US businesses are ranked among both the best and worst in the world in an important application of cloud technology, according to a recent study by Forrester Consulting, commissioned by SuccessKPI. The multi-national survey study revealed that while the majority (58%) of US Contact Center as a Service (CCaaS) operators have successfully migrated to the cloud, only 35% (US) and 42% (UK) have optimized their current CCaaS solution for the most value. Consequently, 65% in the US are either not optimized or find room for improvement, trailing only the LATAM region at 72%.
Some may find these results surprising given the US’ relative wealth and prominent role in technology innovation. In fact, nearly half of US operators (47%) are less than satisfied with their CCaaS solution. The leading reasons given: limited automation features (40%) and no significant improvement of the customer experience (38%); three of four (78%) reasons that US organizations cite for their under-performing cloud contact centers are addressable through optimization efforts such as cloud toolsets.
This strange dichotomy was not the only surprise in the Forrester study conducted across the US, UK, Germany Switzerland, Austria, Brazil, Chile, Colombia and Mexico. Latin American operators came in reporting the highest success collectively with 63% considering their cloud contact center migration successful – despite that they are the least optimized – with the UK leading by country at 62% and the US coming in at 58%.
And with all the public debate over whether the unlimited upside of artificial intelligence (AI) outweighs concerns about its potential to disrupt the workforce, 60% of UK operators say AI is needed to help agents analyze interactions and better understand fellow humans, customers. Meanwhile, roughly half of companies agreed with this statement across the US, LATAM and Central Europe.
“Only 25% are completely satisfied with their CCaaS solutions with many still in the midst of optimizing them. These are very clear indications from the market that the state of digital transformation, particularly CCaaS solution suites are a bit up in the air for most businesses. Nobody’s got this figured out yet,” said Forrester Senior Analyst Vasupradha Srinivasan in a recent webinar about the study on which she was a guest speaker. “There are many challenges that they’re trying to solve beyond the talent availability and support from executives. Feedback from the survey indicated that there are enhanced expectations with things like AI and automation that have largely been unmet.”
For those not satisfied with their CCaaS migration, the skills gap – lack of qualified employees experienced and skilled with new cloud contact center tech – was the biggest obstacle to success in Latin America, (49%), followed by the US (44%), and UK (41%). The complex internal enterprise IT landscape was the second biggest challenge – cited by 47% of operators in Central Europe and 45% in Latin America versus 41% in the UK and only 30% in the US. These results reflect the fast-moving nature of the cloud IT marketplace and the difficulty enterprise IT teams have in keeping up with the accelerating rate of change.
In terms of capabilities most desired yet lacking in CCaaS, real-time business intelligence reporting and analytics led all categories with 61% in the US, 55% in LATAM, 52% in the UK and 45% in Central Europe. The next most missed capability was automation and insights to better understand customers cited by 60% in the US, 55% in LATAM, 40% across Germany, Austria and Switzerland and 37% in the UK. Speech and Sentiment Analytics were also key missing ingredients for 48% in the US, 46% in the UK and 41% in LATAM.
While the top wish list item was real-time business intelligence and analytics for the US and UK, 57% of companies in Latin America selected “Quality management and Training” and 53% of organizations in Central Europe yearned for timely triggered alerts to crisis situations.
All Geo markets were consistent in how they strongly agreed that the right cloud toolset is critical to CCaaS success – 79% overall.
“There is much opportunity ahead for contact centers to optimize outcomes,” said SuccessKPI CEO Dave Rennyson. “There is much more value enterprises can achieve in the cloud when you leverage the right cloud toolset to efficiently transition to cloud and boost people with AI-powered tools and new skills—and these come with a compelling ROI.”
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