While mental images of call centers tend to drum up giant halls of hundreds or even thousands of agents all working simultaneously, the truth is usually far less grand. About 65 percent of contact centers have 50 agents or less, meaning that the small call center is generally the rule, not the exception.
While smaller call centers may not have all the same needs as giant, multisite contact centers, they still have a mandate to service customers to their best of their abilities. The problem is, most of these smaller center simply can’t afford the type of enterprisewide technology that large providers can purchase.
Up until a few years ago, this meant that smaller call centers have to give up a lot of compelling functionality such as speech recognition, analytics, robust reporting, advanced workforce management and call recording and many other technologies that improve the customer relationship and the bottom line. They were forever doomed to limp along with clumsily scaled down enterprise solutions or cobbled together solutions made out of legacy systems and solutions designed in-house.
Cloud-based VoIP call centers have largely changed this dynamic, allowing even the smallest of contact centers to save a lot of money on long-distance charges and bring onboard the kind of features they once could only dream about.
“Cloud-based call centers use VoIP to inexpensively implement features such as IVRs, skills-based routing, multi-media queuing, call monitoring, report generation and SLA management,” blogged 8x8 Inc.’s Robert Townsend recently. “These features, with the advanced functions they offer, can be an integral part of a company’s growth.”
Small contact centers can now maintain easily configurable IVRs, engage in skills-based routing, record and analyze calls using voice and speech technologies, create real-time alerts, engage in remote call center management via mobile device, link to customer relationship management (CRM), built in social media capability, analyze their data to yield actionable intelligence and more. It’s an enterprise solution, but shrunk down to the smaller call center’s needs.
The truth is that while your call center may be small, your customers are not, nor are their expectations. If you’re still trying to limp into the twenty-first century with a solution hastily bound together with duct tape (either literally or figuratively), chances are good you are shortchanging both your customers and your business’ potential.
Edited by Rachel Ramsey