While cloud-based solutions are revolutionizing many areas of the enterprise, one function in particular has found a deep well of benefits from cloud solutions: the contact center. The drive for call centers today is to deliver exceptional customer service while at the same time keeping costs down. While it initially sounds counter-intuitive, it’s not. More and more companies are finding that by moving their call centers into the cloud, and deploying virtualized contact center software in order to take advantage of the benefits of the cloud, they can achieve better agility and flexibility, more functionality and at the same time prevent unnecessary expenditures.
A recent Web event sponsored by TMCnet, Genesys (News - Alert) and Angel, called “The Power of the Cloud Call Center: Five Tips You Need to Know Now,” stressed that today, the name of the game is “customer engagement,” and it goes far past simply answering calls quickly. It involves using every contact with a customer, regardless of channel, as an opportunity to further the customer relationship and learn from it to improve operations. The old style contact center – a bunch of premise-based technologies cobbled together into a kind of Frankenstein whole – simply isn’t equipped for this new goal of customer engagement. That’s where the cloud call center comes in.
Lisa Abbott, product marketing director for Genesys Cloud, said that while cloud call center growth has been fast, too many companies still haven’t recognized the benefits of the cloud. For many organizations, the first compelling prospect they find is cost.
“Some companies prefer to purchase their technology solutions where they can pay based on the service they are using instead of owning software licenses,” she said.
For others, it’s a matter of a need to replace legacy equipment, or a need to grow the business. When they go shopping for new solutions with a limited technology budget, they find that not only does the cloud offer a compelling cost and speed of deployment advantage, but that the cloud actually makes it easier to attain softer goals such as improving the customer experience or building out the multichannel presence. Part of the reason is the ease of integration cloud-based solutions can offer when it comes to implementing them alongside other technologies.
“These solutions can be integrated with current assets such as CRM and ERP,” said Abbott, who notes that they are also a way to keep current with the latest technology and scale the business as it grows. The cloud-based contact center is far more dynamic than premise-based solutions, and it can expand and contract, both in number of seats or functionality, with the call center’s needs. This is key for a contact center business with strong cyclical business (quiet in the summer, for example, and ramped up during the holidays) that finds premises-based licenses gathering dust (and wasting money) during the quiet times of the year.
Finally, cloud-based contact center solutions offer an easy of administration and a speed of deployment that simply can’t be matched by premise-based solutions. For many workers and even administrators, it’s as simple as using a Web browser. Cloud-based solutions can be used or administered from anywhere (an important component of having an emergency back-up solution to operate the contact center when a storm has caused power failures at a main office, for example), even mobile devices, in some cases.
For the leading edge of contact centers already using cloud-based solutions, it’s a matter of innovating in a cost effective way, according to Abbott. While growing the business, improving the customer experience and lowering contact center costs may seem counter-intuitive, in truth, in the cloud, it’s a reality.
To listen to and view the archived Web event, click here.
Edited by Alisen Downey