For a better customer experience, focus on network health

I just celebrated my first 100 days as Bigleaf’s CMO. Before joining this company, I worked in the restaurant tech industry, but I’ve spent most of my career in the world of unified communications and contact centers. I developed and implemented marketing strategies for world-class customer experience (CX) companies like NICE, Talkdesk, and Vonage. 

Bigleaf is a network optimization provider in the SD-WAN space. At first glance, that seems like a departure from my UCaaS and CCaaS background. But in fact, I’m experiencing the sensation of coming “home” to my CX roots. This doesn’t feel like a brand-new industry.  

Here’s why. 

Companies lose $1.6 trillion a year to bad CX

Yes, that’s trillions — with a “t” according to a consumer survey from Accenture. And if you put on your consumer hat for a minute, that figure doesn’t seem so implausible. How many times have you tried to connect with a company, only to be put on hold? Or you were routed to agent after agent, then got disconnected and had to start the process again?  

Or maybe you’ve started an online chat with a customer service representative that takes you down a winding path, where you provide your account number, describe your problem, wait… and wait… and wait… while “the agent is typing,” only to be cut off. Then you have to start the whole process again with a new agent.  

Few things make this mild-mannered marketer more incensed than a business that doesn’t value my time. And I’m not alone. 

84% of consumers believe that the experience they receive from a company is just as valuable as the product or service they purchase. And yet, fewer than half those companies say they have the technology required to deliver a great experience.  

Now — putting your business professional hat back on — what can we do as product and service providers to elevate the customer experience? How do we deliver as a brand? 

Protect CX investments 

Unified communications as a service (UCaaS) is currently a $113 billion industry, growing at a rate of nearly 20% a year. Contact center as a service (CCaS)  is a $5 billion industry, growing 17% annually. And the average organization spends over half a million dollars per year on CX technology. It has never been more important to protect those investments with complementary technologies that offer a high value. And if the protection comes with a comparatively low price tag, a positive return on investment is assured. 

Bigleaf provides that protection, supporting your internet-dependent CX with reliable, performant connectivity. And this is where my new mission as CMO at Bigleaf intersects with the customer experience industry I’ve grown to love and obsess over for the past 15 years.  

Downtime adds to costs and risk 

I was shocked to learn that internet downtime incurs a staggering $5,600 per minute in costs to an average business, according to Gartner. In addition to the obvious risk to revenue, downtime erodes employee engagement, brand reputation — and yes, customer experience.  

More bad news: Even when circuits are up, they don’t always perform as expected. The Bigleaf team discovered that uptime is fully usable only about 93% of the time. The remaining 7% translates to an average of 604 hours per year. For 31 of those hours, the circuit is completely unavailable. And while the circuit may be up for the other 573 hours, it’s barely usable. So, for more than 90 minutes per day, on average, you get jittery phone calls, disconnected chat sessions, and frustrated customers. 

During that unusable uptime, the circuit can’t support CX tools like Zoom, Microsoft Teams, or other session-based and cloud-based service channels. From the users’ perspective, your technology is just not working well enough for them to do business with you. 

Even worse, it’s nearly impossible for IT teams to quickly pinpoint the cause of the internet blackouts or brownouts, given the complexity and siloed nature of today’s cloud technology stacks.  

Prevent CX failures with Bigleaf 

Fortunately, Bigleaf provides an easy-to-implement, affordable solution to these and other network performance issues, so you can preserve the customer experience you’ve worked so hard to achieve. Bigleaf is a plug-and-play network optimization solution that: 

  • Offers reliable, flawless connectivity and consistent user experience across all applications and locations, intelligently and automatically. 
  • Installs in minutes and starts to work immediately, integrating seamlessly with established network and security policies and technologies, including your existing ISPs, firewall, and regulatory compliance setup.
  • Provides 360-degree visibility into performance of each circuit, to identify potential problems and solve them proactively—often before you even know there’s an issue. 

For your CX investment, an intelligent, omnichannel customer experience is only as strong as your internet connection. And after conversations with IT teams from businesses of all sizes, the best piece of advice I can offer is to be proactive.

Start now to protect your network, your customer experience, and your bottom line. Waiting for problems to surface before you take action is like waiting to buy car insurance until after you’ve had an accident.  

When you’re ready to see Bigleaf in action, we’d be happy to offer you a demo of our web dashboard and the eagle-eye view it provides into network operations. And if you’d like to hear about Bigleaf straight from your IT peers, check out our library of customer stories. They provide specific examples of the critical role network optimization plays in customer experience.  

I’m looking forward to even more innovation from the Bigleaf team in 2023. It feels so good to be “home.”  

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