A Detailed Guide to Call Center on Cloud
Customer support has always been put on the first pedestal in any product or service-based organization. A study done by the CFI group has concluded that 76% of customers prefer calling the executives. Companies need to make this entire communication as seamless as possible. The cloud call center has made this easier.
Being available for them and always ready to get on-call indicates better customer relationships. A proper call center software can be your partner: Automate call recordings, routings, and many more.
But what is this call center software? What is a cloud call center setup? And you may have many other questions lingering in your mind. This blog is going to address all of them. Read until the end to know everything about virtual call center software.
What is a Call Center Solution?
A call centre solution can also be termed call center software. The program will help organizations land significant calls, whether inbound or outbound. With this software, organizations can route these calls to the desired numbers, trigger the pre-recorded messages, record calls, gather customer information, and efficiently conduct various other actions.
The new generation of consumers is expecting a lot regarding support from organizations. They expect the calls to be answered quickly and want executives to solve their issues quicker.
The agents will meet these requirements with minimal effort with the proper cloud call center software. All they have to do here is understand the software’s features and benefits and how they can make the most of it.
The best thing about this call center solution is that you can integrate it with multiple channels-
- Live chat
- Social media
- SMS messaging
Once the software is integrated with different channels, customers can contact the call center directly by clicking on the shared number.
Different Types of Call Centers
Call centers offer a wide range of services and different call centers provide various services. It is crucial to understand which type of call center offers what service. You should be aware of the strengths of each of these to pick the best one out of them for your company.
Inbound Call Center:
As the name suggests, the Inbound call centre provides incoming call services to companies. This service is helpful to existing customers, new customers, or even the staff of an organization. There is a multitude of services that companies can provide using this inbound calling feature.
Some of such services are
- Order Processing: Clients can call an organization and order their products. The executives can then process these orders and provide them with other products as needed, recording the order information and collecting payments.
- Offer Help Desk Support: This is another essential application for inbound calls. When a customer has an issue with the product or service or has any query related to them, they can get on a call with a representative and sort out the issue. They can also call in service requests if needed.
- For Logistic Services: Customers can contact logistics companies to know where their parcel is when they can get it, and monitor the shipping. This is an added advantage with the inbound calls.
- Addressing the Calls: A call center can work as an answering service where representatives will take the calls from customers, know the issue and then transfer the call to the respective department where experts will solve the problem.
- Emergency Response: These are the helplines that customers can contact during an emergency—for example, ambulance services, hospitals, police officers, etc.
Outbound calls are an effective and affordable way to reach prospective customers. You can get your representatives on the call with the leads and market your product or service to them.
The common application for outbound call centers are
- Expand the Sales Reach: The executive can reach out to your existing customer to know about the feedback on your product, or they can reach out to potential customers to know whether they are interested in your product.
- Sell the Product/Service: You can hire marketing professionals to reach out to the provided leads gathered with marketing techniques. They will pitch various products or services the company deals with and build a sales funnel.
- EMI Reminder: This service is primarily for banking, fintech, and financial providers. They can get their executives to reach out to customers with existing loans and remind them about the pending EMI.
These are just some of the services. There are many more that executives can do with outbound calling features.
The customer service process is broader than just calls alone. Various other forms of communication and interactions can be done with the customers. Most modern-day call centers offer communication, emails, faxes, and various other services for clients worldwide.
Automated Call Centers
Automated call centers will help in reducing the call management cost with the help of computer-based systems. These computer-based systems will take care of many caller responsibilities. The workforce requirement is less than standard call center companies regarding automated call centers.
These centers just need an operator who will take care of the systems. The automated call center is used mainly for
- Managing the Voice Mails: Companies enable this voice mail system to take messages from anyone who calls in. The automated call center will receive all of these messages on behalf of the company.
- Interactive Voice Responders: Interactive Voice Responders is in short termed IVR. When a customer calls a company, the IVR will offer them a menu, and depending upon their selection, subsequent discussion will go on. The calls are routed to executives whenever needed, or customers can solve their issues with the help of IVR itself. IVR service providers offer different types of features with the service.
