As you read this, I am trying to influence (positively!) your customer experience with Nuvias UC. You may not yet be a customer of ours but, that simply places you at the beginning of your customer journey and we will aim to use the various tools available to us to positively influence our ongoing relationship.
Customer Experience (CX) is a multi-faceted aspect of modern business that seeks to map out the customer journey and ensure that, at each stage of that journey, the experience is defined and measurable. There are numerous tools available to support your CX and customer journey, from your website and social media to your sales team, your payments processes to your post-sales support services.
Each can be integrated, if required, or at least interface to a central tool to hold all customer data, such as a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) solution and will output a wealth of data in the form of business intelligence allowing the business to take informed decisions about CX performance across all departments. CX is a vital component of modern business, particularly where personal bonds may not be prevalent, and an area that businesses of all sizes seek to implement and improve.
At the heart of CX is communications between the business and its customers, and at the heart of these communications is the omni-channel contact centre. Contact centres, once known as call centres (as the method of communications was predominantly through telephony, or calling), now encompass the various stages at which a customer, or potential customer, can engage with the business. A telephone call remains one of the most important means of communication but today many businesses add chatbots, messaging applications, social media, video and AI-based virtual agents into the omni-channel mix.
The call centres of old were frequently an add-on to an on-premise PBX (Private Branch Exchange, enabling telephony and calling features for a business), leveraging the existing calling capabilities of the PBX to enable a concept of call queues for dedicated agents, internal teams or individuals. These have evolved dramatically, of course, and today may include some omni-channel services, but the evolution has also changed the point of delivery, moving away from premise-based hardware and software to cloud-native services.
Some key benefits of cloud-based services are that all solution components can be provided without capacity limitations, integration with other cloud services is far easier to achieve, and agents can engage with the solution from any location, enabling flexible working and greater employee satisfaction.
When you hear the term ‘Contact Centre’ you may imagine rows of people, or agents as they are referred to, taking, and making calls and frequently having to deal with unhappy customers whose mood is often made worse by the laborious process of just trying to talk to a human being. Indeed, these environments still do exist, however, the contact centre agent today can work from anywhere and the ways in which they may engage customers is far more proactive using chat services, messaging and calling to engage the customer and often supported by AI to guide them to the right answers to provide a more reliable and predictable customer experience.
Contact Centre as a Service, or CCaaS, is a rapidly growing market, forecast to grow by 17.5% CAGR from 2022 to 2029, according to Fortune Business Insights. This growth will be fueled by many factors including:
- Digital transformation
- The move to the cloud
- The ISDN switch off in Europe
- The emphasis on CX within business
- Uptake by businesses of all sizes as cost and complexity become less of a factor compared to the benefits of streamlining business processes and improving CX.
Nuvias UC has been at the edge of the contact centre market for many years. We have delivered and enabled numerous Unified Communications services and on occasion built contact centres but only as a direct adjunct to the UC service. Having been so close to the market for so long we are certain that now is the right time for us, and therefore our customers, to fully embrace the CX and CCaaS markets and we are investing in a CX Centre of Excellence to offer help and support to all our customers as they engage in these areas and seek to offer their customers the best services most closely suited to their business requirements.
The Nuvias UC CX Centre of Excellence will work with technology resellers across Europe to support their engagement with business users for CX and CCaaS solutions. That support may be required at all stages, from pre-sales to post-sales and support. It may simply be to offer supplementary services to those already available from the reseller. It may be to help them on their journey to being able to fully deliver CCaaS and CX solutions to their customers. What is driving us to invest in this space is the desire to enable all resellers, irrespective of current capabilities, to engage in a high-growth and profitable market and to expand their service portfolio to become more of a strategic business partner to their customers.
Within the CX Centre of Excellence we will work with a number of market leading vendors to ensure that we can offer the broadest range of CX solutions to meet all end-user requirements. The cornerstone vendor of our strategy is Five9. Five9 are widely recognised as a leader in the CCaaS market with a depth of experience and expertise, an award-winning solution set and a market leading Net Promoter Score (NPS). We announced our partnership with Five9 in April ’22 and have already started to see success from that. We will continue to work closely with the Five9 team to develop our partnership across Europe.
We also recognise that there are CX solutions that may suit other requirements. Many of our European partners have benefitted from the vendor-led approach of the agency model and we have RingCentral’s CCaaS solution to be able to offer those who prefer the vendor to take on the burden of selling, contracting, delivery and support while still paying the agent i.e. the reseller, a commission.
Soon you will also see announcements from Nuvias UC about CX solutions that are specifically built for Microsoft Teams and even those that can be embedded within the Teams solution itself. Of course, with our pan-European partnership with Zoom we will also be able to deliver the video-first Zoom Contact Center to our Zoom resellers when it becomes available in Europe.
Nuvias UC is committed to taking a leading role in driving the expansion of CX and CCaaS solutions across Europe. I would be delighted to hear from you if you believe my team can help you further with your solutions portfolio.
Director, Cloud Solutions