I’ve been in the contact center and telecommunications industries for years. I’d share exactly how long, but not only would that date me, it would also cause even more people to call me “ma’am.” I’ve also been in marketing and sales for just as long.

Years ago, we began speaking about the rising importance of customer experience. We recognized the customer experience started and ended with the contact center. Rather than contact centers being an afterthought, as they had been for years, the industry began to recognize the importance of agent training, retention and other resources to deliver on customer experience promises.

From Ripple to Tsunami

Today, it feels like the customer experience wave has turned into a tsunami.

That was never clearer to me than after the Sirius Decisions Summit, a marketing and sales best practices conference I’ve attended on and off for years. It was close to impossible to attend a session where customer experience wasn’t either the top topic or a supporting point. In fact, customer experience was on the main stage for the first time since the conference started.

We all have been told for years that it is ten times more expensive to get a new customer than to retain an existing one. Despite this, marketing has focused on demand generation and the acquisition of new customers, with customer marketing usually getting much less attention, budget and resources. The Sirius Decisions Summit has always included a ton of contact center best practices and technology-focused lead scoring, prospect engagement, persona creation, account-based marketing and the like, with the majority of that relating to prospects.

In contrast, the customer experience arm of the conference this year ramped up significantly, as did sessions on customer personas, customer scoring, retention “units” and the customer journey.

Better Customer Experiences in the Cloud

Not only has customer experience continued to grow in importance, but the interest in contact centers, and specifically contact centers in the cloud, has never been higher. In addition to customer experience taking front and center at the Sirius Decisions Summit, the contact center took a similarly noticeable place at Enterprise Connect for the first time.

I think a primary reason cloud contact centers are generating so much buzz is because of the clear advantage they offer in delivering on the promise of better customer experience.

For example, Serenova’s CxEngage cloud contact center solution offers a true omnichannel experience, which gets to the crux of consumer frustration over having to repeat information across channels such as voice, email or chat. Omnichannel offers a consistent customer experience regardless of the channel because agents have one complete view of all the necessary information to support interactions across every channel.

Cloud contact center solutions also provide the ability to scale up or down to meet customer demand. This is particularly critical for businesses like retailers who need this type of flexibility during peak times. Cloud contact center solutions like Serenova also allow businesses to  scale up across the enterprise or out geographically. This not only makes it easier for IT support, but it also delivers identical customer experiences, no matter where the contact center—or the customer—is located.

An Opportunity for Contact Center Leaders

It’s clear, regardless of industry, that to stay ahead of the competition today requires understanding that across every interaction—and at every point in the customer journey—brands must delight customers with exceptional experiences. Fortunately, contact centers are taking the lead in delivering these experiences.

That presents an important opportunity for contact center leaders to stand out as they make technology, process and staffing decisions that have lasting and organization-wide ripple effects. If you’d like to learn more about how Serenova’s cloud contact center and workforce automation solutions can help your organization deliver an outstanding customer experience, request a demo here.