- Schedule Reminders: The companies can use this automated call service to remind customers about their schedules, appointments, etc.
Omnichannel Call Center
Customers love having a personalized experience. You can offer this using an omnichannel call centre. These contact centers use all available channels to communicate with customers. With people expecting a customized and better experience, providing them with an omnichannel service is always a good idea.
Virtual Call Centers
The pandemic has changed the way the world is working right now. Many organizations have opted for a virtual working environment. With virtual call center software, it becomes easy for organizations to handle calls from anywhere.
This virtual call center is quite affordable as there are no operational costs that the company has to bear. Companies can mint more profits this way.
What is Cloud Telephony?
Lately, everything is moving to the cloud, then why not your PBX system? Yes, cloud telephony means hosting your PBX on the cloud itself. The service will be based on VoIP. Cloud telephony is quite flexible and can scale along with your business without any hassle.
No matter how you are expanding, whether opening new offices in different locations, expanding your in-house teams, or hiring remote workers, you can easily do everything using cloud telephony. The entire expansion is effortless and affordable, as you don’t need separate hardware for hosting.
Cloud telephony is a part of UCaaS. UCaaS refers to Unified Communications as a Service. It is a model which brings various collaboration tools and communication systems together. You can connect your phone system with other messaging services, video meetings, CRM, etc.
With this communication model, you can connect with your teams, communicate with them, and make employees more focused. Cloud telephony works with the help of the Internet. Whenever you place a call, it is routed to the required number by your service provider.
The analog signals are converted into digital packets, and then they are transmitted via your internet connection. You can connect a desk phone, mobile or softphone, or any preferred device. Besides helping organizations with internal communication, businesses also use it for making inbound and outbound calls.
The entire communication system runs on the cloud, and you will have a dashboard with complete control over the phone numbers, adding new users, call forwarding, and more. Cloud telephony services are opted for by many organizations because of the flexibility they offer.
Features of Cloud Telephony Services
Cloud Telephony comes in handy for businesses in more than one way. Apart from lowering business costs, its unique features can help businesses thrive. Here are some of the most essential features of cloud telephony services.
This is a significant feature of the business. You can eliminate all the missed call situations with this one call-forwarding feature. If a customer calls you on one number and the agents are unavailable in the office, the call will be registered as a missed call in a general scenario. But with this call forwarding feature, the call will be redirected to the required number. This way, you will get all calls from hereafter.
Checking Live Calls
You need to know with whom your agents speak, how many incoming and outgoing calls are active and more. All of this is possible with the live call option. This way, you will know which of your agents are engaged on calls and who is free.
There will be a clear dashboard that will provide you with all of the details that you need to know: the agents that are idle calls that are unanswered answered calls, and many more.
Listen to the Calls
The reporting manager or team lead can hear the live calls. They can whisper to their agents without letting the caller on the other side know and directly speak to the callers whenever necessary.
Queueing the Calls
It happens rarely for some businesses and often for others. The influx of calls increases, and with all the agents being busy, it becomes tough for companies to answer all the calls. The companies can place these calls in a queue and play some pleasant music in such situations.
The agents will also be notified about the calls in the queue so they can wrap up the call quickly. If the call queue is long and agents are all occupied, the calls can be redirected to voicemail, where customers will let you know about their query, and your agents can answer it whenever they are done with the calls.
For any business, communication is the key. With a remote workforce, staying in touch with all the employees takes work. However, you will have the call conference feature in cloud telephony services, and you can make the most out of this. With one platform, you can talk to your employees without any hassle.
Interactive Voice Response System
IVR service is an excellent option for all inbound calls. It provides a one-on-one option for customers to interact directly with computers with voice configuration and DTMF inputs. The callers can route themselves with an intelligent routing system at their convenience.
You can start with a welcome message followed by queue management, automatic call distribution, etc.
Apart from this, customers can do some repetitive tasks by themselves. For example, they can book a demo, change their password, and many more with the help of an IVR call. You can contact IVR service providers to avail all of these features.
