Contact centers have long been considered a hub for change within an organization. Customer service can be directly influenced by the metrics that are collected during client interaction with business representatives. The statistics that have been historically measured in this capacity include average wait time and the number of help requests made by an individual with the same problem. Ideally, all customers calling in will wait a minimal amount of time and have their queries answered upon initial contact.
But while the quest to improve these numbers has not changed, there has still been upheaval in the world of enterprise communications that has directly impacted the contact center. The widespread arrival of personal mobile devices like smartphones and tablets has fundamentally changed the way that people connect with one another, and they want that development to be reflected in their interactions with the companies to which they give their patronage.
"Simply put – today's consumers want to be engaged on their own terms, and service representatives have been eager to meet them with options like instant messaging and even video conference customer service in some cases," CountryCode.org recently wrote. "For some, the idea of speaking with someone they've never met can be stressful, making a less personal online messaging experience far from appropriate, while others prefer to feel connected by seeing their representative face-to-face."
This is where VoIP phone service is proving to be exceedingly valuable. According to recent research conducted by Frost & Sullivan, businesses are migrating away from traditional telephone landlines at an increasing rate, seeking out the hosted PBX connections that will allow them to pursue unified communications solutions to better engage their customers. The study, titled "North American VoIP Access and SIP Trunking Service Market," discovered that revenue generated by VoIP services and products reached $2.83 billion in 2013 and that total market value will be expected to reach $9.35 billion by 2019.
More businesses are realizing the benefits of utilizing a hosted VoIP system in their contact centers every day. The technological advantages are not only allowing representatives access to more information to improve their services, but are also powering significant changes for how employees do their jobs. It is clear that VoIP business telephony is key to the advancement of call center services everywhere.
Big Data Making Big Changes
There have always been "invisible metrics," so to speak. Certain things that could be quantified, but not actually measured – a specific person's purchasing habits, for example, used to be much more difficult to accurately obtain. But thanks to online shopping and the growing amount of personal information that customers are storing and using in digital accounts, it is now possible to learn more about the people that are seeking out assistance. Because there is more to work with, customer service representatives can be afforded the ability to customize service and improve client satisfaction.
This is all made possible by call center software integrated into the office phone system. Should a customer contact the company, the number or email address they use can automatically be connected to more information. This data is then presented to the representative in a way that can be easily understood and used to adjust assistance methods or suggest alternative solutions in real time. For this to occur, however, existing telephone connections must be digitized through an IP PBX line.
"Businesses are transitioning from legacy private branch exchange systems to IP-based unified communications platforms, and as such, are looking to VoIP access and SIP trunking services to complement these new platforms," said Frost & Sullivan analyst Michael Brandenburg. "Likewise, VoIP and SIP trunking offer business recovery and mobile features that are simply not available on more traditional telecommunications services."
As the means to make these kinds of features available become more recognizably-beneficial, it only makes sense that the companies that install IP-based voice connections are going to want to maximize their potential. This is technology that can bring about a company-wide shift in the way duties are fulfilled. Sales, for example, can also benefit from the analytic tools used in tandem with business VoIP. By studying buying history, new products or services that the account holder may be interested in can be suggested, potentially boosting revenue.
Virtual Call Centers Becoming Increasingly Viable
For many, the ultimate convenience is to work at home. Up until recently in human history, this has been considered somewhat of a pipe dream request of staff members to their employers, but the huge strides made in telecommunications technology within the last decade have made the concept of the digital workplace more attainable than ever. Cloud PBX connections can be made readily available for employees that are on the move or unable to enter the office due to an emergency. It is this kind of flexibility that is helping to define the future of contact centers.