Migrate your Contact Centre into the Cloud

Moving a customer service call centre into a cloud platform has many advantages, which include the possibility of major cost savings, as well as higher customer satisfaction. The process of migrating a call centre into the cloud differs from one company to the next and depends, to some extent, on the size of the business, where future calls will be routed to, and whether the company will be working with a separate data centre for co-location.

A co-location centre is a type of data centre where equipment, space, and bandwidth are available for rental to retail customers. Co-location facilities provide space, power, cooling, and physical security for the server, storage, and networking equipment of other firms - and connect them to a variety of telecommunications and network service providers - with a minimum of cost and complexity.

An Ovum whitepaper, sponsored by Genesys, explains the benefit of cloud-based call centres as providing “access to new features/functions and expertise, more economically palatable usage-based OPEX models, and improved scalability and flexibility.” The paper highlights that, quick deployment timeframes and web services, have made it relatively easy for enterprises to implement a cloud-based call centre and outlines 10 best practices for a company to consider, in order to ensure a smooth and successful cloud-based call centre deployment.

Best practices

  1. Start with a clean slate.
  2. Understand the technology and resources that you already have in place.
  3. Link front- and back-office functions to improve the overall customer experience.
  4. Understand implications for security, availability and manageability for a cloud-based call centre.
  5. Think about call centre staffing more flexibly.
  6. Leverage new features and functions to offer new products and services that will improve your business results.
  7. Focus more on the customer and less on the infrastructure.
  8. Think about monitoring and analyzing your business more frequently and in different ways.
  9. Plan well to make future possibilities a reality.
  10. Use the cloud provider’s call centre experience to help guide you. The process that follows includes some of these best practices, is applicable to most situations and will help to dismiss the myth that moving a call centre into a cloud has to be expensive, time-consuming, or even problematic. For most businesses, the transition is a quick and smooth process. So what does it take to actually turn that money-saving vision into a reality by moving customer service calls into the cloud? Here are the points most businesses have to consider:

Data centre

This is an important piece of the puzzle, since the right environment for a cloud platform is essential. It is best to work with a partner who can offer the entire cloud solution, while guaranteeing lots of uptime, maximum security, and ‘extras’, such as regular, automatic file backup. The recommended route is to talk to the cloud provider, as they will advise whether they offer an all-inclusive package, alternatively, which platform is the best, with the most reliable technicians, in a stable, accessible environment, ensuring that the freedom to connect is retained, regardless of the method chosen. Remember, the cloud provider will evaluate, analyse and advise on the best way in which the company’s needs can be met.

Planning

In most cases, this doesn’t have to be complicated, with a simple outline of the actual system to be transferred, a date and time for executing the migration, and all the relevant details, such as telephone numbers or server addresses for customer records. Additionally, the cloud provider will advise what information to include, ensuring backups are made and considering all contingencies, just in case systems are offline during the transition.

Training

Typically, when businesses make the switch to cloud call centres, capabilities are also upgraded in the process. This means the team will have to make use of information they didn’t have before, which could require training. The decision to migrate could also incorporate overhauling the entire customer service experience, to meet a higher standard of customer satisfaction. Either way, it’s a good idea to ensure that all staff members are informed about the switch, any changes this will bring about and are ready to implement and move forward. The cloud provider chosen to assist with, or enable the migration, will be able to help develop and manage the training process, as well as advise the best way to ensure everyone is aware of how the migration will affect operations.

Numbers

Moving customer service contacts into the cloud doesn’t have to mean losing the telephone numbers already in use. This is important, as customers already know the contact details and changing numbers could create confusion. Most major telecommunications providers can, if necessary, port numbers to a new location within just a few minutes. It is, however, a good idea to allow for a workable amount of lead time, should this be possible. That way, there is the assurance that things will work the way they’re supposed to.

Customer Service Performance

Once the call centre has been moved into the cloud and the numbers ported, it is time to begin with the virtual setup. All that is left to do, at this point, is keep an eye on the most important customer service metrics, ensuring that the transition is being handled smoothly. Don’t let fear and misinformation cloud your judgement

Unfortunately, companies spend way more than they should, locked down in ‘sameness’, due to the fear of what may or may not go wrong in migrating their call centre into the cloud. While this is understandable for those who aren’t familiar with the technology, it could very well be attributed to allowing a lack of knowledge or misinformation to hurt the bottom line. Don’t be afraid to make the switch, because the process itself is likely to be very simple and the benefits to the business could be tremendous.

Talk to your cloud provider, they are competent, capable and knowledgeable about what is required and will provide assistance and guidance every step of the way, ensuring you the freedom to continue connecting with your customers, just on a different platform.