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Customer experience (CX) has never been more important. CX has long been a driver of significant change for organizations keen to offer their clients and customers the best way to engage with them. However, the desire to improve doesn’t always lead swiftly to changes that are needed. You may have legacy technology in place; you may be resistant to changing your current set-up if it isn’t broken – even if it’s not fit for purpose for your needs or for a competitive advantage.

In this article, I’m going to look at how cloud contact center solutions are solving the problem for many organizations – and could do for you too. They let you move away from slow, costly and problematic upgrades to your contact center and give you an agile, responsive communication channel. As a result, with a cloud contact center, you can far more easily respond and deliver on all-important customer needs.

You’ll want your customer experience strategy to be flexible and adaptable. After all, it needs to respond to challenging market conditions and evolving customer needs. Legacy platforms and applications can act as a barrier to that agile customer experience you need. Certainly, they will lack the availability, capability and scale that cloud-based platforms offer. The beauty of migrating to the cloud is that legacy issues become a thing of the past: your technology will be up to date now and into the future.

If you’re looking to transform your CX, the following pointers will keep you on track.

1. Build your CX strategy around a cloud contact center

You won’t be surprised that for many organizations there’s a direct link between successful CX and achieving business goals. Yet, although customer experience is often talked about as a high priority, it’s often not reflected in the organizational strategy. The truth is, CX is an enterprise-wide deliverable. To succeed, you’ll need a clear, integrated strategy and a well-defined execution. In addition, you should look to track the ongoing success of your CX. Central to your strategy should be a cloud contact center at the heart of CX strategy. It’s an essential asset that can support you in differentiating your business, innovating, and supporting your customers.

2. Understand your customers

A 360-degree view of your customer is a much sought-after goal. For this reason, whatever stage you’re at, this aspiration is a great way to drive progress, make improvements and create personalized experiences. Accordingly, you should have the Voice of the Customer at the heart of your CX strategy and design. Especially so, since your contact center will be the primary channel for customer feedback. If you understand your customers’ sentiments you can create experiences that keep loyal customers, building touchpoints that are relevant to their needs

3. For a cloud contact center to succeed you need systems – and skills

Customers want to engage on their channels of choice. Just bear in mind, it’s the customer journey, not simply the availability of the technology, that should dictate whether new channels are deployed. Nevertheless, meeting this challenge isn’t always as straightforward as it might seem. Importantly, understanding your customer is one thing, delivering on your CX strategy is another. You will need to have the right systems and the right skills to ensure you can align with customer needs. Consider the people you need and whether your talent pool can be expanded. Do your existing employees have the right skills as your CX ambitions develop? Furthermore, are education programs in place to keep pace with changes in technology and channels used? Does your IT need to adapt to facilitate AI in your omnichannel contact centre?

4. It’s about how – not where – you work

An adaptable, flexible workforce is integral to any business. Now more so than ever. However, where location was key when it came to attracting talent, things are different now. These days, it’s more about the person, not the business. The technology can now enable office-like functionality wherever your teams individually may be. Thus, the consideration becomes more about how someone will operate, whether or not they’re in the office. Moreover, with access to a wider pool of talent, you may wish to review your recruitment process to include those previously unable or unwilling to attend your premises daily, or those who need more flexible or part-time working patterns.

Naturally, optimising CX with a dispersed team is a key topic, particularly when looking to ensure business continuity, but there are further operational benefits to consider. After all, if you don’t need your people to be exactly where you are, your CX may benefit from the wider mix of skills, languages, cultural considerations and time zones too. Could your organization benefit in this way?

5. Expect to be guided by the data

AI and machine learning will become the catalyst for understanding customers, improving business operations and enabling human workforces. Leading organizations have the data management and cross-channel analytics capabilities to really understand their customers and provide context-based personalization. These technologies are still in the early stages of development, so you may need to be circumspect as to the insights you can draw on today. You should, however, expect and want your ongoing CX strategy to be shaped by data-led insights.

6. Always optimize for ongoing improvement

How clients and customers want to access your organization is evolving: how they find information, buy products and communicate with you. How you optimize these experiences will be key to driving higher engagement and positive outcomes. Yet optimization is an ongoing practice. It’s all about continuous improvement – evolving your technology, business and people to better serve your customers. You need your employees to always have the right level of knowledge and tools and ensure your organizational structure and operating models can adapt to change. Undoubtedly, a data-driven approach will help you prioritize and ensure your business is geared to succeed.

A cloud contact center de-risks your future success

Your organization will always have challenges to meet. Expected and unexpected. No matter what they are, a superb customer experience will likely be vital to your ongoing success. In summary, a cloud contact center essentially de-risks this for you. It can give you the agility, continuity, future-proofing and future insights to help you meet your customer or client needs.