Opinion

Cloud Strategies – why they are today’s unsung hero

The crisis has been a test like no other of the ability of organisations to scale on-line transactions dramatically, securely, and reliably as digital transformation agendas have accelerated at an unprecedented rate. Innovative cloud solutions have quickly been adopted, making cloud strategies today’s unsung hero in the fight against COVID-19.

However Infrastructure-as-a-Service providers aren’t the only unsung technological heroes of the coronavirus crisis—the sudden shift to remote work also wouldn’t be possible without cloud solutions that allow fast, secure and consistent deployment of application environments.

 

As more organisations recognise the value of having CX (customer experience) solutions ready-to-scale in the cloud we are seeing new technologies and opportunities such as AI (artificial intelligence) changing how we deliver those services.

Recently we had the opportunity to speak with CISCO’s Kevin Ferrell in our webinar on how to address common challenges facing cloud migration in the contact centre space. Here are the 3 key strategies that we discussed:

  1. Orchestrate the entire CX journey

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

Think of it as customer centres, not contact centres. 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.

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. Leaders need to ingest, analyse, 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 behaviour to perform pre-emptive 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 centre while also reducing the overall effort on the customer and agent side.

  1. Make CX effortless through digital messaging

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

It is also all asynchronous, all in one place. Customers now expect you to meet them on their terms, in their own time. That is 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, organisations can handle hundreds of thousands of contacts in a day. It is quick to turn on and quick to scale.

It also adds value to the employee. With many contact centre 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 has become a comfort zone.

  1. 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 does not overwhelm your agents. That is where artificial intelligence comes into play.

Many contact centres 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.

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 is part of optimising 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 if you have a fragmented cloud strategy, creating effortless experiences will be nearly impossible.

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