Considering switching to a cloud-based call center solution?
Compared to legacy solutions, or on-premise contact centers, cloud-based solutions make much more sense—and offer a lot more flexibility—for today’s market. Legacy solutions are beginning to encounter all kinds of pain points:
- difficulty adding new channels to your communications processes
- inability to update call routing
- difficulty integrating new technologies with your older solutions
- experiencing outdated or sunsetting hardware
- difficult or expensive maintenance or updates for software
If any of these problems sound familiar—or if you’re just curious what a cloud-based call center solution can offer you—you’re in the right place. Cloud-based solutions are paving the way for modern call centers to become more efficient, reduce operating expenses and deliver superior customer experiences.
Scalability and Flexibility in Cloud-Based Call Centers
One of the biggest benefits of cloud-based call center solutions are the flexibility and scalability they offer. With legacy solutions, you may need to navigate expansion cards, additional licenses, upgraded servers or storage spaces, added IT support and more just to scale your operations.
With cloud-based call center solutions, scaling is easy—just pay for the extra agents or storage you need, and it’s done. This is possible because cloud-based solutions generally operate on a pay-as-you-go model, where you pay for the number of agents or usage you actually have. Not only does this allow you to generate significant savings, it also makes your costs much more efficient, as you’re not managing, maintaining or paying for software that you’re not using.
As a result, using cloud-based solutions allows you to:
- quickly adapt to seasonal or peak call volumes
- add or remove features as desired
- add or remove agents to always maximize your cost efficiency
Speaking of maximizing cost efficiency, this is another major benefit of cloud-based solutions. When you opt for cloud-based call centers, you immediately eliminate, or significantly reduce, upfront capital expenditure and infrastructure costs.
With an on-premise call center, you need to pay for a number of separate expenses:
- expensive up-front costs for the hardware and software
- initial labor costs to set everything up
- ongoing labor costs to maintain it
- ongoing upgrades and maintenance
- physical space required to host the servers and technology
With a cloud-based call center, you reduce those upfront costs significantly, instead paying a monthly fee for ongoing access to however many ‘seats’ you need, as well as any additional features, reporting or analytics. This pay-as-you-go model allows you to quickly get up and running, while also providing an optimal model for efficient resource utilization. That is: if you’re using something, you pay for it; and if not, you don’t.
Cloud-based solutions also eliminate the ongoing maintenance required (and labor required to manage the maintenance) as well as expenses associated with upgrades, new integrations, additional features and servers, and so on.
Accessibility and Remote Work
Obviously, legacy, on-premise solutions are hosted at a physical location, requiring your team to be all together at that location, in person, in order to work effectively. Cloud-based solutions have no such requirements: as they are hosted in the cloud, all you and your employees need is an internet connection, and your entire systems will be accessible from any location.
This greatly increases your ability to offer remote work, work with distributed call center teams, and create a more strategic team. All of this comes with a host of benefits, including:
- allowing you to offer remote work benefits to your team, strengthening employee engagement and satisfaction
- opening up larger labor markets by allowing you to hire from other regions
- find more affordable labor by hiring from a variety of geographic locations
- more easily offer 24/7 service with distributed teams, so there’s no need to schedule or pay for overnight shifts
- easily and affordably hire bilingual agents who speak second and third languages fluently
In addition, the ability to have remote work increases your team’s accessibility as well as stability.
Consider, for example, if some of your team is located in Florida or Puerto Rico, and a massive hurricane hits, sending your service down and halting your call center operations. Distributed teams—or teams with a cloud-based call center and an overflow center elsewhere, say, Mexico or Tunisia—can easily shift operations to another team and continue service without any consumer disruption.
Advanced Features and Integration
As the more modern technology, cloud-based solutions come with advanced features and integrations that make your processes and workflows seamless, more efficient and give you advanced optimizations to deliver better service.
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Some of the features you’ll find with cloud-based solutions:
- integrations with CRM, Help Desk, telephony and other systems
- advanced analytics and reporting capabilities
- multichannel support
- automatic call recording and monitoring for QA
- advanced security and compliance features
After all, how effective is your call center really if it can’t be integrated seamlessly across all your data and other programs? With cloud-based call centers, you get advanced analytics, reporting, data collection and call monitoring that can not only make your operations easier, but also create better customer engagement and support.
Cloud-Based Call Center Security and Compliance
Many companies are concerned about security when moving away from legacy systems. After all, with cloud-based contact centers, all of your data is stored in the cloud, on a system that’s managed by someone else. Surely, that can’t be secure?
In fact, cloud-based call center solutions can be even more secure than on-premise call centers. With on-premise call centers, your company is responsible for all of the security and compliance, which is not only time-consuming and a huge legal risk, but also expensive. With cloud-based solutions, your service provider is responsible for the security. As it’s a huge part of their job, they generally have better resources and technology and more robust security measures, creating a more secure environment overall.
