The cloud-based contact center is quickly catching on with organizations across industries for one important reason: Its ability to scale capacity up or down depending on changing business requirements and/or seasonal spikes.  Forrester reports that 25% of large contact centers are now hosted in hybrid cloud environments, and 30% expect to soon move to subscription-type services.

But among the many moving parts involved with these initiatives – identifying the right solution and making sure it fits within the existing architecture – there’s one criteria that outweighs them all: making sure the technology humanizes the customer experience, as it will, in many cases, be the first point of contact customers have with the organization.

In our recently-released report on the factors that define digital maturity and business success (registration required), the most savvy of our nearly 2,500 respondents recognize that humans are still at the center of the modern economy. In our study, the ability to align new technologies with human requirements — workforce transformation, improving consumer and employee experiences, etc. — is a key difference between companies leading with technology and laggards.

In contact centers and other customer service arenas, this means selecting an AI-powered solution that enables bots to handle high-volume, low-value, rote and repetitive work so that human workers are free to focus on more complex and constructive customer interactions.

The Humanity of the Cloud

Case in point, we recently helped a major U.S. bank move from an on-premise contact center to a cloud-based contact center hosted on Amazon Connect. A key driver for the initiative was ensuring the contact center was aligned with the bank’s cloud-first strategy of creating a more flexible business model.

The migration also offered a great opportunity to turn a traditional Cap-Ex investment into an Op-Ex, since ramping up a several-thousand-person contact center to full capacity could take two to three years. Additionally, full capacity may only be needed at a few peak periods during the year, which made the more flexible Op-Ex model a better choice. A Cap-Ex-funded call center could sit idle and incur costs, or require workforce reductions at non-peak times.

The bank also wanted a solution that gave it more control. Leveraging a subscription- and consumption-based model was seen as a way of cutting its total cost of ownership (TCO) by reducing license costs.

In selecting an AI-powered system, the bank wasn’t looking to replace human workers in the contact center; its goal was to enable agents to focus on understanding and realizing the customer’s outcomes.

We assisted the bank in integrating parts of its legacy systems with the cloud-based contact center. We also leveraged its accelerators, including canned intents (chatbot templates for common tasks) and contact flows (IVR flows), to increase implementation speed.

 The migration enabled the bank to:

  • Increase time to market by getting 200-plus agents deployed in a four-month timeframe.
  • Increase self-service containment rate by ~15%.
  • Reduce TCO by ~25%.

From the Complex to the Simple

Some businesses have incorrectly assumed that if they have a complex architecture with a legacy infrastructure, Amazon Connect may not be the right fit, as it’s frequently seen as appropriate for small and medium businesses. However, our experience shows that it integrates well with existing enterprise IT architectures without disruption to business continuity.

It won’t be long before the majority of businesses, large and small, turn to the cloud to manage their contact centers. Those that ultimately succeed in these endeavors will realize not just cost savings, flexibility and efficiency but also a more humanized solution to the most human of all experiences.

To learn more, join us at AWS re:Invent2019, Booth #1223, December 2-6, 2019, in Las Vegas.

Robert Jimenez

Robert Jimenez

Robert Jimenez is the Digital Leader in the Customer Experience domain for Cognizant. He has been leading the effort to help companies... Read more