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Fitting a Hosted Contact Center to You, Not Vice Versa

Fitting a Hosted Contact Center to You, Not Vice Versa

September 13, 2012
By Tracey E. Schelmetic, TMCnet Contributor

Given the amount of column inches written in the industry press about cloud-based or hosted contact center solutions and the benefits they can bring to a company – minimal upfront capital investment, flexibility, work-at-home capabilities, remote management, multichannel integration, disaster recovery and more – it’s possible that you’re entirely convinced. It’s time to go to the cloud in the contact center. What you may not be as clear on is how to go about choosing a cloud-based contact center solution. After all, the market is, if not crowded, definitely full of options.

What cloud-based contact center solution you should choose depends on your business…not what worked for your competitors or the company in the office suite down the hall, but you, and the specific needs of your customers.

The needs and demands of your customers are growing (as you may have noticed), and any solution you choose must meet these changing needs, according to a new report from Ovum (News - Alert).

“Every day, contact centers handle millions of customer interactions via phone, Web, e-mail, SMS, Web chat and social media. And every year, the number of these interactions is trending upward as customers use a mix of more channels to engage with customer service. This is further amplified by the proliferation of smart devices which support multiple channels from a single device.”

What this all means is that managing customer service is therefore becoming increasingly complex and any cloud-based solution you choose needs to be able to meet your complex needs and those of your customers, particularly on the mobile front. First, however, it’s important that you understand the changing dynamics of the customer care you are providing. After all, you can’t meet your needs if you’re not sure what they are. And this starts with determining your customers’ needs.

“The Web and mobile are playing a prominent role in today's customer service. Social networks, such as Twitter and Facebook (News - Alert), are becoming the funnel through which consumers view and share information,” observes Ovum. “As a result, customers are using these tools for support: reading product reviews, asking peers for assistance on forums and directing queries and complaints to organizations via Facebook and Twitter. Additionally, the switch to Facebook Timeline (News - Alert) in March 2012, which allows customers to send private messages directly to businesses via Pages, has created yet another online interaction channel for customers to use.”

But when it comes to resolving issues, customers still prefer a live agent on the phone. It’s therefore critical to look for a solution that blends voice with the plethora of other choices customer have, in a seamless way and with no integration issues or “siloing” of information. With the right solution, companies can attain the kind of true business agility required to serve customers today.

The read the full report, click here.

Want to learn more about the latest in communications and technology? Then be sure to attend ITEXPO West 2012, taking place Oct. 2-5, in Austin, TX. Stay in touch with everything happening at ITEXPO (News - Alert). Follow us on Twitter.

Edited by Amanda Ciccatelli

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