By Travis Dillard, Inflow Communications President & CEO
If you read last week’s blog, you’ll remember that Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) or cloud-based phone systems have been the big news. Nowadays, it’s actually become quite the commodity. We predict that over the next three years, the fastest growing segment of cloud-based Unified Communications will be in the Contact Center.
If you’d like a quick recap on the facts and figures we discussed, click here.
The fact of the matter is, more and more companies are seeing opportunities in their business by moving to the cloud. Companies that traditionally haven’t had Contact Centers are seeing the advantages and building an enterprise class Contact Center in the cloud.
Usually, in addition to the exorbitant costs to implement and support Contact Centers, IT has been the inhibitor to Contact Center innovation. In the past, if lucky, a Line of Business (LOB) stakeholder would get a Contact Center after months of deliberation about servers, networks, vendors, and software. They were even luckier if the technology aligned with half of their business requirements.
After it was installed, IT often couldn’t keep up with the fact that the Contact Center is a living, breathing business operation that must be evaluated and changed constantly to adapt to the market changes. Call routing might have been implemented incorrectly, reports were sometimes wrong, it wasn’t connected to mission-critical data, etc. The result: a lot of money and time invested in a technology that wasn’t aligned with the business – and the customer experience still sucks. That’s because IT people making Contact Center technology decisions don’t understand Contact Center!
With cloud Contact Center technology, LOB stakeholders like Vice-President of Customer Service or the Director of Customer Experience can now deploy a cloud Contact Center without talking to it. We see it every day. These stakeholders, who are responsible for mission critical service and revenue in the company, make the decision to move their Contact Centers to the cloud and move forward. IT is the last to know. Obviously, this isn’t always the case. Forward-thinking IT leaders like the cloud because it offloads the Contact Center operation to somebody else, so they can focus on other organizational initiatives.
Other reasons Contacts Centers are moving to the cloud:
- Agents and features can be scaled up or down to meet business needs (i.e. seasonal companies)
- It’s more resilient to disasters, and major network and carrier outages
- Can be layered onto an existing cloud or premises PBX infrastructure
- Is easier to deploy to remote, geographically-dispersed workforce
- Little to no capital investment
- No servers and software to maintain, eliminating burden on IT staff
All this being said, you can’t just “turn it on” and win. Enablement is everything!
- Your Contact Center can be your biggest asset – or biggest liability
- Technology / Business / Operations alignment is more important than ever!
- 80 / 20 Rule: Most cloud Contact Centers are installed as “status quo” to resemble the previous Contact Center and then left static. Installing the Contact Center is only 20% of the work. After implementation is when the real work begins! The Contact Center operation lives, breathes, and is constantly changing.
- Regardless of the technology, there is a huge gap between the business requirements and the technology.
- Most cloud Contact Center providers or integrators are ill-equipped to provide the level of training and consultation required to ensure the Contact Center operation provides a superior customer experience that is aligned with the business. Most only understand the technology aspect of the Contact Center operation.
- We say “operation” because the Contact Center is so much more than software – it’s people, systems, metrics, data, culture, and software.
- Inflow’s Contact Center Consulting (CCSM) programs provide ONGOING business-level consulting, training, customization, and other services to make the Contact Center a true asset to your business. Not only do we employ Contact Center engineers, we employ industry veterans who have 20+ years of experience managing large, complex Contact Centers.
- CCSM addresses:
- Agent Engagement
- Supervisor / agent training
- C-Level consulting and business consulting
- Advanced reporting, KPIs, and analysis
- And more…
Founded in 1997, Inflow is one of the nation’s top Unified Communications and Contact Center consultants in today’s market. Pioneers in cloud unified communications and cloud contact center success, Inflow is the first company to provide contact center consulting and training focused solely on helping you elevate your customer experience.
With over 200,000 endpoints supported under Inflow’s innovative success programs around the world, Inflow built its brand and reputation around providing unrivaled customer support. Inflow is in Mitel/ShoreTel’s top 2% in global customer satisfaction, and quickly acquiring a top spot with RingCentral, Genesys PureCloud and NICE inContact.
By partnering with Inflow, you can expect the highest level of strategic consultation, execution, and optimization available in the industry.