Looking back, 2014 turned out to be a breakthrough year for cloud contact centers. According to Frost & Sullivan, half of all contact centers in North America use some type of hosted/cloud solution today – and this number is predicted to rise to 90% by 2016. Wow!
As we kick off the new year here in 2015, we recently caught up with Genesys EVP of Product & Solution Strategy Merijn te Booij to get his view on the state of cloud contact center solutions.
Q: What’s driving companies to make the move to cloud contact centers?
Merijn te Booij: For most companies, the need to realize increased business agility is the top driver. Competitive differentiation is at stake. Revenue and customer loyalty are on the line. Companies need to deal with these pressures quickly and under constantly changing conditions. Cloud solutions enable them to do that.
From a technology perspective, cloud solutions are also cost-effective, easy to deploy, and flexible to support a growing business. We’re also seeing more and more interest in hybrid deployments that leverage both on-premise and cloud solutions, which will also drive more adoption in this space.
Q: What are some of the consumer technology trends that are driving companies to act?
Merijn te Booij: Without a doubt, it’s the move to digital channels. If a company is not available over the channel of choice for customers – and this likely means web, social and mobile – they will go elsewhere. It’s that simple. Cloud solutions allow businesses to get these channels of support up and running quickly – all in an environment that can be driven in a uniform way across channels, by a business user versus costly internal IT support people.
Q: How can a cloud contact center solution enable businesses to be more competitive?
Merijn te Booij: More than half of companies today believe customer experience is a competitive differentiator, but few do it really well. The truth is that most companies often deliver a disconnected and fragmented experience, and do not support the range of channels customers are demanding. This can hurt the brand.
A cloud platform can quickly bring a company up to speed with the latest customer channels, while enabling them manage interactions in a seamless and personal way – across the customer journey. When companies can start to manage customer engagement in this way, the brand will stand out.
Q: How is the cloud helping companies overcome the limitations of legacy call centers?
Merijn te Booij: A major limitation to delivering seamless experiences at the moment is all the hardware-based legacy call centers out there. This forces companies to silo their customer engagement and prevents them from taking a consistent approach to managing interactions across channels and touch points. It’s not a winning formula for great customer experiences.
As customers move to more channels, siloed solutions for customer engagement are no longer sustainable. Fortunately, the cloud is making the transition away from these legacy solutions easier than ever before.
Q: What’s one tip above all others that you would give to companies looking for a cloud contact center solution?
Merijn te Booij: Find the right partner. There are lots of choices out there. Make sure you work with an experienced provider who not only knows the cloud, but also knows what it takes to excel in customer experience – across all channels and touch points, including voice. While the software makes it easier, CX is still complex to manage, especially as channels of engagement expand across your business.
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