Change can seem daunting, especially when it involves businesses that are transitioning to something new like a cloud-based phone system. In the ever-evolving call center industry, change is guaranteed, though. Within the past two decades, call centers have gone from only phone calls to one-stop shops that communicate via SMS, chat, email, and phone. One of the most significant changes that has overcome the call center industry is the shift away from hardware-based onsite phone systems to cloud-based phone systems.
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Cloud-based phone providers like LiveVox make it easier than ever to transition your call center to a new solution. But there are still many things you need to consider before making the move. Read on for tips on how to navigate this journey successfully, and ensure that your contact center gets everything it needs from its cloud-based phone system.
How to leverage the cloud for call centers
The cloud has become a valuable resource for call centers. To help you understand why, let’s take a look at what exactly the cloud is and how it can benefit your business.
The cloud is essentially an online system in which data and software are stored, providing access to applications and information remotely over the Internet or other networks. This allows businesses to leverage technology without needing to invest in expensive infrastructure like servers, storage devices, and networking equipment themselves.
Cloud technology offers many benefits—including cost savings, unified communications, enhanced customer service and more—but also comes with some important considerations when it comes to using it within your company’s operations.
Being able to scale your call center and maintain it quickly is one of the main benefits of moving to a cloud based phone system. This can be done easily through the use of API’s, which allows you to integrate data from other platforms that may not support direct integration with the cloud.
For example, if your company has an inventory management system that does not integrate with your contact center platform, using API’s can allow you to pull information from both platforms into one common place like your CRM where agents can access them at any time —no matter where they are working or what device they’re using!
Another great benefit of moving over to the cloud is how much time it saves on managing calls. The fact that everything runs 24/7 means there’s always someone there when customers need help answering questions about your products or services (as well as questions about billing).
Plus, because all calls are recorded automatically after being answered live by an agent there’s never any uncertainty over whether or not something needs repeating again later down the road.
Know where you are on the cloud transformation journey
When considering a cloud-based phone system, you need to know where you are on the journey. This will help ensure that your contact center maximizes its return on investment (ROI) and gets the most out of a new solution.
The first step in this process is to understand your current situation. Identify any issues with your current system and determine whether they can be resolved by upgrading or replacing it with a new system. It’s also important to determine whether or not there are existing vendors who offer cloud solutions that meet your needs and budget constraints.
Next, look ahead at what needs to happen in order for your business plan to succeed over time—not just today but five years from now as well (or even longer). This will help inform how much money should be earmarked for technology investments so that they align with long-term goals rather than short term ones like saving money immediately at the expense of future success due to poor planning.
Consider the security implications of a full-cloud or hybrid deployment
While you may not be able to install a firewall at your desk, you can still make sure that the security of your cloud-based phone system is up to snuff. If a provider tells you that they’ve got everything covered, they’re either lying or incompetent—and neither are good options. Cloud security is an ongoing process between the customer and provider; both parties must take responsibility for their own part in making sure that their data and systems remain secure.
A cloud provider needs to provide a secure environment with strong encryption protocols and firewalls in place that prevent malicious activity from reaching its servers. Customers then need to be aware of their own responsibilities during the transition phase when old equipment has been replaced but new hardware hasn’t yet arrived onsite (if applicable), including ensuring proper backups are being made by IT staff during this time period so nothing gets lost due to equipment failures or user error (e.g., accidentally deleting files).
Cloud-based solutions are a powerful tool for contact centers of all sizes. It’s a flexible solution that can be used by organizations at various stages of growth, and it offers a range of features and functionalities to support different workflows.
Using the cloud in your call center allows you to access all the benefits without having to invest in or manage complex infrastructure or hardware. With this flexibility and scalability, you can quickly adapt your business model as needed — just like how you would adjust your strategy when using a software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform rather than buying software outright.
Cloud based phone systems, such as the LiveVox call center platform, are much more cost effective when compared to onsite phone systems. When it comes to installing and maintaining a PBX, providers may send out a technician familiar with their hardware. Those costs can quickly rise, especially by the hour. When using a cloud based phone system, installation is minimal. You can troubleshoot over the phone with your cloud provider and save a significant amount of time and money since maintenance is usually already included in your monthly subscription. The upfront costs are much lower since very little equipment is needed. With an onsite PBX, call centers must purchase or lease expensive equipment that takes time to install properly.
Cloud based phone systems (or cloud based PBX systems) are also much easier to scale. During busier seasons, call centers often hire more agents for the phones. Adding more phone lines is fast. You can manage phone lines through your customer portal in minutes without delay. Onsite PBX systems require a technician to go onsite and physically add extra lines. This can take time depending on the installer’s availability. Quickly getting new agents on the floor may take longer than you’d prefer. This lack of flexibility also makes remote work impossible. If the phone network is limited to one physical location, agents won’t be able to work remotely, which is now commonplace. Cloud based phone systems allow agents to work from anywhere with an Internet connection.
Software and hardware updates are a crucial part of both onsite and cloud based phone systems. Regular updates are automatically installed with cloud based phone systems. Onsite hardware may require each agents’ computer to be manually updated. This can take time, and isn’t conducive to the fast paced dynamics in a call center.
With LiveVox, clients can begin using our applications within days of onboarding. During the initiation phase, agents gain access to e-learning tools in the training portal. This ensures agents become acquainted with the platform as quickly as possible. Next, LiveVox outlines a design and security plan through PM-led or self-guided scoping. Configuration soon follows, and within a few days, official training starts for a week. After that, your call center is ready to go live.
Migration can be a huge headache for companies, but with over 20 years of experience in the industry, LiveVox knows exactly how to make the transition as smooth as possible. We strive to provide the right people to help call centers quickly acclimate to the new setup. Agents and management will receive training from a trainer experienced with the platform. Contact centers undergoing migration will have a dedicated project manager, a client setup specialist, a VoIP engineer, a consultant, and an account team. The LiveVox team is dedicated to get call centers up and running as soon as possible without sacrificing the quality of provided support.
Learn how the LiveVox cloud based phone system sets call centers up for success by requesting a demo. You can then visualize the cost-savings and low-maintenance a hosted phone network brings to the table.
Frequently asked questions
Traditional onsite phone networks are also known as onsite PBX phone systems. Call centers use this setup within a physical location to allow agents to make and receive calls. It consists of a closed-off network of telephones, and all the required hardware it needs to operate is located on the premises.
When compared to PBX setups, cloud based phone systems provide numerous benefits that its onsite counterpart does not. In order to understand the benefits of a cloud based phone system, it’s important to understand what it is. Call centers use cloud based phone systems to also make and receive calls. However, the calls are made over the Internet. The phone system is essentially hosted on the cloud, eliminating the need for bulky, expensive hardware on location.
Getting started with a cloud based phone system is simple. Ensure that any hardware and service contractual requirements are clear, if applicable. If your call center doesn’t already have VoIP enabled phones, check if your new provider offers them. You also have the option of using a softphone, which is software that allows agents to make and receive calls through the Internet. LiveVox has designed solutions tailored to the call center, and provides an advanced cloud based PBX. We’ve laid out a migration process that makes implementation easier.