Senior Writer: Paras Kela
As businesses strive to improve customer satisfaction and streamline operations, many are turning to cloud contact centers as a solution– a virtual call center that utilizes internet-based technology to manage and route customer interactions, including calls, emails, and messages.
In this blog, we will explore the features and capabilities of cloud contact centers, compare them to traditional call centers, and discuss the benefits they can provide for your business.
We are pretty certain that by the end, you will have a better understanding of whether a cloud contact center platform is the right choice for your company.
Let’s get started with the definition of a cloud contact center solution.
What is a Cloud Contact Center?
A cloud contact center solution can be defined as a type of call center that uses internet-based technology to manage customer interactions. It enables businesses to manage and route customer calls, emails, and messages through a single platform without the need for on-premise hardware or software.
This ultimately means businesses can operate a call center remotely, using the internet, rather than having to maintain their physical infrastructure.
Talking of the key advantage of a cloud-based contact center– it is flexible. This means it can be accessed from anywhere as long as you have a reliable internet connection. This will eventually allow businesses to have a distributed/remote workforce, with customer service agents working remotely from different locations.
In addition to providing flexibility to your customer management operations, these virtual call center software solutions are more cost-effective than traditional call center solutions.
This is because they don’t require businesses to maintain their own physical (on-premise) infrastructure. This will eventually help them not only save on costs such as hardware and software expenses but also with maintenance and repair costs.
Overall, a cloud contact center is an ideal and cost-effective way for businesses to better manage customer communication and improve customer service.
Let’s now move on to the next section to learn how a cloud center works.
How Does a Cloud Contact Center Solution Work?
As mentioned above, a cloud contact center platform uses internet-based technology to handle inbound as well as outbound customer communications.
When a customer contacts a business, the cloud-based contact center solution routes the communication, i.e. call, message, and email, to an appropriate customer service agent, who can then respond to the customer in real time.
One of the key features of a cloud contact center is its ability to route customer interactions to the most suitable agent. Based on factors such as the customer’s language preference, the type of inquiry, or the agent’s expertise, the solution routes incoming calls to an appropriate agent.
Moreover, cloud contact center solutions can also prioritize customer inquiries based on factors such as the severity of the issue or the customer’s relationship with the business.
In addition to routing customer interactions through IVR (Interactive Voice Response), a cloud contact center platform can also provide agents with cutting-edge tools and resources to assist them in their work. This may include but is limited to a customer relationship management (CRM) system to track customer information and interactions, as well as access to knowledge bases to help them resolve customer inquiries.
Overall, cloud-based contact center solutions work by using internet-based technology (known as VoIP) to better manage and route customer inquiries in an efficient manner, allowing businesses to improve their customer service and streamline their operations.
What makes a Cloud Contact Center superior to a Traditional Call Center?
There are several key differences between these two types of call centers, including their infrastructure, features and capabilities, flexibility, maintenance, system upgrades, cost, and disaster recovery capabilities. Let’s look at them one by one.
Traditional call centers or on-premise contact centers require businesses to have their physical infrastructures, such as servers, phone systems, and other hardware, in order to operate. This means that businesses have to invest in upfront costs for this infrastructure, as well as ongoing maintenance and repair costs, to keep it running smoothly.
In contrast, cloud contact center solutions use VoIP technology (Voice over Internet Protocol), allowing businesses to operate without the need for on-premise hardware or software. This means that businesses don’t have to worry about the upfront costs or ongoing maintenance and repair expenses associated with physical infrastructure.
B. Features and capabilities
5 Factors that give cloud contact centers an edge over traditional solutions
- Modern Infrastructure
- Advanced Features
- Improved Flexibility
- Cost Efficiency
- Quick Integrations
Cloud contact centers typically offer a wider range of features and capabilities compared to a traditional call center. Some of the features include virtual phone numbers, call queuing, phone number porting, etc.
These may include skills-based routing, which routes customer queries to the most appropriate agent based on their expertise or language proficiency, and priority routing, which ensures that high-priority interactions are handled by the most qualified agents. A cloud-based contact center solution may also offer integration with CRM systems and other tools to help agents assist customers effectively.
A cloud contact center platform can be accessed from anywhere with an internet connection, allowing businesses to have a distributed workforce, with customer service agents working remotely from different locations.
This is in contrast to a traditional call center, which requires agents to be physically present at a centralized location. This flexibility can also make it easier for businesses to scale up or down as needed since they don’t have to worry about maintaining their own physical infrastructure.
