By Paul Jarman, CEO NICE inContact…
If you thought the cloud wasn’t going to be a concern for your contact centre, think again! Every business is moving to the cloud, and it’s just a matter of time before this becomes the norm. Today the term “cloud computing” is widely understood and the technology continues to evolve with better performance and security, and more services and features than ever before. The cloud has now simply become an integral part of our everyday lives. This isn’t just true in for consumer services, the cloud is helping businesses become more agile and more responsive to their customers.
Let’s take a closer look at what this means for you. Since arriving in the office, you’ve sent out at least one email – perhaps through Microsoft Outlook or Microsoft Office 365. You may have collaborated with colleagues via Slack. You may share and upload files on Google Drive or Dropbox. As you walk to the train or bus station, you may listen to music via the likes of Amazon or Spotify or maybe take an Uber home – especially if you’ve had a late night out with friends. Then you may get home and want to watch a movie on Netflix or interact on Facebook. What you may not have realised, is how permeating these sorts of cloud applications are.
Businesses are benefiting as well from on-demand cloud technology with increased flexibility, efficiency and scalability. Businesses using CRM in the cloud is now well-established. These benefits are available to contact centres of all sizes, yet many haven’t moved their core operations to the cloud yet and risk falling behind more agile competitors who are leveraging the cloud to improve customer experience. Cloud adoption is accelerating with the global cloud contact centre market expected to grow at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 25.2% through 2022 as predicted by the latest forecast from Research and Markets. A common myth about the cloud is that it is less reliable or secure than premise systems, yet when you choose a proven cloud solution provider, your data is likely to be safer than it was in the old system it came from. For reliability, a trusted cloud provider will provide service-level agreements that guarantee uptime.
Investing in customer experience technologies has become more critical than ever because it directly impacts top line and bottom line. Today, even the slightest gain can make a big difference to your place in the market. For contact centres,
the cloud enables real-time agility in operations, empowers IT to drive innovation, and can deliver better financial results with improved ROI. In other words, a cloud contact centre solution can add real business value to every stakeholder in an enterprise. I’d like to expand a little on these three points.
Operations have the real-time agility
Cloud computing brings many advantages to contact centres such as instant scalability on a pay-as-you-go model that aligns with seasonal fluctuations in your business such as when you need to add temporary staff for peak volume. In addition, businesses look for instant disaster recovery and business continuity. Cloud contact centre applications are built to make this happen with no extra effort. Be it a storm or a fire, it will be business as usual with the built-in redundancy of the cloud.
Creating exceptional CX comes from treating every customer unique as opposed to a one-size fits all approach. As you build a truly personalized experience for each customer, you are looking at taking swift actions to improve service. This may include adding new channels, changing Interactive Voice Response (IVR) scripts on the fly, managing or configuring systems on your own without waiting for IT. Utilising the cloud in your contact centre gives you the true flexibility and power to create exceptional experience the way you want it.
Innovation in Information and Technology
Forward-looking IT leaders are looking at creative ways to enable, innovate and drive value for the business. A cloud contact centre solution is superior to older premise software because it first eliminates the need to maintain a large hardware infrastructure or manage time-consuming system changes or upgrades. Second, utilising the cloud in the contact centre frees up valuable technical resources for innovation and creativity. Third—and most importantly—an open cloud platform with published APIs (application program interfaces) can be used (often without additional expense) by development teams to innovate more quickly by building better, faster ways to engage customers inside and outside the contact centre. Cloud software can ease the burden on IT so that they can move away from being an organization that just keeps the lights on to one that transforms and delivers true business value through innovation to drive efficiency and growth.
Better financial results
Finally, the cloud is also advocated due to the financial benefits for both the top line (increasing revenue) and bottom line (improving efficiency). Cloud applications enable your contact centre to instantly scale up or down based on business seasonality and you pay for what you really use. This ensures that you have the staff you need in place during peak sales volume and that you are staffed-appropriately for slower periods—thus giving you the dual benefits of maximizing revenue while also controlling costs.
Another financial benefit of the cloud comes from shifting the cost of contact centre technology from capital expenditures (CAPEX) to operating expenses (OPEX). By moving to the cloud, firms gain advantages of lower upfront costs and can avoid expensive, long term hardware and infrastructure investments.
Migrating to the cloud enables contact centres to up their game in a multitude of ways. Indeed, a cloud solution can benefit the bottom line, drive enhanced customer experiences and ease the burden on IT. For companies of all sizes in all industries, the cloud revolutionises the service experience and is now more than ever being considered as the new way to differentiate customer experience.