What exactly constitutes a contact center? When discussing the exact definition, chances are that it will include constantly-improving customer interactions as well as having a team of representatives on-hand to help do so.
But according to Smart Customer Service contributor Ron Strandin, this means that most small businesses are, in themselves, contact centers. Understanding this will allow companies to examine potential improvements that could be made in the way of client assistance.
"Thinking of your business as a contact center is mainly about changing your mindset and committing to customer service as a primary objective of your organization," wrote Strandin. "Setting up systems and procedures to improve customer interactions and, perhaps, putting a contact center solution in place, can help you better meet customer needs, encourage customer loyalty and grow your business."
Contact centers are generally accepted as the face of the organization that they represent. If one is not in place, that means whatever staff are generally in charge of handling customer queries need to start being viewed as the call center. New advancements in enterprise communications, such as cloud based phone systems, are not just beneficial for the staff that uses them. The positive effects experienced by employees will also be felt by those they are assisting.
A tool like VoIP, when married with the power of the cloud, can also beget the creation of a world-class customer service network on par with large corporations. The ease of use and streamlined deployment that are inherent of this technology make it an agile, flexible system that can be advantageous to both inter-office connections and consumer relations.
Cloud Phone Systems Are The Next Level Of Communications
There are plenty of things that can stand in the way of bringing advanced telecom networks to small businesses, and finances are certainly one of the biggest. Many companies may feel that they cannot justify making these kinds of purchases, but while there are initial costs involved with setup, maintaining and using VoIP phone systems are actually cheaper than continuing to utilize plain old telephone service, especially when hosted by a trusted provider.
"A cloud-based contact center solution is secure, reliable and cost effective," wrote Strandin. "It eliminates the need for significant ongoing investments in hardware and IT infrastructure. By placing your contact center in the cloud, you can reduce costs by eliminating unnecessary staff and equipment and streamlining IT processes, among other variables."
Hosted Contact Center Deployments On The Rise
The vast benefits of launching a hosted, cloud-based contact center are well documented. As more successful adoptions take place, praise for these tools becomes more universal and drives more companies to seek out the solutions they can offer.
According to the IDC report "Hosted and On-Demand Contact Center Services 2012-2018 Forecast," there is expected to be a massive surge in hosted contact center spending, increasing the worth of the market by 17.5 percent annually. This will ultimately result in a total market value of $1.6 billion by 2018. The study also found that part of what is contributing to this shift involves dropping prices, improving offerings and growing leverage of the cloud with hosted service.
All Businesses Are Contact Centers
Even if there is no actual division of an organization dedicated to customer service, organizations need to invest their time and resources into examining technological advancements designed for contact centers. According to Strandin, there has to be a complete change in the mindset of companies that are not aware that they are functioning in this way.
"If you are sitting there not thinking of yourself as a contact center, think again, and remember that your goal of providing the very best service to your customers to make their experience better is a universal goal that contact centers of any size should be striving for," wrote Strandin.
The future of any organization depends on its ability to both cultivate and expand a client base. In order to accomplish this, the right tools have to be made available. By bringing in the services of managed VoIP providers and augmenting them with cloud technology, even small businesses will be free to take advantage of new abilities in the quest to meet their mission statements.