At this point, most call centers or hotline centers have realized the potential of cloud computing, management and tools. Many have even deployed cloud contact center software or platforms for their employees.
In fact, cloud technology has transformed many businesses and enterprises in recent years, but not as quickly as you might expect. All that is about to change, as market experts believe cloud computing and software is entering a second wave.
As 2017 progresses, so will the cloud market, accelerating faster than it ever has in the past. This will be spurred by enterprises and brands who want to boost efficiency and productivity, at least according to Forrester Research.
But what does this have to do with the average call center? Market trends affect cloud platform deployment in cloud centers, and call center managers and administrators have many reasons for adopting this technology.
1) Trustworthy Companies Come Onboard
Keep in mind, when we refer to “trustworthy” companies, we’re not talking about exclusivity. Most managers and administrators prefer to use tools and software from providers they are familiar with.
In the case of cloud computing and call centers, some of the biggest names in the business are gearing up to launch various services. For example, reports claim Amazon and its Web Services unit are working on cloud-based tools and software for companies that need to manage call centers.
Most likely, you use some form of Amazon’s Web Services already, either through your online toolset or existing cloud systems. It’s not that there’s been a lack of support in the past. There are already some great cloud providers out there. But when the biggest names start to jump in, like Amazon, you can bet the market is picking up considerably.
It also leaves room for innovation, so we may see some new uses and deployments of this particular technology in the call center environment.
2) Security Improves Every Day
One of the biggest benefits of using a cloud provider is that your security concerns and efforts are streamlined. That’s not to say you are shifting responsibility, as you are always responsible for the security and privacy of your personal data and that of your clients. But when you use a third-party cloud provider, you don’t have to worry about the incurred costs of boosting security, and you can take advantage of the updates immediately.
That is, when a cloud provider like Amazon Web Services rolls out new security updates and protocols, you benefit immediately, and so do your clients.
And since providers are working on improving their security every day, you better believe the security of your platforms and data will benefit from that boost.
3) Efficiency of the Cloud Becomes Better
TechStyle Fashion Group, the parent company of brands such as JustFab, Fabletics, ShoeDazzle and FabKids, recently deployed a cloud workforce management (WFM) system for its customer service team. Since adopting the new system, its answer speed has improved from more than a minute per call to 32 seconds per call. In addition, its answer rates have jumped from 92 percent to 97 percent.
There’s a real opportunity for you to boost efficiency for your own team. But it also depends on the kind of work your team is doing. TechStyle’s employees, for instance, primarily handled “retention” during calls. This is because the companies associated are mostly membership and subscription-type programs.
That doesn’t mean a cloud system won’t work for your call center if your focus is different, but it does mean you’ll need to come up with unique strategies for your team. In the end, it’s all worth it if you can boost efficiency and productivity just like TechStyle has done.
4) Versatility Comes to the Fore
Call center technology deployed locally has some pretty serious limitations. For example, it’s not as easy to outsource your technical support team or have them work remotely. There are ways of adopting remote systems served through a local network, but it can be costly, especially when you consider maintenance.
Cloud technology offers so much more versatility in this aspect. Since you are not actually hosting the tools and software to do the work, you can station your team anywhere. This is great even during disasters or local failures. Why? Because you can have a remote team still doing work through the same systems, even if your local team doesn’t have access — like if there’s a serious power failure in your home office or something similar.
It’s even possible to deploy hybrid cloud platforms that are a mix of both public and private cloud services. Seventy-one percent of business respondents admit to using hybrid platforms, which is an increase from 58 percent in 2015.
5) Talent Pool Gets Bigger
Working in a call center is fast-paced, stressful and competitive, especially if your team is handling sales or leads. That means it’s expensive to train new team members, and it’s just as expensive — and difficult — to find good, reliable workers.
When you use cloud-based systems, you can borrow and hire from a much wider talent pool. For instance, let’s say all your systems are local and you need your team members to work from a single office location. You can only seek out potential team members locally. But if this was expanded to include remote locations, you could sort through a much larger pool of potential workers, and that means better and more experienced talent.
Kaplan — a company that now allows about 85 percent of its employees to work remotely — has attributed cloud technology to an expanse of its talent pool options. In addition, it’s improved its retention, increased productivity, lowered office and operating costs, and more.
This has allowed it to look for and hone in on team members with a particular set of skills, beneficial to its industry. The same could be done with your team in your customer service or call centers, strengthening your team and the service you bring your customers.
Originally published Apr 28, 2017, updated Aug 27, 2020