New research by RingCentral and Altimeter reveals the need to make contact centers unified, collaborative and intelligent

With every new technological innovation, markets and customers evolve. The challenge that many businesses face today is that many customer-facing systems are outdated compared to the technology customers use in their personal lives.

As a result, a divide is growing between business as usual (how companies work and engage customers) and how customers interact with one another and their favorite brands, apps and networks. At the core of this divide is evolving customer behaviors, expectations and preferences and the lack of technology and operational infrastructure to deliver the experiences consumers demand.

The Uberization of Customer Experience (CX) Sets New Standards for Engagement

One of the immediate areas of opportunity to close this divide lies in customer service and support. In an era of customer-centered apps like Uber, DoorDash and PostMates,  customers are learning that they can get what they want, when they want and how they want. This next-level service blends innovative technology, i.e. cloud, mobile, personalization, and modern business models and services. These new players are raising the bar and setting new standards for customer engagement.

Then there’s traditional customer service.

The contact systems that are largely in place today are emblematic of a bygone era. It’s a rare occasion when customers walk away from contact centers with a genuine sense of satisfaction, let alone a raving experience. But that’s all about to change.

The truth is that the construct for contact centers was defined in the 1960s. These models improved and were fine-tuned as technology and operations evolved over the decades. However, over time, organizations became more iterative than innovative, leaving the door wide open for competitors to deliver new value, models and experiences in customer engagement.

Introducing Contact Center 2.0: The Digital Transformation of Customer Service and Experience

Now, in an era of cloud, real-time, collaborative technologies, advanced contact centers are undergoing a digital transformation that reimagines customer engagement itself. To understand the state and future of contact centers, Altimeter partnered with RingCentral on a new research project, “Contact Center 2.0: The Rise of Collaborative Contact Centers.” We set out to learn how the most progressive companies are using digital transformation to modernize their contact centers.

What we found is that best-in-class organizations are making contact centers more unified, collaborative and intelligent. This sets the stage for what we call “contact center 2.0,” a shift from on-premises technologies, work siloes, limited and/or dated customer channels and distributed knowledge to cloud-based, collaborative, omnichannel and intelligent customer engagement.

Contact center 2.0 is a model for digital transformation. It’s also a gateway to getting closer to customers, delivering modern (and more familiar) customer experiences and gaining competitive advantages over laggard companies stuck delivering against aging engagement standards.

The opportunity is tremendous. For example, we found that 62 percent of organizations we surveyed still depend on premises-based technology for customer engagement compared to only 11 percent making the move to cloud-based services.

5 Benefits from the Digital Transformation of Customer Service

We also learned that companies undergoing a digital transformation of contact centers are already seeing notable benefits and ROI in the following areas:

  1. Cost savings
  2. Time savings
  3. Improved customer service levels
  4. Increased agent productivity
  5. Better communication between agents and the rest of the company

Final Thoughts

In an era of digital Darwinism, getting CX right is no longer a luxury, but a critical business priority. Contact center 2.0 improves operations and contributes to business performance and growth. More so, it also meets the needs of evolving customers before your competitors can get to them.

The digital transformation of contact centers represents a renewed focus on customer service and the human side of business as well as investments in modern technology and experiences.

Please download the report to accelerate the digital transformation of your customer support, service, experience and to learn how to achieve perfect harmony with a collaborative contact center.

Altimeter helps companies strive in an age of digital transformation. Learn more about how we are able to do so!