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Contact Centre Solutions Jul 08, 2020

What's next, now the pandemic has pushed your contact centre to the cloud?

By Ailbhe McDarby Head of Unified Communications & Contact Centre propositions, BT Ireland

Businesses have done a lot of quick thinking and reacting lately, working out the best ways to carry on during the Coronavirus pandemic as they went along — and contact centres are a prime example. Enterprises with on premise contact centres have transitioned extremely fast to a cloud-based set up or have moved to a contact centre as-a-service structure. There’s no denying that the scale and pace of change has been a challenge, and that a lot of organisations have struggled.

Ideally, there would have been time for a thorough planning phase with opportunities to work out a smooth pathway to the best mix of services and functionality. Agents would have been prepared for the transfer and had the chance to explore new ways of working before taking them on. The truth for many is that, if the move had been more measured, agents and contact centres would potentially now be enjoying better functionality, and agents would have an optimal home set up.  

Building on your new cloud-based contact centre foundations

We’ve worked closely with countless customers during the pandemic to transition their contact centres to the cloud as quickly and as efficiently as possible, proud to be able to help them carry on. Feedback from our customers is that their cloud-based contact centre solutions are holding steady in the face of ongoing pandemic challenges and agents are now working effectively from home.

Businesses are now able to take a breath and take stock of the benefits of their rapid move. As they find the right way of operating for them, they’re appreciating being able to flex up and down as their service needs change, bringing agents online from wherever they are — and the straightforward opex model is a big help when it comes to the financial side of things. There’s a strong sense of now being in the best position to protect business continuity from this point onwards.  

If you’re one of those businesses, it’s time to look to the future, recognising that whatever set up you’ve managed to put in place is a huge and important step forward in your cloud evolution. From here on out it’s all about building on these foundations to deliver an even better customer experience. So where do you start?

Time to capitalise on key customer trends

Being able to predict what your customers will want from your contact centre lets you plan the next steps in your development. Our global Autonomous Customer research gives you the full picture of customer expectations and attitudes, highlighting five key trends that will have an impact on the future of your contact centre:

1. Everyone still loves a phone call

Person-to-person phone calls are still the most used customer contact channel. When it comes to problem solving, your customers want to talk it through.

2. Messaging channels have a place in the contact centre

Customers are ready for chatbots — but expect human agents to oversee what’s going on. The rules of this landscape are changing fast.

3. The role of social media in customer contact is in doubt

Although it offered a lot of promise, customers have downgraded contacting businesses on social media to a method of complaint.

4. Identification, verification and payment is at a crossroads

Contact centres must solve the trust problem to give consumers the secure and easy processes they expect.

5. Consumers are ready to experience outbound services powered by AI

In their search for an immediate response, consumers increasingly expect AI to step up to pre-empt queries.

Build on the strong start you’ve made by moving your contact centre to the cloud. Find out more about these key contact centre trends, and how they can help your business to provide exceptional customer support, take a look at the full research.