4 Ways Cloud-Based Contact Center Solutions Increase Flexibility
As momentum continues to build for cloud adoption in the contact center space, the business case for supporting this decision becomes clear. One reason for rising cloud adoption is the variety of strong use cases, including better agent engagement, smarter call routing, improved self-service options, richer management reporting, more personalized CX, and more.
These are a few specific examples of how cloud benefits the contact center and any one of these is sufficient to justify the investment. Call center leaders need to consider the overall benefit of cloud, namely the flexibility of the platform itself. As customer expectations keep rising, contact centers must keep innovating and remain agile, and this is where the cloud has great strategic value. To understand why this flexibility is so important, here are four examples to consider.
1. Cloud-based Contact Center Solutions Support New Digital Channels
A cloud-based contact center platform provides the flexibility to support new and additional channels. Customers expect omnichannel CX and are rapidly gravitating to the newer channels, all of which are digital. Legacy call center platforms weren’t built to support these new channels and have limited upgradability for those who want to ‘bolt’ on digital channels.
Patchwork solutions can be workable in the short term but will always be playing catch-up. The sooner a cloud-based solution can be deployed, the faster this gap will be closed, and the contact center put into a strong position to seamlessly add new channels. The key here is to recognize that CX is not confined to a static set of communication channels. When new channels emerge, be ready to support the channels your customers prefer to use.
2. Rich Features Offer Personalized CX
Supporting new channels is necessary for communicating effectively with customers, but the bigger job of providing good CX requires a rich set of features and capabilities along with the orchestration of customer information across multiple applications. Personalized CX now requires agents to pull data from a wide range of sources in real-time, such as CRM, billing, shipping, tech support, and more. Not only are deep integrations needed to provide this for call center agents, but it must meet compliance requirements within a given vertical.
As the concept of customer journey evolves, the number of these information sources will increase as businesses develop more sophisticated approaches to gain a 360-degree understanding of each customer and each interaction across the organization. Digital transformation is dramatically broadening the number and type of touchpoints that can be connected, and call centers need a platform to support this at scale. Given how CX is constantly evolving, new features will need to be supported, and simply put, a cloud deployment model can do this for contact centers.
3. Cloud Flexibility Enables Greater Automation
Integrating customer data across multiple applications and systems in real time speaks clearly to automation. The value of flexibility lies in adapting to change, and this is especially important for automation. Legacy forms of automation such as basic Yes/No IVR prompts still have utility, but as AI gains currency in the contact center, more advanced and higher value forms of automation will be needed.
In terms of flexibility, cloud enables rapid deployment of new AI-driven automation capabilities across many use cases, such as streamlining internal operations, predictive analytics that anticipate customer needs, conversational bots for more advanced self-service, and customer journey mapping for a more personalized CX. These forms of automation provide immense business value and we’re still at the early stages for what’s possible.
4. Scalable Operations On The Fly
On a strategic level, the flexibility to scale should be paramount for the call center. During the pandemic, businesses have been forced to operate with uncertainty, shifting from on-again to off-again on a regular basis. These shifts have impacts across the organization and operations, not just for supply chain and managing physical locations, but for contact center staffing.
Cloud-based contact center solutions are clearly superior in this context, as they can be scaled up or down quickly, easily and affordably. When it comes to everyday needs such as scheduling agents, broadband provisioning and smart routing, this flexibility can make all the difference for running a cost-effective contact center. Now add to this the seasonal fluctuations that many businesses must manage, along with unplanned events that drive up traffic such as product recalls, regulatory changes or flash sales and it should be clear why this factor alone can support the business case for cloud-based contact center solutions.