The first thing that we do if we face troubles with our devices, or while using certain services, is we communicate with the respective call centers. The traditional call centers are offices, where several executives are deployed who take the calls, and they offer solutions to the problems the customers or the clients are facing. Furthermore, there are several elements like IVR, CRM, and other tools that are integrated with the call center software to help the executives offer services with more reliability to the customers. However, just like most other services, call centers are also gradually moving to the cloud, and cloud call centers offer more convenience to the companies setting up call centers, and obviously, a set of extra advantages.
Cloud call centers are better than traditional call centers in a number of aspects, and such call centers can also be made to work exactly like traditional call centers. The customers talking with a call center executive can’t even know, he is talking to the executive through a cloud call center, and thus, the experience will not be different at all. So, today I will be talking about, what a cloud call center is, how it is basically deployed, and finally, the advantages of a cloud call center over traditional call centers. Cloud call centers can be useful for startups, as well, besides normal companies that already depend on traditional call centers.
So, without any further delay, let’s understand the concept of cloud call centers, before talking about its advantages.
What is a cloud call center?
A cloud call center is a modern call center setup, where the organization deploying a call center will not have to set up the complete infrastructure of a physical call center. Instead, the call center software that serves the call center infrastructure will exist virtually on the cloud, and it will handle everything from maintaining customer calls to forwarding the calls to the actual executives, who are, in some way, connected to the virtual call center.
Besides call forwarding, the cloud call center should also be able to carry out additional tasks like recording the calls whenever necessary, maintaining the connection between several elements, like the CRM, customer database, and everything else that an executive might require to address customer grievances. The call center software thus should have access to the company database, an executive is working for so that the cloud call center software can request data on demand.
When a customer calls the customer care number, it first reaches the cloud call center, and the system starts responding to the call through the IVR (Interactive voice response). Now, when the customer finally chooses an option through the IVR menu, and the call needs to be forwarded to an executive, the call center software checks the list of the available executives, and then forwards the call to the executive, who is located at a different geographical location.
If a particular executive needs to forward the call to a senior, or to any other executive, who can handle the problem with more efficiency, the call handling to another executive will also be carried out by the call center software. So, that’s basically how a cloud call center functions, and maintains communication between all the executives who are ready to serve the customers.
Let’s go a bit deep into how these virtual call centers are deployed, and the different ways they are deployed by several organizations.
How does it deploy by the organizations?
A cloud call center basically refers to the connection between the call center software, and the executives, who are located at a remote location, and furthermore, all the executives don’t need to accumulate in a particular location to take calls and resolve the problems faced by the customers. The deployment of a virtual or cloud call center can be through a cloud-based software running at a remote server, and a browser-based call center that also runs on a remote server, but connects differently with the executives.
Let’s first talk about cloud-based call center software that runs on a centralized remote server. In the case of a cloud-based call center, the software runs on the cloud, and it maintains communication with the mobile devices of the call center executives. The executives might need to have an app installed on their devices, and the executives can log in within the app to mark the presence on the server, and the server will then understand, the executive is ready to answer the calls. After the presence of the executive is marked on the server, the calls can either be forwarded through a high-bandwidth and low-latency internet connection, which is more reliable or through traditional cellular services.
In the case of browser-based call centers, the executives can access the call center running at the server through a web browser on a computer or a mobile device. Instead of using the dialer on a mobile, the executive can use the dialer available on the browser to make calls to the customers, or for other requirements. Most browser-based call center software can also have their own mobile apps so that the executives can answer calls even when they are moving.
Both software-based cloud call center software can have a web interface and a browser-based call center software have a mobile app to offer several ways of communication to the call center executives.
Why companies should use cloud call centers instead of traditional ones?
Let’s now have a look at, why cloud call centers are better than traditional on-site call centers in several aspects.
Cost of setting up the centers
Setting up a call center is expensive, to say the least. Even if you have a lot of open space to accommodate all the executives, who will be serving, a bunch of hardware resources are necessary to set up a call center, which can lead to prohibitively high upfront investments. The hardware components required, include computers, telephone sets, servers, wires, and as all these components are meant for business requirements, these devices are not always easy to set up and are expensive. You will require special IT persons who can handle setting up everything, and that will add to your costs.
On the other hand, if you set up a cloud call center, there is definitely an investment, but that is not as big as the investment associated with setting up a traditional call center. You just have to pay the initial amount as per the contracts, which is much less than the cost of the devices required and setting them up; and you are up and ready. Yes, you will have to pay the fee after every year or so, but that will not be heavy on your pocket, as it is going to be a recurring expense. As the initial investments are low, even small startups and other organizations can easily afford setting up cloud call centers and save the costs to further strengthen the existing service-related infrastructure of the company.
