Contact centres must embrace the cloud or else
By Paul McIntyre, Chief Sales Officer of Elingo.
The digital business environment highlights how much technological disruption is impacting on organisations. Only 60 of the Fortune 500 companies of 1955 remained in business at the end of last year. Today, it is about having to adapt or die and in no area is this more evident than with the use of the cloud in telephony.
Fifty years ago, telephony platforms were completely hardware-based. Fast forward to the present and you have predominately software-driven systems focused on delivering a true omni-channel customer engagement framework. There has never been a better time to empower customers using innovative solutions that more readily evolve to meet the changing market requirements of a connected world.
The recent 2018 Genesys Cloud Transformation Survey: African Small and Medium Sized Contact Centres (you can contact Elingo for a copy of the report) has found that over the past three years, 56 percent of respondents have adopted cloud computing. Considering that Microsoft and Amazon are launching their data centres in South Africa during the next year, this figure is likely to increase even more.
Most contact centres today are using the cloud in some form. This can include customer relationship management, voice services, and analytics. However, security, risk, and compliance concerns remain some of the barriers limiting adopting on the continent even if this is mostly down to perceptions that exist around the cloud.
Despite these concerns, the fasting growing channels in Africa when it comes to the cloud are instant messaging and Web chats with email still the most dominant service in consumer segments. According to the report, service providers must be able to illustrate not only their experience, but also innovation and best practice capabilities when it comes to the cloud.
If contact centres are to completely embrace the cloud, someone in the organisation must take the lead, begin the journey, and navigate the pitfalls as best they can. This is always going to be a daunting process. Fortunately, selecting a trusted solutions provider who has access to world-class products, has a proven track record, and can show the depth of the skills required, provide an excellent starting point.
Critically, it is not just about the technology. To really drive change, companies must remember that the customer is king. As such, the customer wants to be served in the channel of their choice and when it suits them. Also, contact centres must be cognisant of the customers' history of engagement and how it relates to the matters at hand. Thanks to the cloud and the integration it enables, the true omni-channel environment is no longer a pipe dream but something that is expected.
This is where the Customer Experience Officer becomes integral to linking the cloud, the contact centre, and the customer. This person must have the finger on the pulse of the customer, but also needs to be empowered and can move quickly based on the demands of these all important stakeholders. In this regard, the 'CEO' must facilitate the required changes in business structure and procedure as well as take the lead in all aspects dealing with the customer experience.
Cloud technologies are facilitating the ease of access to many customer experience applications. By design, they abreast of the rapid evolution of platforms and increased technology sophistication. The cloud is also changing the cost matrix from CAPEX to OPEX including on-demand functionality that can easily be switched on or off.
Africa has accepted the cloud as a business enabler. These are exciting times for any organisation (and contact centre) who would like to meet customer expectations quickly, easily, and cost-effectively.
As one of the top Genesys PureCloud partners from South Africa, Elingo recently attended a Genesys summit in Europe that saw global thought leaders within the industry get-together to discuss the future landscape for the cloud. Staying true to our motto "freedom to interact", we believe in knowledge-sharing and partnering with our customers to educate and discuss key trends in the sector.
To this end, Elingo will be hosting a series of cloud-focused events where the Chief Solutions Officer, Karl Reed, will share some of the insights he gained from the summit. For more information and to reserve your seat, click here.