Why is tech that enhances the customer and employee experience vital for channel growth?

John Shannon
Partner Director

Why is tech that enhances the customer and employee experience vital for channel growth?

Tiger’s partner director, John Shannon, believes technology and data are what will drive the channel forward post-pandemic.

This is a topic he recently shared his thoughts about with Channel Pro, and if you missed the original article, you can catch up below…

There’s no denying that since the onset of the pandemic, it’s been a turbulent time for businesses – and companies within the IT channel have had to demonstrate unparalleled resilience and agility to not only keep their own organisations running smoothly, but to help those they serve as a trusted technology partner, too.

Luckily, long-standing relationships are at the heart of what the channel – from vendor and distributors through to the end users – does best, and support for not simply surviving but also thriving has been, and will continue to be, key in helping firms to navigate these unchartered waters.

Turning back the clock to March 2020 when the first of many lockdown periods began, there was an unknown abyss of what the future months had in store – and it soon became apparent that agility and flexibility would be crucial.

Technology as a vehicle for positive change

Over the years, digital solutions have rarely been seen as an enabler for enhancing user experience – whether that be channel partners’ own employees or the staff and customers of their own clients – but rather a cost.

The pandemic has acted as a turning point in this respect. When businesses shifted to a work from home – and more recently work from anywhere – model, technology was quickly called upon to make this happen.

It’s out of this negative situation that savvy tools have been given a platform to show what they can do – that they aren’t merely an unnecessary expenditure, but the cornerstone of collaboration and customer service for workforces far and wide, whether office-based, hybrid, or distributed.

And this is where the ‘experiential’ element comes to the forefront for the entire channel.

Seemingly, there has been a wave of realisation that tech is the catalyst for people not only benefitting from an improved work-life balance, but for streamlining operations in general.

Providing portfolios that deliver

The tsunami of reactivity and digital investment seen from businesses throughout the course of the pandemic now means that many are realising they’re ‘out of sync’ with their IT infrastructure.

A McKinsey & Company study has in fact discovered the estimated speed of this digital acceleration to be seven years.

And only now, as some sense of the ‘next normal’ is in sight, are decision-makers able to take the time out to stop, breathe, and try to catch up with their investments. But this can only be achieved with the right tools in place.

Now more than ever, customers are looking to their tech providers to help them recalibrate and remain relevant in an increasingly competitive marketplace.

But to gain and maintain the commercial edge, they’re looking to unite their internal teams, enhance customer relationships, and streamline the way they work.

Technology has the power to do this. Taking unified communications and collaboration (UC&C) tools such as Microsoft Teams and Zoom as an example, their adoption rate has grown incrementally over the last 18 months – and is only set to continue as hybrid working becomes a mainstay.

Data that drives an enhanced experience

As leaders look ahead to a post-pandemic future, it’s clear that the channel has to collaborate and innovate to offer end users that ‘differential’ – the tools that empower senior leaders to improve their business and their teams to implement change.

For instance, it’s estimated that one telephone call alone generates 600 pieces of data – with video calls creating even more – but without context, this intelligence is pointless for organisations. There needs to be analysis to truly understand what this means and to drive efficiencies and informed business decisions forward.

This is where the channel’s focus is, and quite rightly should, be heading – not only to benefit customers but to fuel its own growth, too.

End users want to be able to monitor their business productivity, staff wellbeing, and customer satisfaction. They need to know where resource is scarce or surplus to requirement, to save both money and time, alongside improving employee and, in turn, client contentment.

If companies aren’t unlocking their data, how do they do this? How do they know how their workforce is responding to operating remotely, when additional support may be needed, or even whether UC&C software licences are being used to their full potential? They don’t – they’re effectively operating in the dark.

Digital transformation will continue to form a critical piece of the corporate puzzle, but technology that provides a ‘single pane of glass’ through which all important intelligence can be viewed and understood is what will facilitate an enhanced experience, as organisations look towards the ‘next normal’.

And as businesses look towards the channel for the tools they need to make this a reality, it’s a collective responsibility to make sure this is made possible.