Last month I had the pleasure of presenting at the Northern California Contact Center Association’s (NCCCA) “Cloud-Based Contact Center Solutions Conference” held in Sacramento. Put together to educate industry professionals about the various trends and benefits involved with the latest cloud-based contact center technology, the summer event drew more than 60 attendees from across the region and industry.
The cloud-based theme of the NCCCA’s conference was meant to help highlight a shift in thinking within the contact center industry, its executives and managers. Decades ago, when the contact center industry was just beginning to grow, companies found it necessary to build and manage all of their customer service efforts in house. From building physical locations to hiring and managing specialized employees to purchasing and implementing on-site technology, successful customer-oriented businesses were the ones that quickly established customer engagement and contact center management as a core competency alongside their other competitive advantages.
While this style of thinking during the 70’s and 80’s may have been the best option, advancements in cloud technology have now made it so that businesses and their contact centers can become more effective and efficient compared to their predecessors while reducing overall costs. By utilizing specialized vendors whose core competencies include contact center operations, technology hosting and implementation as well as agent hiring and management, businesses today are able to reduce the amount of time, effort and budget needed to provide quality customer service and engagement. This effectively allows businesses more time and energy to focus on their own core competencies.
It’s at this point that I moved the conversation one step further, taking the idea of cloud-based technology and software as a service and introducing the concept of process as a service. During my presentation, “Workforce in the Cloud,” I took what many leaders within the industry were starting to finally understand when it came to the utilization of cloud-based technology and the optimization of their contact centers, and introduced the idea of implementing globalized command centers with cloud-based workforce management capabilities.
As technology continues to advance and the success of businesses hangs more on their ability to differentiate through core competencies, it is now necessary for contact centers to become as specialized and efficient as possible. This can now be done through the utilization of global command centers with the ability to support multiple contact centers thanks to cloud-based WFM and CRM software that make it easy to monitor and adapt to both internal and external needs as they occur. Whether these command centers are implanted internally or outsourced to a specialized vendor, they will have the ability to monitor and manage all contact center actions remotely as well as forecast, schedule and report on all operations.
The utilization of cloud-based technology and specialized vendors has become somewhat commonplace in the contact center industry in recent years. As companies look to create more effective and efficient contact centers through these means, it’s important to notice the similar and obvious opportunities presented in taking processes such as workforce management to the cloud.