Moving to the Cloud is Imperative for the Contact Center – The Latest Forrester Expert Analysis

Moving to the Cloud is Imperative for the Contact Center – The Latest Expert Analysis

NICE inContact has been recognized as a leader in a new report from Forrester Research. The Forrester Wave™: Contact-Center-As-A-Service (CCaaS) Providers, Q3 20201 identifies NICE inContact CXone as a leader in an evaluation of ten of the most significant providers and how they stack up in a detailed assessment. NICE inContact ranks top in both the current offering and strategy categories and earned the highest possible scores in 29 of the 33 criteria. The new report is useful to organizations looking to move to the cloud, or to those evaluating their current systems’ ability to leverage the latest cloud technologies as they seek to improve customer experience and reduce operating costs.

Forrester starts with an overview of changes in the market including what companies should look for in CCaaS providers. Forrester Wave author Art Schoeller, vice president and principal analyst, noted the following in the report: “As on-premises contact center (CC) software becomes outdated and less effective, integrated CCaaS suites improve omnichannel and workforce optimization (WFO) — as well as enable a broader range of AI applications. These capabilities dictate which providers lead the pack.”

Forrester Wave 2020According to the Forrester Research report: “NICE inContact lights it up with best-in-class WFO, a broad channel mix, and scale.” The report continues: “Shortlist NICE inContact when seeking innovative customer experiences across a wide set of channels with strong agent management capabilities.”

In 2020 with the pandemic and moving agents to a work from home model, many contact centers are accelerating their move to the cloud, according to a NICE inContact flash survey conducted in April. At the same time, over 92 percent were experiencing increased interaction volumes. Indeed, contact centers of all sizes need systems that are more flexible, more scalable and more adaptable than ever before. This year we’ve learned that moving quickly is imperative and that outdated systems can slow you down. Business agility in the contact center—the front line of customer experience—is the new imperative. Cloud suites with newer technologies offer the flexibility, agility, scale and speed needed for your success.

The new report from Forrester Research gives insights about integrated suites in the cloud. Art Schoeller writes: “Today’s vibrant contact center market is defined by a shift to multitenancy, integrated suites that overlay customer interaction management, self-service, embedded AI, and enhanced workforce optimization. These elements have come together to lay the groundwork for change and differentiation in the CCaaS market.”

Customer retention and relationships start and are strengthened with connections handled by contact center systems—for both agent-assisted and self-service interactions. The ability to respond to customers in the digital channels they prefer and with fast, first time resolution is the one of the best ways to gain an edge on competition and grow market share. Essentially, if you haven’t done so already, now is the time to move to a cloud contact center platform. And if you are in the cloud now, what questions should you be asking about the ability of your current solution to quickly incorporate new technologies including new digital channels, analytics tools, automation and AI.

Questions to ask today about your current system

Does your current vendor have a full-featured workforce optimization (WFO) suite that’s cloud native? Does your current platform support self-service while including integration with intelligent chatbots? To what degree does it leverage artificial intelligence (AI) today, and to what degree does it allow you to pilot new technology quickly? What are the tools for customization via ecosystem partners, APIs and developer tools?

Forrester’s deep focus on each vendor’s specific platform in the new report and the multi-point evaluation methodology they employ makes the Forrester Wave a very good ready-made buyer’s guide to broadly inform your decision-making. In addition to receiving the highest possible score in market presence and being top ranked in current offering and strategy, CXone was also among the highest scores in 6 of 7 evaluated criteria in Strategy, including “product vision,” “execution road map,” “customer success,” and “partner ecosystem.”

CXone Marketecture Open Cloud Foundation 

Let’s explore three key components of CXone as a complete, integrated cloud platform.

Digital First Omnichannel

Today’s customers are more demanding than ever, and with CXone Omnichannel Routing you can be there every time for customers looking for digital-first experiences—in the channels they prefer. Let customers choose how they communicate with you, and then give them an awesome experience without missing a beat. CXone Omnichannel Routing provides your agents with full customer context sentiment, and, conversation history with an integrated Customer Card—powered by optional pre-built CRM integrations—all in one consolidated agent desktop. By connecting information in your automatic contact distributor with customer data, agents can be ready to handle large contact volumes quickly and efficiently, while personalizing each interaction to increase customer satisfaction.

