If you're considering a contact center solution for your business, you may be wondering whether a cloud-based model is the right choice for you. From small start-ups to large enterprises, everyone can benefit from the advantages of a cloud-based contact center. In this blog, we explore the cloud contact center advantages you should know about, to help inform your decision to migrate to the cloud.
There are several reasons why you might choose a cloud contact center over an on-premise contact center. The cloud contact center advantages can be grouped into four categories:
Scalability and Reliability
Set-up and Maintenance
1. Cloud Contact Centers are Scalable and Reliable
One of the main reasons the cloud contact center has an advantage over on-premise is its reliability. The software and infrastructure of a cloud contact center solution are managed remotely. The tools to run the contact center are hosted in the cloud, meaning that they can be accessed using any device with an internet connection. Agents can work from anywhere, whether they're in the office, or at home.
This gives your business the flexibility to deliver great CX regardless of the circumstances, and the ability to scale at the click of a button.
Scale on demand without consequences
Peak times differ between services and sectors, so you need a solution that can adapt to fluctuations in interaction volume and agent availability. That’s where cloud contact center solutions have the advantage.
As cloud contact centers are hosted-off site, additional agents are able to access the system quickly and easily. This makes it much easier to respond to changes in forecasted demand or unexpected spikes.
With storm®, Content Guru’s cloud contact center solution, callers are queued within the cloud free of charge. This allows businesses to accommodate 10,000+ callers without the need to pay extra to their provider meet customer expectations.
Hybrid working practices for agents have become a permanent fixture of many contact centers:
Agents benefit from work-from-home and flexible hybrid policies, as they help to drive down agent attrition, improve mental well-being, and aid work-life balance.
Cloud contact centers are able to scale geographically. Because the solution can be accessed from any location, it can effortlessly expand with an organization, both across borders and within one nation.
This is particularly useful not just for hybrid staff, but also for global organizations that need to support customers across multiple time zones or countries without the need for relocation.
Connect to customers anywhere, anytime
Unlike on-prem solutions, cloud solutions benefit from specialty infrastructure designed to ensure the platform is always up and running. In other words, a key advantage of a cloud contact center is that they have high availability, which is typically included in the service-level agreement (SLA).
Most cloud contact center solution providers guarantee a service-level agreement (SLA) of 99.99% or higher. The higher the availability, the more consistent call quality and less downtime for customers.
Content Guru upholds a high availability with storm, which is achieved through design both at a network level and platform level:
For resilience at the network layer, the platform is interconnected via secure links with multiple carrier networks.
For resilience on the platform level, the platform is hosted at a minimum of two secure and physically separated data centers. By dispersing resources between multiple servers, the service delivered through a cloud contact center solution is not only scalable but reliable too.
Therefore, if downtime does occur in one data center, it doesn’t cause network disruption, as data is seamlessly transferred without loss of connectivity.
The storm platform carries a 99.999% availability, due to highly interconnected, geographically dispersed data centers, working at active-active configuration.
Did you know that storm is the first ever CCaaS platform to support Emergency Services, including 999 platforms, through its dedicated Emergency Services Platform (ESP)? Emergency services such as police and NHS 111 rely on us for over 99.999%+ availability, empowering Emergency Services staff to deliver quality, unified care to the entire nation.
The adaptability and reliability of cloud contact centers make them a great choice for businesses that need a flexible and dependable contact center solution.
2. Cloud Contact Centers Take The Set Up and Maintenance Work Off Your Hands
The infrastructure and technology that support a cloud contact center solution are located externally, and not on your business’s premises. On top of the scalability and reliability this provides, the added advantage is that your business is not responsible for setup and maintenance. The cloud contact center provider handles all software updates and maintenance, security, and disaster recovery on behalf of the business. Great, right?
Keep your data safe
The internet – is it really safe? Yes, at least with the right cloud contact center solution. Any cloud contact center solution provider worth their salt will help to protect your business and sensitive customer data by remaining compliant with essential regional and industry regulations, such as:
These regulations help organizations avoid fines and other costs for non-compliance.
The best providers go above and beyond and follow additional information and data security standards. Content Guru holds accreditations for the effective implementation of an Information Security Management System (ISO 27001). This is the world’s best-known standard for security management systems. Content Guru has also passed the Service Organization Control (SOC) 2 Type 2 audit, which assesses how a cloud-based service provider stores and processes sensitive information.
We also hold Cyber Essentials Certified and Cyber Essentials Certified Plus accreditation, following technical audits which test our IT systems’ security against cyber-attacks.
Content Guru also holds:
ISO 9001, for Quality Management
ISO 14001, for Environmental Management
ISO 20000-1 for Service Management
ISO9001 TickITplus for Software Development
ISO 22301 for Business Continuity Management
On the user level, robust action controls ensure that only authorized personnel can access private customer information. As the applications that agents use are on a browser, not downloaded onto computers, they are protected with additional security controls such as multi-factor authentication and role-based access.
Generally, cloud contact centers reduce the risk of data breaches and other security incidents because they are hosted in secure data centers, ensuring continuous operation in the event of any outages. In case of disaster, recovery plans ensure additional data backups and data recovery, protecting against data loss.
Get set up in as little as 48 hours
Don’t wait to migrate to the cloud. Since all the setup is done by the provider, entire contact center deployments and new projects, which would otherwise take months to complete, can be set up in a number of days. For organizations with a full or hybrid working-from-home model, agents are able to work from home in as little as 48 hours, instantly improving employee and customer experience.
