Cloud communication promises big things; less cost, more productivity, remote workforce, with all less infrastructure. Businesses today are moving everything to the cloud be it data, telephony system, communication, business applications, in short, all the workload has been moved to the cloud.
Cloud telephony is the new deafening buzz in the business communication realm. For business owners, cloud telephony brings exciting opportunities for greater efficiency, cost reduction, and enabled remote workforce. Embarking on a journey of shifting your on-premise telephony system to the cloud may seem to be daunting but with the right support, it’s easier than you think!
In this article, we will explain everything you need to know about cloud telephony, and what benefits the cloud brings with it.
What is Cloud Telephony?
As the name proposes, In Cloud Telephony all communication devices and applications are hosted at the service provider’s premises. Cloud telephony, also known as cloud calling, is a type of unified communications as a service (UCaaS) that offers voice communication services through a third-party host. UCaaS replaces the need for conventional enterprise telephone systems, such as private branch exchange (PBX). Cloud telephony services can be web- or applications-based.
Services like IVR, call recording, text messaging, call conferencing, custom greetings, business hours are some of the features of cloud telephony.
The easiest way for you to handle business calls worldwide without compromising on quality and cost is by using the services offered by cloud telephony companies.
Difference between Cloud Telephony and Traditional Phone System
Cloud or Cloud Computing has been around for some years now, but it’s washed all hands as yet. The concept still is quite convincing but hasn’t been grabbed by all. People are well versed with Telephones, call routing, IVR, call recording and analytics but not all know the beauty of Cloud Telephony.
With regards to introducing telephone systems inside a business, the “traditional” strategy included introducing a telephone framework on-premise that links the entirety of your telephone lines and connects them onto a public telephone network utilizing ISDN or PSTN lines. A cloud-based telephone system or “hosted” telephone framework utilizes the web to connect to the connections/departments in your organization. With cloud-based telephony, you would pay for the endpoints, as well as training cost and a monthly rental fee for the hosting provider. Cloud Telephony was way cheaper than traditional telephony when it comes to the initial investment.
Traditional PBX frameworks offer no reports and examination, while cloud telephony framework offers top to bottom business investigation and reports that give you the permeability and bits of knowledge needed to improve your client support.
Flexibility & Control
On-prem telephone systems offer you very less flexibility and authority over the call and routing process whereas cloud phone systems are extremely easy to set up and configure.
Initial Setup Cost
Organizations can begin with a cloud telephone framework in under 10% of the underlying arrangement cost needed for traditional PBX communication arrangement.
Everything identified with an on-prem telephony setup is tedious: establishment, arrangement, adjustments and upgradation whereas the same things in a cloud phone system is possible right away and easily.
In traditional business telephone setups, if one hub goes down, it influences the entire framework, bringing your customer communication to a stand-still. With Cloud phone system’s uptime of 99.5%, organizations don’t have to stress over downtime.
Cloud-based services have been seen as a solution to replace the specific EPABX box in the office.
Cloud telephony Offerings:
1. Simple and Seamless Setup
2. Scalable infrastructure
4. Efficient and Cost-effective with process automation (prepaid model)
5. Remote Access
6. Minimum Maintenance Costs: No infrastructure issues so startups save huge costs
7. Flexible and can be easily incorporated with other CRMs
8. Fully Protected platform with built-in disaster recovery
9. Real-time data and in-depth analysis
How Cloud Telephony Improves Business value?
Running a business makes one sceptical and unsure about a lot of things. The cost incurred is one such parameter that a business would want to reduce. With Cloud Telephony, expenses on inter-department operations and customer support can be reduced further. Cloud-based telephony is proactive. This means Cloud Telephony is highly scalable and adaptable to the changing needs of businesses. This makes businesses spend less by eliminating any overhead costs paid to multiple vendors and network connectivity providers.
Businesses save money through cloud telephony by paying only for used services. The prepaid model has always been useful for startups facing a cash crunch. Cloud telephony solutions can cut staff, automate processes, eliminate expensive voice lines, and even make long-distance deals.
In addition to lowering cost, Cloud Telephony also aid businesses in handling various challenges such as:
1. Call forwarding
In a scenario where an important customer dials your business number, while your agent is not at the office. In traditional PBX systems, This scenario will result in a missed call, but with Cloud Telephony, you can easily route the call using call forwarding. Call forwarding allows you to forward incoming calls from your business number to specific extensions, group of extensions and cell phone numbers. This allowed your agent to take calls remotely without loss of business.
