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So, You're Ready to Move to the Cloud-But What Kind of Cloud?

Moving your contact center to the cloud to gain benefits like managed operations that keep software running smoothly, greater support for remote agents and offices, and frequent automatic updates that provide new functionality, is becoming conventional wisdom. Today, contact centers of all sizes are ready to move to the cloud in order to work more efficiently and continually provide customers with the best, most up-to-date experiences available. But, a proliferation of cloud models and new entrants darkens the skies on how to proceed. Many contact center leaders and the IT leaders that support them are evaluating options but are getting mixed signals on which way to go.

Cloud contact center

To take full advantage of cloud benefits – and win in today’s competitive experience economy – contact centers should look for a modern, open cloud customer experience platform that enables customization, delivers a consolidated agent desktop, and empowers rapid and continuous customer experience improvements.

Customize your own robust solution

No two businesses will have the exact same needs when it comes to delivering exceptional customer experiences. When considering your options, ask this: can you customize the cloud option to match your unique business needs, and continue to adapt easily as customer expectations change?

For outdated on-premises technology that’s been forklifted to someone else’s datacenter (sometimes called ‘single-tenant cloud’ or ‘private cloud’), customization with continuous improvement is difficult, if not practically impossible. For cloud infrastructure-only platforms that focus mostly on offering do-it-yourself API toolkits for developers, customization is possible, yet it can be very expensive and slow to ‘reinvent the wheel’ for all your core contact center applications. Here’s an opportunity to rethink the art of the possible. Consider an optimal customer experience platform that is both open and provides a complete set of applications to power your contact center.

By turning to an open cloud customer experience platform with a unified set of applications, contact center leaders and IT teams have the best of both worlds: a robust suite of integrated applications to power your customer experience plus the freedom to tailor it to their unique needs. Through modern and open APIs, contact centers can create their own unique customizations or integrations – and easily keep them current as they receive regular software upgrades. Additionally, some cloud platforms, like CXone, come with access to application marketplaces. This allows companies to pick and choose pre-integrated add-on applications that are most relevant to their business’ particular needs.

Deliver a consolidated agent desktop

When selecting a cloud solution, make sure it’s ready to go with easy to use, unified applications that enable both exceptional agent and customer experiences. Do-it-yourself, API-only cloud platforms require extensive custom coding or integration of multiple 3rd party products to power your agent and customer experience. Unless your organization is willing to invest in a huge development effort to build the agent experience from scratch, it is difficult for this approach to provide agents with a single desktop.

Hosted legacy software was originally created before many best practices we now take for granted were available: omnichannel, deep CRM integration, or agent-friendly workforce scheduling. And as a result, it is difficult for these older systems to provide the seamless agent experience that a modern cloud platform delivers.

Empower rapid and continuous CX improvements

Selection of a cloud-native customer experience platform that provides frequent upgrades across all applications, without disruption to business operations, is key to providing your agents with the tools and context they need to stay engaged and keep your customers happy.  Here are a couple of examples:

  • Addition of new digital channels: Cloud contact center platforms support the integration of new channels, including mobile and social, so you can easily meet evolving customer demand. Doing so via hosted legacy technology is almost impossible – it’s too expensive to upgrade, maintain and integrate with new channels, per a recent Frost & Sullivan White Paper.
  • Rapid omnichannel routing and IVR updates-: IVR is one of the most common self-service channels businesses offer their customers – with 78 percent of businesses reporting it is part of their customer experience infrastructure. With hosted on-premises technology, updating IVR scripts or contact routing across voice and digital channels is labor-intensive and can require a full-time technician and time-consuming coding. A unified cloud customer experience platform simplifies the entire process, with the provision of easy drag-and-drop IVR script and contact flow changes.

Given the speed at which customer expectations change, and to win in today’s customer experience economy, businesses cannot afford to lean on products that sell the hype of cloud, but that do not easily afford customization, simplify the agent experience, and regularly deliver rapid customer experience improvements. For contact centers to provide exceptional customer experiences, they need an open, cloud-native customer experience platform that enables the same level of personalization that businesses aim to provide their own customers.

Have questions about the cloud? Meet NICE inContact at ICMI Contact Center Expo, May 21-24 in Orlando, FL.