The cloud is becoming increasing popular among businesses day by day for their IT operations.The modern businesses such as call centers are facing challenges of making profit, consistent improvement upon the quality with investment being minimal with strict service level agreements (SLA).That’s why IT leaders and call centers have been searching for the solution that would overcome these problems. For many, the answer lies in ‘Cloud’.
What is Cloud Call Center?
A call center is an integrated and usually automated communications system that coordinates all e-mail, fax or telephone calls between a company and the public.The association of cloud and call center has started gaining momentum and is already proving to be a winning combination. Cloud call center is a term that defines a deployment model that allows businesses to host their call center in a third party’s remote data server.
Why Cloud Call Centers?
Call centers are turning to cloud for a number of good reasons. Let’s take a look at why moving to the cloud is a good move for call centers-
1. Work anywhere, anytime
Cloud enables call centers to set up agents across the globe called virtual agents that can handle a client request from their home. They just need a headset, internet connection and computer to login to the cloud. Thus the cloud offers additional advantages to call centers such as –
- Reduced employee turnover
- Employ best manpower
- Expanded hiring pool (Scale up or down the number of agents based on the call volume)
- Greater flexibility
OOne quality that has always been associated with cloud, is its cost cutting and the case of cloud call centers is no different.There is no need of managing servers, upgrades and need of dedicated and expensive IT staff since cloud removes the need for expensive in-house infrastructure. With cloud, call centers only pay for what they use, there are no hidden up-front costs.
3. Redundancy and availability
The cloud provides call centers with redundant data storage without the additional cost that ensures business continuity even in case of natural disaster. Cloud offers both platform redundancy and carrier redundancy so that there is no single point of failure and better than 99.99% of uptime.Thus, cloud combines scalability, growing geographic coverage with exceptional availability to provide businesses with better results in real time.
Cloud technology is creating an unparalleled platform for call centers with enterprise mobility solutions. Cloud provides convenient mobile apps and other mobile services to call centers as they can get real-time notifications, view and respond to tickets, and be there for their existing and potential customers 24*7. This ensures better customer service by ensuring that customer service doesn’t stop when your agent leaves the desk.
5. Easy Integration, Better Productivity
Cloud offers integration with different 3rd party applications for better productivity and enhanced flexibility. Call centers can easily scale up or down depending on the customer demands. For example, popular integrations are:
- Integration with CRM such as Salesforce, ZOHO, Microsoft dynamics etc.
- Integrationwith ticketing applications such as Zendesk
- Integrationwith PBX services for unified communication such as Cisco
Businesses are often concerned about the security of cloud-based solutions, but they are realizing that a mature cloud service provider can offer a higher level of security than most of the companies. They have established the standards and protocols in their business practice such as PCI, HIPPA that let not compromise anyone with the data security and privacy.
7. Innovative handling
With the help of cloud the call centers have innovated different ways to handle and manage the clients.Network-to-desktop computer telephony integration, intelligent call routing, speech-enabled self-service are some of the features which come along the cloud in call centers. Whenever an upgrade or patch of software comes along they get installed automatically without giving IT departments any headache.
8. Social influence
The importance of social media in a business cannot be neglected, so integrating it with call centers have become essential for every business. Cloud is the new way that determines the social influence and let clients know the future of business in the market.
Cloud and mobility not only benefits the business directly, but its association with other components of business process gives companies impressive figures.Moving to the cloud will ultimately increase brand/customer relationship, utilize agent/business productivity and boost customer lifetime value.
A Hosted Call Center – How is it Different?
A hosted technology is one which is offered by a third party vendor that hosts the physical servers running the service you need. Access to these services is provided through a direct network connection that may or may not run via the Internet. Hosted solutions have become really popular with call centers in today’s world. These hosted service providers manage the data center employed by the call center. Thus, they are able to significantly reduce the operational costs of the call center. All the time and resources that were once employed in managing servers, maintenance and upgrades can now be spent on more important fields.
However, while it might seem that hosted call centers work quite like the cloud call centers, it is not so at all. As mentioned earlier, 3 key factors define a cloud call center: multi-tenancy, reliability and scalability. While hosted solutions are able to provide reliability and scalability, they do not employ a multi-tenant model.
Hosted call centers utilized service provided by a third party vendor who are running the software they want on a server placed elsewhere. Most of the software were never designed to be hosted. They have to be tweaked and modified so that they can fit in the SaaS model, thus require separate servers and installations for each customer.