3 Ways Cloud Contact Center Solutions Benefit Agents
Momentum remains strong for cloud contact center solutions, with most deployments still in their early stages. This is because cloud provides business value across the entire customer service value chain. While a solid business case could be made solely for how IT would benefit, there’s a bigger story to tell that considers other stakeholders, both in and out of the contact center.
As the Contact Center as a Service (CCaaS) model becomes better understood, including solutions like an Amazon Connect cloud contact center, IT decision-makers recognize this is a solution that will address more than one particular aspect of customer service. CCaaS represents a holistic approach that goes well beyond making IT’s job easier.
There is another stakeholder group that benefits from the cloud – agents. Not only are their numbers much larger than IT, but they will be the most hands-on users of CCaaS solutions. To ensure they get full value from cloud-based contact center solutions, here are three key considerations.
1. Cloud makes work-from-home an ongoing option for agents.
A key lesson learned from 2020 was validation for the cloud to support any deployment scenario. Not only did cloud solutions enable contact centers to modernize their capabilities, but it also supported home-based agents. During the pandemic, working from home (WFH) become a necessity for many businesses. Another lesson learned from 2020 was how well agents could perform in this environment.
This may have been uncharted territory earlier, but cloud is the right deployment model for a distributed workforce, and many contact centers now see how work at home agents can be sustainable long-term. In fact, a recent survey from J.D. Power found that 92% of companies said their customer experience scores remained the same or increased over the course of the pandemic.
Not only are there operational benefits for cloud contact center solutions, but many agents prefer to work this way. In this case, contact centers need to consider their broadband capabilities when planning for permanent WFH agents. This is a necessary condition for CCaaS to support home-based agents, so in cases where broadband is limited, the contact center will need to make provisions so these agents can somehow enhance their service.
2. Agents can work from anywhere, and for anybody.
Another way that agents benefit from cloud contact center solutions is having the ability to work from anywhere. Some agents choose flexible, remote work where the physical location is no longer a factor. This provides a new level of flexibility, not just for how agents work, but also for where they work and whom they work for.
With cloud solutions like the Amazon Connect contact center, work opportunities for agents are not constrained by proximity to home. This enables the contact center to draw from a broader pool of agents without geographic boundaries and provides agents with more opportunities for work. Aside from having more flexibility to work with your contact center in an on-demand fashion, agents can supplement their earnings by taking on work from other contact centers globally.
This is the nature of the gig economy, and for agents who embrace that, cloud can be very empowering. As such, contact centers need to recognize that cloud can improve agent engagement by giving them more control over their employment prospects, which also means they can take their talents elsewhere if you don’t make them feel valued.
3. Maintain agent engagement while working in isolation.
In terms of agent benefit, the starting point with cloud contact center solutions is enabling richer, real-time tools that can support deeper customer engagement. This is the modernization that contact centers need in order for agents to be on a level playing field with today’s digital-first customers. This is a compelling benefit since it applies to all agents, regardless of where they’re working from.
With WFH now being the norm for contact centers, there is another layer to consider with this benefit. WFH will be new for many agents. On top of learning how to use these new capabilities, they may not be prepared for the isolation that comes with working this way. Having the right tools for customer engagement is one thing, but equally important is the need to feel connected with your team and the organization.
In this regard, contact center leaders need to view cloud as an enabler for agent engagement, where these tools are used to collaborate with fellow agents, facilitate virtual coaching with supervisors, and make it easy to access subject matter experts while dealing with customers. Without this, isolation will surely take its toll on your agents, and that could easily undermine all the other benefits that come with adopting cloud for your contact center.