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The global events that caused the mass shift to work-from-home operations could have ended badly for brands worldwide. However, it was proof of how resilient and flexible they can be as they implemented a new reality of work in real-time and responded to rapidly-evolving customer service expectations. Leading the charge for that brilliant response were Contact Center as a Service (CCaaS) solutions designed with empathy and openness in mind for customers and contact center agents alike. When clients respond positively to brands that use principled CCaaS solutions, leaders emerge and grow.
Before COVID-19, the digitalization of customer service risked neutralizing the emotional potential of brands. The past few years have shown a need for solutions that allow these brands and companies to reconnect with the fundamental compassion, empathy and expertise needed to differentiate, perform and grow. These are the values that should drive the creation of leading contact center solutions.
Whether optimizing your operations for customer experience (CX) or agent experience (AX), the recognition that human individuals who work for you and buy from you should be front and center. Artificial intelligence (AI) helps with this in two ways. First, it reduces agent fatigue by eliminating the need for them to deal with customers’ repetitive and simple queries. AI-based speech recognition can be trained to handle them so that agents can spend time using their own empathy-imbued soft skills to help manage customers’ specific issues. Agents can then focus on other value-added topics across channels, whether it’s voice, chat, or video.
Second, AI assists in guiding the customer through their issues thanks to dashboard software that provides contextual data and fully equips agents with all the necessary and relevant information. As there’s no need to ask repetitive questions that the customer may have answered in prior conversations, they feel that their problems are heard, known and seen on a one-to-one level. That’s how relationships are built, and how brands can grow — by treating humans as humans.
Any contact center solution provider worth its salt empathizes with the anxiety that contact center directors feel when it comes to transitioning away from legacy systems. Uncertainties and worries come with a complete overhaul of business operations. That’s why a good CCaaS provider furnishes their clients with end-to-end support, from implementation and setup, to consulting from an experienced team that knows their market, their issues and their customer base.
On the occasion that a contact center invests in a brand new solution, it is absolutely unthinkable to sell it as a product and have it end there. When we talk about CCaaS — Contact Center as a Service — the commitment to serve the buyer is built into the name. As such, more is expected of solutions providers to build a deep relationship with the brands that rely on them to provide their customers the best experience, and thus contribute to their growth. When providers engage with their clients, those brands expand their own commitments to providing high-quality customer interactions. They honor the work of their agents, leading to vastly improved CX and AX.
Of course, new solutions should not only maintain, but enhance the functionalities of the previous ones. A CCaaS solution is, while key, just one piece of the customer experience puzzle. It must be able to openly integrate with other leading business technology, which is why it’s important to provide connectors to AI-based platforms like Google CCAI and IBM Watson, workforce optimization (WFO) tools such as Verint, Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) platforms like Microsoft Teams, and customer relationship management (CRM) software like Salesforce and Pegasystems.
When a CCaaS solution may not be able to do it all, then providing its clients the smooth integration to the tools they use is of the utmost importance. A solution does not exist in a vacuum; it needs open connectivity to the rest of the technological tools that make business go, to be able to keep its commitments to the very individuals that use, serve and are served by them.
All through our relationships with clients, resellers and technological partners, we have found that these values build and perpetuate growth that’s good for a brand’s customers, our clients, our industry colleagues and ourselves as well. Recognized CCaaS leaders keep these three values in mind when they design solutions. That’s why Frost & Sullivan positioned Odigo in 1st place for growth and also as one of the top European providers for innovation in the Frost Radar™: European CCaaS Market, 2021.
WhatsApp Business has emerged as a method of brand communication that has a high open rate compared to email, works more rapidly, and targets multiple points of the customer journey. It delivers interactive options for customers that add value and targets them on a familiar channel, which is why WhatsApp is an indispensable addition to contact center solutions.
The goalposts, when it comes to top performance, perpetually shift with both advances in technology and changing customer expectations. Plan your next steps strategically with insights from over 1,000 European executives.
Customer experience (CX) trends in 2023 will see an acceleration in cloud migration, the mainstream adoption of AI-driven automation applications as well as the recognition of the added value of integrating UCaaS and CRM connectors with CCaaS solutions. Find out more about the main trends in this blog.