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How small and medium businesses are exceeding customer expectations with omnichannel cloud solutions

Article written by Anna Green (Amazon Web Services)

In contact centers, as in life, hindsight is always 20/20. It is not uncommon for a customer service agent to struggle with a frustrated customer on the phone, only for a supervisor to step in and find solutions once the call is over. With 60 percent of customers switching to a different company after a single negative experience, it’s vital to get every interaction right the first time.

While digital channels such as email and chat are important components of customer service, there are times when customers may prefer to speak to an agent. This is particularly true for complex or urgent issues where they need personalized assistance and support. Providing your small or medium business’s (SMBs) customers with the option to speak to a live agent can help to improve customer loyalty and satisfaction with a business. If your business uses Net Promoter Scores (NPS) metrics, you know the value of achieving strong resolutions.

What is omnichannel customer support and how can SMBs use this approach?

Omnichannel support allows customers to interact with a business on their preferred touchpoint and seamlessly switch between channels as needed, leading to a more convenient and satisfying experience. Examples of omnichannel touchpoints include:

  • Email: Responding to issues with or without a ticketing system to manage incoming inbox requests
  • Online chat: Messaging with a live agent through a company’s website or app
  • SMS messaging: Messaging a customer service agent over a mobile phone
  • Call centers: Calling in and getting routed to a live agent
  • Social media platforms: Addressing concern(s) via direct message on popular networks

Providing consistent, premium omnichannel experiences is critical to growing your organization and retaining customers. Depending on their demographics, they may prefer one touchpoint over another. However, many SMBs face costscalability, and integration challenges when they try to enhance their customer engagement capabilities.

The flexible, pay-as-you-go nature of the cloud alleviates these challenges. With Amazon Web Services cloud solutions, SMBs can scale customer care infrastructure across their buyers’ preferred channels. SMBs can also facilitate remote work options for customer care agents and can get started immediately, with no licensing or long-term commitments.

AWS customer engagement solutions help SMBs provide consistent experiences to customers wherever they are. Let’s look at some of the key reasons why SMBs are turning to the cloud to offer exceptional customer experiences.

New to digitization or looking to add more cloud capabilities to your SMB? Explore solutions by industry, benefit, use case, and more on AWS Smart Business

Low cost, low commitment

On-premises customer care infrastructure creates scalability challenges that drive up costs and require more staff to manage. This results in a significant investment in equipment for seasonal businesses with fluctuating demand, even though most of it may not be used during non-peak periods.

In contrast, the cloud offers the flexibility to accommodate demand peaks without the need for ongoing investments in equipment or staff. Services such as Amazon Connect—a pay-as-you-go cloud contact center service powered by machine-learning—offers no per-seat fee for customer care agents, upfront payments, long-term commitments, or minimum monthly fees. A Forrester report estimates that AWS Cloud-based contact centers deliver a 241 percent ROI and a payback of less than one year.

Aramex, a logistics business expanded its reach in Asia Pacific when it acquired Fastaway Couriers, a freight and logistics company with offices in Australia and New Zealand. If Aramex installed its existing open-source contact center and telephony system in all of Fastway’s offices, the deployment would have taken time, effort, and resources. So instead, Aramex deployed Amazon Connect in less than a week, or 20 times faster than setting up a legacy contact center.

With Amazon Connect, Aramex enjoyed a seamless experience in setting up its virtual contact center. It could provision phone numbers, dictate the call flow, deploy text-to-voice Interactive Voice Response (IVR)—all in a matter of minutes—through a self-service graphical interface. Aramex also pays by the minute for usage and has no infrastructure to manage.

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