The new digital customer

A typical customer today is permanently on-line, has a very good idea of ​​their needs and requirements, is well informed, demands a great experience when contacting an organisation and often expects "something extra". This behavior will affect business more and more as the next generation, the so-called “Millennials” born between 1980 and 2000, becomes increasingly productive and then becomes the main purchasing power. They have different economic priorities and subsequently change the value of companies they find attractive.
The new digital customer
Businesses should be prepred for the fact that contact with a new customer will go through any channel which that customer chooses: web, email, phone call, chat, social networking, video call, mobile app or personal contact. The vast majority of buyers already use their digital devices to search for products and services. Moreover, the number of buyers who complete their purchases is growing steeply. Serving as a trusted adviser, recognizing returning customers, providing them with the information required, before and after a sale, across all communication channels, are all essential in maintaining the customer’s loyalty, and their trust, in the products and services offered.

This accessibility through multiple digital channels is called the "Omni-Channel User Experience". The purpose is to enable customers to contact an organisation using any form of communication and receive the same experience (User Experience) regardless of the method used. The "Omni-Channel User Experience" is not just a fashionable phrase used in the digital world. It is an absolutely vital and pragmatic way of developing customer relationships and the customer base. In the digital world, it has not only changed how customers communicate and interact with their suppliers but has also changed the competitive environment in which businesses have to adapt to rapidly changing conditions. Simply being available through the "Omni-Channel" is itself no longer enough.
 

New competitive environment

In today’s market, new and innovative companies are emerging who dramatically alter the distribution of power across sectors through their novel, and often disruptive, approaches to seemingly stable competitive environments. A number of factors influence the entrepreneurial thinking which, within start-ups and established businesses, brings new opportunities: the universal access to information (social networks, instant communication tools), rapid technological progress, the increasing volume and availability of capital (e.g. venture capital funds, state subsidies, free capital in the banking system, etc.), and the liberalization of business and legal barriers. In the past, companies had to spend enormous time, effort, money, and human resources to market their products. Nowadays, just a few days are enough to reach thousands of customers and launch an attractive and effective on-line store.
 
Companies are already aware that the competitive environment will expand and chnge in the future, not only through their well-known competitors but also from the emergence of new, young and innovative players whose numbers will grow significantly. These new players are often very customer-oriented; the customer is at the center of all their efforts and they often favor the customer over their initial business revenue.
 
New business models have successfully made their way to the market. An obvious example is a transition from product ownership to subscription services such as the Software as a Service (SaaS) model, the provision of ICT Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), etc. This model appears in a number of other industries such as transport, aircraft fleets and industrial machinery, as well as the domestic market in terms of mobile phones and television viewing. Alterntively, there is the switch from generic products or services to customized products or services, as well as business models that combine a variety of different and competing products under one sales outlet. And then there is the model of global online availability of almost any kind of merchandise (as operated by Amazon). Another emerging phenomenon is the Sharing Economy with the support of digital technologies (Airbnb, Uber or Liftago).
 
The success of businesses depends to a large extent on how flexibly they can react to changing business models in the future, or how actively they will even participate in, and contribute to, such changes. But all of this has to be done in a close relationship with the customer. The customer is always at the heart of any business, and the success or failure of the business model depends on them.
 
New competitive environment
How to proceed

How to proceed

It is clear that customers appreciate simplicity, expect individual treatment, require state-of-the-art products at a bargain price, demand availability of services anywhere, anytime, and much more besides. In specific cases, however, the decision often depends on the details. The success of a business is based on an in-depth knowledge of the behavior and requirements of their customers, the desire to adapt to these requirements and the ability to communicate with customers closely and effectively. Clearly such communication needs to be based on Omni-Channel technology in order to maximise success. Businesses need to evaluate and analyze the communication history with their customers. By so doing, they can then benefit from unique information about their customers' behavior. A comprehensive tool for unifying customer communication and analysing customer behavior is the greatest value Atlantis Telecom bring to its clients, helping them reap numerous benefits in the new competitive environment.
 

