What is a Cloud Contact Center?

Discover how you can optimize your customer service with a cloud contact center

call_center_line_adherence.jpg

What is a Cloud Contact Center?

Discover how you can optimize your customer service with a cloud contact center

call_center_line_adherence.jpg

What is a Cloud Contact Center?

Discover how you can optimize your customer service with a cloud contact center

call_center_line_adherence.jpg

What is a Cloud Contact Center?

Discover how you can optimize your customer service with a cloud contact center

call_center_line_adherence.jpg

A cloud contact center is an internet-hosted solution where all customer communications for a business are received or processed. It often comprises a comprehensive suite of tools that allow agents to communicate with customers through different channels like email, SMS, voice call, chat, and more.

If you're looking to enhance your customer engagement campaign, a cloud contact center should be the first thing to consider. So let's take a comprehensive look at cloud contact centers and how they can benefit your business.

How does a cloud contact center work?

How does a cloud contact center work?

How does a cloud contact center work?

How does a cloud contact center work?

Traditionally, customer communications were limited to voice calls and primarily conducted through an analog phone system.

A cloud contact center differs from this traditional model in two ways:

  1. It relies on cloud-based technology
  2. It has omnichannel support

Let's discuss both in more detail.

What does cloud-based mean?

The old business phone system relied on analog telephone technology to handle customer communications. This analog system made use of physical copper wires connected to the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) to make or receive phone calls.

As you may imagine, this system made the customer journey difficult and inaccessible. Customer support was limited to calls, and call center agents had to work on-site because the phone infrastructure was hosted within company premises.

A cloud-based contact center system is hosted remotely through the internet. With cloud solutions, the infrastructure needed for a contact center is set up and maintained off-site by a third-party provider. All your business needs for a cloud solution is a communication device and a powerful internet connection. Once you have those, your contact center is ready to go.

What is an omnichannel cloud contact center?

An omnichannel cloud contact center is a software solution that operates as a centralized communication hub where agents can access all customer correspondence across different communications channels. Most omnichannel cloud contact centers provide support for the following channels:

  • Voice calls
  • Social media platforms (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc.)
  • Email
  • Chat

Of course, not all business solutions offer the same things, so make sure to verify with your provider which channels their solution supports. If there is a particular channel your customers prefer, you may also want to ask if your provider offers special features or addons for it.

What are the main benefits of cloud contact centers?

Enhanced agent management using analytics

Some contact center solutions come with workforce management tools and analytics that can help you optimize your operations. 8x8’s Contact Center solution, for example, uses complex algorithms to forecast inbound interaction volume, allowing your contact center managers to make appropriate staffing decisions ahead of time.

Maximization of productivity using automation and sophisticated call routing

Cloud contact centers are equipped with intelligent ticket and call routing systems that can automate basic tasks. These systems streamline workflows—reducing agent idle time and freeing them up to focus on assisting customers instead of menial tasks.

Ease of scalability

As your business grows, your customer service team will surely scale with it. With cloud-based contact centers, all it takes to get upgrades or set up new agent accounts is to contact your solutions provider. Since the cloud contact center infrastructure is hosted remotely by your provider, you won't need to install any complicated phone hardware just to set up a new agent station. All it takes to get cloud deployment started is a quick chat with your provider.

Improved customer experiences

With automated contact center operations and an optimized workforce, your agents can now focus on providing clients with a better customer experience. Contact center solutions can speed up ticketing processes, ensuring that complaints are resolved as quickly as possible which results in high customer satisfaction. Their omnichannel capabilities also give your agents the flexibility to engage customers through their preferred channels of communication.

Lower cost of ownership with higher returns

An on-premise call center would require you to purchase expensive equipment like data centers, servers, routers, power supplies, etc. You are also responsible for the maintenance of your equipment, requiring additional ongoing costs for labor and IT personnel.

With a cloud contact center platform, all of these are handled by your provider off-site for a single subscription fee. Providers offer a variety of pricing plans that cater to different business types, sizes, and needs, so you can choose a cost saving model that can provide you with the highest returns.

Reliability

Most providers guarantee an almost 99% uptime of their cloud contact center platforms, ensuring that your business experiences no disruption in its daily operations. Of course, do not hesitate to review their performance and ask about disaster recovery options, downtime compensation, and business continuity alternatives.

Essential cloud contact center solutions

Essential cloud contact center solutions

Essential cloud contact center solutions

Essential cloud contact center solutions

Hopefully we have convinced you of the potential benefits cloud-based contact center solutions can offer your business. If we have, here are some key features you'll want to look out for before sealing the deal with a cloud contact center provider.

