The Cloud — Customer Experience’s Saving Grace?


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Zendesk, the customer service platform, performed so well during its initial public offering that it makes one wonder: is this finally our turning point for the cloud?

While some cloud-provider companies have struggled, the overall cloud-based customer service market is experiencing lots of growth. In a recent Forrester survey, 74 percent of the respondents said that improving cross-channel customer experiences was their top objective. DMG Consulting finds that more than 62 percent of organizations are already using a form of cloud contact center solutions. Furthermore, about half of the companies that have not yet deployed cloud-based solutions will do so in the near future.

This increase in cloud adoption shouldn’t be a surprise – moving customer experience (CX) to the cloud is the fastest, easiest and most cost-effective way to improve customer service and organizational efficiency. So what makes customer experience a key driver in helping the cloud industry succeed?

When it comes down to it, a cloud-based CX solution helps organizations in virtually every industry address the needs of customers. Those customers expect businesses to better anticipate their individual needs and offer a personal touch. Personalization is a key component of creating a compelling customer experience, and capitalizing on customer data is crucial to delivering a tailored, on-demand service across every channel. Organizations need to shift from managing customer touchpoints to managing the personalized customer journey. Without this fundamental shift in how companies manage customer interactions, the consequences of a badly delivered customer experience has the potential to turn promoters into detractors, with social media platforms serving to amplify their bad experience.

With these consequences in mind, a cloud-oriented CX strategy provides the needed flexibility that enables an organization to effectively and efficiently adapt to customer needs. The cloud lets customer care personnel quickly access feature upgrades, accelerate business transformation and ultimately provide the business a competitive edge. Being able to quickly deploy new solutions across the enterprise empowers employees, making it easier to address customer demands and become more customer-centric. With a cloud-centric strategy, this inherent agility enables an organization to truly deliver a more personalized approach to every customer engagement and convert customers into promoters and repeat buyers.

Cloud-based CX strategy also comes with its technology benefits. Legacy platforms often can’t support new channels or capabilities, let alone quickly respond to dynamically changing customer and business needs. Migrating to the cloud improves performance for the business user, ensures system stability and prevents extended maintenance downtime. In the scope of CX, a down system can shatter customer loyalty and ruin a business. Because the cloud is built to be always on, a cloud CX strategy enables companies to meet customer demands 24/7. Moreover, with the cloud there’s no need to invest in expensive hardware and software and their associated upgrade cycles or the internal IT personnel dedicated to maintaining the premise-based equipment.

Customer and business flexibility is key both today and tomorrow. As customers, we can now choose how and when we want to get in touch with an organization and we expect communication to be seamless across all (existing and future) channels including social, mobile and web platforms. According to Forrester, more than one billion individuals own a smartphone today and mobility is gaining importance in customer relationship management (CRM): organizations reported that mobile CRM delivered a 60 percent increase in customer satisfaction, a 30 percent increase in sales, and a 30 percent increase in productivity. A cloud platform allows businesses to quickly adapt to customer preferences to create a seamless and tailored CX as well as continuously gain deeper understanding of what motivates customers.

In addition to all these business benefits, the cloud keeps giving. Because of the rapid ROI seen with a cloud CX deployment, a business can validate future cloud projects and pave the way for additional platform migrations. For example, Red Hat recently deployed a cloud solution from Genesys that can now deliver consistent and personalized customer experiences across all touchpoints and channels. With Genesys Cloud, Red Hat has built its first universal queue from which it plans to manage all voice interactions in a seamless manner across the world. The solution provides flexible real-time routing so that Red Hat agents can login from anywhere to take calls.

Whether an organization decides to get its feet wet gradually or dive head first into the cloud, cloud migration is a strategic move for most any business that values delivery of a great customer experience while also driving measurable benefits that stretch far beyond improving loyalty and profit. Zendesk may prove to be a new cross-industry catalyst for both cloud adoption and cloud-based delivery of customer service. We’ll have to wait and see.

Paul Segre
Paul Segre is the president and chief executive officer at Genesys. Since taking on this position in 2007, he has led the company to consistent yearly double-digit growth, including record revenues of more than $740 million in 2013. Paul joined Genesys in 2002 as chief technology officer with responsibility for product management and engineering. In 2004, he became chief operating officer with responsibility for sales, service, and support. From 2002 to 2011, Paul held a variety of executive management roles at Alcatel-Lucent, including president of the Applications Group, which included Genesys.


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