We’ve long understood that making customer service a priority is a critical step to establishing a company’s brand credibility. In an increasingly competitive market with more discerning customers, buyers are expecting more from brands when it comes to customer support, convenience, and problem resolution. A recent customer engagement survey shows that 96% of people report that customer service is an essential factor when determining if they are loyal to brands. (Source: Microsoft). But in an era where mobility, convenience, and digital technologies collide, what should businesses be doing to deliver enhanced customer interactions and to support omnichannel customer service strategies? In short, invest in your contact center.
But, making the necessary investments in your contact center is challenging. There are investments required for hardware, software, and integrations, and additional resources required for staffing and training. For companies looking to cut contact center costs and improve performance, many are turning to the cloud. Moving to the cloud can save organizations up-front hardware costs, shifting them to a service-based model. On top of that, while premise-based systems make adding agents a challenge, cloud contact center makes scaling, both up and down, simple and more affordable. If you’re considering boosting your contact center capabilities by moving to the cloud, there are several other considerations and use cases worth evaluating.
Upgrading your contact center system
Cloud-based contact center systems are attractive because they make many advanced capabilities available nearly ‘out-of-the-box.’ Capabilities might include live call monitoring or more diverse integration for supporting CRM systems, scrip generators, helpdesk tickets, etc. Instead of buying additional software pieces and hiring IT help to tie all data and business apps together, cloud contact center applications require minimal installation time and are similar to downloading an app on your phone or computer. Agents also have instant access to integrated dashboards that keep all necessary data and initiatives in one place, through a login and internet connection. And because systems are cloud-based, they are kept up-to-date and should include the latest integrations and features at all times.
Embracing an omnichannel approach
While multichannel means giving customers different communication options for interacting with a company, such as a phone, email, online, social, mobile, and chat, omnichannel is a strategy that takes the customer experience to the next level. An omnichannel approach has a plan behind each digital touchpoint to ensure customers receive a more holistic experience across channels because data and systems are connected. This strategy opens up new ways to communicate with customers making their experiences more convenient and more personal, improving a company’s rapport and trust with the consumer – a reality most companies are still pursuing. Cloud-based contact centers make it more affordable to adopt systems that make delivering more personalized customer experiences possible. For example, systems may enable video chats to enhance customer service and agent productivity. Capabilities such as automated self-service, AI-powered chatbots, virtual assistants, and social listening, layered with self-service apps, are also making companies more competitive at any size. These systems can increase brand loyalty and retention without requiring custom tools or integrations.
Cloud-based systems also make it easier to gather the Voice of the Customer (VoC) and Voice of the Employee (VoE) intelligence. In addition to tying together, data from multiple systems, a cloud-based contact center that supports an omnichannel approach also provides greater context, which customer service teams need to tailor customer experiences. Tools that enable ‘sentiment analysis’ about customer interactions also offer a better understanding of the entire customer journey.
Focusing on the future: Holistic customer experiences
Customer contact centers are a vital part of building a productive and effective customer service framework and for delivering genuinely omnichannel customer experience. The cloud offers a smart and cost-effective path for increasing contact center performance and productivity and for enabling a broader range of companies to take advantage of emerging customer experience technologies. When companies are open to moving their contact center to the cloud, they can deliver more immersive and connected experiences customers will love.