Guest Blog by Paul Jarman, CEO, NICE inContact
In 2019, cloud technology is an enterprise mainstay, deployed in hundreds of different contexts. Recent research shows that 96 percent of organisations are using cloud computing in some form or fashion.
For contact centres, cloud is being deployed to not only address the increasing customer expectations, but also to achieve greater business agility, in turn empowering the entire landscape from IT to the agents. Moving from on-premises to cloud contact centre technology provides greater flexibility, scalability and efficiency.
For example, research from Forrester found that moving to a cloud contact centre solution helped one customer to:
Despite the statistics, some businesses remain hesitant to make the shift. For those on the fence, here are three of the most compelling reasons to transition from an on-premises to cloud contact centre solution:
Customers rely on agents to be prescriptive and proactive, and to understand their needs based on the thread of their omni-channel journey. This level of consistency across channels is only available with the move to cloud. Organisations with all of their contact centre technology in the cloud report superior customer experience outcomes. Companies using cloud contact centre technology report 18 percent higher CSAT as well as 36 percent higher likelihood to recommend their company from customers based on service experience, compared to companies with on-premises contact centre technology.
Cloud contact centre solutions that include a fully-integrated suite of capabilities can provide companies with a full picture of an individual’s customer journey. Customers expect the omni-channel experience, it is no longer an anomaly. Having to restate information, get disconnected, or not having choices for interactions is not something customer have patience for any longer.
For contact centres, the integrated functionalities allow seamless views into workforce optimisation (WFO) for agents and interaction analytics in real-time. And cloud provides the scalability during peak seasons to accommodate increases or decreases in agent counts. The agent experience is also enhanced with connections to CRM systems, and other enterprise solutions, agents can enjoy a comprehensive view of their customers across channels, and even between agents. This allows them to deliver a fully-integrated, omni-channel experience that’s contextual, timely and relevant to customer expectations.
Best-in-class cloud contact centre technology will be agile enough to provide all the customisation an organisation could want or need to attend to its customers’ journeys.
As the cloud market continues to mature, cloud solutions can offer security standards that match or surpass on-premises systems. In a significant shift from the position of scepticism held by many IT leaders, recent research from McAfee found that 69 percent of organisations now trust that their data is secure in the cloud.
Cloud excels in two critical security areas: information resiliency and privacy.
Information resiliency refers to the prevention of data loss and corruption. Cloud storage offers a level of durability and availability of objects over a given year that’s extremely difficult to match on-premises. Further, it gives the appropriate users access to detailed activity logs, offering an unparalleled level of auditability.
Superior privacy is also on offer with the shift to a cloud contact centre. Cloud technology allows organisations to impose granular control over which actions individual users can perform, and ensures that customer information is only available to those for whom it’s role-relevant.
Today, the debate around the comparative security of on-premises and cloud-based solutions has become a whole lot simpler. Cloud vendors are spending far greater sums on securing their systems than most organisations could ever afford to, making cloud the obvious choice for security-conscious businesses.
Effective workforce management (WFM) is about ensuring skilled people are in the right place, at the right time. In order to solve this complex equation, the right technology needs to be deployed, orchestrating WFM efforts by tying together human behaviours and operational metrics.
Many best-in-class cloud contact centre solutions include in-built workforce optimisation. This entails interaction recording, live monitoring, quality management and coaching, analytics, and workforce management. Cloud solutions allow seamless integration with the automatic contact distributor (ACD) and interactive voice response (IVR), to enhance the availability and routing to the best available agents.
Setting appropriate, bespoke objectives is also crucial to improving metrics such as average handling time and first-call resolution. Cloud contact centre solutions can pull data from different systems, creating a performance dashboard that’s updated automatically and can be set up for individual agent, workgroup and executive views. With all the data in one place, managers are better able to identify inconsistencies in performance and make adjustments accordingly.
From the ability to improve upon security, to delivering a seamless multichannel experience and optimising workforce performance, businesses can’t afford to ignore the benefits cloud offers. In the months to come, organisations that insist on remaining faithful to on-premises will face the risk of conceding market share to the competition.