How Cloud Telephony Systems Can Change Business Landscape?
A cloud telephony system is the digital version of a phone system installed on-site. They come with several modern features that make it easier to work and talk. In this blog, we look at how hosted vs cloud-based call centers help change the business landscape.
In 1956, a 5-megabyte drive was so big and heavy that it needed a whole cargo plane to move it. At least 2.5 quintillion bytes of data are made every day in the world right now. And you don’t need a plane or a pin to store it.
Guess what has enabled us to instantly create, process, store, and retrieve such huge amounts of data? Using the cloud. We store the quintillion bytes of data we create on cloud servers, which keep getting bigger and bigger every minute.
You can shop online. Taxi-hailing. Getting video. Getting music online. Social media zombie scrolling. Almost every online thing we do daily uses cloud power in the background. It has become the steel rods that hold up the world of information technology.
If that’s true, telephony, which is the main way people talk to each other, should also move to the cloud, right?
Since phone calls moved to the cloud, at least 20 years have passed. But cloud communication has only been available and, most importantly, usable by most people in the past few years.
There’s a good chance you’re already using a cloud phone system, even if you don’t know it. Want to find out what a “cloud phone system” is?
What is Cloud Telephony?
A cloud telephony system is a phone system that lets you make, receive, or manage calls over the Internet instead of using a traditional analog connection (called PSTN).
Cloud telephony systems run on online servers hosted in the cloud and don’t need any phone hardware. A CTI (Cloud Telephony Integration), a web application, or a mobile application is used to make calls with a cloud phone system.
Many names for the same technology
Other names for them include:
- VoIP phones let you talk over the internet.
- IP phone (Internet Protocol)
- Phone internet
- Cloud phone
- The phone software
- SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) (Session Initiation Protocol)
- Online phone
How does cloud telephony work?
A cloud telephony system is a step up from analog phone systems regarding technology. It sends voice data by using VoIP as the method.
Because of this, it has a lot more features and benefits than phone systems that are installed on-site.
Okay, there are clear differences between the two types of phone calls. But what’s in it for you? What unique benefits do cloud communications offer?
There are many ways in which cloud telephony systems improve business communication and collaboration. These extra features add to what on-premise phone systems are used to offer. In other words, if you choose a cloud telephony system, you won’t miss out on any of the benefits of an on-premise system. Instead, a cloud telephony system will give you more.
Since there are so many smartphones and tablets, landlines aren’t as important as they used to be. In 2004, more than 90% of people in the US already had a landline phone. Today, less than 40% of people in the US have a landline phone. Landlines are becoming less popular as smartphones and IP phones become the main way people talk to each other.
Studies also show that cloud telephony is going from strength to strength. In 2020, the global market for Cloud Telephony Services is expected to be worth US$13.5 billion. By 2027, the market is expected to be worth US$40 billion (Research And Markets). Cloud telephony is the way of the future. It makes sure that your business will be able to communicate in the years to come.
2. No messy maintenance
Cloud telephony system requires no physical cables, desk phones, or physical PBX boxes. They don’t need any phone hardware at all. That makes it a lot easier to take care of your phone systems. You don’t have to worry about fixing or replacing desk phones when they break or become outdated.
3. Instant onboarding
A cloud telephony system can be used right away. Most of the time, they come in the form of SaaS products that you can sign up for, set up, and start using on your own. In less than a day, you can also set up call flows, IVR menus and sub-menus, call routing rules, and more.
4. 99.9% uptime
Any business needs a phone system that doesn’t break down or stop working very often. So, cloud telephony systems are up 99.9% of the time. As long as you have access to the internet, your cloud phone system will always work. Also, they can’t be stopped by things like broken cables, broken desk phones, and so on. Even natural disasters that make on-premise phone systems useless can’t stop them.
5. All-device friendly
To make a cloud telephony system, you don’t need a separate device. You can use your existing laptop, smartphone, IP phone, or any other phone that can connect to the internet. A cloud phone system is a web or mobile app that you can use with a web browser or a mobile app to make and receive calls. So, it’s a phone system that works with all kinds of devices.