Inbound

An inbound contact center handles all incoming communications from customers. Inbound campaigns need intelligent routing systems and automated self-service features to ensure that customers receive assistance as soon as possible. In particular, the following tools are necessary for inbound centers:

  • IVR (Interactive Voice Response) - an interactive answering machine that receives incoming customer calls before being distributed to a live agent.
  • ACD (Automatic call distributors) - a tool that routes incoming calls to available agents. Some ACDs can support omnichannel routing as well.
  • Virtual Agent - a chatbot with conversational AI that can handle basic inquiries and provide self-service assistance to customers.

Outbound

Outbound contact centers handle outgoing calls to customers. They are primarily used for promotions, sales inquiries, market research, etc.

For outbound campaigns, the most important tool is the auto dialer. As its name suggests, auto dialers automatically dial numbers for agents to speed up the calling process. The most common types of auto dialers are:

  • Preview dialers - Lets your agents preview the next number and gives them the option to accept or skip the call.
  • Progressive dialers - Automatically calls the next number on the list.
  • Predictive dialers - Predicts when an agent will be available and dials multiple numbers at once. Outbound calls are only connected to a live agent if it was answered by the customer.

Quality and workforce management

Although they're different, both inbound and outbound contact centers need quality management and workforce optimization tools. Take a look at some of the essential features that will help optimize your staff:

  • Analytics - lets you track contact center performance using advanced analytics. Presents relevant information with simple dashboards for easy analysis.
  • Call recording - allows you to review conversations between your team and callers.
  • Speech analytics - gives you real time detailed analytics on customer interactions to identify gaps and problems.
  • Customer surveys - provides valuable feedback on agent performance directly from customers.

App integrations

Contact center customization can be done using app integrations or APIs. Some common app integrations include:

  • Customer relationship management (CRM) - CRM integrations are used to keep track of customer contacts and information across different platforms. It gives contact center agents comprehensive views of customer relationships and their interactions with your company.
  • Team chat - if you’re working with remote agents, a team chat is essential to make sure that everyone is on the same page. Having a unified platform where agents can talk to both customers and their teammates will make their work easier.
  • Workspace - having office suite apps integrated into your contact center can make administrative tasks simpler for your team.
  • Single sign-on - simplifies login processes.

FAQs

FAQs

FAQs

FAQs

What’s the difference between an on-premise and a cloud contact center?

An on-premise contact center's infrastructure is installed and maintained by the business within the premises. A cloud contact center is maintained offsite by a provider and is hosted through the internet.

What is the difference between a call center and a contact center?

Nowadays, the two terms are used interchangeably. But technically, a call center only handles phone calls. A contact center can handle communications from different interaction channels such as email, text messaging, social media, etc.

Should I choose a cloud contact center over a cloud call center?

It depends on your business needs. For small businesses that only receive a low volume of customer interactions, cloud-based call centers (also known as virtual call centers) might be sufficient.

For large enterprises that deal with a high volume of interactions across multiple digital channels, an omnichannel cloud contact center may be more appropriate. To give you a better idea of which one would be better for your business, here is a table that gives an overview of their main differences:

What’s the difference between an on-premise and a cloud contact center?

An on-premise contact center's infrastructure is installed and maintained by the business within the premises. A cloud contact center is maintained offsite by a provider and is hosted through the internet.

What is the difference between a call center and a contact center?

Nowadays, the two terms are used interchangeably. But technically, a call center only handles phone calls. A contact center can handle communications from different interaction channels such as email, text messaging, social media, etc.

Should I choose a cloud contact center over a cloud call center?

It depends on your business needs. For small businesses that only receive a low volume of customer interactions, cloud-based call centers (also known as virtual call centers) might be sufficient.

For large enterprises that deal with a high volume of interactions across multiple digital channels, an omnichannel cloud contact center may be more appropriate. To give you a better idea of which one would be better for your business, here is a table that gives an overview of their main differences:

What’s the difference between an on-premise and a cloud contact center?

An on-premise contact center's infrastructure is installed and maintained by the business within the premises. A cloud contact center is maintained offsite by a provider and is hosted through the internet.

What is the difference between a call center and a contact center?

Nowadays, the two terms are used interchangeably. But technically, a call center only handles phone calls. A contact center can handle communications from different interaction channels such as email, text messaging, social media, etc.

Should I choose a cloud contact center over a cloud call center?

It depends on your business needs. For small businesses that only receive a low volume of customer interactions, cloud-based call centers (also known as virtual call centers) might be sufficient.

For large enterprises that deal with a high volume of interactions across multiple digital channels, an omnichannel cloud contact center may be more appropriate. To give you a better idea of which one would be better for your business, here is a table that gives an overview of their main differences:

What’s the difference between an on-premise and a cloud contact center?

An on-premise contact center's infrastructure is installed and maintained by the business within the premises. A cloud contact center is maintained offsite by a provider and is hosted through the internet.