Another difference between traditional and cloud contact center technology is– maintenance. A traditional call center requires businesses to handle maintenance and repairs themselves, which can be time-consuming and costly. It also requires businesses to purchase and install new hardware and software when upgrades are needed.
On the other hand, cloud-based contact center solutions are maintained by the respective cloud contact center provider such as CallHippo, so businesses don’t have to worry about maintenance or repair costs.
E. System Upgrades
The fifth major difference between traditional and cloud contact center solutions is system upgrades. As we all know, in order to stay current with the rapidly evolving technological landscape, the system must be upgraded on a regular basis, without fail.
Unlike traditional contact centers, cloud contact center platforms are upgraded automatically by the respective providers, and no action is required from the business end. This means there is no need for businesses to worry about the time and expense of upgrading their own infrastructure.
Cloud contact centers are usually more cost-effective than traditional call centers. This is because they don’t require businesses to maintain their own infrastructure. This will enable companies to save on recurring costs such as hardware and software expenses, as well as upkeep and repair costs. Businesses only have to pay for the resources they consume rather than having to invest in expensive upfront physical infrastructure costs.
G. Disaster recovery
As we all know, traditional call centers do not have a reliable disaster recovery plan in place. This means that customer communications could be impeded heavily in the event of an outage due to technical issues or any natural disaster. On the other hand, a cloud contact center platform can provide businesses with a disaster recovery plan to ensure that customer communications can continue even in the event of an outage.
All in all, a cloud-based contact center solution is a more flexible, reliable, cost-effective, and feature-packed option compared to traditional call centers, making them a better choice for businesses looking to improve their customer service and streamline their operations.
What are the Difference Between Cloud Contact Center vs Cloud Call Center?
The table above compares the key differences between Cloud Contact Centers and Cloud Call Centers. While Cloud Contact Centers offer support across multiple communication channels, such as phone, email, chat, and social media, Cloud Call Centers focus solely on inbound and outbound calls. Cloud Contact Centers also typically offer more features and have a higher cost, while Cloud Call Centers are more cost-effective but have limited functionality.
|Aspect||Cloud Contact Center||Cloud Call Center|
|Definition||A cloud-based customer support system that manages multiple communication channels such as phone, email, chat, social media, etc.||A cloud-based telephony system that handles inbound and outbound calls only.|
|Communication Channels||Multiple communication channels such as phone, email, chat, social media, etc.||Only handles inbound and outbound calls.|
|Features||Provides features such as IVR, call routing, queuing, CRM integration, analytics, etc.||Provides features such as IVR, call routing, queuing, call recording, etc.|
|Use Case||Ideal for businesses that require customer support across multiple channels.||Ideal for businesses that primarily deal with inbound and outbound calls.|
|Customer Experience||Improves customer experience by providing support across multiple channels and reduces wait times.||Improves customer experience by handling calls efficiently and reducing wait times.|
|Scalability||Scalable to accommodate a growing number of channels and agents.||Scalable to accommodate a growing number of agents.|
|Cost||Generally higher due to the additional channels and features.||Generally lower due to the limited functionality.|
|Example Platforms||Zendesk, Freshdesk, Genesys Cloud, Twilio Flex||Five9, Talkdesk, RingCentral, Aircall|
What are the Difference Between Cloud Call Center vs PBX?
The table above compares Cloud Call Center and PBX systems based on various criteria such as infrastructure, scalability, cost, features, integration, mobility, maintenance, reliability, support, and security. It helps businesses understand the differences between the two systems and evaluate which one suits their specific requirements better.
|Criteria||Cloud Call Center||PBX|
|Infrastructure||Hosted in the cloud, no on-premise equipment required||On-premise equipment required|
|Scalability||Highly scalable, easily add or remove agents as needed||Limited scalability, may require hardware upgrades to support additional agents|
|Cost||Typically pay-per-user or per-minute pricing, no upfront hardware costs||Upfront hardware costs, ongoing maintenance costs|
|Features||Advanced features such as automatic call distribution, IVR, call recording, and analytics||Basic features such as call forwarding, voicemail, and conference calling|
|Integration||Can integrate with CRM systems and other business applications||Limited integration capabilities|
|Mobility||Agents can work remotely from anywhere with an internet connection||Limited mobility, agents must be physically present in the office|
|Maintenance||Maintenance and updates handled by the provider||Maintenance and updates handled by the company|
|Reliability||Highly reliable with redundancy built-in||Reliability depends on the quality of the equipment and maintenance|
|Support||24/7 support available||Support depends on the provider and company|
|Security||Data is stored in the cloud with robust security measures in place||Security depends on the quality of the equipment and maintenance|
What are the Benefits of Cloud Contact Center To Your Business?
