Small Contact Centers Are Still Learning the Benefits of the Cloud
The technology press spends a lot of time offering contact centers advice on everything from software to management processes to hiring and even scheduling. While (we hope) some contact centers are paying attention, the truth of the matter is that far more contact centers have their hands full simply trying to keep from drowning, that leisurely perusal of best practices and case studies is largely beyond them.
In a recent blog post, Monet Software CEO Chuck Ciarlo highlighted a study by Software Advice that surveyed call center software buyers to gauge their attitude toward new and existing solutions for their contact centers. The results were somewhat unexpected.
“Perhaps the most surprising stat from Software Advice concerns ‘software advice’ – or the ignoring of it. Turns out that nearly half of all participants surveyed – 46 percent – are just now getting around to a software purchase. This may be related to company size, as more than 60 percent of participants have 10 or few users.”
Small contact centers make the world go around. According to some research, about three quarters of the world’s contact centers have between 1 and 20 agents. Only five percent of contact centers globally employ more than 150 agents.
The cloud has been one of the great equalizers for small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) and smaller contact centers. They offer these organizations affordable solutions with broad feature sets that were formerly available only in expensive premise-based solutions, and therefore attainable only by the largest contact centers. Whether it’s dynamic scheduling, intelligent routing, workforce optimization, speech technology, analytics or 100 percent call recording that a contact center is after, it’s widely available today in cloud-based solutions that require little upfront capital, are fast to implement and easy to maintain. Cloud-based call center systems are becoming the preferred deployment model, as more companies begin to realize the cost and convenience advantages of software as a service, says Ciarlo.
“A cloud system puts the capabilities of quality assurance and workforce management within the financial means of small businesses – the kind that traditionally get by with spreadsheets (or worse, pencil and paper),” he writes.
Yet, according to the Software Advice study, 40 percent of buyers expressed no preference between the cloud and an on-premises solution, which may indicate that contact centers still have some education to undergo to realize how the cloud can benefit their organizations.
Edited by Stefania Viscusi