How cloud-based technology is key to Contact Centre growth
The value of the cloud has never been more apparent. From transitioning to remote working, increasing ways customers can communicate with brands, and enabling Contact Centres to embrace new trends, quickly and easily, the cloud is the unsung hero of the Contact Centre. For many, the cloud acts as a gateway to innovation.
This blog will look at the main benefits of implementing a cloud Contact Centre and how organisations can introduce or enhance cloud technology to meet evolving needs.
Why the cloud?
Cloud solutions provide Contact Centres with an abundance of potential. In recent times, it enabled migration to remote work during the pandemic and today provides a foundation for hybrid Contact Centres. Indeed, the cloud is intrinsic to the popularity of hybrid work, as through it, information, communication channels and training resources are all easily available to agents regardless of where they work. In this way, the cloud is a natural step for future-proofing Contact Centres, especially as hybrid work continues to prevail. In 2022, the ONS noted that hybrid work rose by 11% from February to May, showing that appetite for it is still going strong and cloud-based operations are still a necessity for modern workplaces. Members of the Call Centre Management Association (CCMA) even claim that the pandemic-induced cloud migration enabled the industry to jump “forward five years in three months”.
Furthermore, moving to a cloud solution opens the door for organisations to adopt new and advanced technologies. From chatbots and AI, to ID and verification and analytics, the cloud offers a wealth of possibilities. In particular, the ability to embrace a multi-channel or omnichannel approach has proven to be an incredibly popular benefit of the cloud. Such is the speed of growth in this area that Gartner currently predicts that by 2025, 80% of customer service organisations will embrace forms of messaging other than voice channels.
The cloud in practice
One great example of an organisation using the cloud to enhance services comes from the Co-op –one of the most well-known consumer brands. By moving to Genesys Cloud, with support from IPI, Co-op was able to mobilise its Contact Centre team to remote working when the pandemic struck, enabling its customer service team to continue to provide quality service to its customers and members despite widespread uncertainty.
But ease of work is not where Co-op’s cloud migration benefits stop. By moving operations to the cloud, Co-op found it was able to increase outreach to members of the community, raise significant funds to help those in need, and step-up campaigns through more reliable and efficient communication to its communities. This was a huge win for the consumer co-operative in a time when brands were in the spotlight and customers were looking for the best companies to take their custom to.
Internally, Co-op also saw an increase in engagement from its employees. In Co-op’s 2021 year-end employee ‘Talkback’ survey, scores went up nine points from 2019, with 88% of agents responding that they were confident in their access to the technology they needed. Co-op also achieved an answer rate of 93% for its customers – 8% higher than the CCMA benchmark – proving that migration to the cloud can unlock significant value for customers, employees, and other stakeholders across the board.
Four steps for a successful cloud integration
With the advantages clear, how can organisations successfully migrate to the cloud? Below are four steps to help make the move to a cloud-based Contact Centre.
Organisations must begin by analysing all current operations. The best analysis examines employee engagement as well as customer interactions, and therefore analyses all aspects of an organisation’s operations, from people and processes, to technology, security and KPIs. For all of these, ask: is the Contact Centre currently on track to achieve the vision for the business? And if not, why not?
Analysing these key points will help to identify gaps and key areas to address. Once an organisation knows what needs to be done to achieve these goals, a roadmap can be drafted, outlining how to move from the current state to the future desired outcome.
With a roadmap in place, Contact Centres can start to design a cloud integration plan unique to each business. Assess current system configuration, detailing any integrations, third-party applications, and data storage needs that need to be taken into consideration. By taking the time to map out the design of a future cloud system, unnecessary complications are reduced early on so that they can be amended as needed and in a reasonable timeframe.
‘Start small and extend’ is the best mantra to take to migrate to a cloud system. Attempting to do too much at once may put ongoing operations at risk so it’s best to progress in manageable steps.
For example, focus on getting small groups of agents comfortable with core cloud functionality first, and then gradually extend its roll out. By taking this measured approach, organisations then have the ability to iterate and improve the usage of the solution to better meet their needs if required. As demonstrated by the Co-op, the success of implementation will depend on staff fully understanding and being comfortable with the new solution. So, it is at this stage that cloud-based Contact Centres should invest in quality staff training.
4. Review and Repeat
A cloud solution enables Contact Centres to continue developing and integrating new technologies. Once agents are fully migrated, organisations should still invest time into reviewing what business solutions are best tailored to each Contact Centre. Maximising the return on investment comes from repeating the previous three steps and continually reviewing the solutions in place.
Conducting periodic reviews to analyse success and validate your performance will give Contact Centres the best indication of how aligned it is with the goals set out in the first step. It may be the case that an organisation needs to adjust systems to make them more efficient. Taking the time to review current operations is the best way to ensure informed decisions are being made for the future of an organisation’s cloud-based Contact Centre.
What sets the cloud apart is the potential it offers its users – that ability to embrace the new trends quickly and easily. When the cloud is used to its full advantage it will offer a Contact Centre limitless avenues for growth and countless new ways to enhance operations. A cloud-based and adaptable infrastructure is fundamental to future-proofing operations and ensuring a Contact Centre is ready for any inevitability.
Craig is Head of Solution Consulting at IPI. With over two decades of experience in the dynamic world of contact centres, he’s seen the industry evolve, and evolved with it. Craig’s journey began with hands-on operational roles, focusing on technology, resource planning, and leadership.
Throughout his career, Craig had the privilege of collaborating with global brands, empowering them to harness cutting-edge technology and streamline their operations. Today, Craig leads Solution Consulting at IP Integration, where we leverage our extensive industry experience to help clients deliver exceptional customer experiences.