Contact Centers Benefit Most From Cloud Technology
The age of mobility is well under way. Smartphones and tablets have forever altered the way people compute - both privately and professionally. But this phenomenon extends to communications, as well. It is gradually being realized that legacy solutions and landline telephones have begun to outlive their usefulness as more flexible, agile networks are launched into the cloud.
In terms of enterprise, contact centers are being greatly affected by evolutions in IT services and equipment. Modern consumers demand personalized assistance these days - they want their favorite companies to treat them as individuals and connect with them over a wide variety of mediums. Where customer service departments used to rely solely on voice, they now also need to have email, instant messaging, video and even social media capabilities at their disposal in order to provide quality assistance. Rather than spending countless time and resources on trying to update existing infrastructures, many organizations are finding it more suitable to move into a cloud-based environment where assets can be deployed and managed more easily - especially when hosted services are selected.
"IT and business managers are realizing that there are many advantages to cloud-based solutions," wrote Destination CRM contributor Donna Fluss, the founder and president of DMG consulting. "Besides the financial benefits - no capital investment, lower start-up and integration costs, and no upgrade fees - contact centers are finding it compelling not to have to purchase, set up, maintain, and upgrade hardware and software. Once freed from this burden, managers can dedicate their time and resources to optimizing the business aspects of the solutions."
Cloud Communications Key To Meeting Modern Needs
As a younger generation of employees continues to enter the workforce, priorities are starting to become rearranged. Because there is so much that can be accomplished through mobile endpoints these days, the concepts of jobs and offices are beginning to be more fluid in their definitions. Entire databases and telecom networks are being made available across a wide range of devices, making it more possible for people to set their own schedules and have a say in where they complete their tasks.
This is thanks in part to a cultural reconceptualizing of how people view services like voice. It is actually incredibly easy to obtain communications channels thanks to an increase in consumer-grade, software-defined interfaces. The ease-of-use which is inherent of these platforms makes them effortless to install, manage and operate.
"In the contact center architecture of the future, solutions ... will all be considered services that reside as applications in the enterprise data network," Fluss stated. "This will allow them to be delivered across standardized networks to anywhere in the organization - a contact center, a remote site, an offshore location, or the home of an agent, just as data is delivered today. As long as the solutions are already residing in a centralized environment, it doesn't matter whether they are in an enterprise data center or the cloud."
Social Media Is Another Present-Day Consideration
Something else that millennials have partially been attributed to bringing into the office sphere is modern networking sites. Facebook, Twitter, etc. may once have been viewed as distractions from important tasks, but many forward-thinking companies have realized their value as a customer relationship management tool.
Contact centers need to have access to every outlet where a consumer might try to reach them. Social media has historically been a hotbed of opinion, and more than one business has found itself at the center of a PR nightmare over a particularly damning wall post. By enabling help desk representatives with socially-minded applications, it will be possible to field a greater number of queries. This can also improve a company's image - if a major issue is handled swiftly, publicly and appropriately, more people are likely to experience a second-hand satisfaction that could in turn convert them into customers.
But this cannot happen without the cloud unified communications in place. The kind of availability that needs to be indicative of enterprise apps is not possible without digitizing and converging all channels within hosted servers.
Cloud Communications Essential For Enterprise
According to Fluss, "Adoption of cloud-based contact center solutions is a worldwide phenomenon." On a global scale, people are realizing how effective cloud communications are for business - namely for customer service. As a greater number of enterprises seek out cloud capabilities for their contact center networks, those wishing to stay at the forefront of competition will need to recognize that existing hardware and services are not going to cut it.
"The contact center infrastructure market is at the most significant inflection point in its 30-plus–year history," Fluss wrote. "The cloud-based contact center infrastructure market is booming and showing no signs of slowing, while the premises-based sector is struggling to hold its own. End users around the world, in contact centers of all sizes, are adopting cloud-based contact center solutions and considering this acquisition model an important enabler for their future."