Cloud contact centers offer many benefits. Before the Covid pandemic hit in 2020, experts predicted that 30% of call centers would move to the cloud within the next two years. However, the pandemic changed this statistic as it accelerated the move of call centers to the cloud. Covid forced many employees to work from home to ensure the continuity of their businesses – call centers included.
According to Gartner, before the pandemic broke, 68% of customer service staff worked in traditional call centers. However, with COVID, this number is now reversed, with 71% of contact centers operating remotely. This number is expected to stay or grow even further long after the pandemic ends.
The Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance and necessity of cloud computing in the new work environment. During this difficult time, there was a need to transfer call center operations and tools and adapt them to the work-at-home environment. This new remote environment brought new challenges like managing and supporting the workforce, managing call spikes, and call center security. How can call center operations be handled in this situation?
Enter the cloud-based call center run on cloud-based software. This cloud-based call center is easy to set up, is intuitive, has all the analytics tools needed, and can be scaled to meet demand.
However, what is a cloud-based call center? How does it work, and what are the benefits? We’ll discuss the answers to these questions in this article.
What is a Cloud-Based Call Center?
To understand what a cloud-based call center is, you must first understand a call center. A call center is a business contact center that handles inbound and outbound calls with customers. A cloud contact center platform is a contact center based in the cloud. A third-party vendor supports the cloud-based call center through a subscription model.
How Do Cloud Contact Center Platforms Work?
In terms of technology, a cloud-based call center has an automatic call distributor ( ACD) and an interactive voice response system ( IVR). It also includes a suite of tools and applications, consisting of call routings, agent management, analytics, and more. These tools work as a centralized hub over the internet and allow a customer service agent to handle inbound and outbound customer communications. The cloud contact center’s communication channels can include calls, web, email, chat, Facebook messenger, WhatsApp, and many more.
Types of Clouds
There are three different types of clouds you can choose to run your contact center platform:
- Public Cloud. A third-party provider owns and operates this cloud and is shared by multiple organizations. The services provided in this type of cloud are usually through a subscription. This type of cloud is highly scalable and cost-effective. A public cloud is a good fit for BPO’s, Hospitality, E-commerce, or any other industry that receives a high volume of calls.
- Private cloud. As the name suggests, a private cloud is owned by one company. This type of cloud is hosted onsite or by a third-party provider. It’s a good fit for businesses like banks, government, and any other institution that needs maximum security and customization.
- Hybrid Cloud. A hybrid cloud is a combination of the public and private cloud. It provides good security and is highly scalable. A hybrid cloud can be a good fit for industries that deal with high data volumes but don’t have highly sensitive data.
Inner Workings of a Cloud-Based Call Center
Depending on the contact center solution you choose, a cloud-based contact center generally works this way:
- Build Call Flows. You build a call flow using a multi-level IVR. This IVR ensures that customers get routed to call center agents and get the best customer experience.
- Distribute Calls. The workforce management tools assign calls to your workforce evenly.
- Monitor and Manage. The cloud contact center software gives you tools to monitor your agents for quality management. It also helps you supervise your agents from anywhere should they need assistance.
Benefits of a Cloud Call Center
Cloud communications offer vital benefits to your business and ensure business continuity no matter the situation. Below are some of the key benefits of cloud contact centers.
Built For Remote Work You can access Cloud-based call center technology anywhere as long as there’s a good internet connection. This setup enables a cloud-based call center to put together a team of home agents for inbound and outbound calls unhampered by geographical limitations. This ability to work from home – a situation many companies adopted during the pandemic, ensures business continuity. It also allows companies to hire call center agents no matter their location in the world.
Cloud-based contact centers are made to work with different devices and operating systems. They also provide real-time reporting. This real-time reporting gives you greater transparency in your agent’s productivity as well as customer satisfaction.
In addition, working from home is also something preferred by many call center agents because it saves them the monetary expenses and time of commuting to work. Remote work is a win-win situation for both the business and the agent.
- Easy Deployment
To build an on-premise call center, you need to invest in hardware like routers, switches, computers, and call center software to run the equipment. On top of these, you’ll need a dedicated IT team to maintain and troubleshoot the equipment and software. On the other hand, you can deploy a cloud-based call center within four weeks because it doesn’t need any hardware to set up. This easy deployment means the time you need to get your call center up and to run decreases considerably.
Easy deployment is also good for your bottom line. The sooner you can get your call center up, the sooner you can get your investment return.
- Better Scalability
Almost all call centers have seasonal swings in call volume. For example, call centers that handle calls for an airline may experience a significant spike in call volume during the holiday season and Spring break and experience low steady volume during the rest of the year. With a cloud contact center, you can add or remove users as the situation requires. This scalability makes it a cost-effective model because you only pay for as many subscriptions as you need.
