Why Is the Cloud Still the “Far Side?”

By Michelle Burrows | January 31, 2019
Cloud Contact Centers

I’ve been in the software, telecom and contact center space for most of my career. One of the most surprising things I’ve found over time is that the cloud is still a new concept for many who manage and operate contact centers. In contrast to areas such as marketing and sales, where marketing automation and CRM solutions are more often in the cloud than not, it continues to surprise me that contact centers haven’t wholeheartedly made the transition yet.

The natural question is, “why?”

One reason is the adage, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” This is often used by teams that say their contact center “just works.”

However, they may shrug off that it takes an unnatural act to change routing and up-time capacity (then scale back down). Or they have accepted that reporting requires many unintegrated systems that may generate disparate, or even conflicting, data. They cannot get a holistic view of their contact center. They pay for capacity they may never use. But, they maintain, “at least it works.”

Is It Really Working?

Cloud Contact Center

So, the obvious questions is, what does “it works” mean? If you can’t adapt your contact center as your customers’ needs change, and if you pay for capacity that you don’t use, is that working?

What if you also can’t understand what a customer may have done prior to calling by phone, such as texting or chat, because different groups handle different channels? What if your agents feel disengaged because they are constantly berated by customers who are upset that they don’t have the content or context from their previous interactions with your company? What if your customers are then broadcasting—online and off—their less-than-stellar interactions with your brand and taking their dollars elsewhere?

All Eyes on the Contact Center

As customer experience is increasingly a competitive differentiator, more people across an organization have become interested in the contact center. Agents who handle calls, texts, emails or chats may be the only interaction a customer has with a brand. As a result, organizations are asking how to better empower agents and provide them with the tools and resources they need to deliver better customer experiences.

Those who manage operational expenses are wondering how to lower costs associated with contact center infrastructure and hardware. Contact center executives are seeking ways to give agents the content and context of all customer interactions. And naturally, anyone who is seriously looking at customer experience is also looking at how to improve Net Promoter Scores, CSAT and social media sentiment.

As organizations gain more insights into their contact center interactions, “it works” isn’t a completely satisfying answer. I’d even argue, “it doesn’t work” if what the contact center can and cannot do is limited by its infrastructure and technology.

If you’re still not sold on the benefits of the cloud, I invite you to join Sheila McGee-Smith and me for the webinar Migrating to a Cloud Contact Center: Tales from the Far Side.

In preparation for this webinar, Sheila spoke to companies from diverse industries about why they chose to make a move to the cloud. What she discovered, is the “far side” isn’t very far when customer experience, cost savings and efficiency is critical. Join us and discover why companies like yours have transitioned to the cloud.

Michelle Burrows is Chief Marketing Officer at Serenova, where she leads the company’s global marketing strategy, brand development, communications and demand generation.  Prior to joining Serenova, Michelle was Vice President of Marketing and Analytics at Comcast Business, leading the customer loyalty contact center.  Prior to Comcast, she served as Vice President of Demand Marketing for inContact (NICE inContact) and held key leadership positions at Rally Software (CA Technologies), Verint Systems and Genesys Conferencing (West Corporation).