Having as little downtime to the service is imperative to maintaining 24/7 customer interactions. Tried and tested updates to the platform don’t impact service, as there is no downtime- with no need to rely on in-house developers for innovation and upgrades. If there were ever a problem, cloud contact center support staff are available at 24/7, 365 days a year to troubleshoot, fix problems, and ensure 99.999% availability.
Some businesses and local councils were able to have their move to the cloud completed before the lockdowns, which ensured no service downtime to their customers. Such deployments were crucial during the COVID-19 pandemic, making the cloud a must-have for businesses that prioritize the customer experience or are assessed based on the level of CX they deliver. When people needed it the most, the cloud was able to provide them with the solutions they needed to deliver quality, empathetic, personable CX, even during peak demand.
3. Cloud Contact Centers are Customizable and Feature-Rich
Cloud contact center solutions are like Lego. With different colored and shaped blocks at your disposal, you can create whatever you want. It’s the same for cloud contact center solutions. Pick your products and features, then add them to your main solution in the order that suits you, to build the solution that caters to your business needs. Want to swap something out or add something in, like analytics capabilities? With the cloud, you can!
Integrate as many systems and channels as you need
The advantage of a cloud contact center solution is that no in-house work is needed. That means when you want to add new functionality, the work is handled by the provider.
Configuring and maintaining integrations is easier with a cloud contact center. Migrating to the cloud is no longer just ‘lifting and shifting’, but adapting your contact center to the new features that cloud solutions can offer.
Customer behavior is changing. Cloud CX solutions are able to go beyond omnichannel to create so-called “channel-less” or “opti-channel” experiences: integrating your cloud contact center with multiple systems simultaneously, instantly syncing data as it is updated by either an agent or by customers sending their data directly into a central database using self-service channels.
Cloud contact centers support cohesive integration between customer journeys, without needing additional solutions. Compared to call centers, which only have one channel at their disposal, cloud contact centers are able to integrate multiple forms of inbound communication, including voice, email, web chat, asynchronous messaging services such as social media and WhatsApp, SMS messages, and more! Allowing consumers to interact with your brand across multiple different channels, and choose the channel of their choice, can reduce wait times and improve First Contact Resolution (FCR).
Historically, moving from on-premise solutions to the cloud meant lifting an existing solution and recreating it in a cloud environment. Now, you can tailor the solution to your needs over time, scaling to add channels as the needs of your customers evolve. Cloud software updates can quickly respond to novel consumer preferences, such as asynchronous messaging and voice notes, creating a fluid experience across all channels.
With greater channel diversity, AI can play a greater role in improving CX in addition to general contact center processes. On-prem systems simply cannot take advantage of these technologies. The cloud contact center can seamlessly integrate with third-party AI services, enabling AI-powered chatbots, Intelligent Automation to assist agents during interactions, and AI-backed contact center analytics. AI conversational agents can be integrated effortlessly into the start of the customer journey, helping them to self-serve non-urgent inquiries, and reducing wait times.
With new AI technologies being released every week, keeping up with the pace of change necessitates a cloud solution. If your organization doesn’t embrace AI, your competitors will. The future of the cloud contact center equation is balanced: part agent and part machine.
One solution, infinite integrations
With its building block-like nature, most cloud contact center providers are able to offer end-to-end, or single-stack solutions. With an end-to-end solution, such as storm, all the tools and features necessary to deliver great CX is available from a single provider. Therefore there’s no chance of integrations breaking since all products and modules are cross-compatible and come pre-integrated.
And for those organizations that need bespoke integrations, APIs can make it happen. Build the solution you need with APIs, without spending on hardware or software packages you don’t need. APIs can help your agents instantly access a customer's details from a CRM or industry-specific third-party system without switching between multiple windows, reducing the time it takes for agents to get information, increasing the efficiency of calls, and resulting in better CX.
Integrating data channels on the cloud allows for personalized and empathetic CX, using omni-data to give a 360 view of the customer’s historical interactions. This customer data can be combined with product and service information to provide agents with dynamic scripting, which you would need to pay to maintain with on-prem solutions.
4. Cloud Contact Centers Are Cost-Effective
72% of businesses prefer cloud contact centers because agents can have applications that would be too costly to access on-prem. At first glance, cloud contact centers can appear more expensive. However, it’s important to view the total cost of ownership (TCO). Cloud contact centers have no upfront costs for things such as on-premise hardware and infrastructure and instead operate on a subscription model. Global carrier costs are also included. Lower TCO of cloud contact centers enables businesses to cut down on outgoings with predictable billing.
90% of contact centers that switched to the cloud did so for financial flexibility. Lowering operational costs means an increased budget for things that matter, such as a larger staff team or an improved promotion structure. In return, you can expect less employee churn, as wages and promotions were listed as the most important reasons given by agents to stay in the role.
In the cloud, the contact center goes from being a cost sink to a value center. Outstanding Customer Experiences deliver real value for your business. The flexibility of the cloud contact center allows for significant ROI, and creates a true competitive advantage.
The Cloud Advantage
Ready to learn more about cloud contact center advantages? Continue your CX journey by downloading Content Guru’s Four Pillars of CX whitepaper, detailing the four steps toward an evergreen contact center.