Zoom quickly became a household name during the Pandemic, during which time its user count rose significantly. According to Backlinko, in 2020, Zoom’s customer base grew by 470.33%. Backlinko further notes that the video conferencing giant issued 385,200 new licenses during that period.
Zoom had previously experienced growth, just nothing as significant as it did during COVID-19. The video conferencing provider attained the status it enjoys today because it has a lot to offer customers, and the platform’s use-case base; continues expanding. Zoom made several enhancements to its Zoom for education platform, hoping to simplify the virtual education experience for administrators, educators, students, and parents.
Zoom for Government became a reality back in September 2021, a more secure Zoom platform for governments and NGOs to leverage. ZoomTopia 2021 brought the world the promise of a ton more innovation pumped out by the company and a partnership with Meta and its popular Oculus headset. At the event, Zoom said it would offer AR/VR experiences for things like virtual brainstorming sessions Oculus headsets.
Not to forget Zoom Rooms, which extend a compelling case to power the future of work. The solution gained many new functionalities over the Pandemic, most of which help users boost workplace productivity via features like advanced whiteboarding.
This brings me to last week when Zoom dropped a virtual conference-floor experience. A mere week later Zoom dipped its toes into a promising market, entering the CCaaS sphere with an omnichannel contact center solution. I know. I am aware. Buzzwords – but I’ll try to make sense of it all in the paragraphs that follow.
Zoom Jumps Head-First Into CCaaS
Now generally available, Zoom Contact Center, previously the Zoom Video Engagement Center, according to Zoom, “combines unified communications and contact center capabilities with the useability of the Zoom platform.” Zoom Contact Center, currently available in the United States and Canada, extends a myriad of customer service use cases and workflows via channels like video and voice.
According to Zoom, SMS and webchat are in beta.
What else will Zoom’s venture into call center software imply for customers and agents? Zoom said, in a statement, that the platform will have over 100 features geared toward making agent, supervisor, contact center management work; simpler.
“Future investments will include additional channels, CRM and workforce management integrations, and AI/ML to optimize agent productivity,” Zoom wrote.
One of the most futuristic use cases, if I may – is Zoom’s unique end customer experience it will extend via communication channels like video. Blair Pleasant, BCStrategies, seems to have summed it up best when she noted:
“Zoom understands the importance of bringing together UC and multichannel contact center into the same experience, and it is known for superb video. This is important in high-touch customer scenarios; and internal use cases like IT help desks, employee helplines, and revenue-generating activities.”
Untethering Agents from the Physical Location
Signs of the Pandemic coming to a slowing point have become increasingly evident and some have even begun to return to the office. And contact center agents are chief among those returning. Even Zoom acknowledged this notion, writing in a statement:
“Contact center agents frequently get tied to physical contact center locations, and if able to work remotely, often still need to navigate multiple communications tools.”
Zoom is betting on its CCaaS solution streamlining many of these what the company calls “inefficiencies” by bringing communications into one central hub.
Zoom Didn’t Forget About Contact Center Admins
When it comes to deployment and upkeep, Zoom Contact Center offers up simple administrator configuration. Admins now have access to a graphical drag-and-drop IVR designer, which is quite ‘cool’ considering they can create menus, greetings, and prompts from the Zoom Admin Portal.
Zoom Contact Center can additionally integrate chat and video into any digital space, like websites. Regarding customer choice, Zoom said that it wants to continue offering plenty of options for customer-base, noting:
“Customer choice is an essential value of the Zoom platform. In addition to Zoom Contact Center, Zoom intends to maintain its valued existing contact center partnerships.”
Zoom has partnerships with Genesys Cloud, Nice CXone, Five9, Twilio, and Talkdesk. International Zoom users can expect availability for Zoom Contact Center later this year.
Zoom’s CX Full Embrace and Future Success
With a failed attempted acquisition of cloud contact center provider Five9, industry insiders started to ask: How will Zoom fill that hole in its portfolio? Zoom’s retort, having bounced back with a homegrown solution that will likely rival even some of the most established contact center players.
So here we are, Zoom embracing customer experience via the contact centers and the various ways you can interact with customers in the digital age. What is sure to ensure success given that firms have to continually stand out and offer value (of course) to thrive in the current UCC landscape?
It will take hard work and tons of innovation (likely) on the artificial intelligence front. Every player in the CCaaS space (should have) some element of conversational AI, a term that evolves as we discover new use cases. Typically conversational AI means that you can extend some form of self-service options via IVR (interactive voice response) or even the use of bots to answer frequently asked questions.
There are tons more high-level conversational AI applications, rendering it next to impossible to put such a term into a box. Cloud contact providers (quite easily) exemplify this notion, ones like Five9, which late last year, launched more human-sounding bot capabilities: in conjunction with Well-Said Labs.
Zoom’s ultimate success will also lie in its approach to how it works with others to extend key integrations to software like CRM (customer relationship management) platforms. Zoom did note that it would release a few CRM integrations this year.
For now, Zoom’s most loyal customers are likely on board with adopting the Zoom Contact Center. It will be overcoming the challenge of convincing others who already have viable contact center solutions to make the switch to Zoom. And with the promise of seamless integration – it is likely best Zoom focus on migrating on-premises contact centers to the cloud.