Integrating customer service and the cloud

The cloud is commonly envisaged as a utilitarian service, enabling those companies using it, to experience ease of access to data in various accounts, homogenisation of such accounts, the external management of servers, negating the need for expensive hardware, and so on.

This utilitarian approach has, broadly speaking, meant that some cloud services lose a certain personal element with their clients.

The cloud has been associated with a lack of customer service, with some of the large providers simply erecting web pages and FAQs to tackle customer problems. It is often very difficult to phone up and talk to a human being.

For a fair few businesses, customer service is something which takes a back seat.

However, so long as dissatisfied customers reject bad customer service, such offenders will invariably lose business or be bought up by companies which do regard customer satisfaction as paramount.

The cloud’s growth was initiated by small business adoption of cloud services. This is because most small businesses (especially emerging ones) are reluctant to invest in large amounts of technology, due to their uncertainty; uncertainty relating both to their own market stability and position, as well as the prospect of any hardware investments soon becoming obsolete.

As such, the financial nature of such businesses meant that they could rarely afford to fund an expensive service, meaning that the lack of customer service was unsurprising. The cloud was an obvious choice, and as long as they were getting their service at discount price, that was the main thing.

The cloud landscape has however now changed. Cloud computing is a lot bigger now, and one would have expected the profits to have been invested in better customer service, right?

Wrong - it has gone into investments into other areas and customer service is still suffering.

For larger companies however, customer service is paramount, with a lack of it indicating prompting worries for security and reliability of the provider in question.

For many providers, it is no longer a question of a budget subscription for dedicated servers; to really push cloud computing into large companies, it is a question of service provided at the highest level. This includes engineers available 24/7, dedicated account managers, and so on, just as large software providers already do.

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