State of the Contact Center 2021: Cloud is Here, What's Next? Part 3

By Ross Daniels May 20, 2021

Last week in Part 2 of this series, we talked about the tools and technologies that contact centers are looking at in order to take full advantage of cloud platforms, such as analytics, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML). By aggregating vast quantities of business data across the cloud and applying tools to analyze behaviors, contact center leaders are discovering valuable insights that help optimize business processes.

But, how is cloud impacting customer and employee satisfaction? As it turns out, it has a very positive impact.

Insight #3: Cloud adoption supports greater customer and agent experiences

Customers increasingly want more customer service channels, particularly video conferencing. They expect quicker response times, but prefer human agents over chatbots; and they need help with increasingly complex questions, but also have higher expectations for emotional empathy.

A 2020 survey reported more than 90% of contact centers were investing in new channels and technologies to meet these expectations. In our most recent conversations, the majority of contact centers — whether fully or partially cloud-based or even on-premises — did move to meet rising expectations by adding new channels and using analytics, business intelligence (BI), and personalization tools to enhance the customer experience.

But, their success in these measures was directly related to their cloud maturity. In particular, contact centers with full-cloud solutions were nearly twice as likely to have successfully implemented new capabilities like social channels, chatbots and BI platforms. Compared with those still on-premises or partially cloud-based, the vast majority of full-cloud contact centers aren’t worried that their technical infrastructure will be a limiting factor in their ability to meet and exceed changing customer expectations in the future.

As for employee and agent satisfaction, contact center managers see the value of employee engagement – in terms of its impact on both customer experience and cost-optimization. A year ago, 92% said they were planning to maintain or increase investments in workforce engagement management (WEM) solutions. Fast-forward to 2021, and 9 out of 10 contact centers say they’re actively using employee engagement data as a way to improve business operations.

Cloud-powered contact centers (full or partial) say the cloud has directly increased employee engagement within their organizations. Specifically, the top three cloud-improved factors when it comes to employee engagement include:

  • Providing agents with the remote-working flexibility and scheduling control they want;
  • Delivering the data-driven performance feedback and transparency they crave; and
  • Providing better analytics tools for managers to understand support agents to be more successful in their jobs.
Next week, in Part 4, we’ll discuss what contact center leaders had to say about security, one of the main concerns often cited in cloud adoption, and other possible or perceived barriers to cloud deployment. 

Edited by Erik Linask
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