RINGCENTRAL CONTACT CENTER™
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A cloud contact center is an internet-based facility that handles all inbound and outbound customer communications for a company. It's a software solution that offers a comprehensive suite of tools and applications which allow you to deliver outstanding levels of customer service across multiple channels, including voice, SMS, email, and social media.
Many contact centers in operation today are running on old legacy technology and call center software that can’t keep up with the way customers and businesses now communicate. A cloud contact center uses the latest in communications technology and is a modern alternative to on-premises contact centers. It offers many benefits to businesses who want to continually meet and exceed customers’ service expectations.
If your business still depends on legacy contact center technology, you’re likely feeling the pain of your system’s limitations. You may not be able to add new channels (such as messaging, email, chat, social media, or in-app messaging) or easily update your basic call routing structure. Perhaps you’ve adopted a cloud solution or two, but they remain siloed from the rest of your solutions and can’t talk to each other. It’s hard to help customers when your technology works against you.
Let’s explore if moving to the cloud is right for your contact center by investigating the top reasons why virtual call center software deserves a closer look.
Unlike legacy solutions that require voice modules, expansion I/O cards, additional software licenses, or other add-ons, cloud solutions allow you to instantly scale workforce teams to meet the ebb and flow of customer demand. Operate a seasonal business? Need to respond quickly to an aggressive price offer from a competitor? It’s simple to add or reduce the number of agents as needed. Say goodbye to purchasing additional software licenses that might just sit idle, buying unneeded servers or storage, or adding IT personnel to support extra software. With your call center systems in the cloud, your company only pays for what it uses.
There’s a common misconception that premises-based call center systems offer greater reliability than hosted solutions. But in fact, today’s enterprise-class cloud contact center solutions provide you with the highest levels of availability, reliability, and disaster recovery available. Leading solutions house the infrastructure in geographically redundant data centers and guarantee uptime as high as 99.99%. To further boost overall reliability, data centers are staffed with highly trained experts who manage the system 24/7 and perform all the latest upgrades.
Toggling between multiple applications and having to deal with clunky hardware can take a toll on agent performance. But with modern call center technology, productivity takes a major turn. With advanced functions such as skills-based routing, call monitoring, and predictive dialers, call center software empowers agents to provide the best service possible.
Customers often come to a call with frustrations stemming from previous poor service qualities. This can make your agent’s job difficult even before they say hello. And if your agents are forced to repeatedly switch between numerous legacy backend systems and contact channels, it can lead to frustration, human error, duplicated effort, higher average hold and response times, and ultimately, poor customer satisfaction.
Customers now have the choice to communicate with your company in many ways—including web, mobile, chat, voice, interactive voice response, email, and social channels. This gives you access to huge pools of data that can reveal actionable insights. But single-function contact center servers and old-school PBX and IP PBX hardware make it difficult to parse the huge quantities of customer information that are available across your enterprise. Cloud contact center platforms act as a universal hub to gather and funnel customer data for analysis. They can use behavioral, demographic, and location-based customer information to properly match the right agent to the right customer. This approach can help to increase customer satisfaction while also delivering improvements in upsell and cross-sell rates.
When critical customer, product, and other information is separated between different systems, agents can appear to be unknowledgeable or incompetent as they struggle to pull it all together. This can lead to disjointed customer experiences. A cloud contact center platform synthesizes all of this information onto a single screen, creating a new breed of “connected agent” that can deliver the kind of competent support that resonates with customers. Agents suddenly have access to vast storehouses of knowledge available in corporate systems, as well as third-party cloud services such as Salesforce®, Zendesk®, and others. Screen pop-ups can further help keep agents one step ahead of customers by providing information about previous purchases, billing history, and other personal preferences.
As any experienced contact center manager knows, certain agents can handle specific types of customer interactions better than others. With a cloud contact center, your company can leverage the power of the universal queue to automatically route customers to an agent based on their skills. This capability also can also boost productivity by helping identify agent downtime and then intelligently scheduling inbound and outbound calls based on availability. You decide when active channels (such as voice) should take precedence over passive channels (such as email, messaging, or social media).
Service Quality Measurement (SQM) Group, a leading customer contact research and consulting firm, found that a whopping 38% of customers are at risk of defecting to competitors if their issues aren’t resolved on the first call. Address the issue satisfactorily on the first call, and that number plunges to just 3%. By using a hub-and-spoke approach, cloud contact center solutions allow agents to follow the full thread of a customer’s journey from one channel to the next. This allows agents to service customers more efficiently and better solve issues in real time—or even anticipate their needs.
For companies using premises-based contact center systems, it can take weeks—or even months—to deploy new technologies for customer communications, such as messaging, social, chat, and email capabilities. With a cloud contact center, you can add capabilities on the fly, allowing agents to immediately act on new opportunities. Plus you can easily pilot new sales tools and other systems before making a long-term commitment.
Superior disaster recovery and business continuity
Without costly investments in redundant hardware and software licenses, typical premises-based call center systems simply do not provide the flexibility and scalability needed to adequately handle disaster recovery. This can potentially leave your company offline for hours, days, or even weeks. You could even experience longer downtimes as you scramble to install new hardware and software, or source new vendors. By housing all infrastructure and critical data in a remote data center—situated far from potential disruptions—a properly architected contact center provides superior business continuity. And because the cloud works wherever there’s an internet connection, employees can use smartphones, laptops, tablets, or desktop computers to access the contact center from virtually anywhere. In the event of a disaster, your agents can instantly fail over to mobile devices or softphones on their home computers or at temporary work quarters.
Few IT organizations can afford the resources or time to acquire the latest security measures that meet today’s increasingly strict privacy regulations. Maintaining strong physical security across many business locations—each with its own on-premises system—simply is not practical or cost-effective. With a hosted cloud solution, companies have access to greater security measures to protect customer contact information and other data than with traditional premises-based systems. An enterprise-class provider typically will house all customer data in secure Tier 1 data centers with strong physical and network security managed by highly trained on-site engineering specialists.