Modern customer experience isn’t just about doing old things in new ways, but new things in ways that weren’t previously feasible. Cloud-based solutions now offer greater flexibility and possibilities for different parts of the business to collaborate more seamlessly. Historically, unified communications (UC) and contact centres were seen as separate entities. However, as customer expectations have changed, the tools co-workers use to communicate are becoming the preferred platforms of customers too, and organisations are no longer held-back by technology limitations of on-premises.
Now it is possible to approach customer experience from a new angle, combining Contact Centre as a Service (CCaaS) and Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) to support customers in ways that weren’t previously possible, and on their terms.
Delivering a Unified Customer Experience in the Contact Centre
With the value of the CCaaS market projected to rise to an estimated $15.67 Billion by 2021, it is clear that businesses are increasingly understanding its role in providing a high-quality and robust customer experience. It is the modern-day iteration of the contact centre, enabling customer service teams to offer customers a choice of how they want to communicate and a unified view of previous interactions with them. With 72 percent of businesses looking to improve their customer experience as a number one priority (according to Forrester), businesses need to be more customer-centric, and the contact centre must evolve as a result.
As part of this, UCaaS should be a major consideration. It allows the integration of multiple modes of communication through a single platform, closing any dialogue gap between different sectors of a business, and subsequently passing on that benefit to the customer as they seamlessly transition between different individuals or departments.
However, to provide such excellent service, and adhere with compliance, businesses require technology to support them that goes beyond the functionality of an enterprise telephony system, cloud or otherwise. For example, according to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), call recording will soon be a legal requirement for some financial services firms, and dynamic call scripting is necessary for enterprises running outbound campaigns.
Approaching Customer Experience with UCaaS
Once a robust infrastructure is set up, allowing a customer to choose their means of communicating with a brand – be it through text, voice, or chatbot – a customer can pick the medium that they’re happiest using. If these vary each time, UCaaS can collate these into the focal point of the contact centre, allowing staff to respond accordingly, or to pass them on to another sector of the business. This makes the transition between departments as painless and efficient as possible.
The value of this integration and seamless experience is undeniable; there is exceptional value in a happy customer. Research from the Tempkin Group suggests that loyal customers are five times as likely to repurchase or forgive a mistake, and seven times as likely to try an offering that they haven’t purchased before. A similar Redspire study has found that UK businesses are losing up to £234 Billion to competitors by providing a below-par customer experience.
In a world where customers expect help within five minutes or less, a versatile cloud-based contact centre could be the key to getting ahead of the competition. Introducing cloud solutions doesn’t mean the sacrifice of expensive legacy equipment; hybrid solutions commonly incorporate existing infrastructure, making the Cloud an appropriate tool for a wide variety of contact centre structures without incurring the expenses inherent in hardware replacement. A company-wide UCaaS solution is an inexpensive and versatile opportunity to connect different departments of a business with little hassle, allowing for customers to be fluidly transferred between agents.
Similarly, the flexibility of the cloud structure allows businesses to take advantage of a pay-as-you-go model for services. Both CCaaS and UCaaS providers are able to offer bespoke packages to suit each enterprise, with the opportunity to start with a small selection of services that can scale or shrink depending on business requirements.
In the face of evolving customer expectations and communication mediums, the synthesis of an effective CCaaS solution with a UCaaS strategy allows all employees to be customer-facing. With customer experience set to overtake product and price as the key differentiator for companies by 2020, taking early steps to transform customers into long-term brand advocates may see businesses steal a march on their rivals. A combined CCaaS and UCaaS approach is an accessible, affordable, and versatile means of doing so.