Consider these facts:
- More than 2 billion consumers are online, spending more time there than watching television; only 28 percent of consumers prefer to resolve service issues on the phone.
- 96 percent of Generation Y has joined at least one social network, and in 2010, they outnumbered Baby Boomers.
- By 2015, mobile Internet will surpass fixed Internet, and 40 percent of 18-34 year olds use their mobile devices to make purchases today.
As these new realities shape customer management strategies, many small and medium businesses are scrambling to find solutions that meet customer needs without onerous investments and infrastructure requirements.
Business leaders I meet are surprised to learn that, done right, cloud technology overcomes these barriers and brings a competitive advantage through a differentiated customer experience - improving return on investment by up to 27 percent. In fact, most people I talk to have been focused on less robust down-market solutions, believing that to integrate a full-service cloud solution would require complex relationships with multiple service providers. Thankfully, that’s just not the case.
So how can the cloud help small and medium businesses compete and better identify, attract and serve customers? Here are six benefits:
- Fewer fixed costs and reduced technology support costs, all with access to new technologies at lower risk. In large organizations, significant capital expenditures are needed to acquire and maintain traditional physical infrastructure, including data centers, as well as separate contact center technology at each service delivery center. Cloud solutions allow companies to pilot, implement, and globally scale up and down without incurring unacceptable levels of risk.
- Improved customer satisfaction and revenue by delivering a consistently great experience and the right service at the right time via the right communication channel.
- Reduced on-boarding costs, higher retention and better associate performance. A virtual, global system broadens the talent pools exponentially, and allows companies to select the most qualified associates.
- Reduced cost-to-serve via improved staff utilization, effective multichannel strategies and access to new tools that improve operational efficiency. Cloud solutions deliver sales and service via the right mix of channels to various customer profiles, reducing cost-per-contact by 44 to 88 percent.
- Improved responsiveness and scalability, across channels, and around the globe. In the highly seasonal retail industry, for example, on-premise technologies and traditional workforce management mean idle human resource and technology costs during non-peak times.
- A reduced implementation timeline with faster time-to-market benefits. Cloud-based solutions allow companies of all sizes to respond to dynamic market changes in real time.
Companies large and small can benefit from the flexibility, scalability and efficiency that cloud contact center solutions deliver. By leveraging the cloud to create a superior customer relationship management strategy, companies can reduce costs and improve revenue, loyalty, and retention through a differentiated customer experience.