By Robin Gareiss / President and Founder of Nemertes Research
Digital Customer Experience (DCX) efforts enable organizations to provide new means of engagement including via mobile apps, chat, virtual and augmented reality, and by using AI to improve engagement routing and response. As organizations invest heavily into DCX strategies, they are bolstering their contact center technologies to improve both customer and employee engagement.
Contact center providers are investing heavily in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and a variety of analytics capabilities to deliver more automation and information to reduce costs, increase revenue, and boost customer success ratings.
Given the core role of contact centers to high-profile DCX strategies and initiatives, it’s vital to have a rock-solid administration management tool. Because organizations often use multiple providers for UC and contact center, they may wind up with multiple provisioning tools that do not integrate—potentially increasing the length of time to provision new users, bots, or apps.
When evaluating provisioning providers, assess which vendors and technologies they support. The more they support, the lower the cost and easier the management becomes.
The main changing trends
In our research, we see several changing trends in how organizations are using communications and collaboration capabilities in DCX, including the following:
- Organizations are integrating Unified Communications (UC) capabilities such as calling, instant messaging, and videoconferencing into their contact centers. By doing so, front-line agents are more easily able to engage with back-office resources to quickly obtain necessary information to respond to a customer inquiry, sales opportunity, or service request. As UC and contact center merge,
- Automated provisioning and management of moves, adds, and changes, gets people online faster to deliver value by eliminating manual steps required to configure user account information such as phone numbers or extensions
- Moving forward, companies will extend their team/workstream collaboration tools (i.e., Cisco Webex Teams, Microsoft Teams, Slack, etc.) to the contact center or even to external customer portals. Integrated provisioning tools will speed the value to customers by enabling automated configuration of agent accounts, as well as federation with customers.
- AI-enabled chatbots augment human agents, allowing customers to resolve common issues via the bot, or use the bot to provide information that can then be passed on to an agent, delivering faster response. Provisioning new agents and chatbot instances is crucial to successful routing and hand-offs for when chatbots must escalate to human agents.
- Self-service, both internally for employees/agents and externally for customers, are on the rise. For example, employee provisioning portals can help agents set up their communications preferences (call forward, password resets, voicemail, etc.). Customer portals also can provide customers with answers to questions and potentially connections to employee presence data or a customer workspace. Administration management tools can provide and/or provision these capabilities.
Increase efficiency by using UCC management platform
Companies frequently overlook the need for specialty management tools until they are one to two years into their overall UC and contact center deployments. This not only makes it more difficult to find new budget, but it stalls the value integrated, automated provisioning delivers to customers. That’s why it’s vital for IT and business leaders to incorporate provisioning and performance management tools into their initial budgets for any new UCC or contact center project. It’s even more important to ensure that tools are able to support DCX initiatives like the use of AI, as well as the expansion of customer interaction channels. Leveraging tools that automate provisioning and management can provide a competitive edge by increasing speed of deployment, and customer responsiveness.