The complexity of the overall setup
Setting up a call center isn’t easy. It requires connecting several devices in the perfect order, and even with the most advanced team of technicians, this will take hours or even days to complete the setup. Things don’t always go perfectly and all the necessary devices might not be available at all times, and that eventually multiplies the time necessary to set up the call center. Additionally, the required software needs to be installed, as well, on all the systems, and that will eventually add more to the overall setup time.
Setting up a cloud call center is as easy, or may involve a few steps more than getting started with cloud computing. You just need to initialize your company details in the web interface offered by the cloud call center company and download the apps on the respective devices to get started.
Yes, the process may be little time-taking, which is, however, less than that of setting up a regular call center, and at the same time, it is straightforward. You will hardly need any highly-techy brains to sort things out and set up a cloud call center.
Flexibility in work and maintenance
From time to time, when it comes to adding new executive to an existing setup of a traditional call center, it requires adding new telephone sets, new connections, new desks, and everything, which might add more complexity to the existing setup. It will also add short term investments.
Furthermore, an employee, who is working in a call center will not be able to attend calls, until and unless he is sitting on his assigned desk at his office. When a customer service team has to function with reduced manpower, there will be devices in surplus that will not function, and that can be a cause behind the decay of such devices.
In the case of a cloud call center, adding a new executive is a piece of cake as he just needs to download an app or have to sign up with the credentials given by the organization. He just needs to complete the signup process, which is as simple as or slightly more complicated than creating an email account. It can be done within minutes, without any extra investment.
Additionally, as the executive, who will take calls can use his old mobile to take calls, he can serve the customers from any place and that can also be a great option for working from home, in the present and the post-COVID-19 situation. When the company needs to operate with reduced manpower, that is also not going to leave unnecessary devices and thus, the overall cost can be saved.
Maintenance and upgrades
If you are having an onsite call center it needs to be maintained properly so that it can function at its peak. Additionally, new devices need to be added from time to time, depending upon the new executive who will join, which I have already discussed and the devices also need to be upgraded after certain years so that they can be used with the latest technological advancements.
So, even if an organization builds its own call center, with a lot of investment, almost the same or close to the same amount of investment will be necessary to upgrade the existing equipment after certain years. When it comes to maintenance, a lot of maintenance work needs to be carried out and there should always be an IT team ready who can solve the problems right after an outage occurs. Even with the most experienced team, there will be an outage for several hours, if some serious problems happen and the call center will cease to function in that interval.
In the case of a cloud call center, however, problems can still happen, but as it is not maintained by your own team you can expect greater uptime compared to that of an onsite call center, which is maintained by your organization. The cloud call centers operate from several countries across the globe, and if an outage occurs at one place the same can be handled by another server from a different geographical location.
With the aid of Edge computing the cloud call centers can also be deployed at strategic locations so that even if one server fails once in a blue moon, the others can still function and the work in a call center can continue at its full pace. When it comes to maintenance, you don’t have to worry about it at all, and you can get the reliable service and with complete peace of mind, by just paying the annual fees for using the cloud call center.
Eco-friendliness of operation
As I have already discussed, in the case of a traditional call center, new items need to replace the old worn-out equipment and the only option to deal with the necessary ones, is to through them away. To be said in simple words, it isn’t and eco-friendly idea to throw away old electronics, as that adds to environmental pollution.
There are several ways to deal with e-waste, however, most companies just discard them without following the proper protocols. Even if the old components are discarded following the proper protocols, it is still a bad idea and is not at all eco-friendly or economical to replace the gadgets after every few years or so.
In the case of a cloud call center, a set of resources is used by several organizations, and thus, full utilization of the components is taking place, and it is also eco-friendly at the same time. If these components need to be replaced after a certain point in time, much fewer components need to be replaced, as those components were handling the call center activities of several organizations at the same time. Due to proper resource sharing, getting the services from a cloud call center is also better than traditional call centers, in terms of eco-friendliness.
So, there is no doubt, it is always advantageous to get services from a cloud call center instead of setting up an onsite call center. As most companies cannot bear the expenses of setting up a call center, they outsource the work of customer handling, and thus, the customers might end up not getting the best experience, when they contact a call center in order to get their problem sorted. Obviously, there are certain shortcomings of cloud call centers, but the benefits of cloud call centers far outweigh the shortcomings. However, if you choose a reputed cloud call center company, the experience will be much better.
Hence, that was all about what a cloud call center is, and why it is better to go for cloud call centers instead of traditional call centers. Do you have any questions? Feel free to comment on the same below.