Prediction of the 10 largest trends in contact centers

Atlantis Telecom works with a number of clients using contact centers across several market sectors: from enterprises such as banks, insurance companies, industrial companies, food companies, global carriers, distribution companies, telecom operators and internet companies, to state administration and healthcare organizations. For over two decades, Atlantis Telecom has witnessed the consolidation and transformation of voice-based call centers into Omni-Channel contact centers which include all types of communication channel. The importance of each channel for organisations is gradually changing as new ICT technology is deployed and is increasingly adopted by the market. Atlantis Telecom’s experience relies heavily on its global technology partners, including companies like Polycom, Mitel, Nuance, IBM, Microsoft, Audiocodes, Intel, Hewlett-Packard Enterprise, Acapela, and others.
Based on this acquired knowledge and experience, Atlantis Telecom has created this document describing 10 major trends in contact centers that will fundamentally change this market in the near future. As these trends will offer a significant competitive advantage, Atlantis Telecom would welcome the opportunity to work with innovative businesses who are looking to adopt them.
 
Prediction of the 10 largest trends in contact centers

Trend 1: Omni-Channel

In the same way that the term Omni-Channel is used in marketing to mean reaching multiple customers in different ways, it also has a similar meaning and significance in contact center solutions. The terms Multi-Channel and Omni-Channel are often confused but, in fact, they are fundamentally different. Multi-channel contact center technology encompasses tools for processing individual channels that correspond to the means of communication commonly used for contacting customers: phone calls, SMS, email, web chat, social networks, mobile applications, etc. These tools are used for the operation and control of each individual communication channel and for processing requests that pass through these channels. A number of clients running Multi-Channel contact centers today use separate modules for each, often from different manufacturers. If one agent has multiple channels to operate, then they have to switch manually between parallel applications on their desktop according to the current channel they are using. In many cases, there is no integration between these applications. This disparate processing of individual "competing" communication channels often results in a conflict between them and can lead to parallel processing of the same request on different channels, which is a waste of precious resources.
 
Trend 1: Omni-Channel
Omni-Channel contact centers evolved from their Multi-Channel predecessors. Omni-Channel contact centers, unlike Multi-Channel ones, are focused on coordination and intelligent control of the different channels to avoid conflicts between them. The tools for serving each individual channel are seamlessly integrated within a single agent interface. A discussion with a customer initiated on one communication channel can be converted to another which may be more appropriate, more convenient or more in line with a customer’s specific preferences. Organisations are therefore able to provide customers with a unified and comprehensive experience across all communication channels. The choice of an appropriate channel should align with, and correspond to, the business logic of the application. Agents work with "cases", sometimes called “tickets”, to which customer interactions on individual communication channels are automatically linked. These "cases" should then be integrated into business processes specifically tailored to the needs of the organisation. As a result, the customer gets the full attention they expect and demand, regardless of the communication channel selected.
 

Trend 2: From seamless integration with business processes to the Customer Engagement Center

When implementing new enterprise applications, their successful integration into the existing ICT environment is always one of the main challenges. For contact center applications, this is doubly true. To ensure high customer satisfaction, contact center agents are required to access a range of internal information systems and business applications. However, simply making all these separate applications available to agents does not address the problem satisfactorily. Many business systems are so complex that the agent is unable to locate satisfactory answers to specific customer questions quickly enough, despite having relevant access to these internal resources.
 
Without the close integration of contact center tools with the internal information systems and business applications, the productivity of the contact center is reduced. This can lead to organisations losing valuable data and opportunities. The interconnection between marketing activities, customer-driven communications from the contact center, and related business processes creates data that can be used to analyze the interrelationship between these areas. This provides organisations with valuable insight and the ability to manage customer relationships more smartly.
 
It can therefore be seen that the contact center should be linked to both enterprise systems and business process applications, as well as tools that are closely related to the Omni-Channel marketing strategy. A successful relationship with customers is based on three pillars complementing each other: marketing, customer care and business processes. A possible solution would be to ensure the close integration of contact center tools such as a CRM or any other customer-oriented applications that the enterprise uses in order to capture line-of-business (LoB) requests, create marketing activities or track business processes, and the precise monitoring of the interconnections between them.
 
