As businesses move through the next wave of COVID-19 cases and start to look ahead, one thing is clear: cloud-based contact center technology is more relevant and more essential than ever. As long as businesses continue to leverage effective cloud-based contact center solutions with the requisite features and capabilities, agents will be able to continue to deliver a seamless customer experience – no matter where each agent is located.
The Contact Center Remains Resilient
Despite uncertain economic times, the contact center segment is estimated to continue to grow. According to a report from market research firm Technavio, contact center market growth will accelerate at a CAGR of 3 percent through 2023 – potentially reaching $6 billion in added revenue.
Many contact centers remained busy or overwhelmed in the midst of the pandemic. These workgroups were the backbone of many businesses during the first half of 2020 since they were the only point of contact for customers as social distancing and stay-at-home orders were implemented. In fact, during the spring wave of COVID, call centers were immediately established to manage the increased demand for information on all types of consumer- and business-facing organizations that were severely hampered by the restrictions associated with the pandemic.
Maintaining Viability Through Technology
Businesses that rely on delivering seamless customer service should leverage cloud-based contact center solutions to maintain operational efficiency as we navigate the next wave. Managed services providers (MSPs) and resellers that offer this technology should emphasize how these functions can help companies deliver high levels of customer service – whether agents are on-location or remote.
But not all contact center solutions are created equal. A few key features MSPs should look for in a contact center solution to offer their customers include:
Cloud-Based Workforce Management (WFM): Hosted WFM tools allow contact center administrators to track adherence to organizational policies across both on-site and virtual workstations. Visibility across the distributed workplace makes it possible for administrators to monitor, adjust, and manage employee activities ranging from lunch breaks and shift changes to vacation schedules. This is ideally facilitated through a single, intuitive interface. A system that allows supervisors to engage agents and adjust their schedules as easily as if all parties were together in one place is an invaluable tool for the virtual contact center.
Omnichannel Engagement: This allows contact center agents to interact across a range of communication channels on the same unified platform, including social media, text message, video, web chat, and of course, voice. It lets businesses meet the communications preferences of their customers. This is significant, considering that 57 percent of consumers prefer to seek customer service via the internet as opposed to working with a live representative via phone, according to a recent study reported by business applications developer CGS.
As the second wave of the pandemic gains momentum, businesses have recognized that virtual contact centers can play an integral role in maintaining smooth, efficient operations. Sophisticated, richly functional hosted solutions that enable agents to engage with customers through a distributed infrastructure will continue to be a lifeline for businesses that must find new vehicles to engage, satisfy, and retain customers.
To learn more about how contact center solutions – particularly those with integrated WFM capabilities – can help customers improve return on investment and increase agent effectiveness, download our exclusive guide.