Over 35% of contact centers have already started using cloud technology.
That’s not surprising—cloud-based contact centers are more effective, scalable, and cheaper than standard solutions developed on-premises. Read on to see what a cloud contact center is and how it can improve your business along with all the customer interactions.
What is a Cloud Contact Center?
Shortly put, it’s a comprehensive set of integrated tools enabling you to handle all the inbound and outbound customer communication in your company from a single dashboard that’s available in the cloud (worldwide, 24/7). That means cloud contact centers offer more than typical call centers, which are just about voice communication. A typical cloud contact center solution includes the following communication channels:
- Text messaging (email, chat, SMS)
- Voice (phone and videoconferencing)
- Intelligent assistants (chatbots, voicebots)
- Social media
But its functionality doesn’t end here! Because everything is cloud-based, you can benefit from a number of integrations with other tools and platforms that you use in your company.
A cloud contact center can be integrated with your:
- CRM and marketing automation tools
- Mobile/web application
- E-commerce platform
- Social media profiles
Moreover, the cloud offers tremendous flexibility and scalability - with a cloud contact center, your agents can work from any place and on any device, so you’re not tied to any fixed location. Companies offering cloud-based solutions usually have data centers located in many different countries, so they can offer the same high quality of service regardless of the location.
This way, you can make the most of the omnichannel model in your company and provide users with a top-quality customer experience no matter where and how they get in touch with your business. It’s also the shortest way to introduce automation to your business (most automation tools also work in the cloud, so it’s a breeze to get them to work together via API).
We’ll talk more about the benefits of cloud contact center software in a few moments.
How does it compare to traditional contact center infrastructure?
In a sentence? It’s cheaper and more effective. Cloud contact centers don’t need any telecom infrastructure (e.g., a PBX) or additional call center software. To some extent, it’s a standalone, self-service solution. The communication happens in real-time and is based on VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) technology.
Furthermore, with a cloud contact center platform, you don’t have to worry about upgrades and backups - they are the provider’s responsibility.
|Traditional infrastructure||Cloud-based infrastructure|
|Tied to one vendor, limited customizability||Full customizability due to API integrations|
|Limited scalability||Full scalability|
|A high upfront cost||Flexible pricing models, no upfront costs|
|Requires on-premises IT hardware||IT hardware limited to computers and Internet connection|
|Requires physical location||Works globally, 24/7|
The cloud provides answers to all the major contact center challenges
According to a recent survey conducted among 300+ US-based contact center leaders, there are six crucial challenges that on-premises contact center managers have to struggle with:
Interestingly, all of these challenges can be easily solved with a cloud-based contact center solution.
First of all, you can enhance customer satisfaction thanks to omnichannel capabilities - you can talk to your customers, answer their questions, and solve their problems in many different digital channels and communication forms. The cloud is fast and always available, so you can shorten the time necessary to deal with a given query, as well as limit potential downtime to a minimum.
This means bidding farewell to the disembodied voice we’ve all heard at least once:
You have reached our company. Your call is important to us. Please hold while we connect your call…
The cloud also comes in handy concerning workforce management issues. As we’ve already mentioned, with a cloud-based contact center, you can hire consultants from all over the world. You are not limited to any one country.
Automatic customer service processes are vital to 54% of respondents. Cloud solutions are prevalent in the automation world, so you can benefit from many tools automating your work, including intelligent customer assistants (chatbots and voicebots) powered by artificial intelligence.
Lastly, the cloud offers more flexible pricing, especially compared to on-site solutions, which always cost you the same money, regardless of your current workload or requirements. Cloud-based solutions are tailored more to customer needs, meaning you don’t have to pay for services you don’t use.
Benefits of Cloud Contact Centers
There are at least eight important benefits of moving your contact center to the cloud.
Efficient task and call routing
Cloud solutions are capable of routing tasks from different communications channels to available agents based on the attributes you define. This way, there is no risk of conflicts or misunderstandings caused by the fact that the same customer can be directed to different agents who don’t have access to previous communication history (in the cloud, they do!).
