Driving a Consistent Customer Experience in the Cloud
Contributed by Ellen Cahill
Sr. VP Marketing
The chances are good that your company is using a cloud-based contact center solution are or will be soon. After all, about half of all contact centers in North America are currently using some form of a cloud or hosted solution according to a report from Frost & Sullivan, with that number forecasted to increase to 90% by 2016. If you are not already part of this move away from legacy solutions, you may be curious about the forces driving this trend.
A major reason for the shift to cloud hosted contact center solutions is that the technology is, to put it simply, superior in many instances. Cloud solutions are more cost-effective, easier to scale alongside a growing business, and can be deployed in days or weeks rather than months. Even among larger enterprises, where dedicated space and staff requirements aren’t such huge hurdles to clear, adoption of cloud-based solutions is growing.
To take a different perspective, companies are also migrating to the cloud because of the need to remain competitive. Cloud hosted solutions give contact centers greater flexibility and enable them to be more responsive to customers. Companies that don’t make use of these capabilities will see revenue and customer satisfaction declining as they fall behind competitors.
The flexibility of cloud solutions is visible in being able to offer coverage across multiple channels. While many interactions still happen by phone, customers are frequently choosing to use channels such as email, web chat, and social media and expecting a response through that channel in a short timeframe. Cloud-based contact centers have the advantage of easily integrating these channels into a single queue to provide a consistent customer experience.
Consistency is a crucial component of the customer experience, but all too often companies are delivering an incomplete experience. Problems can range from customer information not being transferred, requiring that customer to start from the beginning with their basic details if they change channels, to completely different responses due to channels being assigned to different groups. This latter issue is often the result of legacy premises-based solutions where each channel is handled by a separate group. One group may be responding to emails while another takes calls, with no link between them to coordinate responses.
Such a setup often fails to deliver a satisfying customer experience. The goal of being able to offer seamless omni-channel support across channels is yet another driving force behind the adoption of cloud hosted contact center solutions. By implementing these solutions, companies can overcome the limitations of legacy systems and provide an experience that benefits both the customer experience and the corporate brand.