In today’s era of automated texting, smart interactive voice response systems, chatbots, and emails, it’s easy to assume that customer preferences have shifted away from waiting on hold to talk to a live person. But recent global events have influenced the way consumers prefer to communicate with businesses. The above engagement solutions are vital tools for creating a robust and resilient customer experience (CX) arsenal, but recent reports show that 51% of today’s consumers still prefer a phone call with a live person, even as automated solutions improve.
At Conduent, we know that there is no singular solution to meet your customers’ diverse engagement needs. To provide truly outstanding customer experiences and enable 24/7 availability requires a powerful combination of people, processes, and technology working together. In a recent blog, we looked at some of the ways cloud contact centers as a service (CCaaS) can help your enterprise keep ahead of shifting consumer dynamics by consolidating all of your customer touchpoints into a single platform. But taking it a step further, finding the right partner can help you implement CCaaS as one part of an overarching, end-to-end omnichannel CX management solution that acts as a natural extension of your brand. But, how do you know when a partner is right for your call center needs? Here are some essential questions and outcome indicators to help you find the best fit.
Six Essential Considerations for Choosing a CCaaS partner:
- Strategy: Can the partner provide guidance and align with both your customer and employee experience strategies to help you drive the best business outcomes?
Customer experience is trending to be a revenue generator as well as a service and support. In today’s “new normal” of dispersed hybrid workforces, disruptions in supply chains, and uncertain sales, business must adapt quickly to maximize their resiliency. In any circumstance, your partner should be able to help define your ideal target state and help you pivot towards growth in their overall strategy.
- Technology: In what ways will your partner’s technology make the enterprise's CX ecosystem experience more seamless? Will their solutions help reduce technology debt? If so, how?
A good CCaaS/CX partner should be able to leverage AI, automation, and analytics to elevate employee and customer interactions –– all within a consolidated platform. Ideally their technology can integrate with and augment your existing platforms to help simplify your CX ecosystem while also enhancing security.
- People: Do their talent base and language capabilities meet the needs of your customer base and business goals?
Technology alone isn’t sufficient for great CX. You must have a skilled agent workforce in place either by hiring, training, and managing them in-house or by outsourcing. Either way, your partner should be able to articulate ways they can improve your overall employee experience using technology in addition to efficient processes and training. In Conduent’s case, there have been instances where we’ve trained thousands of agents at a time to be able to handle peak volumes for multiple channels including calls, chats and emails. For rewards and recognition, a gamification approach was used to keep agents engaged not just throughout the training process, but on an ongoing basis.
- Services: What do their managed services for customer engagement and digital enablement entail?
An integral part of a cloud-based CCaaS solution is enabling you to scale up or down rapidly to meet fluctuations and cyclical demand. This flexibility can provide great cost savings for your business, but it also helps to create a consistent experience for your customer base through enhanced availability and the ability to handle unexpected scenarios. Even if a case is passed from a chat to a call a unified cloud-based system makes it easy for the next agent to pick up from the last touchpoint and speak to the customer’s unique history.
- Diversification: Does the partner offer business and tech services that can provide a breadth of industry expertise?
As new areas of demand emerge, you will need the ability to expand services along with changing market dynamics. As the platform matures, you can switch on value-add features such as chatbots and sentiment analysis on demand as easily as new apps can be added to your smart phone.
- Outcome ownership: Lastly, does the partner offer CCaaS in a consumption-based model?
This approach allows enterprises to pay only for what they use and means the partner owns CX outcomes along with any associated risks. No longer do enterprises need to make a big upfront investment just to match peak capacity. You can pay as you go based on your consumption.
To distill those six points down, the right partner should be able to provide a broad, data-focused approach with specialized expertise and technology that easily integrates with your existing systems. According to Call Center Helper magazine, a shocking 80% of agent time on calls is spent searching for client information and manual data entry. With a unified system in place, customer information is always up-to-date and you can gain a 360, holistic view of your customer base to provide the right mix of engagement no matter what method customers prefer – even live phone calls.
Conduent’s approach not only involves state-of-the-art cloud-based technology, but also adds process expertise and human capital to workflows to enable quick setup, ubiquitous access to resources, and the flexibility to scale up or down as needed. Simply put, efficient, human-centric processes enhance the employee/agent experience (EX), which is essential for delivering outstanding CX. When you have all three components of people, process, and technology working together you develop a virtuous cycle of continuous improvement and customer service excellence.
To learn more about using cloud-based CCaaS to make meaningful connections with customers as part of a broader CX management solution, visit us online.