By Olatayo Ladipo-Ajai
Although Nigeria is an emerging market in many aspects and industries, customers in this region like those across the globe have increased their service level expectations which depend on communication. It is especially true for the contact centres that provide customers with support and services – whether it be in the banking sector, retail sector or even the insurance industry.
However, couple this demand for communication with an increased need to accelerate digital transformation strategies and the requirement for streamlined robust technology solutions becomes apparent.
Advancing Customer Experience (CX) through technology solutions is key to achieving customer satisfaction and meeting expectation. Local contact centres, as a result, can no longer sit back to wait for calls to start queuing up, instead, they must ensure that they are connecting with their customers in an effective manner as possible. This means reducing call volumes, removing bottlenecks and leveraging technology that engages with customers on the channels of their choice.
The Solution to Contact Centre woes
This is one of the fundamental reasons why Nigerian organisations should concentrate on moving towards Contact Centre as a Service (CCaaS) solutions. Provisioned through cloud-based software, CCaaS provides businesses with the scalability and flexibility needed to meet ever-increasing customer demands and expectations.
It is perhaps not surprising then that Gartner describes CCaaS solutions as some of the most valuable offerings in the communications market today, and predicts that CCaaS is set to be the preferred adoption strategy for 50% of contact centres by 2022.
CCaaS is a cloud-based CX platform that allows companies to utilise a contact centre provider’s software, without owning it, but rather paying for it based on a per-user or consumption-based model. This means that all the components that comprise a conventional contact centre are delivered via the cloud from one vendor, that is responsible for all maintenance and upgrades, for a subscription fee.
Hence, by providing enterprises with the flexibility to pay for only the technology they need, the upfront investment is significantly lower, and costs are largely reduced, while capabilities to better serve customers are expanded. As a result, it becomes an OPEX discussion rather than CAPEX, which is a significant benefit to businesses.
The CCaaS model has gained significant traction in markets globally but is fairly new to Nigeria. However, we are seeing a growing number of organisations – especially those that require extensive levels of customer engagement – looking at moving their traditional contact centres to a CCaaS model. Moreover, contact centres offering support services to their customers are also having to rethink operations under the new world order.
Significantly, the CCaaS model takes away the strain of multiple vendor engagements and also frees up companies of all the “attachments” that come with setting up a traditional, on-premise contact centre solution. In addition, a CCaaS solution also provides for omnichannel engagement, taking away the headache of organisations having to integrate their CRM, ERP, customer engagement platforms and reporting systems.
Personalised customer experience
Aside from the business benefits, CCaaS solutions also assist contact centre agents to create personalised customer experiences and improve the delivery of service.
Traditional contact centre solutions focus on specific communication channels, such as email, voice or web portal, so they are unable to provide a whole CX journey. On the other hand, CCaaS brings together all the multiple and disparate channels into one bundle and presents it to the call centre agent.
The CCaaS platform offers information across the entire spectrum of channels and communication history, so it is easy for an agent to know where the last communication with a customer was left off, what type of attention the customer already received, and thus to predict what the customer’s expectations are likely to be.
Considering the growing popularity of CCaaS and its ability to provide companies with access to scalable and versatile functionality that they need for their contact centres, it is difficult to see a future for the traditional contact centre model.
CCaaS is an evolving technology, and as such, we expect to see further changes and enhancements to the current offerings in the market.
However, the beauty of this model is that enhancements and upgrades come at no cost to the business. CcaaS is a solution that can revolutionise Nigerian enterprises by enabling them to provide their customers with a choice of their preferred engagement whilst reducing pressure on the contact centre, allowing them to focus on innovation in Africa.
The writer is the Country Head at Infobip Nigeria