In addition, with cloud-based call centers, data is stored securely in an off-site location, and security breaches are unlikely to expose sensitive customer data. When all data is stored on internal, on-premise servers, the risks are larger, and therefore, potential breeches, downtime or system errors have larger consequences.
Cloud-based call centers are also well-versed in industry standards and regulations, committed to keeping a compliant and secure business for themselves as well as their clients. They also perform regular maintenance, data backups and updates to reduce downtime and protect your data—and while you could do this internally, it’s much more regulated, secure and inexpensive when you manage it through a cloud-based provider.
Improved Agent Productivity
Aside from all of the above, cloud-based call center interfaces and software are generally easier to use, come with more productivity features and improve agent efficiency and workflows as a result.
Of course, this leads to better customer service and reduced labor costs—as agents become more productive, you generally need to employ fewer agents to handle the same amount of calls. Cloud-based systems contribute to this through:
- simplified agent workflows
- user-friendly interfaces and automation options
- efficient call routing and queue management
- real-time collaboration and AI assistants
- knowledge banks and real-time knowledge sharing
Essentially, with easier, more accessible and simply more tools at their fingertips, agents can do their jobs better and more efficiently. Cloud-based call center systems allow for this in ways that legacy solutions can’t—or can’t without significant upgrades, modifications and expenditure.
Enhanced Customer Experience
As the result of all of this, cloud-based solutions generally provide better customer experiences. For example, consider that cloud-based call centers offer the opportunity to:
- provide personalized and contextualized customer interactions through seamlessly integrated call center and CRM databases and omnichannel support
- reduced wait times through efficient call routing and IVR integrations
- faster issue resolution through agent productivity tools and real-time knowledge sharing to allow for quicker policy and procedures verifications
- consistent omnichannel support by integrating all channels and communications through a single system
- improved customer marketing and relevancy through enhanced customer data and analytics to understand customer preferences, behaviors and actions
All of this contributes to a better customer experience. Of course, for your business, a better customer experience translates to greater customer loyalty and retention, higher purchase values and frequency, improved profits, and more.
Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery
Cloud-based solutions are also—fairly obviously—better at maintaining business continuity and creating disaster recovery solutions.
After all, what’s going to be the more reliable call center platform and host of your data and systems when a severe storm rolls through town—your physical servers or a cloud-based system that can be accessed from anywhere?
Aside from the obvious physical vs. digital security, cloud-based call centers almost always have redundancy and failover systems in place for service reliability and consistent uptime, something that’s difficult and expensive to implement for legacy systems. Generally, cloud-based call centers have uptime above 99%—meaning they’re only down about an hour per year, at most. They also have data backups and recovery processes that make it easy for you to manage and maintain business continuity.
In addition, cloud-based call centers make use of instant call routing and agent failover in case of disruptions, and, with remote-friendly systems, it’s easy for you to also have overflow call centers in case of disruptions, severe weather, agents calling out, or other unforeseen circumstances. In short: cloud-based call centers simply make it easier to adjust seamlessly whenever circumstances require.
Continuous Innovation and Updates
Finally, cloud-based call centers give you access to regular innovation, advancements and updates.
With legacy technology, your company is essentially responsible for upgrading, updating and advancing the technology—which can be expensive, time-consuming and often requires specialized expertise. As the technology slowly becomes obsolete, it becomes harder and harder to make the required upgrades to keep up with consumer expectations, and harder to find the talent and expertise trained in legacy software to actually execute the required changes.
On the flip side, cloud-based call centers feature regular software updates, feature enhancements, updated technology, innovation and more. Most cloud-based software is based—at least in part—on being innovative or “new” and needs to continue to improve, innovate and upgrade features in order to maintain that market share.
All of this is good news for contact centers who use cloud-based solutions. Since cloud-based call center softwares are inherently interested in improving, enhancing their features, they effectively future-proof your call center and provide continuous upgrades, all for part of your normal monthly fee.
The bottom line is: cloud-based call centers are becoming more popular and more common, and it’s because they provide a host of benefits to your contact center.
While on-premise or legacy systems require in-person employees and high levels of maintenance and expertise to remain usable, offer limited flexibility and expensive startup and maintenance costs, and are difficult to maintain, keep secure, upgrade and integrate with other systems, cloud-based call centers are designed to facilitate the modern customer experience with ease.
Rather than being based on physical servers and oriented around phone calls, cloud-based centers can handle a variety of channels and are accessible from anywhere. They’re also easy to use, easy to set up, integrate seamlessly with other technology and provide a better experience—for both your agents, your team and your customers.
Ready to see how cloud-based solutions can help your team thrive? Connect with an expert from Global Response today, and we can show you how our cloud-based outsourced call center solutions give your team the leg up you need to thrive in today’s market.