What is the best cloud contact center software?
Customer service has never been as important to business success as it is today. With hundreds of customer interactions taking place every day, businesses need a contact center solution that can meet customer demands. Though there are dozens of contact center software options available, a cloud-based solution is the best answer for any business’ problems.
What is a cloud-based contact center?
Contact center solutions give businesses the tools they need to manage and optimize high volumes of customer interactions. In the early years of software creation, companies could only offer inbound and outbound calling to their customers. As technology has advanced, however, call center software has expanded to include chat, email, video, and more. With these additional capabilities, businesses now have access to omnichannel contact center solutions, meeting customers on the channel that works best for them.
Even as contact center platforms have advanced, many businesses continue to use business phone systems with physical, on-premise technology. These solutions usually require extensive equipment and maintenance costs. If businesses want to add to their call center software features, they have to purchase and install new equipment to handle the additional capabilities. Scaling is expensive, many software options are unreliable, and these solutions often create more problems than results.
More recently, contact center software has seen a major shift from legacy contact center technology to more flexible cloud-based solutions. Rather than working from equipment in the office, cloud center solutions allow agents to connect with and operate through an online platform that is maintained by their provider. Moving software to the cloud allows companies to eliminate equipment needs, consolidate maintenance efforts, and support business needs with greater flexibility as they grow. As they equip their contact centers to keep up with customer needs and current technology, they can more effectively maintain customer satisfaction and retention.
Cloud-based contact center solutions offer incredible benefits to businesses of all sizes and industries. Communication APIs now allow these systems to share data between apps, simplifying the process of connecting and expanding solutions. With a cloud contact center platform, businesses can revolutionize customer service and satisfaction. To see how, keep reading below to discover 10 of the most effective and valuable benefits of cloud contact center software.
1. Improve the customer experience
When a customer contacts your customer service department, you only have a short amount of time to meet their expectations and maintain their happiness with your service. In a report about the future of the customer experience, PWC found that 1 in 3 consumers will abandon a brand after a single negative experience. Consumer loyalty is difficult to maintain, so it’s vital to offer a customer experience that keeps your audience coming back.
Prioritizing customer satisfaction
By using a cloud contact center, you gain instant access to numerous features and app integrations that can improve every interaction. For inbound call centers, for example, a cloud platform offers the ability to intelligently route callers to the agent best equipped to meet their needs. You can also use tools such as CRM integrations, interactive voice response (IVR) systems, omnichannel routing, call queuing, automatic call distribution, and more to streamline the connection process and minimize the drain on your customers’ time. No matter your inbound and outbound marketing needs, your contact center software will make every interaction a success.
Cloud contact center solutions are also much more reliable than an on-premise system. When customers connect, you can guarantee dependable uptime and quick resolutions. As customers find their needs met faster than expected, they’ll be more likely to recommend and return to your business.
2. Revolutionize quality management
Since the customer experience is so important to business success, you need to know that your interactions are positive and up to your standards. Many cloud contact center platforms offer call monitoring capabilities. With the ability to record or listen in on your agents’ calls, you can ensure every customer is receiving the highest quality care. A cloud software option also allows you to actively coach agents during difficult calls. You can offer advice on situations or even take over the call within seconds, preventing escalations and maintaining customer satisfaction.
Protect your contact center and your customers
Your cloud solution can also help you maintain contact center compliance. Built-in filters and settings allow you to operate without worrying about making costly mistakes. Stronger, more robust safety features can also offer more reliable data security for your customers. You’ll be able to protect your customers and business with total peace of mind.
3. Maximize agent efforts
Few things damage efficiency more than disconnected, siloed systems. When you move your contact center onto the cloud, you can enjoy a software solution that connects all of your information and systems. Integrating a CRM app with your software allows agents to quickly access and manage all of your customers’ information from the moment they connect. Rather than moving customers around to different representatives, your staff can easily view the information they need to resolve the problem on the same screen. This allows them to significantly increase their first-time resolutions and minimize customer interaction times.
Enable better contact center agent performance
Your solution can also use the data it has gathered to intelligently direct customers to the agent who can most effectively solve their problems. Calls routed through automatic call distributors reduce handle time and increase customer satisfaction. As agents handle the interactions best suited for their skills, they can more efficiently reach resolution. This also maximizes the number of customers they can serve and improves agent performance. With the easier workload offered by skills-based routing, they’ll be happier about their work, bringing positivity to every interaction.
4. Enjoy omnichannel contact center software
Phone calls remain the most popular customer service channel, but it is far from the only option. Microsoft’s 2019 State of Global Customer Service Report stated that 85% of respondents found video chat to be helpful and 91% reported to find cobrowsing helpful. UCToday reported that 9 out of 10 customers prefer an omnichannel customer service experience with seamless connections between multiple channels. Additional communication options include live chat, chatbots, email, social media, text messaging, apps, community forums, and video.
