Integrations are critical to a strong customer experience because they help your software connect and become a unified service platform that shows a full customer journey. This can provide insight that helps you continuously improve.
What Are Software Integrations?
Silos are the enemy of a good customer experience. When each team member works in isolation, they don’t fully understand the customer’s journey. Then, when that customer has an issue, they face a frustrating, time-consuming process of being bounced around from person to person as their problem goes unresolved.
The customer isn’t the only one that suffers. The business suffers from these inefficiencies as well. You have to allocate more resources and personnel because every ticket takes multiple customer touchpoints to resolve. Meanwhile, because one team member doesn’t know what another is doing, you’ll see duplication of both work and information. Two members of the same team could be following an entirely different process for completing the same task.
Integration is a method of tying your resources together to eliminate these silos. A team member can see all the information in the customer journey even if they weren’t initially involved in those specific touch points. Many enterprises attempt to tackle this through massive ERPs. These complex, expensive bespoke systems often create more problems than they resolve. Enterprises have to dedicate more time and resources to managing that system and will have to keep experts on staff to do it.
A more efficient strategy is to use a combination of integrated tools that speak to each other but are unified inside a single platform.
Why is Integration Important?
Through integration, we see the realization of the co-creation of value mentioned in the first section on the customer experience. The integration of tools allows team members to see the whole customer journey, improving employee experiences by making their job easier. That streamlined process filters into the customer experience as team members resolve issues faster, with more information and with fewer contacts. As a result, businesses see higher client renewals, driving value for owners and stakeholders.
For example, a customer calls in an outage. Their information from the CRM system is used to populate a service ticket in the Service Management system. This also triggers a workflow task for the account manager to connect with them, while the service agent has the full visibility of the customer, previous interactions, on-going issues, contracted SLAs and wider problems affecting all customers. This allows the customer service agent to immediately see the wider impact for both the customer and the business and use analysis to be proactive in dealing with the issue. Simultaneously, an automated email is triggered, letting the client know that a case has been created, their case number and when to expect contact, this could also include a link to a self service portal that the customer can use to see the progress of their ticket in real time and also provide information about known issues, notifications and self help guides.
Many processes are triggered in this example, but they all flow together seamlessly to create, record, and respond in only moments with as much relevant information and support back to the customer as possible. Everyone involved, from the engineer working on the problem to the customer service representative taking the call, can see the whole history of the event, so they don’t have to repeat the same information. Each step is carried out seamlessly into the next, right through to resolution. Integrating various apps creates a unified service management approach that can help drive the experience.
Integration is necessary for that process to be possible. When integration is not used, every app is a separate step where the same information has to be duplicated and communicated again and again. That leads to resource waste, incident response delays, and poor customer experience.
How Can Businesses Integrate New CX Solutions?
Creating a unified service management platform involves selecting the right apps, services, and tools. First, you must build connections to allow data flow without additional coding or development. Open APIs, WebHooks, and WebMethods can be used to build generic integrations when no out-of-the-box options are available.
With the unified platform, a 360-degree view of the customer is available. Service can be optimized from there and agents can be proactive and view the bigger picture impact not only for the customer but also for the business in not resolving this issue. For example, consider the scenario posed in the prior section:
With a 360-degree view, we see that customer journey — and we also see 40 other identical ones play out at the same time. That tells us there was a systemwide outage that affected multiple customers. It also tells us there’s room for improvement in the response, allows us to be proactive to all customers and see the wider impact to the business of the outage.
Perhaps there is a way to integrate a duplicate error notification that will kick out an auto-response about the outage as soon as an issue is detected or publication of known issues within a customer self service portal? That could eliminate a large number of those service calls before they even happen.
This type of insight is only available through a unified platform. So what do you look for as you’re building the foundation of your ecosystem?
- Configurability: Configurability means that your platform can be adjusted for your specific business purposes. This is different from customizability, which you generally want to avoid. A customized system is challenging to integrate because it needs to be built with standardization in mind. A configurable system, on the other hand, is standardized and ready to connect with other similar tools.
