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Why Cloud-Based Call Centers Provide Strategic Business Value

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ShoreTel Cloud Communications Call Center

Are call centers strategic assets? Do they have the potential to increase sales while benefiting the bottom line? While customer support is often seen as a cost center, cloud-based technologies are changing the rules of the game. In fact, they can give you the ability to leverage shifting customer expectations and turn your call center into not just a strategic asset – but a profit center.

Turn Customer Questions Into Sales Opportunities

Increasingly, customers prefer self-service and frictionless options to resolve issues quickly, according to Forrester Research. The company predicts customers will increasingly demand Web and mobile self-service options, along with video chat in the coming years.

And when they do contact the call center, they want answers quickly and have little patience for long wait times. In addition, an irritable customer presents a risk. It doesn’t take much effort for them to vent their frustrations publicly on Facebook or Twitter.

Cloud-based call centers help address such concerns by empowering the call-center team. With prioritized skill routing, for example, reps can easily direct customers to the agent who can best serve their needs.

What’s more, routing options are flexible, so customers with specified issues can be routed to an inside sales rep, who can both solve their problem and upgrade them to new products and services. This kind of approach opens up tremendous revenue opportunities, while also reducing your risk.

Better Customer Experience

Call centers also play a significant role in customer retention when interactions are positive and issues are resolved quickly. Cloud-based call centers empower their reps by providing the tools to make this happen.

When apps like Salesforce are integrated into the system, the call-center staff can view customer records before picking up the phone. This vastly improves the customer experience: The rep can greet the customer by name and have an understanding of the issue even as the call begins.

Smarter Connections

The integration of CRM with call center technology also enables smarter connections, ensuring that the first person the customer speaks to is the only one they talk to. Customer data can be used to make more strategic routing decisions, so calls go to agents with the skills necessary to handle particular issues or types of customers.

Better Manage Costs

Finally, while cloud-based call centers can increase upsell opportunities and improve customer retention, they do it at reduced cost. Real-time reporting gives managers the tools they need to quickly adjust to changing conditions. Easy-to-understand dashboards enable quick assessments of agents and queue status. Cloud phone systems also offer the flexibility needed to effectively manage resources. For example, managers can easily add employees to queues to help out during busy periods. The ability to adjust quickly to changing conditions both improves experiences and reduces costs.

Ultimately, treating your call center as an ongoing cost and ignoring its possibilities will make you less competitive. So why not turn it into a strategic asset? There’s no reason at all.