Re-imagine Customer Communication with Cloud Telephony

Companies must accelerate the digitization of their business processes

One might think that in the age of all-pervading social media and email, traditional customer support through phone might have taken a backseat. Statistics surprise us by showing that a whopping 68 percent of all contact centre communication is handled via phones.

Let’s go 10-15 years back in time when businesses used huge EPABX systems for communications. This box acted as the telephone exchange for calls. Where employees seemed to be chained to their desks and attend calls back-to-back. This setup required massive infrastructure, and an entire IT team to manage the system.

As with everything else in the history of humanity, organisations had to get through several stages of telephone evolution to get to the present-day cloud telephony system.

Today, businesses have become smarter with computing and storage moving to the cloud. With other components powering a business moving to the cloud, the communication system has followed suit as well. Organizations today are constantly looking for affordable and innovative ways to shift the traditional servers to the cloud to enable seamless communication.

Focus on cloud telephony
Cloud telephony is the technology that allows you to move your business phone system to the cloud. In other words, cloud telephony delivers all the smart solutions that EPABX system promised to give, and much more. It does so in a fraction of the cost and effort. It is the smartest way for any business to manage phone calls without compromising on quality and price. Cloud telephony will be the norm because it is the more economical way to manage calls and the most efficient way.

The industry is also witnessing an evolution, and how. Every day, we are seeing a new form of communication technology emerging - ready to disrupt the entire space. Voice and video are going to overtake typing as a preferred medium of communication in the coming years. This is something we have been noticing over the last 7 years and the uptake of voice for communication is moving upwards and to the right.

What’s more, even statistics say that voice communication is expected to be the fastest-growing channel (72 percent) with email, web chat, and social media clearly lagging. This has created a huge demand for the availability of voice-based analytics, which will provide crucial intelligence to improve efficiency.

In a country like India, cloud telephony can also power several meaningful programs that can be scaled to reach a billion people. Currently, cloud telephony is being used to power a lot of unique use cases:

* Powering and tracking customer communication for field workforce like delivery agents, salespersons, servicemen, etc.
* Safeguarding customer privacy (what is usually referred to as Number Masking).
* In marketplaces to connect a buyer and a seller.
* Automating customer calls using APIs.
* Improving operational efficiency and agent productivity in all the above-mentioned cases.

Due to the rise in investments in the commercial sector and on-going network infrastructure developments, cloud telephony has become a preferred alternative. Increasing demand for customisation of software to suit every company, enterprise mobility, mobile workforce, and multiple benefits offered by cloud telephony services are encouraging their higher adoption.

However, the sector needs further research and innovation to address the smallest of the concerns from eliminating background noise during voice conversation to detecting speech inputs and emotions during the calls.

The idea is to algorithmically mine data out of voice signals which is largely untapped now. Changing user behaviour and creating brand recall are the two most important factors for businesses.

Today, every customer expects a seamless experience over the Internet and the organisations ought to keep up with the fast-changing preferences of people. To meet these high customer expectations, companies must accelerate the digitization of their business processes. Implementation of a technology such as cloud telephony ensures the efficacy and productivity of a company.

-- Shivkumar Ganesan, founder and CEO, Exotel


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