How contact centres can deliver an excellent customer experience at peak times

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One constant in the world of business is the existence of peaks that put pressure on contact centre resources.

Managing uncertainty has always been an important factor influencing how global businesses plan and invest in their contact centre evolution. There are two factors above all others which determine how well a business can manoeuvre through a situation such as the global pandemic facing the world today. Firstly, corporations look for a global provider with the network, scale, technology and above all expertise to help manage their specific needs, anywhere in the world. Secondly, more and more decision-makers use the flexibility of the cloud to rapidly mobilise emerging contact centre technology to compensate for unexpected resource requirements that can't be met.  

The global Coronavirus pandemic has been impacting businesses from two sides. Unpredictable consumer demand and unpredictable access to both locations and agents to manage this demand. Many contact centres are facing sudden closures in specific locations and unexpected demand in particular sectors such as health or insurance or travel information. This is impacting global contact centre organisations in very specific ways. 

The biggest demand is for the rapid implementation of homeworking and the provision and adjustment of global networks to manage the increased need for both access to contact centre applications and the delivery of voice calls. Businesses must also be able to switch contacts from one location to another both locally and internationally as needed. 

At the same time, businesses can mobilise and trial a technology during peak times on an OPEX basis, simply turning them off with no financial penalties if they're not used. If one route doesn’t work, they can try alternatives, until they find the right fit. And, by incorporating their network in their cloud-based solution, they know that their technology is supported by a platform and network that can handle bursts of demand in a highly economical way. The global Coronavirus pandemic has resulted in a strong increase in the demand for self-service and AI technologies which can provide an always available, unlimited volume option where traditional agent-based applications may not be able to cope with the level of uncertainty in the market. 

In the background, the current pandemic cloud-based technologies also provide a single and efficient use of scarce resources such as licencing, hardware and indeed engineering expertise so that they can be deployed where they're needed most. Connectivity options, such as internet access, VPN connectivity and dynamic WAN capacity also play a key role in making sure centres are able to manage load and mitigate peaks. 

In response to peaks, businesses can suggest proactive call backs to customers, or use automation to deflect some calls to chat or voice bots. This shifts customers from voice to less resource-hungry channels, such as chat or email, making it possible for an agent to handle multiple queries at once. In some cases, this flexible strategy takes this proactive approach to the point of looking to pre-empt peaks by reaching out to customers beforehand.

Security matters when it comes to customer experience

Not only are cloud-based technologies efficient ways to maintain the quality of your customer’s experience during peak times, they have the potential to incorporate the highest levels of security, without inconveniencing your customer.

We support organisations migrating and transforming their contact centres every day, so that they’re ready to meet peaks in demand with technologies they can rely on. As part of our approach, we integrate and manage all the technology and applications you need as a single solution with one contract and one commercial model.

For a large airline company for example, we brought together three contact centres spread across two countries to operate as a single entity servicing the entire business under one contract and model. Using our Cloud Contact Cisco platform, delivered from the cloud on pay-as-you-go terms, the airline was able to put all inbound calls into a single queue. Immediately, the efficiency of agents increased by 10 per cent and, using advanced features, such as IVR and multichannel call handling.

Your ideal contact centre partner

We understand that enterprises need access to the right ecosystem of products within the cloud to find the ones that keep their customer experience at optimum levels. That’s why we seek out the right suppliers and technologies for our ecosystem, investing in the latest innovation and research into optimal customer experience.

Above all, we understand the need for pricing structures that allow businesses the freedom to find the balance of cloud-based technologies that best suits them. Our pricing innovation reflects the way multinational companies are starting to organise their contact centres around the cloud, often experiencing peaks several times a day across their global operation. We offer a global concurrency pricing model, where you only pay for the highest peak within a 24-hour period, delivering savings of up to 60 per cent on monthly usage charges.

Discover the insight you need to get your strategy right by downloading our latest whitepaper ‘The Autonomous Customer 2020’. Watch our webinar and find out from our experts what the trends mean for your business.

Richard Atherton