Profitable Digital Transformation relies on customer experience: Avaya/IDC Research

Avaya has expressed a strong and continued commitment to UK and Irish customers, communicating a focus on simplifying technology, investment in employees and a commitment to an ecosystem that complements Avaya solutions that deliver success.

Speaking at Experience Avaya Manchester, the event for the future of the communications experience, Ioan MacRae, Managing Director UK, and Nidal Abou-Ltaif, President, Avaya International, outlined plans for the future. Joined by the senior UK Avaya executive team and more than 500 customers, partners and suppliers, the pair highlighted how emerging technology trends are driving digital transformation initiatives in the UK.

Ioan MacRae, Managing Director UK, Avaya, commented: "Avaya UK has been going from strength to strength. We've experienced six quarters of sequential growth, 62% of global cloud deployments have been implemented here in the UK and our IP Office Powered By solution has grown 40-50% quarter on quarter. We're taking the opportunity today to show our customers the unique alliances we have with our partners and the best-in-class world-leading technology we can provide."

Abou-Ltaif expressed the importance of driving projects and tailoring innovation and solutions to customer needs. He emphasised Avaya's commitment to enabling customers' digital transformations of business communications quickly, securely and by deploying disruptive technologies such as AI and blockchain. He also outlined a further expansion of the partner ecosystem and open technology platform, and how a cultural transformation throughout all parts of the business will be core to Avaya's ongoing momentum.

Research was also unveiled, in conjunction with IDC, that highlighted the need for organizations to focus their business communications transformation efforts on employee productivity and efficiency, to drive better customer experiences. Organisations that are doing this reported the highest growth from a revenue perspective.

The report found that a digital transformation strategy that focuses support on employees provides a solid foundation for organisations to turn their attention to CX. Employee productivity is often a prerequisite for CX and it follows that a happy, informed employee equals a better customer experience. If a business can attract more customers, keep them and offer them a better service, this in turn establishes a more loyal base from which organisations earn a lifetime of value.

Younger consumers (ages 18 to 34) have a lower tolerance for time to resolution when contacting an organisation, the study found. As a result, they require faster access to a specialist, rather than a general customer service representative. Digital transformation initiatives that prioritize employee and customer experience, can enable a new breed of contact centre agent who has visibility across multiple different business processes, is highly connected and can support customers across both their human and digital interactions.

Natalie Keightley, Solutions Marketing Director, Avaya, commented: "By empowering employees to communicate better with one another, contact centre agents can become far more effective in their role. For example, an incredibly complex return order may just be frustrating to try and complete through self-service alone. Human interactions need to be involved at some point, and customers could be better supported by agents working in the contact centre, the back office or even in the warehouse itself. It doesn't matter which, just that the right agents can quickly and easily interact with the customer at the right time."

Although many organisations focus on transforming the front office functions when it comes to CX, in many cases CX is only as good as the back office and the internal processes and functions supporting it. But many organisations are still struggling to get these basic back office processes right; 42% of consumer issues or transactions are still not resolved on first contact.

Also, while 'timely delivery' is considered the third most important factor in the buying process for consumers, less than a third of organisations (28%) think they're doing a good job of integrating back office functions with the front office. Purchases may be made at the click of a button, but this does not create an overall positive CX if the delivery takes days or weeks to process.

Organisations need to transform not only how they interact with customers, but also how they reorganise internally. Ninety-one percent of organisations believe embedding communications into processes and apps is important or extremely important, and 83% believe it will help boost employee productivity and collaboration. Clearly, connecting internal and external processes can help eliminate service silos that seem to exist everywhere in an organisation.

Keightley concluded: "What is evident from this research is that a positive CX is really dependent on first having a positive employee experience. And the key to addressing that revolves around embedding communications into the organisation, and having it provide a solid core for organisations to extend CX across their business processes.

The issue we're seeing is that digital transformation projects are mostly seen as just IT transformation projects. Yet when it comes to the digital transformation of business communications, IT and the lines-of-business need to share the ownership of the initiatives to ensure that the value of the transformation is full realized from employee experience all the way out to the customer experience."

Additional Findings:

  • 83% believe embedding communications into processes and apps will help boost employee productivity and collaboration
  • 80% believe it will support better control on the business
  • 72% believe it will support a higher quality customer experience
  • 87% want an app to link multiple communications channels together

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