This acronym stands for Interactive Voice Response. With IVR, you can create greetings, automated messages, and menus that customers can use to answer their questions or solve their problems. With the cloud, you can freely customize your IVR and adjust it to your business profile.
Improved agent productivity
All the tools and features your agents need in their everyday work are readily available within one intuitive dashboard, so they don’t have to switch between platforms and tools and can focus on their main job—providing the best customer service imaginable. This, in turn, increases customer engagement and satisfaction.
Excellent agent performance
Because the cloud is fully scalable and flexible, you don’t have to worry about performance—all the resources you need are readily available. If you need more bandwidth, you can just opt for a higher plan, and you’re ready to go!
Thanks to a software solution known as API (application programming interface), you can integrate your cloud contact center with other tools and platforms, thus creating one ecosystem that works together like a well-oiled machine.
Cloud contact center solutions are usually equipped with extensive analytics and reporting features, giving you an in-depth view of your contact center’s performance and the results achieved by individual agents and consultants. As a result, you can quickly spot potential problems and other questions that must be taken care of to maintain good customer relationships.
Seamless workforce management
A unified, customizable dashboard is also beneficial from the management’s perspective. If you have to manage many agents working in different departments and places, you can easily tailor everything toward your company’s specificity and needs. For instance, you can manage permissions, sick leaves, vacation periods, and shifts according to the current situation.
Easy customer journey management
In the cloud, everything is customizable, including the customer journey. You don’t have to fit it forcibly into your outdated legacy system. If there is a need to implement a change in the way your company works or how it communicates with customers, e.g., by introducing a new communication channel, you can do so with ease.
Challenges of Implementing a Cloud Contact Center
If your current contact center technology operates on-premises, moving your infrastructure and platform to the cloud may take some time and effort.
First off, you have to prepare your customer support for the upcoming changes. Make sure people working at your company understand the need for change and know how it will improve their work. With everyone on board, it will be much easier to go through the process.
To streamline this part of the transition, you can conduct a series of meetings and workshops, during which everyone will have the opportunity to ask questions and dispel doubts.
Secondly, you need to find a good cloud contact center provider that will offer you everything your company needs to work effectively. In the next paragraph, we will show you what is worth paying attention to during the selection process
Thirdly, you will most likely need to adjust your procedures and work to this new remote-based environment, especially if you’ve been working in a specific way for many years. Concerning this point, it is essential to find a company or an expert who has conducted similar transitions in the past, ideally in the contact center sector.
How to find the best cloud contact center provider
Here are a few essential elements to concentrate on when selecting the provider for your company:
- Uptime guarantee: That’s what an SLA agreement is for - it defines the quality of the service provided to you. Everything above 99,95% is acceptable.
- Different communication channels: The more channels your future platform can handle, the better. Also, make sure it will be possible to add more channels in the future as your needs change.
- Intuitive interface: Look for a solution that comes with an intuitive interface your agents can master in a short time. This way, any drop in productivity caused by the need to learn the new system will be short-lived.
- Flexible pricing: In general, it’s better to look for a platform that offers many pricing plans you can adjust to your changing needs. You surely don’t want to pay for services you don’t need!
- Full support for mobile customers: Today, almost 60% of online traffic originates with mobile devices. This means that your contact center has to provide full support for mobile users.
- UCaaS: This abbreviation stands for Unified Communications as a Service. It’s a communications model that supports six different functions:
- Enterprise telephony
- Online meetings
- Unified messaging
- Instant messaging
- Communications-enabled business processes
In the ideal scenario, your platform should provide you with all six functions.
Conclusion: Are you ready to move to the cloud?
Cloud is the powerhouse that drives today’s digital organizations.Sid Nag, Research Vice President, Gartner
We can’t argue with that! Thanks to the cloud, your company can be faster, more effective, cheaper to run, and fully scalable. We admit that moving to the cloud can seem overwhelming, especially for companies that have worked mostly offline for years.
We encourage you to take up the challenge, though. Most likely, you will need some additional support, so don’t hesitate to look for it. There are many companies and agencies helping call centers like yours go through digital transformation.
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