By investing in technologies, such as a cloud contact center, that serve the customer and business operations, companies can find the right balance of low costs and high operational efficiency.Let me explain: To deliver stellar customer service is a continuing challenge for businesses. After all, these interests appear to contradict one another. An investment in customer experience implies higher operational costs, while cutting back on support capabilities risks lowering customer satisfaction.

Customers now prefer to engage businesses in digital channels, a trend not lost on the C-suite. Fifty-seven percent of executives say reducing contact center call volumes is their top prioritya recent McKinsey survey found. Meanwhile, almost one in 10 companieare focused first on improving customer experienceaccording to Deloitte.

As it turns out, these goals are in lockstep. To reduce call volume, businesses must offer more ways for customers to connect. Consequently, channel diversity is fast becoming a key feature of modern call centersAmore customers choose self-service or automated options, fewer will call into a company, leaving agents more time to solve complex issuesThe outcome: a marked improvement in customer experience and operational efficiency.

5 ways cloud contact centers improve customer support

Investing in a cloud contact center enables executives to tick many of the boxes required for more efficient and satisfactory interactions. From channel diversity to data integration, here’s how this investment pays off.

Omnichannel support
While voice is still the most prominent communications channel, in 2019 its dominance will decrease to 47 percent from 64 percent, Deloitte saysChatmessaging and social media are poised to fill the gapbut there are challenges. For example, some legacy agent desktop software doesn’t have the ability to integrate chatWith a cloud contact center, however, agents can quickly and efficiently switch conversations from social media to chat to phone. Customers start in their preferred channel, and agents can escalate to other avenues if necessary.

AI and Automation
Thirty-three percent of contact center executives believe artificial intelligence (AI) and robotic process automation (RPA) are advanced enough to be strategic contact center investments by 2019. In their simplest form, AI chatbots helcustomers through standard transactions, such as updating contact information or changing subscription plans. But these technologies also have the potential to help companies be more proactive, especially when integrated with the Internet of Things. For example, sensors monitor the status of machines and alert the contact center when maintenance or repairs are needed.

Application integration
Contact center agents are empowered when they have complete access to customer’s profile and history. With CRM integration, agents immediately know who is calling, their purchase history and other relevant information so they can communicate more effectively. Not only does this save time, it improves the customer experience because agents personalize each interaction and resolve issuemore quickly.

Call reporting
With real-time and customizable reporting, contact center supervisors gain an accurate view of agent-customer interactions. By analyzing average call times, resolution rates and other data, they’re able to optimize staffing for any scenarioData is also used to train new agents (or those who may be struggling to improve resolutions and decrease the time spent on calls.

Minimal training requirements
When exploring options, look for an open platform that allows you to easily add new featureshas an intuitive interface that uses drag-and-drop tools for easy manipulation of call scripts and campaigns and allows for the dynamic assignment of agents to campaigns to minimize downtime.

The dual challenge of delivering an exceptional customer experience while improving operational efficiency makes the choice of technology more important than ever. With a cloud contact center, companies will find it easier to make customers happy and meet organizational goals.

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