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Cloud is here to stay. Large companies like Microsoft will be using its data centres as a preferred method of delivery to end users all over the world. The question is no longer about premise-based systems or cloud infrastructure, vendors are seeing their ability to deliver quality features and will primarily be focused on the cloud.

The focus now is to understand which of the systems need to move first, and how do we determine the return of investment of systems in the cloud. CRM and other well understood systems will be easy to migrate depending on your level of customisation, the same does not apply to ERP and other business critical systems.

Contact centres have multiple levels of applications based on their service functionality. This means the ability to deliver quality customer service to clients via back-end systems can be a difficult task to integrate to web portals and front-end systems.

As contact centres become more sophisticated, the need for real time voice analytics and other real time response technologies increases.

Consumers don’t just want service, they want the service as they interact, waiting for an answer is simply inexcusable, your competitor already has an agent available to deal with the Facebook complaints of your customers, and convert them into business.

Global competitors make this landscape even more complex, and having a contact centre partner who understands the value of customer service to retention and upselling strategies could make or break your front desk image.

The reception desk of your company is no longer a brick and mortar resource … it’s facing the digital world, where the person posting your Facebook comments, or discussing your company on LinkedIn and Twitter has emerged as your biggest brand ambassador.

A business strategy divorced from technology is no longer an option. Your infrastructure on premise might not be your competitive advantage, but your response to the voice of the customer will create a reputation, about your service, and your brand.

So which comes first -the chicken or the egg? How do we move certain parts of the business into the cloud, and leave others to wait?

Simple, just answer a few basic questions:

Is there any business critical functionally in the system we are currently using that cannot be replicated in the cloud solutions?

The cloud provider seems knowledgeable about our needs, but what is their track record?

Where does integration happen between the back office staff and the consumer facing team members?

These questions might seem straightforward and easily answered, but there may be highly complicated business process behind your systems, which have not been completely understood or communicated to the management layer in the business.

Your contact centre agents may perform many manual tasks and review back-end systems for long periods of time, trying to resolve customer complaints, but never really finding the answers in cumbersome business applications.

Now is the time to change your game, and disrupt the industry you form part of, think about how your company does business, and how you interact with clients. If we live in a society of change, surely there must be something that can be done for every person you are currently servicing or selling to?

Your competitors are already innovating the customer experience journey, and understanding that experiences on this journey will make them walk the road longer, and think of your company more fondly, and spend more money with you.

Consider the alternatives, and then move into the next era of cloud applications without all the constraints you have on scale and redundancy.

Elingo can help move your business forward on the customer engagement journey. Click here for more information.