In this post:
- What is “the cloud?”
- What does it mean for a call center solution to be in the cloud?
- What are the benefits of a cloud-based solution?
- What kind of features should you look for?
Most of us use consumer cloud services like Spotify and Google Drive every day. These tools are convenient, reliable, and enable us to do things we simply couldn’t do before they existed.
The cloud is changing business software, too. And cloud call center solutions offer many benefits to companies that make the switch.
In this article, we’ll go through everything you need to know about upgrading.
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What is “the cloud”?
To understand what a cloud-based contact center is, we first need to understand what we mean by the cloud.
The term “the cloud” refers to networks of online computer servers. These servers store data and run computing processes.
This has two significant benefits for people who use cloud-based programs:
- You don’t have to store data or run programs on your own network
- You can access the data or programs in the cloud from anywhere with an internet connection
Many modern services are built on the cloud.
Netflix is an example most people are familiar with. The streaming service stores its TV shows and movies on cloud servers and allows users to access them wherever they are in the world.
What does it mean for a call center solution to be in the cloud?
A cloud contact center solution is call center software based in the cloud. You get access to all the software features, such as voice, text, and the dashboard, over an internet connection.
As the software is in the cloud, you don’t have to install anything or run it on your network. And all the data is stored online.
Cloud-based software can handle high-quality calls using Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technology. This means you don’t need to buy expensive telecom hardware—you just need an internet connection and headsets.
The software provider handles all maintenance, and you get instant access to updates as soon as they occur. You just pay a monthly or annual fee to access the software.
|Cloud call center solution||On-premises call center solution|
|Software runs on cloud serversAccess it anywhereInstant updatesScale easily||Run on your serversAccess it in your officeYour tech team manages the softwareScale throughout your office|
What are the benefits of a cloud-based solution?
It’s easy to see that there are many benefits to cloud-based software. Here are some of the most compelling.
Agents can work anywhere
Agents can access cloud-based software anywhere with nothing more than an internet connection.
This has two major benefits:
- It’s easy to roll out the software to new locations or offices.
- Agents can work remotely via a virtual call center.
The latter benefit is especially relevant, as almost 75% of contact centers allowed agents to work at home during the pandemic.
But it brings plenty of other benefits too. For example, you can hire agents in other regions or countries. This allows you to hire people based on proficiency for the role rather than location.
And many agents prefer working remotely. At 80%, the retention rate for at-home agents is far higher than that of in-office ones.
Lower setup costs
It costs far less to set up a cloud-based call center solution than an on-premises one.
The first reason for this is that there are minimal software set up costs. The software is already running in the cloud, you just pay a fee to access it.
This compares to on-premises tools, which typically require a lengthy and expensive setup period.
The other reason is that you don’t need much physical infrastructure. It’s possible to get set up with little more than an internet connection and a headset.
|What about ongoing costs?|
|When you use cloud-based software, you pay an ongoing fee to access the software. But you also reduce some of the ongoing expenses associated with on-premises tools. |
For example, you won’t have to pay to run your own servers, and you won’t require anywhere near as much tech expertise to keep things running.
A major benefit of cloud-based software is how easy it is to integrate with other cloud-based tools.
You use each tool’s open API to connect them to each other.
This has three major benefits:
- You can share data between each tool
- You can access one tool from another
- You can set up automated processes between each tool
There are many ways that integrations benefit a contact center. One of the most common is connecting your help desk software to your contact center software.
This allows you to answer and make calls from within your helpdesk. Or you could automatically send customer data from your helpdesk alongside incoming calls, so agents can access critical information instantly.
Cloud-based software requires very little maintenance. The company that provides the software is in charge of ensuring it is always up and running.
What’s more, you get instant access to product updates and bug fixes. And because the software provider updates the software on its own servers, once the update is complete, you can access it instantly.
Easy to scale
Growing businesses benefit immensely from cloud-based call center software as it is easy to scale the solution to meet your needs.
Once your system is set up, adding new agents is as simple as adding new seats to your account.
Because agents can access the software from anywhere, you don’t need to worry about adding office space. Instead, you can have agents work from home or rent out temporary space in a coworking office.
This ability to scale is also useful for businesses with large fluctuations in seasonal demand.
You can hire temporary agents to work from home to cover busy periods without committing to permanent infrastructure.
What kind of features should you look for?
All cloud call center software offers basic features like the ability to handle calls and messages online.
But the best tools go beyond this.
We think you should also look out for:
- Configurable routing: The ability to route calls based on your specific business needs.
- Integration: The ability to connect your call center software with other tools your business uses.
- Workflow automation: The ability to automate processes. You’ll save time and work more efficiently.
- Real-time data for agents: This enables agents to provide support that meets the customer’s exact needs.
- Multichannel self-service: Self-service tools like conversational IVR help customers find answers independently.
- Automated outbound: This is the ability to make calls without agent input. It’s efficient and customers love it.
- Remote access: Agents can access the tool wherever they are in the world.
Read more about each of these points and their uses in our guide to cloud call center software features.
And the best news? Making the switch is easy
Taking your contact center to the cloud is easier than ever before. If you don’t have existing software, it’s as simple as signing up for a software provider.
And even if you do already have non-cloud tools and legacy software, it’s easy to build a bridge that allows you to connect these systems to the cloud and integrate them with modern tech.
This also means you don’t have to worry about lengthy data migration processes, as the data in legacy tools is made available online.
Find out more about how it works by contacting the babelforce sales team.