Providers of cloud-based contact center solutions feel they are poised to disrupt the call center market, now dominated by legacy on-premise technology providers such as Cisco Systems and Avaya.
CMSWire web magazine recently looked into what’s motivating organizations to adopt Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) customer contact solutions. Here’s a summary of the trends pushing customer service to the cloud:
1. Technology upgrade cycles: When on-premise legacy solutions begin reaching the end of their lifecycle, companies are often hesitant to spend big money to replace and upgrade call-center infrastructure. SaaS solution providers tout total cost of ownership savings as high as 40 percent, making them an attractive alternative to legacy systems.
2. Customer relationship management (CRM) has moved to the cloud, too: More organizations are using cloud-based CRM software. And since all that customer data is in the cloud, it makes sense to integrate customer contact in there as well.
3. Test the waters, then dive in: The scalable nature of on-demand software can be a plus for organizations with several call centers. They can move one or two to the cloud to see if the features, quality and savings live up to their billing. If the projects are a success, then it’s time to transition all the centers to the cloud.
4. The middle market: Cloud contact center solution providers say about half their market share comes from midsize contact centers (those with less than 100 seats). Midsize organizations that don’t have the benefit of large budgets and in-house IT expertise often find cloud solutions have a price tag that’s palatable and an implementation that’s relatively worry-free.
5. Multichannel demand: Although voice is still the primary means of communication for contact centers, customers want to interact through other channels–email, web chat and social media, for example–and receive the same level of service they expect on the phone. Most cloud providers offer multichannel contact solutions that are easily implemented.
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