6. Your business grows with you
You may not be able to say how quickly your business will grow. But you can be sure the cloud phone system will grow as your business does. To meet the needs of your business, you can quickly buy new virtual phone numbers, add more agents, expand the IVR menu, set up multiple routing rules, and do much more.
There’s no need to lock in resources you might not need for a certain time.
7. Superior voice quality
Voice over Internet Protocol, or VoIP, is a way to send voice data over the Internet. Cloud phone systems use it. It gives voice data digital clarity, which is better than analog connections. Similar to cable TV and HD streaming over the internet.
8. Little money spent
With a cloud phone system, you don’t need space to install telephony hardware, desk phones for each agent, or long-term contracts. It doesn’t take much money to get started and grow. Also, a VoIP phone system costs a lot less than a phone system that you put in your building.
9. Gives analytical information
Data can help people come to better decisions. Telephony data, such as average handle time, service level targets, CSAT score, etc., can show how well your phone support or cold calling teams are doing.
Cloud phone systems give this kind of information in charts and graphs that are easy to understand. By putting data into reports, they make it easy for people to use it.
Most popular cloud phone systems also let you make custom reports to look at specific data you might be interested in.
10. Makes working from home easier
No matter where your team members are, a cloud phone system can connect them to work together effectively from afar. As was already said, cloud phones don’t need special hardware.
This lets your remote teams use the phone system from wherever they are and whenever they want. In essence, that is real working from home. This is made easier by a cloud phone system.
11. It works for any business or job
You can be the owner of an eCommerce business, a non-profit, a healthcare provider, a government agency, or just about anyone else. You can still use a cloud phone system. It is not restricted to specific industries or functions. Most people think that sales and support teams use phone systems most of the time. On the other hand, a cloud phone system can connect everyone in a company to the same line.
12. Local office, presence around the world
In the past, if you wanted to grow your business, you had to rent an office and set up phone lines to handle calls from local customers. With a cloud phone system, none of that is necessary.
You can have an office in the United States and then grow your business in the United Kingdom, Australia, or anywhere else. This is made easier by virtual phone numbers.
Virtual phone numbers are phone numbers that can be used with or without a landline or SIM card. They help you set up local offices in different places, even if they don’t have one there.
13. AI voice capabilities
We are inching close to an AI-first world. AI machines are being given all jobs that are high-volume, repetitive, and can be programmed. They can do those tasks with more accuracy and precision than we can.
AI is also becoming more important in cloud telephony, especially in speech recognition and self-service, where AI can do things much better and faster than people can. The good news is that AI is ready for cloud phone systems.
They are easy to connect to AI voice features or to other AI systems that can make their abilities twice as strong. In the long run, this leads to a big boost in productivity.
14. A lot of connections
A cloud phone system is just like any other type of software that can be easily linked to other programs. For example, if you use a customer relationship management (CRM) system, you can easily add the cloud phone system to make it more useful. With the integration, you can handle customer information and phone operations from a single window.
It saves a lot of time and trouble that would have been needed to manage records, sync call notes, and switch between applications.
15. Efficient collaboration
With a cloud phone system, you don’t have to have everyone on your team in the same room. Agents who talk to customers, technical experts, and supervisors can all be in different places.
With features like call transfers for call conferencing, they can be easily brought into the call to help solve customer problems. Also, cloud telephony systems have more advanced features than on-premise systems, such as call notes, warm transfers, creating a support ticket on a helpdesk system, etc.
Benefits of Cloud-Based and Hosted Call Center Software
Hosted vs Cloud Based Call Center software are two different types of call center software. Businesses often find it confusing to decide between cloud-based and hosted call center software.
Both of these software have benefits in their way. Here, we have listed down the key benefits offered by each of them.
|Benefits of Cloud-Based Call Center Software||Benefits of Hosted Call Center Software|
|Less Costly and Improved ROI||You only need to pay for the equipment and systems needed|
|Enhances customer experiences||It gives you peace of mind knowing your confidential data is stored in-house safely and securely.|
|It can be easily deployed||Greatest control over functions|
|Empowers employees||Fewer concerns about reliability|
|Help establish a fully-featured, state-of-the-art multichannel call center|
|Improves agent efficiency|
|Provides data security and easy recovery|
Top 9 Factors to Consider When Choosing Cloud Telephony Software
To select the right cloud telephony software, you must understand your customers, processes, and technology. Each of these is an important indicator of the type of software you should use.
