For years, companies have sought to boost the quality of customer service they offer in order to differentiate themselves from competition. What they added to their mix often qualified as gimmicks, since most companies were essentially working with the same clunky, outdated equipment.
Fast forward to today, and cloud-based customer support solutions have offered companies the difference they needed. Thanks to the robust, flexible and scalable nature of cloud solutions, contact centers can configure themselves any way they need to, use remote agents, link multiple offices together and administer and monitor the contact center from anywhere. They can pull all media channels into the mix, including modern ones such as social media and mobile apps, in order to ensure they are meeting individual customer preferences. This enables them to offer a kind of “omnichannel” approach in which the customer receives the best possible care, regardless of which channel he or she chooses.
It’s not as easy as closing your eyes and picking a solution, however. According to a recent report from Constellation Research, brands must consider a variety of variables when evaluating a cloud provider for customer support. These include the service provider’s ability to offer a solution that improves current operations efficiencies, supports emerging social and mobile channels and delivers superior customer experience.
There are a lot of factors to get right, and nearly as many vendors. The report, “Cloud Customer Service Delivers High Value,” provides insight into the different varieties of vendors offering cloud solutions, offers advice on developing a business case for building a contact center in the cloud and makes practical recommendations for companies looking to get started with a successful cloud implementation. It starts with determining customer need. It also requires that companies move out of their comfort zone.
"Customer service organizations that rely primarily on live telephone support may be reluctant to expand support across these newer communication channels due to fears of upsetting existing customers," write the report’s authors. "Unfortunately, this view is out of sync with real-world demands for a broader reach across multiple channels."
The stakes are high. Companies need to determine their needs as well as their customers’ needs and ensure they choose a solution that provides what they require, and avoid features they don’t need. The rewards, in the end, will be worth the effort.
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