The most successful brands are committed to delivering an excellent customer experience. With that comes driving customer loyalty, meeting demanding customer expectations, and equipping agents with a dynamic, agile, and cloud-based system.  

To effectively deliver an excellent customer experience today, you must modernize your contact center. 

First of all, a contact center is a central point in an organization from which inbound and outbound customer communications – including voice calls, email, social media, and web chat – are managed to continuously meet the adoption of new customer experience (CX) channels. This could range from a 1,000+ seat contact center with a worldwide brand to a county government responding to citizens’ needs to a university engaging with their students. While there are many more examples of what a contact center can look like, they all ultimately work to improve the experience of their end user. 

Secondly, modernizing your contact center involves transitioning to a cloud-based, or Contact Center as a Service (CCaaS) platform. By modernizing your contact center, you will immediately see change when it comes to scalability, flexibility, and visibility. Adopting a cloud-based CX platform can give you a competitive edge and help you serve your end users and agents well. 

If you haven’t already modernized your center, you should consider doing so because of these 5 reasons: 

1. Keep up with evolving Customer Expectations 

After the drastic changes that COVID-19 brought, customer expectations and standards continue to increase when it comes to customer service. End users expect organizations to understand and anticipate their needs without requiring the end user to spend much time or energy communicating with them. 

A study by the Northridge Group found that customer preferences for digital channels have increased to 38% and continue to climb. Over 60% of end users decided to try digital apps and tools due to the pandemic and of those, 75% will continue to prefer to use those channels with self-service tools being most preferred. 

The channels and ways in which people communicate continue to evolve, and most likely will not slow down. To adapt to these changing expectations, a secure and scalable CX platform is necessary to provide a personal and satisfying experience to the end user. 

2. Increase employee productivity 

With evolving customer expectations comes the need for increased productivity of agents. By modernizing your contact center, you eliminate the need to maintain and manage on-premises infrastructure like servers, wires, and hardware. Your IT staff is then freed up to focus on more strategic initiatives. 

Besides IT, CCaaS platforms simplify call management for agents, who can easily deploy self-service options for customers. Chatbots, virtual assistants, and interactive voice recognition (IVR) can help customers get answers to frequently asked questions, complete transactions, check account balances, track shipments, and more without taking up the time of an agent. Agents can then focus their time on handling more complex customer issues or improving their skillset with different training modules. 

Better technology can lead to increased employee productivity, but it can also allow agents to have an effective work from home experience. Having a cloud-based solution allows agents to work from anywhere, while still giving management visibility into everything the agent is doing. Tools within the CCaaS platform also help management keep agents engaged, well managed, and motivated to provide a positive CX. 

3. Weather unforeseen changes in the future 

It is impossible to know with 100% certainty what’s to come in the future, or how those coming changes will impact business operations. No one expected a global pandemic to completely reshape the customer service industry. But, the companies that were best situated to navigate the unknown world of lockdowns and social distancing were the ones that had invested in technology that allowed them to be adaptable and flexible, like adopting omnichannel capabilities. 

Since CCaaS systems are built faster with more flexible and scalable tools, it helps you prepare for the unknown. By investing in these solutions, it enables you to easily and quickly adapt to the changing circumstances of your external environment, better equipping you to serve your customers in unknown and challenging times. 

4. Improve cost efficiency 

You may think that cloud migration is expensive, but it can help optimize and even reduce costs. CCaaS providers host and manage the infrastructure components, which enables contact centers to eliminate significant overhead costs and invest budget into adding new capabilities and tools. Flexible licensing models are synonymous with cloud offerings, which enable you to only pay for what you use.  

It can be difficult to get rid of platforms and products that no longer serve you, especially if you’ve already spent a ton of time and money upgrading them. There is a concept known as ‘technology fatigue,’ where you’re dealing with the accumulation of outdated technological investments that are no longer relevant and would be better off replaced. Like we talked about before, centers are expected to handle more challenging customer issues across many different channels, and antiquated technology is holding you back from taking your CX to the next level. Not only does a cloud-based system take away the costs of managing an on-prem system, but it allows you to seamlessly upgrade your platform with little to no downtime. 

Another factor that plays into cloud-based CX platforms is your ability to automate certain processes. Self-service lets end users answer questions on their own, and then are transferred to an agent if the situation escalates. This frees up agent time, which can impact scheduling and the number of agents needed at certain times. The flexibility to manage your agents from home can also decrease real estate costs. 

5. Unlock the full power of the data 

By moving to a cloud contact center solution, you can have increased visibility into the customer journey by collecting data and analytics across communication channels, from chatbots to digital to call transcripts. Gathering and analyzing this data gives you the ability to pinpoint parts of the customer journey that need improvement and find ways to create a seamless experience across channels. 

Modernization can help ensure your technology is working in sync – giving you visibility across channels and ensuring that valuable information is not locked in data siloes. A big issue that on-prem contact centers face is siloed information systems which can lead to an impersonal CX. This issue is mitigated in the cloud, where you can give your agents access to real-time information and equip them with the knowledge to create a personalized customer experience with confidence. 

The impact of modernizing your contact center by transitioning to the cloud goes far beyond the reasons we discussed. The next and most important step in the modernization process is finding a trustworthy and well-fit solution and support partner to meet your center’s unique needs. Wilmac is a premier implementation and service provider of NICE CXone, an industry leading CCaaS platform. NICE CXone can support both office and at-home employees, offers an omnichannel experience, and gets rid of the need to buy, maintain, or upgrade hardware. You pay only for what you use each month, and the security, scalability, and reliability of the platform surpasses that of on-prem systems. With Wilmac as a close partner, you will understand all the different features and functionalities available to you and be guided through every step of implementation and onboarding. Finally, with a service and support team at the ready, you can rest easy knowing that we’re ready to help you drive results and resolve issues. 

Interested in hearing more about the opportunities a cloud-based CX platform can bring to your organization? Contact Wilmac to book a consultation.