Cloud technologies empowering contact centres to scale new heights
Among an enterprise’s greatest assets during the COVID-19 pandemic is the contact center, which has been pivotal to maintaining connections with customers, with human responses and experiences often driving customer loyalty. Contact centers leaders are continually reimagining service delivery capabilities and how to enhance the user experience for agents, who play a central role in shaping the customer experience through service interactions and, increasingly, in generating business value through customer retention and cross-selling opportunities.
According to the “2021 Deloitte and Google End-User Compute Survey.”1 IT leaders are prioritizing investments in a modernized contact center boasting new technologies that can improve the agent experience and, ultimately, customer outcomes. The survey finds that technologies that virtualize end-user compute, including virtualized desktop infrastructure (VDI) and Desktop as a Service (DaaS), and the devices that these workloads are accessed from, can also have an outsized impact on how well agents can perform their jobs, which in turn improves customer experience.
“Competitive advantage will go to contact centers that focus on employee experience by providing fast, easy access to the resources they need to do their best work regardless of the location,” adds Vishal Ganeriwala, vice president of product marketing at Citrix. “Balancing security and employee experience drives higher agent productivity, attracts and retains talent, and ultimately increases customer satisfaction.”
The survey finds 87% of IT decision-makers foresee rising VDI adoption in the next three to five years. VDI and DaaS can offer several benefits, including:
Supporting legacy apps. Contact center technologies are largely shifting to the cloud, yet 92% of survey respondents report that on-premise apps are still being used for some workflows. Moreover, these apps often lack a SaaS alternative, so leaders rely on VDI to bring them to workers.
Driving agent productivity. With desktop virtualization and cloud-first operating system, agents can access familiar and intuitive experiences—including personalized desktops and preferred apps—that remove workflow friction and allow them to better focus on delivering an optimal customer experience.
Source: “2021 Deloitte and Google End-User Compute Survey,” Deloitte Consulting LLP and Chrome OS, August 2021
Ensuring cost-effectiveness. Virtualized end-user compute can optimize the cost of serving customers—through endpoint sharing and extending hardware upgrade cycles—without sacrificing the quality of service. Seventy-two percent of survey respondents cite a reduction in the total cost of ownership as top-three expected outcomes when adopting virtual end-user-compute.
Enabling remote work. Respondents expect 44% of agents to continue to work from home post-pandemic, with cloud-enabled end-user compute playing a key role in providing agents with secure access to customer data while also enabling low- and zero-touch deployments of endpoint devices and desktops for agents.
Overcoming supply constraints. Long-standing chip shortages have lengthened shipping times for endpoint devices like laptops and thin clients while many companies simultaneously ramp up the number of employees in their contact centers. VDI can both extend endpoint lifetimes and, by enabling bring-your-own-device programs, remove some agent onboarding barriers.
“To better serve individuals who reach out to their organization’s contact centers, technology leaders are pursuing digital transformation initiatives that increasingly call for integrated contact center solutions,” says Thomas Riedl, product management director for Chrome OS at Google. “This is further validated by survey respondents, who indicate virtualization partner integrations can make it easier for IT leaders to enable the right solutions for their contact center while enhancing security, simplifying management, and decreasing deployment times.” Google and Citrix, for instance, are partnering to improve both the agent and IT administrator experience in contact centers, he says.
Moreover, the most significant decision criterion, as cited by 69% of respondents, is ease of solution deployment and management through such methods as zero-touch deployment. “Over the past year, many IT leaders have sought to navigate pandemic-induced work-from-home environments by arranging to drop-ship endpoints directly to remote employees and simplifying onboarding for these workers,” Riedl observes.
Other important considerations to successful contact center agent experience are data security, as contact centers often include offshore agents handling sensitive customer data across borders; and peripheral compatibility to ensure high audio and video quality through hardline phones or softphones, respondents say.
To modernize the contact center according to these goals, IT and contact center leaders can consider three guiding principles:
- Think about the long-term contact center strategy, including service levels, geography, engagement channels, and remote work, to shape today’s architecture and stack.
- Consider engaging vendors with end-to-end capabilities and partnerships to simplify the purchase, deployment, and upgrade experiences.
- Prioritize the agent experience, as happy and engaged agents ultimately drive better customer outcomes.
As contact centers move to adjust to new operating environments grounded in remote workforces, growing customer expectations, and continued dependence on legacy applications, organizations can position themselves to enable better customer outcomes and boost technical efficiency through cloud-enabled end-user compute virtualization efforts.
[author title=”” image=”http://”]Chrome OS is a cloud-first operating system that provides employees with a modern experience and devices that stay fast, have built-in security, deploy quickly, and reduce the total cost of ownership.[/author]
Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Economic Times – ET Edge Insights, its management, or its member