The Rise of Contact Center as a Service
It is becoming the norm for contact center agents to be able to work from home or outside of a call center. As a result, many companies are looking to transition their customer experience (CX) infrastructure to the cloud to better support remote agents. This has created a sudden increase in demand for Contact Center as a Service (CCaaS) solutions, which are taking the market by storm. In fact, CCaaS will be the preferred model of 50% of contact centers by 2022, and have an estimated market value of $10.06 billion by 2027.
When it comes to migrating your contact center to the cloud, there are several key considerations to be undertaken before a company can ensure its CCaaS solution is truly reliable.
Using customer data intelligently
Some platforms have advanced capabilities to take advantage of customer data by personalizing interactions and messaging. By leveraging cloud-based desktop tools, agents can receive suggestions on how to use that data to resolve customer issues. Robust contact center tools will even provide proactive recommendations of new tactics for the agent to use during a customer interaction.
In addition to live recommendations and feedback, automation can help agents organize and clean up back-end data collected during customer interactions. This data is collected through speech recognition and transcription technology, which collects customer information and stores it for later use. Thanks to advancements in natural language processing (NLP) and speech technology, well-built cloud contact center solutions will be able to facilitate speech recognition around the globe, regardless of language or accents. This data is especially useful to new hires and agents, who can review the data in their training to better understand their customers and how to interact with them.
AI/ML technologies to enhance customer communications
Omnichannel cloud contact center capabilities help contact center agents provide superior customer service at a lower cost. Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) technology allows contact centers to design automated experiences and conversational interfaces that can be integrated into any cloud-based application or agent tool. Speech-to-text and NLP capabilities allow seamless transitions between voice and text chat channels. This provides easier access between digital channels, allowing agents to meet customers in their preferred communication medium.
Thanks to these automated capabilities, many customer interactions can be fully automated, regardless of the channel. This allows agents to let automated features handle low-level customer interactions, so agents can spend more time resolving time sensitive or complex customer issues. With omnichannel interactions across voice and chat, and automated functions to resolve low-level inquiries, remote contact center agents can provide superior and consistent customer experiences (CX) across any customer’s preferred channel of communication.
As companies evolve their strategies for CX and customer engagements, especially as the pandemic continues to disrupt business operations and their interactions with customers, many are considering engaging AI-driven insights and automation. Possessing cloud-based contact center capabilities provides an easier path to AI adoption, as cloud-native AI capabilities are much easier to deploy than on-premise AI. What’s more, because the technology is cloud-based and future updates will be integrated automatically, organizations never have to worry about updating software or performing manual fixes.
In addition, cloud-native contact center technology allows organizations to be more agile in their adoption of other capabilities to support elevated CX and engagements, including DevOps methods.
DevOps for continuous innovation and optimization
While DevOps was originally designed as a strategy for software development, the underlying purpose behind DevOps is all about progressing new developments and business initiatives faster. Now that contact centers have cloud-based platforms that allow them to adopt new technology and capabilities with greater speed, they can leverage DevOps methodologies to make the most of their new, agile technology. For example, contact centers can now introduce DevOps principles to their IT teams to ensure flawless, defect-free customer journeys that meet the needs of the enterprise’s specific customer base. Similar to DevOps for applications, contact centers can apply continuous integration (CI) and continuous delivery (CD) to contact center operations.
However, to fully leverage DevOps principles for better CX and contact center operations, organizations must enable automated testing. In a DevOps context, automated testing enables IT teams to quickly respond to and fix issues before new features are deployed. This saves IT resources such as time and cash by allowing IT teams to fix problems now before the feature is already in use by agents and must be taken down for repairs. Ultimately, automated testing allows contact center teams to develop and deploy innovations faster, be more responsive to their market and ever-shifting changes in their customers’ preferences and enable flawless CX with significantly fewer technical issues.
There are many obvious benefits to cloud-based contact center solutions, or CCaaS. Cloud-based contact center tools and capabilities enable more satisfying interactions for customers, and more efficient processes for agents. However, organizations that want to embrace the full benefits of CCaaS would be wise to make sure their solution providers offer the capabilities outlined here. Above all else, automate testing to proactively ensure that every new feature functions as designed. Otherwise, your customers might notice before you.
(The author Linda Chen is CMO and GM, Cyara and the views expressed in the article are her own)