If you haven’t already made the move from an on-premises contact center to the cloud, there’s no time like the present. Here are just nine of the substantial benefits you’ll reap once you make the transition to the cloud.
- AI-powered omnichannel communication
- Better uptime
- Lower costs
- Reduced burden on IT
- Business continuity
- Improved customer experience
- Improved agent experience
AI-powered omnichannel communication
Today’s customers want to be able to communicate with companies through their preferred channel – in fact, 63% expect to communicate with brands on social media. Ask yourself: can your on-premises contact center accommodate omnichannel communications?
The answer is likely no. To deliver omnichannel communications, your contact center needs to enable customers to reach out to you how they want. By implementing a cloud contact center, you can satisfy customers by enabling omnichannel communications, often powered by AI, which many on-premises contact centers are simply not able to support.
Another benefit of cloud contact centers is their high levels of uptime. With a cloud contact center, you don’t need to worry that the underlying software will go down, leaving you and your customers in the lurch.
How can cloud contact centers virtually guarantee 99.99% uptime? It comes down to the cloud platform’s infrastructure including triple redundancy, multiple backups, and storing data in separate locations. Vendors also have service level agreements they must strive to maintain or often will pay out on if they don’t hit their required level of uptime. Contact centers benefit from this because they can offer reliable customer service and always be available when their customers need to get in touch.
When industry experts talk about the cloud, they bring up the point about cloud technologies costing less than on-premise deployments. The same holds true in the case of cloud contact centers.
According to Nemertes Research, a hybrid contact center as a service costs $1,356 per agent per year. In contrast, an on-premises contact center costs $2,104 per agent per year. On-premises contact centers require investments in hardware, whereas the budget for cloud contacts comes out of operational expenses.
Reduced burden on IT
Imagine having an issue with your contact center software. You put in a ticket with the IT department, but the tech support team can’t get to your request for another business day, at the earliest. In the meantime, you have agents sitting idle while customers grow more and more frustrated they can’t connect with your contact center. What impact does this have on your customer experience, your brand loyalty, and your overall business?
The benefit of moving to a cloud contact center is that it shifts the burden of support from your IT department to the cloud contact center vendor. With a cloud contact center, you can get the help you need faster so you can continue serving customers.
Need to add more seats due to the holidays? It’s both cost-effective as well as simple.
On-premises contact centers require investments of additional resources to scale up. That’s not the case with cloud contact centers; there’s no need to take money out of your capital budget to expand your contact center. Moreover, if you need to scale down, it’s far simpler to do than in an on-premises contact center by contacting the vendor and updating your number of agent seats.
At the beginning of 2020, the coronavirus struck. To prevent the spread of the pandemic, many contact centers sent their agents home (some indefinitely).
The global pandemic didn’t reduce the need for contact centers – just the opposite. Between February and June 2020, overall contact center volume increased by 20% (with airlines seeing an increase of 96% and hotels seeing an increase of 130%). The cloud enabled contact center agents to work from home, even though they couldn’t get to the office.
COVID-19 is not the first disaster, nor sadly will it be the last. Ask yourself how your contact center would function if your physical location was inaccessible. With a cloud contact center, you can have agents working from virtually anywhere in the world all while maintaining seamless contact center operations and your customers never knowing the difference.
Cloud contact centers make you more agile, allowing you to meet customer demand faster.
The agility of a cloud contact center means that you can easily shift agents from outbound calls to inbound calls, or they can quickly move from responding to customer chats to answering telephone calls.
Improved customer experience
As mentioned earlier, customers today want to be able to connect with brands on their terms. They might prefer a chat or sending you a message on Facebook over a phone call. Part of providing a better customer experience is making it easy for customers to contact you, which means providing omnichannel options.
Another part of improving customer experience is understanding what customers go through when they contact you. How could it be enhanced? For example, RingCentral customer Brightway Insurance learned through its cloud contact center analytics that making call routing more efficient would boost customers’ satisfaction.
Improved agent experience
Your agents are the backbone of your contact center, and when they have a better employee experience, they’ll deliver improved customer service.
A cloud contact center lets employees work remotely, which dramatically lowers turnover. Pipkins research shows that the retention rate for on-premises contact center agents is 25%, versus 80% for remote workers. Additionally, the cloud contact center makes workforce management easier; it ensures that the contact center is always properly staffed, and it has the added benefit of helping employees get the shift they want (which makes their employee experience better).
Move your contact center to the cloud with RingCentral