Customer interactions, be it on the phone, are similar to face-to-face interactions. In most situations, your customers get accustomed to one agent, and they prefer to interact with them, given that the agent knows the history of the customer and has a fair idea about them.
With cloud telephony, the organization can allot sticky agents to customers. This way, whenever that particular customer calls, it will be automatically redirected to their agent only.
Call recording is one such feature that companies often overlook. With call recording, the companies can understand what customers are expecting from their end. Apart from this, they will always have a repository of conversations that happened, which may be helpful in the future.
Analytics and Reporting
With call analytics and reporting, companies can analyze and understand agents’ performance. The details of each call, dropped calls, agent call logs, connected and missed calls, and everything will be available in one place. All of these will be put in a comparison table, making it easy for the manager to see.
The best part about this is that the caller database will be automatically generated and integrated with the CRM if you use any.
Different platforms for your support tickets, customer calls, and lead information can be tiring for businesses. However, culminating all of them in one place will ease things. With cloud telephony, you can integrate all these services in one place. With APIs, you can integrate different tools and make customer service more accessible, better, and more efficient.
Blended Call Center
Some businesses have different teams for their inbound and outbound calls. There is a myriad of reasons for this. In such cases, the blended call center is something that companies can make the most out of.
With this, you can have both inbound and outbound call features in one place. The agents can actively receive calls from customers on the one hand and approach prospective leads on the other.
Easy Transfer of Calls
There are at times when your agents need help while answering customers. When an agent talks to a customer on call, there is no time to pause and frame answers. If they need an accurate idea about the issue raised by the customer, agents can transfer it to the right people who have all the necessary information required.
With cloud telephony, agents can transfer calls with just a click making it easy for customers and agents.
Business Benefits of Adopting Cloud Telephony
Before the pandemic, cloud telephony was an underdog, with very few people knowing and adopting it. But things changed in 2020, and people started realizing the importance of this technology. It brings many benefits to the table, and we will cover them in this section.
Control the Business Communications Efficiently
Even now, most support calls land directly on desk phones only. Customers can contact a business and resolve their issues in various ways, but most prefer to call.
This is the reason why businesses should have better control over communication. With cloud telephony, you will get this control. You will get information on all the calls, whether inbound or outbound, the call recordings and logs. This will help in improving the business communication in your organization.
More straightforward than the PBX System
The PBX system has been incorporated in the offices for decades, and people have gotten used to it. However, the setup and maintenance of this entire system is so tiring. The tangled wires, telephones, routers, and whatnot have been a hassle to work with.
You can eliminate it by switching to the cloud telephony service. You only need an internet connection, and you set it up with the existing mobile devices or landlines. The entire setup will take up an hour of your time.
The best part is that you can easily integrate it with other tools and software. If you are using a CRM already, you can integrate both using APIs. Apart from that, the reporting managers can add or remove agents on the go as and when they see fit.
Completely Mobile and Flexible
Mobility and flexibility are the two things that modern-day businesses need, and you will get both of them with the cloud telephony system. With this technology, businesses can let their employees work from anywhere at any time while staying in touch with them whenever required and them being accountable for the work.
This will reduce operational costs drastically for an organization.
This is the expansion of the last point in the earlier benefit. Every company aims to reduce its operational costs, and there is no doubt about it. Cloud telephony services will help cut down business costs on a large scale. You do not have to worry about purchasing any infrastructure.
Apart from that, you don’t have to worry about installation and maintenance costs either. Everything can be done through a laptop, tab or mobile. This way, there is a massive reduction in the entire business costs of an organization.
Notable Business Features
Every business needs to evolve and become better constantly. The one thing that is needed for this is insights. Cloud telephony service will help in gathering these insights. The software will generate real-time analytics, bulk SMS automation, post-call surveys, call schedulers, and other features.
With this automation of reporting, various monotonous works are automated, making it easy for the employees.
It Isn’t Just Calls Anymore
Cloud telephony goes beyond the calls. It supports various marketing initiatives like SMS marketing, missed call campaigns, etc.
Cloud telephony service is quite efficient in capturing operational data like call volumes, call timings, the response time of each agent, call durations, various channels related to inbound calls, the average number of calls each of your agents is making daily, call recordings, etc.
