August 30, 2018 by Siobhan Climer
Not every contact center finds moving to the cloud a natural next step. While there are early adopters in any digital transformation, contact centers have been hesitant – and reasonably so – to migrate to the cloud. Worries about price, security, and the future linger. Many IT Directors have seen technologies come and go, making cautious consideration a tried-and-true methodology for engaging with emerging tech.
But cloud solutions for the contact center aren’t emerging tech anymore; they are the path forward. Cloud computing enables contact centers to have increased scalability, efficiency, and communication between customer service representatives (CSRs), leadership, and customers. IT leaders likely know that some aspects of the contact center would be better in the cloud. But how do you make the business case for the cloud in the contact center if reservations remain?
Contact Center Challenges And Cloud Benefits
To examine how the cloud benefits contact centers, it is helpful to first understand the largest drivers of this digital shift. What challenges do contact centers face on a daily basis?
Problem: Terrible Customer Experience
Customer experience, customer care, customer service – these are the reasons contact centers exist. They facilitate the communication between a business’s customers and knowledgeable CSRs who can inform, satisfy, and delight callers. Unfortunately, time and time again, contact centers make the news for providing a horrendous customer experience; long wait times, repetitive IVRs, or unhelpful CSRs can deeply impact a customer’s experience, and their relationship with the business going forward. 79% of customers take their business to a competitor within one week of experiencing poor customer service.
Cloud Solution: Cloud APIs Offer Personalized Customer Experience, Every Time
Customer expectations evolve almost as fast as the technology. 56% of consumers across all age groups have higher expectations of customer service than they did just one year ago. Anticipating customer needs enables CSRs to provide helpful information, reduce average call handle (ACH) time and provide a better experience. Cloud solutions like Cisco’s Customer Journey Solutions and Genesys Purecloud also enable an omnichannel customer experience, aligning the silos of communication into an integrated – and positive – experience.
Problem: Constraints Of Licenses And Hardware
Legacy on-premise systems often constrain contact centers from moving forward, due to the physical infrastructure needs of on-premise systems and licenses that keep you tied to providers and services. Adding new agents, growing your business, and adapting to changes in the market, seasonal or otherwise, are difficult undertakings. To make the business case for the cloud, consider how these constraints reduce growth.
Cloud Solution: Scale Up Or Down As Needs Change
The pay-as-you-go model means contact centers have more control over their spending, especially as changes in technology, products, services, and people continue to fluctuate. For IT budget managers, this may require additional strategy and planning, but it is worth it for the agility your business will have. Adding seasonal agents for the holidays or saving costs in the summer slump is a more manageable process with the cloud.
Problem: Multichannel Keeps Experience Siloed
Customers are constantly changing the ways they expect to interact with your business. Legacy on-premise hardware makes adding new channels a challenge. 9 out of 10 consumers world-wide want to use text to talk to businesses, and the need to integrate social messaging apps, social media channels, chatbot messaging tools, and other integrated channels continues to frustrate the contact center. Not every channel works for every business and investing in integrations can be costly.
Cloud Solution: Add And Delete Channels Easily, Improving Omnichannel
For contact centers, creating the perfect omnichannel strategy is an unattainable goal; as new channels come and go, the contact center will need to adapt. 5 years ago, Facebook and Twitter were all the rage. Today, Snapchat, Instagram, and chat tools. Tomorrow, who knows? The cloud enables contact centers to add and remove, test and improve, and adapt for the changing needs of customers. Find what works today and be prepared for what is coming down the pipe as you make the business case for the cloud.
Problem: End-of-life Hardware Refreshes Huge CapEx
When the legacy on-premise system the contact center supports comes end-of-life, preparations for the next enormous capital expenditure begin. What will the business look like in ten years? What kinds of storage needs will we have? How will technology change the way we work, the needs we have, and the risks we face? These types of questions can keep CIOs and Directors up at night, wondering what – if anything – was missed. Refreshes are a big expense, so you want to make sure you do it right. But contact center leaders know they don’t have all the information needed to make the best decision. In the end, some of it is guesswork.
Cloud Solution: Control Costs As Business Changes
The scalability offered by the cloud eases the worry behind these questions. A common misconception is that the cloud is simply less expensive than on-premise solutions. This is not true. The cloud enables you to adapt and plan more accurately for the changing needs of your business, putting contact center leaders in control of the costs going forward. This is essential to making the business case for the cloud. Instead of guessing where you’ll be and what you’ll need in ten years, the cloud enables business to control costs in the immediate and future while ensuring they’re prepared for the changes that will inevitably be coming.
The Business Case For The Cloud
The business case for the cloud relies on the increased functionality, adaptability, and control cloud solutions provide the business. The contact center isn’t going anywhere – people will continue to require customer service, support, and assistance from the businesses with which they form relationships. When it comes to making the business case for the cloud, contact center leaders need to remember that adapting for consumers must come first. Because, in the end, the mission of the contact center is to provide an extraordinary customer experience. The cloud gives you that extra, preparing you for today, tomorrow, and the future.
If you’re planning a contact center shift, be sure to check out our newest eBook Customers Drive, You Navigate: Your Contact Center Roadmap to Customer Care Success. We’ll walk you through the steps of assessing your current state and developing a plan for the future.
Contact us today to discuss cloud solutions for the contact center.
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About The Author
Siobhan Climer, Science and Technology Writer for Mindsight, writes about technology trends in education, healthcare, and business. She previously taught STEM programs in elementary classrooms and museums, and writes extensively about cybersecurity, disaster recovery, cloud services, backups, data storage, network infrastructure, and the contact center. When she’s not writing tech, she’s writing fantasy, gardening, and exploring the world with her twin two-year old daughters. Find her on twitter @techtalksio.