Yes, the cloud can reduce your carbon footprint
Since we’re based in Seattle, one of America’s most eco-friendly cities, we talk quite frequently in the Spoken offices about going green.
And going green isn’t just about what you do as an individual, like recycling plastic bottles and cardboard boxes and turning off the heat when you’re not at home. There are larger, even more impactful ways that you, and your entire organization can contribute to a cleaner, more sustainable earth. In fact, there is a movement towards greening up the contact center!
The call center’s carbon footprint challenge
Contact centers face the same carbon footprint challenge as any other on-site enterprise: electricity consumption, waste and carbon emissions from hundreds of staff driving to the office. To combat that waste, an obvious solution is to implement a remote agent workforce using cloud-based infrastructure. In this 2010 article, Greg Levin quotes Michael DeSalles, strategic analyst for Frost & Sullivan’s Information & Communication Technologies division: “…IT departments world-wide are embracing hosted, thin-client contact center technology to leverage the distributed “anytime, anywhere” agent model and reap the environmental benefits.”
Greening the contact center: enable remote agents
Cloud-based contact center technology can reduce your company’s electricity costs, your staff’s oil and gas consumption and your bottom line, all while taking advantage of a remote workforce for recruiting.
- Puts an end to long commutes Many of your employees are stuck in traffic five days a week driving to and from your office location, contributing to air pollution and wasting valuable logged-in time. By enabling remote agents to work from home, you can not only cut out thousands of miles of commuting; you can also benefit directly with the ability to hire and retain the best agents, even as they move to new locations. Enabling your employees to work from home using virtual desktops and soft phones is not only greener; it can give you the edge you need to recruit the most qualified work force from any geographic location–and keep them, even if they move their family to a new location!
- Reduces paper waste Instead of printing out paper manuals and forcing everyone to commute to a common location for training, embracing e-learning will keep your enterprise lean and green. Use online learning tools to train staff; online observation tools such as Spoken Observer to monitor new agents; and online chat to keep everyone motivated and dispensing down-to-the-minute peer-to-peer advice. Instead of flying supervisors around for training, use online reporting and performance management tools in combination with text and video chat to keep the lines of communication open. Plus, no security lines at the airport!
- Turn it off when you’re not using it Most cloud-based contact centers not only enable remote agents but also offer utility-based pricing: you pay only for what you use, rather than paying for a peak energy usage. Think about it: why should you pay for all the energy and connectivity required for 1,000 agents at 2:00 AM on a Tuesday, when only 10 agents are logged on? Use only what you need, and pay only for what you use. Think of it as turning out the lights to save energy when you go home for the night.
So, if you’ve been hesitant about the cost of transitioning your contact center to the cloud, then maybe you’ve been looking at it from the wrong perspective. Not only is the cloud more eco-friendly, but it can also help increase your overall cost efficiency.