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Cloud Hosted Contact CenterIs your company using a cloud-based contact center solution? Chances are good that you are or will be soon. About half of all contact centers in North America are currently using a cloud or hosted solution in some form according to Frost & Sullivan, with that number expected to reach 90% by 2016. That’s a dramatic increase and, if you haven’t made the switch from a premises-based solution yourself, you may be wondering what forces are driving this trend.One of the major reasons for the shift to cloud hosted contact center solutions is that the technology is simply superior in most instances. Cloud solutions are more cost-effective, can be easily scaled alongside a growing business, and are quick to deploy. Even among larger enterprises that can afford the space and dedicated staff requirements of an on-site system, adoption of cloud-based solutions, either fully or as part of a hybrid setup, is growing.
If we assume a different perspective, another reason why companies are migrating to the cloud is the need to remain competitive. Cloud hosted solutions grant contact centers the ability to be more flexible and responsive to customers. Those companies that don’t make use of the latest technology will see revenue and customer satisfaction falling behind those that do.
The flexibility of cloud solutions is most visible in being able to offer coverage over a larger number of channels. While many interactions still happen by phone, customers are more and more often turning to digital channels, such as email, web chat, and social media, and expecting a response through that channel in a short timeframe. Cloud-based contact centers have the advantage of integrating these channels to provide a quick and consistent customer care experience across multiple media.
Consistency is a crucial component of customer experience, but all too often companies are delivering an incomplete experience. Problems can range from customer information not being transferred, requiring that customer to start from the beginning with their basic details if they change channels, to completely different responses due to channels being assigned to different groups. This latter issue is often the result of legacy premises-based solutions that push companies into a silo approach. One group may be responding to emails while another takes calls, with no connection between what each of them are doing.
Naturally, this is less than ideal for delivering a satisfying customer experience. The desire for an omni-channel solution that can seamlessly manage interactions across channels is yet another driver for the rising adoption of cloud hosted contact center solutions. By implementing these solutions, companies can overcome the limitations of legacy systems and provide an experience that benefits both customers and the corporate brand.