Finding the Best Cloud Contact Centre Solution for Your Business
Written by Mo Hilali
Modern businesses need multi-channel capabilities to communicate with their customers. Instead of just call centres, businesses are looking for fully-managed cloud-based solutions. Contact centres provide this versatility through phones, SMS, push notifications, emails, text messaging, social media platforms and more.
Evolution of Call Centres to Contact Centres
The first call centres started in the early 1960s with the Private Automated Business Exchanges (PABX). Next, the improvement in computer technology gave birth to Automatic Call Distributor (ACD). Soon these technologies were combined. The UK-based Birmingham Press and Mail was the early adopter of this innovation. They had a GEC PABX 4 ACD installed in 1965.
The 1970s saw the improvement of the technology. More businesses started to see the benefits of call centres and started to adopt it. By early 1980s, today’s big names in the call centre business started to establish themselves. Oxford dictionary included the word “call centre” in 1983.
The 1990s were a boom period. Initially, the expansions were local. But the new century changed things again. Internet connectivity and VoIP technology made it possible to use on-premise solutions overseas. Businesses started to build call centres in places like India and Philippines.
Recently, the tide has started to change. Call centres are moving back within borders. Multi-channel communication and the cloud is again changing the dynamics.
Benefits of Cloud Contact Centres
Businesses are moving away from the centralized on-premise call centre model. Here are some of the benefits of using a cloud contact centre solution:
To start an on-premise call centre, you need a large investment. Cloud-based solution frees you from the worries of hardware, physical data centre colocation, networking, and infrastructure. Whether you are a small business or a large enterprise, cloud contact centre eliminates the need for resources which saves you money.
Upgrading software or firmware for physical phones is time-consuming and error-prone. On the cloud, your software upgrades are often handled by the service provider. Your team can concentrate on what they do best — serve the customers. If your hardware gets out-dated, the waiting periods for firmware patches are longer than a software update
An on-premise system takes time to set up and test. IT teams can end up spending weeks or months to plan and install a fully functional on-premise system. Cloud contact centres take fewer steps to set up especially with the huge DevOps revolution we are seeing in our own hybrid-cloud environment at Ciptex and in many of the UK businesses, testing periods are also shorter. Businesses save time in both installation and maintenance.
Data integration with your current customer relationship management (CRM) system can be a painful experience. So, cloud-based solutions have a much better turnaround. Also, updating your agent scripts is easier and more secure.
Resource management and planning can be more dynamic. You don’t have to meticulously pre-plan your infrastructure. You can increase and decrease resources according to changing demands. Your contact centre can scale from 8 agents to 8,000 agents without any major issue and in very reasonable time. A cloud-based solution gives you the flexibility to run an agile, lean, and scalable business.
Realising a return on investment (ROI) for software deployed in data centres or data rooms can take a long time, even 10–20 years. Also, you must consider that there isn’t much redundancy. With a cloud contact centre, you get high availability (HA). At the same time, you can add more redundancy by adding more geographically spread failovers.
Most likely cloud contact centre solutions come with higher quality support than an on-premise solution. In case of a failure, on-premise service providers must send representatives to fix the problem. For the cloud, online technical support can help you instantly. Cloud contact centres provide better service level agreements (SLAs) for this Software as a Service (SaaS).
The current trends indicate that call centres of the future will be web-based. Web chat and social media customer service will become more dominant forces. Customers already prefer chat over voice communication. In nutshell, it makes complete sense for businesses to use this communication channel. Using webchat, talented call centre agents will have more opportunities to upsell the latest products and services.
While contact centres will continue to evolve, agent skill levels will still play a crucial role in the success of the organization. The secret to improving the operational efficiency of a contact centre is combining superior technology with great people management.
Do you have questions about cloud contact centres? Please feel free to get in touch with us. At Ciptex, we can show you a demo of the Hermes Cloud Contact solution. You will find out how we can help you design, implement and test a fully-managed service. Hermes will make your life easier. Contact us today.
Mo, Senior DevOps Engineer Ciptex
Mohamad has over 7 years’ experience in IT infrastructure engineering. Previously, he has worked for multiple managed service providers (MSPs) in the UK and abroad. In his current role at Ciptex, Mo is responsible for all network and infrastructure related projects, working closely with operations and product development teams. He has a Bachelors (BSc) with Honours in Information Technology Engineering and an Masters (MSc) degree in Computer Networks and Security. Mohamad stands at the forefront of the fastest moving technology industry trend: cloud services. He has spent the past three years evangelising an industry-wide shift to the cloud and has helped many businesses migrating services to the cloud.
“I am very passionate about technology and cloud, and currently hold Microsoft Certified Professional MCP specialising in Server and Cloud infrastructure, ITIL V3 Certificate, and hands-on Cisco, Azure and Office 365, AWS. I am experienced in customer facing technical roles and I love to provide top notch service; this is reflected in the great feedback I regularly receive from clients. In my spare time, I enjoy cooking, travelling, fitness training and I play table tennis at championship level.”