2. Managing Call Queue
This feature lets you never miss a call while the agents are busy assisting other customers by playing custom music to their liking and patiently asking them to wait. The agents are also notified about the queue of customers waiting so that they can quickly wrap up the current call and answer the next call in the queue. The user call is disconnected only when the call is disposed of. Queue Management also has a feature wherein if all your agents are busy and there is a long queue, it will allow you to set a failed destination, be it an extension, group of extensions or voicemail. This transfers the customer call to the failed destination after a certain time, thereby decreasing the chances of missing calls for your business.
3. Checking Live calls
As an organization, you would want to be able to check the number of active incoming and outgoing calls, the number of busy agents, total call duration, etc. In addition to this cloud, telephony allows you to see the live status of calls and handle your agents wisely.
Most cloud telephony providers offer a clear dashboard that displays important real-time metrics such as the number of idle agents, unanswered calls, number of calls answered and so on.
4. Listen to Calls
Cloud Telephony offers business owners and managers the opportunity to hear direct calls between their agents and customers. When listening to a live call, they can also share tips with the agents. The best thing is that they can interact with the customer and respond better to their questions. This can also be used in various internal training exercises and give insights into to-dos and don’ts.
5. Call Conferencing
When you have a remote workforce, it can be difficult to collaborate smoothly and exchange ideas and discuss business tasks as well as assist customers. Call conferencing brings your team onto a platform and reduces the need for a business trip to meet other stakeholders in person. As a result, you save operational costs and improve internal team communication.
6. Call Notification / Announcement
Many times, agents answer the call without knowing who is on the other side of the call. Call announcement solves this communication problem by notifying your callers to your agents. Therefore, protect your agents from making blind calls and repeat the same sales process. This also brings a lot of clarity and preparedness to the agent.
7. Recording the Call
Businesses often fail to understand and evaluate their opportunities and customer expectations. Call recording facilities can help you to analyze how your agents manage customers. This also helps in understanding FAQs and consistent pain points, to help agents address questions well and act quickly.
8. Custom Recording
People do not like it when their call is stopped. In an age where information usually comes in seconds, people have less patience and are more likely to cut off the call. To keep your customers busy, you can choose a custom recording, which can be a promotional message or music ringing every time your customer’s calls are put on hold by the agents.
9. Transfer Calls
Another major reason why customers stop serving you is when you do not get the right answers from your agents. For this, you need to train your agents so that even then, if they find themselves in difficult situations, they should be able to quickly transfer the customer’s call to the right people who have the necessary information. Cloud telephony allows your agents to transfer calls with the click of a button. Therefore, it allows calls to switch smoothly.
10. Hosted IVR Solutions
Business generally involves repetitive customer processes such as changing passwords, product booking, demo booking. It is a good idea to give your clients a self-help tool for these tasks, as this will eliminate the need to communicate with agents and help you reduce their grasp time. This automation is readily available over cloud telephony.
11. Customize Integration
To drive more sales, your agents need to focus on effectively communicating with the opportunities currently engaged and reaching new people. Your hosted PBX solution should give your agents the flexibility to work with their preferred business apps, including CRMs and more.
12. Integrate Chatbots on the website
This is the age when businesses like digital are gaining websites and campaigning online to increase relevant traffic. Once you get those visitors to identify your site as a business, you may have the opportunity to communicate with them. Chatbots are the best way to communicate with your website visitors and gather leads information such as name, location, phone numbers, emails etc.
13. Customer hold time
This is another feature of the cloud telephony solution that allows you to reduce your customer hold time by cleverly distributing incoming calls across different sections of your company customer support, accounting etc. When your customers call you, you can intelligently share incoming calls between your employees and improve their productivity.
14. Predictive dialer
When it comes to outbound calling, you need to connect your agents with live calls to increase productivity. Predictive dialer steps in as they can filter out voicemail, busy tones, wrong numbers, etc. to connect agents with real people, this saves a lot of time and effort while serving the customers becomes seamless.
15. Blended call management
Sometimes businesses are reluctant to separate their inbound and outbound calling teams for a variety of reasons. For these types of companies, Blended call management solutions are protected to maintain an effective communication process.
Your team or calling agent can effectively handle incoming calls from your customers while dialling to connect with opportunities at the same time. In general, you can take advantage of the merged call management features with good call center software.
16. Virtual Number:
A virtual phone number is a number on a cloud having no physical lines connected to it. It is used to route customer calls to the right agent using an Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system. All the calls routed through virtual numbers can be tracked.
17. Toll-Free Number:
The toll-free number is also a type of virtual number through which customers can contact the company without any charges. It is mostly used by companies to generate inbound leads.
