The customer experience has never been more important. For contact centers, this sharpens the need to use tools that support more reliable and flexible customer support strategies. While there are many resources that can improve your customer service, none are as valuable or effective as a cloud contact center solution.
When your contact center operates online, for example, you can transition your customer support team to a remote operation. Since nearly 53% of American call center agents are already working from home through the cloud, according to the National Association of Contact Centers, this capability is critical for the successful growth and future of any contact center.
What is a cloud-based contact center?
Using a cloud solution for your contact center removes many of the expenses and limitations presented by an on-premises system. Rather than spending the time and resources to build your own physical business phone system, you can easily connect your agents to your hosted software solution using internet access and a few simple tools. Your contact center system is hosted and managed by your cloud provider, improving uptime and eliminating your maintenance responsibilities and the need for costly, periodic upgrades.
By moving your phone and communication systems to the cloud, your contact center gains the ability to adapt and grow to meet your changing needs. You won’t need to invest in new hardware when you want to add a new feature or new phone lines when adding seats to meet seasonal demands. Instead, you can customize your contact center platform with just a few clicks.
What happens to your telephony service when you move your contact center to the cloud?
Considering a transition and actually moving to the cloud are two very different things. Along with moving your center solution to cloud computing, you also have to consider the changes to your business process and customer experiences. Before you move your business telephony systems and customer service team to the cloud, you’ll need to carefully consider the adjustments that will have to happen in your new environment.
Protecting your contact center
When choosing and implementing cloud contact center solutions, you need to ensure that your software offers the flexibility and scalability you need without compromising call quality. As you evaluate software companies, this is the time to find a contact center and phone service provider that offers the customer engagement, remote work, and workforce management tools you need to succeed.
Choosing a vendor with excellent contact center solutions as a service, in addition to global and full country coverage, offers incredible advantages. If you have multiple locations, for instance, you’ll only need to pay one bill and deal with one technology partner for all of your questions and concerns. Plus, you’ll be able to retain your current central phone number, even with agents working remote from locations around the world.
When you make the right choice about your center software solution, you can offer unmatched benefits to both your agents and your customers, now and in the future.
Easier call forwarding
When you use a cloud-built contact center solution, your customer service teams can enjoy the many benefits of remote work. Effective call forwarding, for example, guarantees that customers can reach your contact center agents whenever and wherever they’re located. No matter how many locations your supervisors and agents are connecting from, you will always maintain the right routing strategy for optimal interactions.
Collaboration and support
When employing remote workers, few tools are more important than those your agents use to connect and work together. Your contact center’s software should offer an internal communications tool, such as the RingCentral app, to streamline internal conversation. If agents need guidance or intervention from a supervisor, features like whisper coaching enable immediate support. For team meetings, videoconferencing capabilities improve connections and help ensure your team is on the same page and up to date with your organization’s latest policies and procedures.
Your agents depend on your platform to stay connected with the rest of the team, so unified communications is another critical feature to look for. Your cloud call center software should serve as both a data center and knowledge base for your agents. Whether making phone calls or evaluating customer stories to move them further in the customer journey, your customer support tools should easily provide the capabilities they need.
Simple quality management
For contact centers, quality management involves both the quality of your telephony tools and the quality of your customer service. When you move your call center systems to the cloud, you gain access to powerful tools that support both goals.
Even if agents work remotely, your cloud call center solution allows you to monitor their calls and the outcomes of their interactions. You can use real-time and historical data to find weak points in your customer service strategies and individual connections. Tools such as call recording give you a look into your agents’ actions, knowledge you can use to improve your service.
You also gain access to stronger security, better call quality, and improved disaster recovery. Contact center solutions on the cloud have higher uptimes than traditional phone solutions, improving the reliability of your service. Whenever you have phones calling, even during natural disasters or business emergencies, your customers will be able to reach the high-quality help they need.
Increased control over your telephony system
When considering a transition to the cloud, many businesses worry that they will lose control over their systems and customer service operations. It is true that you pass maintenance and management responsibilities to your provider, but you retain all control over your system and capabilities.
When you need to upgrade your system’s capabilities to better meet customer needs, you can log into your account and make the changes you desire. If you want to increase your understanding of how your contact center operates, your cloud contact enter solution will provide access to real-time and historical data. You can view comprehensive information on every area of your customer service operations, building reports on a granular level or all the way to a full-center, big-picture understanding.
Most importantly, using a hosted contact center solution eliminates your reliance on another person’s knowledge. Cloud solutions are designed to be user-friendly, offering a simplicity that allows you to optimize your use. If you do have questions, you can talk with a knowledgeable representative from your vendor’s support team. This access to 24/7 support improves your capabilities without forcing you to try to get the information you need from multiple sources. You can use your software solution to do more, both faster and better than you could before.