Meet every customer communication channel preference
As the contact center landscape changes, contact centers need the flexibility to add the channels their customers demand. To expand contact center capabilities on a legacy solution, businesses have to add expensive equipment and large extra costs. Some systems don’t have the option to support these additional channels at all, leaving you to fall behind consumer demands or pay to replace the system entirely. A cloud system with open APIs makes growth easy. By adding integrations or using the features already built into the software, you can meet customers on the channel of their choice. And, as technology continues to progress, you will be able to grow as needed to maintain satisfaction and success.
5. Utilize app integrations
Third-party contact center app integrations are key to a thriving contact center. These apps allow all businesses sizes to access enterprise-level capabilities to offer to their consumers. Best of all, you can choose from tools that benefit any company or apps built specifically for your industry. Use CRM integrations to take control of your customer journey, managing and improving each touchpoint. Or, use a seamless integration to connect your contact centers internationally, managing multiple markets without a problem.
Simple, flexible, and affordable
Until recently, this level of flexibility was only an option for businesses that could afford engineers who could manage these expansions. Now, however, out-of-the-box app integrations allow anyone to access these time-, money-, and effort-saving tools. As you build and customize your cloud contact center software to meet your exact needs, you’ll quickly see the benefits in every area of your customer service department.
6. Increase contact center scalability
Many contact centers deal with seasonal changes that affect call volumes and the number of agents needed to meet these demands. For businesses using an on-premise contact center platform, scaling to handle these fluctuations is frustrating and expensive. Each new seat requires more hardware and software, so businesses have to pay for each addition, even if they don’t use it throughout the rest of the year.
A contact center solution that’s always the perfect fit
On a cloud system, however, contact centers can instantly scale up or down as their call volumes demand. You’ll never need to wait on your provider to adjust your system for you. Instead, if you need to shift agents around to meet your current volume level, you have the power to make these changes on a system that is easy to use.
7. Minimize contact center costs
Reaching goals without breaking your budget is one of the greatest challenges contact centers face. Cloud software options help you limit costs by offering better prices than legacy solutions and completely eliminating hardware costs. With nearly unlimited app integrations, you can offer the capabilities you need without paying high prices for additional features. Cloud systems are hosted by the provider, so these contact center solutions are often designed to fit a wide range of business sizes and budgets.
Save on more than communication
Along with direct savings, cloud contact center software helps businesses reduce other costs. Eliminating on-premise hardware and moving maintenance responsibilities to the provider can drastically reduce the hours your IT staff spends working with your system. Higher agent uptime also optimizes costs as your teams can do more in less time. You’ll enjoy better performance and capabilities at more affordable prices.
Many cloud system options offer built-in reporting capabilities. Features such as historical reporting, individual agent performance metrics, call metrics, quality of service data, and real-time live reports allow you to fully understand your contact center’s success. As you analyze your data, you can also determine your weakest points and use targeted actions to improve them.
Enhance customer experience efforts
Your contact center software can also help you understand your audience and the choices they make. This information can help you determine which channel your audience prefers and how they use it. You can also identify problems that are prompting increased customer support queries. Using this data to further personalize your interactions can then lead to happier customers and higher overall satisfaction.
9. Improve in-house collaboration
Empower and equip your team to achieve greater results
Facilitating employee collaboration can benefit any area of business, but it’s especially important within your contact center. If an agent has a question about a procedure or customer question, internal chat features allow them to find the answer they need in moments. Rather than transferring the customer to the person with the answer or having to call the coworker themselves, agents can just send a quick message. If an interaction is escalating or a new team member needs guidance, call managers can also use this feature to serve as a quick resource and support.
10. Improve business continuity with cloud contact center software
Your contact center solution’s security is important for your customer’s data, but it can also help during an unexpected situation. If you are hit by a natural disaster or issue that damages or disturbs your normal operations, you need a system that will work when you can’t. An on-premise system will cease working as soon as your location is compromised. A cloud-based contact center platform, however, will continue operating in any circumstances. Your customers will be able to connect with your company as you manage your own needs, maintaining customer satisfaction. You will avoid the need to replace any hardware, relying on your contact center provider to maintain your system through the disaster.
Maintain continuous contact center uptime
Cloud-based systems work entirely online, so your team will also be able to use any available strong internet connections to log into your system. Whether you need to open a new base of operations or allow agents to work from home, your contact center will remain open to customer needs. Plus, if you need to adjust the scale of your workforce to meet these new needs, you can do so with minimal hassles and costs.
These top 10 uses for cloud contact center software are just a taste of the benefits you can enjoy with our omnichannel cloud contact center solution. Contact us to learn more about the solution that can revolutionize your contact center and customer service. Ask for a personalized demo today!
Originally published Mar 31, 2020, updated Aug 28, 2021