If you are involved in a seasonal business you are well-aware of the unique challenges you face. Although your sales may ebb and flow based on the calendar, you need to control costs year-round.
Cloud communications speak directly to the needs of seasonal businesses by allowing you to easily scale when you need to and save big when you don’t. Whether you’re a retailer gearing up for the holidays, a golf course getting ready for a busy summer, or a ski resort looking forward to the winter months, you have to successfully balance the peak sales period each year with the slow off-season.
A key part of the balancing act requires keeping costs down. And that’s where cloud communications can help.
What You Need, When You Need It
Many seasonal businesses add staff and technology resources during peak periods to keep up with customer demand. With an onsite phone or contact center system, the only way to add the capacity is to deploy new hardware. Hence, companies that employ seasonal staff or that deal with dramatic call volume fluctuations must buy extra licenses and equipment upfront to support seasonal spikes. But when the season winds down, the business still has the hardware and may be paying for capacity it no longer needs.
Unlike an onsite model, cloud communications solutions allow you to allocate costs using an operating expense model versus a capital expenditure model. Typically, phone services and call center software seats have flexible or pay-as-you-go licensing, giving you the ability to easily scale to what you need when you need it.
With a cloud-based solution, the provider maintains all hardware and services are run over the Internet, meaning businesses can scale capacity quickly to prepare for peak season. When the busy period ends, the company can scale back down without having to deal with physical hardware at any stage of the process. As a result, businesses bypass the cost of purchasing the new hardware and also avoid ongoing maintenance and upkeep costs.
Cloud communications are also ideal for companies that want to set up temporary offices or add temporary work-from-home staff to capitalize on busy periods.
For example, a cloud-based phone system that offers a mobile app or downloadable softphone allows employees to access the same features and functionality on a cell phone or laptop that they could from an office location.
Is your business heading into its peak season?
Did you just get through your busy period and are looking for a way to improve operations for next time?
Four Good Reasons to Move to Cloud Communications
First and foremost, they offer a completely scalable technology solution. When employee needs fluctuate so drastically throughout the year, flexibility is key.
As new employees are coming on board to help with the busy season, they will need to get new users set up on the system as quickly as possible. Cloud UC solutions provide businesses with greater control and flexibility than traditional, hard-wired systems can.
2. Hot Desking
With the cloud UC solutions, everything is stored in the cloud. This means that individual user profiles are not attached to a device. This enables phones and work spaces to be shared interchangeably. This is a huge advantage for business settings where employees share phones and offers the ability to save on equipment costs, while keeping productivity high.
With cloud-based systems, the employees designated phone number, extension, contacts, voicemail and speed dials follows them with any device they log into. Advanced features like Hot Desking are ideal for work environments with multiple locations, employees who share workspaces and those who are required to work from different areas within a given site, which are all common circumstances for seasonal businesses.
3. User Profiles
With cloud UC solutions, everything is managed online through a secure customer portal. The most advanced online portals provide administrators with the ability to create unlimited user profiles for their employees and departments.
Since roles of employees vary and businesses may or may not want employees to have access to certain features or capabilities, creating custom profiles based on user personas is incredibly helpful. This is really beneficial in a seasonal business because they are faced with so many new employees coming on at one time, all with different roles.
Restricted access helps to keep things secure, but also provides the right amount of access so employees can work independently and use the features you need and want them to. Not to mention, at the end of the season, these profiles can be saved for future use or deleted in just seconds.
4. Save Money - No Upfront Capital Investment and Pay As You Go Pricing
Last but by no means least, with the cloud there is often no upfront capital expenditure investment. The cloud Pay As You Go pricing model means organizations are only charged for the resource and/or service used on a monthly basis this is of particular advantage to seasonal businesses.
Maximizing the potential of cloud-based UC solutions guarantees organizations are best placed to respond rapidly to fluctuating seasonal business patterns, nimbly and cost-effectively.
For more information on how the cloud can help you, please contact your High Tech Account Manager.