Most contact centers leverage a cloud solution to provide better customer support, boost agent productivity, and optimize workflows.
A cloud contact center empowers agents with cutting-edge software solutions and automation. They have a virtual setup where a third party manages the data centers.
In this article, we’ll explore what a cloud contact center is and why they’re better than traditional contact centers. We’ll then discuss the nine features of a cloud contact center and highlight five excellent cloud contact center software.
This article includes:
(Click on the link to go to a particular section)
- What is a Cloud Contact Center?
- 9 Key Features of a Cloud Contact Center
- 5 Popular Cloud Contact Center Solutions
Let’s get started.
What is a cloud contact center?
A cloud contact center is an internet-based, third-party-hosted facility that manages a company’s inbound and outbound customer communications.
Here, the core contact center technology is hosted by another organization via cloud computing. The cloud solution lets you carry out agent management, analytics, training, and more.
How is a cloud contact center different from on-premise contact centers?
Unlike a cloud contact center, an on-premise cloud contact center (also known as a legacy or traditional contact center) has physical servers and other hardware installed in their office.
The traditional contact center’s hardware and software systems and their maintenance are entirely controlled and managed by the company.
But in a cloud contact center, your agents store all company data in virtual servers and can access it even while they travel. This means that you could have the team in one location, close to your headquarters, or distributed worldwide.
Other benefits of cloud contact centers over traditional ones include:
- Vast global reach due to easy scalability.
- Greater reliability as it has less downtime.
- Improves ROI (Return of Investment) with premium integrations.
Now, let’s dive a little deeper and look at the key features of a cloud contact center solution.
9 key features of a cloud contact center
Here are some of the common features of a cloud contact center:
In a cloud contact center, you won’t have to buy costly servers and other hardware.
Since a third party owns the data centers, you won’t have to worry about their storage and save on real estate. Additionally, you won’t have to employ an IT team to maintain it.
The initial cost of a cloud contact center includes getting a license and an internet connection, followed by only monthly payments to use the services.
You can scale a cloud contact center with ease. All you need to do is invest in more cloud space and increase the functionality of your software, which usually costs less.
You can even take advantage of CCAS (Cloud Contact Center as a Service), a solution that enables contact centers to purchase only the technology they require.
Additionally, cloud contact centers have great global scaling capabilities. You can buy on-demand phone numbers from other countries and deploy the business easily.
This means that a cloud contact center can offshore or nearshore their business without any physical constraints.
3. Supports flexible work
Cloud contact centers only rely on a stable internet connection. As a result, your agents can work continuously using any device, including their laptops — as long as they have a stable network.
Additionally, your agents won’t have to commute to the office just to access their work devices. They can start their shift immediately, increasing uptime.
Moreover, flexible work allows agents to work in a surrounding where they’re most productive. This increases agent productivity and, consequently, customer satisfaction.
Check out our article on improving workplace flexibility.
4. Quick integrations
A cloud platform can easily integrate with cloud-based software in a few clicks. This way, you can increase agent productivity and customer satisfaction.
Some of the relevant integrations are:
- Automatic call distributors (ACDs): A routing system that connects incoming calls to the most suitable agent.
- Workforce management (WFM): A solution for optimizing agent productivity by distributing resources appropriately.
- Customer relationship management (CRM): Manages and improves the relationship between customers and the brand.
- Interactive voice response (IVR): Collects information from callers using a pre-recorded voice response system.
- Computer-telephony integration (CTI): Coordinates interactions between a telephone and a computer.
5. Agent-friendly interface
Agents may have to switch between digital channels and other portals to track the customer journey and collect issue-related information in a traditional system.
This back-and-forth can cause errors and waste time. It can also delay issue resolution and lead to poor customer satisfaction.
A cloud-based solution can empower agents with omnichannel routing capabilities, which let agents access customer data and issues from a single interface.
Also, the platform offers a unified communication feature that integrates multiple communication tools. This feature lets agents communicate with customers across different platforms like social media, live chat, and SMS.
6. Offers call routing
An agent could be better at handling a specific issue or customer interaction. A few agents could excel at sales, while others could understand technical issues better than most.
When agents are randomly assigned contacts, the contact center fails to utilize every agents’ unique skills. As a result, the contact center might not provide the best customer service.
Fortunately, a cloud contact center platform can route calls to the most suitable agent. This way, cloud contact centers can reduce customer wait times and provide a better customer experience.
For example, you can route a complex technical issue-related call to an experienced agent so that you resolve the issue in a single call.
Here are 10 other effective ways to improve customer experience.
7. Quick deployment and updates
On-premise contact centers aren’t designed to keep up with customer trends and technological advancements.
Consequently, you may have to update software and hardware consistently to stay competitive. But the deployment of new technologies in on-premise contact centers can take up to 7-24 months, and new upgrades can take up to 9 months on average.
On the other hand, you can deploy a cloud-based contact center in a few weeks and add additional features or carry out updates to your system in minutes.
Additionally, frequent software and hardware updates boost the security of your cloud solution. However, a traditional contact center may be reluctant to update its system because it can be an incredibly time-consuming process.
