There are too many times when it seems like the fog has rolled in and it’s hard to see where you need to go. When it comes to trying to figure out the contact center communications cloud landscape, the fog began to lift for me somewhat at Call Center Week.
End Finger Pointing in the Contact Center Communication Cloud Click to Tweet
I was helped to see a little more clearly by Matt McGinnis of 8×8. Luckily, I was able to visualize a real situation that happened to my friend Sally, who’s contact center recently purchased a cloud-based solution.
Sally’s was experiencing a problem with the chat channel in her contact center. Customer sessions were getting hung and not being released. This prevented agents from answering new chat requests and prevented new sessions from starting because the system thought it had no agents available to accept new chat requests.
So, one of her technical team members (Ben) called support for the company that she was contracted with. He was quickly informed that the chat module of the solution was developed by a different company and that he needed to contact their technical support team.
As Matt states in our interview, the most important thing to remember if you provide customer service or support is that, “the problem” is the customers’ and it needs to be solved…fast.
Matt McGinnis of @8×8 stops finger pointing in the contact center communications cloud. Click to Tweet
Unfortunately, that was not going to happen anytime soon. Because when Ben called the chat system developer, they had Ben describe the problem, and they said there were unable to help him.
They gave Ben two different reasons for not helping him. One, is that he did not have a contract with them for support. And the second was, the problem was with the software that managed the communication channel activity, and their solution did not do that.
So, Ben called the company they were contract with and was told he was given the wrong advice and that the problem was indeed with the chat solution and he needed to contact them.
To spare you details on the resolution, know that the entire finger pointing and back-and-forth took nearly two weeks to resolve. During this time, their chat feature was unavailable to customers. Their chat feature represented 32.5% of their customer contact volume prior to this problem.
Needless to say, complaints went up, lost customers went up, customer experience declined, and Sally had the CEO in her office. Not to point another finger, but Sally did not purchase contact center communications cloud solution. Regardless, she managed the center and owned the customer experience in it.
Clearing the sky
Sharing this story with you and trying to help you to make sense (it helps me too) of the multitude of solutions in the contact center industry (Check out – Lassoing the Wild West Contact Center Technology) is one reasons why I love attending contact center industry events and meeting with knowledgeable people such as Matt.
In the past year, I have been able to meet with more than 50 different vendors of various solutions to help you see more clearly, make better decisions, and serve your customers better. So, make sure you check out other contact center event interviews.
What’s in a legacy?
Legacy (old world) contact center solutions required connecting various systems for a contact center to operate. Companies needed buy solutions from vendor by vendor (in pieces) to complete the contact center toolset.
But as for Sally’s situation, that complexity moved to the cloud versus being on premise. For Sally, that did not work out too well. But as a buyer, support should be part of your buying decision. You do not want to get stuck in the tech support finger pointing conundrum.
“Don’t get stuck in the tech support finger pointing conundrum.” Click to Tweet
8×8, Inc. (NASDAQ:EGHT) is the provider of the world’s first Communications Cloud that combines unified communications, team collaboration, contact center, and analytics in a single, open and real-time platform. 8×8 eliminates information silos to expose vital, real-time intelligence across multiple clouds, applications and devices to improve individual and team productivity, business performance and customer experience. Source: http://www.8×8.com
Some contact center tech terms to know
SaaS: Software as a service (SaaS) is a software distribution model in which a third-party provider hosts applications and makes them available to customers over the Internet. SaaS is one of three main categories of cloud computing, alongside infrastructure as a service (IaaS) and platform as a service (PaaS). Source: TechTarget
Cloud PBX: Hosted private branch exchange (hosted PBX) is a telephone exchange system built, delivered and managed by a third-party service provider. Hosted PBX is an IP-based telephony solution provisioned and accessed entirely through the Internet. Hosted PBX may also be referred to as cloud PBX or hosted voice. Source: techopedia
UCaSS: Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) is a delivery model in which a variety of communication and collaboration applications and services are outsourced to a third-party provider and delivered over an IP network, usually the public Internet. Source: TechTarget