5 Reasons Why Contact Centers are Moving to the Cloud
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The most successful brands in the world are dedicated to delivering excellent customer service, driving customer loyalty and meeting rising customer expectations. Increasingly, this means deploying cloud-based contact center solutions to help organizations engage with their customers when, where and how they want.
Contact Center as a Service (CCaaS) is a cloud-based software model that is hosted and managed by a provider. Unlike traditional, on-premises solutions that have hardware limitations, CCaaS enables cloud-based contact center solutions that enable organizations to quickly respond to changing customer and agent needs.
Contact Center as a Service has experienced an uptick in adoption as organizations look to significantly evolve their technology stacks to accommodate trends like remote working and a distributed, dynamic workforce.
Moving your contact center to the cloud offers a wide range of benefits, from cost-saving and greater flexibility to increased scalability. However, the top five reasons to move to a cloud-based contact center are:
- Seamless scalability
- Greater flexibility
- Simplified management
- Increased visibility into the customer journey
- Faster speed to market
A key benefit of a cloud-based contact center is the ability to scale operations quickly and seamlessly without needing additional hardware. Whereas on-premises solutions are built for a limited number of agents that can't be exceeded, cloud platforms enable on-demand scalability. This capability accommodates spikes in call volume due to seasonal peaks, emergencies, service disruptions and other fluctuations in workloads.
Cloud contact center platforms also enable new features to be provisioned faster than possible in an on-premises solution. For example, adding a chatbot or virtual assistant can take several months after ordering, building and deploying on-premises equipment. Whereas in a cloud-based platform, it's a matter of a few clicks and you're up and running in minutes.
Moving your contact center to the cloud unlocks both financial and operational flexibility benefits.
Many contact center managers assume cloud migration is expensive, but it can help optimize and even reduce costs by shifting from a CAPEX to an OPEX model. CCaaS providers host and manage the infrastructure components, which enables contact centers to eliminate significant overhead costs and invest budget into adding new capabilities like artificial intelligence (AI) and omnichannel.
A cloud-based contact center also offer flexible licensing models that enable you to only pay for what you use. That means you avoid the risk of overpaying for on-premises solutions that are pre-built for maximum capacity.
After the pandemic forced a rapid shift to remote agents, many contact centers realized a flexible work model was not only possible but could expand talent pools and reduce real estate costs. However, to successfully enable long-term remote work, you need to shift away from low-quality VPN connections and provide agents with a high-quality experience at home.
By migrating to the cloud, agents can log in to the software and tools they need directly from any device, regardless of location. Cloud-based contact centers can easily integrate with customer relationship management (CRM) applications (Salesforce, Zendesk, etc.) and workforce management platforms (NICE, Verint, Calabrio, etc.) so agents and staff have everything they need at their fingertips.
As previously discussed, moving to the cloud eliminates the need to maintain and manage on-premises infrastructure, such as servers, wiring, hardware and physical space. This frees up time for your IT staff to focus on more strategic initiatives.
Cloud-based contact center solutions also simplify call management for agents, who can easily deploy self-service options for customers. Chatbots, virtual assistants and interactive voice recognition (IVR) can help customers get answers to common questions, complete transactions, check account balances, track shipments and more without talking to an agent. This allows agents to focus their time on handling customer escalations.
Contact centers play an important role in educating business leaders on customer pain points, complaints, negative reviews and commonly asked questions. This is key to improving offerings and services and reducing contact center call queues. Cloud contact center solutions use artificial intelligence-powered assistive technology to reduce waiting times, understand a caller's query and potentially solve the issue without them having to speak to an agent. This results in happier callers and reduces agents' workloads.
By moving to a cloud contact center, you can increase visibility into the customer journey by collecting data and analytics across communication channels, from chatbot interactions to call transcripts. These customized reports help your marketing teams, product development teams and other business areas to continuously improve the customer experience. For example, if customers frequently ask a chatbot where to find delivery details on your website, the marketing team might consider restructuring the site to make that information easier to find.
In a highly competitive market, organizations must be able to quickly deploy new services to outpace their competition and remain relevant in the market. Not only do cloud-based contact centers enable rapid deployment of new services and features, but their unified and intuitive interfaces make it easy for agents and staff to get up to speed quickly on the new technology.
Moving your contact center to the cloud can catapult your customer service experience into the future with advanced, modern solutions. However, selecting the right cloud contact center solution for your business can be challenging with dozens of solutions available on the market.
To select the most appropriate cloud-based contact center solution you need to evaluate the product, the provider's commitment to innovation and support, and whether those align to your company's needs. Assess which applications and workloads should be cloud-based and then test the proof of concept in advance.
WWT's Advanced Technology Center (ATC) provides access to contact center experts that can help you evaluate, test and identify the right solution for your contact center. As a result, you can unlock the most value from the cloud. We provide expertise across 12 major contact center platforms and application vendors, in addition to our partnerships with cloud providers like AWS, Google Cloud and Microsoft Azure. This allows us to provide a holistic approach to contact center cloud migrations, deployments and agent training so you can ensure a smooth transition.
Discover how WWT can help your organization seamlessly migrate to a cloud-based contact center with our contact center workshop.
This article was originally published in August 2021 and updated in May 2023.