BUSINESS PHONES | 5 MIN READ
In today's age of personalization and customization, your customers won't settle for mediocre customer service when they know they can easily find another brand. As a Contact Center provider, we know that our product can improve customer interactions and keep them coming back to your brand. Keep reading to learn more about why Contact Center could be the right fit for your company.
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What is Contact Center?
Contact Center is an addition to your business phone system that can automate and improve customer interactions from multiple angles.
Contact Center typically comes in a tiered pricing plan, with ACD Group tending to exist on the lower end of the plan and Contact Center existing towards the more expensive end of the plan.
While ACD Group provides basic automation and call routing services, Contact Center is unparalleled in the depth of customer insights, boosts it provides to workplace productivity, and the efficiency it provides to a business' call center, sales department, and overall employee phone usage.
Contact Center uses a combination of artificial intelligence, machine learning, and Interactive Voice Response (IVR) to automate customer interactions and deliver powerful insights into call performance that you cannot achieve with ACD Group.
Why Do I Need Contact Center?
Contact Center can have multiple applications in a business setting. Whether it's used for pre-customer interactions (ie. sales prospecting calls) or current customer interactions (ie. billing, customer support, and help desk), Contact Center can streamline and improve business operations in a variety of ways.
- Real-time customer insights speed up interactions
- Deep historical call reporting helps drive improved future interactions
Centralized and Efficient Operations
- Centralized management from one portal that's accessible anywhere at any time
- Combine voice, chat, and email queues into a single omni-channel experience
- CRM integrations allow for efficient sales and marketing operations
- Use whichever phone systems you prefer for your business, whether that's your current business phone systems or personal employee smartphones
- Integrate with software that allows third party integrations using API. This means that users can integrate Contact Center with CRM's like Salesforce, enterprise planning software, and more.
Remote Office Support
- Support multi-site call centers and remote agents through Contact Center
- Enable employees to conduct calls, emails, and chats from their personal smartphone
- Smoothly transition to remote operations at the touch of a button
- Analyze team performance by queue, team, or agent with real-time dashboards and historical reports
- Enhance audience engagement with outreach campaign capabilities
- Automate sales calls to increase call quotas
How Do I Know If I Need Contact Center?
Here are a few signs that your business may need Contact Center:
- You're in the following industries: Education, Healthcare, Retail/Services, Finance/Insurance, Hospitality, Public Sector. While other industries could also benefit from Contact Center, these industries in particular have unique needs that Contact Center can address.
- For instance, the retail market, school systems, and doctor's offices all may wish for mass message sends to customers, parents, and patients, respectively, to notify them about issues, appointment reminders, and more.
- You have a call center or customer service department− This means that your business has enough customers and a high enough call volume to warrant Contact Center. Your call center and customer service department could always use improvement and streamlining, and Contact Center can help.
- You struggle to manage omnichannel customer interactions− If your business is feeling crushed under the weight of managing customer interactions across email, online chat, and phone, Contact Center can centralize the management of customer interactions in one place.
- Your call centers are struggling− If your call center or customer service department is struggling to handle call volume, has poor call performance, or isn't hitting their call quotas consistently, then you could benefit from Contact Center, which can enable skills-based call routing, automatic dialing, and more.
Here are some signs your business may not need Contact Center:
- Your business doesn't have a dedicated call center or customer service department− Companies without a call center or customer service department may still have some need for Contact Center, but they are likely too small.
- Your business doesn't have high call volume− If your business only occasionally receives call or contacts from customers, then you may be fine handling these interactions on your own.
How Much Does Contact Center Cost?
In general, Contact Center costs between $20-140 per user per month, with the price usually varying based on a tiered plan. The price varies based on a variety of points.
On a base level, a way that you can save money with Contact Center is to ensure that the company you buy from employs concurrent user pricing instead of named user pricing.
Named user pricing means that when you buy, for instance, enough licenses for 20 users, only the users assigned to those licenses can work with Contact Center.
With concurrent user pricing, licenses aren't tied to a specific person. This means that, for instance if you have 30 employees but only ever have 10 employees on a shift using Contact Center at the same time, you only need to buy 10 licenses. In this same scenario with named user pricing, you would need to buy 30 licenses.
While almost every company has a business phone system, typically, those who don't have Contact Center have phone systems that can manage, on a basic level, inbound calls.
For instance, if a customer were to call a business, they could press 1 to be routed to a certain department, 2 for another, etc. However, Contact Center comes into play when businesses want to automate both inbound (customer calls) and outbound calls (ex. a sales department's prospecting calls).
The two main goals with Contact Center are to automate customer interactions and streamline business operations.
With that in mind, consider that in general, as you buy a more expensive Contact Center plan, you get:
- More forms of customer interactions can be automated and managed in one centralized hub− While at a base level, Contact Center can automate phone calls, more expensive plans allow one to also manage emails, online chat bots, and even social media messages.
- Deeper levels of customer insights− While cheaper plans give you basic insights like call volume and call length, more expensive plans utilize machine learning to give you deeper insights into calls performance, and can also allow you to add post-call surveys.
- Increased sales team call quotas− Reps can increase prospecting call quota by automating calls. While base plans allow them to pre-load a call list and click-to-dial, more expensive plans allow Contact Center to automatically begin dialing the next prospect on the list in a pre-determined amount of time.
- Contact campaigns sent with ease− For instance, doctor's offices can automatically send appointment reminders, or school principals can record phone messages that are automatically sent to all parents.
- Faster/more efficient customer call routing− While basic plans let customers use the keypad to be routed (ex. press 1 for billing), AI and IVR, which are available on higher tier plans, allow customers to use short phrases to communicate needs and be quickly and appropriately routed.
- Skills-based call routing− Skills-based call routing allows for sales teams to quickly be connected to calls that they are qualified to handle. For instance, if a sales rep is only qualified to handle phone calls about billing, IVR can gather information from the person calling in, and then either answer that person's billing question or forward it to that sales rep. IVR can also route chats in a similar fashion.
- Additional integrations− In general, Contact Center allows integrations with software that allows third party integrations using API. However, as you move into more expensive plans, you have a wider range of available integrations, for instance with enterprise planning software and CRM's like Salesforce.
- Phone integration flexibility− While cheaper Contact Center plans may require you to use their business phone systems to enable Contact Center, more expensive plans allow you the flexibility to use whatever phones you prefer, whether that's your current business phone provider or even just a collection of personal employee smartphones.
RELATED: How Much Does Contact Center Cost?
As a Contact Center provider, we understand that Contact Center isn't the right fit for every company. That is why we aim to clear up some of your questions with our articles.
If you would like to learn more about our Contact Center offering, you can contact us here.
Posted by Jim Williams
Jim Williams is a Senior IT Consultant at Standard Office Systems of Atlanta and has been helping businesses with their network security needs for nearly three years.