Remote work has been growing in popularity for years, but the current landscape has led to an unprecedented rise in working from home. To help slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus, the CDC has recommended working from home as a way to help speed up a return to normalcy. 

As companies have adjusted operations to accommodate remote agents, they have discovered the benefits that come with this change. Contact centers are enjoying reduced overhead and operational costs while also providing a better work-life balance for their employees. Now that geographic needs aren’t as relevant, contact centers can also hire the world’s best workers from a larger talent pool, hiring top-level professionals from across the world.

While the benefits of using a cloud contact center platform to include remote work are clear, however, making the transition to a cloud-based operation can be stressful and uncertain without proper preparation.

If you’re considering a switch to a cloud-based contact center, what should you be looking for in your new software solution?

Security and reliability

Dependable security is a must for any contact center. Whether your business handles financial data or just deals with personal customer information, it’s your responsibility to ensure that your contact center platform has adequate certifications and encryption in place. Compliance with HIPAA, PCI DSS, and more are all critical to protect your company and customers from potential problems.

As you look for your cloud contact center solution, make sure your provider offers secure data hosting solutions and cloud networks. You should also explore their data encryption solutions and the redundancy measures in place for the tools they offer. You are making a significant investment in this software, so make sure you’ll have high uptime guarantees and failover mechanisms that will prevent dropped or missed calls.

Omnichannel engagement

Customer service has shifted from call centers to contact centers, giving companies the ability to connect with customers through social media, live chat, email, instant messaging, and more. To provide the ultimate customer experience, you require a contact center platform that offers the channels your customers prefer.

Make omnichannel capabilities a priority in your search, only considering options that provide multiple communication channels. Just make sure your agents can access all of these channels in the same window, even in the middle of an interaction. The best contact center solutions allow you to easily follow interactions from multiple channels in a single place to offer a unified experience. For even more ease of use, see if these platforms offer seamless third-party integrations with CRM and ticketing tools, as well.

Real-time reporting and analytics

Today, nothing is more important than the customer experience. A totally satisfied consumer, for example, can create 14 times as much revenue as a customer who is somewhat dissatisfied. When you can deliver a highly relevant and engaging experience for your customers, you can rise above your competitors as the top choice for your target audience. 

The only way to be sure that you’re providing meaningful experiences to your audience, however, is monitor your intentions.

Gaining access to real-time reporting and analytics allows you to track dropped calls, individual agent performance, the number of calls that connect to customers, and more. If your contact center software offers advanced analytics, you can use tools such as sentiment analysis to alert agents when their interactions are escalating. You can also use similar tools to ping managers during these conversations so they can provide coaching or take over the call as needed.

Flexibility

Even if a specific cloud software option meets your current needs, it may not provide the flexibility you need to continue thriving in the future. To maintain growth and success through any future changes, look for natural language processing and artificial intelligence features. Even if you run a small business, these capabilities can provide valuable solutions to needs you may not be aware of today.

The best contact center platform will offer the ability and freedom to develop at your own pace. Look for a vendor that is committed to innovation and providing solutions that help their customers keep up with industry shifts. Most important, making changes to your solution should be as easy as clicking a button or picking up the phone, no matter what you want to do.

Remote support

Lastly, your new cloud contact center software should support the option of remote work. Once the world resumes normal operations, the need for working from home and cloud communication will likely remain high. Even before stay-at-home orders, in fact, 82% of workers said they wanted to work remotely at least once a week, a number that is sure to grow.

Ensure your new solution offers the tools and capabilities your agents need to successfully work from anywhere. Look for tools such as workforce management, which allows you to track employee performance and improve scheduling. Global cloud-based PBX environments provide simplified routing and the option to use local numbers around the world. A solution like RingCentral’s global office, for instance, uses an international cloud communications solution to connect business worldwide.

Want to connect with customers right away? Take advantage of RingCentral’s customer engagement solution free of charge.