A call centre solution from the cloud may at first seem more expensive than the licence fees for your own software plus hardware costs. In addition, the transition involves effort and some of the independence seems to be lost. In constrast, there are new functionalities such as omnichannel capability, easy-to-set-up self-services or automation options to improve agent utilisation. In addition, many cloud solutions allow call centre processes to be changed without programming skills and thus increase flexibility. So the bottom line is that the additional costs could be offset by savings elsewhere. To find out whether this is true, companies should compare pros and cons and seek independent advice.
Unified system versus individual solutions
Many companies work with solutions built up over many years, i.e. they map (almost) every function of the call centre with a different software. This usually makes the agents’ work more cumbersome, limits their possible field of work and increases the effort required to train new employees. If the company wants to expand its systems, for example by adding a new communication channel, it has to integrate this itself. One of the biggest disadvantages of such complex landscapes is that they make data analysis difficult or impossible. With a unified solution, they can analyse communication from end to end and across every channel and learn amazing things, such as when, how and why customers contact the company, how satisfied they are and much more. With this information, companies can not only plan their capacities better, but also optimise processes and self-service, so that the communication volume can be reduced or interactions can be shifted to more efficient channels such as chat. All together, these options deliver great potential for savings.
Workplace costs versus licence fees plus IT costs
Call centre solutions from the cloud are available in many price ranges. Some start at 40 euros and go up to 200 euros per agent seat, depending on the provider and the functionality used. More expensive is not always better, but sometimes it is. Of course, it depends on one’s own requirements, for example, how many countries one’s company is represented in, how innovative the provider should be, how much support one needs and how adaptable the software must be. Individual counselling can help to clarify priorities and to recognise which provider´s marketing is better than others´, but not the solution itself. And if you want to compare the costs of your own systems with a cloud platform, you should not only calculate with the licence fees, but also add in the development, update and hardware costs, electricity and rent.
Update implementation versus simply using
Perhaps you remember the last time you updated your software. Did it have to be done at night so that operations could continue as undisturbed as possible? Were there problems afterwards because after updating system A, system C suddenly stopped working? And how long did it take to integrate a new functionality last time? A cloud solution makes all of this obsolete. This means that if you decide today to move all employees to the home office, it can be realised within hours or days. If you want to try out analysing conversations or provide your employees with a virtual assistant, you can start working on the processes more or less immediately without worrying about the technology. And if, after the pilot phase, you conclude that the whole thing is useless, the additional module can be quickly switched off again and does not cost any more money. As a rule, only the cloud offers such opportunities for experimentation, because you don’t have to decide in advance in favor or against a large investment. The motto “trial and error” applies.
Ready for operation in six to eight weeks versus six to eight months
Maybe you don’t want to have to reinvent the wheel again and shy away from the big effort of migrating to the cloud. After all, you know how exhausting it was until the current systems were up and running. The good news is that configuring a cloud solution is much easier than a patchwork of individual solutions for which you also have to provide the right hardware. And since new requirements have to be implemented all the time, it doesn’t get any easier over the years. Before migrating to the cloud companies mostly only need to map their processes and check the following:
- do they fit the envisaged solution or
- do they need to be changed, and if so, how
- which processes can be simplified
The latter usually holds great potential to make the service centre more flexible, efficient and responsive, and it goes without saying that companies should definitely take advantage of this opportunity. With an agile approach, all this work can be completed within six to eight weeks, so that the new solution is ready for operation in the same quarter.
That sounds tempting, doesn’t it? In my eyes it is. Many companies don’t know how much more innovative and efficient they could be with a call centre solution from the cloud until they try it. And that’s possible too, you can move a location or the workstations of individual teams first if you want to. The important thing is to clarify your priorities at the beginning of the project. We help you with everything else like choosing the right provider and the transition.