Cloud technology has benefits for every sector, industry, and business model. However, in the UK many call and contact centres still haven’t adopted cloud technology.
At Immervox, we assist dozens of UK businesses with everything from phone systems to IT infrastructure. As you can imagine, getting our customers premises cloud-ready has been a big part of our workload for many years now.
Of those customers adopting cloud for the first time, many are from industries that rely heavily on call centres or contact centres. Whether it’s outbound call heavy businesses such as recruitment or outsourced market research, or more inbound focused such as customer service or technical support, those businesses that rely more than most on their phone systems have been some of the most hesitant to invest in the Cloud.
Since we have a great many customers the above is true for, you can imagine that all of the Immervox team have had different versions of a very similar conversation. We decided that, since there are many businesses out there like those customers, we’d round up the key points that made them say yes to unlocking the power of the cloud.
1. Reduced call costs.
Cloud technology isn’t just off-site data storage and remote access company intranet. These days, many organisations (including dozens of our own customers) use cloud-hosted VoIP phones for their call centre staff.
VoIP, or Voice over Internet Protocol, has been reducing call costs by removing the reliance on old analogue phone lines for years. Pre-cloud, this was done by installing VoIP systems running across SIP or Ethernet fibre networks alongside the broadband connection (and, until very recently now that they’ve started to be phased out, ISDN lines).
Cloud-hosted VoIP is the next evolutionary step from traditional VoIP. Rather than hosting your VoIP system internally, the entire network is hosted and delivered remotely without sacrificing call quality.
This means that usage and costs can be calculated as part of a monthly CCaaS (contact centre as a service) package. As you can imagine, this is much more manageable than the traditional method of cost calculation by call minutes.
2. Reduced IT costs
Call costs are the only financial savings made by adopting the cloud for you call/contact centre. Your IT budget will also see significant reductions for every function you move over to a cloud equivalent.
In a survey of UK businesses, 4 out of 5 reported making savings since moving to the cloud. On average they reduced their IT expenditure by around 20%.
By moving your call centre over to the cloud, you’ll be removing the need to buy and maintain expensive software/applications. Since everything is hosted remotely, you also won’t need to upgrade your hardware nearly as frequently. As long as the devices your staff are using can hold a steady internet connection and run a browser or remote access VPN without lag or failure, they’ll be good to go for anything cloud-based.
What’s more, since these services are publicly hosted off-site, maintenance and support are also outsourced. Rather than having to rely on an in-house IT team of 1st, 2nd, even 3rd line support staff, issues with any cloud services fall to the supplier to resolve.
Hiring IT specialists to maintain equipment is expensive. Cloud support teams are (unless reviews say otherwise) highly efficient. This stands to reason; if you’re unhappy with your cloud service, you can switch to another and be up and running almost within the hour. Keeping you and their other customers happy with minimal downtime is essential for their business.
So, you get the same functionality and business benefits of your existing IT systems without the cost of hardware maintenance or the specialists to maintain them. We’re sure we don’t have to explain to you just how much this would reduce your monthly IT expenses.
3. Scalable and flexible call centres
One of the chief advantages of cloud technologies is that they’re much more scalable and adaptable than in-house equivalents.
If you want to make any significant changes to your call centre, such as installing a new teams-worth of extensions after a very successful quarter, a lot of time, effort, and finances are needed.
Cloud-hosted voice services can be scaled up or down from the comfort of a browser. So long as you have a VoIP enabled handset (or USB headset) and device ready, you can add any number of additional staff to your service plan in mere minutes. No installation costs required.
These benefits don’t just extend to the phones, either. Downtime for software upgrades can be a setback for any business. However, for call and contact centres they are especially problematic, as every missed minute is a lead uncalled or disgruntled customer unserved.
In a cloud ecosystem, these updates are rolled out regularly with minimal downtime. So minimal that you and your staff will rarely ever notice. You’ll leave at 17:00 and come back at 09:00 to find the version number of your cloud-hosted CRM has gone up by one decimal point. Other than that, you’ll be none the wiser.
4. Never miss a call
Call centre downtime is one of the biggest damages to reputation with your customers. As you already know, if your customers can’t get hold of you when there’s a problem they’ll head elsewhere.
Cloud-based call centres can make downtime a thing of the past, safeguarding and futureproofing your brand reputation. If you’re hosting your IT and phone systems internally, a downed server or power cut could leave your business unreachable to customers for hours.
Cloud systems, on the other hand, can be designed for disaster recovery. Failover systems and automatic backup guarantee infrastructure uptime. If your main contact centre premises is down, staff can work remotely. Customers can dial into the same number, will experience no loss in call quality, and will be none-the-wiser that the voice taking the call is working from home because of a flood, fire, power cut, or some such similar premises-closing event.
5. Globally recruit your in-house call centre
Ultimately, cloud computing presents an alternative to outsourced contact centres for businesses without the budget or space to increase their on-premise resources.
Remote staff can be added to your existing call/contact centre no matter where they’re based. As long as they have a reliable device, VoIP handset/USB headset, and stable internet connection, they can be onboarded and reached just the same as any call centre staff.
A customer could speak to Deborah in Swindon on Monday, Tomasz in Warsaw Tuesday, and Gurdeep in Hyderabad on Wednesday. They’d all be reached on the same inbound number and, apart from the change in voice and name, your customer would be none the wiser than their call was directed to a different corner of the globe every single time.
Other than Deborah, Tomasz, and Gurdeep’s salaries, having this split team would cost you no more than having them all based in the office. As they’re your staff you’d still have control over the quality of the service on the calls etc (unlike with outsourced call centres), but you’d no longer be restricted by your geography.
Immervox: Bringing the power of the cloud to UK call centres
We’ve been providing IT and telecoms solutions for UK businesses for close to three decades. As you can probably imagine, this means we’ve carried out numerous first-time cloud implementations over the years.
For dozens of these customers, this initial digital transformation and adoption of cloud technology was directly to optimise their call or contact centres. By reducing costs, increasing flexibility, and boosting productivity, cloud-based call centres are revolutionising businesses in every sector from telesales to insurance.
If your call centre is becoming increasingly costly and time-consuming to manage, why not give the Immervox team a call to see if getting your business cloud-ready is the way to remove these challenges.