Published: December 09, 2021 | Comments
For contact center leaders, it’s essential to have agile operations that adapt quickly in response to changing business needs. That’s one reason why many brands across many industry verticals are looking to the cloud for the future of their contact center.
The Contact Center as a Service (CCaaS) market is growing fast—with an expected compound annual growth rate of 23.1% through 2025]—as businesses seek the agility, flexibility, and lower TCO promised by the cloud.
But any CCaaS investments must be made with one eye on the future. While the cloud may provide the scalable IT infrastructure to expand operations as needed, too many cloud contact center platforms lack the ability to adapt experiences to future customer demands – or changes in business environment and operations.
Ultimately, cloud strategies that aren’t built around current and future customer and business needs will fail. They may bring short-term cost savings, but at the expense of long-term customer satisfaction. And sometimes, the rush to the cloud can even break the existing customer experience.
To determine if CCaaS is the right approach, and to ensure their CCaaS providers can deliver futureproof platforms, contact center leaders must ask four important questions.
Do we have the integration expertise to ensure customer experiences aren’t interrupted?
Cloud migrations require thoughtful planning and baselining existing metrics to ensure a seamless performance. In particular, IVR systems are tightly integrated to CRM systems to provide personalized self-service that enables call deflection and improved customer experiences. Not properly planning can lead to loss of functionality and capabilities that can have significant impacts to the contact center.
Even if IVR containment only drops by 1%, the increased call volumes will lead to higher costs, significant challenges with contact center staffing, and a negative impact on customer satisfaction.
The problem gets even bigger for IVRs that have been tuned for industry-specific use cases. So, alongside careful planning and deep technical expertise, proven domain experience is vital for successful integration.
Are we optimizing systems for the cloud to take advantage of omnichannel?
Optimizing existing applications for the cloud also requires meticulous planning around how the customer journey can change. CCaaS provides a unique opportunity to launch an omnichannel customer journey – which goes beyond optimizing channel specific applications.
Any CCaaS migration must be scheduled with a clear understanding of how and when existing journeys change, and be optimized for omnichannel to ensure the cloud solution will at least match—and ideally exceed—current performance.
Will we have the tools to exceed customer expectations?
Almost all CCaaS platforms will provide call routing, agent workforce management, and simple customer engagement functionality. Contact centers need much more than that to provide effective automation and seamless omnichannel journeys.
It’s crucial to assess the ability of CCaaS platforms to deliver Natural Language Understanding (putting the control of the conversation with the customer augmenting routing solutions) and AI-powered security capabilities (to drive trusted and personalized engagements). The goal is to create effortless, intelligent customer experiences and not just a shift of infrastructure to cloud.
Will we be locked into one vendor?
All the flexibility and cost-saving benefits of the cloud will be lost if applications lack portability. Often, when organizations want to change their CCaaS provider to meet new business demands, there’s an enormous amount of rework to get apps to run on the new platform.
So, it’s imperative to find a partner that can support multiple CCaaS platform types, providing a common set of underlying AI services that remain constant as organizations migrate to new platforms, now and in the future.
Build a customer-centric cloud strategy
For CCaas to work for a business, it’s important to take a critical look at how your existing applications are likely to perform in the cloud, how much rework will be needed, and how you’ll ensure your customers benefit from the migration. In the end, if customers don’t feel the benefit of having your contact center in the cloud, they’ll soon go elsewhere—and you’ll never see the long-term ROI you expect.