Ideally, a client’s contact center is a single point of success, where end customers feel heard and valued.
The contact center is often the only interaction end customers will have with an organization, so there’s no room for shortcomings. A panel of experts are preparing to discuss how to select a contact-center-as-a-service (CCaaS) supplier, implementation lessons learned, and how to make sure agents have the right tools and data from day one.
They will share advice in their presentation, “Strategies for Success in CCaaS,” April 10, part of the revenue and supplier portfolio conference track, sponsored by Nextiva, at the Channel Partners Conference & Expo in Las Vegas.
Channel Partners spoke to the panelists: Brandon Knight, cloud evangelist at Intelisys, a ScanSource company; Bill Pieper, president of Epic Connections; and Joe Rice, managing director of Acliviti. Blair Pleasant, president and principal analyst at CommFusion, is moderating the session.
In a Q&A, the panelists gave a sneak peek of the information they plan to share during the session.
Channel Partners: How is CCaaS evolving and what are some of the most in-demand features?
Brandon Knight: CCaaS is evolving to account for the needs of the newest generation of customers. While voice is still the primary method of contact, there has been a significant increase in webchat and text messaging across various business types. In addition, the importance of the customer experience has seem to hit the industry as a whole in a very big way. Customers have come out in a huge way and said that being easy to do business with is the single biggest factor to loyalty/retention. Subsequently, progressive companies are looking as much at their operational processes as they are the supporting technology.
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Bill Pieper: Self-service and automation using artificial intelligence (AI) and machine-learning tools, globalization using a common platform [and] at-home agent deployment.
Joe Rice: As the challengers (like a Talkdesk) and leaders (like an inContact) are built on microservices, we believe the pace of change and features will continue to compound in a way that is creating healthy competition from the vendor market for feature enhancement, as the road maps can be improved much faster. The common interesting features people are interested in being educated about are AI and self service, robotic process automation (RPA) [and] alternative channels. When we dig a little deeper, we often find clients are interested in those because attaching “sexy tech” as a part of the case to move the automatic call distribution (ACD)/interactive voice response (IVR) to the cloud is something that will increase interest and support.
The competition is great for product features, but it’s creating confusion for complex enterprise clients in a way that many of the vendors look and feel the same. The answers to “Can you integrate with XaaS (Salesforce, case management, or other third-party tools)?” are mostly “yes” from everyone — but that doesn’t mean they’re all equal in being able to deliver the outcomes that clients may be expecting.
CP: How do you go about selecting a CCaaS supplier? Are there do’s and don’ts in the process?
BK: Successfully doing this incorporates the old motto “measure twice — cut once.” The real key to selecting the right CCaaS supplier for your business is clearly identifying and quantifying what …