8. Less downtime
Most traditional contact centers have a disaster recovery strategy with a second server and associated hardware to ensure less downtime. The second server acts as a data source in case the first server isn’t available. Such a strategy will cost you a lot of money.
Also, despite investing in expensive disaster recovery, you may face long downtimes while using a traditional contact center solution.
The data from the first server needs to be manually transferred to the secondary server using disks, which is a lengthy process. This can leave you with a downtime of a few hours.
And if you’re shifting vendors or installing new software or hardware, this process can take even longer. Such long downtimes can make your customers feel undervalued and decrease customer loyalty.
You can prevent this in a cloud contact center.
Cloud computing lets you store and access data from anywhere as long as you’re connected to the internet. And if your third-party’s server experiences some technical issues, all the data is instantly copied and uploaded to the cloud.
Moreover, since updating software and hardware doesn’t take much time in the cloud, downtime is also significantly reduced.
9. Strong security and compliance solutions
Maintaining strong security regulations in an on-premise contact center can be expensive.
For example, you’re responsible for installing firewalls and anti-virus software and setting up user access policies — if you don’t, it leaves you vulnerable to insider threats.
In fact, insider threats cause 50% of all data loss.
On the other hand, the cloud provider manages the cloud contact center’s security. And a cloud service provider is more likely to employ high-end, latest technologies for security.
Now that we know the key features of a cloud contact center, let’s look at the different cloud contact center software available today.
5 popular cloud contact center solutions
A cloud contact center solution is a comprehensive suite of cloud-hosted services, tools, and applications that enable call routing, workforce management, and multichannel communication.
Here are five popular cloud contact center software solutions:
Ameyo is a cloud contact center solution offering less setup time, high security, and flexible deployment. The software has over 2,000 users from more than 60 countries.
- Automatically creates help desk tickets for all issues via messaging, social media, email, chatbots, and more.
- Integrates with premium solutions and offers APIs for custom integrations.
- Lets your remote workforce log in from and work on any device, including laptops, mobile phones, and browsers.
- Uses API-driven calling to communicate over the web in real-time without software or browser plug-ins.
- Offers a predictive dialer that can help you make outbound calls with ease.
Contact support for a custom quote.
- Capterra: 3.9 (30+ reviews)
- G2: 4.2/5 (60+ reviews)
Exotel is a cloud telephony platform built for SMEs (small and medium enterprises) and startups. The tool offers high voice quality with reduced latency and uptime of 99.94% for great customer experience.
- Enables you to build call flow by dragging and dropping applets.
- Generates detailed daily reports on call statistics for the company as well as each agent.
- Offers 24*7 customer support via Twitter, email, and phone, increasing customer engagement.
- Has premium helpdesk and CRM integrations for tools like Zoho, Freshdesk, etc.
- Records customer voice feedback and helps with quality management.
Exotel offers a free trial period of 15 days. Its basic paid plan starts at $200 for six months.
- Capterra: 4.3/5 (50+ reviews)
- G2: N/A
Genesys is primarily a cloud call center solution equipped to serve contact centers as well. The app boosts customer experience across all communication channels using workforce optimization, automation, and other technologies.
- Streamlines outbound calls and increases agent productivity by scripting conversations.
- Reduces agent workload by automating communications.
- Offers smart outbound dialing that screens out busy connections, answering machines, and incomplete calls.
- Managers can observe customer interactions through screen recording.
- Offers multi-language speech recognition to encourage self-service among customers.
The software’s basic plan starts at $75 per month.
- Capterra: 4.2/5 (100+ reviews)
- G2: 4.3/5 (400+ reviews)
Five9 is a cloud contact center software that empowers contact center agents to deliver an exceptional customer experience. The app offers inbound, outbound, and hybrid contact center solutions.
- Intelligent routing connects calls to the most experienced agents.
- Offers built-in CRM integrations with Salesforce, Microsoft, and Oracle.
- Automatically dials when an agent becomes available using an outbound dialer.
- Prevents any automated dialing which isn’t compliant with Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) regulations.
- Get access to actionable insights via real-time reports and dashboards.
Request a quote for pricing.
- Capterra: 4.2/5 (300+ reviews)
- G2: 3.9/5 (200+ reviews)
RingCentral is a global cloud contact center platform dedicated to running and expanding your business efficiently. The tool acts as an intuitive platform for voice and video meetings, team messaging, and collaboration.
- Employs seven layers of security and data centers to ensure maximum uptime and data protection.
- Reduces expenditure with workforce optimization by tracking agent performance.
- Instantly access international numbers from over 100 countries.
- Provides a Technical Account Manager and Customer Success Manager to help with implementation.
- Ensures the best voice quality with numerous connectivity offers and efficient analytics.
Contact RingCentral for a customized plan.
- Capterra: 4.3/5 (100+ reviews)
- G2: 3.9/5 (50+ reviews)
Want to check out more options?
Here’s our extensive list of contact center software.
Cloud contact centers can boost agent performance and improve customer experience.
Additionally, they are more affordable, scalable, and flexible.
However, you need to understand more about them before you decide to adopt or shift to a cloud system.
Go through the advantages, features, and software mentioned in this article to find the best cloud contact solution for your business.
Andy is a technology & marketing leader who has delivered award-winning and world-first experiences.