Harnessing the power of artificial intelligence (AI) is imperative to future-proof customer experience automation. However, the modern contact center’s greatest challenge is the prevalence of “closed platforms” that limit an organization’s choice of data, AI, and best-of-breed applications.
What’s needed is freedom to leverage choice in key technologies such as telephony, CRM systems, AI and analytics capabilities, and the peace-of-mind that it all works together seamlessly.
This has many organizations rethinking the overall approach to contact center architecture and adopting open systems to provide organizations with the foundation now and in the future.
The Open CCaaS Imperative
Historically, brands have built their contact centers operations on telephony infrastructure; in the recent past contact centers have started moving from on-premises to cloud solutions, ushering in age of the Contact Center as a Service (CCaaS), but this is only the tip of the spear for the change that needs to take place.
Previously, in the on-premises world, it was appropriate to select an ACD and then supplement it with point solutions – with telephony at the core of the approach. CCaaS was originally developed at a time when most interactions were via phone, chat, or email, and utilized this same approach. Since organizational infrastructure was much simpler then, and customer expectations regarding levels of service tended to be lower, the telephony-first, all-in-one, “almost good enough” closed approach offered minimal CX automation capabilities, limiting the brand’s ability to leverage the power of their data and ability to innovate. Organizations had yet to truly understand the importance of providing a seamless CX across multiple channels. But times have changed.
Today, it’s vital to leverage AI and automation at the core to elevate CX across channels. This means organizations must reimagine their contact center architecture with an open systems approach to help organizations make engagement data work around the clock 24/7, put AI at the fingertips of agents, maximize CX automation, and support best-in-class operations.
Five Recommendations for Successfully Moving to an Open CCaaS Platform
As more and more contact centers make the move to the cloud and modernize their customer engagement ecosystems, they should consider next-generation CCaaS platforms to help ensure the freedom to choose, the flexibility to grow at their own pace, and the ability to future-proof their contact center investments. Of course, a few actions must come first, including:
- Your CCaaS platform doesn’t exist in a vacuum. Be sure to select a platform with openness at its core so you can easily send and receive data across the other applications in your ecosystem.
- Make your CX platform decision independently from your telephony decision. Your decision to move telephony to the cloud, or the specific vendor that meets your needs, doesn’t need to drive the rest of your decisions for your CX platform.
- Don’t settle for “almost good enough.” Demand best-of-breed capabilities for each component of your CX platform.
- Determine when, where, and how automation can accelerate and improve your business workflows. Identify some initial areas to prove-out your AI and expand over time.
- Strategize what kinds of enterprise data analytics are missing or suboptimized in your current environment. Look to create a unified engagement data hub to avoid data silos.
Evolving the Role of AI and Automation in Contact Centers
To scale exceptional customer experiences, organizations need a seamless way to make AI and CX automation part of the customer engagement. With an open approach, organizations can modernize its operations at its own pace and continue to grow as new technologies and innovations become available all while lowering operating costs and ultimately enabling brands to achieve best-in-class contact center operations.