- Scalability: Scalability is critical in any modern enterprise ecosystem. You can see why in the outage example we use. Any customer service team will deal with periods of exceptionally high volume. Systems must be built with those in mind. At the same time, you don’t want to overuse resources during periods of low volume. Efficient tools can build scalability to address these ebbs and flows.
Scalability is also about scaling a company. As your company grows, how do you ensure that your Service Management Platform also grows? Over time the service management maturity will develop, will your service management platform keep up?
- Automation ready: Many tasks in customer service are predictable and repeatable. For example, consider the assignment of a ticket to a team member. If the issue requires action, you know it must be assigned to someone familiar with the problem. No reason it needs to be a manual task. The automation-ready system will allow you to create triggers that will kick out an assignment based on the criteria of an individual call. This is just one example of how an automation-ready system can improve workflow.
These three components help build flow inside an integrated system. They build on existing resources to create improvements that resonate ecosystem-wide.
The customer experience is an organizational value driver. Unfortunately, a lot of organizations’ perception of the experience does not align with customer expectations. To improve, organizations should incorporate ITIL best practices into their customer service management processes, adopt an ITIL-based CSM platform, and implement solutions designed with the customer experience in mind. Through a well-designed unified platform, organizations empower their team, streamline operations, and elevate the customer experience.
How Can Vivantio Help Innovate the Customer Experience?
Vivantio drives genuine customer experience improvements through a unified service management platform and expert guidance. With us, you can:
Turn Customers Into Advocates
- Optimize and route issues: Use predictive analytics tools to get issues to the right agents for immediate resolution, saving customers time and frustration.
- Leverage best practice frameworks: Our section on ITIL was probably a little intimidating, considering all the best practices you could follow. However, by embedding ITIL principles into our platform and processes, we help you adopt them with ease.
- Map the customer journey; When you understand the customer journey, you can also find roadblocks and barriers where it can be improved. Proactively resolving issues and enhancing engagement leads to long-term loyalty.
Do More with Less
- Configure the right solutions: Our easy configurability allows you to create processes, workflows, and solutions specifically to meet your enterprise needs and the needs of your clients.
- Manage manual processes: Workflow automation tools help you reduce bottlenecks, increase productivity and drive value. Easy-to-implement automation works for all your repeatable processes like ticket routing, workforce load balancing, and escalations.
- Improve morale: With automation in place and the right tools at their disposal, your team is free from triage and has the information they need to take action. They can focus on what they do best; helping customers!
|Get a 360-Degree View of Your Customer and Operations
- Work with your existing tools: You should not have to reinvent your entire ecosystem to improve it. With our integrations, you can continue to work with the tools you rely on like Microsoft Teams, Slack, Azure, and more.
- Unify your ecosystem: We support a wide range of integrations through FLEXbridge. With it, you can switch on integrations between Vivantio and any other platform to build the 360-degree customer view that helps you improve your experience.
- Centralize customer touchpoints: With one central system, you can offer personalized, highly detailed experiences while minimizing your time to resolve problems. Customer Service Teams have the information they need right at their fingertips.
|Evolve Customer Service into a Growth Engine
- Rethink customer service: With Vivantio, you can rethink customer service teams entirely. Our solutions and tools turn your team from a cost you need to control to a profit center, by encouraging customer retention and upsells through an improved experience
- Support business outcomes: Improved, more transparent customer journeys feed into KPIs, allowing you to reach big-picture goals by mapping your enterprise.
- Maximize the co-creation of value: Your clients also benefit from your improved experience, as you provide the resources and support they need to minimize disruption and maximize their own business value.
Vivantio has helped a wide range of clients optimize their customer service experience to drive genuine business value. To learn more about how to optimize your customer service, build on ITIL best practices, and streamline your customer service ticketing, contact our team today or register for a free demo.