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Cloud Contact Centers Best Way To Listen

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How well does any business really know its customers? Companies have often made names for themselves by claiming to understand what people want, and the ones that often succeed tend to be able to back up their boasting. But what does it take to accomplish this in the modern day? Surveys? Analytics?

Oftentimes, learning about the needs of customers starts in the contact center. Help desk representatives are normally the first employees that a patron of the business will interact with regarding their problems. It is not so much about having the right products or services available in present times as it is about being able to assist people so that offerings work in the way that they are needed to.

There has been a lot of talk about how contact centers are the faces of the organizations that they work for. But that might be somewhat of a misnomer. While they do end up painting a public picture of their respective companies, contact centers require assets that are going to make them good listeners. This is why contact centers need to be the ears as well as the face of their businesses.

Cloud Communications In Contact Centers Enable Better Service

People need to feel like they are being listened to; this is a basic human need. According to Business 2 Community contributor Kirsi Tarvainen, this is a requirement of life that can be ironically overlooked when dealing with customer service, and when it does, those who feel that their issues have not been validated by the contact center will turn to Facebook and Twitter to find someone willing to listen.

"Calling a contact center, waiting on the line and finally being connected with somebody who can't do anything to help, is the opposite of being heard," Tarvainen wrote. "So it is no wonder so many people share their bad customer service experiences in social media: people just need somebody to listen to their frustration."

Part of the problem faced by many help desks is the quality of their resources. Standard telephone service and other siloed telecom outlets can be difficult to navigate seamlessly due to incompatible interfaces. These issues, combined with the ever-changing world around them, can cause the kind of complications that lose customers.

This is why cloud communications have to be sought out for contact center operations. By converting copper voice connections to cloud based phone systems and integrating them with unified communications software, staff members will be better equipped to handle questions and concerns in a timely, agile and ultimately helpful manner.

Contact Centers Streamlined By Cloud

For as long as they have been around, customer service departments have tried to find new ways to make their practices more efficient. With the movement of voice from legacy circuits to the Internet, cloud communications initiatives can be used to circumvent classic call center issues.

Business 2 Community contributor Alyx Kaczuwka feels that cloud technology has made the installation and maintenance of customer service telecom networks much less complicated. Many organizations may be experiencing pressures caused by budget constrictions, for example. Going with cloud communications has made it so that advanced connections are feasible to obtain without breaking the bank. This also allows leftover funding to be redirected to areas where it may be needed more.

"Compared to physical hardware and software systems, a cloud-based solution is easy to install," wrote Kaczuwka. "It can be deployed in a short amount of time, reducing installation costs and resource allocation. These savings continue throughout using the cloud solution, as employees can spend more of their time on projects other than maintaining the system your contact center uses."

Cloud Will Lead Contact Centers Into The Future

Organizations looking to bolster their contact center operations should not just think about what they need now, but what will be a requirement down the road. In particular, a development known as the Internet of Things is set to become a reality within the near future. As more devices are connected in ways that will allow them to communicate, help desks will need to be equipped with the tools that will allow representatives to listen to products as well as to people. In the contact center of tomorrow, a customer might not even realize that something is broken before receiving an update from the company about the status of their appliance or machine.

According to Doc Searls, director of ProjectVRM at Harvard's Berkman Center for Internet and Society, contact center changes will be increasingly defined by customer needs. There has to be a much greater sense of personal connection between representatives and the people they are helping.

"Today, all customer-service frameworks are provided by companies, and not by customers," Searls wrote. "All are also different from each other and require that each of us maintain separate relationships with all of them. In the new system we see emerging above, customers will own - and standardize - the relationships they have with companies. (One small example of this is the ability to change one's contact information one time for all company relationships, rather than separately for all of them.)"

Contact centers have to be able to hear what people are saying in order to be truly effective at what they do. This will mean different things as time moves forward. Be it from the customer or the product itself, contact centers have to be listening. It is becoming increasingly clear that the only way to achieve progress and success is to migrate to cloud call center software and obtain the appropriate equipment to facilitate responsive assistance.