Why you can no longer ignore the cloud for CX applications
As with the rest of the business world, customer service departments have been transformed by the COVID-19 outbreak. In fact, research from Contact Babel found that 84% of UK contact centres have now moved from a centralised model to one based on home working – up from just 4% a few months earlier.
Lockdowns have meant that staff have had to work from home, at the very same time that incoming queries from worried customers looking for reassurance have increased dramatically. Balancing this mix of greater demand and lower capacity has been difficult for many organisations and is also leading more companies to explore moving their underlying contact centre technology to the cloud.
While the cloud has benefits that go well beyond delivering support in the current crisis, the need for ongoing flexibility and agility have put it top of the priority list for many contact centre managers. Every organisation has different requirements and needs to make its own choice, but for those considering a switch, this blog post outlines four key benefits of moving from on-premise to the cloud.
1. Deliver flexibility and scalability
The past few months have provided a series of challenges to businesses, from closing contact centres to radical changes in customer behaviour. Many consumers have gone online for the first time or are doing more on the web, leading to a rise in customer service queries across many sectors. At the same time companies in industries such as travel have been hit hard by lockdowns and increased travel restrictions.
While predicting the future is difficult, what is clear is that constant change is now the new normal – and it is those businesses that are flexible and agile that will be able to thrive. Having a cloud-based infrastructure enables you to flex your capacity when needed – adding licences to meet higher demand for example or reducing it when necessary. All of this means you can continue to deliver the highest levels of service, cost-effectively, providing your agents with the ability to work from home, while still providing them with the experience and tools that they would have if they were in the office.
2. Manage costs and enable innovation
The economic damage caused by the pandemic is likely to be long-term and widespread. Managing costs is, therefore, crucial going forward. As well as being able to easily reduce capacity if required, switching to the cloud removes the need to buy and manage your own IT and servers. Costs move from CAPEX to OPEX. making them more predictable and easier to account for.
Cloud-based software is also much easier to update, so your business can benefit from the latest innovations, bug fixes and new technology without having to undergo disruptive on-premise upgrades that can hinder normal working. Given rising customer expectations, being able to provide a fast, personalised experience is vital – access to the latest technology innovations helps you achieve this.
3. Security and data compliance
Customers rightly want their personal data to be kept secure – however, the security costs of outwitting hackers are constantly growing. Cloud-based systems are created and run by security specialists who are experienced in the latest techniques and invest heavily in keeping their software and data centres secure. They remove much of the security overhead while guaranteeing the highest levels of protection.
Cloud systems also focus on ensuring compliance with regulations such as the GDPR. As they are delivering this at scale, they have the experience and depth of knowledge to help companies to meet their own compliance needs.
4. Reliability and business continuity
It is almost impossible to calculate the cost to a business of a customer service IT outage. As well as the impact on customers and potential lost revenue, the damage to brand reputation and consumer trust mean that the expense can be in the millions of pounds, even if the problem is fixed relatively quickly.
Many IT problems are caused by the complexity of on-premise systems that have been added over the years and may not have been upgraded due to their mission-critical nature. Switching to the cloud removes this issue as management is handled by your provider. Strict vendor SLAs mean companies can expect 99.999% uptime guarantees, delivering greater peace of mind.
Moving some or all of your systems to the cloud is now a much more streamlined process that minimises disruption and risk to business operations. Vendors have experience of helping hundreds of companies to move from on-premise solutions, making it simple and straightforward.
To help companies weigh up their options and understand the benefits of choosing the cloud Enghouse Interactive, Eptica’s parent company has created a complete microsite on the subject. Content includes whitepapers on common cloud myths, statistics on adoption from Contact Babel, advice on building a business case and a full explanation of the benefits you can experience.