Mike ButtsJanuary 14, 2021

Not All Cloud Contact Center Solutions Are Created Equal: The Top Three Considerations When Moving to the Cloud

If you operate an on-premises contact center, you’re likely in the process of shifting to a cloud-based model or at least considering doing so. Metrigy Research estimates that more than 50% of organizations will have moved their contact center solutions(s) to the cloud by the end of 2021. What are your plans? Have you moved your contact center to the cloud? If so, are you getting all the benefits you expected? If you have not moved your contact center to the cloud, what’s stopping you? Moving to the cloud is easier than ever before, and the benefits of doing so outweigh any hesitations.

Every day, we're helping organizations transform their businesses and generate business value with Avaya OneCloud – real value that changes how employees and customers experience organizations inside and out. We support a connected, collaborative, and immersive employee experience that works anytime, anywhere, on any device. And we believe in a customer experience that keeps customers coming back for more and telling their friends about their experiences.

But beware: not all cloud contact center solutions are created equal. If you’re considering moving your contact center to the cloud, here are the top three considerations to look for when transitioning to a cloud platform.

1. Transform Customer Engagement in Real-Time

Consider infusing Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning into all customer interactions. Deploy an AI-based virtual agent that conversationally engages customers so they can serve themselves faster and more efficiently. If an interaction needs to escalate to an employee, the virtual agent can intelligently route the customer to the best-equipped employee using information collected during the self-service experience.

Leverage voice-to-text transcription – a next-generation AI application that automatically transcribes voice interactions and generates immediate transcriptions to support the most demanding in-call applications. Every word of every conversation is captured, analyzed, and reported in real-time at leading word recognition rates. Voice-to-text transcription learns each business and gets smarter over time, applying machine learning algorithms to deliver valuable insights into individual and groups of customer conversations.

Imagine the productivity and customer experience improvements you can drive by populating employee desktop screens with relevant information such as sales scripts, upsell offers, FAQs, or knowledge management content based on the words and phrases spoken by customers. Additionally, imagine identifying non-compliance instances at the moment and sending alerts to supervisors so they can instantly improve employee compliance knowledge, skills, and practices. All of this and more can be accomplished with voice-to-text transcription. See how leading global business process outsourcing (BPO) service provider, Atento, uses voice-to-text transcription to reduce employee after-call work by 65%.

Make self-service an option in every interaction. For example: detecting if a customer is calling from a mobile device with the ability to offer customers a mobile self-service option as a more convenient engagement method. By offering an optional way of communicating (digital channels, mobile website, customer portal), organizations can free time for employees to service more complex inquiries and reduce toll-free minute time while delivering easier and more engaging customer experiences.

Proactive outreach is also key to enhancing customer relationships. Automatically reach out to individuals or groups with optional response tracking, text interactions, and auto-forms to capture information, grow sales, and increase customer loyalty. Customers today expect (after opting-in) to receive proactive notifications regarding special offers, promotions, calendar reminders or changes, product or service deficiencies, and more. Don’t fall behind the competition – make proactive notifications a key piece of your strategy.

2. Create a Hassle-free, In-Office-Like Experience for Remote Employees and Supervisors

The COVID-19 pandemic has presented many personal and business challenges, but it has also surfaced a few bright spots. One of these bright spots – more like a shining example – is the work-from-home employee. Organizations have realized the many benefits of empowering their contact center employees to work from home, including a better work/life balance, access to a far wider, more flexible talent pool, reduced infrastructure costs, and the realization that today’s cloud technology simply works better than originally expected. Thus, the work-from-home contact center model has become the new normal.

In this new normal, your cloud vendor needs to create a hassle-free, in-office-like experience for remote contact center employees and supervisors. This means employees must have access to the same tools, expertise, content, and applications as they do in the office, and their experiences must be effortless and hassle-free to keep them engaged and motivated.

Modern employee desktops are critical to providing the best possible customer and employee experience. Without a seamless workspace, employees are forced to jump from app to app and screen to screen in search of information needed to serve the customer at the moment. Employee efficiency is jeopardized, as is customer and employee satisfaction.

A modern, consolidated, streamlined workspace brings contact center employees the information and insights needed to serve customers. It is the point of orchestration for the contact center employee. With a modern desktop, employees engage customers regardless of channel type using a single screen.

Management also needs access to the right tools to manage remote employees. Some of these tools include the ability to capture employee desktop activity to gain visibility into employee off-phone activities, application usage, processes, and schedule adherence.

Delivering memorable customer experiences starts and ends with employee performance. Therefore, it is critical to continue measuring customer-employee interactions via quality monitoring. Not only will this help generate higher quality customer interactions, but you’ll also be able to easily identify top-performing employees and those that need more skill development. Avaya Quality Management applications can automatically send targeted e-Learning courses to employees when their quality management evaluation scores fall below-set thresholds. Consider using live monitoring to actively listen to live customer-employee conversations to promote a consistent customer experience - and in rare cases, join the conversation to provide employee support.  

Another useful application is Workforce Management. Workforce Management capabilities help you simplify the complex task of forecasting and scheduling – even with large numbers of employees, complex scheduling periods, and many queues and staffing profiles. With Avaya OneCloud CCaaS Workforce Management, contact centers can reduce costs by staffing appropriately to meet workloads, drive business growth, and improve employee effectiveness and retention. You can also empower employees to access and manage their work schedules using their mobile devices where they can bid for shifts, swap shifts, request days off, and more. More importantly, you build employee trust, collaboration, and motivation by permitting employees to have input into work schedules.

3. Future-Proof Your Cloud Contact Center

The digital workplace is already here. Employees expect to seamlessly work from anywhere, anytime they want. This means organizations must keep everyone – inside and outside the contact center – connected with immersive collaboration tools so employees can make faster, better decisions and act at the moment.

No longer does the workday start at 8 am and end at 5 pm. Make sure all employees have the right tools to call, message, share files, and meet via video on any device, in any location, at any time, to collaborate on projects or key customers. Since customer inquiries are becoming more and more complex, make sure contact center employees have easy access to subject matter experts from across the entire organization to assist with complicated customer inquiries.

Pairing Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) with a cloud-based contact center application can be a game-changer for problem-solving and process and productivity improvements by simply infusing an immersive employee experience with the customer experience.

Want or need to further innovate? Communications Platform as a Service (CPaaS) capabilities make it easy – without complex programming or integrations – to simplify customer and employee experiences.  Simple drag-and-drop tools make it easy to tailor the experience you and your customers expect.

With CPaaS’ ability to seamlessly integrate communications into applications, brands can meet new and constantly evolving customer expectations that create better experiences and drive loyalty.

Final Thoughts

The future of customer experience is already here, but not all cloud-based contact center solutions are created equal. Impress customers, empower employees, and advance your business with Avaya OneCloud CCaaS – a cloud contact center solution – that is built for the new normal and the future. If you’re not sure how to make the move, our customer experience experts can help you map a migration strategy. Get in touch with us to jump start your cloud journey with Avaya.

The Top Three Considerations When Moving to the Cloud

Mike Butts

Mike has 10 years of contact center experience and more than 25 years of business-to-business marketing experience crafting and executing go-to-market strategies for engineered and technology solutions. At Avaya, Mike focuses on Avaya Workforce Optimization, and agent desktop and contact center solutions for midsize businesses.

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