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December 4, 2023
The industry often converses about customer experience, or CX. It has emerged as the most critical aspect of UCaaS, CCaaS and other unified communication and collaboration (UCC) technologies that cater to customer-facing interactions.
With artificial intelligence (AI) increasingly involved in these experiences, Zendesk notes in its 2023 CX Trends Report that we've arrived in a new era in CX.
Already, employee engagement platforms such as Workplace from Meta exist to enhance the employee experience, who more than often act as the end user in many cases. Other CCaaS/UCaaS players such as Zoom have stepped into the arena. The company recently announced it would acquire Workvivo to boost its efforts on the employee engagement front.
UCC analyst David Smith is the founder and principal of InFlow Analysis. He believes the user experience (UX) is often overlooked.
InFlow Analysis' David Smith
"So I have always said that UX and design are at the heart of CX because it is all about how customers or users are experiencing your brand and products and services," Smith told Channel Futures.
He believes a well-designed experience with intuitive interfaces, clear information and effortless navigation typically means minimal customer friction and a pleasant experience.
"Unnecessary steps, confusion and frustration create a negative impression and influence customer loyalty/satisfaction," Smith shared.
For agents in the contact center environment to extend good customer service, the systems they leverage must be user-friendly. If that is not the case, Smith said it could lead to negative brand perception and association.
"So a good UX can go a long way in developing positive brand perception," he said.
According to Smith, this is why developers must design with users in mind "to build trust and foster an emotional connection that leads to long-term customer relationships."
Hinting at the importance of UX, he contends, can also help do something monumental for an organization — identifying CX gaps. It does so "by allowing designers to analyze user behavior and feedback for businesses to pinpoint areas where the overall customer experience falls short," Smith elaborated.
"We're talking about a data-driven approach that leads to targeted improvements and a holistic user-centric CX strategy," Smith stressed. "So if CX is the sum of all customer interactions with a brand, UX is a critical component in crafting positive and memorable interactions."
To see this in action, he told us, to "look no further than Zoom," and how the simplicity of the Zoom design and UX led to widespread adoption that skyrocketed during the pandemic.
As platforms like Zoom saw commercial and enterprise success, the user-friendly nature all but led to such adoption, Smith notes.
With AI infused in just about everyone's offerings, there will undoubtedly be some impacts on UX. As users, mostly agents in the UCaaS/CCaaS sphere, extend customer services, the level of AI-infused into that process persists in growing, although Gartner found that not all user experiences will be automated by AI.
"Siloed user experience (UX) approaches based on traditional channel mentality are preventing organizations from delivering a seamless digital customer experience (CX) to internal and external audiences," the report's authors wrote.
Further, the importance of UX is unmistakable based on what it might mean for a business. That is to say, agents who find it easy to navigate the software they often leverage for customer service are usually stress-free and productive.
Contributing Editor, Channel Futures
Moshe has nearly a decade of expertise reporting on enterprise technology. Within that world, he covers breaking news, artificial intelligence, contact center, unified communications, collaboration, cloud adoption (digital transformation), user/customer experience, hardware/software, etc.
As a contributing editor at Channel Futures, Moshe covers unified communications/collaboration from a channel angle. He formerly served as senior editor at GetVoIP News and as a tech reporter at UC/CX Today.
Moshe also has contributed to Unleash, Workspace-Connect, Paste Magazine, Claims Magazine, Property Casualty 360, the Independent, Gizmodo UK, and ‘CBD Intel.’ In addition to reporting, he spends time DJing electronic music and playing the violin. He resides in Mexico.
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