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To deliver better customer service, software has to shape up to business realities and people’s needs

Jack van der Velde, Managing Director, Asia Pacific, Unit4 | May 29, 2015
Business platforms need to cater to the twenty first century business world, which belongs to the service economy.

This vendor-written piece has been edited by Executive Networks Media to eliminate product promotion, but readers should note it will likely favour the submitter's approach.

Imagine we live in a world where business software understands and anticipates our needs, recommending resolutions and helping ensure the best outcomes. If it has the ability to boost our confidence to make informed decisions what a different place work would be. We'd be empowered to be great at what we do and as a result, our job satisfaction would sky rocket. Suddenly the world of work becomes a lot more fun and rewarding.

Though that might sound a world away from the reality today, it could describe the future for enterprise computing. The rise of services organisations whose success rests on people delivering customer service excellence, combined with the technological and digital disruption of the last few years, has changed our expectations. The simple and rewarding experience we have with technology in our personal lives is one we want to recreate at work. Organisations are finally starting to fully consider the primary function of software applications in the workplace and their ability to support people to be the best they can be, in order to deliver great customer service.

At work we accept the unacceptable

Business software was originally designed to solve repetitive transactional processing. Most Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) platforms in the market were created from a product-centric perspective. The ERP pendulum has always swung towards manufacturing and distribution, with little effort channelled to building the human element, despite its immense impact on everyday user experience.

In the twenty first century business world, which belongs to the service economy, significant emphasis is placed on the services delivered. Hence, while advancement in digital technology is key, the value of business lies in the people responsible for delivering the services.

Catering to the digital needs of employees becomes a pivotal foundation for a successful organisation. This highlights the massive need for transformation in service and government organisations to remove the need to undertake repetitive and low-value tasks. We've accepted clunky, difficult to use systems at work for long enough. The old way of doing things is changing.

Having accurate information in real time is crucial for people-centric processes. Customer service representatives do not have the luxury of time to track down and make sense of all the small print details and data necessary for making  informed decisions quickly when on a call with a customer. Smart analytics supported by machine learning and in-context information delivery along with a clean user experience, regardless of access point, are what separate the good from the great.

Making software that bends to people

 

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