What comes to your mind when you hear the words “call center”? Do you picture a big, old room where several agents are tapping away on their ancient computers? Well, not anymore! With the introduction of cloud based contact centers, call centers have also become modern and technologically advanced.
Apart from the obvious ease of operation, the integration of your call center with the cloud opens various doors to a wide range of opportunities and benefits. For businesses looking to provide exceptional customer service, cloud based contact centers are the way to go.
For those of you who are not familiar with a cloud based contact center, let us see what it is.
What do you mean by a cloud based contact center?
A cloud based contact center is a comprehensive integration of various tools, applications and services that are hosted on the cloud for call centers of large organisations. These services and tools are used to fulfil the complex needs of huge companies when it comes to call routing, management, analytics, and so on.
Speaking in layman terms, the entire call center is connected to the cloud. All the various forms of data, tools, applications and everything used by the contact center agents are uploaded and managed from the cloud.
What is the need for a cloud based contact center?
The technology used in old call centers has become obsolete and inefficient. It is unable to keep pace with changing times. The way businesses interact with their customers has drastically changed. To cater to the new needs of both customers and companies, call centers also need to upgrade their technology.
For example, the old call center technology does not permit the addition of new channels like SMS or Facebook Messenger. These have now become absolute necessities.
To try and cope with the modern age of technology, some contact centers have adopted a few cloud solutions. However, more often than not, these solutions are not integrated with one another and work in isolation. This makes it even more difficult for contact centers to perform their duties efficiently.
Thus comes in the need for a unified cloud based system, which integrates and handles all the different technological aspects of a call center. Cloud based contact centers are the one stop solution to all your third world problems!
What are the benefits of a cloud call center?
Now that we all understand what cloud based contact centers mean and why they are essential, let us have a look at some of the benefits that they offer:
1. Providing customers with a better experience
Customer satisfaction – Ultimately, this is what businesses are about, isn’t it? The main aim of any business is to satisfy its customers. Cloud based contact centers go a long way in providing better customer service and thus, in keeping the customers happy.
Customers today want instant service. They do not like navigating through long chains of IVR menus or waiting on hold for hours. Your promptness in answering a customer’s query says a lot about your business. You could even end up losing customers, even loyal ones, because of poor customer service.
Studies have shown that after an unsatisfactory communication experience, 38% of customers take their business to a competitor, almost 70% of customers share their poor experience with their friends and relatives and nearly 40% stop buying from the company altogether.
The limitations of a traditional call center make it extremely difficult to cope with the ever-changing demands of the customers. However, using APIs and cloud based contact centers, businesses can create a great customer service experience and keep their customers satisfied.
2. Expanding and scaling the contact center
Businesses constantly change their structure. They need technology that will allow them to scale up or down easily, without any resistance. Cloud based contact centers provide companies with the flexibility that they are searching for.
Whether your business has taken off and you wish to get more agents at your disposal, or whether the market is down and you need to sack a few – cloud based contact centers let you do it all! The APIs scale automatically, leaving you in charge of the kind of customer experience you want to create, without any hardware or technological constraints.
With such cloud services, you only have to pay for the features that you use. Thus, you do not need to purchase or subscribe to a whole pack of services when you really just need to use one among them. This payment model is what makes cloud based contact centers so ideal for companies.
3. Easy addition of communication channels
The world of communication is becoming more and more integrated with the digital world. Statistics show that majority of the customers prefer to interact with companies over some form of text. Social media has become a huge part of the digital world. It has also become the place where businesses can truly connect with their target audience.
However, traditional call centers do not provide facilities for the addition of new channels like SMS or Facebook Messenger. Thus, companies still using the old contact centers are now finding it difficult to cope with the changing trends in the communication sector.
Cloud based contact centers, on the other hand, provide easy addition of new channels. Using APIs, one can add new channels to their existing system within minutes – be it web chat, social media messaging, SMS or MMS.
4. Makes it easy to record, analyse and improvise
A call center is difficult to manage. There are so many areas which need frequent inspections. For example, one needs to make sure all the agents are working properly, all the machines are up and running, calls are being tended to in a professional manner, and the list goes on.
Cloud based contact centers help you identify such problem areas. They store all the data that flows through them and analyse it. Looking at this analysis one can easily identify the areas that need to be looked into.
For example, the on-call duration of all the agents are recorded and stored. On analysing this piece of information, one can easily find out who is working diligently and who is slacking off at work.
Cloud based contact centers help you monitor and improvise on the day-to-day proceedings of the call center so as to provide an enhanced customer experience.
5. Smart call routing
Every business knows what a nightmare peak business hours can turn into – hundreds of calls rolling in, customers on hold impatiently waiting for their turn, agents frantically trying to answer the calls and frenzy everywhere!
I think we can all agree that during the rush hours, it is extremely difficult to manually route or transfer all the incoming calls to the correct agent or department. So what does one do? Well, cloud based contact centers can now smartly route all incoming calls to their desired destination with a 100% accuracy.
How do they achieve this? Simple, using either attribute based or priority based routing. When using the attribute based routing method, the system transfers the call based on the needs of the caller and the expertise of the agents available. On the other hand, when using priority based routing, the system gives preference to premium customers or emergency cases over the other callers.
6. Assists in global expansion
Companies face a series of hurdles when expanding overseas. The communication costs add significantly to the long list of overhead expenses. Companies first need to negotiate various contracts with carriers in other countries. Apart from that, huge international phone bills are racked up every month.
However, businesses having cloud based contact centers do not need to deal with any of those hassles. Since all the calls are made over the cloud, they do not need to negotiate with a carrier or incur heavy international call charges.
Cloud based contact centers enable businesses to provide global clients with a local experience from even the farthest corners of the world.
7. Cuts down on costs
After reading all these great benefits about cloud based contact centers, did your mind automatically conclude that it probably costs a fortune and that you will never be able to afford it? Let me stop you right there!
Though loaded with benefits, cloud based contact centers are actually cheaper to maintain than traditional call centers. Only an initial modest investment is required to get your modern call center up and running!
In fact, based on the feedback of various businesses already using the technology, it has been concluded that cloud based contact centers are much easier to maintain and cost much lesser than normal call centers.
Some of you might be wondering how it costs lesser than old call centers when it has so much more to offer. This is due to the shift from hardware to software. Hardware is expensive to purchase and maintain. However, software is a one-time purchase, with minor upgrades along the way.
I think we can all agree that cloud based contact centers are the way to go! If you are still using a traditional call center for your business, I think it’s time to reconsider. Cloud based contact centers are cheaper and better, what more are you looking for?