3 Strategies to Keep Your Head Above the Cloud (Contact Center)

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It’s time to admit that we’ve made a Frankenstein ‘Monster’ in the cloud customer experience space. Contact center leaders began their cloud journey by shifting over a few safe applications, then proceeded to gradually add new ones as the technology matured. This haphazard approach, coupled with keeping on-premise technology still alive, threw a wrench in the flexibility and agility that we desired from cloud computing. So how do we undo our creation?

1. Orchestrate the entire CX journey

Traditionally, contact centers have focused on how to optimize customer interactions only once the conversation has started. However, innovative customer experience organizations have moved beyond a narrow channel focus, into proactively engaging the entire customer journey.

Think of it as customer centers, not contact centers. In this space the customer journey is usually well underway before an agent is reached, be it defective products, emergency questions, or feedback on prior service. Leaders need to consider in a broader sense how to orchestrate this end-to-end journey. (figure 1)

Customer journey orchestration is not something that you do after you move to cloud, it needs to be understood well before to help inform and influence the cloud design. Following the steps in the image above, leaders need to ingest, analyze, and fine tune customer interactions to become increasingly proactive and knowledgeable.

One of the initial benefits within journey orchestration is the ability to monitor customer behavior to perform preemptive and proactive services as opposed to the responsive service you see today. Anticipating and detecting needs before they even happen can help reduce the volume in the contact center while also reducing the overall effort on the customer and agent side.

2. Make CX effortless through digital messaging

It’s time to redefine digital channels. This platform is no longer confined to chatbots or webchat, it’s evolved into myriad communications including text, asynchronous messaging, and video. These are the channels of choice for several demographics and it’s all on the cloud.

It’s all asynchronous, all in one place. Customers now expect you to meet them on their terms, on their own time. That’s why enabling customers to communicate with agents this way has made the digital messaging channel a much richer and candidly more convenient channel than traditional voice or webchat.

Cloud is the key to unlocking its potential even further. With digital messaging in the cloud (figure 2), organizations can handle hundreds of thousands of contacts in a day. It’s quick to turn on and quick to scale.

It also adds value to the employee. With many contact center agents working from home due to COVID-19, digital channels are more conducive to a work-from-home environment for employees who may not always have a perfectly quiet environment, especially with home schooling. For many, digital messaging enables a conversation to go beyond background noise.

Interactions are also a better experience when both parties are familiar with the channels they are using. Digital channels are so prolific in everyday life for customers and agents that it’s become a comfort zone,

3. AI is the game-changer for true digital experience transformation

Once you have proactively orchestrated the customer journey and connected to digital channels you must ensure that it doesn’t overwhelm your agents. That’s where artificial intelligence comes into play.

Many contact centers have tried to create an effective, digital self-service approach, but are unable to significantly reduce voice interactions. AI has changed that in the cloud space. (figure 3)

AI enables you to not only meet customers in the digital channel, but also immediately deliver assistance instead of asking the customer to wait in queues. You can identify a customer in a moment of need, and immediately serve them in time.

Typically, a lot of processing power is needed to run AI. But as a cloud consumer you simply turn on the AI capability and start to focus on where it fits in the entire customer journey. It’s part of optimizing your agents, and making every party’s experience as effortless as possible.

Embark on your cloud journey

Your customers want to be on the receiving end of effortless experiences and the technology to deliver it is there for the taking. But with a fragmented cloud strategy, creating effortless experiences will be nearly impossible.

Solving the Frankenstein ‘Monster’ in the cloud space means considering how every bit of humanity and technology fits into the entire journey. Every part of your creation needs to have purpose.