Almost all of us who are working are now doing so remotely. Almost overnight, organisations of all sizes have had to transition their entire staff from working in the office to working at home. For many of us, working from home isn’t new. Even before we began self-isolating, the demand for working from home capability was growing.
Companies with their own contact centres were discovering that allowing agents to work from home meant they could save money on overheads, while delivering a better work/life balance for their employees. What’s more, working from home allowed companies to benefit from expanding their access to talent and hiring professionals from around the globe.
However, even though the benefits of moving to the cloud are clear, making the switch to a cloud contact centre can be a stressful experience if you’re not properly prepared. So, what should you be looking for as you consider the options of a cloud-based contact centre?
1. Security and Reliability
Security is critical in any contact centre. Whether you’re dealing with financial information or just personal customer details, you need to ensure that your contact centre provider has the right encryption and certifications in place. PCI DSS Level I, SOC 1 Type 2, and more are all pivotal to ensuring that you comply with the industry regulations in your area.
Your cloud contact centre provider will need to ensure that secure cloud networks and data hosting solutions are in place, while also making sure that you have the right levels of data encryption in place. As well as security, it’s worth checking the tools you’re investing in have suitable redundancy measures in place. Will you be getting high uptime guarantees, or failover mechanisms to ensure that calls aren’t dropped or missed?
2. Omnichannel Engagement
The contact centre isn’t just focussed on calls anymore. Customers expect to make contact with brands via their channel of choice – whether that’s via email, on Twitter or WhatsApp, via live chat on a website, or over Facebook Messenger or Apple Business Chat. For your contact centre to be as effective as possible in the cloud, you need a solution that enables omnichannel conversation on the platforms that your customers use most.
Ensure your cloud contact centre provider can give you access to different kinds of communication media. At the same time, make sure your agents don’t have to jump through tabs to switch to different platforms. The best omnichannel contact centres make it easy to track conversations from all environments in a single place. This could also include integrations with CRM and ticketing tools.
3. Real-Time Analytics and Reporting
Customer experience is the key to success in the modern landscape. The companies that can deliver the most relevant and engaging experiences to their audience are the ones that will come out on top. However, the only way to ensure you’re delivering the meaningful movements that your customers need is to track your interactions.
Real-time analytics and reporting in the contact centre can track everything from the number of calls that connect to a customer to the amount of dropped calls and unsuccessful conversations. Some advanced analytics tools can even use techniques like sentiment analysis to let agents know when a conversation isn’t going well. You may be able to find a tool that allows you to give a supervisor an alert when a conversation is going poorly so that they can give the agent extra help.
What you need for your cloud contact centre now might not be the same as what you need in the future. Although things like artificial intelligence and natural language processing might not seem necessary for a small business, as your company grows you may decide you need more access to these kinds of tools and insights.
The best cloud contact centre vendor will be able to give you the freedom to evolve at a pace that suits you. What’s more, because your tools are delivered over the cloud, it should be easy to simply click a button when you want to install something new.
5. Remote Support
Finally, companies of all sizes must consider the option of having a remote contact centre team. Even after we emerge from lockdown, the demand for cloud communications and remote working will likely continue to grow.
Look for a cloud contact centre vendor that can deliver all the tools that you need for a remote workforce. This could include things like workforce management tools where you can track employee performance, and global cloud-based PBX environments, with things like local numbers and easy routing. RingCentral’s global office, for instance, connects business users worldwide with an international solution for cloud communications.