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Contact Centre Solutions Jan 16, 2019

The real ROI of moving to a cloud contact centre

By Richard Atherton Senior manager Cloud Contact Cisco, BT

One of the biggest concerns customers have when examining a new cloud-based contact centre solution is if it’s worth the investment.

They want to know the return on investment (ROI) of making a switch, how long it will take to recoup the investment and what the real total cost of ownership is. 

Measuring the ROI isn’t as difficult as you might think if you consider the key costs as well as the value it creates.

Fluctuating demands

The demands on your contact centre can fluctuate—on a daily basis, with seasonal variation, and with business changes over the medium term. But traditional on-premise contact centres means your costs are fixed.  

For one of our global customers, their peak in demand was 40 per cent higher than average. When they built their contact centre, they designed it to cope with an extra 20 per cent, meaning that half their capacity went unused in an average month.

Cloud-based contact centres allow you to flex your capacity. For example, a global logistics company saw a 50 per cent increase in inbound calls in the days following Black Friday. We doubled the MPLS capacity in just four hours in order to cope with the incremental traffic.

Investment costs

There are three main investment costs that need to be considered:

  1. Licence costs - When considering licence costs, there are lots of things to think about. How many seats will you require each year? Do you need to account for additional seasonal seats? Most organisations we work with don’t know how many concurrent users they have globally. On one project, the ROI was based on a concurrency of 80 per cent, but in reality it never went above 42 per cent, meaning their ROI model was much better than anticipated.
  2. Support costs – Does your solution require IT staffing to ensure uptime and maintenance of hosted services? Does that team also configure complicated IVR menus and workflows? How much time—and therefore cost—can you allot to software user support, onboarding and permissions? Does the team build custom reporting or perform custom integrations and development?
  3. Implementation costs– What’s the implementation timeline? Do you need to add hardware to your existing infrastructure? Do you require professional services support?

Future flexibility

When I ask customers how many agents they will have in the future, few tell me that it will be more than they have today. But no one can really predict how many it will be. The fact that cloud contact centres can flex down is just as important as it being able to flex up with demand increases. It means from a cost perspective, customers aren’t having to bet on the future.

The benefits of cloud

The reason most organisations look at moving to a cloud model is to cut costs. A faster, more reliable platform can lead to fewer dropped calls and faster issue resolution, with a significant improvement in first contact resolution rates. This leads to increased agent efficiency, which, in turn, leads to lowered costs in the form of less agents required to handle all of your traffic.

A virtual infrastructure eliminates many of the expenses and headaches of managing your own data centres, eliminating fixed investment in real estate, hardware, and other physical assets while also reducing the cost of headcount and ongoing support. You can go live much faster than with an on-premises model, and you’ll start to earn revenue immediately due to your speedier spin-up.

By redesigning the customer journey to improve the experience of customers and agents, you should also be able to improve productivity, with lower agent handling times, improved performance monitoring and collaboration for faster, more efficient results.

Calculate the ROI of your move to the cloud and manage fluctuating demands.