These are hard times for contact centers! Most of them are still scrambling to figure out ways to handle unforeseen challenges brought to the forefront by the spread of COVID-19, in terms of business continuity as well as agent safety. Unfortunately, contact centers have a pretty high risk of coronavirus exposure for their agents due to shared equipment, tight workspaces, and 24/7 work shifts, in which a lot of people come in and go out all the time.
Evidence suggests that future-ready contact centers with one or more core applications, such as WFM, IVR or CTI already hosted in the cloud had a higher degree of success in emergency response and adaptability in terms of being able to react quickly and navigate through COVID disruption by rapidly transforming their operations into a “work-from-home” model. Those who couldn’t, simply allow remote work options due to their legacy on-premises solutions, are harried and worried trying to find a way out of the situation, while concurrently coping with a surge in the numbers of calls.
COVID-19 has caused massive disruption in customer service industries like healthcare, retail, travel, insurance, banking, etc., and the agents are flooded with customer queries from all communication channels – voice, text, social media, etc. And the only way (perhaps the obvious solution) to deal with this dilemma is to ‘go cloud’ as fast as you can and get your agents and supervisors equipped with work-from-home capabilities immediately to perform their jobs. A robust cloud-based solution can make this transition in 48-hours or less.
Moving to the cloud for a contact center means many things! From a COVID-19 response plan point of view, it means that the agents’ experience at their at-home environments remains the same as their office experience. It includes the agent expectation and usability of tools available within the cloud, performance management, quality management, monitoring, reporting, compliance, analytics, automation, etc. The features and functionalities of cloud-based tools, given to the remotely working agents, should be simple and identical to their on-premises counterparts. CX leaders must ensure that the rapid transition to the cloud includes everything available on legacy on-premises technology, including the tools agents, rely on in their daily work, customer data from multiple digital channels, WFM, CTI, etc.
Cloud offers the best way out of on-premise and proprietary tools, which require too many different systems to work together at each location. It ensures a simpler environment for businesses and agents to operate in, be it remotely or in office, with a reduced need for IT support, implementation, and maintenance. With cloud, the contact centers gain the ability to scale up quickly as demand dictates, without purchasing lots of redundant licenses or the hardware to support them.
Another key trigger for the move to cloud has been the flexibility, scalability, and agility. Cloud-based contact center solutions come with a ‘pay-as-you-go’ financial model that allows business of all sizes to shift expenditure from high front-end capital expenditure (Capex) to more manageable operational expenditure (Opex). The small and mid-size companies in particular can choose a per-concurrent-user or even per-hour pricing model, which helps to keep operating expenses manageable and controllable. The cloud also has a low-risk factor while expanding or trialing a new functionality.
It’s no time to be hesitant to move your contact centers to the cloud for any reason! It’s a “now or never” situation for contact center executives to choose the cloud and maintain business continuity during this unprecedented global crisis or face consequences of losing the customers and, quite possibly, the business.
Thanks to CX leaders like Acqueon, it is now very easy to swiftly migrate almost any contact center to the cloud, enabling its agents to work from home in a short period of time, even if they only have a headset, computer and a broadband connection. In addition, Acqueon can also automate the calls so that simple requests can be dealt with by chatbots, and only difficult inquiries reach the live agents. Acqueon’s AI-driven conversational engagement suite comes with several built-in, emergency response capabilities to keep daily operations going with minimal interruption during an emergency like COVID-19. Do you want to know more about how quickly Acqueon can get your cloud contact center up and running?
Contact our CX specialists now. Also, see our recent blog on the crisis management checklist for contact centers to learn more how-to further safeguard your contact center operations and personnel.