Over the past few years, cloud computing has exploded across all industries.
Businesses that used to invest heavily in their own IT infrastructure are increasingly switching to remote cloud call center solutions.
It’s a win-win for everyone involved – companies providing cloud services are booming and businesses using their services are making enormous savings on operational costs.
But despite this growing movement to the cloud some contact centers are still running on legacy on-premises software that stunts the customer experience. Let’s explore some important reasons why the cloud is a customer experience optimizer.
In this post:
- What is a cloud contact center?
- How can the cloud improve customer experience?
- 3 Top companies that have moved to the cloud
What is a cloud contact center?
First, let’s establish what exactly the “cloud” in “cloud contact center” means. In general terms, the “cloud” refers to the concept of storing information in remote servers, which can be instantly accessed via the Internet.
Traditionally, call centers would use software purchased on licenses and stored directly on their computer hardware. These programs served their purpose well previously, but they have not been able to keep up with the ever-changing nature of modern communication.
In the same way you can keep in touch with friends and family through other means besides a phone call, customers should also be able to get in touch with your business.
Cloud contact centers open new means of communication and customer data integration that were not previously possible with older legacy software. Instead of on-premise CRMs, you can use Software as a Service (SaaS) to create seamless omnichannel customer experiences.
Channels that may have previously been siloed can be integrated through the cloud. This allows agents to instantly access customer data in order to resolve customer problems more efficiently and effectively.
How can the cloud improve customer experience?
When this level of convenience is the norm, it can be very frustrating if a traditional call that usually involves waiting on hold is the only way to get in touch with a business. With modern cloud solutions, there’s no reason why contact centers should be lagging behind.
Here are a few ways that a cloud contact center can enhance the customer experience.
Scale quickly and easily
Cloud systems provide greater flexibility than legacy systems, which lock you into software that may have more features than you need.
Cloud software allows you to scale your business quickly, if and when you need to, with ready-to-go solutions. This means you can meet the demands of your customers quickly as your business expands, without wasting time on installation and setup.
Integrate multiple communication channels
Contact centers don’t need to be restricted to handling communication through just inbound and outbound calls. Cloud contact centers can operate and integrate multiple communication channels so your customers can reach you as conveniently as possible.
babelforce’s no-code CRM offers WhatsApp integration so you can utilize the most popular instant messaging application in the world. And unlike emails that are often left unread, 99% of WhatsApp messages are actually opened by the recipient.
Introduce virtual queuing
Everyone knows customers hate being left on hold, but is there a better way?
Unequivocally, yes! Virtual queuing, supported by cloud services, offers a simple solution to this common and frustrating problem.
Virtual queuing allows customers to hang up and enter a virtual queue. The agent will then call back the customer when it’s their turn, which 75% of customers find highly appealing.
Make use of conversational AI
Yes, some customer problems are complex and require human interaction, but agents also spend a lot of time handling routine, repetitive queries that have simple solutions. Cloud-based conversational AI can be used to handle routine customer queries without the need to speak to a live agent. This is important because customers expect to use voice interfaces in 70% of interactions by 2023.
Facilitate remote working
This is even more relevant as the world enters a third year of a global pandemic. Many call centers were quickly upended when governments issued work-from-home orders. The ability to quickly switch to remote working is what separates businesses that adjust and survive from the ones that struggle to adapt and often dissolve.
Cloud contact centers can do this easily since all tools and data can be accessed by staff through a simple Internet connection. This means you can provide an uninterrupted service to your customer base, no matter what the pandemic throws at your business.
Interestingly, retention for at-home agents is 80% compared with 25% for in-house agents in the US.
Provide self-service options
We’ve all been there — you spend more time than you should searching for the right customer service number, dial in to the call center, and then listen carefully to an IVR. Eventually, you reach an agent, at which point you explain your query or issue.
If given the choice, most customers would prefer a self-service option. Cloud contact centers can provide easily accessible self-service options, available any time of the day. Not only does this free up agents to focus on more complex problems that require their attention but it also improves the customer experience. 73% of consumers want the ability to solve a product or service issue on their own.
3 top companies that have moved to the cloud
If you’re still not convinced about cloud services being the future, take a look at some of the big names that now operate entirely on the cloud.
Etsy is a popular e-commerce platform that enables users to sell hand-made goods to a global audience. Handling hundreds of thousands of transactions a day, the company moved their platform and data centers to Google Cloud servers, saving over 50% in computing energy in the process.
Netflix started as a DVD mail rental service but saw huge success when it reinvented itself as an online entertainment streaming platform. The company has now captured 53.5% of the global entertainment streaming audience and streams over 125 million hours of video each day. Supporting this amount of data requires substantial infrastructure, so in 2016 Netflix made the decision to migrate their data centers to Amazon Web Services.
Kroger is a centuries-old American retailer, which more recently figured that cloud computing would propel the business well into the future. The company now uses Microsoft Azure cloud services to gather customer insights and support their e-commerce platform, while also experimenting with cutting-edge technology like digital shelves and smart pricing.
Want to learn even more on this topic? Check out our cloud contact center explainer.