Uncertain markets are bringing customer care to the forefront. Customers are more cautious about spending. Brands need to protect revenues. That’s why more organizations are turning to the cloud to manage their contact centers.
But to achieve the best results, you need an effective approach. To succeed, follow these steps for customer care in the cloud:
- Choose the best fit.
A cloud environment isn’t one-size-fits-all. Many contact centers have been built over years of investment and have extensive integration with back-end systems. It might cost millions of dollars to move all of that to the cloud.
Some organizations therefore benefit from a hybrid environment, combining both centralized and cloud-based decentralized capabilities. Still, to adopt the most advanced technologies, many enterprises will need the cloud for at least some of their operations.
One such capability is natural-language processing (NLP), which converts human speech and writing into data that can be processed by AI. The technologies behind NLP require high-performance servers. For most organizations, it wouldn’t make sense to take on the capital expense of that hardware. With the cloud, you get instant access to all the scalable performance you need to support AI.
- Target your advantages.
The cloud can deliver numerous contact center benefits. Focus on those that make the most sense for your company:
- Easier talent acquisition – You can recruit talented, experienced agents regardless of their location.
- Around-the-clock customer service – You can more easily serve customers across geographies and time zones.
- Customer service innovation – You gain access to compute power to support emerging technologies such as machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI).
- Achieve agent excellence.
Moving contact centers to the cloud is an effective way to improve agent experiences – and performance. All an agent needs to be productive is connectivity, a workstation, a headset, and access to your customer relationship management (CRM) software in the cloud.
A typical agent uses four to five applications to manage customer information and answer queries. A cloud platform lets you tie together software that accepts calls, shows who the caller is, displays past contacts, provides a knowledge base for agent guidance, enables access to a product catalog, handles financial transactions, and records results for analytics. The easier it is for agents to work with those solutions, the lower their stress and the better their experience.
- Deliver choice and personalized service.
When customers reach out to a contact center, they want to get an answer to their question or resolve their issue – and then move on with their lives. The cloud lets you provide that kind of experience two key ways:
- Customer choice – Cloud-based tools enable customers to engage through phone, email, chat, text, and online self-service tools. Whether they’re at a desk and want to interact through chat or in their car and prefer to call, you can meet customers where they are.
- Personalized service – When customers need to repeatedly explain who they are and what their problem is, they quickly become frustrated. But if your agent can automatically identify customers, understand their past interactions, and access tools to quickly answer questions, customers are more easily satisfied.
Ultimately, the cloud can help you deliver the level of experience they increasingly demand. It helps ensure your contact center keeps customers loyal to your brand.
Jeff Brinckman is director of Customer Experience Solutions for Pivot.