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Revolutionizing how businesses operate and serve their customers, cloud computing arguably stands as the most significant technological breakthrough of the digital era. For contact centers, migrating to the cloud is now table stakes for meeting increasingly high customer expectations and competing in today’s marketplace.
Evolving your contact center in the cloud means moving beyond the legacy limitations of on-premises systems that are difficult to update, integrate and scale.
Cloud platforms offer real-time data access, robust integrations and the agility to adapt to customer preferences — making them critical for contact centers to deliver the seamless end-to-end experiences customers expect. And by leveraging and orchestrating a suite of advanced features, contact centers can also streamline workflows, reduce costs, enhance scalability and foster collaboration. Cloud contact center platforms also enable companies to innovate to meet changing customer and employee needs and expectations.
As your company plans to take its customer experience (CX) strategy to the cloud, it’s important to first take a step back and look at the bigger picture to be sure your migration is a seamless evolution. Here are some best practices on what you should — and shouldn’t — do when planning your CX transformation to cloud.
Moving to a modern cloud contact center platform is a strategic evolution that’s filled with possibilities.
Cloud platforms offer dynamic environments that drive agility and innovation, especially as artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities, omnichannel support and robust workforce engagement management features redefine customer interactions — and employee experiences.
For example, advanced chatbots can manage routine queries, allowing contact center agents to tackle complex issues, speeding resolution times and boosting customer satisfaction. These platforms also grant real-time data access, offering a deeper understanding of customer behavior, intent and their journey with your company.
Using predictive analytics, you can determine peak call periods and adjust staffing to reduce wait times. And cloud platforms that are equipped with open APIs and integration tools facilitate seamless integration with third-party applications — from CRM solutions to billing systems — and allow companies to test innovations on a smaller scale before rolling them out in larger projects.
It’s not just about recreating or “lifting and shifting” what existed before. It’s about understanding the possibilities inherent in a cloud migration. Harnessing the full potential of cloud contact center platforms ensures optimal agility, improved efficiency and exceptional customer experiences.
And in today’s competitive landscape — where customers measure your service against the best they’ve encountered across all sectors — falling short of these expectations jeopardizes the customer experience and puts you at risk for losing customers and market share.
A CX transformation is the time to innovate, so it’s the perfect opportunity to create a wish list of improvements you’d like to make within your contact center operation. List 10 things you’ve always wanted for your contact center but were restricted by technological limitations. For example, you might want to orchestrate or coordinate customer experiences in real time to personalize and improve outcomes.
Aim high and consider advanced features that were previously out of reach.
The cloud migration journey gives you a chance to prioritize features like predictive routing, omnichannel support and enhanced analytics that offer deep insights into customer intent. This is more than just solving existing roadblocks; you can transform your contact center into a true business differentiator.
This list will help you think beyond the present and map out phased innovations, serving as a progressive roadmap that propels your contact center to new heights. Let migration be the catalyst for innovation.
Data security management and compliance are table stakes for a contact center’s ongoing success. So, as you transition to the cloud, understanding data residency, security and compliance becomes paramount.
Data residency dictates the physical location of cloud data — a critical factor when navigating data protection regulations. A common misconception is that these regulations only apply to companies operating within the region. Often, this isn’t the case.
For instance, regardless of its global location, your call center must adhere to GDPR standards when handling the personal customer data of European Union (EU) consumers. Ensure your cloud vendor has the global availability, experience and certifications to successfully navigate regional compliance regulations.
Beyond storage, data security is vital. Customers entrust you with their sensitive information. And a data breach can irreparably damage your company’s reputation. While most cloud contact center platforms typically offer rigorous security frameworks and continuous security upgrades, remember to evaluate their measures and mechanisms thoroughly. Ask if the vendor has a dedicated team of security and privacy experts. Do they have documented information security policies and procedures in place? Can they provide proof via independent third-party compliance audits and how are these policies and procedures enforced? Is data encrypted both in-transit and at rest? How is your data isolated from other customers?
A trusted cloud provider will hold a range of security certifications — and they need to make this information publicly available. When considering providers, for example, look for industry-leading platforms that take security as seriously as you do.
The lift-and-shift approach of simply moving your existing on-premises configurations and rules to the cloud severely undermines the potential of modern cloud CX platforms. And you’ll miss out on many of the innovations. Instead of transferring aging practices, a CX evolution is the opportunity to embrace and leverage the full range of advanced capabilities.
For organizations to harness the cloud’s full potential and transform contact center operations, moving beyond a lift-and-shift mentality or strategy is paramount. Think of the migration as a full-scale evolution toward a more agile, robust future where you reimagine, adapt and capitalize on the cloud’s benefits.
Transitioning from in-house solutions requires a recalibration of expectations. Don’t think of cloud platforms as a direct replica of your on-premises systems. While the objective of delivering quality customer service is the same, their methods to achieve this differ.
Instead of simply recreating existing systems, cloud migration offers an evolved approach to achieving superior customer service. For example, while your on-premises solution might provide basic call analytics, a cloud solution offers deeper insights into customer behavior, call drop reasons and agent performance metrics.
With continuous upgrades, cloud platforms also operate at a much higher velocity and ensure your contact center remains on the cutting edge. Without the lag of cumbersome on-premises upgrade processes, you can leverage technology’s latest capabilities with an agility that results in more streamlined, efficient and cost-effective operations.
So instead of aiming for a direct replica of your on-premises system, explore the cloud’s distinct advantages. Training and change management processes help teams understand the differences and how they will enhance customer engagement and their own work experiences.
More than just replacing technology, moving your contact center to the cloud represents a mindset shift. To see the full ROI of your cloud platform, you should be open to reevaluating business processes and mobilizing the capabilities, such as AI, that are exclusive to cloud platforms.
For example, you may have relied on on-premises IVR applications for decades because they “got the job done.” Now, you can take a step back and rethink their relevance considering today’s AI capabilities. AI-driven employee management capabilities, for example, enable you to not only redefine how you measure call quality and train agents but also fuel constant, data-driven improvements. With an open mindset, you can embrace the dynamic tools needed for modernization.
Customer expectations continue to evolve; flexibility is key to staying ahead of your competition. And a cloud contact center platform offers the capabilities that will give you a distinct CX edge.
To fully unlock the cloud’s potential, you’ll need to foster a culture of innovation that empowers employees to question and reimagine processes. Doing this can help identify and fix outdated practices, give employees a sense of agency in changing times, and lay the foundation for migration success and expansion.
Moving from legacy on-premises technology to an all-in-one cloud contact center platform will set your business up for success today – and into the future. Once you have a vision and a plan of what great CX looks like in the cloud, you’re ready to undertake a customer experience transformation. Read the ebook, “The four phases of CX evolution” to learn how to identify and overcome barriers, create a migration roadmap, gain stakeholder buy-in and, ultimately, achieve your business outcomes faster.