Cloud based call center software has seen a dramatic increase in demand and growth over the past few years. Earlier, most enterprises used to install on-premise call center applications in order to provide customer support.
With the help of cloud computing, organizations can now host their contact centers at a third-party data center, in a remote place, and without the need for any on-premise hardware infrastructure.
Due to low infrastructure costs and immediate shift from capex to opex, a majority of small and medium-size enterprises are transiting from on-premise contact center models to cloud-based models. Legacy system providers in the mid-to-small-size markets are finding it difficult to maintain their supremacy in the market – paving way for a boom in cloud based call center software.
Organizations can utilize advanced call center technologies without bearing the overhead, squabble, and potential disruptions that accompany on-site upgrades. Hence, businesses using cloud based contact centers can minimize initial investments in infrastructure and software licenses, and have can opt for a payment model, based on actual usage.
According to a recent study, the cloud-based contact center market is projected to grow from $5,430.3 million in 2016 to $15,670.9 million by 2021, at a CAGR of 23.6%.
A cloud call center software (also commonly known as a hosted contact center) is a customer service operation with all the basic elements of a contact center solution provided as a network service, without the need of on-premise hardware. This includes Automatic Call Distributor (ACD), Computer Telephony Integration [CTI], Interactive Voice Response [IVR], Call Center Dialer, and CRM Integrations.
On the basis of deployment, cloud based call center solution can be divided into – public cloud, private cloud and hybrid cloud. A high degree of performance and security is offered by the private cloud. However, it proves to be relatively expensive. The public cloud segment is expected to grow from $2,598.6 million in 2016 to $6,705.6 million by 2021, at a CAGR of 20.9%. The hybrid and community cloud segment is expected to grow at the highest CAGR of 27.2%, during the forecast period.
Public Cloud – With the public cloud, various service providers can get access to applications and storage available to the general public over the internet. Ease of access and fast deployment increases the adoption rate of public cloud. Other benefits include scalability, reliability, flexibility, and location-independent services. However, data security is still a concern when talking about public cloud offerings.
Private Cloud – Private cloud helps address the various security concerns of businesses within the corporate firewall. Companies can have better control of data, minimize the risk of data loss, and better adhere to regulatory compliances. Here, infrastructure is managed either internally by the service provider, or through a third party.
Hybrid Cloud – As the name suggests, Hybrid cloud involves integration of both public and private cloud, facilitating enterprises to use features of both. Enterprises can use the private cloud for storing sensitive data and the public cloud for storing less sensitive data. Hybrid cloud is scalable and flexible in a secure environment, and is also cost-effective.
Cloud Contact Center Benefits
1. Quick Deployment – As no infrastructure is needed for the deployment of cloud contact centers, hence the entire setup can be done at a much faster pace.
2. Scalability and Flexibility – Cloud call center software helps businesses in scaling up or down, based on customer traffic and business requirements.
3. Home-based work – Home shoring allows employees to work and perform all official tasks from home. This helps businesses keep a pool of native speaking agents with better language skills at a much lower cost, and can increase or decrease the agent count based on the call volume at ease.
4. Enhanced Business continuity – Business continuity distinguishes cloud-based contact centers from on-premise based solutions, which are prone to hardware failures that result in down-times. Different personas in a contact center such as agents, supervisors and administrators can access the cloud based contact center from anywhere, independent of the physical location. They just need a phone and internet connection, which ultimately results in better business continuity.
5. Focus on Agent performance and not system maintenance – With cloud-based contact centers, businesses can fully focus on the performance of the agent rather than worrying about the hardware/system maintenance, eventually leading to increased productivity.
6. Increased speed to market – As there is no need for any hardware installation, businesses can get the center up and running in a relatively shorter timeframe. Hence, the entire contact center can be operational very quickly, and organizations can immediately achieve their desired goals by leveraging cloud computing technology.
Barriers in Cloud Based Call Center Software
1. Data Security – Information security and privacy are still a major concern for organizations, especially banking and government departments. It becomes imperative for cloud based contact center providers to ensure that private information is fully secure.
2. Businesses restraint in transition from on-premise to cloud – Some enterprises still prefer on-premise contact centers due to various factors, such as complete control over contact center infrastructure, more customization options as per business need, and data security.
3. Support for Tighter Integrations – A major challenge for cloud contact centers is maintaining tighter integrations across channels to deliver a seamless customer experience. Customers can reach via different channels, and the contact center should be able to provide the customer interaction history to agent, thereby increasing First Call Resolution.
Customer experience is a key differentiator in the modern era. Cloud-based contact centers helps businesses adapt to the expectations of their customers. If an agent greets the customer with his name and knows the context of the call as soon as a customer calls a contact center, the chances of first call resolution greatly increase, and the customer ends up feeling valued and satisfied. Moreover, customer experience is compromised if a customer reaches out to a company via multiple channels (like voice, social, chat, web etc.), and the company doesn’t support any one of the channels.
Cloud contact centers help companies move towards an omni-channel contact center that connects all the customer touch points. Customers can easily transit from one channel to another, while contextually relevant information gets routed to the agents.
Thus – scalability, flexibility, quick deployment, business agility and different deployment models are increasing the demand for cloud-based contact centers. In the coming years, the business world is posed to see a swift transition from on-premise contact centers to cloud-based contact centers.