However, the trend in this area is the seamless integration of individual customer-oriented business processes directly into the agent interface of the contact center client application. This can allow the agent interface to be context specific, adapting to the content and nature of the customer interaction. Thus, based on the knowledge of the agent and the context of the request, the agent automatically sees all the relevant information from all the linked information systems, resources, and applications. If the agent is unable to handle the request by themselves, they can initiate an automatic workflow for this "case" - a workflow that directs the "case" to another agent, specialist or department that addresses requests like this one. The "case" therefore remains open until it is closed by a specific person. Thus, none of the customer’s "cases" end prematurely, due to system constraints or processes.
 
The goal of integrating customer-oriented business processes directly into a contact center application is not a replacement for the CRM. The aim is to provide the agent with information and resources that are relevant at the time, in the context of the specific call, to meet the customer’s requirements. At the same time, the whole intereaction process should facilitate the gathering, tracking and analysis of customer raltionshps, behaviors and expectations. For organisations who have not implemented all of the follow-up business processes and applications, this contact center component can bridge the gap between absent business applications or can prevent any missing steps from interrupting the entire business process. In addition, a specific application can be created within the contact center solution in order to compensate for any deficient processes or components (modules) of an organisation’s information systems.
 
In the future, the contact center will break away from its boundaries within the customer care department and will permeate through the entire company: starting from the desktops of all administrators, through marketing, sales, technical support, finance and other specialist departments, up to the management of the company. They will all be part of the new customer-oriented business process and will have access to the contact center application, which in turn will develop into a new dimension: the Customer Engagement Center (CEC).
 
Trend 2: From seamless integration with business processes to the Customer Engagement Center

Trend 3: Social networks and instant mobility

Businesses are similar to the media: they create and publish content to sell. Nowadays, this is no longer enough to get loyal customers. In this context, social media will be the most important catalyst for sales as it publicly shares all information from current customers, even when potential customers are only starting to get inspired. In the future, social media will also bring a very specific recommendation of what, and from whom, to purchase.
 
Customers love stories and shared experiences as well as recommendations from peers and people they trust. Businesses must be able to create customer-oriented content within social networks and respond to different contributions individually. Satisfied customers will become the most valuable promoters of commercial products and services.
 
Trend 3: Social networks and instant mobility
Social networks are no longer just about marketing; their focus in the business sphere is also moving towards customer support. Currently, a number of organisations that support social network marketing activities use dedicated applications for marketing staff to facilitate communication between the customer ecosystem and businesses through social networks. These applications, however, are inevitably designed for the style of work undertaken by the marketing department. Automatic, predefined answers are not the way to respond to the thousands of contributions that appear on social networks every day. Individual contact center tools and processes, which are designed to handle millions of customer interactions, are better suited to this type of communication.
 
The marketing department will retain its creative role in the future by means of Omni-Channel marketing tools, and contact center agents will take over social networks as another communication channel within the Omni-Channel contact center solution. Social networks will, therefore, become an integral part of an Omni-Channel communications strategy and will be seamlessly linked to customer-centric business processes.
 

Trend 4: Video

90% of the information processed by the human brain is visual, 70% of the sensory receptors are in the eye, 50% of the brain is active in visual perceptions, and 40% of people perceive and respond to visual stimuli better than other forms. Consequently, video conferencing and visual content transfer bring a brand new dimension to the world of business communications and a huge opportunity for productivity growth.
 
Today, many organisations cannot imagine teamwork without the use of advanced video conferencing technologies. Video conferencing equipment has become an integral aspect of top-of-the-range meeting rooms: from Immersive Telepresence, which gives you the feeling of sitting in the same room as remote participants, through small meeting rooms (Huddle rooms), to personal video conferencing clients for PCs, tablets, and smartphones. In addition, the rapid development of mobile devices has brought first-class audio-visual dimensions to ordinary users for private communications (Skype, Facetime, etc.).
 
