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#5 Cloud Telephony Trends to Shape Advocacy in 2017

#5 Cloud Telephony Trends to Shape Advocacy in 2017
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You're reading Entrepreneur India, an international franchise of Entrepreneur Media.

Before the cloud, call centers were rows of phone lines connected to a physical PBX (private branch exchange) which routed the calls through fixed external lines. The surge of cloud-based communication delivered some much-requisite solutions to the call center industry. Call centers were quick to adapt to cloud telephony.

After all, it was expensive to own and maintain a PBX. A cloud calling service cut costs of the PBX with a few added perks. Limited calling lines are a thing of the past. Cloud telephony provides voice broadcast and response automation plus the agents no longer need to be physically present within the center. At first, cloud telephony got picked up by enterprises for marketing outreach and then by advocacy groups. Now it is slowly penetrating campaigns all over the world with analytics-based solutions reached through data mining.

The upcoming year will see cloud telephony make inroads towards the lives of the general public. With improving internet quality, cloud communication is as reliable as existing telecommunication networks and cheaper to boot. Let’s look at some trends cloud telephony would offer in spheres of advocacy in 2017.

• Peer-to-peer messaging

Cloud calling services first opened as a platform where third-party telecom applications had to be accessed using the internet for voice communication. The advent of WebRTC enables data, audio and video communication to be established between two clients via web browsers. This sort of decentralised systems offer control over the information and are being seen as more secure. In the upcoming year, web-based softwares and applications with a p2p model are going to be preferred by campaigns to keep their data within the organization.

• Distributed volunteers

The simplicity of a cloud software, like CallHub, is that it can be accessed just through a web browser. This brings flexibility to campaigns to recruit agents more aligned to their interests. Non-profits and advocacy groups particularly, are moving to cloud telephony because it lets volunteers log in from anywhere to make calls. This trend will continue in the next year and we would see more campaigns running from the cloud, with agents joining in on the move.

• Marketplace for agents

Agent recruitment through the cloud will see a rise in 2017. The ability to have agents across the globe allows campaigns to scale at a much higher rate. Let’s say a campaign for a cause-related petition requires a hundred French-speaking volunteers within a week. A concentrated directory of qualified agents aligned to the cause equips this sort of recruitment. 2017 will see cloud telephony make headway in this space as well.

• Using data to map volunteers to people

One of the bigger advantages of cloud telephony is it helps businesses make smarter decisions using the data it collects. Over the last couple of years, even campaigns in the political space have started using analytics tools for similar efforts. Using data on personality type, occupation, political alignment or just about any factor to connect over, a cloud telephony software can assign the call to the right agent. This really powers up conversion rates for the business. Over the next year, development of real-time analytics-based solutions will mean the ability for better personalization over calls.

• Intelligent prediction of time to call

Data is also useful to sort the calling list according to location and time of day. Predictions also improve based on past instances of getting calls answered. These predictions raise the chances of getting responses which increase conversion rates. In 2017, there will be a huge shift to cloud based telephony services for fundraising, canvassing and volunteer mobilization for advocacy-related activities.

In fact, cloud telephony has only recently extended beyond the realm of enterprise solutions to other domains. 2017 is set to be another monumental year for cloud services and we are about to see some outstanding innovations in telephony itself.

 
Edition: August 2017

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