Cloud solutions allow call centers to be more flexible and agile in meeting customers’ needs, but they also come with considerable risks.
Cloud computing solutions promise call centers a cheaper and more flexible setup that would make their data accessible from anywhere. It’s precisely because of this that it has become one of the fastest-growing areas in the customer service sector. According to DMG consulting, the worldwide adoption of cloud-based call center infrastructures has reached 11.1% in August 2015 from only 2.2% in 2008.
We can expect this figure to grow explosively in the coming years, as more customer service managers seek cloud services to optimize their workforce. Once you integrate cloud solutions into your contact center, things like hardware requirements, software specifications, and agent location will no longer matter. Wherever they are, agents can easily log in to the system using a phone line or their mobile and an Internet connection. This allows for home-based work and creates extra measures to avoid business disruptions.
However, before you go looking for a cloud solutions provider, remember that this technology may not be suitable to your firm. It may be popular, but that doesn’t mean it’s for everyone. So before you decide to move your contact center to the cloud, here are five questions you should first answer.
1. How much would it cost?
As with any kind of company asset, budget would always be a major consideration. For sure, you’ve already spent for your premise-based call center, so how much do you have left? And moreover, can you channel this fund to setting up, maintaining, and eventually upgrading your cloud applications? If money isn’t a concern for your firm or if you’ve already included it in your firm’s spending plan, you can cross it out of this list.
2. Does everything have to go into the cloud?
You have to specify your goals for moving your data and system to the cloud. For example, if it’s to allow for work-from-home setups or to enable overseas professionals to be part of your team, you need to prioritize the integration of your workforce management system more than anything else. Depending on your goal for using cloud computing, you need to choose the applications, systems, and data that should go into your cloud platform.
3. Who would manage the contact center’s cloud solutions?
Often, when managers think about moving into the cloud, they forget about the maintenance work it would require. It can be quite a hassle, because you have to build a team with the right skills. This includes IT experts and managers who can thrive in a hybrid office arrangement.
4. How safe is it?
Be prepared to deal with the risks that come with cloud-based systems. If you don’t have an in-house team to monitor your cloud setup, for example, you may end up relying on a third-party provider who may not be that familiar with call center processes. Lack of Internet access can also be a risk, especially for your home-based employees. And most importantly, information stored in a virtual location is attractive to cyber criminals, so make sure to implement security solutions and measures that can ward them off.
5. Which provider is most suitable for my needs?
Not all cloud services and applications are created equal. Make sure that your provider is familiar with the customer service setting so that they can optimize your cloud-based setup according to the goals that you want to achieve.