18. Interactive Voice Response:
Interactive Voice Response (IVR) System is a technology through which incoming calls can be easily routed to the right agent based on the inputs by the caller.
19. Distributed Call Center:
Distributed call centers can be easily managed using the centralized location on the cloud. With cloud telephony, the installation of hardware is not required at every location.
Benefits of implementing cloud telephony solutions:
Well, if you are still not convinced by the power of Cloud Telephony, Let us elucidate some more insights of Cloud Telephony which will make your decision to switch from traditional PBX to Cloud Telephony, inevitable. This will be a move, which you will be proud of.
Experts tip: The sooner you jump to Cloud Telephony, the more the better. Let’s get right to the Benefits,
1) Rich Business Features
Assessment is an important part of growing your business. It is important to constantly assess and understand how your company has been performing and build strategies to overcome hurdles if any.
You would never want to hire a 3rd party to have that done for you, and the whole process can be very exhaustive for you and the employees. Instead of handing it over to an entire group of people, cloud telephony solutions automatically generate these reports and insights for you.
These solutions show real-time analytics, also provide voicemail dots, bulk SMS automation, call schedulers, post-call surveys and more to help automate your business. This automation will transform your manual work into an automated workflow.
2) High mobility and flexibility
The workforce today is more motivated and effective in an environment where they are comfortable and the working hours are flexible. Due to the Covid-19, Pandemic, work from home has taken over Office Environments. Cloud telephony business solutions permit your employees to take their work mobile. This way you can take care of any support question or sales call even if your employee is not in the office. Any device with an internet connection with the cloud telephony app installed can manage work.
3) Cost efficiency
Cloud telephony solutions have greatly reduced your business costs. You no longer have to spend on traditional desktop phone systems with a heavily unstable and non-scalable infrastructure.
You do not have to worry about installation and maintenance costs. Additionally, cloud telephony solutions do not take any office space. It’s all in one place on your employee’s laptop
4) Highly Integrated Business Communication System
Cloud telephony solutions integrate with your day-to-day business workflow. This will not only help optimize your company’s teamwork and prospects but also take care of the seamless business flow from a larger perspective.
All of your business communication systems are highly integrated with your cloud telephony solution. With this streamlined workflow, you can access every detail in a single interface. Highly customizable CRM integration allows you to strengthen your work and potential leads.
5) Extensively scalable and customizable
Top decision-makers in an organization are constantly worried about buying a business solution that doesn’t care about all their needs. However, the transformation of the company is rapidly changing since the business world has become volatile. Also, SAAS products can stay subtle if they provide fast updates and customizations or they will quickly reach the end of their lifespan. For this reason, cloud telephony solutions are highly scalable and customizable.
6) Professional Sales and Support Team
Cloud Telephony comes with a feature called Auto Dialer. This dialer helps you to make automatic calls and send messages and voicemail. Your sales or support agent does not have to do any part of this procedure manually. As manual work is reduced to almost zero and taking notes is much easier, your sales and support teams rapidly increase efficiency and productivity.
7) Business Continuity Planning
If an earthquake destroys your area, your telephony system, and your office desktop, it can be devastating. But cloud telephony solutions include cloud storage, all your business information is secure and protected. Additionally, it can be accessed from any other device at any time.
Also, in the event of any system downtimes or crashes on your laptop, your data is still not lost. Due to the reliable and flexible nature of cloud telephony systems, you can easily overcome disaster situations. This allows you to have Business Continuity in any unforeseen events,
8) Handle overall business communication
Traditional desk phones do not allow you to track all your business information. No records of any conversation. It can be difficult to keep all the information inward and outward.
Cloud telephony can help take care of this problem. With a call recording facility, you can now record every incoming and outgoing call. This will allow you and your team to have a good business conversation. You have a record of everything, which you can access at any time for reference or troubleshooting.
9) Enables remote and mobile workforce:
Cloud applications have made companies enable remote workforce and monitor them. There are applications like a meeting tracker to manage your remote workforce from anywhere and anytime.
Features such as monitoring the remote workforce and setting up a call center on a mobile phone have helped companies to hire remote workers and monitor them efficiently.
Business communication is a vital process that requires monitoring to achieve business goals. Cloud telephony solutions make it easier for companies to communicate internally through a variety of applications.
If your business encounters any communication problems, contact our solution experts by contacting us, we will consult you about implementing cloud telephony solutions to solve numerous communication problems. We can do away with a lot of pain points you are facing with EPABX. We have helped several companies around the world, in understanding the business communication needs and how Asttecs is the tool you need in making a healthier engagement with your customers.