Published: May 17, 2018 | Comments
Today, contact center leaders who embrace the cloud are quick to see its benefits – powering engaging customer experiences while positively impacting business outcomes. In an environment where customer expectations are rapidly evolving, and flexibility is key to survival, cloud platforms have set new standards for engagement and satisfaction. As contact centers continue to become drivers of business growth, there are significant quantitative and qualitative results to consider.
NICE inContact recently commissioned a study by Forrester Consulting—the Total Economic ImpactTM of NICE inContact CXone—to quantify the financial benefits and strategic value of migrating from on-premises contact center technology to its cloud customer experience platform, CXone. The study revealed a swath of benefits resulting from the transition to the cloud, including a payoff of $25.9 million over three years and a rapid payback period of just over three months for a representative 1,100 seat organization.
The study analyzed the impact of moving to the cloud for several companies, including fashion retailer TechStyle. With the switch, TechStyle was able to overhaul its entire global customer service network through the cloud and found new opportunities to tap next-gen tools like artificial intelligence to improve customer experiences while lowering costs. Here are a few key lessons and outcomes from TechStyle’s transformation to the cloud:
Unify to Deliver Immersive Customer Experiences
California-based TechStyle Fashion Group is the fast-growing organization behind brands Fabletics, JustFab, Shoedazzle and Fabkids. And, the company is in the midst of launching its new brand SavageX Fenty. Founded in 2010, as the retailer expanded and added new brands to its portfolio, customer service infrastructures were siloed – no overarching system supported synergy between brands. Collecting a diverse range of data and gleaning cohesive insights to meet customer needs better proved to be a significant challenge.
When TechStyle opted for a unified cloud platform, the walls between the teams were broken. According to Aarde Cosseboom, TechStyle’s Director of Global Member Services Technology and Product, “We now have one central, open cloud platform that allows all of the agents to support our multiple global brands.” The customer support staff of over 1,000 agents across five different centers, using eight different languages, were brought under the same banner – all agents could support all brands, rather than acting as silos of dedicated teams. Agents were empowered to provide more engaging personalized experiences with additional brand-relationship context. This was critical to delivering immersive customer experiences, which increase loyalty and improve metrics such as Net Promoter Score® (NPS®) and customer satisfaction (CSAT).
Use Next-Gen AI Reduce Handle Time and Service Cost
While artificial intelligence (AI) continues to transform the way businesses engage with customers, contact centers are still learning how to best leverage the next-gen technology. Some have turned to AI to power virtual agents, chatbots and other self-service channels. For TechStyle, through the deployment of an open cloud platform customer experience platform, the company was able to seamlessly integrate virtual agents with significant long-term benefits, including:
- Removed 20 percent of calls from live agent queues
- Decreased average handle time by 10 percent
- Improved average speed of answer by over 50 percent at peak times
- Saving over $300,00 per year
The strategic and practical value of the virtual agent is its ability to address calls when there are wait times. Rather than keeping callers on hold – a commonly cited pain point for contact centers – issues can be resolved immediately.
This capability is crucial to growing companies that need to scale quickly and affordably. Virtual agents can remove the need to invest in significantly expanding agent staff to match customer demand. “Without NICE inContact, we would’ve needed to add a couple of thousand more agents to handle high call volumes,” Cosseboom notes. “Instead, we’ve grown agent count modestly while scaling the business.
Additionally, AI plays an important shared role with agents in enabling exceptional omnichannel experiences. For example, AI’s proactive, context-inclusive handoff of chat sessions to live agents allows quicker and more complete resolutions, a proven differentiator for the most positive customer experiences. AI improves and elevates agent-assisted interactions to provide a better, more contextual experience.
Move Quickly to Attract and Retain Customers
A hallmark of traditional on-premises systems is the time it takes to integrate new capabilities or respond to emerging trends – such as adding new channels where customers can engage with a brand. In today’s digital economy, this is untenable. Brands, regardless of industry, need to be able to move quickly to capitalize on rapidly changing expectations. This is especially true for modern retailers like membership driven TechStyle, whose success is built as much on delightful, engaging customer experiences as it is on innovating on fashion trends to keep and win over new customers. An open cloud customer experience platform supports the fast-paced environment of the modern customer and sets the stage for any brand to meet needs and exceed expectations in real time.
Prepare For The Future of Customer Experience
The cloud offers contact centers unmatched flexibility and scalability, which are critical to success in the age of rapid-fire changes in customer expectations. Through access to next-gen technology on an open cloud customer experience platform, businesses like TechStyle can build a holistic approach to supporting and growing a global customer base. In fact, over the course of using NICE inContact CXone, TechStyle has expanded its member customer base from four to five million. This type of rapid growth needs to be underpinned by a customer service infrastructure that is as open, scalable and flexible. Alongside the financial benefits, it creates meaningful, authentic connections that help brands stay ahead of the curve in an increasingly competitive experience economy.