Modern Contact Centers Involve New Considerations
Contact centers have, by many accounts, undergone an interesting evolution in recent years. As customers begin to demand more personalized experiences and rapid satisfaction, help desks have had to add a greater number of channels to their arsenals as well as increase access to data centers.
"Not that many years ago, reaching a company's contact center meant picking up a landline phone and giving them a call," wrote Silicon Bayou News on its website. "Nowadays, people will reach customer service representatives by phone, text, through social media sites and via instant messaging. In order to keep up with their customers and give them the service they need and deserve in a timely manner, some companies are moving their contact center to the cloud."
But making the transition to a modern customer service department is not as simple as replacing one solution with another. While, fundamentally, the technologies are the same, legacy circuits and cloud connectivity have very different methods behind their common goals. As such, there must be specific considerations made by any organization wishing to move to the cloud - even if only partially - regarding things like mobility and security.
As contact center technology continues to change, there will have to be new kinds of telecom strategies devised and implemented. Companies should be interesting themselves in this process if they have not already, but rushing through the integration process can lead to improper, unsecured deployment.
Digital Security Measures Must Be A Top Priority
Because the functionality of the contact center is undergoing a significant genesis, it is understandable that some companies might be overlooking aspects of successful deployment that have not previously been part of the equation. With so much data - namely the personal information of customers - being circulated among help desk employees, and all of the new digital platforms being leveraged, security is absolutely something that needs to be attended to. Not only can VoIP phone services, emails and instant messages be intercepted, but organizations that have a vast number of credit and debit card numbers are going to be highly prone to attacks and breaches.
"The customer contact function presents special sensitivity for security, especially in regulated industries," wrote Customer Think contributors Bruce Belfiore and Tony Grimshaw. "Points of vulnerability include CRM (customer relationship management) software, which draws upon databases that may include patient health records, credit card or bank account information, and social security numbers. It is incumbent on customer contact managers to be part of the security culture, and not part of the problem."
This can be a difficult task for businesses to handle on their own. This is why many enterprises choose to go with hosted providers. By opting to have cloud communications maintained offsite by a team of dedicated professionals, a level of protection can be achieved that does not involve sacrificing hours in the IT department. Present-day IT staff already have a number of responsibilities, and adding the upkeep and maintenance of a new system may force other tasks to go uncompleted. Hosted services shoulder some of the work, allowing in-house tech employees to focus on how to customize these new assets within various facets of the organization - namely in the contact center.
Mobility A Modern Requirement
Perhaps one of the biggest aspects of productivity in this day and age is mobility. There are millions - if not billions - of enterprise workers around the world that are in possession of consumer-grade devices that they wish to leverage in the workplace. Thanks to the ease-of-use associated with these machines, employees are going to use them regardless of their company's official stance. Because of this, organizations need to embrace mobility and figure out how best it can be attained within their specific operations.
"Thanks to the virtual agent tools featured in the cloud, customer service representatives can communicate very effectively with customers, quickly getting the answers they are looking for," Silicon Bayou News wrote. "Agents will no longer have to search through a vast catalog of webpages and documents looking for the information they need to help the customer on the other end of the phone or text. In addition, since customer service agents who are on the cloud can work from virtually anywhere they want, they can be available to work at all hours of the day. All they need is a quiet room, a computer, headset and network connection."
What is certain is that attempting to handle these transitions without a hosted provider can cause complications and downtime if the essential staff and equipment are not in place. By turning to cloud communications services rather than onsite deployments, contact centers can unlock their true potential by enabling workers to be productive in ways that best suit them.