For businesses that rely on contact centers to field customer inquiries and manage customer service issues, any disruption in network connectivity can lead to a loss of business and damaged relationships. After all, your contact center connects your customers with your business, often in situations that can be stressful and frustrating. If an already unsatisfied customer has to deal with a dropped phone call or degraded phone service during her contact center experience, you’ve just given her a reason to never do business with you again.
Contact center operations have evolved tremendously over the past decade, and increasingly businesses are turning to cloud-based communications as an alternative to traditional telecom providers to power their contact centers’ voice and messaging services.
Indeed, analyst firm ResearchandMarkets forecasts the global cloud-based contact center market to grow from $6.8 billion in 2017 to nearly $21 billion by 2022, at a compounded annual growth rate of 25.2 percent during the forecast period. Nearly a fourth (23 percent) of respondents to a No Jitter 2017 Cloud Communications Survey have turned to the cloud for contact center services, and more than half (53 percent) of these respondents say the total cost of ownership is lower than expected.
While reduced costs are one of the key drivers for this shift to a cloud-based model, organizations of all sizes are considering benefits such as reduced and simplified maintenance, faster deployment times, easier provisioning and management of distributed sites and agents, and increased business agility.
Additionally, negative experiences with traditional telecom service providers have driven many businesses to seek an alternative with cloud-based carriers. Legacy telecom providers have long been saddled with bad reputations as a result of their limited and impersonal customer support, along with an inability to scale their networks to meet contact center-specific call volumes.
Foodler, a Boston-based food delivery service that was gobbled up by GrubHub in 2017, is a good example of a nimble company benefitting from cloud-based communications to fuel its contact center. Foodler has established a loyal following for quick and on-time delivery of food from partner restaurants to its customers.
Hangry customers want nearly instant gratification, and Foodler understands that any orders that are late, incorrect, or fail to show up at all, can have a very real impact on its bottom line. As such, its phone connectivity needs to be flawless, without degraded voice quality or unexpected dropped calls, especially during lunch and dinner rushes.
Foodler orders are managed through a distributed call center, with remote customer service representatives across the United States. The company partnered with a SIP trunking provider to deploy cloud-based voice services to ensure remote customer support agents can manage order requests and updates without phone service disruptions or impacts to call quality.
If your business is considering a move to a cloud-based communications provider for your contact center, below are five practical considerations to help ensure your success:
- Easy-to-use web-based portals: Does the service provider offer intuitive, web-based access to cloud-based telephone services such as real-time call records, detailed cost accounting, granular control of phone numbers and routing, and premium quality audio?
- Direct media delivery: How does the service provider deliver its calls? With direct media delivery, calls can traverse the network, reducing jitter and latency and enhancing call quality and reliability.
- Simplified porting and provisioning: What is the porting and configuration process for new customer service lines? Adding new seats to your contact center shouldn’t impact line capacity. The right service provider should be able to activate new local or toll-free numbers instantly and seamlessly integrate voice services into your contact center platform.
- Ability to track call data for business insights: Does the service provider enable you to track call data? It’s important to be able to track which numbers are being called most, from where, and when, as well as collect and access workforce management data in real time.
- Unlimited channel capacity to manage growth: To ensure your phone service can scale effectively and instantly when onboarding new agents and locations, make sure that your service provider can offer unlimited call channels in and out of the communications system. This can ensure that callers won’t experience blocked calls due to channel limits and that you won’t be overspending on unused capacity.
Ultimately, when making any sort of migration involving critical communications services, consider your organization’s specific needs and those of your customers. Cloud-based solutions for contact centers won’t be a one-size-fits-all” offering, so be sure to evaluate how your new service provider will be able to adapt to any existing systems in place to minimize disruption.