Customer sales and service is the driver for revenue growth for every organisation and the contact centre is one of the most critical elements. It is a growing and globalised industry, says John Finch, AVP Product Marketing, RingCentral, that by 2022 is expected to reach US$407.1 billion (€349.58 billion), according to predictions by business intelligence firm Global Industry Analysts.
However, traditional contact centres are largely based on outdated management originating from the 1960s that are no longer applicable to the digital world and tech-savvy customers of today. Research shows that modern consumers demand seamless interaction, expedient service, and real-time communication from any device they choose.
These market trends and demands are highlighted by a recent report: “Contact Center 2.0: The Rise of Collaborative Contact Centers,” written by top industry analyst Brian Solis, principal of Altimeter Group. The report demonstrates the need for radical transformation of the established contact centre model to a truly customer-centric and digital approach.
Based on a global survey of 500 knowledge workers in the US and UK, the report outlines the fundamental shift from traditional contact centres operating with on-premises technologies, work siloes, and limited and dated customer channels, to a new, cloud-based model that enhances collaboration among business experts and contact centre agents.
This new approach, which the report describes as “Contact Centre 2.0”, delivers a truly collaborative communications experience by connecting experts with agents and customers in real time.
Through innovative cloud technology, contact centres are meeting the expectation of multiple ways to communicate, including via phone, web, and mobile, along with higher levels of personalisation, immediacy, and convenience.
According to the research, the move to this Contact Centre 2.0 is already complete for just 11% of progressive businesses while a further 86% aim to complete a transition within three years and another 11% have a three-to-five-year timeline.
A central tenet of Contact Centre 2.0 is a move away from legacy premise-based platforms to cloud solutions. Although many recognise that on-premises technologies are, by design, not unified, omnichannel, collaborative, or real-time; there is still a legacy dependency to be overcome. However, this is still a work in progress with nearly two thirds (62%) still requiring some form of premise-based technology for customer engagement.
At the heart of Contact Centre 2.0 strategy is a shift to the cloud, with 61% of companies stating that they have transitioned contact centres to the cloud fully, partially, or plan to transition at some point soon.
The shift is coming from the heart of the business with 70% of companies involved in contact centre solutions having an official transformation strategy, with the two most important initiatives being digital technology integration (71%) and CX (also 71%).
Cloud pioneers such as RingCentral and others are leading this evolution by helping to transform the way organisations manage customer engagement through a Collaborative Contact Centre experience.
This means enabling agents and supervisors to communicate and collaborate across their organisations in real time to resolve customer issues efficiently. This includes innovative technologies such as bots to enhance customer responsiveness through alerts and notifications to key contact centre stakeholders and agents in order to take immediate action to solve customer issues.
The author is of this blog is John Finch, AVP Product Marketing, RingCentral.