By Susan J. Campbell
TMCnet Contributing Editor
With the economy currently in a tailspin and trying desperately to right itself, companies are searching for alternative solutions to current challenges in driving revenue, supporting customers and maintaining a competitive edge. For many, an on demand call center platform can provide the answer.
According to on demand call center platform provider, Five9, such a solution is highly flexible and affordable as it requires no capital expenditure, dedicated IT staff, application maintenance fees or on-premise hardware. For companies seeking flexibility on a budget – such a platform could be the perfect solution.
The solution can be deployed quickly, often within four days, and includes the ability to add capacity as needed – on demand. Also, user interfaces are designed to be easy to learn, use and navigate - saving the organization considerable time.
In addition, an automated platform – such as that offered by Five9 – provides powerful outbound campaign technology that accelerates call center results and former “cost centers” are effectively transitioned to “profit centers”.
There are specific benefits that an on demand platform can deliver to the organization that are not available with premise-based solutions. Such benefits include flexibility; capacity on demand; fit for business cycle changes where it can shrink or grow; predictable monthly expense; greater market outreach to customers and constituents; quick time to market; the ability to support a diverse staffing strategy; and quick agent acceptance.
While an on demand call center platform can provide significant benefits for the organization, there are certain obstacles that have prevented companies from taking this path. For many, it is a lack of first-hand knowledge or experience with this approach, or the lack of a staff insider who has seen it work in other companies or settings.
In its experience, Five9 has also encountered media blitzes by enterprise software companies that try to influence SMBs regardless of the specific solution fit for the SMB market. The company has also encountered in-house concern over the generalized term “outsourcing” without looking at the solution as a subscription.
Not every organization will know right away if they are ready for an on demand call center solution. To determine if this is the right move, the company should evaluate its current approach in terms of productivity, flexibility, scalability, new technology advantages, manageability and access to actionable data.
The company should also evaluate current and future business challenges and any gaps in current operation. It is then important to research a few vendors in the space and talk to their customers as this will help to establish practical criteria for selection. The company should describe and document their needs, re-visiting after a period of use and re-describing as necessary.
While it is true that there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution within the call center industry, an on demand call center platform is one that can be customized according to needs and modified according to changes within the business and the market. No on-premise solution can offer this level of flexibility and scalability that can also be kept within budget guidelines.
For more, be sure to check out the Call Center On Demand channel on TMCnet.