What is the difference between a call center and a contact center?

Nowadays, the two terms are used interchangeably. But technically, a call center only handles phone calls. A contact center can handle communications from different interaction channels such as email, text messaging, social media, etc.

Should I choose a cloud contact center over a cloud call center?

It depends on your business needs. For small businesses that only receive a low volume of customer interactions, cloud-based call centers (also known as virtual call centers) might be sufficient.

For large enterprises that deal with a high volume of interactions across multiple digital channels, an omnichannel cloud contact center may be more appropriate. To give you a better idea of which one would be better for your business, here is a table that gives an overview of their main differences:

Cloud Call CenterCloud Contact Center
Supported channelsVoice onlyMultiple communication channels (email, voice, chat, SMS, social media, etc.)
InfrastructureHosted remotely by providerHosted remotely by provider
Minimum hardware requirements1) Phones that can connect to the internet2) Computers with CTI (Computer telephony integration)Computer
Minimum software requirementsCTI applications or virtual call center software from providerCloud contact center software from provider
Advantages1) Agents only need to be trained in call assistance1) Can provide customer assistance across different channels2) More self-service options for customers such as forums, virtual agents, websites, etc.
Disadvantages1) Restricted to voice calls2) Self-service options are limited to IVR menus3) No flexibility - All assistance must be done in real-time and subject to agent availability1) Agents need to be trained in engaging with customers in different platforms

Cloud Call CenterCloud Contact Center
Supported channelsVoice onlyMultiple communication channels (email, voice, chat, SMS, social media, etc.)
InfrastructureHosted remotely by providerHosted remotely by provider
Minimum hardware requirements1) Phones that can connect to the internet2) Computers with CTI (Computer telephony integration)Computer
Minimum software requirementsCTI applications or virtual call center software from providerCloud contact center software from provider
Advantages1) Agents only need to be trained in call assistance1) Can provide customer assistance across different channels2) More self-service options for customers such as forums, virtual agents, websites, etc.
Disadvantages1) Restricted to voice calls2) Self-service options are limited to IVR menus3) No flexibility - All assistance must be done in real-time and subject to agent availability1) Agents need to be trained in engaging with customers in different platforms

Cloud Call CenterCloud Contact Center
Supported channelsVoice onlyMultiple communication channels (email, voice, chat, SMS, social media, etc.)
InfrastructureHosted remotely by providerHosted remotely by provider
Minimum hardware requirements1) Phones that can connect to the internet2) Computers with CTI (Computer telephony integration)Computer
Minimum software requirementsCTI applications or virtual call center software from providerCloud contact center software from provider
Advantages1) Agents only need to be trained in call assistance1) Can provide customer assistance across different channels2) More self-service options for customers such as forums, virtual agents, websites, etc.
Disadvantages1) Restricted to voice calls2) Self-service options are limited to IVR menus3) No flexibility - All assistance must be done in real-time and subject to agent availability1) Agents need to be trained in engaging with customers in different platforms

Cloud Call CenterCloud Contact Center
Supported channelsVoice onlyMultiple communication channels (email, voice, chat, SMS, social media, etc.)
InfrastructureHosted remotely by providerHosted remotely by provider
Minimum hardware requirements1) Phones that can connect to the internet2) Computers with CTI (Computer telephony integration)Computer
Minimum software requirementsCTI applications or virtual call center software from providerCloud contact center software from provider
Advantages1) Agents only need to be trained in call assistance1) Can provide customer assistance across different channels2) More self-service options for customers such as forums, virtual agents, websites, etc.
Disadvantages1) Restricted to voice calls2) Self-service options are limited to IVR menus3) No flexibility - All assistance must be done in real-time and subject to agent availability1) Agents need to be trained in engaging with customers in different platforms

Will my call center software work with my contact center?

Some call center software might be outdated or is already included as a built-in functionality in your cloud contact center solution. To be sure, ask your provider if your legacy software is still necessary and if it's compatible with your new system. Alternatively, you can ask your provider if they have a similar software to your legacy tool, and install that instead.

How do I install my contact center software?

Your provider should walk you through the installation process. Installing the contact center technology should not be any different from installing any other piece of software. But it's best to do it with technical support from your provider to avoid any unnecessary problems.

Give your clients a frictionless customer experience today with 8x8 cloud contact center

Give your clients a frictionless customer experience today with 8x8 cloud contact center

Give your clients a frictionless customer experience today with 8x8 cloud contact center

Give your clients a frictionless customer experience today with 8x8 cloud contact center

A powerful cloud contact center will elevate your customer engagement strategy to another level. Reduce irate customers and maximize agent productivity using 8x8 contact center's intelligent routing systems, workforce and performance management features, and flexible app integrations.

Ready to get started? Contact sales today or request a demo.