Two Birds with One Stone: Cloud-based Contact Centers Elevate CE, Agent Productivity


Two Birds with One Stone: Cloud-based Contact Centers Elevate CE, Agent Productivity

By TMCnet Special Guest
  |  May 15, 2013

Contact center managers must achieve two key goals: providing a high-quality customer experience and achieving high agent productivity levels.

To capture these two birds with one solution successfully and efficiently, contact center managers must determine how to create more customer loyalty, thereby driving profitability and improving customer experience; and achieve maximum flexibility in operations and high agent productivity.

As customers now expect easy access to information and faster problem resolution via a growing number of channels, contact center leaders need an efficient way to attain technology updates and ensure the best service is given. The powerful combination of a flexible IT infrastructure with a dynamic business strategy might sound overwhelming, but it is a necessary component for companies to satisfy these demanding, unique, and increasingly mobile customers.

Updating your contact center’s technology backbone may seem daunting; however, the decision to move your contact center software to the cloud will ultimately catch these two birds with one stone – delivering great customer experiences and high agent productivity.

Bird’s Eye View

Contact center leaders are steadily shifting their stance on key metrics. Rather than focusing almost exclusively on customer satisfaction, they are looking more holistically at the customer experience. So what’s the difference, and how does it affect profitability?

Customers’ demands change constantly, because they have the ability to receive information on multiple communications channels and respond in various ways. Tailoring how you respond to those demands creates loyalty and allows you to keep their revenue potential.

Measuring customer satisfaction on a periodic basis will not affect customer experience without closing the loop, using multiple channels when available. Real-time reaction to negative responses is critical in retaining dissatisfied customers – with the opportunity for conversion to satisfied customers.

Proactive approaches, as opposed to reactionary approaches, enhance the customer experience by providing a personalized and enriched overall experience. Customer service used to be 100 percent inbound servicing. Today, leading organizations are creating a blend, with as much as 10 percent of their customer service as a proactive outbound touch point.

While cloud computing is not a new concept, companies have been slow to move to the cloud. To maintain a thriving business today and tomorrow, IT infrastructures and contact strategies must continue to evolve for a variety of reasons.

Moving your contact center to the cloud helps enable customer satisfaction by creating a nimble underlying technology platform. Your contact centers can easily add new channels and strategies, satiating the instant gratification customers crave from their experiences at the drop of a hat.

A cloud-based contact center also can handle bursts of activity during peak times, ensuring a positive experience for customers, continuously optimizing as volumes and needs fluctuate throughout the day, week, month, and year.

Making It Fly

Fostering change in the contact center can be especially challenging as interested parties have a range of competing concerns that need to be addressed.

IT teams typically perceive on-premises infrastructure to be more secure than cloud-based platforms, with greater control. This common misconception can be mitigated with statistics and evidence of the contrary.

Financial leaders must wrap their heads around the associated changes in cost structure. A cloud strategy will eliminate large capital expenditures and continuous maintenance and upgrade expenses while evolving to recurring, smaller operating expenses.

Contact center managers who oversee the enormous demands of running a contact center typically have concerns about changes that might jeopardize their department’s performance metrics or change key processes. Success stories that showcase how other contact centers have made the leap into the cloud can mitigate their apprehension toward this approach.

By educating those who can positively impact a contact center, they will understand these concerns are easily overcome. Many organizations have already proven this to be the case. Ultimately the right cloud-based customer experience solution will transform traditional call centers into cross-channel interaction centers. Shifting contact centers into the cloud will deliver increased productivity and success for agents while providing customers the ability to communicate with businesses in their preferred channels.

Matt Edmunds is senior vice president and general manager of the contact center business unit at SoundBite Communications (News - Alert)

Edited by Stefania Viscusi
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