Most of the time, whenever the idea of ‘reputation’ gets mentioned, it’s preceded by ‘bad’. Today, in a demanding, fast-paced customer service landscape, it can seem much easier to become notorious for reputational failures than renowned for reputational wins. It’s true that when the stakes are as high as they are now, it can be easy to stray from the path of success — and the media loves the bad boys in business.
Staying in your customers’ good graces (or better yet, turning them into brand advocates) means building your digital experiences from the ground up with speedy, reliable connectivity. After all, 95% of consumers say customer service impacts their brand loyalty, citing easy access, self-service, and professional agents as leading factors of satisfaction. Across the full spectrum of enterprises — from furniture makers to bakers and accounting firms to real estate groups — having the right networking at the core of all operations and communications is a necessity.
Legacy Infrastructure: What Could Go Wrong?
Back when digital space was less ubiquitous and keeping customers happy was arguably more straightforward, physical phone systems and simple coaxial cable networks did the job just fine. The need to transport and store mass amounts of data, engage in omnichannel experiences and provide always-on support wasn’t as acute as it is today. However, customers in today’s world are now used to having everything at their fingertips. They want websites to function quickly and flawlessly, they want to have more engaging and personalized brand communications, and they want enterprise teams and resources to be mobile and highly accessible. This is how high-speed, high-performance connectivity becomes the gatekeeper of enterprise reputation.
To begin, consider how statistics report that 60% of consumers have switched brands due to a negative contact center experience. This — among countless other reports — underscores the importance of how an organization talks to its customers. Where limited, on-the-desk hardware used to cover all the major needs for customer engagement, new demands have made it crucial for organizations to innovate. Today, cloud-based voice capabilities have become the new norm. This is because hosted voice options are feature-rich and highly mobile (making it easier and more fulfilling for customers and teams) and they are also easier to expand, manage and update thanks to their software-based platforms. This makes it far easier for the enterprise to keep up with the latest in communications requirements and tools without making costly, disruptive system-wide hardware changes.
At the network level, connectivity strategies that presented data caps and bandwidth limitations — or those that presented the occasional performance issues — were not that big of a deal. Now, however, an outage or lackluster performance can be the difference between keeping a customer and losing one (or many, for that matter). Network outages and issues aren’t just extremely costly for bottom lines in our always-on world, but they’re costly for brand reputation as well. If a customer can’t quickly connect to your webpages or online resources, they can easily go somewhere else. Not to mention, many mobile services are core to success in today’s business world, and lackluster connectivity here can make experiences suffer to the point of being useless. It can be extremely hard to come back from that place.
Now, to avoid these challenges and reinforce network performance and speed for next-gen applications, fiber-based networks are king. Beyond that, preference for direct connectivity options has overtaken that of shared connections since enterprises can no longer afford to be at the mercy of other businesses’ usage. Dark fiber and Wavelengths has also emerged as a leading option for better control and unlimited bandwidth. To better safeguard against reputation difficulties or unpredictable networking, redundancy is being prioritized, security measures are being enhanced, and whenever an opportunity to optimize comes along (say, with SD-WAN), enterprises are taking it.
Where before these kinds of network and connectivity investments might have been seen as purely technical, today they are central to any operational goal as well as customer satisfaction and engagement results. After all, even the enterprise that has the best services and support mechanisms in the world can’t win if a customer can’t reliably access them.
A Reputation Reality at Work
At Horizon, we’re network investment evangelists — not just because that’s what we do, but because it’s what we believe in. We’ve made it our mission to propel organizations forward, helping them overcome their roadblocks to achieve their goals in a digital world. Better yet, we don’t just talk the talk, we walk the walk.
We know the importance of having the best communications and connectivity resources in place. That’s why, for example, when it comes to ensuring leading experiences, we keep all of our customer support and expertise hyper local. That way, it’s always available when our customers need it — from NOC teams to account leads, we’re never far away.
To clarify: We’re not proud of our business foundations for our sake. We’re proud of our ability to deliver on our customer experience excellence because it directly translates into the success of other businesses — and as an organization dedicated to supporting our customers and communities, that’s what matters to us most. For example, just check out this list of customers who have achieved better speed, reliability, security, and more by working with Horizon:
- When this Ohio restaurant wanted to deliver better streaming to keep patrons in touch with baseball games in the neighboring stadium, it found advanced capabilities with DIA.
- When spotty internet and lackluster phone service began impacting a food service business’s ability to deliver robust customer experiences, cloud-hosted voice saved the day.
- When a luxury apartment community needed to deliver exceptional results to meet demand for the ‘fourth utility’, direct internet access created the results tenants needed.
- When a mindfulness non-profit wanted to make online training and wellness services seamless for users, boosting connectivity did the trick.
These stories are only the very beginning of the customer care innovation and reputation-boosting network investments we’ve helped a range of enterprises achieve. Every day, a new business makes a new promise to itself to give its customers better-than-ever mobility, security, speed and performance — and when they do, we’re proud to be their trusted connectivity partner.