The move to cloud-based call centre technology.

 AccTech address another growing trend in the customer service industry – The move to cloud-based call centre technology.

 What does the cloud mean for your call centre?

Cloud-based infrastructure is the fastest growing area for the call centre industry, predicted to almost double between 2013 and 2015 (https://fonolo.com/blog/2014/01/top-12-contact-center-trends-for-2014/ ) But why is the cloud such a major trend and what benefits will it bring to your call centre?

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What’s different about the cloud?

  1. It removes the expensive capital expenditure on hardware

The major IT expense for a call centre is the expensive hardware and software (such as a PABX, telephones & headsets, telephony servers and Contact Centre software) required to set up and manage a call centre. While email, social media and web have often been included in the package, it is the telephony aspect of the solution thatcosts the most.

By moving to a fully-featured Cloud solution, such as local South African provider Ocular’s O!Connect solution (www.ocularcloud.com), you can be setup with end-to-end telephony, email, social, SMS and web-based contact centre solution within hours.

This approach removes the expensive hardware (and associated storage, maintenance and upgrade costs-) and instead moves your expenditure to a monthly fee. The cloud service provider manages the “behind-the-scenes” workings, and uses the latest in Voice over IP (VoIP) technology to handle the voice interactions with your clients, using a simple headset.

By fully integrating the other channels like social, email, web and chat, it provides a full solution, with a single interface, from where your agents can handle their interactions quickly and efficiently.

  1. It is scalable and affordable

Any good call centre depends on its agent utilisation and by avoiding excessive or insufficient headcount. But the costs associated with increasing headcount are often significant, and these costs generally don’t decrease as your headcount needs decrease.

Moving to cloud means a simple monthly fee per user (generally split by user level or job level). If you need another user, you simply increase your subscription next month, and if you cut staff, you simply decrease your subscription the following month.

3. It is perfect for the modern, mobile workforce and customer base

Since the Cloud is available from anywhere in the world, it enables your agents to work remotely, via a mobile device or from a remote office. It also allows management and supervisors to monitor call statistic dashboards and productivity analysis from a mobile device or while at an external meeting. It also enables sales and other support staff to view customer issues or queries while on the move.

Additionally, as more and more customers engage with your call centre through non-telephone based methods, you can free up your agents from engaging with one customer at a time, and enable web chat, self-service portals and social media interactions, all of which can be handled while the agent is busy with other tasks (and not necessarily even at the office).

  1. It enables integration to your CRM and other back-office systems in a single 360-degree view

One of the core benefits of moving to a managed cloud-based infrastructure is that the software provider manages the behind-the-scenes integration between systems. For example, with Microsoft Dynamics CRM integrated to O!Connect, integration is a seamless and painless affair, with Ocular (the service provider) managing the integration on your behalf.

Additionally, by leveraging a CRM system in conjunction with a product such as Microsoft’s Unified Service Desk (USD), you can create a single interface with context-sensitive information, allowing you to view all of the following in a single interface (creating the 360 degree view of that customer, which automatically opens when the client calls, emails, or chats):

  • Telephone details
  • Email and web interaction history
  • Social media posts
  • Previous case history, including open and closed cases
  • SLA and entitlement details
  • Back-office accounting/ERP data, such as the client’s balance
  • Data from a Line of Business (LoB) software, such as a billing system or hardware interface

Additionally, your agents get full access to a Knowledgebase, which is one of the key requirements for any good call centre. By moving your Knowledgebase to the cloud, it is available via your website, through your Facebook page or via a mobile app (for example, using the online Knowledgebase product).

So how do I find out more?

Come join us at Microsoft’s Reimagine Conference 22-23 April and see the cloud-based call centre in action! Click here for details