There aren’t many businesses that would deny the value of customers. It’s simple, without a target audience to purchase the products or services being offered, business would simply cease to exist.
Despite the almost universally recognised importance of customer service, there are many organisations that fail to do much more for their customers than pay them lip service. Consider, for example, those customers who, for whatever reason, attempt to get into contact with a company. So, they pick up a phone, send out an email, post to social media, etc., and they have what may be their first one-on-one interaction with an authorised representative of the company in question.
And far too often, that interaction is also the last that they have with the company, because the authorised company representative that they encounter on the other end is unknowledgable, impatient, or simply unable to communicate in a way that is accessible to the customer. And that’s assuming that the initial contact even goes through; which, given the variety of platforms and contact methods used by today’s customers, might be a different problem altogether.
Managing contacts as they connect with your business is vital to promoting customer satisfaction. As such, you need to be able to maintain, organise, track, and satisfactorily respond to any and all incoming customer communication. Of course, depending upon the scope of your business, this task may be a bit too daunting to be handled without help. Which is why contact centres are becoming so valuable.
A contact centre is a virtual ‘hub’ through which all customer contacts are managed. Operating as part of a company’s existing customer relationship management (CRM) solution, contact centres generally take the form of software that has been integrated into the various contact media used by customers, such as email, online inquiries, call centres, and live chat.
This makes it possible for all contacts to be given the attention and respect that they expect, without fear of being lost in the shuffle. Any organisation that respects its clientele, and that wants to provide them with a positive contact experience, would do well to consider contact centre solutions as essential. And, if you make it a point to focus on cloud-based contact centre solutions, then you’ll have advantages over those who do not.
The cloud is a phenomenon that has recently begun to play a very significant role in the way data is stored and shared. Where once it was common practice for individuals and organisations to keep the majority of their digital information in onsite servers and computers, the modern digital landscape now allows for data to be stored remotely, and accessed across a secure online connection. These new hosted contact centre solutions offer several benefits over the more traditional variations, four of which we would like to address here:
Remote access. Even for small businesses, today’s customers are seldom relegated to single, clearly defined locations. The modern ‘Mom and Pop’ store now has the ability to do business digitally with clients on the other side of the world, so it is even more important that medium and large organisations adopt cloud-based contact centre solutions that can be easily accessible by clients, no matter where those clients are located, or at what time of day or night.
Easy integration. One of the strengths of quality cloud-based solutions is the complete lack of hardware that they entail. In fact, generally the complete system can be monitored and accessed through secure web browsers. That means that rather than having to deal with the expensive installation of on-premise systems that may or may not be fully compatible with your current setup, cloud solutions make it so you need only be able to access the internet to be able to get everything up and running quickly and smoothly.
Competitive cost. Why pay for something you don’t need? Cloud-based contact centres often offer ‘pay-as-you-go’ options, which mean that you’ll only be billed for what you use. Additionally, given the digital nature of cloud-based solutions, you’ll be able to save significantly on installation costs.
Customised customer service. Your customers are unique individuals facing unique issues, so forcing them to all adhere to the same services seems counter intuitive. Cloud solutions allow you to tailor your services to meet the specific needs of your customers, and can be customised using demographic data, profile information, or other variables.
Contact centres exist to provide quick-yet-viable solutions to client pain points. As such, the most important factor in contact centre success is the ability to satisfy customers. This means that your agents should be friendly, knowledgeable, and able to communicate well. But beyond these obvious points, the effectiveness of your contact centre will also depend upon the software that is being used.
The three most important features of any contact centre software are flexibility, scalability, and compatibility with existing CRM tools. In essence, you need something that can be adapted to fit your business, rather than something that forces you to adapt your business to it. Familiarise yourself with contact centre reviews, so that you can see what other adopters have had to say about specific solutions before you commit.