7 steps for creating a successful digital customer experience

The way people communicate with each other has evolved, but what about the way that your business communicates with your customers? Here are 7 steps for creating a successful digital customer experience:

1. Take Responsibility

Who is ultimately responsible for customer engagements: the CEO, sales director, marketing director, customer service director? If this isn’t immediately clear within your business, then your journey to a digital customer experience is already off to a bad start. Once you’ve determined who is responsible, they can begin defining the customer experience strategy. What should this strategy include?

Keep in mind that responsibility goes beyond the “owner” of the customer. It extends to anyone 
that will be affected by the customer experience strategy. Therefore, taking responsibility for the customer experience starts with hiring the right people, enabling those people to take ownership of customer experience issues, empowering staff to solve problems without escalations, finding solutions, and fixing problems quickly. Ultimately, the goal is to understand customers, give them the experiences they want, and keep those experiences consistent across all touch points. This will create loyal customers.

2. Understand the stakeholders
Find out as much as possible about the experiences of your agents and other customer service staff. Most importantly, understand your customers’ preferences:
• What is their preferred way of communicating?
• What are their expectations and needs around operating hours?
• How willing are they to self-serve?
• What emerging technologies are starting to become more important to them?

This treasure trove of information can be put to good use ensuring that optimum customer journeys are aligned to workflows. Involve your IT team at an early stage and outline the value and purpose of your technology solution. Plan for CRM system integration and allow the team to evaluate whether any changes to underlying infrastructure are necessary.

Consider the impact on:

• Architecture: Do you have IT staff on-site to manage premise equipment or does a cloud-based deployment make more sense? Are there multiple sites? Will you need redundant, resilient, or highly available contact center servers?
• Contact centre workers: Do agents and supervisors work only on site or do they have the option to work from home or while they’re on the road?
• Integrations: Are there other business systems that must be integrated with the contact center, such as ERP tools? Are there other ordering, fulfilment, and support tools that can be integrated into the contact centre to streamline business processes?
Finally, give the marketing team the opportunity to influence how brand perception can be improved.

3. Automate common inquires with self-service capabilities

With modern digital customer experience tools, self-service is no longer restricted to voice interactions. Analyse frequently asked questions, simple agent transactions (whether through voice, web chat, SMS, etc.), and customer survey responses to decide which processes are the most suitable for automation. Use digital workflow routing capabilities to provide self-service to customers through email auto-acknowledgements, automated web chat responses, and even inbound and outbound SMS inquiries.

Self-service options offer a significant opportunity to improve the customer experience and reduce costs. They have a critical role to play in your digital customer experience. But, take nothing for granted. There are plenty of examples of organisations that fail to empathize sufficiently with customer frustrations around automation. These organizations then establish self-service options that don’t meet customer expectations.

4. Prepare for the full scope of digital channels

Whether it’s social, web chat, email, or SMS, all channels represent some level of importance to your customers. If you aren’t ready to apply the full scope of options, identify which channels are most important to your business based on your target demographic and the nature of your customer relationships, and leverage a modular approach that lets you scale up and out over time, and plug in specific capabilities where applicable.

Mobile apps are the fastest growing digital channel today. Make sure you’re in a position to take advantage of this channel and other trends when the time is right, without having to re-engineer your entire infrastructure.

5. Empower your agents
Deploy state-of-the-art tools that enable employees to work efficiently and flexibly:

-Select the right phone solution for seamless integration with remote agents, CRM, chat/ presence engines, and other business processes
-Define unified communications capabilities to ensure customer queries can be resolved first time by empowering agents to instantly locate, message or conference-in subject matter experts to obtain immediate answers
-Provide special service levels for VIP customers by profiling, identifying, and prioritising them through skills-based or preferred agent routing
-Offer call-back services and self-service options to smooth out peaks and extend availability
-Implement mobile solutions to allow agents and supervisors to work from anywhere at any time
-Use analytics and reporting to enable root cause analysis and improve future processes
-Consider work force management solutions to help predict call volumes and optimize resourcing
-Include call recording to meet regulatory compliance and for training purposes

6. Run a tight ship

Build a modern and reliable customer service environment that integrates traditional ACD with sophisticated voice and digital workflow processes and multiple customer contact points. Ensure business continuity with robust and highly resilient communications solutions designed to provide seamless and uninterrupted service, and no loss of reporting or real-time capabilities during hardware failure or network outages. Most importantly, wherever possible, leverage virtual networking and process options to reduce hardware and operations costs.

7. Apply effective management and reporting metrics
Maintain constant business and operational visibility over the customer experience you provide by leveraging feature-rich, real-time management and reporting tools.

Integrate management capabilities, such as quality monitoring, call recording, outbound dialing, and campaign management.

Ensure you can “join the dots” at the management and agent level by combining the power of multiple management applications. For example, potential spikes in demand can be predicted via global social media monitoring and addressed immediately through agent workforce scheduling.

Similarly, reporting and call recording can provide insights on scheduling, agent metrics, and campaign performance.

