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February 25, 2011

Cloud-based Communications Helps Contact Centers Captivate Customers

By Linda Dobel, TMCnet Contributor

There’s no doubt that contact centers can be the biggest beneficiaries of cloud-based communications, and many are now showing a keen interest in moving in that direction. As they explore cloud communications’ benefits, contact centers are finding moving to the cloud can mean rapid and substantial cost savings and access to productivity enhancements not possible in the past.

Right off the bat, contact centers realize that moving their communications to the cloud means reduced up-front capital expenditures—a major cost savings. But the big bang presents itself in the ability to have astoundingly quick access to sophisticated features. A prime example is deployment of the screen pop feature. What used to take months to deploy can now be in use in just a few days.

Having this key feature readily available is essential to a well-run, customer-retaining contact center. As any veteran contact center operator will attest, without the customer data displayed to the agent’s desktop in a “screen-pop,” customer service suffers and add-on sales potential diminishes. Obviously a business reduction of this nature over a period of months could prove quite debilitating.

Nevertheless, as obvious and essential it is for contact centers to have this data available to agents, a surprisingly low 8 percent of respondents to a Condado Group study said they felt the agents they encounter know any pertinent information on their background as it relates to the business at hand.

As business owners are well aware, customers can be fickle and unsatisfactory encounters with agents whom callers deem unknowledgeable can result in customer defection to the competition.

Screen pop is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to applications that are vital to securing customer loyalty. With cloud communications, contacts centers can now deploy a plethora of customer-saving applications and upgrades at rapid-fire speed.

In today’s economy, any investment that quickly provides an edge in increasing customer retention, such as cloud-based communications, will rapidly be returned, and then some.        


Linda Dobel is a TMCnet Contributor. She has been an editor in the contact center space for more than 25 years, and has the distinction of being the founding editor of Customer Inter@ction Solutions (CIS) magazine. To read more of her articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Janice McDuffee



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