Studies find that roughly three-quarters of consumers interacting with a contact center are already unhappy and a bit frustrated before they even begin the process. That’s not particularly surprising — after all, we generally don’t need customer service unless we have problems or questions about a product, service, bill or policy.
Ideally, organizations can turn things around and win customer loyalty through efficient contact centers staffed with cheerful and knowledgeable agents who can quickly resolve the issue. But what happens if customers can’t reach the contact center due to a power outage, equipment failure, human error or some other type of unexpected downtime?
Spoiler alert: It isn’t good.
Customers who can’t reach you may not remain customers for long. In a YouGov survey, 76 percent of respondents said that even a single unpleasant contact center experience was likely to make them take their business elsewhere. Worse yet, unhappy customers are more likely to air their grievances on social media platforms, thus negatively influencing potential customers.
Unhappy customers and damaged reputations have real costs. According to one study, U.S. companies are losing approximately $75 billion a year due to poor customer experiences, many of them stemming from communication issues with the contact center. Financial hits can come in the form of lost revenue and lost productivity, as well as the increased operational costs of mitigating the problems that led to an outage.
Organizations with on-premises contact center platforms often try to reduce the likelihood of outages through increased redundancy. They scale horizontally with more servers or vertically with more hardware resources such as disk space and memory. However, this approach adds complexity and creates more potential breaking points. Traditional on-premises infrastructure is also expensive to operate and maintain, and lacks the flexibility and agility that businesses need today.
This is why organizations are looking to the cloud to reduce the costs and complexity of their contact center solutions, while simultaneously improving their reliability and responsiveness. According to research firm Frost and Sullivan, the cloud-based Contact-Center-as-a-Service (CCaaS) market is growing at almost twice the rate of premises-based contact center systems as organizations seek to upgrade or replace aging platforms.
Not surprisingly, cost factors — including the elimination of significant capital expenditures — have contributed to this growth. Instead of purchasing, configuring, deploying and managing an on-premises solution, those costs and responsibilities are assumed by the service provider. However, organizations are increasingly turning to CCaaS solutions for their high availability and flexibility.
Geographically dispersed cloud data centers ensure redundancy — if a hosting center goes down, all functionality can be automatically switched to a backup site with no impact on customers. This ensures the high level of availability that is essential for keeping even the grumpiest customers satisfied with your responsiveness. Cloud-based contact centers can also be accessed from virtually anywhere, making it possible for agents to work from a remote location if needed.
In our next post, we’ll discuss how a new wave of cloud-native contact center providers such as Talkdesk can further enhance the customer experience with unprecedented levels of reliability, scalability and innovation.