Loyalty360 recently published an interview with Kevin McMahon, director of global marketing at West Unified Communications, regarding the advantages of the cloud for heightened, omni-channel customer experiences. ATC is a provider of West unified communications services, including work documented here with St. Elizabeth Physicians. Here is what McMahon had to say:
Can you talk about the advantages of the cloud from an employee/customer engagement perspective?
McMahon: The Cloud is moving from simply being the most cost effective, pragmatic (deployment) option to becoming a strategic investment that enables organizations to react quickly to the needs of its customers, while designing seamless customer experiences across every channel. In the past, the customer journey has traditionally been siloed across departments and channels making it difficult to consistently deliver satisfactory customer experiences. When consumers would switch from the web to the phone, they’d have to re-explain their issue––a time-consuming annoyance. Fortunately, the Cloud makes it easier for companies to integrate their various customer channels, enabling agents to see all previous customer contacts and more quickly solve the problem. Other cloud platforms offer a drag and drop menu that allow contact center managers to map out the best possible customer journey using real-time data – and react within minutes to changed situations.
In this day and age, moving to the cloud seems like the perfect solution for a contact center. Can you just talk about what a company should consider before implementing such a move?
McMahon: According to our study, The State of Customer Experience 2017, customer service professionals recognize that a cloud-based solution is the best choice for their future infrastructure. Before taking the plunge, organizations should carve out some time for migration planning. First, decision makers should recognize that they don’t have to completely remove their on-premises equipment to migrate to the Cloud. For instance, cloud apps like routing software, CRM systems and HR software can all operate in tandem with on-premises systems. By taking a gradual approach to cloud migration, contact center managers can prove the benefits of the Cloud before removing on-premises equipment.
It’s also critical to choose the right provider to help you tackle cloud migration. Creating and maintaining a strong relationship with your contact center technology provider is key to ensuring a smooth deployment and efficient cloud management. For this reason, companies should pick a partner that will offer the support they need. (ATC can help here.)
Perhaps most importantly, IT departments should consider how moving to the Cloud will impact everyone in the organization. If you choose the right partner, your cloud contact center will become a centralized communications platform for everyone at your company. But to strike the right balance, you’ll want to foster a platform that quickly caters to the needs of your customers, partners and suppliers, and supports them through any channel, on any device.