A business with customers is a business with people, and when you deal with people in your business, you need to focus more on the experience they have with your product rather than the price that they pay for it.
As per a Gartner survey, more than 80% of the companies say that they fully compete on the basis of customer experience (CX).
In increasingly crowded markets like the cloud, the customer experience becomes even more important as the competition is pretty high here; the leading cloud vendors like Alibaba Cloud, AWS, Microsoft, and more are bringing new technologies and innovations in their offerings. And, this intense competition means that customer interactions with cloud service providers (CSPs) are going to be more complex in the future.
So, as a cloud service provider, you need to take steps to make the interactions with customers easier by providing personalized technological solutions, improving processes, and overcoming internal complexities to quickly deliver to customers what they expect.
What’s required to improve customer experience? – Top 5 ideas for CSPs
The first step is to understand that there is no average customer in the cloud market. Every customer has unique needs and to meet them, the cloud service providers must adopt a new level of customer fascination. This involves treating each customer as an individual and understanding their unique needs.
So, here are top 5 ideas for CSPs to improve customer experience.
#1 Embrace automation
In recent years, cloud services have grown in number and variety. More services mean more customer data, more support, and more systems to work that make it more challenging for cloud service providers who already struggle with a complicated ecosystem.
To quicken the pace of internal operations, here, CSPs need to adopt an intelligent automation solution that has the capabilities to orchestrate services, manage customer data, and automate end-to-end cloud business processes. This will help cloud service providers to create on-demand products and services, deliver them to the customers quickly and manage their billing transparently from a single portal.
#2 Be transparent, enable diverse pricing options and discounts
Many cloud service providers use a bait and switch sales tactic that attracts customers with their advertising. But, when that turns out to be unavailable, the customers feel disappointed. This strategy might even stop many other customers from coming in. It is always advised that you don’t false advertise any product or service and just be transparent about your offerings.
So, if you don’t fake advertise, what do you do to lure customers?
- Enable diverse pricing options: You may offer them flexible pricing options like free plans for a limited period, one-time plans, pay-per-use plans, and contract-based plans. You may also give them the option to scale up or down their service usage based on their business needs.
- Discount options: You may attract your customers by offering discounts on the first purchase. This will increase their trust in you and overall would satisfy them while they receive your services.
These small steps can retain customers for long and help CSPs increase profits.
#3 Simplify products and processes
Generally, cloud service providers have a complex service portfolio with duplicated and overlapping offerings. This complexity increases costs and turnaround time to service customers. This delay in service delivery and complexity also impacts customer satisfaction.
Many of the cloud business processes require various computer systems; many even include paper-based processes that are still a part of business operations. Automation is certainly one way to simplify everything, it can quicken the pace and reduce manual errors in categorizing services, managing and auto-updating details of services, defining resource limits, and generating alerts, when necessary.
Other than this, there are some simple ways you can streamline your business:
- Standardize the recurring and identical processes. For example, put some thought on navigation, how the identification, quoting, tracking, and closing happens. This will reduce the extra work and make the processes more efficient.
- Regularly evaluate the processes and eliminate the activities that have become complicated and unnecessary.
- Promote better communication between co-workers.
- If required, consider re-designing the process.
This will help you improve customer experience and reduce operational costs.
#4 Focus on improving digital transformation strategy
The digital natives are increasingly spending on new technologies and impacting the core processes of the business. As the customers go through the new digital experiences, digital transformation has become the new normal for cloud service providers.
An agile initiative is very significant to always stay ahead. CSPs need to embrace a flexible platform that can work on the existing technology as well as be flexible to adopt the new technologies coming in the marketplace.
An expandable cloud business automation tool helps CSPs to provide customers with latest and the greatest technology and tools by being integrable.
#5 Give customers the self-service experience
One of the easiest ways to improve customer experience is by enabling them to learn on their own. Today’s customers want to get access to the information as and when they want through documentation or knowledgebase articles, without rushing to the customer support team for issues.
Also, they want to explore the product options themselves, choose any product without the need to talk to a customer support team. After buying the services, customers want to know their service renewal dates, history of their service purchases – all by themselves. This self-service enablement saves a lot of time – yours and customers’ and is satisfying to them in the long run.
As a CSP, offer a distinct customer service approach.
Reduce complexity with an Cloud Billing & Provisioning Automation Platform that includes a powerful customer panel letting your customers get all the relevant information about their service at one place, get financial transaction history, renew or upgrade services and do much more by themselves.
Wrapping up: Customer expectations will continue to rise – keep consistency across all interactions
From the day customers connect with your business, they should receive the same experience they get on stores or on websites or with a customer service team. Across every process the customers go through, all that fascinates them is the quality in service and the consistency in the quality of that service. So, consistency is very important. CSPs must keep consistency whenever they interact with their customers, involve them in innovations, notify them about the current service status, their updates, and predicted time to resolution.
The above mentioned five key strategies will allow you to work towards providing a higher level of customer experience throughout the customer lifecycle with your company.
Adopting a Subscription billing software like RackNap can help you quickly implement all the five strategies and standardize the cloud billing and revenue process completely with pricing management, controlled discounts, product bundling, and more.
RackNap enables you to set up your products and offerings, manage all cloud operations from a single interface and allows CSPs to stand out and offer real value to the customers.
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