The development of video conferencing technology, and in particular the new open WebRTC standard, delivers Real-Time Communications (RTC) voice and video communications to the web browser, mobile platforms and the Internet of Things. Voice and video communications in real time are, therefore, instantly available to all users through a standard Web browser or mobile platform[1]. WebRTC will become a catalyst in the near future for the massive boom of real-time video communications.
WebRTC is critical for enabling enterprises to implement real-time video and content sharing with their customers through a standard web browser without having to install a dedicated client application on the customer side. The need to download, install, and configure a dedicated, perhaps proprietary, application is currently a major barrier to the mass adoption of video. Customers already appreciate unidirectional video communication where they can see the agent, but the agent, and other customers, cannot see them. But there are also scenarios where bi-directional communication may be preferred (e.g. video-kiosks, video screens, video-bankers, etc.).
Video sharing and content sharing through the web will bring customers the same experience as they would have in personal contact. For example, giving an e-shop the option of video communication and content sharing between seller and customer during online shopping will give customers the feeling of being in a physical shop, but all from the comfort of their home. Increasing visual communication may well lead to a reduction in abandonned online shopping carts.

 
 
[1] Supported platforms are currently Chrome, Firefox, Opera, Android, and iOS. Internet Explorer and Safari require additional WebRTC plugin installation.
Trend 4: Video

Trend 5: Artificial Intelligence

Machine learning, cognitive computational systems, natural speech recognition, image recognition, pattern recognition in dynamic data, autonomous devices - these are just some of the Artificial Intelligence (AI) concepts regularly heard about today. In practice, however, each concept is related to a separate field of study. In the near future, these fields will have a major impact on how people live and how they do business. AI itself is not new, but the technology has finally started to appear on devices that we commonly find within business systems. The current development of AI stems partly from the fact that there is now a consumer market using AI algorithms and neural networks (Apple Siri, Microsoft Cortana, IBM Watson, Amazon AIexa, Amazon AI, Google X, Google Nest, Tesla, Pandora, and many more). The dramatic increase in computing power we have witnessed over the past decades has also contributed to the development of AI.
 
Artificial Intelligence has significantly penetrated the area of ​​customer care and contact centers. It is currently used for speech recognition for automated customer interaction (e.g. Chatbot or voice control for entering DTMF codes via an IVR[1] voice tree). It is also used to detect emotions and sentiment in phone calls or emails, recognise voice patterns and analyse customer data. Another use is as an agent helper, processing a large number of customer requirements and taking over routine agent operations (e.g. draft response or direct message communication, etc.). However, many of these technologies, which are focused on speech and text recognition, are linguistically dependent and may not be available in all language versions.
Trend 5: Artificial Intelligence
Recognition and understanding of speech and text are continulally improving to the point that AI will be able to take over routine repetitive actions during contact with the customer, helping organisations respond faster to the growing number of customer requests. In some scenarios, AI could actually replace the live agent. This will lead to an increase in productivity and, at the same time, a reduction in operating costs.
 
Artificial intelligence will play a major role in social networks. It will be used to analyze the growing number of social networking feeds and allow businesses to respond quickly to, and manage, communications on these channels.
 
The key role of AI will then be found in the fields of data analysis and pattern recognition from information collected from all interactions with the customer: from marketing activities, information about customer interactions in the contact center and follow-up information from business processes. AI can derive patterns and information from this data, giving organisations fresh insights and a unique ability to manage their customer relationships more smartly. This in turn will help increase customer loyalty and make it easier for enterprises to innovate and boost their growth.
 
The artificial intelligence driven by the science of human behavior (behavioral science) is so revolutionary that it deserves to be mentioned in two additional trends: analyzing conversations and analyzing emotions and sentiments.
 
 
[1] IVR, Interactive Voice Response – interactive voice server

Trend 6: From conversing with the customer to understanding his behavior

Thanks to the development of speech analysis technology, the customer’s own voice can be used in a number of processes such as customer identification (voice biometrics), speech recognition (ASR), and subsequent customer satisfaction analysis, trend prediction, fraud prevention, information leakage, and many other areas. Analyzing all the available information from the customer will become a mantra of companies in the future as data collected by contact centers is a rich source of intelligence for qualified management decisions.
 
Conversation analytics examines ongoing phone calls and call records. It focuses on the customer’s dialogue with the agent or between multiple participants (e.g. a conference connection between a customer, an agent, and a specialist). Customer conversation analysis is one of the most reliable sources of trustworthy information about customer behavior. The combination of language and speech analysis and simple audio analysis offers an unprecedented view of the emotions, sentiment, and speech of the speaker. It represents the human dimension in dry statistical analyses and reports.
 
