Communications Blog • 8 MIN READ

The Role of UC Instrumentation in Digital Transformations and the 'Moment of Truth'

Darc Rasmussen

Written by Darc Rasmussen

If you're contacting a business for any reason at all, the success criteria for that moment of truth can be extensive:

  • Attitude of staff. 
  • Look and feel of retail environment. 
  • Information on website. 
  • Convenience of opening hours. 
  • Technology performance. 
  • Ease of communication. 
  • Access of information to staff. 
  • Resolution time. 

A good combination or bad combination of any or a few can trigger whether your business passed or failed its moment of truth and the above are only a sample. Even one mishap can bring the whole house of cards tumbling down. 

In the business world companies spend many hours and millions of dollars putting all the pieces in place but if they're not singing together it's wasted resource. 

Why all the fuss? Because a ‘Moment of Truth' is a defining moment between business and a current or potential customer. If a customer is disappointed, frustrated or ignored in a moment truth it can result in the loss of a sale, loss of a loyal customer and even sometimes flip an advocate to a detractor.

Many of the contributing success factors for a ‘Moment of Truth' are related to technology; more specifically to unified communications and CRM technologies. And two topics that are major influencers in the moment of truth is the long surviving, but still relevant, customer experience and 2017's golden boy, digital transformation. Here's how the pieces of the puzzle fit together. 

 

The Rise of Digital Transformation

Business leaders are increasingly focused on expanding their organizations' digital footprints.Why the growing attention? Because these leaders know strong digital capabilities will help their companies better engage with customers, be more competitive, and radically improve performance. 

 

How UC Affects Digital Transformation

A fundamental element of any digital transformation is unified communications (UC) technology. In fact, a recent study by Nemertes Research found the most successful companies are increasing their spending on UC solutions more than any other area within IT. 

 

Customer Experience is at the Core of Digital Transformation

Companies are investing in UC because customer experience is at the heart of UC, and UC is at the heart of digital transformation. If a business wants to have positive moments of truth, the customer experience needs to be right, for the Customer Experience (CX) to be good the UC must perform and digital transformation can only take place if all of these are locked in and running smoothly.  

 

CRM and UC are Closely Connected 

But where does CRM come into it? Actually, the two strategies and underlying technology—CRM and UC—increasingly work hand in hand. According to Gartner it's why CRM is now a $50 billion market, and why UC tops $65 billion annually.  
 
The first generation of CRM was all about using structured and unstructured data to get to know customer habits, likes, and dislikes. With that task well in hand, the focus has shifted. As Gartner reported in its 2016 CRM Vendor Guide:  
“CRM leaders no longer focus on the CRM application itself, but on how it transforms interactions with customers, partners and other parties to increase revenue or increase customer satisfaction.” 

It is now a matter of using those customer insights to drive value at the moment of truth – the moment when the organization is interacting with the customer. And at that moment of truth – during that interaction -- the entire investment in CRM either delivers or fails.

UC Channels used throughout Customer Relationships  

So how does that relate to UC? Well, as I just noted, the new generation of CRM is focused on the moment of truth in customer relationships. That moment can happen when you're interacting with customers on the Web, on social channels, in video conferences, even in the store. And these are all fundamental UC channels.  

What does a Typical 2017 ‘Moment of Truth' look like? 

Here's a good example, among many. Financial institutions today want to offer personal banking to every customer. So how can they do that? One, by establishing video-conferencing facilities in every branch so that customers can personally connect with financial professionals outside the branch in real time. Two, by delivering that same personalized experience to the home. Three, by delivering it to mobile devices, too. Unfortunately many organizations today are struggling with the basics, customers calling into their Contact Centres, connecting via their website or other simple channels let alone taking on the really competitive and differentiating channels like real time video.

Every one of these interactions happens via a UC channel, recorded in the CRM, and every one of those channels can only work successfully if the underlying systems and infrastructure are operating as they should. This is easier said than done. In every UC interaction, entire ecosystems of technologies need to work together to deliver the experience. UC systems now sit on top of these very complex digital ecosystem— ecosystems where problems can come from a thousand possible directions and are virtually impossible to anticipate, detect, or fix manually. 
 
Your business spends a lot of money on CRM and UC systems, all to maximize those moments of truth with your internal or external customers. Those moments are the high-touch; high-value interactions you will have with your customers. But they can go horribly wrong. 

The Moment of Truth is Fragile 

What if the video system at your bank is not working properly? The audio is cutting out or the video is lagging? What if your simple channels like your Contact Center or website are intermittently destroying your customer experience? The customer, who's looking to purchase, say, a new retirement savings plan, is getting more and more frustrated. This is that moment of truth we've been talking about, the high-value interaction. And now, as it happens, your tech is not up to the task—and all the money you've invested to get to this point is… wasted. Not to mention the damage to credibility and brand; if you struggle to get the audio working on call why would they trust you with their retirement savings? 

 

The Difficulty in making Digital Transformation a Reality 

This is partly why the outlook for digital transformation is bleak. Gartner forecasts that, while 70% of companies will have digital transformation initiatives underway by 2020, only 30% of them will be successful.  
 
Seeking more insight to this digital transformation breakdown, IR recently surveyed 511 senior IT decision makers in the U.S. What we found surprised us. One-third of respondents think their existing infrastructure is not ready to support the high traffic resulting from the new productivity and collaboration tools that will drive their digital transformation. 

 

UC Instrumentation can save your Moment of Truth 

This is not the way it has to be, at least where UC systems are concerned. You can guarantee the reliability of your UC system by implementing an instrumentation solution on top of it. This will give you the power to pursue your digital transformation knowing that all your customer interactions, at least, are successful. 
 
With an instrumentation solution, if something goes awry during a video conference, during a Web chat or mobile interaction, solutions can operate in real-time to look across your entire digital ecosystem and find the issue— pinpoint the needle in a field of haystacks—then understand what the root cause is and fix the problem in real time before any damage is done. 
 

 

Ignore UC Instrumentation in Digital Transformation at your Peril 

It's a simple solution that is surprisingly overlooked. As I write, organizations are investing billions on their digital transformation initiatives but they're not ensuring the basics needed for delivery are in place. They are not implementing the instrumentation, or monitoring and management tools essential to the success of their transformation initiatives. 
 
It's easy to dismiss performance-management tools as another pesky infrastructure upgrade cost. Easy but foolish. Gartner notes that UC-specific monitoring and management tools are a fundamental prerequisite to the success any UC project—and thus any digital transformation. 
 
So ask yourself this. Is UC instrumentation just an infrastructure play? Or is it a key enabler of your entire digital footprint? Here's a hint: It's the latter. It's essential protection and enablement for every moment of truth in your business. It's a simple way to ensure your digital transformation investment pays the dividends you expect. 
 
Source : The Gartner CRM Vendor Guide, 2016 
Source : Gartner : Forecast: Unified Communications, Worldwide, 2013-2020, 2Q16 Update & The Gartner CRM Vendor Guide, 2016 

Topics: Communications Customer experience

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