The reporting manager can consider all of these while making any decision. They can also monitor the employees at every step, train them according to the requirement, and maintain records for future reference.
These are stored directly in the cloud and can be automatically accessed from anywhere with an internet connection and a mobile or laptop.
Resilient Phone Service
In case there are floods or an earthquake in your business area, the desktops and hardware systems will be destroyed or at least affected. The wiring will be damaged, which also hampers communication. This will lead to data loss, affect the entire communication system, etc.
But if you opt for a cloud telephony service, all of your data is stored in the cloud and won’t be affected despite what happens to any of your hardware devices. Moreover, you can access the data and make calls using any device. All you need is a proper internet connection.
Cloud telephony is quite reliable and resilient.
Completely Scalable According to Business Requirements
Any organization owner would want to scale and become more prominent and better at the business. When a business grows, the workforce grows, the equipment required for them will also grow, and scaling would come at a cost.
However, scaling your agents and increasing business operations on the communication end is more straightforward with cloud telephony. You can add another user to your software and continue the business operations as usual.
What is an On-Premise Contact Center?
As the name suggests, On-Premise will be operated in a particular business area alone. The companies must invest in hardware and software, which will be located in one place and must be operated from there. These on-premise contact centers are also called legacy contact centers.
These contact centers are based on platforms provided by Avaya, Cisco, and Genesys. All of these platforms could be more flexible. However, various companies rely on these types of contact centers alone.
The on-premise contact centers are outdated technology and unsuitable for disruptive changes in customer behavior. The setup of an on-premise contact center takes 7-24 months, and any up-gradation of systems will take 9-12 months.
Most of these contact centers are now running on outdated data and technology. This impacts the overall performance of an organization. Because of various drawbacks that are present in on-premise contact centers, organizations are moving towards the cloud.
Difference between Cloud and On-premise Voice Services
Cloud and On-Premise voice services have their own set of advantages and setbacks. You need to understand all of these before deciding on your business. Here we are listing out all the key differences that are present between both of them.
- On-Premise: The hardware and software are deployed on the client’s premises in an on-premise voice service. The organization must bear the entire setup cost and be responsible for the maintenance. This can be pretty hectic, and organizations should always have a team of experts available.
- Cloud: There are different cloud setups- private, shared, hybrid, etc. All of these are preferable for businesses according to the requirement. Businesses should just pay and access these resources at any given time.
- On-Premise: In an on-premise setup, the organization controls all the data. It can be for good or worse. This is why most highly regulated organizations have privacy concerns and are hesitating to move to the cloud.
- Cloud: In the cloud, there has always been a struggle to understand who will have control over the data. Even vendors are troubled by this question. Although encryption and third-party keys are available, relying on them alone takes work. Apart from this, if there is any downtime of the cloud due to any situation, it can become a hassle.
- On-Premise: The organizations are responsible for all the ongoing costs related to hardware, software, space, and power consumption. The cost has always been a significant drawback of on-premise setup.
- Cloud: The businesses that opt for cloud telephony should spend money on the resources they use and nothing else. They don’t have to worry about maintenance or any other issue. The pricing can decrease or increase depending on the usage of resources.
- On-Premise: Some businesses deal with extra-sensitive information and need high-end security. For such companies, an on-premise setup offers greater security than the cloud. Here they have the entire data stored in their device, which any third party person cannot access without permission.
- Cloud: The cloud setup has some security issues, no matter how effective the encryptions are. There are so many instances where much data has been leaked and put into the public domain. Although IT people struggle to protect data, there still needs to be a guarantee of complete security in the cloud.
- On-Premise: In an on-premise setup, scalability takes work. Adding extra devices, deploying software, etc., will consume a lot of time and comes at a heavy price too.
- Cloud: Scalability is a great advantage when it comes to the cloud. Businesses can just use extra resources and pay for it. The setup is so simple and efficient.
What is a Virtual Number? How does it work?
Virtual phone numbers aren’t limited to a fixed location. With this number, users can connect to anyone at any time with the help of VoIP. Users can deploy desk phones, softphones, mobile, etc., for communication.
