Contact centers don’t have to be large or use complex equipment in order to run successfully. Technology for small- and mid-sized companies is available whether you plan on staying compact or scaling over time. Every contact center, regardless of size, puts the customer experience at the forefront of their goals. In order to deliver great customer satisfaction and to keep up with the ever-changing CRM industry, contact centers must stay up-to-date with the latest technology. By choosing the right tools for your specific contact center, you can improve business processes as well as the customer experience.
Online Customer Service and Self-Service
According to Gartner, over the next few years, customers will manage up to 85% of their business relationships sans human interaction. Contact centers now need to focus on multi-channel solutions in order to better serve the customer. When customers can contact customer service through their favored method, they’re more likely to award high satisfaction scores.
Self-service options also reduce call waiting time because customers are served through automated communication channels, like live chat, e-mail and social media. Call agents can then focus on complex inquiries that cannot be handled through self-service tools. The more customer service options you offer, the less strain will be put on your agents, something that’s extremely important for a small business.
Inbound and Outbound Contact Centers
Many small contact centers have to make the transition from just inbound to inbound-outbound at some point. When making this change, three things have to be taken into consideration: your agents, the process, and technology. Questions to answer include:
• Will the inbound contact center agents be able to transition to outbound calls?
• Who will be responsible for inbound calls and who will handle outbound calls?
• What type of new technology will be required?
Contact Center Software
Software for a small contact center shouldn’t just focus on cost reduction, but also ROI based on the customer experience. When looking for contact center equipment, you have several options, including hardware, software and desktop applications.
Open Source Software: Open source software is basically DIY software that a dedicated IT staff has to install and maintain. Many small contact centers opt for open source software, particularly if they only require the most basic features and aren’t worried about integration.
Cloud Solutions: While some small contact centers don’t opt for cloud solutions at first, it may suit your goals better than you think. If you want your contact center to have the same capabilities as an enterprise, this is a good choice.
There are plenty of options, such as solutions from such as Aspect and inContact that will help you customize the software you choose, too. In addition to the standard features, consider if you want to purchase additional equipment and tools from your chosen vendor, including desktop call control applications, video collaboration tools and voicemail systems.