How to get serious about CX and EX

Cyberpunk author William Gibson once said: “The future is already here, it’s just not evenly distributed.” All companies know that improving employee experience (EX) and customer experience (CX) is critical. But cutting-edge companies are already demonstrating what is possible.

One forward thinker is Pharmacy2U, which helps 240,000 people manage their NHS repeat prescriptions. The company faced sky-rocketing demand and each customer had raised expectations of how they would be treated.

“We are adding around 7,000 patients per week, which is the equivalent of 16 new high street pharmacies opening each month, and our aim is to allow people to contact us using the method that suits them best, whether that’s by phone, email or webchat,” says Andy Williams, director of customer care for Pharmacy2U.

The problem with the old system was fragmentation. A conversation via email was independent to a talk over webchat. Text messages were isolated from voice conversations. There was no single customer record. As a result customers repeated themselves as they moved from one channel to the next. Pharmacy2U wanted to re-engineer processes to deliver a new level of CX. It needed a system that combined all channels into one. So it opted for a cloud-based communications platform by RingCentral.

When we say we are the world leader, this is simply a reflection of the market

RingCentral enables customers to contact Pharmacy2U via any channel of their choosing: voice, chat, SMS, email and more. Intelligent voice-routing and self-service ensures calls are connected to the right person first time. Pharmacy2U have also been able to shift to a complete remote-working
model due to the flexibility of the cloud-based solution from RingCentral in response to the current government guidelines to stay at home.

“With RingCentral, we have an innovative and industry-proven platform that will allow us to deliver a truly unified communication experience and continue to deliver the highest levels of customer service while driving efficiency across the business,” says Williams.

The deployment reveals the power of a unified communications system. CX is transformed. But it’s worth noting how a unified system also improves the live of employees.

The daily experience of a worker can be filled with a plethora of tiny annoyances. Chief of which is the necessity to flick between apps all day. In every company there’s a suite of apps: email, team messaging, voice, video-conferencing, customer relationship management (CRM) and so on. Companies want to improve EX and addressing this fragmentation is a critical place to start.

BMJ, a leading UK medical information company, faced exactly this challenge. BMJ says: “With so many international and flexible working staff, and an ever-increasing number of communication tools to support them, we needed a centrally managed, easy-to-deploy, global cloud communications solution.”

The company installed RingCentral Office to fuse all working apps together. “RingCentral Office enables our team to communicate using any device, across any mode of communication, from anywhere. Choosing RingCentral was a unanimous decision from our executive board as it meets all of our criteria and the company shares our key values of openness, transparency and trust, which is a vital part of our business culture,” says BMJ.

For example, phone-calling, HD video-conferencing, contact-sharing, file-sharing and team messaging are now integrated across applications. A worker can start a video conference with a single click from within Salesforce, or start a call using contact details stored in G Suite or Outlook, or anywhere else. Comms tools are now universal across apps.

File-sharing is seamless. RingCentral team messaging means files can be shared with colleagues with a click, no matter which application it’s stored in. The days of leaping from app to app are gone.

Survey data reveals how important the issue of fragmented tools is to employees across business: 74 per cent say they toggle between apps to resolve customer issues; 88 per cent say disjointed apps lower productivity and job satisfaction; and 89 per cent say broken workflows impact the bottom line. These concerns are solved with a unified communications platform.

There are extra EX benefits. RingCentral is a cloud-based system. So generating new telephone numbers in more than 80 countries can be done in seconds via a web interface. A new employee can be up and running with their own number the moment they arrive on day one.

As a cloud-hosted solution, RingCentral works equally well across PC, laptop, mobile and tablet. Employees can now decide where to work, at home, in a café or anywhere in the office, while remaining connected to colleagues. Another EX enhancement.

Companies of all sizes can benefit. For a mid-sized company such as Naked Wines, the online wine retailer, a new platform from RingCentral changed the way their team works. And being cloud based, it was simple to install.

“Not having to worry about the telephones means I can get on and do IT work and the phones just work,” says Derek Hardy, chief technology officer at Naked Wines.

RingCentral infographic

The company now enjoys a feature-rich platform for a fraction of the cost of a traditional phone system. For example, RingCentral Live Reports offers real-time performance analytics, so the Naked Wines management team can rebalance staff members on call queues. Hardy says: “Live Reports really helps us shine a light and get visibility into what’s coming our way and proactively plan our staffing based on these patterns and call volume forecasts.”

Naturally, achieving truly unified communications is a technical feat. The variety of tools used by companies is significant. It is necessary to include applications from enterprise resource planning systems such as NetSuite, CRM packages like Zendesk and Oracle, marketing tools including Mailchimp and A pioneer in the field such as RingCentral offers integration with these and more as standard. Custom integrations are possible via cloud application programming interfaces and software development kits.

“We offer carrier-grade telephony,” says Sahil Rekhi, managing director, Europe, Middle East and Africa, at RingCentral. “Our service-level agreement is five nines [99.999 per cent] uptime. AT&T, BT and Telus offer a RingCentral branded product, and we are partners with Avaya, Atos and Fujitsu to name a few to provide unified communication solutions to their customers. So when we say we are the world leader, this is simply a reflection of the market.”

CX and EX are critical to the success of all companies. Employees want the productivity gains. And customers increasingly expect a slick experience, no matter what channel they use. A unified communications platform lies at the heart of both.

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