Mitel Contact Centre Solutions

For more information about our Mitel Contact Centre solutions click here. To speak to one of our Communications Specialists call us on (0)20 3668 0444 or email info@4sightcomms.com.


What Is Good Customer Service? Here’s what your customers expect

In today’s technology-driven world of smartphones, tablets and WiFi, consumers have become increasingly mobile, relying on digital communications such as email, text messaging, Web chat, and social media in order to interact with your business.

If your business can’t communicate with customers beyond voice, you may be in trouble. Customers have come to expect the convenience of choosing the method of contact that makes the most sense for them at any given time – and providing a consistent, positive experience across all channels has evolved from a unique, “nice to have” capability to a necessity. And if you can’t provide this flexibility, you may be frustrating or even losing customers.

Luckily, transforming your customer experience for the digital age is simpler than you think. All it takes is an understanding of how your customers expect to interact and the right technology powering your connections.

In less than two minutes, see how the customer experience has evolved – from your customers’ perspective:

Mitel Contact Centre Solutions

For more information about our Mitel Contact Centre solutions click here. To speak to one of our Communications Specialists call us on (0)20 3668 0444 or email info@4sightcomms.com.


Make sure your clocks update on your phone system

As you know the clocks are due to go forward an hour on Sunday 25th March. 

Although most modern phone systems will update the time automatically some will not. Click here to access our guidelines to assist with updating your Mitel telephone system.

Due to recent high call volumes it may take longer for an engineer to assist, so please ensure you read the guidelines on our website before requesting support.

Alternatively, if you want a phone system that has the ability to automatically update the time, please call us on +44 (0)20 3668 0444 or email info@4sightcomms.com.

Mitel System Support Services

4Sight provides maintenance and support services for all Mitel products and solutions with 24/7 365 UK coverage. To find out more about our Mitel System Support Services click here.


Telephone Maintenance Termination and Migration Guide

Telephone Maintenance Termination and Migration Guide

If you are considering either terminating your Mitel Telephony Maintenance Contract with your current supplier or simply migrating your contract to 4Sight Communications there are a few things that you need to consider enabling that process to happen smoothly.

  • The first item is that you check your annual support contract termination date.
  • The second and probably the most important item is to check your “Termination Notice Period” this will detailed in your support contract T’s and C’s or your current supplier can advise. Notice periods are typically 30, 45, 60 or 90 days and this means you will need to give notice in writing 30, 45, 60 or 90 days before the end date of the contract.
  • Make sure that the contract you hold is the current and latest version as often contracts are updated or resigned for various reasons.
  • Check that you and your incumbent supplier have a signed copy of the current contract.
  • Check Software Assurance Contracts.

Software Assurance and Re-Occurring Software Support Charges

Most IP Telephony Platforms will be built on a “license” based model, this means that most systems will now attract some kind of re-occurring manufacturer support costs. Mitel use the Software Assurance and PrairieFyre support model and other manufacturers use similar models with different terminology. The fact is that these charges will be in place for all solutions.

Software Assurance contracts are normally renewed on an annual basis but often can be signed for multiple year terms as this often attracts a discounted fee.

As part of contract termination your current supplier needs to advise what term of software assurance is in place, termination dates, and costs and if in fact it has been renewed by them in accordance with the contract.

A common myth is that if you have signed a Software Assurance contract with your current supplier it actual ties you to them, this is not the case. All software assurance models and contracts are taken directly with the system manufacturer through your current supplier, this means that you own that contract directly and can migrate that contract to 4Sight very easily.

To migrate a Software Assurance or PrarieFyre Contract to 4Sight you will simply need to send an e-mail or preferably a company headed letter to your current supplier stating that you wish to migrate the contract away from them. Your current supplier is then bound by their Partner Agreement to inform the manufacturer of this notice. Another option is to send the same letter to 4Sight stating to the manufacturer that you wish to migrate the contract to 4Sight Communications and we will take care of that process in its entirety.

Common Pitfalls

The reason for this advisory document is to help you avoid the pitfalls that often play a part in migrating support contracts. The most common pitfall is not giving the correct notice to your current supplier, in most cases suppliers will not send the support contract renewal invoice until you are past your notice period date, so you will not be alerted to the fact you have moved into a 12 month renewal phase until it’s too late. This normally means that you will be bound to pay a further 12 months costs whether you want to or not.
We advise that if you are considering moving your support contract for whatever reason that you give notice immediately so that is on record, this gives you the flexibility to migrate at any point in the future.

Mitel System Support Services

4Sight provides maintenance and support services for all Mitel products and solutions with 24/7 365 UK coverage. To find out more about our Mitel System Support Services click here.


Telephone System Configuration Support Before Easter

Customer Service Announcement:

Customers who need help with their Mitel telephone system configuration or out of office messages before the Easter break, please contact our dedicated service team before Wednesday 28th of March 2018 to request help.

You can submit your request either by emailing our dedicated service team at support@4sightcomms.com or by visiting our customer support portal. When contacting us, please include as much detail and information about your request as possible.

We wish you all a Happy Easter Weekend!