Conversation analysis has a number of uses that are tailored to specific requirements and conversation types which match a particular business focus. Conversation analysis can be used either to obtain general customer information or to find answers to specific questions and to analyze specific indicators. Conversation analysis can, for example, find the most frequently recurring themes, looking for short-term or long-term trends, or to focus only on selected areas of conversation that are of particular interest to management.
 
Conversation analysis, as described here, serves as the most accurate analysis of customer requirements, expectations, and feelings, leading to a better understanding of customer behavior and needs. It helps to establish a long-term customer relationship strategy and maintain loyal and satisfied customers.
 
The next trend is based on artificial intelligence and conversation analysis but it specializes in emotional and sentiment analysis tools aimed to support agents' work.
 
Trend 6: From conversing with the customer to understanding his behavior

Trend 7: Real-time agent tools for conversational intelligence

Today, many consumers still find contact with customer service frustrating. Telephone calls can often be very emotionally strained, which puts great demands on customer service staff and many people find it difficult to manage. The behavioral science dealing with the research of human behavior is helping to change this situation.
 
Large companies are experimenting with the analysis of emotions, sentiment and emotional intelligence, especially in applications related to communication and interaction with their customers (conversational intelligence).
 
The term “emotional intelligence” was first introduced in 1990 by P. Salovey and J. D. Mayer, later expanded by Daniel Goleman, and can be understood as the ability to manage one’s emotions and the art of empathizing with the emotions of other individuals[1].
 
Applying the results of behavioral science research to contact center technologies will bring new levels of quality to service delivery and will increase customer satisfaction. By comparing the characteristics of the current conversation with those of a previous conversation with the same customer, agents can be given important information and recommendations on how to make a conversation more successful and less stressful. The information and recommendations can be provided both during the telephone call and after it is terminated. The speech analysis looks at areas such as as volume, speed, word breaks, speech jumps, language-dependent indicators of inappropriate or even forbidden words and phrases, or missing words and phrases that are needed for successful conversations. The results are then displayed to agents in the form of an interactive guide with live recommendations and contextual tips. When faced with difficult situations and emotional customers, these technologies support the agents in handling these calls even more professionally. This will not only lead to higher customer satisfaction but also to agents seeing that their work has a positive impact on the customer.
Trend 7: Real-time agent tools for conversational intelligence
Analyses currently available to the supervisor after call termination can be made available to the agents directly during the call and, consequently, they will be able to respond immediately to the data provided.
 
Real-time conversational intelligence can analyze speech patterns and conversational dynamics, using them to improve communication with the customer. Customer behavioral models can therefore be used to improve communication systematically and thereby deepen the relationship with customers.
 
Given that this new use of behavioral science within a business context is only just going into practice, what is truly possible will be revealed in the future. The development of research into human behavior always brings remarkable new insights. Modern digital technology using artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms will provide a wealth of data about human behavior that will become the basis for new, unique applications affecting many industries in the future. Behavioral science and its scientific theories, proven through millions of customer interactions in the real world, help people to communicate better. From a business perspective, improved communications leads to more satisfied customers and an increase in productivity.
 
 
[1] Source: Wikipedia

Trend 8: Customer Satisfaction Management (Customer Experience, CX)

In today's world where customers are constantly connected and can instantly share good and bad experiences, businesses are in a much more difficult situation than ever before. Customers have plenty of opportunities to get the latest information about their favorite and competing products. They may follow the views of other customers far beyond the borders of their own locale and not just a circle of friends and acquaintances as was the case until recently. The reputation of a brand is constantly monitored, evaluated and shared. For businesses, it is therefore increasingly important to consider, and care for, customer satisfaction in the long term.
 
The proven method in achieving high customer loyalty is impeccable customer service. The loyalty of customers who have never had a problem with a specific product or service is, ironically, lower than the loyalty of customers who did have an issue but whose complaint was processed successfully and promptly.
 
According to one study, 86% of customers end cooperation with their supplier after a bad experience with customer service. In contrast, 91% of customers who have an issue with a product or service and the claim is promptly and successfully resolved, remain loyal and do not go to the competition next time they purchase.[1]
 
The experience received by a customer during the entire sales process with their supplier is called the Customer Experience (CX). The Customer Experience includes virtually all interactions within the business cycle.
Within the characteristics of the "digital" customer, it has already been mentioned that today’s customers require a great experience in terms of business contact, want to be respected and often require "something extra." The customer finds their favorite brand, product or service by something more than simple availability or some form of logical calculation. The key is the emotional relationship. A positive "Customer Experience" should motivate the customer to ensure they feel they can create such a relationship.
 
