Kay Phelps shares her tips on moving your contact centre to the cloud.
Why would you move your contact centre to the cloud now? Life is already chaotic enough. You’ve been focusing on transitioning your contact centre to a work-from-home model, and figuring out how to manage it remotely. You need new applications, but budgets are tightening.
These are precisely the reasons it makes sense to move your contact centre to the cloud — now.
Facilitate Work-From-Home Agents
As your company and others sent their workforce home, those using cloud-based solutions saw distinct advantages. As industry analyst Sheila McGee-Smith explains in the CX Conversation Series “Adjusting to New Norms in the Contact Centre,” the path has been much easier for businesses that have already transitioned to cloud-based contact centres. Advantages include:
- Typically no physical equipment (other than a laptop and headset) needs to be sent home with agents.
- They avoid the training curve of using softphones, as most have already left their physical phones behind and made that transition.
- Remote administration makes it easy to add new agents as needed.
As you evaluate cloud-based contact centres, look for a vendor that provides a complete end-to-end solution. While it may be tempting to look for “best of breed” for each application, McGee-Smith says expediency is a primary concern. Investigation of each component, and the time and overhead required to integrate those components, may be a luxury a company just can’t afford. According to McGee-Smith, when IT departments ask end-users what features are most important, they find these needs are easily supported by a full collaboration suite solution.
Manage Your Team Remotely
Why consider a move to the cloud now? Because monitoring and managing a remote workforce presents a new set of challenges. With the distractions of working from home, are agents being productive? Are they meeting their metrics?
Harvard Business Review says motivation can be a challenge for remote workers as emotional and economic pressures come to bear. Without visibility into the impact of their work, a sense of purpose can decline. And potential can decline if people can’t gain access to colleagues who can teach and develop them.
This research tells us it is critical to give agents visibility into the impact they are having. We can do this by sharing key metrics and customer satisfaction survey results. And we can ensure they have embedded collaboration tools so other team members can serve as resources.
Applications such as speech analytics make the job easier, too. You can:
- “Listen” to every conversation.
- Filter to the top any performance concerns so you can address them quickly.
- Collaborate with the agent using embedded notification tools.
- Find and share role-model interactions with other agents for training purposes.
Here’s the challenge. If your contact centre is premises-based, getting the budget to add new functionality is probably a non-starter for many companies now. These applications are not small-ticket items when you’re having to buy the software and hardware upfront. For example, installation and setup costs for premises-based Speech Analytics can run in the tens of thousands of dollars.
That’s why it’s crucial to move to a cloud-based solution now. The paradigm shifts. Now you have little to no up-front charges for the tools that are so critical in a work-from-home environment. You gain new functionality as a part of your solution – and you’re not fighting to get funding approved for the applications you know you need.
And with a cloud-based solution, you eliminate the hefty maintenance and upgrade price tags you’re forced to pay on an ongoing basis for your premises-based solution. You move from a capital expense (CAPEX) to an operating expense (OPEX).
Get in Front of the Curve
Analysts project the move to cloud-based contact centres will accelerate in light of current events. As McGee-Smith says, for many companies the inevitability of moving to the cloud was understood. It was not a question of “if” but “when.” And with the current crisis, “when” has increasingly become “now.”
Now is the time for a cloud-based contact centre. It helps you send your workforce home. It facilitates productivity. You gain new tools you need to manage your team, no matter where they are located. And it makes sense financially.