With cloud technology revolutionising the industry after essentially eliminating the need for businesses to own, manage, and operate their own on-site contact centre system, it’s easy to get swept away in the convenience of new technology. While cloud solutions are essential for any modern business, and should rightly be hailed as the shining beacons of innovation they are, it’s also important for companies to be prepared for the potential pitfalls that come with the technological revolution.
Cloud-based contact technology is a game changer that you should absolutely implement in your business (if you haven’t already). It comes with huge benefits, from improved efficiency to reduced costs, and higher quality customer service. There is also no reason for it to fail to work perfectly for your business, provided you take a few precautions and avoid some of the worst mistakes that can be made when deploying and using new cloud contact centre technology.
Being unprepared for fully cloud-based implementations
It’s quite natural for service providers to make the assumption that they already have the necessary structural organisation to effectively implement their new cloud-based proposition. It’s also very easy to underestimate how many challenges there are to overcome, as well as realistically estimate the timeframe required to achieve operational readiness.
In all our experience, we’ve never seen such presumptions end well. The result is that resources have to be pooled from disparate teams unused to working together, and unprepared for the task, simply to get things up and running. This causes a lot of problems that could very easily have been avoided had the time and organisational requirements been properly assessed and planned ahead of time.
As a service provider, you should expect your new cloud application to come with support to help you create a solution that functions ‘as-a-service’, as well as advice, help, and strategic consultancy to ensure your long-term success. If you’re looking to create a contact centre that positions you as service providers, expect to spend time engaging with product management, marketing, sales, and sales engineering, teams, as well as engineering and operations experts.
Overcomplicating your graphical interface
When a business is looking into moving its existing contact centre onto the cloud, it’s extremely important to acknowledge how vital it is to provide an easy graphical user interface (or GUI) to a broad range of distributed agents. It’s critical to provide new agents with reducing training, as well as have the capacity to bring in additional back-office employees or knowledge workers who don’t typically occupy the role of a full-time agent. This creates a highly valuable ‘burstability’ for your new cloud contact centre.
Your GUI needs to be web-accessible, as well as available on-demand to allow for fluctuating levels of interaction so new staff members are easily able to engage. It also needs to be intuitive for users, and shouldn’t require the intervention of IT functions before it’s functional. This is vital because the reduction of your IT burden is one of the huge benefits of switching to the cloud – if your IT department is having to get involved every time you need to add a new agent, you’re compromising this core benefit.
Neglecting to ensure voice quality
There are frequent conversations concerning the quality of service (or QoS) in the world of cloud contact centres. Perhaps for this reason, voice quality is often overlooked, as it’s seen as a given – we spend so much time discussing QoS we often assume that the basics will be in place, and the solution we end up with is going to deliver end users with a quality audio service.
The problem with this is that it assumes standard public broadband and internet services are capable of delivering the same quality level you enjoy ‘on premise’. While there will always be times lower audio quality needs to be accepted to handle exceptional situations to combat overflow or one-off calls to your back office, ensuring parity is vital.
Your cloud provider needs to have a consultative approach, which examines and provides recommendations on the connectivity methods that will be most effective between the location of your contact centre and their network. They should also provide you with best practices for cloud networks that are specifically designed to reduce any potential issues with QoS.
Consider the size of your contact centre
As a service provider, it’s important to ask if you’ve fully considered the differences between cloud centres of small, medium, or large size when it comes to administrative requirements. For example, if you have an operation consisting of ten agents, your supervisor will neither need nor require the use of tools for advanced scripting, in order to deliver the same level of functionality that their equivalent in a far larger centre would expect.
Simple, wizard-based tools are all that small contact centres will likely require, as these will enable them to perform everyday tasks, like adding a menu or IVR prompt, new skills, or extra agents. On the other hand, larger tenants, are very likely to need advanced tools in order to fulfil their workflow requirement and complete operational processes, which will be considerably more complex. It’s important to understand the varying administrative solutions needed to fit the requirements of centres of different sizes.
Allowing interaction endpoints to constrain you
The majority of companies migrating onto the cloud find themselves juggling different types of telephone handsets and PBX hardware from multiple vendors. Part of the appeal of switching to a cloud-based service is the chance to decide whether they want to reuse their incumbent devices or replace them with an IP device or softphone that’s low cost. End users are frequently geographically distributed, and a shift to the cloud shouldn’t force them to use one set vendor device. Choosing a vendor with multiple options will ensure you can directly deliver to agents’ SIP-enabled desktops or SIP phones.
For more advice on how to take care of your critical business communication systems, get in touch, we’ll work with you to find the perfect cloud-based contact technology to suit your needs.