Published: April 15, 2015 | Comments
Every call center needs efficient, innovative ways to get the most out of their customer relationships. To do this, contact centers use customer relationship management (CRM) software to track sales interactions and identify patterns. This can increase profits, and lead to a better, more personalized experience for the customer.
But combine CRM software with the advantages of cloud computing and the business benefits are even more substantial. Cloud purchases are predicted to represent 50 percent of all CRM deployments this year. For businesses looking to gain a competitive edge, transitioning to the cloud could be a strategic decision.
Call centers specifically enjoy 27 percent lower annual costs compared to their peers when deploying their contact center in the cloud. Read on to discover how your call center can make a smooth transition to cloud-based CRM.
What will the cloud change?
Using cloud-based technology, companies can lower costs, improve productivity, and often gain easier access to analytics reports.
Cloud-based contact centers also are more likely than their counterparts to experience improvements in revenue, customer retention, and profitability. Additionally, Cloud deployments eliminate the hardware, maintenance, and update costs associated with on-premise software.
As you can see, the benefits can be substantial.
However, be sure to perform a cost-benefit analysis when considering a new CRM system, since savings over time won’t be the same for companies across the board, and total cost of ownership should always be a consideration.
The core benefits of the cloud can be succinctly described by three A’s: anytime, anywhere, any device. Data will be available in real time to workers outside the office from any device that connects to the internet. Since agents can work from anywhere, you can hire the best call center agents possible and leverage remote work, virtual workforces, and global teams.
On-premise solutions often require manual uploading, syncing, and backup, whereas cloud solutions sync automatically. Cloud CRM provides an up-to-date picture of customer data, sales pipelines, invoices, and email. Having one central database allows businesses to gain accurate insights and integrate information from multiple sources all with substantially increased speed.
Is cloud CRM too good to be true?
Moving away from a legacy system is a big change for many companies, so don’t fret if your head is already spinning with possibilities and concerns. Let’s cover some of the most common questions about the cloud so you know what to expect.
Will my call center experience downtime during the move?
No, your contact center can remain operational while transitioning systems. However, the transition process varies with providers. Many vendors will work closely with your organization to customize and test the new system, as well as ensure the launch day goes smoothly. Keep in mind you can also run the two systems in parallel, and use the legacy system as a fallback in case any issues arise during transition.
Who is in charge of integrations?
This will be determined during the selection process. Sometimes it’s the vendor, other times integrations are taken care of by your staff. So if you don’t have the resources in-house, you may require an integration partner.
Is the cloud secure?
Cloud apps can be just as secure as an on-premise solution. Some SaaS providers can even provide more security than some businesses are able to on their own because vendors can afford extensive security measures to protect their products. If you discover during the selection process that your company requires more privacy measures than vendors offer, then a hybrid deployment that mixes cloud and on-premise solutions should be considered.
Is cloud service reliable?
To provide resilience, many vendors distribute their cloud infrastructure across multiple locations. This means that if one data center fails, the service will automatically reroute to an alternative site.
How to Choose a Cloud-Based CRM
The CRM buying process is complex. To find the best one for your business, you’ll need to compare CRM software like a pro. Luckily, your current system is the perfect launching pad for your selection process. What integrations, additional features, or built-in metrics would make your call center more efficient? Identifying the goals of your new system will help you establish your list of must-have features.
Once you create a list of contenders that fit the bill, you’ll need to examine vendor track records and case studies. Are they familiar with the needs of call centers? Do they offer the customer support you need? If so, then it’s time to take a test drive and see which CRM feels best. Most vendors provide a free software demo upon request, so be sure to take advantage of it.
It’s hard to ignore the time and expense that went into your current CRM deployment. But if your system isn’t meeting your business requires, then it’s time to make a change. Cloud-based CRM just might be the silver lining your call center needs.