The virtual number acts as a mask for the original phone number, and businesses can use it to receive both inbound and outbound calls. They provide great anonymity despite looking like an actual number.
Let us take an example of the Office24by7 virtual number in India. We give you a number with Hyderabad, Bangalore, or Mumbai prefixes. Our numbers look like landline numbers, and you can market these numbers for communication purposes. With the local prefix, companies can use our toll-free virtual number to contact customers with outbound calling services.
Working on a Virtual Number
Now that you know what a virtual number is let us see how it works. The virtual numbers don’t have any SIM or wired connection. They are provided by the operator in the cloud, and when a customer contacts this number, the call will land in the preexisting mobile/telephone number. This is why the virtual number can also be called cloud telephony.
The virtual numbers don’t need any specific device to receive calls. The calls can be rerouted to any required number, and agents can lift the call without any hassle.
VoIP plays an essential role in this. VoIP stands for Voice Over Internet Protocol. This service makes it easy for everyone to make calls with the help of the Internet. This service is quite resilient; unless the Internet goes down, there is no other way for the number not to work.
Advantages of Virtual Number
Virtual phone numbers have so many benefits. In this section, we will list all of these advantages in detail.
Only some people would be acceptable to contact customers using their numbers. There are instances where contacting customers from personal numbers has also created some issues for the agents. With a virtual number, all such issues can be toppled.
The fact that this virtual number will route calls directly to personal numbers, but still, the person on the opposite side won’t be able to see it is a great feature. It eliminates various kinds of issues and maintains good privacy among customers, agents and managers.
The fantastic advantage of virtual numbers is that you can sync the number with any device you prefer and are reachable. You can communicate using any of the internet-enabled devices with ease. With so many people working out of the office, having a virtual number will make communication uninterrupted.
Saving money is one of the top priorities for any business. Having virtual numbers can help businesses with cost-cutting and make it easy for them to scale and grow. With an online number available, companies can invest in something other than expensive hardware. All of these make virtual number service a go-to option for organizations.
Types of Virtual Numbers
Right now in India, there are four types of virtual phone numbers India available- landline numbers, mobile numbers, toll-free and local numbers.
The virtual landline numbers are pretty similar to those with an eight-digit number with an STD code as a prefix. This number is used for intra-organization communication. Most small businesses also opt for this virtual landline number as their official contact number.
This is a ten-digit number that looks like a mobile number. Most of the field agents have this number to contact their customers. One thing about these virtual numbers is that they must be integrated with a CRM to use them.
The toll-free number is a free calling number for customers, and businesses incur the costs. Businesses incorporate this toll-free number when they need customers to contact them. The virtual toll-free number will be attached to multiple channels so that no agent on call can respond to customers without making them wait in a queue.
Virtual local numbers are another great option that companies can make the most of. Most people are skeptical when they receive calls from new numbers, but that won’t be the case when they see the STD code of their locality. With the virtual number India, you can see a local number on the customer screen.
How is Domestic calling different from International call centers?
In domestic calling services, the inbound and outbound calls are only made across a specific country. For example, if the business is operated in India alone, then the domestic calling facility will only be offered in that country.
Companies can opt for local, mobile, or landline virtual numbers for domestic calling services. The agents must be proficient in the local languages so that they can communicate with the customers in a better way.
In international calling services, the calls are placed for people present worldwide. The agents address customers and clients from various countries. It is better to have a local number for international calls as it will prompt them to lift the calls.
Call Center Software Use Cases
We will discuss multiple situations in which call center software can be used effectively.
Debt Collection Calls
The companies present in BFSI have been suffering to making their agents manually call and remind customers about their EMIs and payment collection. With so many customers to call and very few agents available, this process used to take up most of the agents’ time.
This is where we can employ Voice Broadcasting. An automated message can be sent to bulk people at once. This automated message can be similar, or you can personalize them according to the requirement. The voice bot will take care of reminding all of the borrowers about their due dates without any hassle.
This will remove the monotonous work pressure from agents and free up their time.
