A good communications system is vital to the success of any business. A fully functioning, omnichannel solution for this ensures you’re delivering the best possible customer experience, which means more revenue, reduced churn rate and better word-of-mouth about your company from satisfied customers.
But putting these systems in place can be a challenge, especially for smaller firms or those that are spread across multiple locations. On top of this, the evolving demands of both customers and employees make it more complex than ever to keep up using traditional solutions.
Therefore, there’s never been a better time to modernise your contact centre by embracing cloud technology.
What is a cloud contact centre?
A cloud contact centre shifts all the functionality of your operations from on-premise solutions that depend on legacy networking technology such as PBX systems to a fully hosted solution that can be accessed anywhere. This provides a high-quality communications hub that lets you manage all your activities from a central location.
However, it’s more than just a VoIP phone system. A true cloud contact centre provides a comprehensive suite of functionality to ensure your agents can work as efficiently as possible and gives you all the visibility and control you need to deliver the best results to customers.
For instance, good call routing options are a must-have to make a contact centre work, and cloud tools enable this by offering a range of options to reduce wait times and connect customers with the right employees. Cloud tools can give all businesses access to advanced tools such as artificial intelligence to simplify this.
What’s more, advanced analytics and reporting tools give you critical insight into the performance of your system, letting you know exactly when your peaks are, how quickly your staff are answering and successfully completing calls, and alerting you when you need more resources. And when you do need to scale up, it’s easy to add new seats without additional networking or engineering work.
A solution for an evolving workplace
One of the major benefits of a cloud contact centre is to ensure businesses can cope with a new environment where remote and hybrid working are the norm. During the lockdowns of 2020, many businesses struggled to easily transition their inbound contact centre operations to a home working environment, especially those where it wasn’t easy to redirect calls.
For example, Arrow helped one firm that was still using a legacy system where this wasn’t practical, which meant it had to ask customers to leave voicemails on an automated system when they called in. These would then be periodically picked up by employees who would ring the callers back, but this meant a major hit in productivity that’s hardly sustainable for the long term.
One survey conducted by trade bodies the South West Contact Centre Forum and Call North West earlier this year found only 43 per cent of contact centre agents and advisers believe they will be returning to the office full-time, with the majority of the remainder expecting to split their time between their home and the office.
To make this a success, cloud contact centre systems will be essential. For instance, ‘softphone’ systems that can be accessed through any web browser are invaluable in ensuring contact centre agents are able to work from anywhere. All they need is a headset to plug into their laptop and a reliable internet connection and they can work from the office or their own home with access to exactly the same capabilities.
What’s needed to make cloud contact centre tools a success?
To make the most of cloud contact centres, you’ll need to start by determining what elements will be important to you. For instance, if you want to offer services such as live chat or video conferencing, how can you ensure these are fully integrated into a single platform? There’s no point paying extra for services you won’t use, but if you do decide to make additions later, you’ll need to be able to plug these into the system with minimal effort or need for changes.
While most of the features you’ll need to run a modern contact centre will be included in the package, it’s important you have a reliable internet connection to support this. For on-site deployments, this should be easy to achieve with a quality business broadband connection, but you’ll need to make sure that anyone looking to connect to the services from outside the office, such as home and hybrid workers, also have access to these technologies. It pays to assess your employees’ solutions, and even consider subsidising an upgrade if necessary.
Meanwhile, when it comes to the migration process, being able to seamlessly move to cloud technology with minimal disruption is a must. As well as putting in place the right hardware and connectivity, this means an effective training programme to get users up to speed will be vital.
All these can be much more easily achieved with the help of an experienced, knowledgeable communications partner. The right supplier can help you find a solution tailored to your exact needs and then provide the help needed to put it into action, from the initial rollout through to user education and the ongoing support needed to keep it up-to-date for years to come.
Get in touch with Arrow today to find out more about how a cloud contact centre could benefit your business.