And it’s vital that you make it easy for agents for them to provide an effortless customer experience. With omnichannel session handling in CXone, agents can switch or add channels to ongoing interactions to improve customer satisfaction with higher First Contact Resolution (FCR). It’s a lot more than email today, look at this infographic for The New Digital Landscape.

How does CXone compare in the Forrester Wave report? CXone is top ranked in the “routing algorithms” criterion and received the highest possible scores in the following criteria:

  • User experience strategy and design
  • Support for agent-assisted touchpoints
  • Support for self service capabilities
  • Omnichannel agent desktop
  • Proactive notification
  • Outbound
  • Breadth of CRM integration capabilities
  • Orchestration

Workforce Engagement – from Anywhere

A move to cloud provides efficiencies inside the contact center and for the bottom-line results essential to scalable and sustainable operations. This year, we all learned that business continuity including accommodating agents working from home and accounting for call pattern and forecasting adjustments to ensure no disruption in customer experience, made the difference for those organizations who adapted quickly and successfully during the pandemic. The cloud made this much easier. As agents move to a work-from-home model, it is important to restore team engagement and morale, find new ways to support virtual teams, and to ensure accurate forecasting and scheduling.

CXone Workforce Engagementis a cloud native, “best-in-class” suite that includes all the tools you need to unlock your team’s potential onsite or working from home. We believe that when your team thrives, so does your business. You get the reliability of the industry’s most accurate forecasts to ensure that you have the right people in the right place for every customer interaction. The complete suite also includes Quality Management and Performance Management to help your employees gain a sense of accountability and ownership.

Forrester recognizes the importance of workforce optimization in the contact center, “Native WFO improves the usability of CCaaS for a broader range of roles in the contact center, reduces the confusion inherent in multiple data sets, and lays the groundwork for additional AI apps that incorporate WFO data to autonomically and dynamically improve agent staffing or skills-based routing.”

How does CXone compare in the Forrester report? CXone is top ranked in the “quality monitoring” criterion and received the highest possible scores in the “workforce management,” and “coaching and performance” criteria.

Smarter Service with Embedded AI

Automation and Artificial Intelligence (AI) are arguably the most important technological advancements since the advent of the cloud, and AI applications are already rapidly transforming what is possible for innovative customer experiences. Indeed, those who can harness AI will move forward more quickly and create a chasm between themselves and slower moving competitors. We predict that customer experience will transform more in the next five years than in the last 15 with a great leap forward based on both cloud and AI.

CXone Automation & AI is leading-edge, intuitive technology that eliminates mundane tasks and speeds resolutions of customer issues for better business outcomes. With intelligent self-service, agent-assisted and fully automated alerts and actions, CXone frees your contact center from the busy work that inhibits innovation.

Bringing AI and cognitive abilities into the contact center provides a “smarter” environment for your technology, for your agents and for your customers with the end-result being faster, more satisfying resolution for customer interactions. Forrester notes: “Connecting agents to customers using more sophisticated AI-based attribute routing delivers both efficiency and revenue benefits. AI-based automated quality management (QM) analyzes and filters speech and text interactions for further inspection by QM teams. Solid CCaaS platform foundations enable these apps.”

How does CXone compare in the Forrester report? CXone is top ranked in the “contextual data management” and “text and speech analytics” criteria and received the highest possible scores in the “product vision,” and “execution road map” criteria.

Consumers have high expectations for their interactions with businesses. You need to meet customers where they are—with a choice in channels that includes digital options, and cloud contact center technology can get you there. Many of our customers, large and small, are already succeeding by adopting the cloud. We continue our ongoing dedication to help them achieve their goals with our innovative platform as well as our customer-focused expert services, our extensive ecosystem of valuable partnership, and over a decade of global experience. We can help you transform every experience and customer relationship for lasting results.

For companies seeking a cloud contact center provider, Forrester’s independent research provides in-depth analysis and insights to aid in the decision-making process. Download your copy.

1 The Forrester Wave™: Contact-Center-As-A-Service (CCaaS) Providers, Q3 2020, The 10 Providers That Matter Most And How They Stack Up, by Art Schoeller with Daniel Hong, Sara Sjoblom, and Peter Harrison, August 26, 2020