Move Up to the Cloud or Stay Where You Are?
There are many reasons you might be looking at upgrading your Contact Center system. Perhaps your manufacturer has declared your current one at the end of its life. Maybe you’re lacking some key features that would improve your customer experience. It could be that your needs have changed, and you need more flexibility, or the ability to scale up or down with demand.
Whatever the reason, you’re already aware that upgrades to a traditional on- premise Contact Center hardware system can be costly, time-consuming, and disruptive. You may be wondering whether or not a cloud-based solution is the answer you need, but don’t know quite enough about
it or the benefits it can provide.
Before you make any move, the following guide outlines six things you should consider to determine which decision is the right one for you.
CLOUD COMMUNICATIONS ARE MUST-HAVE FOR REMOTE WORKERS
No matter where your employees are, they need access to a reliable and convenient way to communicate. A cloud communications and collaboration platform that includes business phones/voice, video conferencing, chat, file sharing and archiving, and more makes telecommuting efficient, reliable, and productive, allowing your employees to connect at any time, from anywhere, to each other and customers. Further, they can truly collaborate on projects by instantly entering a video conference, sharing files, and enabling multiple users to edit and comment in real time. It’s the same type of exercise that previously could only be done around a conference table. Now, this flexibility provides your team with a way to work more efficiently and effectively.
It’s also extremely affordable. Much more so than legacy phone systems, which require dedicated equipment and hardware. With the cloud, you only need a reliable Internet connection and a desktop, laptop, tablet, or mobile phone.
With more companies moving to the cloud, it is projected to become a $15.67B USD industry by 2021, compared to $5.43B USD in 2016.
Because your customers want to connect. Now.
Traditional systems generally need to be taken offline while service technicians perform any upgrade. Estimates on how long you’ll be unreachable for can vary, and be off by large margins – especially if the components needed to upgrade are faulty or if your system does not reboot properly.
Cloud system providers set up your contact center system while you continue to work from your old one. They interview your team to ensure the right set of features and capacities are incorporated. Then, when it’s just about ready, they test it to ensure that it’s performing optimally before switching over. Once all is approved, your Telco switches over the phone lines and the cloud Contact Center takes over. The old system is ready for the curb when you’re ready to put it aside. No interruptions necessary.
Access to Training and Support
Because there are always questions when there’s something new.
How and when your team can be trained on new features makes a huge impact on how long it will take to get your department back up and running after an upgrade. Just thinking about the process might make you not want to upgrade at all.
But in order to keep up with changing customer service demands, upgrades are necessary.
With a traditional on-premise contact center system, typically you’re dependent on the availability of your supplier. Beyond some of the obvious issues such as scheduling, location of training, and the time your team spends learning, some suppliers will only provide training for an additional cost – with re-training being even more costly.
Reputable cloud contact center solution vendors usually come with a built-in support team. Be sure to ask pertinent questions of your vendor, including: their average response time to queries; whether or not there are times when support is not available; and what the procedures are if your problem has not been resolved.
Because things are always changing, and you should too.
The funny things about upgrades, is that there will always be another upgrade. Upgrades to a traditional contact center system can require quite a bit of prep work that can have you putting your operations on hold, time and time again. Some disruptions may include technicians needing to clear access paths, creating space for large tools and equipment, setting up the new system space in a specific way, requiring your power to be switched off, or even needing changes to your air-conditioning and fire protection systems.
Things can be in complete disarray even before the new system has reached your office! Cloud contact centers can be adjusted at any time, especially at the moments that your needs increase or decrease. You never have to worry when you suddenly hit a higher than normal peak load. Updates and new features are included by your vendor, so you’ll automatically be upgraded to the newest solution without having to turn your office upside down or haul any equipment around. It’s all in the cloud!
Agents. Anytime. Anywhere.
Hosted Contact Center solutions are often 33% less expensive.
Traditional contact center models require for your team to come into a centralized location, limiting your ability to find talent to your locale.
Cloud contact center solutions enable agents to work remotely, providing you with the opportunity to expand your hiring range across the country or even globally. Agents can connect to the platform from wherever they
are – all they need is an internet connection.
In addition, a recent survey by Leadership IQ showed that employees are 87% more likely to love their jobs when they have the freedom to work from home or remotely. Happier employees lead to happier service and ultimately, happier customers.
Because everyone needs a back-up plan… Right?
Your Contact Center Director has probably spoken to you more than a few times about the need to setup and operate a second contact center system just in case something should happen to the main one. As we all know from our phones and computers – sometimes, things just crash. The hope is that it never does, but regardless, JUST IN CASE, every month you need to spend some time maintaining the additional system (as well as a bit of money), whether you use it or not.
Now, imagine there was a horrific disaster and your office building was suddenly demolished. With a traditional contact center system, it could take months to be back up and running. Not so with a cloud contact center solution. So long as your agents have access to a phone, your cloud contact center will be able to keep on handling your customers. Cloud contact centers provide built-in redundancy and fail-safe operation solutions.
Because money doesn’t grow on trees.
So you’ve already invested money in the traditional system. You’ve paid to train all your staff on it, done several upgrades and it’s working right now. Great! But consider this – if you had a car that you were putting more money into than what it was worth, what would be the wiser decision? Continue maintaining it, or lease a new one that is likely more fuel efficient, has better features, and will save you both time and hassle? Traditional on-premise contact systems can take a toll, both financial and mental. When you start to break down the numbers, factoring in training costs, upgrade costs, service costs, and so on, you should also ask yourself: what’s my time worth? Is it worthwhile to have service disruptions when you upgrade? Is it worthwhile to need to schedule your time around your vendor’s availability? According to a Yankee Group analysis, cloud contact center solutions are often 33% less expensive to operate and maintain. Plus, you get an external technical support team who takes the pressure off your staff so they can continue to focus on what really matters – providing your customers with a high-quality service experience.
An upgrade might be mandatory for your system. Staying with your system isn’t.
Before investing more money into what you have, think more about what you want and what makes the most sense for your company in the long run. With so much on the line, it’s worth taking the time to explore your options before jumping to order that upgrade.
Unlocking Stronger Agent Performance in the Cloud
Unlike most cloud contact centers, with UNIVERGE BLUE® ENGAGE Contact Center Solution you get the human capital you need to ensure your agents are empowered to deliver optimal customer service.