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Press Release -- August 27th, 2013
Source: Verizon
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The Art of Customer Service in the Cloud

Sculpting a Masterpiece with a Customer-centric Approach

27-AUG-2013
by Maria Rodriguez

As enterprises move their applications to the cloud, many are starting to realize what features and skills their service providers must have. For some, strong service level agreements are crucial, while for others having flexible pricing options are non-negotiable. However, the way cloud providers interact with their clients is often overlooked but it is a critical part of the big picture and needs serious consideration.

Successful companies like Ritz-Carlton and Jet-Blue credit a large part of their success to their relentless emphasis in customer service. These companies understand that addressing customer needs, regardless of how small or complex they may be, can help them increase market share. And they are right: a survey conducted by American Express reported that 78 percent of consumers have bailed on a transaction or did not continue with an intended purchase due to a poor customer service experience.

In the cloud space, customer service should be considered a key element of the service offered by the cloud provider. In general, customers should stay away from providers that rely on automated ticketing services or those who only use web user interface solutions. These types of response mechanisms can create frustration when a problem needs attention at a moment’s notice. To avoid this, enterprises adopting cloud should demand a point of contact that understands their business needs and has actionable knowledge to solve issues as needed.

That isn’t enough, though; cloud providers must develop a customer-centric culture within their organizations, the client services team should know the client intimately and have the ability to anticipate issues and act with urgency to solve them. A designated customer advocate can serve as a ‘coordinator’ and manage internal resources to address every need. During natural disasters, streamlining the communication between the service provider and the enterprise can help with routing issues quickly and keep the client informed on the progress.

Not having business-critical applications running at full force can be nerve-racking, but not having a live person to solve the issues bvehind the scenes can make any situation significantly worse. Enterprises adopting cloud deserve a personal contact that will work tirelessly side-by-side to restore operations quickly.

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