Decrease Call Abandonment
One of the biggest hassles in call center services is call abandonment. Most customers need more time or patience to wait for their call to be picked up by agents in the queue.
On the other hand, companies cannot accommodate more agents because of workforce and infrastructure costs. A reliable call center system can address all of these issues with ease.
The software can redirect the customers to another customer service platform where the respective agents can solve the issue, for example- WhatsApp or Facebook. Or else they can also request customers to place the callback request, which agents will address when they are free.
Although these are good options, IVR service is another attractive self-service-enabled option. This will help customers with automated voice messages that will direct them, and with these instructions, they can either get their issue solved or the call will be redirected to relevant experts.
You just have to contact the right IVR service provider, and you can reap so many benefits from this service.
The reporting managers must check the calls and discussions between customers and agents by reviewing the call recordings. This has become a hassle. Sometimes, reporting managers want to drop in just to listen to the conversation between agents and customers.
Office24by7 call center can reduce this issue and make it relatively easy for the reporting managers to hear any live call that they want at any given time. They can also whisper to the agent whenever required and directly interact with the customer.
Best Call Center Software in the Market in 2022
Using the right cloud call center software is quite crucial for any organization. Today, we are going to discuss the top 10 call center software that is present in the market right now. After comparing all of them, you can make your choice.
Not to brag, but Office24by7 has been one of the most preferred call center software options out there right now. Some others are on the list; check out them and make an informed decision.
If you are looking for software that is relatively easy to learn and work on, then Nextiva should be one of your go-to options. This software comes with many features, and users can pay and use the ones they need. They don’t have to invest in the entire suite.
The usage of this software is quite simple, and it doesn’t need any specific infrastructure either. Agents just have to log in to the system and work on their calls without limitations.
They have multiple package options, and businesses can pick the one that matches their requirement.
Office24by7 is one of the most popular 360-degree automation service providers in India. You will get a CRM with communication, marketing, and sales features. However, if you need only one, you can opt for that too. The brand has been trusted by so many famous enterprises all over.
Their communication CRM provides everything that your agents need. From the CTI option to IVR and missed calls, the CRM has all the features to ease agents’ work.
Apart from delivering excellent customer service, organizations will get a chance to monitor their employees occasionally. Check how many calls they have made; the CRM itself can analyze the duration of each call and many more.
The pricing of this CRM is quite affordable. Any organization can opt for these services, from small businesses to enterprises, without any hassle.
Cloudtalk is another cloud telephony and IVR service provider that has become quite popular. Businesses can run their virtual call center from any part of the world. Like the name, it leverages cloud technology to provide a secure calling experience.
The platform comes with a great dashboard that is relatively user-friendly. The businesses will get to choose their preferred language with CloudTalk.
Five9 is an all-in-one cloud contact center. With this, customer service executives can work from anywhere without any hassle. They can set up some modern infrastructure or software without setting it up. Five9 is entirely customizable and is focused on meeting business requirements irrespective of size.
Five9 is a fast, reliable, easy-to-use, and affordable contact center software.
Zendesk Talk is a call center that is entirely based on the cloud. They are pretty reliable IVR service providers with advanced features and technology. It is built into the cloud ticketing system for Zendesk support. The agents will have access to the call logs of customers and various additional features like call recording, automated ticket creation, etc.
Zendesk offers various plans for organizations, and business owners can choose the right one according to their requirements.
Wrapping it Up
In this article, we have covered all the required details related to the call center on the cloud. Most businesses are moving to the cloud because of its flexibility and resilience. However, when making such a massive shift, it is vital to ensure that all the bases are covered.
When discussing bases, we discuss all the required features, security, data accessibility, and ease of operation. You can get every one of these with Office24by7. There is no denying that communication is the key to every organization. Be it internal communication, or external, an organization requires proper communication setup, and Office24by7 is here to offer the same. There is no denying in saying that Office24by7 is one of the best cloud telephony and IVR service providers.
You can enable the transformation with different cost-effective packages without burning a hole in your pocket. If you are looking for a great product with excellent after-sales support, then Office24by7 is the only thing you need.