Governments and public sector organisations want to reduce delivery risks associated with contact centre services. They should consider migrating their contact centres to the cloud.

According to the NEC whitepaper, Cloud Migration and Contact Centres, there are three basic benefits to moving contact centres to the cloud: improved customer experience; managing risk and data sovereignty; and managing costs.

Elements such as omnichannel offer governments a new and improved way to interact with clients.

Donald Craven, account director for the ATO at NEC, said a contact centre is all about client interaction. “This is so important for key government agencies dealing with significant numbers of public. It’s all about citizenship and citizen interaction, and improving their reputation.”

In the case of managing risk, there are elements unique to government that must be managed along the way. The government sets stringent mandatory requirements for cybersecurity which are making their way into the cloud. For example, data cannot be stored outside of Australia.

Chris Fryer, Enterprise Architect at NEC, said “We have product-as-a-service but the product that governments need is Security-as-a-Service. This is an emerging market for government.”

In normal contact centre operations, compliance issues are inevitably overseen internally. However, a cloud-based system offers a centralised platform for recording, archiving and managing calls and other data, and an easier way to stay compliant with legislation.

In the same vein, governments speak a slightly different language from private enterprise when it comes to costs. For instance, there is no revenue element to speak of.

Often, even when the concepts are the same as in the private sector, the terminology tends to be different.

Government agencies for instance tend to be less interested in revenue generation as a key element of customer experience, although on the cost side, government departments face similar challenges to the private sector.

According to Fryer, within government agencies there can be a confusion to which vendors can be used for certain services. The cyber.gov.au lists vendors that have been accredited in certain classifications.

“The government needs to demonstrate that all the requirements are being met and they are getting the most cost-effective solution. Then finance will give it the go-ahead.”

Craven says government needs to view cloud not as a cost-saving exercise. “The argument is going to be about how they’re going to manage their costs, and the flexibility and the speed of half the things they can do.”

Cloud can bring together the diverse datasets involved in each medium to provide a seamless customer experience.

Take for instance the not uncommon experience of a customer calling an agent only for the agent to discover the customer has already tried unsuccessfully to contact the company in many different ways.

A successful omnichannel approach will pull all the strands together giving the agent a thorough history of the customer interaction.

The concept of omnichannel has been around for a decade, but companies are still struggling to deliver on this due to disparate data systems and processes. A consolidated data approach within a cloud platform enables them to deliver on their omnichannel strategy.

Demand for omnichannel exists on both sides of the transaction. Governments are endeavouring to become more citizen-centric, and citizens, in turn, expect a personalised connection with services.

And for government organisations there is also the added burden of the potential impact of bad customer experience where those poor experiences become political fodder in the media.

About this author

Jim Chryssikos is the national solutions manager at NEC. NEC is a corporate member of the Which-50 Digital Intelligence Unit. Members provide their insights and expertise for the benefit of the Which-50 community. Membership fees apply.

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