No hardware also means a much quicker implementation process. You’ll need to equip remote workers with computers or mobile devices, headsets, and a strong internet connection, but you won’t need to install any equipment on site. Instead, you can maintain business continuity without any lapse in service.
When moving traditional call centers to the cloud, you also move any system responsibilities from your leadership team to your provider. Once you’ve given system access to your agents, they can instantly begin using your new solution. Many providers offer guided implementation processes, as well, further streamlining your rollout experience. For both single-location operations and global customer service centers, you can instantly begin offering improved customer support to all of your customers.
Big cost savings
Cloud call center software can offer both upfront and long-term savings for businesses. You will no longer need to make significant investments into your system’s hardware. While you might have to pay a bit more to add new features, you won’t need to purchase additional equipment, or software for your system. If you have seasonal call volume fluctuations, you only need to pay for the seats you are actively using. As soon as your volume drops, you can remove the seats you no longer need and the costs that come with them.
Your cloud-based contact center system is maintained by your provider, which allows you to reduce IT resources and costs associated with maintaining your solution or adding users. If you experience problems, all you have to do is contact your account manager. They will take care of any issues and updates, minimizing the time your IT staff puts into your system. With less IT responsibilities for your team, you can reduce your staff size or allow them to focus on revenue generating initiatives.
If you have to close your office for any reason, you won’t need to worry about losing money due to a lack of customer support. Remote agents use internet access to connect to your cloud call center systems from their homes through a mobile app, IP phones, or softphones. If your business experiences any problems, your remote agents can continue to connect with customers without interruption.
Better integration of call service
Selecting a vendor that provides both a cloud contact center solution and a cloud telephony service optimizes your call integration. If you used a traditional voice service with your cloud contact center, for instance, you would likely struggle to provide a seamless experience to your agents and customers. A service with unified communications, however, ensures all of your services work together seamlessly to provide the best service possible.
Seamless third-party app integration
A virtual call center allows you to integrate your phone services with apps offered by channel partners. You can integrate your customer relationship management (CRM) system directly with your solution, giving agents instant access to a comprehensive customer history. With a more complete understanding of their interactions with the company and what they need, they can create powerful connections with customers. The addition of a simplified user interface further streamlines their workflow for improved customer care.
Cloud contact center solutions provide unmatched customer service capabilities, but no system can offer every feature needed by the variety of companies that use it. Instead, the best cloud-based platforms allow users to integrate their systems with third-party business apps. If a business relies on a niche, industry-specific app offered by a partner program for their customer service support, for example, they can add this tool to their contact center’s resources.
Though many cloud contact center providers offer integration capabilities, some options are better than others. RingCentral’s open APIs are designed to simplify app integration while also allowing users to customize their solution. If we don’t automatically support the app you need, this feature gives you the ability to integrate the app without extensive coding knowledge. Some vendors don’t support this level of seamless integration, however, so it’s important to explore your integration options before settling on your cloud provider.
Creating the perfect cloud contact center
While there are an endless number of reasons to move your contact center to the cloud, it is a big transition that can provoke worries about the effects it will have. Though it’s easy to focus on these fears, the benefits of moving your telephony service to the cloud are far greater than you might think. Implementing a cloud-based solution saves money for businesses, but it also opens the door to opportunities that continue to support future growth.
Empowering agent success
When using the right cloud call center and telephony platform, you can bring all of your communication goals and strategies into one streamlined environment. Agents can have access to more information and the tools they need to increase their productivity and efficiency.
Using your collaboration resources, you can even create groups of agents who are experts in specific subjects. Whenever customers contact your business with problems relating to these subjects, your specialized teams can solve complex cases much faster than before. If agents connect with customers who have problems that aren’t easy to solve, they can reach out to these groups with your messaging tools to get quick help without making customers wait on hold.
Improving budgetary control
However you decide to implement and use your cloud solution, you can enjoy a deep level of control over your telephony system’s costs at all times. Letting agents use their own devices, for example, allows you to completely eliminate the costs of contact center hardware. Even better, agents won’t have to add the expense of mobile phone contracts. Since they will be using the same VoIP system, centrally managed and billed by the company, they will be free of any extra costs or responsibilities.
Moving your contact center to the cloud has the potential to change your telephony service and customer service operations for the better. You can set your contact center up for future success while continuing to improve and support the work you’re doing now. With the right contact center solution, there’s no better decision you can make for your business and customer service success than to move to the cloud.RingCentral’s cloud contact center solution gives you the tools, flexibility, and scalability you need to build the ultimate customer service experience. Explore the many benefits and features it offers to your business by contacting our sales team for a personalized demo today.
Originally published Apr 29, 2020, updated Oct 28, 2020