GRC
HR
SCM
CRM
BI


Article

 

The Evolution of Customer Service

Meet Your Customers’ Needs with an Omnichannel Experience

by Amit Venugopal | SAPinsider, Volume 16, Issue 2

April 1, 2015

For the most part, customers today find it much more convenient to communicate with companies via online channels — from email, to chat, to web forms — or to find answers on their own using search engines than to call on the phone and wait on hold until someone is available. Learn how SAP’s omnichannel platform helps organizations maintain control over the customer experience across these communication channels and make it easy for customers to seek service.

 

Before the invention of the internet, there were only a few channels that customers could use to request service — letters, fax, and telephone. Then came the internet, ushering in an age of digital channels for service requests, beginning with email and quickly followed by web chat and web forms.

With the advent of Twitter and Facebook in the early 2000s — initially used as a means to communicate with friends — came the emergence of social media platforms and companies started capitalizing on their popularity by using them as another way to communicate with customers. Now, customers find that it is just as easy to communicate with companies online as it is to use traditional methods, and most people use the phone as a last resort when seeking any form of customer service. It’s much more convenient to chat with an agent, send an email, or raise a ticket on the company’s website than to call and wait on hold until someone is available. And, in many cases, using search engines, customers are able to find answers on their own without contacting the company at all.

Organizations that ignore the concept of omnichannel service do so at their own peril. It is critical for companies to control the experience across communication channels and make it easy for customers to seek service.

Organizations that ignore the concept of omnichannel service do so at their own peril. It is critical for companies to control the experience across communication channels and make it easy for customers to seek service.

An Advanced Omnichannel Experience

SAP is one of the few companies that provides a robust omnichannel service management platform.

This platform, which is part SAP’s customer engagement and commerce solutions portfolio, consists of SAP Contact Center software that services phone, email, chat, SMS, and fax channels; hybris solutions and SAP HANA Cloud Portal for self-service scenarios; and SAP Cloud for Service, which serves as the anchor of SAP’s omnichannel platform, providing features for managing service requests, field service and repair scenarios, social media engagement, and knowledgebase integration.

SAP Cloud for Service comes pre-integrated with SAP ERP and can be implemented in two ways, depending on business priorities: in its entirety to address all customer service channels and business scenarios, or using a phased approach. Most of the solution is delivered in a true software-as-a-service (SaaS) fashion, with quarterly upgrades and subscription licenses. 

SAP has evolved SAP Cloud for Service over the past couple of years. While the solution started with basic service request management functionality that serviced phone, email, chat, and web form channels, it now supports social channels such as Facebook and Twitter and provides a framework to bring in channels like company-hosted blogs. SAP Cloud for Service also supports SMS inbound, outbound, and CTI integration with SAP Contact Center and other third-party solutions, enhanced email management with advanced response management features, and self-service over the web via hybris solutions and SAP HANA Cloud Portal.

Recently, SAP introduced unified communications with SAP Cloud for Service, enabling instant messaging, video chat, and screen sharing between all users of the solution. Onsite field service is supported via an offline mobile application available on tablets and PCs, and in-house repair scenarios are modeled using a new work ticket functionality. Service fulfillment and finance functionality is integrated out of the box with SAP ERP.

Learn More

SAP’s robust landscape of customer engagement solutions covers all aspects of omnichannel service, including cloud technology and seamless integration, to address the needs of the modern customer service organization.

ECENTA has over 15 years of experience in the customer service space and can help architect your omnichannel service solution. Visit www.ecenta.com to learn how to transform your customer service organization.

An email has been sent to:





 

Amit Venugopal
Amit Venugopal

Board Member
ECENTA America Inc.



More from SAPinsider



COMMENTS

Please log in to post a comment.

SAPinsider
FAQ