However, a number of the tools and applications that companies use for customer support do not bring this added value to the 'Customer Experience'. Such examples ares the interactive voice server (IVR), digital assistants, or even modern applications such as the Chatbot. These digital services are a great help for processing routine requests immediatley but it still needs to be kept in mind that interacting with a machine is a far cry from natural communication with a live agent. Customers speak with the machine, but they do not create a trusted relationship; the machine barely shows empathy. Put simply, an emotional relationship cannot be created in these circumstances. Most customers clearly prefer direct contact with a live agent rather than communicating with a machine.
 
Empathetic, professional agents who are able to keep customers in a long-term positive relationship raise the customer’s confidence and thus create a positive customer experience (UX).  These agents are the catalyst for the active development of better relations with customers. In future years, the importance of contact center staff will continue to grow and companies will have to focus more on strengthening their expertise and motivation, providing them with cutting-edge tools and ensuring a modern, secure and pleasant environment for them to work. Satisfied employees = satisfied customers.

 
 
[1] Source: Harris Interactive, National Business Research Institute
Trend 8: Customer Satisfaction Management (Customer Experience, CX)

Trend 9: Immediate availability

Informed, constantly in touch and ready for change – that is today's customer. Consequnetly, these customers expect the same from their suppliers: immediate responses, personal contact, services tailored to their requirements and an impeccable knowledge on all points. The reward for businesses is loyalty to their brand and the sharing of positive feedback. Customers expect businesses to know all the key information about them and their individual requirements immediately, regardless of the channel they choose. If Customer Support has all the necessary information, as well as records of past communications immediately to hand, it is seen as a sign of respect and therefore shows the customer that they are valued. In addition, if Customer Support is able to meet, or exceed, individual customer requirements, customer loyalty grows dramatically.
 
The time required to meet the requirements of these permanently connected, online customers is always a critical factor that relates closely to their overall satisfaction. The cutting-edge tools of modern contact centers, such as a dedicated knowledge base and seamless connectivity to all major enterprise applications and information systems from a single agent interface, contribute significantly in shortening the time required to meet a customer’s request or query. Other tools are automated workflows that can quickly redirect complex customer issues to experts who have the knowledge necessary to handle them. Even these experts, who are usually not part of Customer Support, can use unified, sophisticated contact center tools to facilitate their communication and integrate seamlessly into customer-oriented processes. Artificial intelligence tools and applications will greatly speed up the processing of routine customer requirements (automatic classification of requests, the design of response templates, pattern recognition in data, etc.).
 
Trend 9: Immediate availability
The immediate availability of information to customers should not necessarily be restricted to direct contact with Customer Support staff. An Omni-Channel strategy should also include customer web portals where customers can track their history of enquiries and their solutions, or access to detailed technical or customer-oriented information. Another possible component of the strategy could be online communities and blogs, including shared comments and moderated interactions with other customers. As an instant add-on to an Omni-Channel strategy, Chatbots and speech recognition voice machines, as well as other elements of artificial intelligence, will expand.
 
The pressure to shorten the time required to meet requirements will put increasing demands on customer support staff. However, to assist them they will have more advanced tools that significantly increase the productivity of their work. Modern contact center agents will no longer have to work solely from dedicated workplaces, but the importance of remote agents will grow. With modern communications tools agents will be able to work just as effectively from their own homes. This will greatly facilitate the recruitment of new, high-quality and motivated staff.
 

Trend 10: Contact Centers in the Cloud

Cloud contact centers are a modern trend that definitely belongs in the top ten. The fact that the cloud is the leading trend in ICT generally is highlighted by surveys from leading technology companies and analysts, as well as by the pace at which new cloud technologies and solutions are being introduced to the market. However, there is still a need to look more closely at this trend with regards to contact center solutions as this application integrates a wide range of diverse ICT technologies and security aspects (sensitive customer data, call recording, biometrics, payment transactions, and more).
 
