Cloud technologies continue to grow in popularity, affording brands increased freedom and efficiency at lower costs. For call centers, the cloud now holds particular interest, as many look to relocate their operations in an attempt to reduce spend and increase satisfaction.
Evolve IP and CCNG's "2014 North American Call Center Survey Results Paper" explores the evolving landscape of the call center and how leading companies are embracing emerging cloud technologies to extend their reach and boost customer service. The study, which polled 197 call center professionals, examines how today's premise-based call centers are implementing cloud-based technologies to enhance current service offerings, expand their workforce, and establish disaster recovery methods.
The following statistics highlight the programs in which companies plan to invest their time and money, the primary drivers behind their transition to the cloud, and the leading concerns weighing on every company's mind:
- Overall, 77.5 percent of today's call centers are premise-based. Of those, 70 percent are planning to convert to the cloud, with 32.5 percent expected to do so in the next 18 months.
- Companies also plan to invest in CRM (40.5 percent), workforce management (31.5 percent), and business intelligence (31 percent), as they look to streamline and improve processes to gain better insight into their performance.
- Respondents claim that low total cost of ownership (54.5 percent), disaster recovery and business continuity (53 percent), and scalability (52.5 percent) are the three primary reasons behind their move to the cloud. However, many are concerned with quality of service (51.5 percent), security (51.5 percent), and reliability/up-time (46 percent) as they contemplate their transition.
- Of those polled, 17.5 percent don't have a disaster recovery plan in place, with 51.5 percent lacking the ability to enable work-from-home agents in the event of an outage. Consequently, 67.5 percent of cloud-based call centers feature work-from-home capabilities, while only 44 percent of premise-based call centers can do the same.
- More than 43 percent of call centers have 1 to25 percent of their agents working from home, yet only 2 percent allow 75 to100 percent of their agents to telecommute. Forty-six percent of call centers have no agents working from home.
- Nearly 56 percent of those surveyed have a multichannel solution in place, thereby allowing call center agents to handle additional channels, such as chat, email, SMS, and social. Thus, 74.5 percent are using said solutions to blend agents.
- While 25.5 percent of call centers reported no downtime over the previous 12 months, 24 percent only had one incident of downtime within that time.
Key takeaway: eThe findings of the survey confirm what we hear in the field daily-that cloud technologies are enabling call centers to change the way organizations work," says Rich Fox, director of the contact center practice at Evolve IP. "Advanced technologies, like integration with CRM and WFM, provide call centers with better insight and new options for enabling programs like Work from Home." As more companies undergo this very transition, the ability to scale up and down (78.5 percent) remains the leading reason driving adoption, with lower total cost of ownership (54 percent) and enabling work-from-home agents (46 percent) close behind. Organizations are actively looking to bring their operations to the next level as they aim to boost efficiency. By implementing what the cloud has to offer, not only will call centers profit internally, but consumers will also reap the benefits as they enjoy an increasingly streamlined, targeted consumer experience. Inferior customer service often leads to attrition, but by investing in the contact center, companies demonstrate their dedication to satisfying every client.