Mitel System Support Services

4Sight provides maintenance and support services for all Mitel products and solutions with 24/7 365 UK coverage. To find out more about our Mitel System Support Services click here.


Moving from ISDN to SIP: the key steps you need to take

Making the move: 5 easy steps to SIP migration

Since the late 80’s ISDN has been the de-facto telephony solution of choice, however, with no significant development in over a decade, it’s time for ISDN to retire for good. SIP trunking is fast becoming the obvious replacement for traditional ISDN services. This has been driven by both the need for a more flexible approach to ‘voice’ and the requirements of Unified Communications.   

If your organisation is considering the move, here’s our quick guide onto how the process will work:

Step one: scoping the job

Work with your communications provider to find out what the move will look like for your business. This may be a wholesale switch in one move, a phased branch by branch transition, or even floor by floor. SIP can work alongside ISDN, so the switch needn’t be fraught with the panic of turning one system off and another on at the same time. Costing will also be included within this part of the process.

During this period there should be little or no disturbance to your business. And any tests or checks can be carried out in a controlled environment.

Step two: audit the current system

A big part of the process from the customer end will be auditing current infrastructure and network capacity. Essentially, the provider needs this information in order to understand the optimum service provision required to meet business demands.

This can include the available bandwidth on the existing data connectivity, to decide if additional or dedicated connections are required to carry voice traffic. As with any audit, it will be a case of check and check again to ensure everything is accounted for.

Step three: installing the new system

With the project scoped and budgeted, the next step will be to begin installation. As SIP trunking comes with less physical infrastructure than ISDN, you will notice a substantial change in what has to be stored and maintained on site. Also, because SIP can work alongside ISDN whilst the installation is taking place, there should not be any real disturbance to your business systems during this stage of the process.

Step four: testing and checking

Unlike ISDN, a modern SIP-based phone system can integrate with business applications including Skype for Business. It also comes with built-in resilience and business continuity features. Each of these will be tested thoroughly before anything goes live to ensure the new system is working as expected. The IT department may find itself a little busier than usual during this period. But workers, at large, shouldn’t notice a thing as your provider checks your new system.

Step five: go live

Time to turn the new system on. With all the checks done and continuity provisions in place, this stage should be less uncertain than it may first sound. Depending on your initial plan, the ‘go live’ could happen in one month, one day or one hour. The important thing is to note that if steps one to four have been completed correctly, step five should go smoothly.

Migrate to SIP

To learn more about SIP trunking and how you could save money by upgrading from your traditional ISDN system click here. Alternatively call us on 020 3668 0444 or email info@4sightcomms.com.


Beware and prepare: weather the seasonal business threats

Beware and prepare: weather the seasonal business threats

How unified communications providers can ensure that your company’s telephony and IT systems survive storms and other seasonal disasters.

Failure to prepare is to prepare to fail

During adverse weather, maintaining normal channels of communication between staff and with customers is absolutely essential for productivity and client relations, which can suffer greatly from downtime or disruption.

While your offices are being battered by storms and blizzards, customers elsewhere could be enjoying normal working conditions – and so could your competitors.

One week of particularly bad weather is estimated to cost the UK businesses over £318 million (and 51 million working hours) in lost productivity, because business continuity plans hadn’t been put in place. The fear of losing IT or telecommunications is the biggest concern among companies when it comes to potential threats and disruptions.

Remote Control

It is critical to have a robust phone system in place, courtesy of a cloud based unified communications provider, allowing your business to maintain full productivity in the event of any unforeseen disruptions. A solution is now available, in the form of remote or flexible working via cloud-based telephony. Rather than relying on fixed phone lines, which can become damaged or disconnected by storms, a hosted phone system moves fixed and mobile telephony to the cloud.

With pioneering hosted phone systems eliminating the need for comms rooms, managed networks can keep your company operating at full efficiency, while less well-prepared competitors flounder in floodwater.

As the next generation of communications management, SIP can fully future-proof your company’s telephony. The advantages of these hosted phone system packages are numerous:

It’s cloud based, and therefore unaffected by weather conditions (no pun intended).

Employees can access their phone services from anywhere, on any device.

Complete flexibility and scalability.

The simplicity of communications and software systems allows even technology-averse employees to easily navigate its dedicated web portal.

Hosted phone systems are here long-term and can be cheaper and more reliable than legacy PBX systems.

No place like home

Letting staff work from home brings many advantages, but it’s always better to plan for this eventuality in advance, as this video explains. With the right infrastructure, your staff can be just as productive as they would be in the office and, more importantly, customers won’t even notice the difference:

  • Clients won’t know that an employee is based at home, because their work phone number will appear the same, whether they’re calling from Hertfordshire or the Highlands of Scotland.
  • Home-working frees up time for more productive activities that would otherwise have been spent commuting.
  • Administrators can configure and manage the system in real-time from wherever they happen to be working (or stranded), in response to changing demands.

4Sight Communications delivers flexible and responsive personal service around the clock, helping employees to familiarise themselves with the web portal interface of a hosted phone system. To find out more about our solutions call us on 020 3668 0444 or email info@4sightcomms.com