The Must-Have Contact Center Technologies

A contact center, which is normally referred to as the e-contact or customer-interaction center is the nerve of your business communication or customer interaction. It is the central point in any given enterprise from where all the business’ customer contacts are managed.

An enterprise’s contact center typically comprises of one or more virtual call hubs. They may however include other forms of customer contact details as well. These details may include email newsletters, Web site chats and inquiries, postal mail directories and a collection of customer information put together during in-store purchasing. Normally, this center makes part of the general customer relationship management (CRM) of an enterprise. Regardless of the nature of your business, here are some technologies that make your contact center live to its task.

The Automatic Call Distributor (ACD)

An automatic call distributor (ACD) or dialer is something that every call center should have. It will help manage all incoming calls to the call center and route them out to the right party basing on some handling instructions that are pre-established in the system. Most of these ACDs or dialers have skill-based routing technology which directs calls to the appropriate agent at the call center based on their skillset.

Email response management software

Emails are an important and common means through which every organization communicates with not just the customers but all stakeholders as well. The email response management software will automatically handle the enterprise’s emails based on user-defined rules. This email software is currently used by different call centers to manage enormous volumes of mails. The software can track and record the status of every email message and even a follow-up message. Email response management software is often used also to provide automated responses to different incoming mails guided by similar email responses from the past.

Campaign Management

This contact management technology is used in the call center to let the dialer know who is supposed to be contacted. With that information, it produces a list of telephone numbers or enables the dialer to create a list of email contacts. If you have a more advanced campaign management solution then it will also show you the response activities for each customer.

Call recording solution

The call recording is often required in the call center industry to keep a record of call interactions for use in the future should need arise for the same. Call records can always be required for legal matters or as evidence of interaction that has taken place before. The needs for call recording may differ from agency to agency or with circumstances. The technology will capture all interactions that can later be replayed if necessary. These call recording solutions may capture only the call, or may add in other related screens along.

The IVR

At times you may not require a live agent for communication interactions regardless of the business or industry being served. These are common interactions requiring certain specific responses, and that is where the interactive voice response solution comes in. In addition, the contemporary increasingly mobile consumer is more interested in the ability to handle their own interactions, which makes the IVR an indispensable solution. The interactive voice response (IVR) technology enables self-service and lessens the organization’s cost of operation.

Quality Management Solution

This solution provides the management with the needed insight into performance and interactions that involve service to the customers. Organizations must be so concerned with the way they (their staff) interact with customers since that will determine the overall performance of the organization and the image the public will attach to them. Call center agents are supposed to adhere to particular procedures and policies within the organization and the quality management solution makes this much effective.

The News – Alert (CTI)

With the Computer telephony integration or news alert, the call agents no longer have to spend time looking through customer directory for customer information. Neither do the customers have to provide pertinent information any more at multiple stages of the call. This advanced call center technology links up the ACD and the CMS app to deliver a screen pop up with the basic needed detail.

Is Your Business Systemized?

It’s critical to have some type of soft-interface to communicate with your virtual team. We use a software called Sales Stream specifically for telecom, there are many other systemized tools out there, Salesforce, Infusionsoft, TeamPM, the functionalities of the systems will vary and should depend upon what your specific needs are. The important thing is to develop a system of communication with your team, or have someone help you implement one if you don’t have one already.

We use a variety of tools: video cameras on our phone system, PCs and in the offices. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and project management tools, we use Infusionsoft in our office. We have many tools and systems in place because it helps keep everything accounted for and organized.

In the case of redundancy, make sure that you have emergency plans in place. If there is a failure, backup capacity allows you to continue operating. Even if production is at 50 percent, it’s 100 times better than being completely down.

We have multiple redundancy pathways in place, yet there are still times we get caught flat-footed. The unthinkable takes place and there you are. Make sure that you have other suppliers in place to handle extra work that you can offload to until you get back to 100 percent. The last thing you want to happen is for any disorganization to filter into your clientele business or lifestyle, depending upon the clientele you serve.

Nothing will cost your business faster than an inability to supply your customers with what you promised. This can be a hard, expensive lesson to learn. Be proactive and look at all the systems you have in place and ask yourself, What is the cost to build a system that won’t work?

