CIOs continue to be pressured by business leaders to deliver value that goes beyond just making sure everyone\u2019s computers and servers are running. Among their value objectives is to deliver better customer experiences, according to Foundry\u2019s 2022 State of the CIO.\n\nYet, CIOs must do so amid challenges such as an increasingly lean IT staff, an ongoing workforce shortage, and higher expectations to prove business value with new technology. That requires finding solutions that satisfy customers without creating more problems.\n\nEfficient, effective, and low-risk contact center technology\n\nCustomer service tools have evolved over the past few years, especially thanks to advances in artificial intelligence (AI) technologies. For example, natural language processing (NLP) and machine learning (ML) are able to assist service agents in quickly assessing a customer\u2019s problem, offering fast answers, and even identifying potential revenue opportunities.\n\nMany of these AI-powered systems now integrate with cloud-based contact center-as-a-service (CCaaS) offerings, giving enterprises a more powerful option than on-premises software such as Interactive Voice Response (IVR) and other call center tools.\n\nContact center and IVR systems are typically later to move to the cloud. Many companies get millions of calls a month, so a 1% drop in software performance puts significant pressure on call center agents, which is why many enterprises delay moving these apps to the cloud.\n\nThe combination of more mature AI tools and cloud environments has made CCaaS more attractive for organizations looking to improve their customer experiences.\n\nKeeping the business happy\n\nManaging an in-house contact center requires lots of server time and IT support time to keep it up and running. There\u2019s also the constant need to remain up-to-date with the latest technologies, especially with improvements in NLP and ML happening on a monthly, if not weekly, basis. Moving that solution to the cloud helps reduce the IT burden due to easier deployment and integration, and instant access to the latest functionality.\n\nAlso, CCaaS offerings give companies more flexibility when it comes to demand spikes, both planned and unplanned. For example, insurance companies that expect a flood of incoming phone calls during open enrollment periods can deploy additional servers much faster in the cloud than having to obtain and provision new servers on premises. Retailers looking to answer calls about merchandise availability and airlines preparing for busy travel periods need fast and flexible options that the cloud can provide more readily than on-premises offerings.\n\nKeeping customers happy\n\nMaking sure that customers continue to be engaged with an enterprise is crucial. And with contact centers facing critical workforce shortages and increased call volumes, it\u2019s key that enterprises look at AI-based contact center solutions that provide intelligent engagements and automate the majority of customer interactions. To deliver the flexibility and investment protection enterprises need, it\u2019s also vital that these solutions are provided through cloud-native and cloud-agnostic services that can plug into a company\u2019s existing customer offerings.\n\nThese capabilities can include applications such as a virtual assistant or chatbot, conversational IVR experiences, and proactive notifications sent by text message to prevent unnecessary calls. Many of these applications can be integrated through CCaaS providers.\n\nCCaaS solutions can offer many benefits for customers and businesses \u2013 in the contact center and beyond. But when they\u2019re able to deliver intelligent engagements that span channels, they add even more business value.\n\nTo learn more about how a cloud-based contact center-as-a-service provider can enhance the customer journey, click here.