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Learn the basics of cloud contact centers — what they are, how they differ from on-premise contact centers, and what kind of benefits they offer to businesses.
A cloud contact center (also called a cloud call center) is a type of contact center that is hosted in the cloud and helps businesses deliver customer support, handling all inbound and outbound communications, from virtually anywhere. It goes beyond the traditional contact center’s basic functionalities of answering phone calls to resolve customer issues. Cloud contact centers act as a centralized hub to integrate all customer interactions, regardless of the business location and the choice of communication channel. A typical cloud contact center improves customer communications, offering solutions such as interactive voice response (IVR), call recording, and analytics.
Cloud and on-premise contact centers differ in several ways, including:
The upfront expense and deployment time associated with implementing an on-premise contact center infrastructure are higher than it is for a cloud-based contact center. A cloud contact center is deployed on a third-party cloud service provider that is responsible for purchasing and maintaining hardware, licenses, onsite servers, and infrastructure to support operations. You choose to pay only for the services that you use, resulting in cost savings for your bottom line.
With cloud contact centers, it’s the responsibility of the service provider to help you achieve an optimal customer experience. They deliver on this by enabling all the disparate things that go into your contact center operations — from skilled labor to stable internet connectivity.
In contrast, with on-premise contact centers, the onus of maintaining the system lies with your organization. You need to maintain all the infrastructure, connectivity, and talent pool. This can cause issues, especially when downtime with equipment or the internet slows down your operations — damaging your customer experience.
The pay-as-you-go model of cloud contact centers makes it easier for you to scale up your operations while maintaining service quality — even when you experience increased customer traffic.
Expanding on-premise operations, on the other hand, requires additional hardware, upgraded infrastructure, and possibly server modifications to keep up with growing customer traffic or changed customer behavior. Sometimes, businesses end up with surplus hardware when they need to scale back after a while — making it hard to streamline processes without hampering business growth.
Customers continue to adopt new digital channels, including social media, messaging apps, and chat, and they want to be able to effortlessly connect with businesses across those channels. To provide the seamless experiences customers increasingly expect, you need to level up your traditional contact center and provide service on all of these support channels.
A contact center solution’s differentiating technology can transform a legacy contact center into an advanced set-up that will allow your team to stay on top of every customer request and optimize agent productivity, among many other advantages.
There are several ways a cloud contact center solution is preferable compared to on-premise contact centers.
You can map multiple customer journey touchpoints and proactively reach your customers through their preferred channels. Contact center agents no longer need to swap between tools, apps, or browser windows to engage with customers — even when they switch channels — ensuring faster response times and reduced customer churn.
With information stored in the cloud, agents can get a comprehensive view of customer data and each caller’s conversation history. This equips your agents with the context to respond with personalized responses, and anticipate each customer’s needs, wherever and whenever they reach out.
If your solution uses artificial intelligence (AI), you can customize the experience through sentiment analysis. Conversation analytics enables AI chatbots and voice bots to comprehend a customer’s intent and sentiment from their stated and unstated words.
For instance, positive words such as “delighted,” “satisfied,” and “thrilled” indicate happiness and imply an opportunity for scoring an upsell, referral, or positive review. On the other hand, words such as “annoyed,” “dissatisfied,” and “unhappy” suggest dissatisfaction, and may indicate escalation or churn.
Cloud contact center solutions capture agent-customer interactions and analyze live performance data to generate quality scores for agents. Contact center managers can harness these insights within dashboards to detect skill gaps in agents and design customized training programs for enhanced workforce optimization.
Intelligent cloud contact center software is equipped to route customers to the agents that are best suited to solve their issues. The end result is improved resolutions and customer satisfaction (CSAT) — leading to better agent morale. The software continuously gathers and collates data related to each agent’s skill set, capacity, priority, and past performance, so it knows precisely which agent is the best match for a specific case.
Cloud contact centers can also help resolve customer concerns through self-service support such as AI bots, community forums, and more. This means that only the most complex or sensitive queries reach your live agents, which again results in better SLAs and productivity. AI-led contact center software can also equip your agents with knowledge base recommendations, brand-compliant responses, and escalation alerts based on real-time conversation analysis.
To identify the right solution for your business, you need to understand and determine which contact center software features are required to meet your unique business needs. The most in-demand functionalities that can make or break your decision include:
You should opt for a cloud contact center software that promises guaranteed uptime at all times. Any software whose uptime matches a 99.5% SLA should make the shortlist. To guarantee business continuity, a dependable provider will also cover unplanned contingencies, including power outages, bad weather, and equipment failures.
Your cloud contact center software should offer deep, insightful data that can be leveraged to improve your customer service performance. Look for software with AI-based analytics for speech, customer sentiment, and agent performance.
Omnichannel routing sends customer queries across a range of channels to the right agent. It ensures that no customer gets lost in the shuffle and assists agents in handling customer interactions productively. A cloud contact center that offers omnichannel routing includes solutions such as automatic call distributor (ACD), interactive voice response (IVR), and proactive dialers.
It is crucial that you choose a cloud contact center solution that seamlessly integrates with the software you already use. Contact centers that provide excellent customer experience use robust and convenient APIs to integrate data from your software to any external system. For example, with the help of APIs, your agent can instantly access a customer's details from your CRM on the cloud contact center solution you are using without switching multiple tools.
Traditional contact center software lacks necessary integrations with the many touchpoints customers use to connect with businesses — like SMS, email, social media, and live chat. Deploying disjointed point solutions for each channel often results in a bumpy customer journey and inefficient quality management. Sprinklr’s cloud contact center solution unifies customer care across 30+ digital and traditional channels and is able to absorb load while staying consistent and responsive at all times. With a superior AI engine that brings customer communications and a treasure trove of actionable insights together in one platform, Sprinklr delights customers and agents alike with functionalities including:
Contact Center Automation to resolve cases faster with machine-driven workflows and processes on an enterprise scale
Agent performance analytics to measure historical and real-time metrics, enhance service quality, shape training, and raise timely supervisor alerts
AI-driven agent productivity tools such as Smart Responses and Knowledge Base to maintain brand consistency and drive positive customer reactions
Conversational AI and Bots to resolve routine cases quickly, reduce agent workloads, and improve customer satisfaction
Live Chat to help customers whenever and wherever they seek assistance by initiating conversations across your website, forums, and apps
Self-Service to guide customers to the desired answers and services through knowledge portals, online communities, and AI-powered chatbot support
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