Start with making a list of similar businesses that you can offload work to on a short-term basis while you work on your own infrastructure. Are there multiple pathways into your building if you lose Internet connectivity? If your building floods, is there a system in place to send people home and work as efficiently as they do in their offices? These are a few contingency plans that should be put into place.

Let’s take a look at other steps and aspects of building a virtual team.

First and foremost, if you walk away with one thing after you’ve read this, it should be the importance of changing your job title. Examine the way that are currently doing business, if you have a failure is there a contingency plan in place. Furthermore if that contingency plan fails is there a redundant contingency plan in place. A well-designed plan should have a minimum of two consecutive failures and still be able to maintain operations. The old adage applies here of Murphy’s Law, “Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.” And I think is most of us can attest to, system failures often do create other failures. That’s why it’s critical word ever possible to have multiple redundancy plans in place.

Creating the Entrepreneurial Virtual Workforce

Twentieth century small American businesses didn’t have as many options to look for competitive market resources. As a result, they relied on relatively cheap labor.

However in the 21st century, “virtual teams” have made it possible for entrepreneurs to take full advantage of labor resources around the globe.

To take it a step further, the quest of cheap labor is mandatory for a successful business whether it is located in emerging markets or first-world countries.

Here is the underlying truth for all businesses: paying the lowest cost for labor will boost the overall top-line and bottom line growth. In our contemporary era, this is called outsourcing, or creating virtual teams.

There is nothing futuristic today about what is now a basic commodity — the Internet.  It is a gateway that has fully opened up the world in the last 20 years more than Christopher Columbus could have ever imagined when he discovered a new realm.

Business is no longer limited to the free trade concept. It is now a labor trade concept. Everyone who engages in and interacts with the outsourcing market gives themselves originality and the ability to compete for jobs, money and security on a level that was not even dreamed of 20 or 30 years ago.

Because of the Internet, companies around the world can grow rapidly. CEOs and managers will  pay less for labor without the worry of over-hiring or over-paying someone to sit in their office for a simple job that someone on  the other side of the world can do just as well for half or less of the paycheck.

Outsourcing gives companies financial freedom and reduces the cost of hiring a permanent employee. It gives employers freedom to peruse and browse a broader pool of qualified workers who will do the same task for less money — especially quarterly or annually. It allows for a greater top and bottom line number.

In this contemporary, networkable, computer-age working environment, people are no longer restricted by geographic location. Businesses are located anywhere. Entrepreneurs can simply search for and find staff anywhere via outsourcing. Necessary tasks can be given to anyone, anywhere who has a computer or tablet and access to an Internet connection.

If you’re not taking advantage of this new way of doing business by hiring outsourced work, why? Do you consider yourself ahead of the curve or behind it?

In my opinion, the clear answer is that you are behind the curve.

 

Advantages A Good Outsourcing Company Can Bring Pertaining to Human Resource

The tough economic conditions of this era have made life harder for small businesses. Large corporations have the capital and resources that help them lead the market, on the other hand, small businesses have limited budget, and very few resources.

This ongoing situation of small businesses has given rise to the concept of outsourcing, where the business can hire a consulting firm, which will have the expertise to carry out the process of business off shore.  A good outsourcing company can provide many benefits to a small business, like low cost, no capital investment and saves the business from the trouble of constant monitoring. However, the greatest fruit of a good outsourcing company comes in the form of quality human resource.

In regards to human resource, a good outsourcing company will offer the following advantages:

Hiring:

Large corporations can afford to outsource whole of their processes, however, small businesses have small job descriptions, and therefore, they need employees that can fit in those descriptions. The solution of this problem is the new concept of outsourcing called “Virtual Assistant”.

A small business provides the outsourcing company with a job description, the company then finds the best suitable candidate for the job, and have the employer interview the candidate. After the interview, the employer can hire a dedicated employee to carry on the assigned tasks.

A good outsourcing company is rich in quality human resource. No matter whatever job description is provided by the client, they find a match for it. All this activity, takes the burden off from the employer, giving the employer time and space to emphasis on strategic matters.

