Connecting with customers in a digital world

29th Nov 2016

Global connectivity means business success is increasingly defined by an organisation’s ability to optimise information gained through data analytics at the interface between itself and the customer. But to maximise the positive impacts of these new technologies, businesses will need to change not just workplace technology but also the entire workplace culture.

That’s the view of Jacqueline de Rojas, Area Vice President Northern Europe for Citrix, the global leader in mobile workspace solutions. de Rojas, who is also a non-exec director at Home Retail Group and president of techUK, is interested in how the tectonic shifts in technologies can be channelled to power new levels of customer service.

In her role at Citrix, she has been involved in the development of mobile solutions that have helped organisations worldwide to embrace digital transformation and empower their people to work securely and productively from anywhere at any time.

Although de Rojas expects humans to remain central to customer service in an increasingly digital world, she’s predicting a self-service revolution. “On our help desk at Citrix, 70% of our questions are to do with password reset and we have introduced functions to do self-service password reset,” she says. “I know it sounds like a small thing but it’s a massive help desk issue.”

These relatively small shifts of culture, she believes, can fundamentally change levels of customer service satisfaction: “I think two-millimetre shifts can dramatically influence the direction of travel.”

Smarter data

New, smart technologies are already changing customer service provision rapidly. “I think we will rely more on data because for sure we will have multiple touchpoints; we are already seeing it, frankly,” forecasts de Rojas. “You never get the same person when you ring a call centre – so the data behind the interaction and the way in which we have our CRM system set up is going to be much more important.”

As technology advances, the skills required from employees changes with it. “We probably need to be training talent for jobs that don’t yet exist,” suggests de Rojas. “We’ve got to ask ourselves disruptive questions. Think of driverless cars – is it going to be illegal to drive your own car within 20 years?

But how do such scenarios play into customer service? “There will be masses of complexity and it’s when it goes wrong that the customer service needs to kick in; that’s where we will still need quite a lot of human intervention in the customer service area,” she predicts. “Under pressure, I don’t necessarily think that machine or digital-based services can sort it out.”

This article is taken from a longer feature in issue 21 of The Institute’s Customer Focus magazine.

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