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3 Factors Driving the Public Sector to Cloud Contact Center

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Set of contact center agents and customers, either talking on phone or chatting
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As organizations face rising customer expectations for personalization and interaction, the limits of on-premises contact centers are evident. IT decision makers in the public sector have been adopting cloud-based contact centers to address this concern. According to a recent study by Aberdeen Research, the adoption of cloud technology to modernize contact centers increased 94% between 2013 and 2019.
 
On a typical day, education, government, and nonprofits field thousands of questions from constituents, while changing stay-at-home mandates require institutions to provide consistent, up-to-date, real-time communication. With staff availability limited for in-person IT help desks due to the coronavirus pandemic, institutions are increasingly relying on their contact centers to bridge the resulting services gap. For organizations relying on legacy contact-center solutions, the shift during the pandemic created challenges in maintenance, scale, and innovation.
 
Here are three examples to highlight factors influencing the adoption of cloud contact centers in public sector organizations: Los Angeles County, University of Arizona, and Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training (DLT).
 
1. Lower total cost of ownership
In the Aberdeen study, respondents who had migrated from on-premises contact centers cited financial structure of cloud technologies as the foremost reason for preferring a cloud contact center. Simply put, cloud-based contact centers cost less than legacy contact-center systems.
 
For example, the LA County call center achieved 60% cost savings and 17% call reduction using Amazon Connect. LA County has over 10 million residents and employs more than 100,000 staff. The county needed an updated contact center solution that would reduce hold times by automating simple requests, provide automated information about outages without requiring a VoIP engineer, and make it easier to gather user feedback.
 
2. Flexibility to add capacity and capability
Scalability and elasticity are the other top reasons cited for migrating to a cloud-based contact center, after cost.
 
Legacy contact centers limit opportunities for automation and self-service. Employees and students should be able to execute simple IT requests, such as password resets, without agent intervention. Long hold times present another challenge. One education institution estimated the hold time for an average caller was six minutes but could extend to 54 minutes during peak call volumes. Legacy contact-center infrastructure is cumbersome to maintain, upgrade, and support.
 
"When COVID-19 struck campuses in spring 2020, the University of Arizona relied on Amazon Connect to move within days to a remote customer-agent environment," said Bryan Carmichael, director of strategic accounts at VoiceFoundry, an Amazon Connect consulting partner. With VoiceFoundry's guidance, the University of Arizona used Amazon Connect for simple integration with third-party solutions to run email and voice campaigns aimed at impacted constituents. The contact center provides agents with multi-language support, a single pane of glass to assess a caller's status, and personalized responses to the caller.
 
According to Carmichael, "Higher education staff need the ability to work as effectively and efficiently as they would when physically in an office. It is imperative that they be able to extend the same experience when students are at home or away."
 
3. Improved customer experience
Aberdeen also attributes the success of cloud-based contact centers to improved customer satisfaction. Organizations that adopt cloud for their contact centers report two-and-a-half times better performance on customer complaint improvements than those that have on-premises contact centers.
 
In March 2020, Rhode Island’s DLT website experienced 10 times the typical volume of unemployment insurance applications, putting stress on its 30-year-old system. DLT implemented Amazon Connect to replace the legacy capabilities, expanding their capacity to take simultaneous calls. In nine days, the teams collaborated to design, configure, and implement Amazon Connect as a solution. Previously, the website could handle 74 concurrent calls. On April 19, the first full day of operation on Connect, the system handled up to 1,000 concurrent calls per minute. Amazon Connect allowed 75,000 Rhode Islanders — one out of every 14 citizens — to file continuing claims successfully.
 
Bar graph from Aberdeen comparing on-prem to CCaaS
To learn more, download “Cloud Contact Center Buyer's Guide: How to Achieve Maximum Results through Cloud Technology” by Aberdeen Research, or visit here for more information on Amazon Connect.

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