Cloud contact centers offer a range of benefits, including improved customer experience, increased flexibility, streamlined operations, reduced costs, improved reliability, enterprise-grade security, easier integration, and better analytics and reporting. Let’s look at these benefits one by one in detail.
1. Improved customer experience
A cloud contact center platform offers a range of features and functionalities that can help businesses offer better customer service to their valuable customers. For example, call routing can ensure that customers stay connected to the most appropriate contact center agent based on their needs, such as their language proficiency or expertise in a particular domain.
Key Benefits of Cloud Contact Center Solutions
- Improved customer experience
- Increased flexibility
- Reduced costs
- Streamlined operations
- Improved reliability
- Enhanced security
- Easier integration
- Better analytics and reporting
This will ensure a more personalized and efficient customer experience, since customers are connected to agents who are best able to assist them. Overall, these features can lead to a more positive and memorable customer experience, resulting in increased customer satisfaction and loyalty.
2. Increased flexibility
As mentioned above, cloud-based contact center solutions allow businesses to have a distributed workforce– with customer service agents working remotely from different locations. This can provide businesses with increased flexibility in terms of staffing and operating hours, allowing them to better meet the needs of their customers.
This can be particularly useful for businesses that have a seasonal or fluctuating customer influx or customer volume. Companies can scale up or down the cloud resources as needed without having to maintain their own physical infrastructure. Also, it can be beneficial for businesses that want to offer customer service outside of regular business hours– since agents can work remotely at any time.
3. Reduced costs
Cloud contact centers are generally more cost-beneficial than traditional call centers, as they don’t require businesses to maintain their own physical infrastructure. This can save a significant amount of businesses’ budget on hardware and software (or subscription) expenses, as well as maintenance and repair costs.
Additionally, businesses only pay for the resources they consume rather than having to invest in expensive upfront infrastructure costs. This can help businesses reduce their overall costs and increase their profitability.
4. Streamlined operations
A cloud-based contact center solution can help businesses streamline their operations by offering a single platform for managing customer interactions through IVR (Interactive Voice Response). This can reduce the need for multiple systems and allow businesses to better track and analyze customer data.
This will make it significantly easier for businesses to manage customer interactions and feedback, as everything is in one place. Overall, cloud contact center solutions can help businesses streamline their operations, leading to increased agent performance and overall efficiency.
5. Improved reliability
A typical traditional call center relies heavily on physical or on-premise infrastructure, which can be prone to outages, downtime and other issues. In the event of outages or during system downtime, the entire customer communications will be disrupted, which will certainly impact the business’s reputation as well.
In contrast, cloud contact center solutions are quite more reliable, as they are maintained by the system providers and can have a backup plan in place to ensure that customer communications can continue even in the event of an outage or other disaster. This can give businesses a sigh of relief, knowing that their customer interactions will be able to continue even in the event of an issue.
6. Enhanced security
No one can deny the fact that customer data is an important asset for businesses as it helps them better understand their strategies over the years. For the very same reason, it is crucial that it is protected from unauthorized access. Fortunately, cloud contact centers can provide enhanced security measures such as data encryption and secure access controls to protect customer data.
This can help businesses ensure that customer data is safe and secure, giving customers trust in the business, besides protecting the business from potential data breaches.
7. Easier integration
A cloud contact center can be easily integrated with other business systems, such as CRM systems as well as customer feedback and workforce management tools. This allows businesses to access and thoroughly analyze cfwith the needs of your customersustomer data in one place rather than having to switch between multiple systems.
This can eventually streamline operations and make it easier for businesses to get a holistic view of customer interactions and feedback.
8. Better analytics and reporting
The next benefit on the list is– better analytics.
Understandably, a cloud contact center platform can provide businesses with real-time analytics and reporting capabilities compared to a traditional one. This will eventually allow businesses to track and analyze customer data in real time, identify trends and areas for improvement and ultimately make informed business decisions.
Besides, it also allows businesses to monitor the real-time performance of customer service agents and identify whether there is a need for training or not. Overall, better analytics and reporting can help businesses improve customer service and optimize operations.
In a nutshell, a cloud contact center can be a valuable tool for businesses looking to improve their operations and customer service.
