The need for consistent, high-quality customer service across various communication channels and evolving technologies is prompting contact centers with on-premise hardware to move to the cloud. As consumers’ expectations are constantly rising, delivering an unbeatable customer experience is essential for businesses wishing to remain competitive.
Your call center's new cloud environment will largely determine the success of your service delivery and, consequently, your bottom line. 83% of businesses identify AI solutions as key components in improved customer experience (CX), and the cloud is here to facilitate these improvements.
With the help of cloud services, your call center can enjoy the benefits of:
- Lower expenditure
- Faster deployment
- More flexibility and scalability
- Easier maintenance
- Enhanced reporting and insights
To make sure that your contact center cloud migration is smooth and simple, without burdening your IT teams or placing extra strain on your resources, it's important to have a strategic plan and process in place. To help you, we've created this easy to follow checklist for project scoping.
Evaluate and plan what you need
The first step for a successful migration is establishing the outcomes you hope to achieve and what will be required in order to get there.
- Take stock of your current inventory so that you can schedule your plan according to any lease or paid service commitments you may have.
- What do your customers need?
- What does your call center already do well, and how can you enhance and replicate that once you move to the cloud?
- What channels will you be using? (Voice, email, chat, SMS, social media)
- Which systems need to integrate with the cloud? (Here, look at your core systems such as IVR and caller queue. Also, consider the analytics and reporting that management will need access to and the customer relationship management (CRM) tools that your service teams use.)
- Identify weaknesses in your current call center setup and how cloud computing can support and rectify these areas.
- Establish your key performance indicators. These will be the benchmarks against which you will measure success and prove to other stakeholders that your cloud migration process has been a success.
What challenges are you trying to solve?
When you map out your objectives and anticipate your challenges, you'll have better oversight of your project. To avoid delays and assure maximum preparation for your new and improved contact center, you should first tackle the important questions that are likely to arise around your cloud-based migration.
Schedule your move: Decide on the features that need to be migrated first and create an achievable timeline.
Inform employees: Prepare your employees for the changes and share the timeline.You’ll want to have your plan for moving to the cloud fairly mapped out before doing this so that you can confidently answer any questions or concerns your team may have.
Plan for new platform training: Whether you're outsourcing this service or you have a dedicated in-house team that's going to train your employees, it's essential to have this outlined and ready for implementation.
Communicate with customers and partners: Make a plan to update everyone on the upcoming changes and how this may temporarily affect customer service. Your migration should have minimal impact on business operations so ensure that you partner up with an expert cloud contact center migration team.
What features do you need?
Now that you know what your contact center will require from a functional point of view, the next step is to find the solutions which will address those needs.
The cloud provides your call center with the opportunity to optimize performance in ways that on-premise systems cannot; this is achieved through the integrations and features you can build into your systems. It's important, however, to make sure that you only select the features you're truly going to benefit from in order to avoid overcomplicating your processes or spending unnecessarily.
Examples of features your cloud system may need:
- The ability to provide a standardized customer and agent experience throughout your various communication channels.
- Global queuing capabilities for international service providers.
- Smart routing based on analytics.
- Real-time data visibility across all integrated systems.
- Support for collaboration throughout the enterprise across different management levels.
While deciding on features, you should also factor in the importance of continual testing. Automating verification will help your DevOps team to identify niggles in the migration process faster and auto-generate new scripts that can speed up resolutions. Taking this step will tackle preventable problems from spiraling out of control in the live environment and affecting customer experience. Stakeholders will also receive reassurance that the migration will not face any unexpected or costly challenges.
What elements do you need to move?
There are things that your call center may do exceptionally well, and those are the aspects you'll want to keep or enhance in your new cloud system. There are other elements that you may yield little value from in the future, such as legacy systems that only create setbacks. Discerning what to keep and what to remove is not only good for business, but it will also propel your migration in the right direction.
If you're implementing a hybrid strategy to begin with – that is, one where your contact center environment is partly tethered to your on-prem systems while integrating with the cloud, you should begin by migrating mission-critical elements. From here, you can launch other initiatives.
It's important to consider how your customer journey will be affected by the migration of new and old elements and whether you are looking to change anything in this process. This will help you to determine which core systems still fit the profile and what new technologies can be brought into play to optimize the customer experience.
Moving to the cloud needn’t be a headache. With the right tools and processes in place, your contact center can enjoy all the benefits of new cloud based solutions within budget and to a deadline. Speak to our experts today to find out more.