More and more of Cyara’s customers around the world are moving their contact centers to the cloud. This is happening for many reasons, including improved flexibility and reliability, increased speed, and reduced costs. In fact, research shows that 81% of users of hosted cloud solutions say cloud has improved flexibility, while 77% say it contributes to future-proofing their technology infrastructure.
To me, cloud technology represents a unique opportunity for the industry to move beyond interactions and customer journeys to a new level of personalization based on customer lifetime value. This is because the underlying engine that gathers data and analytics about your customers is a single system rather than disparate systems that aren’t able to communicate with each other.
While the benefits and opportunities are compelling, there is a lot of complexity and risk involved, which can hold organizations back. Risks include security concerns, cost over-runs, systems integration, the management of legacy infrastructure, and leadership inertia.
Earlier this month, I co-hosted a webinar with Steve Nuttall, Head of CX Research at Fifth Quadrant, that focussed on the potential risks of migration and how to overcome them. We covered five key ways to assure a successful contact center cloud migration.
In this post, I’ll outline my highlights from the webinar, and how you can be sure your customers aren’t impacted when you’re embarking on a cloud migration.
Things to Consider When Migrating
In the webinar, we talked about a few considerations to address when migrating to the cloud:
- Like for like or start from scratch?
- The question here is whether you should simply replicate your current CX in the cloud, or review your current CX and use the migration as an opportunity to truly improve how your customers interact with you as an organization.
- Feature parity
- A lot of cloud contact center solutions may not have the “bells and whistles” of the legacy platforms. But cloud contact center solutions do offer APIs that allow you to build your own CX applications or source them from other cloud providers. The power is in the data and how you leverage it.
- Multi-cloud complexity
- Having multiple cloud providers might seem like a scary proposition, but it doesn’t have to be. Selecting cloud technology partners that can talk to each other via APIs is a lot less daunting than managing disparate on-premises platforms that either can’t talk to each other, or cost a fortune to upgrade due to customization.
- Loss of control
- For me, this is all about perception. Cloud is not tactile—you can’t see it and there’s no infrastructure for you to manage, so there’s a fear of the unknown here too. The reality is the amount of time you save in managing this infrastructure can be reallocated into work that truly adds value to your customers.
- Web Real Time Communications (WebRTC)
- Audio and video communication over the web: what could go wrong, right? I’m sure we all remember the early days of Skype, pixelated video, and robotic voices. While we can make small improvements with Quality of Service (QoS) internally, these controls cannot be placed on the internet.
- Budgeting and hidden costs
- Consumption-based billing models are predicated on a basic concept: you pay for what you use. Budgeting for these types of applications can be difficult. Many organizations have yearly budget cycles, and this creates friction in the budgeting process as it may be difficult to predict future costs. Other considerations include changes in customer behavior, seasonal peaks and troughs, outages, and increased media visibility. If the finance team has done due diligence, these shouldn't be an issue.
The 5 Keys for Assuring a Successful Contact Center Cloud Migration
To address these considerations and deliver great CX, we suggest following the steps below.
1. Have a clear understanding of the kind of CX you would like to deliver
Understanding where you’d like to get to with your CX is a great starting point. Are you looking to completely transform your current CX or merely provide what you currently have, but in the cloud? I personally feel we lose a huge opportunity to improve experiences for our customers if we simply shift all our current CX journeys to the cloud. Take your time to think about how you and your customers would like to engage.
2. Baseline your current CX, including through discovery and mapping, so you can benchmark success
This is a critical step for several reasons. Discovery of your current CX will provide you with an understanding of how much change will be required. Baselining then allows you to test against your legacy environment, and establish objective facts about your current CX. Essentially, it is establishing minimum success criteria, and helps secure business buy-in.
3. Test CX before your customers do, especially voice quality
Now that you’ve built your new customer experiences with your chosen cloud provider, it’s essential to test before it goes live. Testing ensures you find degradations in performance, whether functionally or under load. You want to ensure that your internal stakeholders don’t lose trust in the new technology before you’ve even launched it.
4. Monitor your cloud environment
One key consideration with a cloud-based environment is loss of visibility—you no longer have access to the infrastructure monitoring tools that you might have used on your on-premises platform. Outside-in monitoring allows you to maintain visibility of the customer and agent experience, and provides objective data to your vendors to resolve issues.
5. Speak in the language of your stakeholders and align to their commercial realities
Be sure you’re talking business outcomes, and not technical jargon. The transition to cloud will allow us to unshackle ourselves from the day to day grind of ensuring the lights are on. Show the ROI realised by removing legacy friction. Celebrate the wins!!
To hear more on assuring your cloud migration, listen back to the webinar here.
And for best practices for moving to the cloud, listen to our webinar featuring Forrester.