If you have a small business and you are still using a landline, you might be missing out on some useful features. Customer service is imperative whether your business is small or large. When done correctly, customer service call centers have a positive impact on business and customer satisfaction. Professional level service is not reserved for big corporations. There are four main types of contact centers: hosted, cloud, virtual, and on-site.
- On-site – On-site call centers use unified communications systems and represent a system where all software and hardware are operated and maintained on the premises of the organization. These systems are used less and less these days. Many companies are now using one of the other three off-site options.
- Hosted – A hosted call center system is the closest to on-site of the three off-site options. This is because, although services are maintained at a remote location, the resources are dedicated to a specific organization. Hosted call center solutions host customer interactions on a service provider’s back-office systems. You get the benefits of a traditional call center with less overhead.
- Cloud – Cloud call centers are hosted within a pool of communal resources. So, resources aren’t dedicated to your specific company. It is easier for companies to add or reduce services as needed. This saves money and streamlines operations.
- Virtual – Virtual call centers have more to do with the location of agents. By using the cloud for contact center operations, employees can work from home or wherever they feel most comfortable.
Call centers improve productivity and ultimately increase profit by helping save employees time. With the right software, contact centers improve the cost and quality of customer service. Call centers in the cloud are able to tie in email, social media, and texting. This gives customers more options.
Hosted call centers help your business manage communication with customers. They provide recording and monitoring services. This provides your business with flexibility and options. Because the call center is hosted off-site and maintained on your provider’s end, you get the benefit of newer, more effective software.
Another nice feature of off-site hosted contact centers is the tech support. This grants you constant availability for customer service. This frees up a manager’s time to focus on office issues. Home agents add the benefit of time zone coverage. You can also recruit skilled agents from anywhere to man the lines. You also save the cost of running an office to house call center representatives. Here is a list of some of the pros.
- Low startup costs. Cost is always at the forefront of a business’s mind. Your employees simply need access to the internet.
- Provider shoulders the cost of system installation, implementation, and ongoing maintenance.
- You just make small, monthly payments.
- Quick full-featured implementation.
- Because offerings are browser-based, little on-site technology is required.
- No need for technical expertise for in-house contact center.
- Easy to scale. You can easily add or remove agents.
- Ability to hire remote workers. This gives you a lot of flexibility. You can hire the most qualified individuals for the job.
- Monitoring features come with each plan. This allows you to keep tabs on remote employees. Features like call recording, live monitoring, and agent reports help keep everyone working at their best.
Choosing a Provider
Once you make the decision to move your call center to the cloud, you have to find a provider that meets your needs. Each call center software provider has its own price tag, features, and accessibility. It is worth your time to make a list of the features and functions that are important to you and your business. Features you might be interested in might include time of day routing, customized dashboards and reports, live call monitoring, and integration options. Research different providers using your list. This will help you make an informed decision.
Deciding to upgrade your system to a cloud-based call center is a big move. Thankfully, there are a lot of benefits. Even small businesses can gain a lot from a hosted call center. The cost savings are always at the top of the list. Employees are no longer dealing with phone calls all day. They can focus on the work they were hired to do. Customers feel more satisfied. You gain all the flexibility and benefits of being able to hire remote workers.