Top 10 Cloud Contact Center Solutions Comparison 
|Brand Name||Key Features||Pricing||Pros||Cons|
|DialerHQ||Cloud-based call center Real-time analytics Automated dialing CRM integration Call recording||Starts at $12 per user per month||- Offers real-time analytics and automated dialing - Integrates with popular CRMs for improved productivity - Customizable pricing options||- Need Stable Internet Connection.|
|WebEx||Video conferencing Screen sharing File sharing Virtual meeting rooms Whiteboard tools||Starts at $14.50 per user per month||- Offers a range of virtual collaboration tools - Includes virtual meeting rooms and whiteboard tools - Integrates with popular productivity apps||- May not offer advanced call center features - Pricing can be higher compared to some other options|
|Nextiva||VoIP Video conferencing Team messaging Auto-attendant Call recording||Starts at $16 per user per month||- Offers VoIP, video conferencing, and team messaging features - Includes an auto-attendant and call recording - Provides customizable call routing options||- Higher starting price compared to some other options - Some users may not need all the features offered|
|Ringcentral||VoIP Video conferencing Team messaging Call management Call recording||Starts at $19.99 per user per month||- Offers a range of VoIP and video conferencing features - Includes team messaging and call management tools - Integrates with popular productivity apps||- May not offer advanced call center features - Some users may find the pricing too high|
|CallHippo||Virtual phone system Call routing IVR system Call recording Analytics||Starts at $16 per user per month||- Offers a range of virtual phone system features - Includes an IVR system and call routing options - Provides call recording and analytics tools||- May not offer advanced call center features - Some users may find the pricing too high|
|CloudTalk||Call center software IVR system Call routing Real-time analytics CRM integrations||Starts at $25 per user per month||- Offers a range of call center features - Includes an IVR system and call routing options - Provides real-time analytics and CRM integrations||- May not be suitable for smaller businesses - Some users may find the pricing too high|
|8x8||VoIP Video conferencing Team messaging Call management Analytics||Starts at $28 per user per month||- Offers a range of VoIP and video conferencing features - Includes team messaging and call management tools - Provides analytics and customizable reporting options||- May not offer advanced call center features - Some users may find the pricing too high for the features offered|
|Genesys Cloud CX||Omnichannel routing Real-time analytics AI-powered automation Customizable workflows Integrations with CRM and other tools||Starts at $75 per user per month||- Offers a comprehensive set of omnichannel contact center features - Includes AI-powered automation and real-time analytics - Provides customizable workflows and integrations with popular tools||- Pricing may be higher compared to other options - May have a steeper learning curve for some users|
|Vonage||Unified Communications Call center software Visual voicemail Virtual assistant Integrations with popular tools||Starts at $19.99 per user per month||- Offers a range of unified communications and call center features - Includes visual voicemail and virtual assistant features - Provides integrations with popular tools like Salesforce and Zendesk||- May not have as many advanced features compared to some other options - Higher pricing for more advanced plans|
|Talkdesk||Call center software IVR system Call routing Real-time analytics CRM integrations||Starts at $75 per user per month||- Offers a range of advanced call center features - Includes an IVR system and call routing options - Provides real-time analytics and CRM integrations||- Pricing may not be transparent or predictable - May not be suitable for smaller businesses|
The table compares the features, pricing, pros, and cons of the top 10 cloud contact center solutions: DialerHQ, WebEx, Nextiva, Ringcentral, CallHippo, CloudTalk, 8×8, Genesys Cloud CX, Vonage, and Talkdesk. It helps businesses choose the right solution by comparing their features and pricing.
Conclusion: Cloud contact centers are a cutting-edge solution for modern businesses looking to improve customer satisfaction scores besides streamlining their operations. Using internet-based technology, companies can better manage and route customer interactions, including phone calls, emails, and messages, through a single platform. Besides, its benefits, such as flexibility, cost-effectiveness, and offer advanced features compared to traditional call centers, make it an ideal choice for modern businesses.
The key features of a cloud-based contact center solution include scalability, flexibility, real-time monitoring, analytics, and integration with relevant business applications. However, this feature list may vary from business to business.
The three primary types of cloud contact centers are– public, private, and community. Public cloud contact centers are owned by third-party providers, while private ones are owned by a single organization. On the other hand, community cloud contact centers are designed for a specific community with shared interests.
A cloud contact center can improve the customer experience in several ways, including providing a seamless omnichannel experience as well as offering personalized interactions. Besides, it also reduces wait times, increases first-call resolution rates (FCR), and enables self-service options.
Paras Kela is an accomplished IT professional with 7+ years of industry experience, including 4+ years as a dedicated content writer. His expertise lies in crafting informative blogs on VoIP and cloud telephony, among other technical subjects. Outside his professional pursuits, he cherishes quality time with loved ones, indulges in watching documentaries, and finds solace in gardening. Connect with him on LinkedIn.