The importance of Cloud Computing is real. Cloud Computing has become a central, precious, and indispensable element of our current digital ecosystem.
According to a 2018 study by Gartner, cloud users will double by 2021, and the market built around this technology will grow from $153 billion in 2017 to an estimated $302 billion in 2021. In addition, already today, the skills related to Cloud Computing are the most requested by companies in any type of industry, according to research by LinkedIn.
We are talking, after all, about a technology that is as old as the web itself, which has had an impressive boost in recent years. The reasons for this success are significant.
Relying on a service provider in the cloud, in on-demand mode, first of all, reduces costs, from the purchase of local servers (with related costs for management and maintenance) to those related to software. Then there are the enormous advantages of flexibility and scalability, which Cloud Computing systems can guarantee for any type of company. And we can’t forget the fundamental theme of security and reliability (read about the advantages of cloud computing in this post).
In this post, we’d like to address a more specific side, which involves almost all types of business (both B2C and B2B) and which is assuming an increasingly importance in business plans: we are talking about Customer Service and Customer Communication departments. We will see how the importance of Cloud Computing impacts these departments, how their structures change, and how it significantly increases their effectiveness. First of all, it is important to understand how (and why) Customer Service processes are so important. This is, first of all, a consequence of the changing “role” of the customer.
The customer at the center – The importance of customer service
We have just anticipated this: thanks to digital transformation, the customer is no longer a satellite that orbits a company and it is no longer just the final objective of the company’s processes. Today, the customer is at the real center of business.
As an example of a common experience: a telephone company customer can change operators directly online and in just a few clicks. The same is possible when it comes to electricity, gas, or internet providers, and, with some differences, also for the field of insurance or banking. Such examples touch nearly everyone.
However, the question we’re interested in asking ourselves is: what pushes customers to change providers or, on the contrary, to remain loyal to a company? The answer, almost always, is this: the quality of the dialog with the company; in other words, the effectiveness of Customer Care and Customer Communication.
There is a lot of data to support this. In the utility sector, for example, we can see that as many as 89% of the users turn to a competitor if they experience problems and obstacles in the Customer Experience (according to the Oracle Customer Experience Impact Report). In addition, 86% are willing to pay more in return for a better service experience and dialog with the company. Sixty-five percent of the sample analyzed said that a positive experience with a brand is much more important and influential than any type of advertising campaign (source).
Let’s move into banking: according to McKinsey, improving the Customer Experience increases the likelihood of customers renewing their products (or buying more) by 30 to 50% (source).
According to a 2017 Gartner survey, as many as 81% of marketers, from all sectors, expect the Customer Experience to be the main frontier for competition in the next three years. Additionally, an analysis by Bain & Company found that, for a company, winning a new customer costs 6 to 7 times more than retaining one, through a satisfactory Customer Experience.
That’s why improving dialog with your customers is at the top of the list of goals for almost all companies. What you are aiming for is a tailor-made dialog, one that is as personalized as possible. In this sense, exploiting the power of Cloud Computing can be the winning solution.
Now, let’s see how.
Cloud-based CRMs and CCMs
Let’s start by dissolving the acronyms: CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management. CCM is a more specific subset: it identifies Customer Communication Management.
When we talk about cloud-based solutions for CRM (or CCM) we are talking first of all about software hosted in the cloud. Translated: it is no longer necessary to buy and manage software, which is often very expensive, not always up to date and user-friendly, and which, moreover, absorbs a lot of effort from IT, for the proper installation, management, and calibration of the various tools so that are necessary for meeting the needs and objectives of a company.
With the cloud, this complication disappears: the software is exploited on-demand, is constantly updated, and is easily customizable.
In addition, they are designed in a perfect omnichannel perspective (think about how smartphones and tablets have now become working tools) and allow you to share information in real-time and from multiple devices, simultaneously.
Then, there is the fundamental aspect of data collection.
In fact, there can be no effective and fluid dialog with customers (or users) if you don’t know anything about them.
This is no secret, and today, it is back in the spotlight with the most advanced tools for collecting and analyzing so-called big data (or, even more, smart data). Collecting significant information on a company’s audience allows it to be segmented and divided into coherent clusters (by personal, social, and behavioral characteristics).
Consequently, the dialog between the company and these specific targets is becoming increasingly effective, targeted, and tailor-made.
In fact, today we can go as far as personalization. And this is what is made possible by the services of specialized companies such as Doxee (we will see a specific case later in this post).
In general, we want to reiterate this concept: Cloud Computing is essential and indispensable for collecting important data from the most diverse sources, and for processing them with a satisfactory level of depth. This is because of its enormous computing power, which is combined with the flexibility of its structures and rapid scalability (the importance of the combination of Cloud Computing and Big Data collection is the focus of this post).
And now, as mentioned above, we close with a concrete case, in which the power of Cloud Computing has been combined with personalization to boost the quality of Customer Service and Customer Communication.
Enel and Doxee – Cloud Computing, Big Data, and Personalization to Improve CCM
The collaboration between Doxee and Enel started in 2013, on the electronic invoicing front.
Enel recently migrated about 6,000 servers into a cloud-based system. It was from here—from this change in pace, technology, and structures—that the transformation began, involving many foreign markets reached by the Italian multinational company.
In particular, in 2017, Enel chose Doxee to provide document composition and archiving services in Romania (naturally through cloud-based solutions).
Then there are the networks in Latin America, managed through its subsidiary, Endesa. Here, too, Enel chose Doxee as its partner for various CCM services: from the custom composition of the invoice layout, to the pervasive integration between front-office and back-office tools.
Then there is the great innovation of the interactive Pweb bill, a bill that is ”tailored” to the user and generated in a personalized way. In this way, one of the most traditionally slippery touchpoints in the world of utilities is transformed into an opportunity for dialog between company and user, an area where improvements in engagement and loyalty are very important.
Here, we see how Cloud Computing, Big Data analysis, and personalization can be combined to generate a significant increase in the effectiveness of CRM and CCM operations, resulting in improved customer retention, increased revenue, and improved reputation.