How to Create a Cloud-Based Contact Center Platform?
The creation of a cloud-based contact center system will help you automate request processing, improve customer service, and increase customer loyalty. Find out how to build it!
By now, everyday communications have become fully automated due to the use of messengers, chats as well as mobile and web applications. This same situation is in the business area. Although not every enterprise has already integrated a CRM system, a customer web portal, chatbot, contact center platform, or their combination, there is an understanding of the present need.
Regarding companies that deal with customers, effective business communication management and quality customer service are the keys to success. And, here, a contact center can solve a number of tasks, from accelerating request processing to increasing client satisfaction.
So, if your organization operates in the field of retail, banking, insurance, or mobile service provision, you should consider the issue of contact center development. In this article, we’ll tell you how to make a cloud-based call center system and what goals you can reach by using it.
Benefits of building a cloud-based contact center solution
Today, businesses are actively adopting call center software to reduce costs and improve customer relationship management. According to MarketsandMarkets research, the cloud contact center market is predicted to reach $15.67 billion by 2021 and $20.93 billion by 2022, while in 2016, it accounted for $5.73 billion – almost threefold lower than it is expected to reach in 2 years.
Think of the challenges that you can solve by creating a cloud-based contact center solution. Your customers won’t have to go to your company or call and wait until a manager is free and picks up the phone. Instead of getting angry, they will be grateful to you for saving their time and receiving great customer service. Otherwise, they are unlikely to return to you.
Twilio’s Customer Communications Report found out the following things:
38% of those interviewed said that they would cancel their orders or apply to a competitor after having a poor communication experience
66% said they would share their impressions with a friend
41% claimed that they would stop doing business with the company if they didn’t like its service.
In addition, a cloud-based contact center system can facilitate the work of your employees. All of the requests will be tracked, directed to the necessary department, processed, and saved. As a result, your company will increase the performance of each department and ensure a personalised customer experience. That’s why its integration matters. But why should you create a cloud-based solution and not an on-premises solution?
First and foremost, the cloud provides the ability to elastically scale – either up or back – and you can easily connect as many agents as you need, modify the system, and add new features. You won’t have to pay for hardware installations or acquiring/confirming licenses. Since hardware maintenance requires minimum or no effort, you will have your costs reduced.
Moreover, your employees will get the opportunity to work remotely: all they will need is a fast Internet connection. Global reach is another advantage of contact centers. It's not necessary to hire in every country that your company is operating in. By using the cloud, you can buy and use phone numbers all over the world.
Below, we’ll describe how to create a cloud-based call center software that will meet your goals. From the most important features to software development stages, you will learn many useful things about the topic. A small journey is waiting for you!
How to build a contact center in the cloud: 7 key features
When you develop a cloud-based contact center, you need to think through its functionality. What tasks must your app perform? What features will allow you to solve your challenges? What functions are the most important and what things can you go without?
Put yourself in your employees’ shoes. It will help you clearly understand how their work can be simplified and automated. What’s more, you might need to have the ability to manage processes, keep watch over communications, and check how quickly issues are resolved. As practice shows, the best contact centers include the following features:
Your employees will need a place where all customer requests will appear, records will be kept, and tasks will be created. A dashboard can have everything to facilitate the work: lists of customers applications, access dates, various notes, communication records – just tailor it to your business objectives.
Chat is an irreplaceable feature for each enterprise contact center. In chat, you will communicate with your customers: get their requests, answer questions, offer help, and sell your services. Once a user inputs text and clicks “Send”, a manager accepts the task (a user’s message), and the message appears in your app and becomes visible to employees.
When you have visited various websites, you probably noticed and even used a pop-up window that offered assistance or a consultation. This features plays the key role as most people don’t like to call and waste time on waiting.
Instead, when you start a dialog with your customers, you boost sales by answering an increasing number of questions, helping to solve their issues, and improving customer loyalty.
