Digital Workplace Insights

Great customer experience starts at home with the Intranet

Whether you’re a fledgling startup or a multi-national, the quality of your customer service can be the deal-breaker in any situation.

Product and service providers are not only judged on the end deliverables, but are equally judged on the quality of the customer service and the journey they take their customers through, from first contact to completion.

The speed at which your delivery team responds to those initial queries, through to ensuring the people on the customer side are satisfied with the end result, comes down to ensuring your team are on the same page. The way you communicate with your team internally is ultimately the way your team will communicate with your customers.

In order to be successfully outward facing on the customer experience front, your team needs to be acutely aware of all the touch points that go into ensuring a great customer experience occurs at every opportunity.

Communicating what can be a complex set of steps and nuances in the delivery of a product or service requires more than just following a documented process.

Having the entire team trained properly along with a customer experience mindset being applied when performing their work will create a customer satisfaction culture embedded within your delivery team.

Intranets are already customer-centric. They serve to deliver timely data and content to your internal customers, namely your team. Extending this thinking outwards to servicing and supporting your customers requires your team to use the Intranet at critical points in the customer journey.

The Intranet provides the following for establishing a great customer experience culture within your team.

Having the entire team trained properly along with a customer experience mindset being applied when performing their work will create a customer satisfaction culture embedded within your delivery team.

360-degree view of the customer

Intranets are at the intersection of the tools that your organization relies on to function. If you walk through a modern enterprise there are applications for managing employees, customers, suppliers and partners. These are in the form of Customer Relationship Management apps, Human Resource apps, Business Intelligence, Enterprise Resource Planning, Project Management and many more.

Intranets provide the opportunity to provide a single, aggregated view across all of this disparate data. For customer service and support staff, it provides a unique opportunity to understand the cadence of a customer very quickly. An Intranet enables you to put the customer at the center of your operation, for the benefit of your staff in servicing them.

Educating staff on customer expectation

Customers usually have a range of expectations and complex problems to solve. Becoming an effective and valued supplier starts with ensuring your staff understand how they service and support your customers.

Intranet software not only provides the opportunity to present data and content from other applications within the enterprise, but Intranets can also be the most efficient way in enabling staff to quickly ascertain a specific customer’s needs and expectations.

Lets say a new team member is assigned to work on a particular project. A starting point would be to conduct a meeting with the other project team members in order to be briefed on the customer, the current project, past projects and what the customer is like to work with in general.

Now this assumes that all of the existing project people are physically located in the same office, are not busy working on other projects, are not out on vacation or have left the organization.

While the new team member is sitting and waiting for yet another meeting to be organized, and for invited parties to confirm they can even attend, they instead open the Intranet and perform a search on the customer.

They are able to access the original project brief provided by the customer, access the corresponding project documentation, access the project plan, read internal comments made by project team members and even access the Extranet environment to view what was shared with the customer.

The new team member has likely learnt everything they need to know about becoming an effective contributor to the customer’s project, long before the meeting has been confirmed.

Using the Extranet to continue the customer journey 

For most of us, the customer journey comes to an end once the product or service has been delivered. Depending on what you provide to customers, the majority of the effort will be during the sales and delivery phase of the engagement. For some of you the customer journey will enter into a maintenance or support phase.

But what if the customer journey was only just beginning at this point? Despite the customer being clear with expectations, timeframes and budget, what if there was a way to continue the working relationship in a less evasive, more proactive manner?

Extranets provide an effective method for nurturing the customer, and can be paramount in encouraging further product sales or services engagements to occur. They offer a lightweight method for staff to be in constant contact, encourage conversation and be ready to support the customer when they want to make the next move.

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