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Contact Centre Solutions Nov 15, 2023

Enhancing your customer experience with AI and more

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

BT continues to enhance its Contact Centre-as-a-Service (CCaaS) portfolio as we see growing demand for the best possible experience at the most important customer touchpoint for enterprises. It’s a market sector that’s expected to more than treble in value by 2030, and it’s easy to see why.   

The conversation around the benefits that CCaaS delivers are now well understood. Customers know there’s a powerful combination of cost efficiency, functionality and scalability that on-premise platforms just can’t achieve. But now that the push has begun legacy players, once happy receiving the on-going revenue from on-premise contact centres, are raising their prices to move their customers to the cloud, so it’s no longer a question of if you migrate, it’s when. 

There is no doubt that customer experience (CX) is becoming business critical. New research from Qualtrics and ServiceNow revealed that 80% of customers said they have switched brands because of poor customer experience; 43% said they were at least somewhat likely to switch brands after only a single negative customer service interaction. Cavell has also just released research which found ‘providing better customer service’ is a top three communication priority over the next three years across all company sizes. 

So now that we have determined that improving company CX is not only a business priority but a technical inevitability, my advice is don’t be caught off guard, start planning now. A bad migration can lead to technical debt and being burdened with costly, disconnected systems that don’t align with your overall business strategy. Get you’re the strategy and platform right and it will deliver huge benefits to the business, both financial and strategic. 

Harmonious systems and communication platforms will empower employees and deliver on CX metrics. They will also help a business achieve its cost transformation objectives. This is why understanding what you have and where you want to go are imperative to any cloud migration. If you focus on one specific area as opposed to a wholistic approach, you won’t get the most out of your investment. After all, you are in the cloud now, everything should be integrated, right?

Leading-edge technology

BT constantly tracks new innovations, always looking to take our customers to the leading edge of what’s possible around business technologies. As a result, we are now partnering with Five9 to unlock even more benefits from cloud contact centres. The company is one of the most innovative CCaaS providers around and was recently promoted to a Leader in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant. The Five9 platform meets the demands of a new generation of customers who expect to communicate with enterprises on their channel of choice – voice, email, SMS, webchat, video, social messaging apps – and want a personalised and intuitive experience. Crucially, it’s also quick, routing people to the most appropriate agent for the fastest resolution of the issue. Agents can be located anywhere in the world, depending on the client requirement and rules around customer data. 

We all know how AI is the future of customer experience, but we probably don’t fully understand to what extent. What BT likes about Five9 that Gartner and other analysts picked up on is its scalability and use of AI.  The Five9 Intelligent CX Platform has the capacity to support tens of thousands of agents in a single domain. Familiar and repetitive customer queries can be handled by AI-powered self-service, enabling agents to spend more time dealing with complex queries and bringing to bear the most important human skill, empathy, in complex situations. Agents also have AI-powered tools to get to the bottom of problems more quickly. The emphasis is on faster issue resolution times, saving money for the contact centre and enhancing the customer experience. 

Having a great platform is far from the only reason BT partnered with Five9. There is a lot of synergy between the two companies: we are both obsessed with customer experience; Five9 has earned an NPS of 90 through their meticulous approach towards cloud migration. As I explained above, expect a less than ideal outcome if this step is taken casually. 

Next, Five9 has a proven track record in customer support, cloud migration and delivery. These are all areas that BT prides itself on. The final aspect that we value is how its platform gives customers choice. We like that the Five9 Intelligent CX platform is available as an à la carte solution, with flexible pricing options and different features that can be built out over time so customers only pay for what they use. 

Optimise the opportunity

When an organisation moves any component of its business to the cloud, there is the opportunity to revisit the service or solution, to remodel and modernise it for the new environment. The same is true with cloud contact centres. If it’s a ‘lift and shift’ from on-premise to cloud, a like-for-like transition purely for money saving purposes, then a big opportunity will be missed to differentiate and enhance their customers experience. 

Move to CCaaS and you have a window in time where you can correct the bad practices of the past and solve bottlenecks; you can start from scratch with a brand new platform that is much more flexible, with features and functionality unavailable to on-premise contact centres. 

Before you make the switch, however, it is imperative to understand your existing estate and what you want from the new one. This is why BT provides in-depth analysis at the start of every engagement, to make sure we understand all the customer’s requirements and desired business outcomes. 

If you would like to take a free 30-minute workshop on shaping contact centres to meet customer demands, please get in touch with our team today.