New technologies enable Virtual Contact Centre efficiencies
When you think of the words ‘call centre’, what images come to mind?
If you imagined anything similar to the Google Image Search results for ‘call centre’, then you probably imagined rows upon rows of people in tiny cubicles, wearing headsets and reading from scripts.
‘Call centres’ became a centralised, dedicated function within organisations in the 1960’s as an efficient way to handle the increasing volume of incoming customer calls. However, that image is becoming a thing of the past.
A lot has changed in the last fifty years: advances in unified communications, fast networks, new communications technologies and flexible networks have allowed companies to ditch these old-fashioned ‘call centres’, in favour of more agile and efficient solutions.
Email, web self-serve and online chats have enabled a whole new way to interact with customers, while social media has created ‘crowd support’ where your customers are communicating openly with each other.
Will these solutions replace the telephone-centric call centre workers?
Not yet. But perhaps your centralised ‘call centre’ can now be a ‘Contact Centre’ and customer contact can be distributed throughout your organisation to have the most appropriate people handling enquiries.
Your company can now be reached in more ways than ever before, and your contact centre is still the first point of contact for the majority of your potential and existing customers - you only chance to make a great first impression and convert a potential customer into a loyal customer.
Modern unified communications solutions can replace static phone-based call centre workers and direct customer contact to the right places within your organisation. Instead of having a dedicated room of cubicles for customer service representatives, you can have a distributed, dedicated team of customer service representatives, who can be based from anywhere around the country (or around the world).
Basically, modern UC empowers you to economically create a virtual contact centre.
This doesn’t just apply to actual physical contact centres. Companies without a high amount of regular visitors could also use it to replace the need for a dedicated receptionist. For example, rather than having one person staff your central inbound calls all day, you could use your virtual contact centre’s presence availability feature to detect who in your organisation is currently available to take the call, and have it forwarded to them – wherever they are.
Social media and webchat contacts can be redirected to your digital marketing team, sales teams, logistics or to technical support as appropriate, without having to hire multi-skilled people in a central team.
For companies who use their contact centres for telemarketing, or for companies who require a large workforce to handle all of their inbound calls, the shift to a virtual contact centre means that you can recruit the best people for the job – without having to rely on those who are geographically nearby.
The shift to a virtual contact centre allows your employees to easily forward calls to the best person in your organisation, even if they’re out in the field, as long as they are listed as available.
So, are call centres a thing of the past? YES – the way we traditionally think of ‘call centres’ are on their way out.
However, contact centres based on unified communications, fast networks, new communication methods and distributed workforces are more powerful than ever as a way to be available to your customers, to answer their questions, give them support or make it easy for them to buy from you.
So if your company is considering building a contact centre, or up-sizing your current one; make sure you call us first.
As well as virtual contact centre capability, BTAS Contact Centre uses a multi-channel approach, to allow your customers to reach you using whichever medium they’re most comfortable with.