Consumers and their preferences have changed, and not just millennials. Mobile devices have basically changed the way consumers communicate and people of all ages use text messages and text-based apps. Some people have changed the way they shop, preferring to search and buy online, especially as this opens up options overseas. To do things when we want to, many of us prefer to use self-service technologies (if they work well) rather than talking to someone. And we have more choice, so companies have to provide products and customer service that exceed our expectations or we will look elsewhere.
The pace of change and the demands for understanding customers is increasing. Everyone is now talking about Omni channel contact centres however many contact centres are still basic call centres. Most contact centres in New Zealand do not have the scale to drive value from all the available contact centre technology to manage phone calls let alone manage other media such as, email, TXT and social media. Cloud contact centres, or CCaaS, could well provide affordable access to smaller users as it removes the need for buying software, on premise servers and costly deployment services. Budgets are under pressure so investing in expensive new technology is difficult to get approved.
Luckily some of the leading contact centre vendors i.e. Interactive Intelligence and Genesys, are moving their solutions to the Cloud. They are delivering integrated portfolios rather than the need for separate, multi-vendor tools. Historically all this technology needed numerous servers integrating these applications together. Now in the Cloud, it no longer needs to be a financial challenge to provide smart technology for relatively few users in your organisation.
Here are five benefits of Cloud contact centres:
- Rapid deployment and easy integration with existing infrastructure
For the deployment of on premise systems, complete IT infrastructure including hardware, software, telephony, etc, need to be installed. This requires a sizeable capital investment and can prove to be time consuming. Cloud contact centres are fast and easy to deploy as services are offered by vendors through the Internet. No need for any special equipment.
- Cost effective and lower capital expenses
Cloud contact centres require considerably less upfront expenditure for their deployment. They are based on a pay-as-you-go pricing and payment model. Companies can choose the services they want and pay for only those which they need. This is more cost effective as IT spending is lower compared to on premise contact centres and can result in an improved return on investment.
- Scalable contact centre solutions
Another advantage of a Cloud contact centre is that the operations can be easily scaled up or down by taking up or releasing online resources. It also provides an opportunity to pilot new channels such as email, txt and social media to demonstrate the benefits without significant investment. In the case of on premise systems, more hardware/software will be required to manage increased call volumes but if the call volumes drop, it will result in inefficient use of those resources.
- Anywhere, anytime access
The rapid proliferation of online services and mobile devices is driving the demand for customer support that is available 24×7. Cloud hosted solutions allow companies to provide on-demand support to customers, which can be accessed anytime from anywhere, including agents working from home.
- Leverage current investment
Many businesses are hesitant to lose control of their core contact centre infrastructure, but there are Cloud-based contact centre solutions that allow you to maintain full control. You don’t have to worry about writing off your current investment. Cloud contact centre solutions often work in a Hybrid environment with on premise infrastructure.
Earlier we mentioned two of the leading global contact centre vendors – Interactive Intelligence and Genesys. Their products are market leading and feature rich but historically have been too expensive for many organisations in New Zealand. Now available via the Cloud, they are still not the cheapest but are certainly more affordable to more organisations in New Zealand. Also, as market leaders they are driving the market and are pushing other vendors to offer Cloud solutions of their own.
The number of Cloud contact centres is still relatively small, and it may not be the best option for everyone. It is however a rapidly growing segment and the contact centre is an ideal area to exploit some of the benefits of Cloud.
If you are not getting the best from your contact centre technology and it no longer meets the demands of your customers TeleConsultants is keen to help review your business operations and help investigate your options.