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Top Uses and Concerns about Cloud-Based Contact Center Solutions – DMG’s Worldwide Benchmark Study of Cloud-Based Contact Center Solutions

DMG Consulting conducted a worldwide benchmark study regarding cloud-based applications, channels and satisfaction in Q3 2013. This study of 169 enterprise, contact center, IT, operations, sales and marketing executives, managers and leaders in organizations of all sizes, found that 62.4% of the respondents’ organizations were already using one or more cloud-based contact center systems or applications. Moreover, 45.6% of the responding companies not yet using a cloud-based contact center solution planned to do so in the next 18 months.
Top Uses
Contact centers were slow to get on board with cloud-based solutions, but the pace of adoption has picked up dramatically in the last 18 months. Twenty-nine different contact center applications are already being used in the cloud. Among benchmark study respondents, 60% are using cloud-based contact center solutions, and 32.2% are using dialers. 52.2% of the respondents are using cloud-based recorders, which maps to market direction where users of cloud-based contact center infrastructure typically utilize recording solutions provided by these vendors. 38.9% of the respondents are using CRM solutions in the cloud. 35.6% of respondents are using a cloud-based Web chat solution. Only 20% of respondents said that they were using a cloud-based workforce management (WFM) solution.
There are many takeaways from these findings, but an obvious one is that enterprises are increasingly using a hybrid approach, combining both on-premise and cloud-based solutions. DMG believes that this is the future direction for the contact center technology market, although we are already seeing companies ask their cloud-based infrastructure vendors to broaden their suites by providing more of the traditional add-on modules such as WFM, quality assurance (QA), surveying, etc.
Leading Concerns
Adoption of cloud-based contact center systems and applications is growing, but there are still many concerns from users and companies considering these solutions. Security continues to make companies uneasy, as noted by close to half of the respondents, 48%. The second most common concern is that when using a cloud-based solution, an organization is dependent upon their vendor, as cited by 43% of respondents. (Since 45.3% of respondents indicated in a different question that decreasing reliance on internal IT resources was a top reason for moving to the cloud, DMG believes that IT is more concerned than the business is about being dependent on a cloud-based vendor.)
The most significant areas of unease are related to the platforms and dependability of cloud-based contact center solutions. In our work on this topic, DMG has found that companies expect more from their cloud-based vendors than from internal IT, as a primary reason for moving to the cloud is to address areas of weakness in the performance of their on-premise applications. 42% of respondents indicated concern over their vendor’s ability to meet service level agreements. 39% of the responding companies ranked platform reliability/up-time as a top concern. 34% of respondents pointed to network bandwidth and reliability as a major issue, and another 33% questioned the quality of service. Another 32% showed a lack of confidence in connectivity and the dependability of carriers.
Final Thoughts
This benchmark study answers many of the questions that companies have been asking. It shows investment priorities for 2014, which systems and channels are being used today, and initiative planned for the future. It provides a detailed breakdown of how these new systems and channels are going to be acquired – on-premise or in the cloud – and makes it clear that the cloud is not a passing fad. Pick up the complimentary 50-page benchmark report, and see how your company compares to others in the market.


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Ask the Experts

I’m working as a Manager of Training & Development at a contact center. I was wondering if you have any tips for new hire training and product-specific training to make it more interesting and less monotonous for the agents/trainees.

Training plays a major role in building a positive work environment, and is essential for the success of all call centers. Training is necessary to prepare agents and give them the information and skills they need to sell, accurately address customer inquiries or questions, and efficiently navigate systems to access information and correctly process transactions. It is also essential for teaching agents to interact with customers professionally, to inspire confidence, and to deliver an outstanding customer experience. Given that new-hire training can take anywhere from 3 to 6 weeks, it’s important to use a variety of media and methods (live instructors, videos, CBTs, simulations, eLearning, etc.) to keep the content fresh, interesting and diversified. Here are some best practices to foster active participation and keep trainees engaged in the knowledge transfer process.

Keep it interactive – Use interactive role-play exercises. These can include open-ended questions to solicit group participation in learning key concepts, system navigation exercises, etc. The role-play “calls” should be based on the top 10 call types that come into the service center for each topic.

Look at it from the customer’s perspective – It’s a good idea to help trainees appreciate the customer perspective first-hand by having them go through the same steps that customers would for interactions like calling the IVR, signing into online banking, seeing the marketing collateral, new account applications, purchasing from the website etc. The more trainees know about how different services work, the more options they will have in their servicing arsenal.

Incorporate gamification – Create internally-developed games (based on Jeopardy or Family Feud, or a System Information Scavenger Hunt, etc.) to reinforce key concepts, key terms, product knowledge about various accounts/products/services, and system utilization and navigation.

Take “field trips” – Have the group visit other customer-facing departments to see first-hand what they do and how they do it, so they understand the end-to-end customer service process.

Invite guest speakers – Invite a variety of speakers to speak to the class about various topics. For example, have the QA manager or the top reviewer come into the class to talk about the quality monitoring process and criteria. After the training session, conduct a QA evaluation and calibration session so the trainees can see the program in action. Invite members of the management team to visit the training class and speak with new hires about what they are learning about their new role and their contribution to the organization.

Encourage peer support – Include focused side-by-side sessions with an experienced agent as part of the training process. In addition to providing recognition to outstanding agents, this practice allows new agents to see realistically how the knowledge and skill sets that they are acquiring will be applied. This also creates a more supportive and friendly environment for the new agent, particularly if they are paired with someone to whose team they have been assigned.

Last but not least, an effective way of migrating trainees into their new role is to establish a transition section within the contact center, staffed with top-performing agents who can serve as job coaches. This arrangement allows new agents to be productive by taking calls, but ensures that job coaches are readily available, if needed, to provide timely support and assistance.

DMG Consulting LLC is a leading independent research, advisory and consulting firm specializing in unified communications, contact centers, back-office and real-time analytics. Learn more at www.dmgconsult.com.