4. Push notifications
Implement push notifications so that your employees will be instantly alerted on incoming calls, messages, expiring task dates, and more. Furthermore, provide them with the ability to set up reminders about planned actions.
You can integrate an AI-based chatbot in your product to add even more automation and flexibility. However quickly your managers might respond, they can’t do it as fast as a chatbot does. This way, your customers will save time and have a positive experience.
Although AI chatbots are unlikely to resolve excessively complex issues – only if you teach them to, they can release your managers from answering the most popular questions and transfer others to the necessary employee/department.
6. Real-time updates
All data changes should be automatically saved and seen by the system users in real-time. By doing so, you will avoid a big mess with the tasks and information. Imagine how uncomfortable it is when you see the task status “In progress” while a manager has already done it and changed it to “Closed”.
7. Access permissions and shared data access
Generally, all enterprise cloud-based contact centers have a corporate hierarchy, which means that different employees are responsible for different tasks. For instance, customer relations specialists directly work with customers: receive requests, process them, and answer questions.
However, there is a need for a person who will create projects and departments, add employees to the platform, check their work, and more. Another thing to do is to set up the whole system infrastructure. Therefore, you should implement access permissions so that everyone has access to the required information. It will also increase data security within the organization. The ability to share data/files/documents will also simplify your work.
Top 4 steps for cloud contact center software development
Once you’ve decided to develop a cloud-based contact center, you may ask yourself where to start and how to move on. Here are four main steps that you should follow to build a system that would meet your goals.
1. Use a ready API instead of creating your own
You can build a contact center in the cloud on the basis of a service that provides an API. Therefore, the first step is to conduct research and define which service complies with your requirements.
2. Consider out of the box solutions
Today, there is no need for building complex software on your own. Generally, you can always implement some features out of the box. Moreover, now the market gives you the ability to build all the functionality using this method.
Twilio, a cloud communications platform, provides businesses and developers with a bunch of products that enable you to make contact center software solutions. For example, Twilio offers programmable voice, programmable SMS, SendGrid email service, API for WhatsApp, and many other cool things.
In speaking of cloud-based system creation, Twilio took it a step further: in October 2018, we saw the release of Flex, the first fully-programmable contact center platform.
The biggest advantage of Flex is that it contains many features out of the box, while allowing software engineers to add their own logic and custom UI. It also lets them combine other Twilio products and provides a back-end for them.
3. Define the level of customization
When thinking through contact center development, take into account the level of customization that you need. We already told you about the first fully-programmable platform that allows building the full functionality out of the box.
However, although Flex enables you to modify some things and implement your own logic, it contains some limitations and has a strict structure. You will be able to freely change colors and fonts, add buttons, images, and other elements but it won’t let you make a totally customized solution.
4. Choose your hosting right
There are two options. You can choose your own hosting or utilize the hosting of some service, e.g. Twilio. The main disadvantage of having your own domain name is that you need to constantly monitor updates. With Twilio, you get them automatically and don’t pay for the hosting – only for using the service.
In addition, before the beginning of cloud-based contact center development, consider three important things: your project needs, timeline, and budget. If you have, for instance, some budget limitations, focus on implementing only the key functionality and use a fully-programmable contact center platform. Moreover, take into account the software maintenance costs – it may require either a lot or rather little money.
Recently, we have launched an enterprise cloud-based contact center, which is called Telemojo. The client was the owner of a medium-sized business in California who wanted to automate request processing and improve customer service.
He was looking for a reliable software engineering company that would build the product within no more than 6 months, and found us on a Twilio Build Partner page. It was in December 2018. Flex had just been released and promised to totally meet the project requirements.
Thanks to this tool, we developed Telemojo within 3.5 months instead of a minimum of 6.5 as it would have been be if we chose the traditional way.
Since cloud-based contact centers offer various benefits to both businesses and their customers, it is no wonder that they are gaining high popularity. The plus is that today's market provides the ability to create great software faster and easier.
The main thing to do is to define the tasks it should solve, the features that will enable you to perform them, and the level of customization that you want to have.
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