Brand building is a multi-billion dollar business, with companies investing heavily in developing effective marketing, contact centre and customer experience management strategies. But an important – and often overlooked – component of overall brand building is management of all the technology and telecoms channels companies use, says Shamit Makan, Head | Business Solutions at Adapt IT.
“Attention is focused on enabling multi- and omni-channel communications with customers, allowing them to engage with the brand across instant messaging, social media, web chat, mobile apps, email and voice. This reinforces the brand exposure and improves customer experience. Typically, the company then attempts to monitor and measure these engagements to assess how effective its communications strategies are, and build engagement data into its CRM systems.”
An unmanaged communications environment could undermine brand-building strategies.
A challenge emerges when customers and company employees engage directly via mobile, particularly if the mobile devices are owned by the employees in a BYOD environment, says Makan. “Where the mobile environment is not visible to the enterprise, a huge proportion of client communication is ‘off the record’ as far as the company is concerned. Now I don’t know how many calls went out or came in, I don’t know which clients my people are speaking to, I don’t have the client numbers, and I don’t have control of that client interface. I may think my company is taking 200 calls, but there might in fact be 1200 calls onto my staff cellphone numbers.”
“This problem is compounded by the fact that customers come to know these personal mobile numbers as their only contact points with the organisation. But these numbers are not integrated into the business or managed within a consolidated technology and telecoms environment. Data around the engagements is not available to the organisation, and if an employee should leave, they take the contact point and associated engagement information with them,” He says. “The question is – are you shifting your brand from a centralised, controlled entity down to those people’s cellphone numbers?”
This, He notes, can undermine brand identity and credibility.
Countering this risk means taking back control of the mobile technology and telecoms environment using a solution such as an advanced technology expense management (TEM) system, to track all transactions and import crucial data back into the enterprise databases.