Initially seen as a solution for small and medium-sized companies who want to simplify their business processes and achieve cost-efficiency, the cloud now has become increasingly attractive to a variety of businesses -- including contact centers.
A new research study conducted by 8x8, one of the leading providers of hosted Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) phone solutions, reveals that more contact centers are making the move from on-premises solutions to cloud-based contact center technologies. The survey, entitled "Cloud Contact Centers Gaining Share," was conducted by 8x8 in partnership with the Contact Center & Customer Care Industry Professional Network (CCNG) and surveyed over 154 contact center professionals in the U.S. and the UK.
The Growing Cloud-Based Contact Center Market
According to the survey, three-quarters of contact centers now see value and benefits of the cloud. Of all respondents, 25% claimed that they have fully shifted to the cloud, another 28% have implemented a partial transition, and 21% said they have plans to make the move to the cloud within a year.
The survey also uncovered the major drivers behind the increased adoption of the cloud, as cited by the respondents in the survey:
42.9% - Business Continuity/Disaster Recovery
40.9% - Ability to Scale Up and Down as Needed
40.3% - Lower Cost of Ownership
26.6% - Enabling Remote Agents
18.2% - Ease of Integration with Other Systems & Applications
17.5% - New Features & Upgrades Without Additional Investment
As the contact center industry becomes even more competitive, companies need all the help they can get to stay ahead of the curve. And knowing that cloud phone technologies are packed with all the best features that ensure business continuity, scalability, cost savings, mobility, and even integration with other business applications, it only makes sense for contact centers to embrace the cloud.
Other Trends Highlighted
Aside from the shift toward cloud-based contact centers, the 8x8-CCNG report also highlighted several trends that have become crucial to contact center success. They include:
The use of analytics tools
For contact centers, the ability to measure and improve agent performance is crucial for their success. This is why the use of analytics tools has become widespread today. However, the survey also showed that despite recognizing the value of measuring agent performance and the quality of a customer’s experience, a significant percentage of survey respondents continue to rely on outdated tools and methods. Based on the report, 58.4% of the respondents used spreadsheets and notes, while 43.5% relied on informal discussions. These findings show a clear need to upgrade to more efficient analytics technologies such as those commonly integrated with many business VoIP solutions.
The growth of remote working for increased flexibility
Another trend the survey uncovered is the increased prevalence of remote employees and working remotely. As much as 59% of contact center respondents answered that they were employing remote agents because doing so offers greater flexibility, especially when round-the-clock staffing is needed. Nevertheless, employing remote workers also pose challenges in the form of management (40.3%), technology (37.7%), and accessibility (29.2%).
The adoption of non-voice channels
Contact centers are also moving beyond solely using voice channels, as respondents report that they are increasingly integrating non-voice channels in their contact centers. The survey ranked email as the most widely adopted non-voice channel (85.1%); followed by website-based communications (50%), chat (46.1%), and social media (37%). The respondents also cited chat (37%), mobile apps (25.3%), and SMS (24.7%) as the top non-voice channels they will consider adopting in the near future. Fortunately, a growing number of cloud contact center solutions today have added the ability to enable multi-channel customer experiences, thus adapting to the new needs of contact centers.
While select businesses may have some concerns about moving contact centers to a cloud-based solution, the 8x8-CCNG survey demonstrates that a significant number of contact centers now recognize the added value and benefits the cloud can deliver. By offering business continuity, scalability, cost savings, and innovation, the cloud is indeed the key to the future of work.
To read the full report and conclusions of the 2016 Cloud Contact Center survey jointly sponsored by CCNG and 8x8, visit 8x8’s website.