With the emergence of web chat, social media, mobile devices and SMS, enterprises are relying more than ever on their contact center to be the focal point for customer interaction. With this, the contact center has become increasingly integral to the success of a business. With increased importance comes increased requirements and complexity. Companies which are contact center centric require very flexible technologies which allow them to add, modify, and embrace new customer touch points without disrupting existing operations. This has led many businesses to adopt cloud-based contact center solutions.
With cloud-based contact center solutions becoming more and more commonplace, there are more choices. So, how do you choose the right provider for your business? What questions should you be asking, and which features should you be looking for?
Here are six major considerations to explore when seeking the best cloud solution provider for the needs of your contact center:
Ensure that the cloud provider understands your current processes, hardware, business requirements, and future plans. This will eliminate any incompatibilities in terms of which services the provider offers in the cloud. Don’t leave anything out – discuss your current PBX/ACD, CRM applications, phone systems, PCs, etc.
Security becomes one of the biggest concerns for businesses looking to take their contact center solution to the cloud. However, the question of security does not lie in whether or not the installation is cloud-based or premise, but rather in the individual cloud provider. You should be asking about the provider’s policies and procedures, certifications, physical security of the hosting environment, encryption and network design. If these processes adhere to the proper standards, the security of cloud solutions is often times more secure than premise-based.
It’s important to understand the system’s performance ability under different conditions. Disaster recovery, redundancy, backup sites, multi-tenancy and single tenancy are all technical aspects you should be asking about.
Do not neglect the importance of up-time. Look for a provider with a contractual SLA of at least 95% availability. Also, choose a provider who agrees to warn its customers well in advance if there is any scheduled down-time. This will ensure your solution will not go down often or without notice.
Many businesses are interested in the cloud due to its flexibility with purchasing licenses and storage on an as-needed basis, so you only pay for what you use. This is particularly beneficial for companies with peak seasons or periods of high call volume. If scalability is an important factor to your business, ask about the processes of purchasing licenses and storage to ensure the cloud provider is right for your business.
- Expertise & Customer Service
Choose a provider that understands their product, is well-established in the contact center industry and is readily available to offer you the best services available at all times. At the end of the day, you are the customer of the provider, and you deserve to be treated that way.
Joe Halloran is Vice President of Business Development at Adtech Global.