International information flows skyrocketed during the pandemic as consumers and businesses alike rapidly adapted to new ways of working, playing, and learning online. Anyone who’s joined endless Zoom trivia nights will understand how our change in behaviour sent international internet traffic and telephone call minutes soaring. This is alongside booming online industries. Anyone who had online shopping packages arriving at their door on a daily basis will understand this. We only need to look at Amazon’s 220% revenue growth in the first quarter of 2021 compared to the same period a year earlier to see the pandemic’s impact on our reliance on digital solutions to meet everyday needs.
As a result, the contact centre industry was also forced to change. More businesses have had to invest differently and deeply into delivering the best customer experiences (CX), while also understanding their customers from multiple angles to be able to adapt to their changing needs.
Cloud-based contact centre infrastructure (CBCCI) is heralded by many industry experts as the future for organisations that really want to address this evolving market demand. Yet, the math isn’t adding up, with the adoption rate of CBCCI seats only estimated at 17% of the contact centre market as of the end of calendar year 2020. As this adoption gap is anticipated to be filled within the next decade with more organisations looking to take advantage of the CX and efficiency benefits of CBCCI, what should contact centre management teams keep in mind during the planning process?
Don’t put CX in the corner
Recent research shows the Global Cloud Based Contact Centre Market size and share revenue is expected to grow from USD 11.5 billion in 2020 to reach USD 45.5 billion by 2026. Businesses are clearly planning to jump on this revenue-generating trend, but if this decision-making is driven by short-term financial wins alone, these efforts could backfire.
More than ever, customers are expecting all interactions with organisations to be smooth and efficient. Unfortunately, something as seemingly simple as changing an airline ticket or getting in touch with a bank can still be quite complex. As we’re increasingly interacting with our banks, retailers, insurance providers, and technology providers more remotely, the role of the contact centre in being able to deliver these standout customer experiences is more important than ever. As businesses start to turn to CBCCI to improve CX, it will be critical to put the customer at the centre of the approach and outcomes of the project.
For example, using the improved analytics and AI capabilities of a CBCCI environment could help a business identify which contact centre agents are getting through the most customers in a day, selling the most products, or closing the most tickets. From one perspective, this could be summarised as these agents being the greatest revenue generators for the business.
However, where is the customer perspective? Simultaneously, there needs to be measures in place to understand their levels of satisfaction with each interaction, whether they will be a returning customer, how likely they are to make a referral, and more. Beyond the ongoing customer loyalty, 63% of consumers say they’d share more information with a company that offers a great experience, highlighting there are further data-driven benefits when a business prioritises its customers’ needs.
Change is no longer a one-off event
Whether change is driven by the pandemic, ongoing evolutions in digital capabilities and technologies, or other macro-level economic or social shifts, change is inevitable for organisations across every industry. The supply chain industry alone saw 97% of organisations faced disruption in 2021. This means that any technology-related investments need to be future-proofed against disruption. Organisations need to ensure that upgrades, improvements, and customisations to new technology environments can be easily implemented as needed.
In contrast, on-premise technology and traditional contact centre or communications technologies are not adaptive. They are hard to maintain, unable to be updated on the fly, and lack flexibility. If a portion of your workforce were to suddenly become remote or move to a new location, which we saw happen literally overnight in March 2020, on-premise setups would not be able to cater for them, leaving the organisation with the extra burden of having to re-hire talent in a specific location. Furthermore, they are harder to integrate with other technologies and are not cost-efficient. This kind of environment may have been ideal when customer expectations and business trends were somewhat predictable, but this is far from today’s reality and businesses need to be ahead of the curve or risk falling behind savvier competitors.
For businesses looking to deliver the best customer experiences through the latest technologies, while futureproofing their organisations against potential disruption, CBCCI is worth exploring with end-to-end and customer-centric solutions.