For example, your business must depend on the type of customers (regional, national, or international). It also depends on the way employees work (remote or in-house). Furthermore, while choosing the right software for sustainable growth, you must understand what processes need improvement.
So here is a list of the top 10 factors to consider when choosing cloud telephony software.
Customers can interact with brands through social media accounts, just as brands can discover them on many social media platforms. To provide superior customer service and support, most leading brands provide digital customer service through various channels.
Today, customer convenience is paramount. Brand representatives go to great lengths to ensure customers/prospects can reach them via their preferred channel.
Thus, the software you select for your call center must provide omnichannel support. Office24by7 is a good example of omnichannel cloud telephony software. It will enable your customers to contact you through many channels, such as calls, email, and social media, without difficulty.
It allows you to keep track of all customer inquiries and concerns in one location. As a result, your agents can assist your customers/leads more quickly. It will also ensure that they are heard. Your brand image will thus be enhanced, as well as consumer loyalty.
Automation can simplify operations to a great extent, reduce workload, and improve accuracy. Recurring customer queries can be delegated to the proper self-service channels, allowing companies to save time handling them.
Much new-age cloud telephony software, such as office24by7, features virtual assistants that take your calls around the clock. This tool relieves you of a large part of the customer interaction burden while empowering callers to help themselves.
By automating tasks, you can serve more people with fewer resources. You will also be able to provide more organized services and assistance. Modern cloud telephony software can also automate workflows.
It can configure rules for agent assignment, record calls, and analyze them to improve customer service. It can also assist you with setting up actions in various scenarios. This enables you to offer the best support to your clients.
Optimizing the Management of Your Workforce
Call centers are frequently responsible for managing a large workforce and constantly evaluating their performance, skills, and quality. This requires significant capital investments and can adversely impact service quality.
Your agents can be trained better, resolution quality can be improved, and productivity can be increased with workforce optimization. Furthermore, having an engaged and empowered workforce can result in significant changes in their attitudes. This will have a positive effect on your customers.
For instance, office24by7 provides a dashboard to monitor remote and on-premise agents. The system allows you to assign dedicated agents to clients, improving convenience and efficiency.
Cloud telephony software can also enable you to optimize your workforce. This is made possible through features such as call routing, call recording, and performance tracking. These features help you gain a more in-depth understanding of what your customers want.
It will also help you understand how your agents can best assist them. These insights can also be used to fill gaps in an agent’s performance and to provide clients with peerless omnichannel service.
Any call center relies on its agents for its success, and well-trained agents are a valuable asset. To manage and track their agents and processes, call center managers need the right monitoring tools. The agent schedules can be optimized based on the process needs. This will allow them to reduce long hold times and minimize downtimes.
It is possible to help agent management by utilizing features such as
- Call whispering,
- Call barging,
- Call snooping,
- Remote assistance,
- Performance tracking,
- Feedback analysis, etc.
Calls recorded during inbound or outbound calls may be used to monitor or train agents. Also, when choosing cloud telephony software, it should have features like agent CTI, call transfer, call conference, skill-based call routing, etc.
Real-Time Analytics & Insights
The call center software should also enable you to track the results of your efforts. Moreover, it must guide you forward and assist you in identifying efficiency problems within your processes.
Cloud telephony software can give you more accountability and transparency about the necessary changes within your call center. It will provide you with guidance as to what needs to be improved.
Reports and dashboards (within cloud telephony software) generated through analytics enable you to;
- Track the health of your business in real time,
- Prepare for emergencies and
- Honor service level agreements.
Through such insights, you can also identify hidden patterns in consumer behavior and predict their preferences. By creating a predictive customer support model, they can support the decisions critical to your business.
Intelligent Call Routing
Often, inbound call centers are faced with high volumes of call or chat traffic, especially during peak hours. This can be challenging for smaller companies with less support staff.
Because of this, callers are forced to wait in long queues. Agents are also under pressure to resolve calls as quickly as possible. Many leading cloud telephony software offers automatic call distribution (ACD). ACD allows call routing to available agents or departments based on their expertise and availability.
