While they may seem outdated, contact centers are still a mainstay for organizations delivering high-quality customer service. The call center represents the hub of a modern omnichannel marketing strategy. Even with all the other options out there – email, chat, social media, etc. – a majority of consumers still prefer picking up the phone when they need service. Delivering an exceptional customer experience through a call center means that agents have the support, training, and technology they need to resolve problems, answer questions, and build genuine connections with customers. To make more meaningful connections with customers, organizations are making the contact center a top priority. The PWC 2020 report found that the number of companies investing in the omnichannel experience has jumped from 20% to more than 80%.
For many businesses, however, contact centers have a long way to go to meet these goals. Legacy contact center systems are too inefficient and costly to meet the demands of today’s savvy customers. In an era when improving your customers’ experience is the key to increasing retention and driving revenue, it’s time we re-evaluate the cost and operational efficiency of traditional call centers.
The cloud breathes ‘new life’ into conventional contact centers
Thanks to cloud computing, contact centers are getting revamped to meet today’s digital economy demands. Bringing contact centers to the cloud allows companies to experience added flexibility, increased productivity, advanced call center features, better use of data analytics, and improved security. Not only that, but cloud-based contact center models are also more cost-efficient and empower users to be more ‘in control’ of their call center programs, opening up opportunities to deliver better user experiences. For these reasons, small and medium-sized (SMBs) businesses, in particular, can benefit from cloud contact centers. Let’s look at some of the most significant benefits of a cloud-based call center model.
- Fast deployment – Unlike on-premise contact center systems that can take months to set up, cloud-based contact centers can be deployed quickly, depending on the complexity of the applications. For SMBs, that can mean the difference between being a market leader and building loyalty with customers or becoming a market follower.
- Access to advanced features like Artificial intelligence (AI) and natural language processing – Using analytics, AI, and other technologies, contact center systems are getting more sophisticated. Some advanced call center systems can use natural language processing to interpret conversations and automate simple, everyday interactions, freeing up live agents to focus on more complex issues. For instance, Google Cloud is encouraging developers to apply natural language processing technologies to call centers. Their Dialogflow Phone Gateway provides telephony infrastructure, speech recognition, speech synthesis, natural language understanding, and orchestration so developers can ‘bake in’ these advanced capabilities into a phone application without stitching together various applications. (Source: Google Cloud). These capabilities are making it possible to leverage advanced contact center features to deliver high-quality customer experiences.
- Improved reporting – With a comprehensive cloud-based call center system, measurement and reporting capabilities are becoming more advanced. Reporting features give call center managers the ability to measure critical metrics by looking at historical and real-time data, such as call queueing metrics, service level reporting, dialed number or in-bound statistics, and campaign performance reports. Useful dashboards and reports empower managers to quickly identify emerging situations and provide business leaders with a complete view of call center performance and customers’ experiences.
Making customer service a top priority
The right contact center strategy and the program can differentiate between meeting customer expectations or missing the mark entirely. Moving contact centers to the cloud allows organizations to zero-in on delivering innovative customer service and improve how businesses interact with customers at multiple levels. Taking these steps can increase lead conversion and establish repeat business. Cloud contact center solutions can also help organizations meet customers’ rising expectations rather than merely focusing on maintenance and maintaining the status quo associated with traditional contact centers.