This is the second of a series on migrating your call center to the cloud.
Are you experiencing the pain that comes with growth, the expense and hassle of maintaining an on-premise call center, or business performance issues? You may be at the point where you’re thinking of migrating your call center to the cloud.
In this second part of our series, we’ll explore the top reasons why you should migrate your on-premise system to the cloud.
Cloud-based Omni-Channel Contact Centers Increase Productivity
As companies have added communication channels beyond voice, such as email, chat, and SMS, and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems to call centers, agents have ended up juggling multiple desktop applications.
As agent applications have expanded, managers have multiple applications from which to manage agents. Meanwhile, system administrators must keep them all updated and running.
Cloud-based call centers typically reduce the number of applications on agent and manager desktops, supporting the latest features and communications channels in a single UI.
Cloud software also comes with better integration capabilities to third-party products. For example, you can have seamless integration between your contact center software and your Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software.
This integration and unified user interface between applications leads to greater agent and manager productivity, better customer service and a better customer experience.
Cloud-based call center software come with all the latest and greatest productivity tools, and continued software upgrades come along for free as part of a regular monthly fee. The IT administrators currently tasked with maintaining the system can be freed up to concentrate on adding more value to the business side.
Visibility Across Contact Center Sites and Channels is Easier from the Cloud
Migrating to a cloud-based call center gives you one system in the cloud, supporting multiple channels, that is accessed from distributed sites and agents via the web. This gives managers one place to go to see what is going on throughout the call center, with centralized control and visibility from the cloud.
Modern omni-channel software can provide real-time operational dashboards, which you can use to monitor operations throughout the day, allowing you to maximize performance and productivity on the fly.
Cloud-based contact systems have more open and modern APIs, which means you get better data integration, which means you get the same reports and control facilities across channels. This is true even if third-party on-premise systems are used in some locations, making it easier to integrate data from different systems – no more multiple reports from multiple systems across multiple sites!
Cloud-based Contact Centers Can Improve Performance
Since cloud-based contact systems are built with more open and modern APIs for better data integration, you can start measuring and reporting using data from multiple systems and create cross-system Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). Some are even designed to combine customer data from CRMs and customer interaction data across channels to make for more meaningful KPIs, regardless of what you are optimizing for:
- Operational KPIs – reducing abandon rates, wait times and service levels
- Business KPIs – conversions, customer retention, customer satisfaction or average revenue per call
Business dynamics change, so what drove your positive business outcomes last quarter or last year may have changed. A cloud-based system can help you keep an eye on them so you can adapt operations and systems accordingly to maintain optimum performance.
Cloud-based call centers provide the visibility and control needed to optimize business performance across sites, channels, agents, and outsource partners. Some cloud solutions also include predictive analytics-based routing to dynamically improve contact center business performance.
Cloud-based Call Centers Minimize CapEx and Control OpEx
Cloud-based contact centers have a monthly fee – no more maintenance or licensing costs. You can rapidly scale your call center up without having to invest in new hardware or software. You can also scale your call center down and not end up having expensive hardware sitting unused. This is particularly valuable for call centers with seasonal peaks.
On-premise call centers have up-front capital costs for hardware and licensing; moving to a cloud-based call center model switches this to a predictable and lower operational expenditure.
Managing Multi-Site Call Centers Is Easier from the Cloud
Unified omni-channel call center solutions create centralized control and management across sites and channels. You can change routing rules and scripts on the fly. If you want to enable off-site productivity, agents only need an internet connection to use cloud-based call center software. One integrated system is much simpler to manage, enhancing management productivity. In addition, some cloud solutions can overlay existing on-premise systems and drive their behavior from the cloud. This dynamically improves contact center business performance. These can also allow you to combine cloud routing and hybrid solutions.
Positive Customer Experiences are Consistently Assured from the Cloud
Cloud-based contact centers give your agents a consistent and seamless experience across channels – they can access key customer information from any channel. Having customer and interaction data easily available to agents makes for a better customer experience. This data availability also gives you a global view to optimize performance across sites and channels. As previously mentioned, the unified user interface between cloud-based applications leads to greater agent productivity and in turn a better customer experience.
Cloud Contact Center Software Improves Reliability and Agility
Since call centers are crucial to customer service and retention, it is critical that they be reliable. With a cloud-based contact center, you won’t have to worry about the viability of an on-premise equipment provider. Neither should you have to worry about system uptime, as cloud-based software is dependable. If a call center location goes down, a cloud call center continues to accept and queue calls to other locations or home agents. Geography does not matter, as agents in any location can log into the queue to answer calls. Cloud contact centers also have state-of-the-art security standards.
Cloud-based Call Centers are More Scalable
Cloud-based call centers allow you to add and remove assets as needed. If you want to add new channels, you can easily add IVR, ACD, and/or email to your contact center. With the better systems, you can start with as few as 25 agents and scale up to thousands of agents without an issue.
Cloud-based Contact Centers Include Features for Competitive Advantage
Cloud-based call centers give you access to the latest upgrades, so you will have the best features that your competitors with on-premise hardware and software will have to spend money (and wait) to obtain. Cloud-based software gives smaller and mid-sized companies access to solutions which were previously available (at great cost) only to large corporations.
Safe Disaster Recovery is Assured with Cloud-based Call Center Software
Traditional call center hardware is vulnerable in the event of an emergency or natural disaster. You may experience significant downtime while facing the expense of rebuilding an on-premise call center; in the meantime, your customers are frustrated and revenue is lost. Cloud-based call centers are virtual, allowing call center agents to answer calls from anywhere in the world. Cloud-based infrastructure can deliver redundancy and disaster recovery capabilities that many small and mid-sized companies could not previously afford.
No matter the type of pain your current on-premise system is causing you, the potential benefits of migrating your call center to the cloud are many.
To learn more about the sophisticated capabilities of cloud systems read this article about next generation contact centers.
For more details of how cross-system KPIs can improve contact center business performance we recommend this reading.
Check back next week for the next in our series – when to migrate your call center from on-premise to the cloud.