For many businesses, the focus of customer communications is the contact centre. As a business grows and changes, the contact centre must grow and change too.
As customers use an increasing number of communication channels, from social media to messaging, the contact centre needs to develop to include these.
Data from the customer journey is becoming increasingly important, letting companies see where they can improve the customer experience. You need to be able to capture that data and extract it from the contact centre to share with other company systems.
To get the flexibility they need to make these changes, more businesses than ever are looking to the cloud. Cloud contact centres can be set up quickly. Agile companies running cloud contact centres can compete with sector leaders on customer experience. Digital-first Russian bank Tinkoff set up cloud-based call centres with freelance employees. The bank has 14,000 call centre operators, with 6,000 of them making 500,000 customer calls a day from home.
Traditionally, contact centre solutions are based on highly complex, customised on-premise technology. With traditional on-premise systems, keeping up with all the latest security and data protection issues is a full-time job for an expensive team of people.
Organisations have been understandably nervous about making big changes to such important customer-facing systems. The thinking was ‘don’t fix what isn't broken’.
Now, though, the benefits of cloud contact centre solutions are compelling:
With cloud contact centres, you only pay for what you use, depending on how much capacity you need or if you add or remove features.
Agents may be based anywhere in the world. Now it’s possible to balance staffing costs in different locations against the benefits of basing some agents close to customers to provide a localised service.
People add value. Cloud-based contact centres can recruit the best agents from around the world.
Security and business continuity. Cloud providers handle software updates and maintenance, security and disaster recovery. Of course, you can’t entirely outsource responsibility for security, but a cloud solution will keep your contact centre up and running and let you sleep at night.
Scale and change. On-premise contact centres can be tailored to your business’ very specific requirements. But requirements can rapidly change, as was seen during the pandemic with the shift to home working and customers communicating and buying digitally. When requirements evolve, cloud-based contact centres can offer more flexibility than on premise. Changes made to the core cloud-based system – whether to scripting, addition of new customer journeys or changes to the agent interface – are made once and instantly available to all agents, whether they work from contact centres or home.
Cloud contact centres can be scaled up or down, adding or removing agents in hours or days. They can integrate with other business applications, so that agents answering calls or messages have a complete picture of customer interactions. You can set up a contact centre in a new country or market in no time at all. You can tweak call flows and add new groups of agents with different skills.
It’s great to be able to scale contact centres to meet demand, but getting the right balance between human interactions and automated self-service is key. Sophisticated, natural speech-based interactions coupled with artificial intelligence and machine learning are helping businesses achieve a low customer effort score.
Cloud solutions can integrate intelligent new contact centre features as they become available. There’s no need to wait to get access to the latest technology.
Cloud-based contact centres are a single source of truth about omnichannel customer interactions. They’re a winning combination of solid and resilient, nimble and flexible.
Customer expectations are growing. Cloud-based solutions provide the flexibility to respond and compete on customer experience.