Contact Centers – it’s a big pie, and growing. The worldwide importance of contact centers has spiked in recent times and their evolution will only continue, everywhere from government to small business. Some estimate that the global contact center software market alone will swell by almost 15% annually to reach almost $50B by 2026. Most think unified communications and collaboration (UCC) will be at heart of the growth. How can you make sure you’re getting a good slice? Unified communication as a service (UCaaS) platform offerings are ideal for helping contact centers meet their needs. But are you presenting the kind of UCaaS solutions a contact center wants? If you’re not, how do you know? Here are six things contact centers are looking for, and the best way for your UCaaS features to meet them.
While you’re here, download our latest eBook, where we aim to help service providers figure out just what they do and don’t need so that they can attract new clients while saving themselves from unnecessary costs.
Contact centers may be looking for a wide array of capabilities. Their provider should be prepared to offer priority-based, geo-based, skills-based, or even custom queuing and routing for voice and SMS. Recording, CRM or ERP integration, interactive voice response, recording functions – a particular contact center may be looking for any of all of these, in an easy-to-use package.
To provide a wide array of packages, look for a platform that is flexible and customizable. Enabling you to control which features are available to which clients. To safeguard the fact that your features are hitting the mark, make sure your platform has reporting and analytics functionality so you can turn data into action and measurable results.
Furthermore, make sure you are provided a seamless experience with these features by employing a true cloud-native unified communication platform. Instead of a contact center platform with a UCC system bolted on (or vice versa). Opt for a solution that combines unified communications, contact center and video conferencing in one handy, purpose-built package. Nothing else will be able to support a smooth, personalized user experience from customer information to interaction details to analytics.
The average contact center wants to plan for the future, and know that their choice now will also be a smart choice for growth into the future.
Open source solutions can be tempting. They are perfectly serviceable for very small operations. But they become riskier as the contact center grows because their single-purpose servers exist as lone, detached entities. Platforms with redundancy, on the other hand, provide ongoing security against interruptions or downtime in the form of a dispersed, multi-box configuration. If you want larger clients and want your smaller clients to grow with you, you’ll need to consider geo-redundancy as a must.
Questions around backup and troubleshooting are sure to arise. Who is preventing failures? When problems occur, who will handle it?
Find a platform that offers a team of experts for disaster recovery, data security protocols, and automation tools. Once again, seeking open source options can be attractive because of the low cost. But they also come with limited support for times when you need it most. Of course, help will be provided for basic problems with the app itself. But if assistance becomes necessary for a software problem such as an operating system glitch then the support process becomes complicated, slow, and, most of all, frustrating. The same can be true of the big-name providers. With multiple, competing priorities and customers of all sizes to attend to, these organizations are often dis-incentivized by their own business models from being as responsive as their customers want them to be. Find a system that will tackle any problem no matter what. So you can assure clients total coverage in a hurry.
For contact centers, the twin targets are always productivity and customer satisfaction. Firstly, let’s look at productivity. In order to achieve this goal, two aspects must be addressed: communication quantity and quality. In regard to quality, the chosen platform must avoid low fidelity transmissions, dropped calls or chats, and audio or text delays. Next, concerning quantity, the platform must provide high availability, even in peak times and planned maintenance. Secondly, there is customer satisfaction. Sometimes referred to as Customer Experience Management, its success lies in meeting your customers in their current circumstances. A new survey released by LogMeIn, states “93% of customer interactions still happen over the phone”. If customer satisfaction is taken seriously, having the most robust UCaaS solution is critical.
Geo-redundant platforms provide high performance because call processing systems can always handle the load, no matter the number of users and devices necessary. Also, load sharing deployments improve call processing because the load can be shared among multiple nodes for faster response times.
The numbers need to make sense. And if the cost side of the ledger gets too high, it’s time to explore other options.
With cloud-native UC required at the heart of a top tier contact center solution, contact center functionality is already included in most UC offerings. Put differently, if a provider is not offering a contact center suite free of charge, the package’s features may be lost in the glare of an omni-channel offering. Even when 93% of interactions still occur over the phone.
What’s more, service providers have shifted away from paying their platform providers by the seat. Opting instead for a cost+ pricing model. The industry has shifted to only paying platforms for active sessions (calls), where in the UC world this means 1 active seat per 25, on average. Be careful about paying for the additional 24 seats when you don’t have to.
Though contact centers have already been in the process of embracing remote work, the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated this trend. As economies gradually reopen, however, it is likely that contact centers will need to utilize both in-office and remote work options concurrently. In other words, they need service providers that can help them scale their operations up and down in response to internal and external requirements. The chosen platform should allow for malleability like this.
The best cloud-based contact centers can handle outbound and inbound communication. Regardless of their agents’ physical location, and cloud-native solutions are far more scalable than their hosted counterparts. Think cloud-native for top flexibility.
Before you try to cut yourself a piece of that contact center pie, make sure you have the right tools in hand. If you’re ready to start enabling your contact center customers with all of the best features, we’re here to help! We’ve got the platform, reliability, support, performance, cost-efficiency, scalability, and flexibility you need to capture contact centers.