Whether you run a small business or an established enterprise, you’ve probably already adopted some forms of cloud-based technology. According to research by the Hosting Tribunal, 94% of enterprises already use a cloud service and 83% of enterprise workloads will be in the cloud by the end of 2020. Smaller businesses are increasingly realising the benefits of cloud technology too.
If your company uses a contact centre, this is likely to be the hub of all business activity. Because of this, many business owners are wary of leaping from a traditional system to a cloud-based contact centre solution. What happens if there’s downtime during the transition and customers can’t contact you? Is customer data secure in the cloud? For those of you who are considering switching to the cloud but require a little reassurance that it’s the right decision, we’ve put together our top five benefits of cloud-based contact centres. We think they’re the perfect choice for businesses of all sizes.
A cloud-based system allows businesses to achieve outstanding performance and to deliver the highest standards of service, without the need to purchase and maintain expensive hardware. The service provider manages all the physical technology. Service users need only subscribe to make use of this technology by paying a flat monthly fee.
Your business incurs no costs for software updates, new features, troubleshooting or equipment maintenance. Businesses with multiple sites can make considerable costs savings by switching from separate systems hosted in individual premises to one unified cloud-based system. Furthermore, a modern contact centre solution can help you effectively manage your most expensive resource — employees. Contact centre software allows call monitoring, so that employee performance can be reviewed and improved. Equally, unlike with a physical member of staff, you need only pay for the time you use contact centre software.
2.Support Flexible Work Arrangements
According to research by Flexjobs, 3.9 million people in the US worked at least half of their hours from home in 2018 and the number of companies operating without any physical premises jumped 100 per cent between 2014 and 2018. The UK has seen similar increases. Remote working is an increasingly popular “work perk” and by offering this, companies can attract and retain the best talent.
A cloud-based contact centre solution makes it easy to enable employees to work remotely. All they need to do is tap into the system from their home office and they will have access to all the systems they need to manage customer calls. Managers can monitor the activities of remote teams via the contact centre dashboard. Flexible working is great for individuals and businesses, as individuals achieve a sense of independence, ownership and work-life balance, while businesses attract and retain high-performing agents from a global pool of talent. They can also quickly source additional staff during peak periods or unexpected periods of growth.
3.Avoid Scheduled Downtime and Improve Disaster Recovery
Downtime means lost business and poor customer service. Consumers are becoming increasingly demanding as technology advances and the pace of life becomes more rapid. According to recent research by Hubspot, 82% of consumers expect an immediate response from brands on marketing or sales questions.
Any software requires updates and maintenance, which may result in “scheduled maintenance” downtime. Cloud-based contact centre providers can maintain availability during scheduled maintenance and any major updates or changes can be performed as one across all aspects of the software, minimising any downtime to perhaps once per year. This benefit is not inherent in all contact centre solutions, so be sure to do your research and find out what each provider commits to in terms of minimising downtime during periods of routine maintenance.
If something unexpected occurs — such as a computer virus, an on-premises incident or any other issue that would result in a serious disruption to services for businesses using a traditional contact centre — a cloud-based service should absorb most, if not all of the impact, meaning no downtime. If there is an issue onsite, operations can easily be moved elsewhere, be that to alternative premises or employees own homes. If your service provider experiences an issue, they can switch between the numerous data centres they have access to globally.
Most cloud contact centre solutions are customisable and integrate with existing business technology systems. There is no onsite hardware required, making it easy to upscale or reduce the service provided without the hassle or expense of purchasing new equipment.
Another benefit of the service provider having responsibility for purchasing and maintaining hardware, compared to on-premise solutions, is that a business will not be trapped paying for licencing costs if service needs to change or demand decreases. You pay only for what you need and generally, there is no need to be locked into lengthy contracts.
5.Improved Employee Performance and Management
Cloud-based solutions provide a wealth of robust data that can help businesses understand their customers better and identify strengths and weaknesses within the team. If one sales agent is closing all the deals, make sure their efforts are recognised to retain this staff member. If another agent is struggling, implement a training and improvement plan or allocate a more successful team member as a mentor.
Having access to real-time performance insights can help a business manage its staff levels more effectively and make the work-life balance more motivating and rewarding for its employees.
A cloud-based contact centre solution offers many benefits to SMEs across a wide range of sectors. With the increasing uptake of cloud technology across business sectors, updating your contact centres is almost inevitable if you want to keep ahead of the competition and deliver the best service to your customers.