Neil Titcomb at Odigo outlines how 2020 saw an acceleration in digital transformation across all sectors. As more companies move to the cloud to achieve agility and resilience, Contact Centre as a Service (CCaaS) solutions are becoming increasingly key to delivering rewarding and scalable customer service in 2021.
2020 saw a huge surge in digital innovation. In 2021, as British companies look to recover from pandemic-related setbacks and adapt to life outside the EU, the intelligent automation (IA) and empathetic customer service agent that underpin Contact Centre as a Service (CCaaS) solutions can help businesses achieve scalable customer service and better business results.
As necessity is the mother of invention, it is no surprise that the unexpected challenges of 2020 saw an unprecedented acceleration in innovation. From the shock of the early stages of the Covid-19 pandemic, to the new normal of social distancing and rolling lockdowns, innovation has helped British enterprises survive.
As a result, there has been, according to some observers, a rapid acceleration of digital transformation in a matter of months. This means that businesses across the UK are currently seeking more agile and resilient ways of working in the face of the twin challenges of Covid-19 and Brexit – which are fundamentally changing how British organisations work and reshaping the role of the customer service agent.
Managing Scalable Customer Service Remains Challenging
During this time, one of the primary difficulties Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs) have been grappling with is the affordability of scalable customer service. This particular difficulty led to the increased adoption of CCaaS solutions. In fact, Gartner predicts that by 2022, CCaaS will account for roughly 50% of preferred adoption models in contact centres.
Managing and scaling customer communication has always been difficult, but expectations on contact centres have risen significantly in the last year. A recent Zendesk report shows that 60% of consumers value the ability to solve issues quickly as the single most important aspect of good customer service.
Add to that the expectation for seamless, multichannel contact points, and there is an obligation on businesses and CMOs to up their game when it comes to scalable customer service, and providing the right solutions to support the new breed of customer service agent.
These expectations, and the rise of remote and hybrid workforces, create a market ideally suited for CCaaS solutions. CCaaS providers provide integrated, customer-facing channel hubs and sophisticated customer service agents to operate them with the level of human empathy required for great customer service endeavours.
Finally, they also integrate with unified communications solutions – facilitating better collaboration between geographically dispersed colleagues.
What CCaaS Solutions Offer the British Enterprise and Their Customer Service Agent
CCaaS solutions offer robust regulatory compliance, powered by intelligent automation (IA) and other artificial intelligence (AI) models. These facilities are built into the best CCaaS solutions and offer British businesses the chance to deploy standardised processes rapidly, which helps them keep on top of new rules and regulations.
These offerings provide the kind of agility and speed British businesses – particularly larger enterprises with cumbersome legacy systems and international trading requirements – need in order to adapt to a new economic environment.
Increasing flexibility and speed of deployment is key in a digital economy and can help UK firms find a path back to economic stability, even as market conditions continue to fluctuate.
One of the most significant benefits of a CCaaS solution is the provision of key data insights to the customer service agent. Using AI and IA to collect, manage and analyse customer data can furnish CMOs with vital, real-time information when interacting and engaging with customers.
This means that a customer service agent can take the best, most informed action every time. However, it also translates into a more seamless, efficient service for customers.
All of these benefits are reflected in the increasing adoption of CCaaS solutions. This is great news for consumers, who can access intuitive services and support whenever it’s required.
However, for businesses who haven’t adopted this model yet, it means making a choice between adapting fast, or potentially being left behind by competitors with more efficient and scalable customer service.
The Cloud May Offer Scalable Customer Service Answers
While in-house contact centres can serve the aforementioned purposes to some extent, the problem with scalability still remains. On-premises contact centres aren’t always able to expand when the business grows, constrained by their own physical space and by the time it takes to recruit and onboard a new customer service agent.
A cloud-based CCaaS solution provides the agility needed so that businesses can rapidly scale up, without interrupting performance or creating process bottlenecks. The ability of CCaaS providers to quickly deploy both new representatives and IT solutions is a key differentiator between ineffective and scalable customer service.
As consumers increasingly become digitally native, the number of mobile connections in the UK in January 2021 was equivalent to 99.4% of the total population. Businesses will need this differentiation if they’re to succeed in engaging and retaining new customers, especially as the UK’s exit from the single market hinders access to the world’s largest unified trading bloc.
Key Takeaways to Bear in Mind
It is often hard to spot change when it is occurring – only with the benefit of hindsight can one identify inflection points that changed the landscape for business-as-usual. In 2020, that was not the case. The world changed before our eyes and it’s still changing.
This new reality delivers a hard imperative for business leaders – who need to instil operational resilience into their organizations and find new ways to scale quickly when/if it is required.
The rising adoption of CCaaS solutions is evidence that this imperative is being recognised. By switching to CCaaS, British enterprises can join the wave of businesses ensuring built-in technological excellence and scalable customer service, and the agility needed to thrive in uncertain times.
Cloud contact centres are more efficient, with 35% less downtime than on-premise tools, in addition to being 27% cheaper than on-premises contact centres.
Cheaper, more efficient and scalable. There’s no such thing as guaranteed success in business, but these three elements are vital for British businesses as the UK looks ahead to 2021 and beyond to a business landscape radically altered by Covid-19 and Brexit.
Call Centre Helper is not responsible for the content of these guest blog posts. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect those of Call Centre Helper.