A business case for upgrading your call centre tech

Feb 11, 2020 07:15 AM / by Quintes Piek in VoIP

Portrait of smiling businesswoman with employees in call center

Technology has made call centre tech more affordable, smarter, and more versatile. The benefits of current technology and customer service trends justify an upgrade from legacy systems. The call centre is an essential part of a service provider's relationship with the customer. Technology advancements have made the call centre smarter, more intuitive and more efficient.

Investment in call centres used to be a decision taken with a plan to stick to that technology for five to ten years. However, the rapid rise in innovation in call centre technology requires that companies rethink their call centre strategy.

Whether or not your call centre is due for an upgrade, you should consider the latest trends and technologies in the market. The efficiencies, cost benefits, and effectiveness of these technology features are too important to pass.

Here's why you should switch to cloud call centres

Cloud call centres are a relatively new concept, different from previous call centre platforms which were onsite. Onsite call centres have their hardware and software on the company's premises. An onsite call centre is maintained by the company's IT staff. A cloud call centre on the other hand, has the software hosted on the cloud by a vendor. The company can access cloud services through an app on its desktops or mobile devices. Cloud call centres rely on solid internet connections to work.

Software as a service (SaaS) is agile and cost effective

The industry is moving towards cloud based call centres. This is because it is much cheaper than onsite or hybrid options. Using call centres on the cloud under SaaS, can be done with a lower investment. The cost per seat is relatively low and as the contact centre grows, you can take advantage of economies of scale and access a wider variety of technology.

You can also downscale easily and without taking a loss. For example, if you no longer need 500 seats, you can scale down to 100 without having to try to sell off unnecessary hardware. This makes smaller call centres much easier to set up. Cloud call centres enable people to work remotely, ultimately lowering the cost of renting office space while still having full control over your productivity and quality control.

Your maintenance costs are also covered within your monthly payments

The cloud contact centre technologies also offer greater capabilities. For example, you no longer have to keep upgrading or running maintenance, that is done for you by the vendor. Cloud also offers greater statistical analysis and transparency in real time, for example you can see when agents are not active in a queue.
The main advantage of a cloud call centre from Premitel is that it is hosted internationally through eight high-end Amazon data centres, offering seamless services, low downtime, and futureproof technology. Premitel offers highly competitive pricing like low call rates per minute which start at as little as 10 - 15% of the typical fees charged by other internationally hosted Call Centres. Premitel is a voice and software supplier so we can build in discount structures to pay less per minute.

A cloud based call centre can deliver scalability, low cost of ownership, easy deployment, and de-centralised capability, all at a fraction of the cost of an onsite solution.
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Contact centre trends

When looking to switch to a cloud-based call centre, you’ll want to keep the following trends in mind:

Cloud communication

Cloud communication offers immense benefits to call centres. The low cost, low maintenance benefits of cloud call centres shifts the costs from a capex to an opex model. Furthermore, the integrations made by third parties offer call centres higher productivity levels. The AI built into the cloud software makes the solutions provided even more intelligent and intuitive.

Interactive voice response (IVR)

Interactive voice response has been in the industry for a while but it has become more intelligent. The advancements in speech recognition have made the technology more accessible and cheaper for all call centres. For example, a customer can simply speak into the phone and be directed to the right department automatically, this will reduce queue times and lower the use of live calls.

Omni-channel

Omni-channel refers to a single platform that can handle several communication channels the customer may choose to reach the contact centre. This can be through voice calls, chat-bot, SMS, social media, or email. Customers now have multiple devices with which to communicate and they want companies to be easily accessible on all of them, providing a consistent and ever - present experience.

Integration to other systems

Integration to other systems is essential for any software to seamlessly work together. If your call centre software has limited integration capabilities it means that more mundane and repetitive tasks have to be done by hand. It also leaves room for errors and omissions. Altogether these factors can become an unnecessary financial burden. When selecting the call centre software that is right for your business be sure to check its integration capabilities with other software and systems in your business.

Data analytics tools

Data analytics tools are available for most call centre solutions, but cloud has made the tools more readily and cheaply available even to SMEs. The numerous contact points and interactions that customers have with agents can be compiled into useful data. As these interactions are happening on an intelligent cloud system, the company will have more data that can reveal insights beyond the staple metrics like first call resolution, average handling time, and agent idle time. These data analysis tools provide performance and productivity insights to management along with statistical information for agents on their user interface.

Improving self-service tools

Improving self-service tools can greatly reduce call queues, staff headcount, and costs. The option to solve their queries independently and quickly is favored by customers as they are willing to exhaust self-service options before they call a contact centre. To take advantage of this, companies must invest in self-service resources such as FAQs, chat bots, video tutorials, troubleshooting pages, and so on.

How to choose the right contact centre platform

There are a lot of options on the market for call centre technology, and there are even more features that you can add to your call centre platform. Wading through all these options can be a wearying and confusing process. To help decide on which call centre technology to adopt, here are a few steps and tips you can use;

  1. Deciding on which contact centre to use should be a team decision that involves all departments. Contact centre technology does more than give voice services to connect the company and the customer. To fully utilise the technology available you need to have buy-in from all departments. For example if you need the platform to have access to financial records or delivery tracking then the system must be connected to the finance and logistics departments.

  2. It is important to be clear about what you need the technology to do. It will enable you to choose the right technology without over or under investing. A key aspect about defining your contact centre needs is differentiating between short term and long term needs. Remember, the technology must fit your future growth plans.

  3. The technology you choose must be omni-channel so that customers can reach you from any channel. An automatic call distributor (ACD) must handle multiple channels including voice, email, fax, SMS/MMS, chat, and video. When choosing the technology it is also important to consider factors such as: outbound calling functionality, can it be easily configured, can it scale, how reliable is the tech, does it have reporting functions, does it have VoIP/SIP architecture, and most importantly the quality of the vendor.

  4. Fitted into any contact centre should be a versatile customer relationship management (CRM) solution. The customer experience is highly reliant on the CRM solution being used. A key feature to have is multimedia recording which can record telephone/voice interactions, screen, webchat, text, social media, and video. The feature has become essential for compliance, risk mitigation, quality management, and coaching reasons.

  5. IVR is becoming more and more important. Having an automated system reduces the number of live calls, and lowers staffing costs.

  6. An important aspect of managing a contact centre is its staff. Staff are not only the voice of the company but they are also the contact centres largest cost base. So effective and efficient management of call centre agents is critical, this is where workforce management (WFM) applications come in. The applications will help organise contract, temporary, and short-shift workers.

  7. Automation uses set instructions to carry out repetitive tasks. Cloud based contact centres use automation and AI to provide an intuitive, customised customer experience at a fraction of the cost.

To give your business the edge, make the switch to cloud call centres. Don’t try to DIY your cloud-based call centre, build an effective solution with the experts. Contact us for a needs assessment. Premitel is an industry leader in cloud call centres.

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Quintes Piek

Written by Quintes Piek

Quintes Piek manages the wholesale business unit at Premitel. His journey into the Telecommunication industry started in 2006. Since then, he has gained a great deal of experience and knowledge about PABX systems and is a specialist in architecture and design of solutions. He was given the opportunity to lead our wholesale business unit, where he applies his expertise on the PortaOne platform as part of the reseller development and on-boarding process. He helps to create relevant, competitive and innovative products for our resellers to take to the market. His passion is to empower others and to help our partners to delight customers. He is probably the world’s biggest couch potato; he likes to lounge around and binge on shows and movies. He likes to spend time with his friends and family, especially if he can show off his cooking and braai skills.

Topics: VoIP

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