Traditional contact centers are built to be operated on-premises using proprietary hardware and software. In the late nineties first-generation hosted contact center applications were released. However, these solutions did not offer comparable technology, cost, features and flexibility and therefore failed to gain acceptance in the contact center market. The inability of early hosted applications to deliver feasible solutions for contact center users created a number of myths, reinforcing the perception that on-premises solutions were superior. Second-generation cloud-based contact center applications not only overcome their predecessors’ weaknesses with advanced technology, they also deliver clear advantages over on-premises systems in terms of cost, flexibility, and reliability. It is time to debunk the myths.
On-premises contact centers were once the only reliable choice for the enterprise, a necessary investment with no real alternatives. With the advent of SaaS (Software-as-a-Service), this is no longer true. SaaS vendors have proven their ability to deliver measurable value, causing a permanent and fundamental shift in the way technology is delivered and managed.
You have already decided that a cloud-based contact center solution is right for your company; now you have to evaluate the available contact center technology alternatives. Beyond the must-have features to meet your current and future business needs, there are several critical technology criteria to evaluate.
As the role of the contact center evolves, the transactions performed in such an environment can expand to include responding to marketing campaign promotions and increased interactions with customers. Now more than ever, the contact center is a major component of the customer lifecycle, ranging from opportunity identification to solutions and ongoing management through acquisitions and divestiture.
Companies need to provide customer service that surpasses the competition. They need to realign their culture and technology in order to drive the maximum value out of their investments (making employees more productive, and extending current capital expenditures to capture the highest value).
We’ll examine the advantages of cloud-based contact center solutions, as well as the strategy of migrating from premises- to cloud-based contact center software solutions—why it makes sense for some organizations, what to consider, and how a few real-world migration efforts have fared.
The time has come to acquire, replace or upgrade your contact center solution and supporting applications. It’s a buyer’s market, due to the maturation of cloud-based contact center infrastructure providers who have entered the market with competitive offerings. Take advantage of this opportunity by including both premise-based and cloud-based solutions in your contact center infrastructure selection process. While this may add some complexity to your financial and technical analysis, it greatly expands your options and improves your negotiating leverage.
Proactive service that’s delivered through personalized interactions with agents can help differentiate companies, strengthen customer relationships, and drive compelling business benefits.
If you are starting to evaluate cloud contact center solutions, make sure you first download this checklist so you know the key questions you need to ask. And, find out how inContact stacks up.
This research identifies and offers insight on key trends in the customer management/contact center industry related to 2013-14 goals, strategies and budgeting plans.