Get Your Head In The Cloud
No, not those big white puffy things in the sky! The trend of contact centers moving from on-premises solutions to cloud-based solutions is significant and not to be ignored. In fact, 3/4 of contact center companies have either already integrated or are planning to integrate cloud-based services into their operations. Woopty doo! But what does it all mean, Basil?
Let’s break it down:
Cloud-based software is hosted on the vendor’s servers and accessed through a Web browser.
(Psst, when we say vendor, we mean any software company that provides cloud-based services.)
On-premise software is installed locally on a company’s own computers and servers. These are softwares that are operated from an in-house server and computing infrastructure..
The move to the cloud is mostly being driven by specific innovations in the contact center – innovations that on-premises and legacy systems can’t keep up with. The contact center today involves more than just a phone with a headset. Agents interact with customers through a variety of channels including email, chat and social media. Trying to wrestle new technologies into an outdated system can not only be costly but difficult, and they lack the agility, functionality and hassle-free advantages of cloud alternatives.
While there are many reasons to reconsider your legacy, on-premises systems for the cloud, you don’t actually have to choose one or the other. There are hybrid systems you can adopt! If you’re really awesome and obsess about your clients, you’re more likely to go with the hybrid model in order to provide clients with exactly what they need, while maintaining an agile position for other business.
Whichever model you adopt, it’s clear that you have to bring in some cloud-based technologies in order to stay fresh in the contact center industry. Here are four of the most important reasons why:
Improving Your CX (Customer Experience)
For any contact center two major challenges are improving customer satisfaction and increasing agent performance. The good news is that analytics tools have been developed to support operators in this pursuit. In fact, 52% of those surveyed said they use quality management software, while 47% said they use survey tools to increase overall customer satisfaction. A further 25% said they use customer journey metrics.
However, if you’re a leader in the industry, you know there is always room for improvement. Cloud-based software provides an opportunity to upgrade to newer, more efficient technology that measure performance and facilitate coaching of agents to help them improve. Today, 59% of contact centers are still measuring agent performance using spreadsheets and notes. 44% are measuring by informal discussions. Seems a little archaic, right? An increase in remote workers, data, analytical tools, compounded by the number of contact centers moving to the cloud have made room for more modern approaches for measuring agent performance and improving overall customer experience.
Business Continuity/Disaster Recovery
One of the biggest shortcomings of traditional, on-premises systems is their lack of adequate disaster recovery and business continuity capabilities. In the event of natural disasters (touch wood!) or other interruptions in service, legacy systems are the first victims of outages and the struggle is real to provide continuous connectivity.
Business continuity/disaster recovery is one of the top 3 reasons why contact centers have moved to the cloud. This shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise given the cost implications of a single outage. Even just a one-hour outage could potentially cost upwards of several hundred thousand dollars!
The cloud offers a solution to these woes as it ensures high availability, disaster recovery and business continuity by design. Unlike on-premises systems, there is no single point of failure in a cloud implementation. Instead, connections are maintained so in the event of a natural disaster such as an earthquake or severe weather situation, customer contact in a cloud-based system can automatically be re-routed, enabling agents to stay connected with customers no matter what.
Ability to Scale Up and Down
Another reason for moving to the cloud is the ability to scale up and down. Traditional communications platforms can be too rigid to accommodate growth, and in the event of a merger or acquisition where business expands to a new locations or new team members are brought on, it’s pretty easy to understand why flexibility is so important.
A cloud-based system enables you to quickly adjust communications capacity to match the needs of your clients at all times. The cloud allows greater business agility than traditional systems – you can add or disconnect new lines, phones and locations whenever you need. All the complexity moves off premises, off your plate and into the cloud. Poof! Whether you’re opening a new office in Phoenix or The Philippines, your team members can have sophisticated communications services in a matter of weeks versus several months
(PS this swift set-up will make your clients super happy!)
Lower Cost of Ownership
Moving to the cloud give you the ability to lower your total cost of ownership. On-premises systems can cost millions of dollars. They often require expensive customization and professional services, and new features may also be tied to hardware, which limits choice and increases costs.
The ability to deploy new features with minimal IT assistance can substantially reduce your IT costs. Adopting the cloud can also help you pinch some pennies with the reduction of servers required for on-premises systems. Depending on the size of your call center and programs on-service, you may be able to reduce or completely cut the number of IT staff hours, which can rack up in tending to hardware infrastructure, plus the cost of the servers themselves.
The last cost to be considered is the software itself. For the most part, cloud software subscriptions cost a lot less than legacy on-premises systems. In fact, in many cases it is recorded simply as an operating expense, whereas on-premises systems are considered a capital expense. updates
The biggest takeaway here is that we have access to a multitude of technologies that can make our lives easier pretty quickly. Integrating cloud-based technologies into your contact center operations will enable better customer experiences while helping to solve some of the challenges experienced with on-premises systems. Time to make some clouded judgments folks, you won’t look back!