Business Communications Solutions

What Is A Contact Center And Does My Business Need One?

What Is A Contact Center And Does My Business Need One?

A contact center is a unified communications system that easily connects customers with the right agent at the right time. What does that mean? Really, what it means is that a company can leverage and manage a wide variety of customer relations across multiple channels including phone, business website, live chat, email, instant messaging and even video all with one “dashboard” application.

Why is this important to a business? This type of management improves the customer experience by providing answers to questions when they need them, which in-turn improves sale conversions. A contact center is proven to help a business become lean in operating processes resulting in lower costs and higher revenue.

What’s the difference between a call center and a contact center?

Most people are familiar with traditional call centers which route inbound and outbound calls for multiple companies, typically handled at a separate location from the company. A contact center is connect both internal and external customers to the right agent at the right time. Essentially, it’s a more robust form of call center that allows businesses to manage large volumes of different types of inquiries ranging from customer service calls, sales calls to website inquiries and integrate those inquires with a CRM or customer relationship management service.

There may not seem like much of a difference between a contact center and a call center, especially today, since most call centers are adopting contact center capabilities, but a contact center truly does provide a higher level of service.

Adept Networks partners with both ShoreTel and Allworx to provide the most robust and advanced premise based contact centers available. These contact center solutions have proven to help reduce operating costs by streamlining business processes. First, companies are able to eliminate costly third party conferencing services. Secondly, businesses are able to put critical information within reach of those who need it and that applies to both employees and customers. Lastly, businesses are able to eliminate missed phone calls and delayed responses, which is a serious problem for companies that handle large volumes of calls.

What is an example of how a contact center improves business operations?

Glad you asked. It’s one thing to say that a contact center provides an all-in-one solution for managing multimedia inbound and outbound capabilities, but what the heck does that mean to anyone? Simply put, a contact center allows agents or employees to work from anywhere. OK, maybe that’s not such good news for them, but here’s an example of how it works. Let’s say an employee is moving from state to state to manage different aspects of your multiple locations, well, the employee can access the call center from anywhere to make sure nothing’s been missed while away and conversely, the contact center can route calls right to the agent or employee based on specific criteria such as; need, status, service level, location or wait time.

Pretty cool, but wait, there’s more. When the agent is contacted they also receive critical information about the caller or contact in order to help them field the call in the best way. A contact center is completely geared towards improving productivity. Adept uses premise based contact solutions by ShoreTel and Allworx because they are easy to deploy, maintain and use.  Those are the 3 key ingredients to a successful contact center.

The Allworx contact center features a very robust call management solution that allows businesses to distribute calls in linear priority, round robin, longest idle and ring all to maximize answered calls. Aside from flexible queuing options there are a host of supervisor management tools and call assistant features.

Jake Larsen, Contact Center Manager for MonaVie had this to say about ShoreTels contact center system, “The ShoreTel Enterprise Contact Center allows us to easily blend agent skills and language skills since we service over 10 different languages and even more countries round the clock. Email routing to specialized super-agents has added one more sales avenue for us. Using the open interfaces and simple yet powerful ECC scripting we’ve also created a powerful outbound survey application, and integrated it with the ShoreTel Enterprise Contact Center IVR engine quickly and easily. The outbound survey application has allowed us to assess our customer satisfaction levels and assess agent training needs. “

When you’re not able to be at your business in person and you can’t field calls, help customers and land importune leads then a contact center just might be the solution your business needs. If you want more information about contact centers, which contact centers are the best and how to go about setting your business up with a contact center, contact Greg Wilkoff at Adept Networks.

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