Everyone from CEOs to organizational design experts to human resources executives to corporate real estate managers believes what the post-pandemic workplace will look like. Some company leaders have made it clear; everyone is expected to return while other employees can continue to work from home forever. 72% of corporate leaders are planning for a hybrid arrangement.
One company that experienced an incredible boom in business during the pandemic — Zoom, which grew revenue by an eye-popping 326% in 2020 — just made a big bet that hybrid workforces are the future. Zoom recently announced that it is acquiring Five9, a cloud-based customer service software platform, for $14.7 billion in stock.
The purchase, which is slated to be completed next year, is another confirmation that cloud-based tools will play a critical role in workplaces going forward. The pandemic erased lingering doubts about the utility of the cloud at companies worldwide. More specifically, the Zoom acquisition signals that Contact Center as a Service (CCaaS) solutions are a must-have commodity for businesses that run call centers.
Rethinking Business and the Customer Experience
The pandemic changed everything we knew about business and the customer experience. It’s a proof point for remote working, demonstrating that employees can be incredibly productive from home. It also showed that customers are much more receptive to automated help than many had assumed. We don’t know exactly what the post-pandemic workplace will look like, but we clearly aren’t going back to 2019, and CCaaS will help transform how work gets done and improve the customer experience.
The best CCaaS solutions incorporate AI and machine learning capabilities that can free contact center agents from dealing with tedious, repetitive and time-consuming tasks, allowing them to take on more complex and strategic work instead of resolving common customer inquiries. CCaaS solutions can also deliver advanced reporting capabilities that enable businesses that run call centers to easily track employee productivity, providing greater confidence for managers who oversee remote workers.
On the customer experience side, chatbots, virtual assistants and interactive voice response technologies can respond immediately and answer customer questions at any time of the day or night, holidays included. That level of responsiveness improves customer satisfaction. And since CCaaS solutions can be deployed quickly, they can help companies maintain business continuity, which means customers get the products and services they need, even under challenging circumstances.
The Need for Personalization and Flexibility Is Driving Demand
When implementing a CCaaS solution, some business leaders might focus primarily on the technology’s potential for boosting business performance and cutting costs. CCaaS solutions can indeed help businesses operate more efficiently and effectively, but the primary driver of CCaaS demand is the need for greater flexibility and better personalization capabilities to deliver a superior customer experience.
Customers expect a personalized interaction, and as a 2020 McKinsey report notes, the ability to deliver a highly personalized experience helps companies set themselves apart in a crowded marketplace, gaining an edge over competitors. With the right CCaaS software, call centers can leverage data to cater to each experience for every individual customer.
CCaaS can give customers the quick responses they demand, using data to meet their needs immediately in a personal way that can build stronger relationships between consumers and brands.
The Future of Contact Centers Is in the Cloud
Companies that adopt a cloud-based CCaaS solution sooner than their competitors can build a sustainable advantage, which is why more businesses that operate call centers, are exploring CCaaS options. Gartner predicts that half of all contact centers will view CCaaS as the preferred adoption model by next year, and Markets and Markets project the sector will exceed $36 billion by 2025.
The adverse effects of the pandemic on business have rightly received much media attention, but the disruption caused by the public health emergency has also been a catalyst for positive change, including digital transformation. Out of necessity, people found new ways to stay in contact and keep operations going, accelerating long-term change in many industries, including the call center sector.
As the Zoom acquisition announcement suggests, the future of contact centers is in the cloud, where companies can meet increased demand for remote contact and take advantage of automated features powered by AI and machine learning. As more providers and service options emerge, it will become easier for companies of all sizes to deploy these advanced technologies.
No matter what the future workplace looks like after the pandemic recedes, cloud-based CCaaS applications are an excellent investment for companies that manage a call center. The right CCaaS can improve efficiency and lower costs while delivering a consistent and responsive customer experience. That means now is the perfect time to explore CCaaS options.