. The old ways of doing business don’t work in this new environment. It’s time to look at CX in a new way, with customer experience as a service (CXaaS). Everest Group recently released a report with TTEC that showcases how CXaaS can take CX and sales to the next level.
CX approaches need to evolve
Contact center operating models, processes, technologies, and approaches to people management have changed a lot from their early days, but most approaches still treat each element as its own individual silo.
Part of the problem is traditional approaches – which generally are developed using a cost-first business case, where enterprises consider support and service to be a cost – have failed to meet the rapidly changing customer expectations that prioritize agility, scalability, and a shorter time to value.
There are few things holding companies back when it comes to raising their CX game:
- There’s no ownership of end-to-end CX innovation. Vendors and service providers are very innovative for their own products and services, but generally don’t focus on improving overall CX. Meanwhile, the company bares the burden of delivering great outcomes, but likely lacks the needed expertise.
- The enterprise is responsible for the risk. There’s no shared ownership of risk or accountability for CX.
- The enterprise has to manage multiple service providers, each of which has its own agenda.
- Legacy solutions have limited scalability. When purchased and operated independently, a fragmented solution makes things more complex.
- There’s an overall lack of alignment, both with operation goals and with long-term strategy.
CXaaS brings it all together
CXaaS is the antidote to the flawed, siloed approach used by too many companies today. CXaaS brings together talent, services, and technology in CX operations and gives control of the operations to a third-party service provider – freeing brands up to focus on what they do best.
In CXaaS, the enterprise and service provider work together, collaboratively, to develop a strategy for ongoing CX transformation.
On the talent side, CXaaS deploys superior talent with multilingual capability, problem-solving skills, and expertise with next-gen technologies. When it comes to services, it offers management and continuous improvement of end-to-end processes and the delivery of superior services. And from a technology standpoint, it leverages best-in-breed infrastructure, digital solutions, and security solutions.
While traditional methods can lead to disjointed results, CXaaS centers on a more strategic relationship between the service provider and the enterprise. Best of all: the responsibility and risk associated with executing the vision lies with the service provider, which manages end-to-end CX.
A CXaaS model allows the enterprise to work collaboratively with a service provider to identify key areas of investment and follows a methodical approach to deploying the best possible solutions. The end-to-end customer experience is designed to seamlessly integrate all the components of service delivery. With the service provider carrying the responsibility for delivering the solution, the business’ resource requirements and cost of developing in-house solutions drop.
Now’s the time to make a change
Adopting a CXaaS model is more important today than ever before, as the concept of CX has extended beyond the contact center and is no longer a cost play but a competitive differentiator. Embracing CXaaS now:
- Creates a win-win partnership: It allows businesses to share the risk with the service provider. A clearly defined transformation roadmap ensures that solutions are future-proofed to deliver superior CX.
- Provides access to best-in-class talent: It introduces best-in-class talent, enabling a differentiated workforce with multilingual support capabilities and other benefits.
- Drives innovation: It gives the service provider more autonomy to control the end-to-end solution, which incentivizes it to drive more innovation to bring about the desired change.
- Enhances customer experience: The service provider’s 360-degree view of customers improves insights on customer requirements; it also enables hyper-personalization and improved cross-/up-sell opportunities.
- Increases flexibility in operations: Leveraging cloud-native applications makes it easier to quickly integrate with existing contact center technologies and scale up or down as needed.
- Maximizes the value of previous investments: CXaaS enables organizations to leverage investments in existing technology and does not require the rip-and-replace approach that is often recommended by technology vendors offering new capabilities.
The benefits of CXaaS are clear. As the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic continues and businesses assess how their operating models have been impacted, there’s an increased need for business continuity. At the same time, customer expectations keep growing – and traditional models just can’t keep pace.
How to get started
Like any new endeavor, moving to a CXaaS model is bound to encounter a couple bumps in the road, but the payoff can be huge.
To find out of CXaaS is the right fit, businesses need to assess their own readiness to embark on a digital CX transformation journey. CXaaS won’t work without a high degree of trust between the enterprise and the service provider; and for the model to be successful, businesses need to do some internal assessments and reflection first.
Company leaders should ask themselves:
- Is our industry going through disruption, and do we want to be the disruptors rather than the disrupted?
- Do we want our contact center operations to reduce customer effort and improve CX?
- Do we want to standardize the disparate CX technological solutions across the organization?
- Do we want to break data silos to unlock exponential value from centralized data and analytics?
- Do we aim to transform our CX talent model and employ a more skilled talent pool?
If the answers to those questions are “yes,” CXaaS can help take customer experience to the next level. Digital transformations are not direct-line journeys; rather, they involve continual rethinking and redirecting to ensure they achieve their true purpose – improving customer experience and addressing customer concerns. It’s time to take a new approach to CX. CXaaS is a powerful tool in making the entire journey more efficient and impactful.