Scheduling in the Cloud is About More Than Cost Savings
One of the most important trends in the call center today is about software; it’s not necessarily about what software is being deployed, but rather how it’s being deployed. Cloud-based solutions are allowing even small contact centers to take advantage of modern workforce management, scheduling, quality monitoring and data analytics, as companies can pay for only what they need and be up and running with little to no upfront capital investment.
While it’s certainly about cost savings, it’s about the impressive things that companies can do with these solutions, particularly in the call center arena.
“With a cloud platform, businesses are able to deploy the solution faster than a premises-based option and are given much more flexibility and scalability, allowing them to scale the licenses to meet the changing demands of the call center,” according to the UK website Call Centre Helper.
Contact centers are discovering that, costs aside, the cloud model can help them do more with their limited resources. A study by DMG Consulting found that more than 62 percent of organizations today have at least some elements of their contact center in the cloud, and 42 percent of the companies that don’t are considering moving to the cloud soon.
For contact centers with very cyclical business – think of volume spikes during the holidays – a cloud-based model allows them to scale up and down as needed without having to waste money on software licenses that gather dust during the quieter parts of the year.
“As your business grows, you want your solutions to grow with you. It’s much easier to add agent licenses to your contact center in the cloud than on-premise,” wrote Veronica French for Customer Think. “It can be so effortless, in fact, that adding and removing agents can literally take minutes, making it the perfect solution for businesses with seasonal highs and lows.”
Scheduling is a particularly compelling application for a cloud-based solution. Premise-based scheduling generally applies only to onsite personnel, but the nature of the customer experience demanded today means that remote parties must become part of the equation, too. With a cloud-based scheduling solution, companies can pull other workers such as sales teams, warehousing and shipping, accounting and remote offices (or even home-based workers!) into a centralized schedule that can be administered remotely.
For companies with an international presence, cloud-based contact center solutions are particularly critical to span time zones and geographic regions, according to French.
“Cloud-based contact centers help organizations with an international presence offer a more standardized service across the globe,” she wrote.
With the cloud, call centers can have more visibility into real-time data that may affect schedules, and they can use this information – properly vetted by an analytics feature – to build smarter schedules. (The prospect of applying data analytics to spreadsheets hurts the head, and leaves call center managers to be mathematicians instead of administrators.)
If your organization is still using a scheduling solution that’s inflexible, locked in place and unsupported by real-time data, it’s likely that you’re shortchanging your customers and your contact center’s potential.
Edited by Alicia Young