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If we’ve got unified comms, why do I need contact centre software?

The world is changing quickly. And so are our customers and co-workers.

We’ve recently been spending time with customers talking about customer and co-worker experience. Mainly, we’re sharing stories from across different industries as to why CCaaS (or contact centre as a service) has become an even more pivotal part of the technology stack.

Why is a contact centre needed when we’ve just spent a load of money on a unified communications platform during covid?

Firstly, let’s dispel a myth. Contact Centres conjure up a picture of huge bland rooms, rows of agents with headsets on bashing away at keyboards and responding to as many calls as possible. That’s not what we mean now.

Customer Experience

‘Customer Experience’ is the phrase thrown around by the industry but in the context of this blog we mean ‘being in the right place at the right time’ for our customers. The phone isn’t obsolete, but instead of being the default option it’s now just one option. If you’re not providing all the options then your customer experience becomes less slick than your competition. And you don’t want that, because nowadays one bad interaction can mean the end of your customer (61% of the time if you listen to Zendesk’s stats).

So, back to why the contact centre? Unified communications is an upgrade to your old ISDN phone lines. It’s in the cloud, ideally more available because of that, and it provides an easier to use and more flexible and feature rich phone system. You can move data around a bit more and report analytics to give you a greater sense of things which may make you more productive or need fixing.

But, it’s generally for internal use only. Now, your customers also want to communicate with you across a variety of channels which generally depends on nature of the interaction. A simple, quick question would be great on a web chat or email. Increasingly customers are tweeting for help and support. WhatsApp for business is growing in popularity. If they can’t find the answer from these channels, or the query escalates, then it might be time to pick up the phone.

A real world example

So, instead of those images of a grey room in the basement, contact centre software is now a must have for many organisations. Let’s bring it to the real world. We’re working with an accountancy practice who are interested in making use of the quicker interactions. Sure, for them it’s a no-brainer. Every second counts from a billing perspective so the investment into a contact centre allows them to reduce the amount of time spent on the phone. Each one of the team in organisation has a number of clients to look after and the more time they can save, the more customers they are able to service. Automation is top of the strategic objectives of the IT team and this is a way in which technology can drive real benefit to the bottom line.

They are also keen to drive more insights out of data. This software gives them the ability to further analyse and predict the sorts of issues/queries reoccurring within their customers. They can then use this data to provide a better customer experience in the future, feeding into better customer satisfaction scores, repeat business and more referrals.

Working out which one is the right fit

So, once you have decided that you need it, the next challenge is working out which provider is the right one for you. There are literally hundreds of different services on the market and it takes a long time to understand the features/functionality and associated pricing. Even getting to a shortlist is challenging, let alone the hours needed to interview each provider and try to separate the marketing from reality. That’s all before you work out which ones are aligned to your current technology stack, licences and overall strategy.

We’ve worked with all the providers in this space for a long time, the traditional players and the newer ones. The market changes so much that we still rely on our tools and platforms to enable us to work alongside customers to make sure we get the right outcome. Our skill is advising customers based on what they need, matching them to two or three of the suppliers that are most suited.

We’ve got some great events coming up on this subject but, in the meantime if you’re in the market for a contact centre solution and you want to run your thinking by our team then book a chat here.