First, we need to focus on integrating with the enterprise communications system (PBX, call server or Unified Communication platform). Many companies have a fairly clear strategy in the field of telephony; if businesses use an on-premise telephone system, or UC Platform, and this system is the main tool for corporate communications, then the contact center should be an integral part of this on-premise telephone strategy. Conversely, if the business is considering a transition to the cloud for their telephony or UC, then these are factors in favour of a cloud platform for the contact center. When deciding, it is necessary to consider the appropriate solutions for call and screen recording, custom connectivity to the public telephone network, security aspects of connecting IP phones and storing sensitive customer data and biometric data.
 
Another factor are the internal information systems to which the contact center application is closely integrated (CRM, ERP, LoB application, knowledge base, etc.). Security policies, access to these applications, and data sharing capacities all play a significant role here.
 
If we focus on the concept of the contact center in the cloud, we need to distinguish whether it is a public cloud, with a multi-tenant architecture, where one shared instance of the software is running a shared contact center application for multiple different customers, or a private cloud where each customer is using their own software deployment and there is no resource sharing. A contact center in a private cloud, unlike a contact center in a public cloud, allows the application to adapt uniquely to an organisation’s specific needs. It has already been mentioned that effective customer service is the proven way to achieve high customer loyalty. However, businesses are hardly showing differentiation from their competitors if they also use the same public tools as their competitors to contact customers.
 
Analytical and consulting companies have developed a number of reports comparing the return on investment (ROI) between on-premise solutions and cloud solutions. In general, the costs associated with an on-premise contact center are broadly the same as those spent on a contact center operated in a private cloud. However, the cost of a shared contact center in a public cloud (multi-tenant) can be significantly lower as infrastructure and applications can be shared by many subscribers.
 
Despite the fact that the contact center in the cloud faces many technological challenges, the enormous development of cloud services is overcoming many of these obstacles and continues to do so. The cloud contact center is definitely a legitimate trend for the years to come. Forrester also support this through their own research: 16% of contact center customers have indicated that they will move their contact center systems to the cloud in the future.
 
Trend 10: Contact Centers in the Cloud
Your Path to Success

Your Path to Success

Undoubtedly, the forecasts and trends outlined in this document are already being put into practice in the contact centers of today. In the coming years, they will become a standard feature of customer support.
 
Nobody can provide the best services in all aspects, and that is why businesses should focus on their own key customer support areas. With the use of these trends, they can shine and outperform their competitors. Every activity that businesses undertake in order to embrace the digital world should be focused on customers, satisfying their requirements, and they should bring "something extra". That is what distinguishes their offer from the competition.
 
Businesses should therefore accurately identify who their customers are, what these customers are now demanding and what they could ask for in the future. The key benefit of a modern contact center is not just customer care, but also the ability to understand the customer, their behavior and goals. By analyzing interactions and customer requirements in a modern contact center, organisations can accurately predict these needs and requirements. Customers themselves are often the initiators of new business development.
Once organistaions understand the needs and requirements of their customers, the ability to respond to this intelligence is crucial. Digital technology is evolving and changing rapidly, so the ability to adopt and deploy modern technologies in a flexible and timely manner is a key competitive advantage. Ultimately, it is the need to serve the customer that should drive the technology, not the other way round.
 
en-US
web@frontstage.cc
Request a FrontStage Demo
Dear
Thanks for your interest in the FrontStage demo. This is an automated response confirming the receipt of your demo request. Our team will get back to you as soon as possible.

Best regards

FrontStage team

London office
86-90 Paul Street, London EC2A 4NE
Telephone: +44 7813 920141

Prague office
Sterboholska 1427/55 102 00 Prague 10 Czech Republic
Telephone: +420 271 004 241
web@frontstage.cz
Request a FrontStage Demo
Dear
Thanks for your interest in the FrontStage demo. This is an automated response confirming the receipt of your demo request. Our team will get back to you as soon as possible.

Best regards

FrontStage team

London office
86-90 Paul Street, London EC2A 4NE
Telephone: +44 7813 920141

Prague office
Sterboholska 1427/55 102 00 Prague 10 Czech Republic
Telephone: +420 271 004 241