The continued shift from on-premises to SaaS-based cloud offerings extends across businesses and industries of all sizes. Enterprises that use and operate contact centers, for example, are rapidly adopting cloud-based services as they rethink their technology strategies in response to economic trends and industry changes.
The move to cloud-based contact center services is a strategic transition that positions enterprises to be able to effectively manage an influx of demand for traditional contact centers. For example, across the board, call center wait and resolution times have increased from approximately 18 seconds to more than 20 minutes. In other cases, contact centers have asked customers to call later or provide a call-back function. With the cloud, contact centers can handle more traffic, grow and strengthen their solutions and provide better service to customers.
At the same time, customer expectations for an improved contact center experience and a seamless shift between voice and other channels (e.g., texting or calling from a collaboration app on a computer and accessing the same conversation via the app on their phone) are increasing. Enterprises are being challenged to deliver high-quality, personalized customer experiences to maintain brand loyalty and retain their customers. With a range of benefits that the cloud can provide to contact centers, more enterprises are moving to IP-based platforms and are taking full advantage of the available technology options.
As these trends propel the cloud communications market forward, many IT decision-makers are turning to modern telecom service providers over their legacy carriers. As businesses continue to shift operations and collaboration tools to the cloud and seek support from a variety of service providers, it’s important that they maintain control over how their employees and customers interact with one another.
For many, the Be or Bring Your Own Carrier (BYOC) model is an attractive option.
What Is BYOC?
Be or Bring Your Own Carrier (BYOC) means that enterprises choose the carrier they want to power their Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) or Contact Center as a Service (CCaaS) solutions. With cloud-native communications platforms, enterprises don’t have to tie themselves to legacy telecom carriers that could limit their autonomy, flexibility and variety of services.
Why is choosing your own services so important?
When enterprises forfeit the right to choose the vendor(s) that make the most sense for their business needs, they can inhibit their overall success. When businesses adopt a BYOC solution, they can choose the platform and underlying service provider that best meets their telephony needs, business objectives and cloud communications plans.
When businesses adopt a BYOC solution, they can choose the platform and underlying service provider that best meets their telephony needs, business objectives and cloud communications plans.
What are the benefits of BYOC?
BYOC offers significant benefits to enterprises and their call centers beyond simple cost savings. These include the ability to retain control over dialing plans and phone numbers, E911 location advantages, call-routing solutions offered by the SIP trunking provider, and multiple cloud provider support (e.g., a company-wide calling platform and another cloud provider for contact centers). BYOC also solves porting challenges by enabling customers to run SIP trunks alongside existing TDM trunks as they transition call control to the cloud.
Developers also can avoid the complexity involved with operating network infrastructure while still maintaining control over the customer experience. This is a benefit because rather than developers having to create ways for their platform to work with their carrier, these integrations can be easily implemented without any special telephony background.
How can contact centers take control over telecom resources?
Contact centers considering a BYOC approach first need to consider their customers’ engagement preferences and how these might change over time. For example, if a contact center knows that their customers prefer texting over calling, they should ensure that they implement telecom APIs that can power SMS/MMS services.
The growing API economy and resulting uptick in adoption of telecom APIs have given contact centers the ability to automate their existing services with communication interactions (i.e., having added intelligence through contextual interactions and having better command of phone numbers and call records, etc.). Further, the solutions encompassing a variety of telecom APIs create the most attractive BYOC models because they are customizable. This ability to innovate and customize offerings through API integration creates opportunities for contact centers to meet the changing needs of their existing customers and reach new audiences.
Tips for Evaluating Cloud Communications Providers
Selecting the right provider to power BYOC ventures is vital to the overall success of the operation. Casting a wide net and evaluating cloud-based communication service providers from every angle will ensure that the contact center and, ultimately the business, finds a vendor that can meet immediate needs, as well as a long-term partner that can grow with them as they evolve.
Below are three criteria IT decision-makers should consider when evaluating cloud communications providers:
Quality of service is paramount. It’s critical that your service provider can ensure carrier-grade voice and messaging services and minimize the presence of latency and jitter. Providers with attention to quality and technical expertise are a must-have, as these benchmarks can seriously impact the customer experience and your bottom line.
Businesses need to evaluate whether the carrier provides developers with direct access to telecom resources (i.e., phone numbers, inbound/outbound calls, text messaging and advanced signaling data). Cloud-based communications platforms can provide immense amounts of data that can help improve operational processes and decision-making. Further, providers that offer robust access to telecom data will eliminate the need to manually log call information, which saves time and improves accuracy.
3. Broad Capabilities
New capabilities and features beyond the basic offering of auto-attendants, call reporting, call management and voicemail help partners maintain a competitive advantage and provide added benefits to their customers. These high-value features can involve enhanced voice, messaging, video development and application exchange in cloud communications, and SMS, MMS and call recording and transcription. A provider that can easily integrate and add new features to the product offering should be a leader in the selection process.
A Growing Trend
Implementing cloud-based solutions into contact center operations is a growing trend that will continue to drive forward better communications and customer interactions. By leveraging a BYOC model, contact centers can customize their customer interactions based on individual needs and preferences and gain greater control of their offerings. As they transition to BYOC models, they will see increased cost savings, stronger decision-making and greater customer retention.
Darach Beirne is Vice President of customer success at Flowroute, now part of Intrado
– Republished with permission from Contact Center Pipeline, http://www.contactcenterpipeline.com