Today’s customers have higher expectations than ever before. With technological advancements like Facebook, Google and the ability to share photos on the cloud, the average user has come to expect a lot from digital services. Above all, these services should be easy to use, fast and always available.
The standards that companies held years ago are no longer applicable, and the expectations of current and future customers will continue to grow.
With that in mind, in this blog, we will examine what call centers need to do to bridge or transition their software to the cloud, as a part of an essential digital transformation strategy.
Bridging & Testing Out a Cloud Call Center Software
Whether you have a multi-year engagement with a current vendor or have recently re-invested in your on-premise software and infrastructure, certain complex requirements could be preventing you from easily migrating to the cloud. If this is the case, exploring a bridging or test environment may be a useful strategy. With a bridging approach, you can build a prototype or pilot project that either replicates some of your support in the cloud, or build out scenarios that allow you to test and evaluate a cloud deployment, without leaping fully in with your entire company’s support center. You can create tests and build a list of scenarios that either identify potential issues, or call out areas where you need to invent new processes or augment with partners to build out your digital transformation strategy.
To test out a cloud deployment to see if it is viable for your company, you can create some scenarios that allow you to explore and evaluate to see if fully transitioning is feasible for you. You’ll want to ensure you identify a list of key metrics that are useful for evaluation and that you work with your leadership team to identify key areas of risk. These include: security, privacy or uptime. You’ll then move on to ensure you have a plan to test through a pilot or prototype.
To test a cloud deployment once it’s set up and configured, you may want to send some of your overflow volume during peak periods to a cloud deployment. Another strategy is to direct all traffic to a cloud deployment for a period of time when you tend to get especially low volume, in order to watch and learn. A cloud deployment can also provide a really valuable overflow strategy in periods of high customer demand. There are a number of strategies that you can use in order to determine whether cloud services are the right fit for your business.
Key Decision Factors
At the outset of your prototype or proof of concept, you’ll want to identify the key metrics and business drivers that will define how you will evaluate the success of your initiative. You’ll need to identify:
- if cost is a primary driver
- if quality and reliability of service are key decision factors, or
- if the speed of onboarding new team members is the most important factor
Likely, your decision will be based on a matrix of a number of different factors. At the outset of your project, identifying the key decision factors, as well as including a ranking of which factors matter from the most to the least, will help you run a productive pilot.
Transition / Transforming to a Cloud Call Center Software
If your strategic direction is set and you are focused on transition, then you may want to take a different approach. A pilot may still be the right starting point, but you’ll want to detail a few key areas to evaluate to ensure a robust project:
- Identify goals for the project
- Brainstorm failure points and ways to mitigate risk
- Highlight key success metrics and how you’ll track them
- Define a training plan as well as who will lead the initiative
- Define a communication plan and a schedule to keep your company up to date
- Ensure your leadership team is aligned and that you have executive buy-in
- Inform your leadership and give them lead time
Next, you’ll need to decide if you’re going to run one pilot project or several to identify a cloud platform. Make a list of key decision factors, so you can evaluate how your project is tracking as you roll out. Aiming for clear alignment with leadership about why you’re making a transformation will ensure your initiative is successful.
Aligning for Growth with a Cloud Call Center Software
As new technology allows for better customer service, transitioning to the cloud allows companies to adopt innovation quickly. As Natural Language Processing, Machine Learning, Chatbots, and other Artificial Intelligence tools mature, you may want to explore using them. Having a cloud infrastructure allows you to prototype and pilot, giving your customer service team powerful tools to do more with their time. You can also improve customer satisfaction by removing painful repetition in support calls and bridging accounts and expectations. You can anticipate what your customers might want and ensure your agents have the most up-to-date information and account details. With the right tools in the hands of your agents, you can get predictive and anticipate customers’ needs as they emerge.
One of the emerging strengths of certain cloud-based software solutions is omnichannel communication. Omnichannel refers to the multiple streams of communication together in one solution. A customer can start a chat message and then transition to a voice call, and then onto a video conference if the support merits it. Rather than having a customer repeat their account details again and again, an omnichannel solution allows you to seamlessly transition a customer into more or less sophisticated communication scenarios. A customer can choose to shift from chat to voice to video, and then back to chat for follow up details or confirmation. If a customer needs to connect to another department to address an issue, rather than dumping the customer into a fresh support queue, you can intelligently connect a customer to another agent.
With the high expectations of modern customers, omnichannel solutions allow you to offer a high-quality, customer-focused experience at a more competitive speed of execution.
Adopting a cloud-based solution, especially an omnichannel cloud solution, puts you in a position to take advantage of emerging technology, from machine-learning and AI to chatbots. You can bridge in a cloud solution, or dive right into a transformation to the cloud. And as your business develops, you can integrate its daily processes with emerging technologies.
Getting Started on your Transition to a Cloud Call Center Software
If you’re looking for a highly configurable and easily deployable omnichannel solution, one option you should consider is Bria Enterprise by CounterPath. Video conferencing, screen sharing, file transfer and messaging give your team real time collaboration tools. Cross-platform BYOD (Bring your own device) strategies extend your corporate reach to your whole workforce, on the devices they love. If your brand is key to your success, you can also white-label and customize the solution. Your IT and administration staff will look like heroes, as they easily and securely provision, managing communication from one central place. Your IT heros will be able to track usage and provide extensive analytics and statistics. Ultimately, it will reduce costs and provide better service for your customers. Take advantage of all the latest and emerging technologies and add CounterPath solutions to your strategic plan.
Interested in moving your call center into the cloud?
Get in touch with our team for a demo today.