Flexibility with Integration
Most of the cloud-based call center systems can easily integrate with commonly used business applications like Whatsapp, Salesforce, Zoho, Shopify, and Slack, to name a few. Most cloud systems are built-in API architecture. This architecture means it can easily integrate with your company’s existing CRM or ticketing system. If the company needs it, you can implement these integrations in one day.
- Lower Startup and Ongoing Costs
Businesses who choose to create a cloud-based contact center won’t need to spend on real estate, IT teams, network carriers, and software. If you were to compute the cost of building a traditional call center, it would roughly cost you about $2,500 to $10,000 per workstation. On the other hand, setting up a cloud-based call center is only a fraction of the cost of the traditional one. Depending on the subscription, it can cost as little as $ 100 per agent.
Cloud-based systems can also give you additional cost savings in the different software you are currently using, which the cloud-based software can replace. You only pay for the licenses you use.
In addition to these, you don’t need to worry about updating your software to the latest version. The cloud-based call center provider will do all the heavy lifting of ensuring their software is up to date. They will also handle troubleshooting when the need arises.
- Real-Time Analytics
Cloud-based call center software provides you with accurate time analytics. Depending on which software you choose, you can track incoming and outgoing calls, agent performance, call times, satisfaction ratings, and average wait time to name a few.
You can use this data to provide feedback on your agents’ performance and identify the areas of improvement to better customer satisfaction.
Choosing the Best Call Center Software
The good news is there is plenty of cloud-based call center software you can choose for your business. The challenge lies in selecting the software that best fits your organization’s needs. When evaluating call center software, it’s essential to keep your business goals, budget, and technical requirements in mind. Here are some tips to get you started
- Look at Your Business Goals. When looking at your options for a cloud-based call center, the first thing you must do is be clear with your goals in adapting a cloud call center.
You need to decide whether you want to do inbound processes to enhance your customer satisfaction or if you want to do outbound calls for your sales process.
Usually, companies use a cloud-based call center because they want:
- Quick deployment
- Scalability and flexibility
Being clear on your objectives allows you to choose the right software that best aligns with your goals.
- What Type of Cloud Solution Do You Need? Take a good look at your company goals, and decide whether you need an Enterprise-class or an SMB cloud-based call center solution. The main difference between an Enterprise and SMB grade is the number of agents it can support. Call center cloud solutions created for SMB can support hundreds of agents. An Enterprise solution supports thousands of agents and is more reliable, more scalable, and has higher availability compared to an SMB solution. With this in mind, even if you are running an SMB operation, it might make sense for you to take an Enterprise solution for better reliability and scalability.
You also want to know how many agents your provider can handle. And, if you have team members worldwide, is your provider able to provide superior call quality.
- Supervisor Dashboards and Real-Time Analytics
Cloud-based call centers offer a wide range of work tools for you to use; however, one of the more important ones you should look at is its supervisor dashboards. You want to make sure your team supervisors can track the actual time performance of their team members. You want your supervisors to offer assistance should their team members need help.
- Superior Customer Service No matter how reliable the cloud software is, problems happen. When it does, you want to make sure your potential provider can be contacted and provide a solution to the problem. The longer the downtime, the more money your company can lose. Ensure due diligence by checking out customer reviews about your provider before deciding.
Scale Up Your Cloud-Based Call Center with Ozonetel
Ozonetel is one of the world’s best contact center solutions, and its awards speak for themselves.
- Verified High Performer for three consecutive years
- Top 20 in Capterra’s predictive dialers
- 2022 Crozdesk Quality Choice Award and Trusted Vendor Award
Ozonetel stands out from its competition with its:
- CTI and CRM Integration. Ozonetel works seamlessly with popular business tools like Shopify, Zendesk, Slack, Soho, Freshdesk, and Shopify. Its API-based architecture allows it to integrate into your in-house CRM software easily.
- Superior Features. Ozonetel offers Screen Recording, autodialer, ACD/Smart Routing, IVR, and power dialer.
- Amazing Service. Ozonedesk was awarded the Happiest Users Award in 2022 by Crozdesk. This award means each of our accounts benefits from our excellent customer service and support. We take care of the heavy lifting so you can focus on observing and growing your customers.
Being cloud-based is the future of contact centers. With all the benefits a cloud-based call center offers, you can’t go wrong with moving your call center business to the cloud.
When you are ready, Ozonetel packs all the tools you could ever need to improve service levels within an affordable, easy-to-integrate, quick-to-set-up call center solution. Contact us to learn more: https://ozonetel.com/call-center/