The buzz surrounding cloud computing is dominating much of the online tech news scene. Vendors are coming out of every corner, touting the benefits of moving data to the cloud. The same is said for the contact center – but should this important division of the company be moved outside of the corporate firewall?
While many virtual call center providers praise the opportunities afforded with moving the contact center to the cloud, is it right for every situation? A recent announcement from Microsoft (News - Alert), which states that the software giant has added more than 25 partners for its Cloud OS Network, suggests that this is the case, pointing to the mass exodus from the in-house deployment strategy to the cloud.
There’s a reason why this is happening as companies recognize the benefits associated with the virtual call center. For the first time, companies can deploy in-house customer service initiatives without building a new facility, adding on to current real estate or simply filling cubicles. The worry over hardware and infrastructure is removed. Plus, the contact center can scale as necessary, making adjustments according to the needs of the market without additional investments. They simply pay for what they use.
The benefits also extend to the value data offers to the enterprise. The interactions that take place across the contact center provide invaluable data that can be used for a myriad of processes and benefits. For instance, the customer who seeks out support for a technical issue and is pleased enough to agree to the additional purchase shares important information in the exchange that can be used to promote such success in other interactions.
This data is easily centralized in the virtual call center, making it more easily accessible for any department able to turn that data into necessary business intelligence. Likewise, contact center managers can use the information to improve scripts, train agents, monitor performance and measure activities. Centralized data is then easily integrated with quality monitoring and management for consistent improvements.
Accessing the call center infrastructure through the cloud incorporates the use of voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), creating the perfect environment to deploy the home agent. Contact centers can extend the labor pool beyond its geographic boundaries to access the skillset and education needed to fill the demanding agent role.
The cloud and the virtual call center also create an opportunity for customization and access to features not previously available with the in-house solution. Smaller companies can enjoy the same benefits once only accessible by those companies with the largest budgets. It allows for a leveling of the playing field where even the smallest of companies can deliver on the biggest expectations.
While the cloud is not the perfect fit for all organizations, the arguments in favor of this deployment strategy are too strong ignore.
Edited by Alisen Downey