Some of the recent analysis by scholars predicts that IT – just as railroads and electricity – will ultimately become a commodity accessible to all; which means companies should not overly invest in, or rely on IT as a resource for competitive advantage. This logic now makes more sense as cloud computing enters the mainstream. IT capabilities will going forward be centralized, freeing companies to invest in innovation in places that really matter to their business.
The cloud computing movement pursues this idea of a standardized and efficient IT model, and helps improve overall business performance by providing the ability to upgrade, scale and integrate effortlessly and cost-effectively. Having said all this, the cloud movement is still, a movement, and along this we see the emergence of new services – such as apps, mobile, social media and so on. Outsourced call centre services are no exception to this movement. As the transition to the cloud continues to streamline, the importance lies not in simply having the technology but how we use it to our advantage.
The Next Step Truly is Multi-channel. Cloud is already here and everyone has begun to embrace it, but what is next? For BPO providers, cloud has certainly proven to be highly cost-effective in addressing their eternal struggle with unpredictability. With ever-changing levels of demand and activity, cloud contact centre platforms make it possible for BPO providers to seamlessly scale up or down to fluctuating resources and minimize resource consumption. Many of the BPOs recently, leveraged the efficiency of a cloud platform for their outsourcing needs and saw dramatic cost reductions while agent utilization doubled. But it’s simply not enough to employ the cloud as an engine of cost savings.
According to the research on cloud economics, leaders who have mastered the cloud for cutting-costs are now harnessing it as a profit-driver. By leveraging the advantages of cloud to design new services, or improve existing ones, companies can create new revenue. For outsourcers, an example of such services could be leveraging disruptive social and mobile channels in their BPOs as a value add for customers.
Outsourcing service providers are the middlemen, generous providers with focus on customer satisfaction, who get very little in return. In an age where social and mobile are the prevailing means of communication, customers are expecting an experience tailored specifically to their needs and preferences, and that includes multichannel services.
While a cloud platform allows for efficiency such as call routing and call-back services, it can also facilitate seamless multichannel communication through SMS, chat and social media. By integrating these types of service add-ons, BPOs are able to accommodate service preferences, providing new services to their customers. Beyond the satisfied customer, outsourcers can upsell these additional features to generate more business opportunities, growth and income. Frontline, for instance, implemented a new tool enabling clients’ customers to connect to an agent from their website without picking up the phone. This gave clients and prospects another reason to use their service, and in two years, they saw a 400% spike in business growth.
While cloud-based IT has become the norm, simply transitioning to the cloud is not going to serve the complete purpose. Beyond leveraging its abilities to cut costs, integrate quickly, or flexibility to scale up; new services and offerings such as social and mobile communications can provide BPOs with a strong competitive advantage whilst simultaneously meeting customer expectations.