As more contact centres turn to the cloud, their approach to buying software has shifted
While contact centres started transitioning to CCaaS more than a decade ago, it wasn’t until the pandemic that many waved goodbye to on-premise solutions and dived into the cloud.
According to McKinsey research, this acceleration compressed five years of digital adoption into only eight weeks.
Meanwhile, some estimate that the CCaaS market will double in the next five years. Such statistics represent an uptick in cloud confidence, with some businesses scrambling to replace their legacy contact centre solutions and, in the process, reimagine how they buy software.
Replacing an on-premise CCaaS provider with one that is cloud-first and API-driven means businesses have access to a plethora of third-party tools and integrations that were inaccessible before.
Indeed, with a core cloud infrastructure, contact centres can take advantage of this “plug-and-play” way of buying software and ever-expanding marketplaces.
In contrast, some operations were previously limited to one vendor’s solutions as third-party tools did not integrate easily with legacy systems.
To uncover more, CX Today spoke with Matt Jones, Product Manager at EvaluAgent, who discusses changes in the buying experience of contact centre quality assurance software and how companies now evaluate providers.
Every contact centre vendor has its strengths and cautions. After all, offering the best array of channels, cost models, and support systems in a crowded space is impossible.
As such, contact centres have historically chosen vendors based on particular requirements, only to be underwhelmed by the technical limitations of integrations, APIs and on-premise supplementary software – such as quality assurance systems.
Yet, legacy software left little space for alternatives, forcing the hand of contact centre leaders to choose between spreadsheets, a standalone tool, or a quickly developed, native add-on.
“They just had to take that vendor’s offering because it was the only one that worked with that core platform and offered any form of integration, such as the ability to playback calls, prioritise evaluations, and coach based on their associated meta-data,” said Jones.
But the move to the cloud has seen buyers ditch “jack of all trades” vendors and instead look for best-of-breed solutions. Major CX vendors, such as Avaya and HubSpot, have recently echoed this sentiment.
For instance, Alan Masarek, CEO at Avaya, recently told UC Today:
It’s all about programmability and extensibility. At this point, you have to be open… we’re not going to do all elements of communications. There are many partner companies that we have, which are very important.
These partners offer greater choice and allow contact centres to select specialist solutions – such as EvaluAgent for QA – which seamlessly integrate with their environments.
“Expectations are shifting,” said Jones. “Driven by the changes everyone enjoys in the “consumer” world, I find the major of contact centre software buyers now expect free trial periods, seamless integrations with their technology stack, and have subject matter experts in each area of their contact centre who want the best tool for their individual department. ”
A marketplace-like buying environment also allows companies like EvaluAgent to open up their solutions to multiple contact centres, previously unreachable. As a result, consumers and, increasingly, businesses are more comfortable buying software directly from the manufacturer, according to Jones.
On top of this, buyers are also more comfortable demoing software and closing deals online after doing so during the pandemic, when face-to-face meetings were impossible.
“From a marketing perspective, we can reach anywhere in the world thanks to publications like CX Today and spin up a trial environment for contact centres to test the tool within a matter of minutes,” said Jones.
As a result of the Covid-19-induced rush to the cloud, many companies have already inked long-term CCaaS deals.
But the recent economic downturn means that many are also looking for new ways to drive efficiencies, automate manual workflows, and – ultimately – optimize resources to cut costs. Contact centres strive to achieve this while maintaining optimal service levels and ensuring their teams are properly supported with continuous feedback and coaching.
As such, evaluating internal processes and considering where tools and automation may free up time without harming experiences is crucial.
Consider QA for a moment. Many contact centres still use spreadsheets, which require several manual and error-prone steps that, according to Jones, take “four times longer” than necessary.
Solutions like EvaluAgent, on the hand, integrate directly with the most notable CCaaS and ticket management providers. This means buyers have more choice than ever before and don’t need off-the-shelf tools developed by these providers, which often aren’t their primary focus. Instead, they can choose from best-of-breed tech tools to build their stack.
“When it comes to Quality Assurance and Performance Improvement, you just don’t get the depth of features, such as workflow automation and configurability, that you actually need when you’ve got a contact centre of over 100 agents or monitoring multiple channels,” said Jones.
EvaluAgent offers easy integrations and automated workflows that can help build the business case to move away from spreadsheets.
To discover more, check out how companies from Samsung to Ubisoft have leveraged EvaluAgent to dramatically increase their contact centres’ productivity.