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Contact centre resiliency vital during COVID-19 crisis

With the COVID-19 crisis putting many businesses in hardship, it is more important than ever to have contact centre resiliency, according to GlobalData. 

The data and analytics firm says that because the pandemic has created many operational issues for businesses across the Asia-Pacific region, with many B2C businesses across sectors such as retail, tourism, and transportation struggling to stay afloat, businesses cannot ignore customers during the crisis. 

Against this backdrop, the pandemic has underscored the need for contact centre resiliency to be part of the business continuity planning, it says. 

According to GlobalData, several legacy contact centres are not architected to cope with COVID-19 scenarios. 

"Especially for companies that are facing different degree of anxiety among customers, the ability to address customer needs is crucial for the long-term success," it says. 

"In Asia, India and the Philippines are the two key call centre outsourcing destinations and as these places go into lockdown, contact centres operations are affected. Some of these contact centres may not have the technology and process in place to support remote agents," GlobalData says.

"The COVID-19 crisis has revealed the need for contact centre solutions to be more resilient, scalable and easy to setup. As things become unpredictable, businesses want the flexibility to scale their operations. In dealing with the immediate demand, there is no time for extensive RFP and vendor evaluation," explains Siow Meng Soh, senior technology analyst at GlobalData. 

"Businesses can look to their existing suppliers for solutions that can meet their near-term requirements. Established players such as Avaya, Cisco, and Genesys all have cloud-based solutions that can enable customers to scale their contact centre operations."

For example, Avaya is offering a 90-day complimentary license for remote agents and Genesys has a set of interim license programs to help customers manage higher interaction volumes as a result of Covid-19. Cisco has also announced Work from Home Webex Contact Center Quick Deployment solution which offers a temporary solution (90-day subscription) with no minimum volume requirement and can be deployed in five days.

"In the longer-term, companies across the region that are looking to replace legacy solutions should consider a range of cloud-based solutions available in the market," Soh says. 

"They should also consider the potential of AI in the contact centre, the importance of having the ability to support omin-channel, and automation through communications platform-as-a-service (CPaaS)."

There are many cloud-based contact centre solutions in the market. One that is gaining attention from enterprise customers is Amazon Connect. As a leading cloud provider, AWS enjoys competitive advantages over other smaller cloud-native contact centre companies, says Soh.

"Cloud-native solutions come with the obvious benefits such as rapid deployment, consumption-based pricing model (based on usage rather than capacity or number of agents) and the ability to scale to meet unpredictable demand. These are crucial attributes in light of the Covid-19 situation."

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