Blog · 20 Apr 2021

How cloud technology supports sustainable contact centres

Contact centres are transitioning to greener and more flexible ways of working. We look at how cloud technology makes this possible.

Kate Dennison
Senior Manager, Operator Connect

Contact centres are continuing to embrace new ways of working in 2021.

With 71% of contact centre agents preferring to work at home at least some of the time, contact centres are looking to change their long-term strategy and transition permanently to more flexible ways of working. Cloud technology supports this transition as it enables remote data access and storage which is vital for homeworkers and modern contact centres to connect and operate.

Further embracing this new way of working, progressive organisations are also finding ways to become more efficient, reduce costs and upgrade their infrastructure, and by doing so reducing their impact on the environment. It’s an exciting and inspiring time of change where industry leaders are using the latest technology and a fresh approach to help them innovate and support climate action. You might say ‘what is good for the planet can also be good for business’.

Cutting carbon emissions

In the last year people across the world have been reducing their carbon footprint by working from home. The pandemic has proven that this model works. According to the Global Carbon Project team, 2020 saw carbon emissions decline by 2.4 billion tonnes due to coronavirus and new ways of working. The challenge now will not only be maintaining the world-wide reduction in emissions but actually accelerating them so we can transition to a net zero economy.

Cutting down the amount we commute has a significant influence on global carbon emissions, air quality, noise pollution and even standards of living. According to statistics from the Global Carbon Project, around 50% of carbon emission reductions during the peak of the pandemic were a result of decreased ‘surface transport’. Although there was a small growth in global emissions in the residential sector from people heating and powering their homes, an increase of 2.8% at most, this was insignificant because the overall net reductions were the greatest on record.

Efficient and connected ways of working

Increasing homeworking means organisations may be able to save on maintaining and powering some workspaces, which can save energy and resources. And so, encouraging remote working can also be a smart move from a financial perspective.

Staying connected is vital. Contact centre agents rely on remote digital tech to contact customers and their colleagues, no matter where they are based, whether that’s at home or elsewhere. Virtual collaboration tools like the cloud and platforms such as Microsoft Teams are essential to share information, communicate as a team and run meetings.

Eco-friendly methods of running operations can often lead to increased efficiency and reduced costs. Consider new technologies such as AI and automation. Voice biometrics can identify the voice of the user and use it to validate an account, rather than an agent wasting time going through ID verification. AI can also be a factor in reducing human error in many tasks.

By making processes and workflows more efficient or automated using technology, contact centres can save on energy consumption, resulting in a win-win situation for both businesses and the environment.

Dematerialisation and waste reduction

Dematerialisation is another way cloud computing can support climate action, by preventing waste and protecting the environment.

For example, it can be used to run a virtual customer service operation and therefore reduce or completely remove the need for internal hardware and infrastructure. If less hardware is manufactured (and eventually disposed of) this will lead to additional reductions in carbon emissions, water consumption, chemical production and mineral extraction.

Sustainability at BT

BT has a long-standing track record as leaders in corporate climate action. We’re stepping up our efforts and by 2045 we aim to be a net zero carbon emissions business. 100% of the electricity we use comes from renewable. We’re also decarbonising our buildings and transitioning to a low carbon vehicle fleet.

Our focus on protecting the environment doesn’t begin and end with our own operations. We’re here to help you to reach your own sustainability goals and are working with a number of ‘next generation’ contact centres.

Recently, BT Cloud Contact Next Generation (CCNG) has been enabling employees at a leading logistics provider to adhere to social distancing guidelines and work seamlessly from home. Since it’s cloud based, BT CCNG offers enhanced business continuity so agents can work anywhere, without impacting performance or customer experience.

BT CCNG fully supports the requirement for flexible home working, with agent monitoring, real-time dashboards and historical reporting, providing the necessary tools and insight to effectively run contact centres and meet day-to-day business, operational and customer needs.

This is just one example of how we are helping businesses work remotely. Supporting you with digital solutions is what we do, and cloud technology is just one way we can help.

To find out more take a look at how we are tackling climate change and environmental challenges, or speak to your account manager about how cloud technology can help your organisation support climate action.