An omnichannel routing feature within the cloud telephony software is also very useful. In that, it distributes incoming calls by the type of inquiry.
It also allows you to reduce call volumes while increasing the efficiency of the call resolution process. It is possible to group your agents based on their departments or expertise (e.g., billing, technical support, sales, etc.).
The call routing feature can also assign calls to the appropriate representatives based on the customer’s response, feedback, and call history.
It is important to pick a call center solution that can meet your business needs daily. Cloud telephony software should have features such as call recording, interactive voice response, call monitoring, file sharing, etc.
Campaign and List Management
It is not unusual for call centers to handle many campaigns simultaneously. They also have to handle numerous call lists for follow-up calls. Each campaign has a particular goal or objective that requires separate monitoring.
A marketing campaign’s success is determined by the type of response and conversion it receives. With cloud telephony software such as office24by7, you can manage lists and campaigns easily.
Companies use various technologies to meet their objectives, assist customers, engage them, and collect feedback. Thus, you must select your cloud telephony software so that information is gathered from many sources.
Additionally, it should enhance cross-team workflow and help the smooth transfer of customer information.
With cloud telephony software, you can automate many processes. You can also integrate a call center tool with your existing technology stack.
For example, CRM software can be integrated. This will allow your agents to access data from your CRM tool instantly. This means they can gain a deeper understanding of a customer’s journey based on their interactions and previous sales history. By doing so, they can provide their customers with a more customized experience without switching between many applications. Moreover, the contact management feature within CRM allows you to assign, reassign, and transfer leads.
Read our latest post on the top 15 reasons why small businesses should switch to cloud telephony here now.
Top 6 Best International Call Center Services – 2022 Review
The best call center software will allow your business to handle all kinds of omnichannel communication channels. It should be designed in such a way that it can help your call center flourish with sales and customer service.
It should assist in daily tasks by giving immediate access to information. It should also improve agent efficiency as well as customer experience.
Features such as IVR, CTI (computer telephony integration), ACD, and more must be included in it. Here is a list of the top six best international call center software services in 2022.
Call center software from office24by7 is a call center solution with third-party integrations. It allows you to interact with customers over incoming and outgoing calls at scale.
It can improve contact and enhance customer experience, drive productivity up, and handle more calls with fewer resources. Office24by7 call center software is an ideal solution irrespective of whether your call center is inbound, outbound, or blended.
Five9’s call center software is an intelligent cloud contact center. It lets you reconsider customer experience and accomplish substantial business results. It can increase customer satisfaction, empower your digital & human workforce, and increase business dexterity.
It helps customers to be engaged in their channel of choice. It also helps modernize your business operations with automation, AI, and the cloud.
Call center software from Avaya makes it workable for you to associate video, voice, messaging, chat, and more. It allows you to provide easy experiences for your customers and staff at every point of contact. It ushers resources, teams, and insights to intensify your call center performance.
Nextiva’s call center software makes stellar customer service look easy. It is intelligent cloud-based call center software.
With Nextiva, fragmented customer communication comes together with omnichannel support across voice, email, SMS, web chat, video, and social media.
It allows skills-based call routing. Agent experience is simplified by using its single interface. You also get unified reporting across all the channels.
Call center software from Ring Central offers a customer engagement platform with greater flexibility and reliability. It is an omnichannel solution that allows your customers to contact the right agents. It helps you build customer relationships and maximize agent performance.
Aircall’s call center software is a solution that can transform customers’ experiences. It can set up your call center in minutes.
It can simplify call center setup so your support and sales teams can get up to speed sooner. You can invite agents, organize workflows, and work remotely anywhere.
Would you move into the future or stay where you are?
The old phones are about to die or have already died. We need cloud telephony now. A new world order in which connections are stable, voice quality is better, flexibility is a given, and scalability is guaranteed.
The cloud is all around. It’s everywhere. Even as you look at your screen right now, you can still feel it at work.
So, if you had the choice, would you rather stay in the past or move forward with a cloud telephony system? Many of you might have decided to move forward, then what are you waiting for? Give Office24by7 a quick call at +91 7097171717 to select your Hosted vs Cloud Based Call Center.