I first published this article about three years ago and realized it is still relevant today. So here it is again!
Practically all components of contact center technology are now available in a Cloud-based model including CRM, ACD/IVR, call recording, call scripting, knowledge base, WFM and eLearning/recruiting.
Your move to the Cloud can happen incrementally based on your business drivers. It’s not an all or nothing scenario and most of our clients work in a hybrid environment with some level of integration. Here are six common reasons to consider the Cloud for your contact center:
Many of the technologies you are using in your contact center are getting old and not up to par with many current business enhancements like chat, file sharing, self service and social support. In addition, you may be faced with costly software release upgrades and the need for more hardware to keep pace with the software upgrade. This is a perfect time to consider your move to cloud computing to take advantage of the ease of customization and configuration. Often, changes can be made by line of business owners instead of the IT organization. You will also gain the advantage of lower total cost of ownership, even and predictable cost flow, and retention of capital (operating expense versus capital expense). Total cost of ownership is lower since you don’t need in-house hardware (associated power and real estate) or the staff to support and maintain the hardware and software infrastructure.
As your business grows you’ll face a point where you need additional capacity. You can increase your capacity quickly without the trauma of buying, setting up and configuring specialized hardware/software for your ACD, IVR, call recording and CRM tools. The additional cloud-based solutions can augment and interwork with your current solutions to leverage your existing infrastructure.
One of the downfalls of premise-based systems is that you have to engineer them to handle maximum busy hour capacity. In the case of disaster recovery, you may require double the needed capacity. This means you are spending money to buy capacity that you’ll use a small percentage of the time. Cloud solutions use a large shared infrastructure (multi-tenant) so your additional capacity is only a small incremental addition to the cloud provider’s capacity. This enables you to rapidly add dynamic capacity and often pay only for what you use. The cloud solution providers also handle the redundancy, geographic diversity and backup needs so you don’t have to worry about them.
People often go to Google as their first stop to resolve a problem or find the answer to a question. If you do a search for any product or service issue you’ll likely find that 50% or more of the results are user generated content in blogs, on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter. You can leverage this content for your agents and also post solutions so that content from your organization shows up in search results.
Your network of customers will often go to work for you, for free! Every product or service has a following of enthusiasts that if coddled correctly (usually by ranking and giving them first access to new information) will solve problems for you and advocate your product or service. Cloud-based community solutions are available that integrate with your CRM tools to bring these communities to life.
Customers are also using social media as a soapbox to broadcast their problems with your products and services. Consider setting up a new social listening and response center as part of your contact center
Home agent programs are proving that you can have high quality workers, maintain your wage rates and lower your attrition. Cloud-based solutions, especially virtual ACD and CRM, make deploying home agents easy. Call recording and quality surveys make it simple to measure and coach your agents just like they were in your contact center. In addition, eRecruiting and eTraining are made easy with the robust cloud-based solutions available.
Many legacy on-premise systems were developed 10 to 15 years ago and were not designed to be easily adapted and extended to handle the demands of today’s multi-channel support environment, including web self service and social media integration. Since you are touching code that few are familiar with, adapting these systems requires a substantial investment in IT resources and time - rather than coding. They are designed to be open via published API and interwork and integrate with legacy systems. Often it makes sense to implement cloud-based solutions for new functionality and interwork with legacy systems for data synchronization or one time data migration.
For more details on how Astadia can help you leverage cloud computing for efficient, flexible and cost effective contact center solutions with consistent high quality, contact me or Jay Crocker today!