Why the cloud will be the key for contact centres in 2016. Sarah Quennell, Director of Marketing Aspect Europe and Africa
Like many other sectors, the contact centre market has been hugely changed by the emergence of cloud computing. In the last few years, this has become a central part of how many companies conduct their operations, and it’s a trend that’s only set to continue in the coming years.
The growth of this technology was highlighted by a recent study from Research and Markets. It forecast that by 2020, the global market for cloud contact centre solutions will be worth $14.71 billion (£10.36 billion). This is up from $4.68 billion last year, equating to a compound annual growth rate of 25.7 per cent for the remainder of the decade.
So what is it about the cloud that’s driving demand among contact centres? The research highlighted a few key reasons for the growing interest, and they’ll be familiar to anyone who’s been investigating the potential benefits of the technology.
Better deployment and expenses control
One of the key factors identified by Research and Markets was the ability of the cloud to move costs from capital expenditure to operating expenditure. As cloud services are delivered on a subscription basis, it’s easier on the budget when it comes to getting things up and running.
This model means cloud contact centres can avoid large upfront investments in infrastructure and vendor licensing. As the services are offered over the internet, cloud-based services can also be deployed much faster than more traditional alternatives. In some cases, lead-in times could be reduced from months to weeks, or even days.
Cloud-based contact centres also benefit from much greater flexibility than on-premises solutions. The technology allows companies to pay for only the exact amount of resources they need at any given time – allowing them to add or remove seats instantly as demand requires.
This not only means that businesses can react more quickly to short-term spikes or troughs that could leave on-premises competitors struggling to keep up, but it also takes much of the stress and guesswork out of longer-term planning. Cloud solutions mean they will no longer have to estimate future demand far in advance, while the technology also offers “unlimited scalability”.
Higher service levels
The Research and Markets report noted that short and long-term cost savings and improved operational agility are not the only benefits of migrating contact centres to the cloud. The technology also enables industry leaders to achieve differentiation in customer service, leading to higher satisfaction levels.
“Cloud tools such as automatic call distribution and dialers, agent performance optimisation and interactive voice response allow contact centre managers to get more out of their agents, while reducing the time that customers wait on the phone,” it stated.
What’s more, many contact centres are now using analytics and reporting to help identify any issues and improve call quality to make sure customers receive optimal experience. Calls can be tracked and analysed, and this drives improved results.
These are just some of the reasons why cloud contact centre solutions will be in such high demand in 2016 and beyond. So with a large number of the most forward-thinking businesses set to take advantage of these, those that do not look into what the cloud could offer them are set to miss out on many opportunities.
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