The demand for cloud-based contact center solutions has exploded in response to Covid-19. Agents of traditional on-premise contact centers were required to work from home, challenging the already outdated, legacy systems and forcing their leaders to seek new solutions for business continuity.
According to Gartner, 68% of customer service and support organizations worked from traditional call centers pre-Covid. Less than 10% of staff worked from home. Moving forward, 71% of contact centers will go remote. The need for flexible, cloud-based solutions has never been more important. Leading the way is Amazon Connect, who in March and April alone, onboarded more than 5,000 new contact centers to their omnichannel cloud-based platform.
What is a cloud contact center?
A cloud contact center is hosted over the internet, creating a central point for all customer communications across multiple channels - voice, email, social media, messaging apps, SMS and web chat. Provided agents have a reliable internet connection, a cloud contact center can be run from any location, anywhere in the world, including working from home.
What are the benefits of a cloud contact center?
A cloud contact center, or virtual contact center as it may be known, is a cost effective solution without the weight of capital expenditure. It’s easy to set up, often deployable within minutes, and provides flexibility, scalability and reliability. Not to mention, a better customer experience. Here’s an overview of the key benefits for businesses using cloud contact center solutions:
1. Reduced Costs
Organizations can say goodbye to expensive office real estate, as well as software and hardware upgrades, which instead are taken care of by solution providers. Implementation and training costs (and time) are significantly reduced, as is overall maintenance. Contact center agents can work from home and simply need a computer, headset and reliable internet.
With a cloud contact center solution, you only pay for what you use. Organizations can scale up or down, depending on demand. Flexible pricing agreements simply mean that businesses use what they need, when they need it.
3. Improved Customer Experience
Cloud contact centers give customers the convenience to choose their preferred method of communication - voice, email, social media, mobile messaging, SMS or web chat. Intelligent routing means every customer conversation, regardless of channel used, reaches the right agent. No more never-ending IVR menus. CRM and knowledge-base integration allows agents to surface all the information they need in real-time and all that combined, means wait times, handling times and first contact resolution rates are all significantly improved.
4. Business Continuity & Crisis Recovery
Whether it’s a global pandemic or a local outage, cloud contact centers are robust and flexible. Agents can move location, and provided they have internet connection, they can be operational again within minutes. In the case of a local interruption, inbound calls and messages can easily be routed to other agents who haven’t been affected by the event. Business can continue promptly without any disruption to the customer.
In today’s world, responsive customer service is critical, and having systems that are reliable and flexible makes this all the more possible for business operations. A cloud contact center solution allows agents to provide customers a personalized and local experience, with the backing of a scalable, global infrastructure. This agile approach is a win:win for businesses and customers alike.