Employee Retention:

A reputed outsourcing company comprises of excellent management. Once in contract with an outsourcing company, the employer needs not to worry about the retention of employees. It would be the job of outsourcing company to retain employees, for which the company can devise effective strategies. No matter whatever the situation be, an outsourcing company does not let the employer worry about the retention of employees.

Quality Human Resource:

The primary reason for availing the services of an outsourcing company is to get hold of quality human resource. The thing a business owner should be careful about is that, not every outsourcing company provides quality human resource, most even hide the true nature of the employees from the employers.

Only a good outsourcing company would be transparent in its procedures and provide the employer with true potential of the human resource. The employees of a good outsourcing company are expert in their field, with plenty of experience backing them up. Therefore, when a business outsources to a competent outsourcing company, it is assured that quality human resource would be carrying the process of the business, which ultimately would result in greater productivity for the business.

Bottom Line:

In short, a business before outsourcing any process, needs not to select any random outsourcing company, rather it should look for a good outsourcing company that provides, quality human resource, hires professionals, and does the best to retain them.

Factors That Affect The Quality of An Outsourced Call Center Services

The prime purpose of business establishing a customer support desk is to provide support to customers in solving their queries and concerns. Customer support desk call center is very crucial to the brand, as it is a place where customers call and create an image of the brand in their mind by evaluating the quality of service and support they receive.

The general trend prevalent with business is to avail outsourced call center services, as they are usually cheap compared to an in-house department. However, this cheapness of cost is not a reason to compromise on quality of service. The lines below give the factors that can affect the quality of service provided by an outsourced call center services.

outsourced call centers

Technology:

The prime factor affecting the quality of service provided by outsourced call center services to the customers is technology. If the outsourced call center does not have the latest or competent technology used in its infrastructure, then the customer won’t receive good service. No customer wants a lagging voice, or poor voice quality when he or she calls the outsourced call center services. Therefore, the outsourced call center has best quality integrated in its infrastructure.

Quality of Agents:

After technology comes the quality of agents in the outsourced call center services that can affect the quality of service a customer receives. It’s the agents with whom the customer speaks, therefore, the conduct of the agents is what makes the customers happy or despise the brand. Therefore, an outsourced call center services must have agents that are professional in their attitude and deal with the customers in the most courteous manner.

Information of Product/Service:

The agents cannot satisfy a customer by speaking about irrelevant matters, rather the agents of outsourced call center services need to have sound knowledge of the product or service which the business is offering. Only with good knowledge of the product or service, can an agent satisfy the customer by resolving queries or providing information which the customer expects from an outsourced call center services.

Bottom Line:

The crux of the matter is that the customer support desk must have the best technology and professional agents with sufficient knowledge of product or service to satisfy the customer and turn a random customer into a loyal customer.

 

Marketing Advantages Provided By Inbound Outsourced Call Centers

 

The primary purpose of an inbound call center is to receive calls on the behalf of the business, and provide solution to all the queries and concerns of the customer. Businesses who have resources establish their own inbound call centers, on the other hand, businesses that are short on budget, hire call center services providers and outsource their call center.

Inbound outsourced call centers is a great way to provide customers with total satisfaction, in addition such call centers can also provide a business with great advantages from marketing perspective.

Inbound outsourced call centers

Enhanced Reliability:

An employee in the office working as a customer support agent cannot be relied upon, as the employee may be performing other tasks as well. However, when hired a call center services provider, all the customer’s issues, complaints, questions, and concerns are solved by the outsourced call centers agents in the most professional manner.

Round The Clock Service:

The employees of outsourced call centers are nothing like ordinary employees. It is a part of their job description to work round the clock in alternate shifts; therefore, the customer always receives support service.

Customer Satisfaction:

Call center services providers hire professional that have expertise in client dealing. Therefore, by availing the services of such a company a business ensures that the customer receives full satisfaction.

Customer Retention:

The top-notch services provided by inbound outsourced call center staff resolve all the concerns of the customer, leading to customer satisfaction, which consequently leads to customer retention.

Promotion:

The inbound outsourced call centers can also provide the marketing advantage of added promotion. The customer that calls the help desk can be provided with the additional promotion campaign that the business is running, this way two birds are killed with one stone.

In short, call center services provider offering inbound call center services, if effectively utilized can provide the business with great marketing advantages.