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Omnichannel strategy is reaching SMEs

CX for all? Refining and improving digital customer experience is not
only for large organisations, writes KELVIN BROWN of Telviva

Refining and improving customer experience (CX) is a digital

transformation priority for businesses as they seek to maintain and

improve their competitive advantage. Generally, when speaking about

CX, businesses and their leaders are referring to a customer’s journey

with that business and this journey is most often defined within

contact centres and their available tools.

However, a great CX should not be the exclusive privilege of a contact

centre. Think about it, if CX is defined as a customer’s journey,

through various tools within a contact centre, what about businesses

that don’t have a contact centre? Even small businesses without a

contact centre have customer-facing teams and in these contexts, CX is

equally crucial. The same tools – that are found in contact centres –

should be available to every user in an organisation, no matter the

size or nature of the business.

Sound fanciful? It’s not, and it’s available, but before we get there,

let’s consider a business’s typical digital journey. Smaller

businesses are fairly evolved when it comes to digital transformation

because the cloud has levelled the playing field and opened up a world

of best-of-breed applications.

Small businesses can, and do, make use of CRM systems, telephony and

unified communications apps, email and accounting systems, among much

more. The subscription model has opened this world of services for

small businesses that have embraced the cloud.

Whereas there may have been a degree of trepidation before, the degree

to which smaller businesses have embraced the cloud is not surprising

because of how easy it is to do. Not too long ago, investing in the

types of technologies available through cloud-based apps would have

been out of reach and out of budget.

Ultimately, because of how easy cloud computing is, smaller

enterprises tend to evolve quickly because they are adaptable and

embrace new technologies that will make their businesses more

efficient. Their digital journey consists of important milestones,

such as moving to a cloud-based CRM or accounting service. Each

milestone investment drives improved efficiency in an area of the


How a business interacts and engages with its customers is crucial to

its success and overall performance. This means that the pursuit of

improving CX is an important milestone in a small business’s digital


And so, when a business owner considers how to drive efficiencies

through CX, he or she will be shown several tools and solutions to

roll out in the business to get customers to talk to

his or her team.

Let’s look at a typical cloud PBX solution. This enables customers to

call in and be managed by staff. However, this is 2022 and most

businesses have embraced some form of hybrid working. What if another

black swan event occurs? Unrest? It’s not easy – in fact almost

impossible – for agents to unplug their desk phones, pack them in

their bags and take them home and work from there.

When the business owner thinks about this, he or she may then decide

to subscribe to a unified communication application and use Microsoft

Teams, for example. In this scenario, the business owner’s staff can

use a popular UC application by simply plugging in a headset. Problem

solved – or is it? This type of application may work well with

internal teams, but the rigidity and need to schedule meetings are

restrictive and not fluid enough to manage customer-facing

interactions, especially something like a two-minute call.

Needing this type of fluidity, the business owner may then consider

over-the-top services such as WhatsApp or Telegram. After all, they

are free and they work. However the caveat is that the business

owner’s staff must share their numbers and information, and

this is a risk to the business should they leave. Who would want a

sales executive to leave with a customer or hot lead?

There are also other tools such as live web chat. Here, the business

staff can have live text chats with customers who are browsing the

website in real-time. If the idea of digital transformation is to

drive efficiency and simplicity, it doesn’t quite resonate with

needing to create another login, for another service, for selected

staff to sign into and manage. What happens when people are on leave?

The business owner would typically look at all these obstacles when

considering CX and land on the need for an Omni channel solution for a

contact centre environment. Omni channel is the best in customer

service, allowing customers to communicate with a call centre agent

via telephone, web chat or WhatsApp, among other channels. It queues

calls and chats and brings it all together into a single interface

for the agent. Beyond this, it also provides reporting and analytics

on all interactions.

Omni channel licences are expensive from the perspective of smaller

businesses because they are designed for the contact-centre type

operations. However, the small business owner will rightly ask: “Why

should Omni channel be exclusive to contact centres when my back

office and customer-facing teams such as sales also need the same


The democratisation of the Omni channel

This is exactly why we developed a multi-channel, inbound, real-time

communication platform for contact centres or customer-facing teams

such as sales, finance and support. The question needed to be answered

because cutting-edge CX should not be the preserve of large contact

centres. Essentially, we have boosted our existing UC&C platform,

which offers standard features such as voice, chat, video and

collaboration, mobility and presence, to include a new feature called

Telviva Engage.

Engage takes some of the more popular features of an Omni channel, and

extends them to the standard business user in a single browser-based

interface. Driven by the pursuit of impeccable CX, a customer can chat

via text to a department of their choice in real-time – with the

unique ability to switch to voice at will for a faster resolution.

The point is that CX, just like other crucial business

characteristics, is an important milestone in a business’s digital

transformation. Until recently, a true omnichannel solution to

bolster CX was the privilege of a contact centre. True to form, the

power of digital innovation is its ability to democratise value, and

this is set to play into the hands of smaller and agile businesses.

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