What Is a Contact Center, and Why Do You Need One?
Consumers and business buyers have more options than ever. That means anything can be a reason for a once-loyal client to switch brands, including a poor contact center or not having one at all.
Prioritizing client interactions is crucial. Three-quarters of customers view their experience as important as your product or service.
Discover why an excellent contact center helps you improve your business.
- A contact center allows you to interact with your clients and prospects across all channels.
- Omnichannel contact centers with cloud-based solutions offer the best features and benefits for inbound and outbound communications.
- Contact centers save you money, boost employee performance, enhance the customer experience, and improve various business operations.
What Is a Contact Center?
A contact center is the next evolution of the traditional call center. Instead of focusing solely on voice calls, your team can deal with all forms of communication, including video, direct message, chat, and email.
One key feature of modern contact centers is the ability to include remote teams. A contact center can consist of a group working in a single office or multiple offices and remote locations around the world.
What Are the Different Types of Contact Centers?
Contact centers have different use cases and capabilities depending on which type you choose.
Inbound vs. Outbound
Your contact center can be inbound, outbound, or both. Inbound contact centers handle tech support, customer queries, and account processing. Inbound centers are also necessary for businesses that handle booking requests.
Outbound call centers care for sales, marketing, fundraising, collections, lead generation, and data collection. Outbound capabilities can boost business with upselling and cross-selling.
With modern hosted contact centers, you can easily have a customer service department that manages inbound and outbound communication. You only need to set up the features and rules for each.
Omnichannel vs. Multichannel
You also need to choose between an omnichannel or multichannel contact center. Each service allows you to connect with clients and prospects through voice, video, chat, and email. However, multichannel operations keep these communication methods separate and siloed from each other.
Omnichannel contact centers use software to integrate and organize communications. Callers do not have to repeat themselves to new agents even when they connect with an agent through different means.
With omnichannel centers, a support ticket can keep all information in one file on a dashboard to allow additional agents, supervisors, and specialists to review previous conversations and concerns to be current on a customer’s needs. More businesses opt for omnichannel because it allows for superior customer service.
On-Premises vs. Cloud vs. Hybrid
Finally, you need to determine whether you will purchase and host your contact center equipment and software in-house or use cloud-based solutions.
While an on-premises setup gives you the ultimate control over your contact center, you must be able to afford the hardware expense and ongoing maintenance. You must also handle the technical requirements to resolve issues so your system does not stay down long when difficulties arise.
Cloud contact centers host all of the necessary equipment on offsite data centers where professional technicians maintain everything. This service gives you access to 24/7 provider support to fix issues with your system.
Cloud-hosted centers also provide outstanding data recovery and backup options for a low cost because providers keep data centers in multiple locations to keep the system operational.
Cloud systems have fewer upfront costs and are easily scalable as your company grows. Your company can customize the contact center software to meet your specific needs.
Plus, cloud-based phone systems are less expensive than landlines. You can also decide whether you want to purchase equipment or allow agents to use their personal devices with softphone features.
A hybrid contact center blends on-premises and cloud options. Many companies want the benefits of cloud-based solutions but already have on-premises call centers. You can convert a legacy call center into a contemporary contact center with a company that understands how to employ SIP trunking.
Hybrid is ideal when you need the level of control of on-premises for some operations but desire the flexibility, reliability, and savings of cloud-based systems.
What Are the Top Benefits of Using a Contact Center?
Contact centers can offer the following benefits to your organization.
An omnichannel contact center helps you keep customer service the same across all interactions. Your clients and contacts know what to expect, and you can establish a clear identity that differentiates you in the market.
Better Employee Performance
A cloud-based contact center offers excellent tools, such as interaction analytics, to let you elevate your training. This leads to improving agent upskilling and cross-skilling for more effective service and a stronger team.
Improved Customer Experience
Engaged employees, better tools, and consistency lead to customer satisfaction that keeps clients with your brand. Use a contact center that highlights the value of excellent support and sees its service as more than a communications feature.
When you streamline operations and offer self-service features through your contact center, business flows more smoothly. Not only are customers willing to pay more for your service or upgrade, but you also get those payments faster than before because of fewer bottlenecks in the process.
Which Company Is the Top Contact Center Provider?
Intermedia has decades of providing communications solutions for businesses. Our Contact Center offers you the top features so you can get the most out of your client interactions. Call us to learn more.