The “cloud” has been part of the contact center lexicon for nearly a decade now; but only in recent years have organizations truly realized the benefits of a cloud-based approach. In the last two years alone, the adoption rate of cloud contact centers has increased by 28%. But why the sudden uptick in cloud technology? Aberdeen reports that the biggest driving force behind investments in cloud-based infrastructure is the need to deliver better customer experiences. Additionally, improving agent productivity and reducing IT costs have made the transition to cloud much more attractive. However, it’s important to understand that simply implementing cloud-based infrastructure will not necessarily yield the results you are looking for; but being a savvy cloud user can help.
Here, we’ll uncover 4 ways to fully optimize the contact center using cloud technology:
1. Lay the Foundation Before Replacing Dying Legacy Systems
Many companies become prisoners to their legacy systems, unable to shake off dated hardware and software applications with more agile cloud operations. However, by switching to an external SaaS, PaaS, or IaaS provider (depending on needs), companies can mitigate many of the risks involved with the “rip and replace” method and outsource much of the work to a vendor (we’ll discuss choosing a vendor later on). The vendor will then work with the organization to migrate, secure, and integrate data with other applications as required.
An important consideration during the cloud integration process is to lay the foundation for an omni-channel contact center. For organizations that use multiple channels to communicate, using historical data allows vendors to unify these communications on the backend and provide a simplified cloud management overview, and a more consistent experience for the customer.
Given the growing diversity of channel options, and often unpredictable customer preferences, its vital that customer profiling is intuitive and dynamic to better understand and anticipate future needs.
The bottom-line: Don’t rip and replace legacy systems without conserving data. A successful cloud contact center uses this information to lay the groundwork for a seamless omni-channel experience. In addition, having your data readily available, will make selecting a vendor much easier down the line.
2. Ensure All Company Stakeholders Understand the System
In order to maximize the benefits of a cloud-based call center, its essential to ensure all stakeholders are engaged in the transition phase. Here are 3 steps to consider for proper cloud onboarding:
1. Evaluate which business processes are related to customer interaction and the experience. Vendors can than shape your solution so that it works with as many business departments as possible.
2. Don’t forget sales and marketing! Although we see the contact center as the central hub for customer communication, your sales and marketing departments are also likely to interact with customers at one point or another.
3. Ask each department what they’re looking for in a new system. All stakeholders should be able to have their needs and concerns met for the solution to be considered a success.
The bottom-line: Failure to inform or involve all potential users can lead to greater frustration down the line. The last thing you want is to waste time and money on retraining each department separately, which will severely postpone the implementation process. Be proactive, and you’ll reap the rewards.
3. Achieving Full Utilization & Avoiding Disaster
Savvy cloud users understand the importance of reporting and analytics for long-term success. By using technology such as real-time analytics, journey analytics, speech and text analytics, organizations can be more intuitive and personalize experiences. Furthermore, agents should have a synchronized CRM/ERP system that captures both agent and customer data in real-time to provide a clear view of each interaction. This ensures that contact centers always have an accurate view of their data, and enables more productive and engaged CSRs.
Additionally, regularly backing up customer data is absolutely crucial to a foolproof cloud-based system. If historical data is somehow lost or skewed, it’s hard to fully utilize your system to its greatest potential. Real-time backups are highly recommended to prevent data loss and ensure efficiency.
The bottom-line: Always be one step ahead. In order to position your cloud contact center for success, track reports using a back-office dashboard, and enable routine back-ups to prevent data loss. This will keep things running smoothly and prevent catastrophes from happening.
4. Picking A Trusted Technology Partner
Not all cloud vendors are created equally. To achieve a holistic cloud service, you should be buying into a future-proof platform that is designed for multi-channel contact and integrates easily with your other systems including your CRM system. If your vendor cannot help you to accomplish the points listed above, they’re probably not worth your time or money.
The key to investing in the right cloud solution is to do your research. Understand what your business’ needs are and determine whether the providers you are evaluating can meet those needs. Reputable companies will have no problem providing a demo or proof of concept of their product, and how your business will work within their offerings. Look into their success stories; if they don’t have any that’s a red flag. Also, reach out to their existing clients and see if they recommend their services. A good track record usually indicts future success.
Once you have selected a few options, typically a RFP is required to test the vendor’s willingness to engage with your organization and demonstrate confidence in their deliverables. In most cases, an ambitious vendor will meet you in person to ensure all needs are clearly outlined before beginning implementation. Frequent calls and team meetings are also standard protocol so that all team members are informed during each step.
The bottom-line: It’s important to fully understand the needs of your organization before choosing a cloud vendor. Aggressive research and screening is absolutely necessary before making a selection. Certified vendors will go above and beyond to ensure optimal performance.
If you’re looking to transition to the cloud, or hoping to improve your cloud infrastructure, contact our sales team, so they can provide a deeper understanding of how our partners can help you to achieve the best results.