When the term ‘contact center’ or ‘call center’ is mentioned, we usually picture an office full of employees with headsets on, answering calls. This concept has existed for decades, but now it’s becoming outdated. As technology has developed, contact centers have too, evolving into a new, flexible engine of customer service.
In this article, we discuss what cloud-based contact centers are, the benefits of cloud-based contact centers over on-premise contact centers, and why cloud-based contact centers represent an exciting future for customer service.
What is a Cloud-Based Contact Center?
A cloud-based contact center is a customer service solution hosted entirely within the cloud. Cloud-based contact centers enable businesses to manage customer interactions across a host of different channels such as phone, email, social media, and web chat. They allow agents to work from any location, needing only an internet connection.
What are the Different Types of Contact Center?
When picking the right contact center for your organization, it’s essential to evaluate every option. In this section, we will examine the two most common types of contact centers, discussing their advantages and disadvantages.
Cloud-based contact centers
Cloud-based contact centers are contact centers hosted in the cloud. Cloud data is stored securely in dedicated data centers. Agents are able to access the solution through a browser-based interface, via any device. For this solution, all your agents need is a stable internet connect with sufficient bandwidth, meaning that it’s extremely easy for your agents to work from almost wherever they want.
Cloud-based contact centers have numerous advantages:
Rich functionality – All the traditional features of a contact center such as hold, call logging and wait music are preserved, as well as new functionality such as Omni-channel support, real-time analytics, and integrations with other systems.
Unbeatable reliability – Cloud-based contact centers offer a guaranteed uptime of 99.999%. This provides assurance that the solution will always be working 24/7/365.
Easy setup – Cloud-based contact centers function as an ‘out-of-the-box’ solution which can work with existing devices.
Unlimited scalability– New agents can be added at the click of a button, letting you scale your contact center to meet any level of demand.
Continuous upgrades – Cloud-based contact centers are constantly updated with new functionality, letting you stay ahead of the competition with world-leading technology, such as Artificial Intelligence.
Cost-effectiveness – Cloud-based contact centers have a significantly reduced upfront cost in comparison to on-premise solutions. Cloud-based contact centers are built around a modular model, meaning you aren’t paying for functionality you don’t want. You also don’t have to pay for IT support for the software as it is the responsibility of the provider to maintain the service.
On-premise contact centers
On-premise contact centers are the traditional form of the contact center, where businesses own and operate all their own necessary software and hardware. Generally, they employ or contract specialized IT staff to install, develop, and maintain their solution. Even though on-premise contact centers are old-school, there are still some benefits:
Greater security – completely restricted storage data, meaning only those with suitable permissions are able to access the data. However, this is still not 100% secure, and data can still be mishandled or breached by hackers, and because your business is responsible for the security of its own data, you would be held responsible.
Not dependent on third parties – Being the owner of your own on-premise contact center solution, you are not dependent on anyone else. The downside to being independent, is that if something goes wrong, the cost of repairs falls squarely on you.
They also have significant disadvantages:
Compliance – if your organization has specific regulatory requirements, these responsibilities fall directly on you. This requires extra care from employees, more money for external audits and even fines if your business is unable to meet the necessary standards.
High startup and maintenance costs – There is a large starting cost and a requirement for major capital investment, and the maintenance costs also ramp up quickly. If your tech stops working, slows down, or just needs upgrading, the cost of replacement falls entirely on your business.
Poor scalability – When your solution reaches maximum capacity, you need to either invest in expensive new infrastructure, or accept a below-average Customer Experience.
Lack of flexibility – Your employees are required to come to the contact center to work, meaning if they are sick or have travel problems they would simply not be able to work. Without mentioning the possibility of unexpected disaster, this places strict limitations on the flexibility of your workforce.
Content Guru’s Cloud-Based Contact Center Solution - storm®
Cloud-based contact centers are often superior to on-premise across all business applications, drastically improving both Customer and Agent Experience. Content Guru’s award-winning cloud contact center solution storm®, puts those benefits at your fingertips, bringing your customer contact into the twenty-first century.
Interested in learning more about the benefits cloud-based contact centers? Download Content Guru’s latest whitepaper on strategies for proactive customer contact, Customer Contact for the Future: Why Proactive CX is the Next Step for Your Contact Center.