Cloud Call Center: Definition and Advantages
Time to read: 6 minutes
The term call center may evoke an image of an office full of operators with headsets answering customer calls. This model has been around for decades, but traditional call centers have limitations, like data centers and phone systems only accessible on-site.
But as technology evolves, so too will call centers. Many now consist of agents working remotely and taking advantage of cloud-based call center software, giving businesses the agility to adapt communication channels to meet customers’ needs.
Here, we’ll provide an overview of cloud call center software and its advantages.
A cloud-based call center (voice support only) or contact center (omnichannel support) makes all the tools and services necessary to run a contact center available on the internet. This eliminates the need for on-premise hardware, which can be costly to install and maintain without providing much flexibility.
Thanks to cloud-based call center software, call centers have become more adaptable. And with the right contact center solution, businesses can add new channels and provide better customer support.
Like all cloud-based services, cloud contact centers store data in distributed data servers instead of hard drives. Plus, cloud call center services allow businesses to build custom solutions through application programming interfaces (APIs) rather than adopting immutable hardware and software.
APIs are tools developers use to create software applications, providing the infrastructure for software components to interact. This means you don't have to build and deploy complex communication services yourself to get your contact center up and running.
Building with APIs also gives developers the flexibility to set up the channels and features they want and scale as needed. This means you can start with a cloud call center focused only on voice, then add new channels—such as messaging and video—to meet your business needs.
Freeing your contact center from on-premise technology is only the beginning. There are many other advantages to moving your contact center to the cloud. Here are the top 9 cloud contact center benefits:
Long hold times, endless interactive voice response (IVR) menus, and impersonal interactions can create a negative experience, which directly impacts your business’ bottom line. In fact, 45% of customers say that an impersonal experience can lead them to abandon a brand for good.
The constraints of legacy contact center systems also make it difficult to keep up with evolving customer expectations, contributing to these negative interactions. However, with cloud call center software, you can give agents the tools to anticipate your customers’ needs and provide a top-notch experience.
As your business needs evolve, so should your contact center. And a cloud-based contact center gives you the agility to scale your program (up or down) as your needs and use cases fluctuate.
Ready to connect with your customers in new ways, such as in-app chat? No problem. Since APIs work like building blocks, you can add new channels to your existing contact center. This means you’re in control of creating the customer experience you need to retain customers without worrying about hardware planning.
Additionally, cloud-based solutions are typically available on a pay-as-you-go model, meaning you can scale your program without the risk of subscription overcharges.
To provide a superior customer experience, businesses must experiment, gather customer feedback, track call center metrics, and evolve with customers’ needs.
However, businesses with complex legacy ecosystems can’t iterate quickly because it often takes months of meetings, expensive consultants, requests for proposals, and negotiations to make any changes.
With a flexible cloud call center, you can track vital metrics and use those insights to iterate and improve the customer experience frequently.
As you expand your reach to multiple countries, a cloud call center provides an inventory of local numbers and reliability through global carrier connectivity. This allows you to skip the contract negotiations with carriers in every country where you do business.
And because APIs are cloud-based, you can get instant multiregional connectivity and on-demand phone numbers from a single platform. A cloud-based call center built on global infrastructure enables you to provide a local experience anywhere in the world, adding new country coverage without codebase changes or dealing with the quirks of international connectivity.
Cloud-based contact centers aggregate the requirements of tens of thousands of customers, offering greater reliability than what most businesses can afford to implement independently.
Plus, cloud-based calling APIs connect calls through carriers worldwide using geographically distributed data centers. That means the phone system can optimally route calls to reduce latency and provide the highest-quality customer experience. This level of reliability is difficult to find in on-premise call centers.
You might think that with all these benefits, cloud solutions must be the most costly contact center option, but the opposite is true. When implementing cloud call center services, a modest investment buys you a multichannel communications hub.
Plus, rather than enforcing a set of certified applications and relying solely on in-house developers for innovation, flexible cloud solutions enable knowledge sharing among developers. For example, Twilio draws on a vast pool of developers who build solutions and share the code through Twilio CodeExchange. Equipped with this knowledge, developers get a head start to build, integrate, and test with little impact on your operating budget.
When there’s a long queue of callers waiting to talk to someone, connecting them to the right agent as quickly as possible is a high priority. A cloud-based call center with intelligent routing allows you to do this.
There are 2 types of intelligent routing: attribute-based routing and priority-based routing. Attribute-based routing assesses the needs and context of each caller and connects them to the most qualified agent available. Priority-based routing, on the other hand, elevates the most urgent calls to the front of the queue. With both types of intelligent routing, you can meet customers’ needs quickly and provide a better experience overall.
In addition to benefiting customers, intelligent routing also increases agent productivity by ensuring they work on the right task at the right time.
One of the most important features of a contact center is the ability to gather data about your customers. Do you know who’s calling you and why? Are they responding to a marketing campaign? Or are they unhappy about a product glitch?
A contact center built on APIs gives you access to the necessary call tracking data and analytics to help you keep track of incoming and outgoing calls. This allows you to measure the value of marketing spend, compile information about call times and agent performance, and more.
The above benefits have one underlying theme in common: when you implement a cloud-based contact center, you control your roadmap. You have the freedom to build the exact customer experience you want with the capabilities you need.
By avoiding a vendor’s limited roadmap or telecommunications hardware restrictions, you can start building your contact center with APIs immediately in the web languages you already use.
And if you have an existing on-premise solution, you don’t have to get rid of it to implement cloud contact center software. In fact, with the right solution, you can add new channels that integrate with your existing systems and create a single user interface.
True to its name, Twilio Flex is a flexible cloud-based contact center solution that allows you to deliver a positive customer experience across channels from a single platform. This agile platform enables you to launch your cloud contact center in a matter of days, then adapt and scale as your needs evolve.
Already have a call center up and running? Flex enables you to augment your existing solution, adding new digital channels over time. Plus, you can create a unified agent desktop where agents can access all the necessary channels and integrations.
Flex also puts all the relevant customer information at agents’ fingertips, providing the context they need to deliver personalized service. Then, contact center supervisors can generate reports to track performance without using code.
Want to learn more about what you can build with Flex? Request an interactive demo today.
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