Phone System functionality vs Contact Centre – what’s the difference?
A phone system traditionally only manages inbound and outbound calls (unified communications), while a Contact Centre (CC) offers ‘omnichannel’ support seamlessly across a number of different channels such as voice, messaging, social media, email and in some cases even Video.
It’s important for businesses of any size that provides customer service to consider if contact centre technology can enhance the customer experience, and for those who currently only use a phone system (unified communications) to evaluate if this single channel of communication is providing the level of customer experience required. If the answer is yes, then great, if it’s no then it could be time to move to a contact centre solution instead.
What functionality is available in the Contact Centre vs Unified Communications?
Unified Communication platforms typically include voice, internal messaging and presence functionality. Key features are: Auto-attendant, Hunt Groups, Basic Reporting, Basic APIs for Screen Popping and Click to Dial to name a few. Whereas Contact Centre technology can include over 1,000 features, often over and above UC platforms.
Here’s some of the most common core features: Interactive Voice Response, Skill-based routing and ACD, Data Directed / Intelligent Routing, Comprehensive Reporting and Analytics, Automated outbound dialling and campaign management, in addition to Omni-channel customer contact and the ability to seamlessly switch the communication channel depending on the customers preference.
Why evaluate your customer service communication strategy?
We all know that providing great Customer Experience is key. According to a 2019 report from Zendesk (The Zendesk Customer Experience Trends Report 2019), 46% of customers said they had a higher expectation of receiving great customer service then they did the year before.
With higher demands, comes certain expectations. New technologies are making customers less dependent on traditional means of communication like the phone with many now preferring to email or use a website (self-serve). A traditional phone call isn’t always the preferred route of communication in this digital age, you only have to think of the various options available when renewing car insurance each year, more often than not a phone call just isn’t necessary!
Can Unified Communications alone deliver a great Customer Experience?
The fact that customers are now looking to communicate across a variety of channels certainly doesn’t mean that the phone is totally obsolete, far from it! In many ways, the human touch is still one of the most critical parts of the customer journey. The Zendesk report revealed that phone is still the most popular communication choice amongst all age demographics with 68% of people saying they have resolved an issue over the phone during the last year.
However, according to the Institute of Customer Service, the choice of medium varies greatly depending on the nature of the interaction and to get an answer to a simple quick question customers are quite often happy to revert to an email or webchat interaction. This can greatly reduce the time and cost to serve as multiple enquiries can be managed by a single super-agent, at any one time.
The Zendesk report also found that customers want faster and more efficient resolutions then ever without having to repeat themselves and they also want to communicate with companies in the same way that they do with family and friends – 60% of customers often use more than one channel to contact customer services, and 80% will expect to use a different communication method is they don’t get a satisfactory response from their first request.
So, what is very clear is that customers today are looking for a seamless experience, if their first contact is a webchat interaction but they still can’t find a suitable answer, they may then opt to use the phone or email as their next communication method. No matter which communication channels are chosen the over-riding need is for the process to have been as seamless and pain free as possible, with a quick and satisfactory resolution.
If your Unified Communications isn’t hitting the mark when it comes to servicing your customers then perhaps it’s time for a change?
How do I add Contact Centre to my Unified Communications?
The emergence of the ‘informal contact centre’ is a relatively new but growing phenomenon, where companies who have traditionally relied solely on Unified Communications are now looking to migrate to a CC solution to fulfil their customer’s requirements for an omnichannel experience. At Opus we work with Partners that can offer bolt-on contact centre functionality on premises or as a Cloud CC solution. Both can successfully be designed to merge Unified Communications and Contact Centre together into one solution.
Let’s look more closely at the options:
Single Platform on premises Contact Centre
The Mitel MiContact Centre is available as an on-premises, hybrid or cloud based portfolio of applications designed to maximise the efficiency of all contact centres, whether you have a small contact centre with a few customer service agents or a large multi-site centre in need of omnichannel capabilities.
MiContact Centre applications equip contact centre agents with a unique set of tools to handle customer enquiries quickly and efficiently while at the same time empowering supervisors to improve business processes, with sophisticated analytics and management reporting.
At Opus we can implement a Mitel Contact Centre solution for organisations of any size, tailored to your unique requirements.
Contact Centre as a Service (CCaaS)
Contact Centre as a Service (CCaaS) is a cloud-based business solution intended to help companies access the service they need to support their customers over the cloud. The CCaaS model is ideal for contact centres of all sizes as it offers the scalability required to change your environment as the business needs evolve, along with the flexibility of being able to pay to purchase and pay for only the tools you need at the time. With CCaaS a business will get all the features they’d expect from a state-of-the-art contact centre delivered through the cloud. This means they will get all the benefits of the latest technology releases without having to worry about managing their own on-premises assets.
At Opus we can implement a state of the art CCaaS solution with industry leading partners to provide the exact CC solution that a business of any size requires.
Partner with Opus for your Contact Centre solution
Whether you have a small contact centre with a few customer service agents or a large, multisite centre in need of multimedia/omni-channel capabilities, Opus can provide you with a contact centre solution that will help you help streamline business operations and boost customer satisfaction and retention.
At Opus our ethos has always been to listen, understand, deliver and support. Our team work with you to understand the challenges and opportunities within your contact centre space and then work in partnership with you and our specialist partners to implement these seamlessly within your organisation.
As an independent technology provider, we only partner with industry leading and trusted partners that offer you a choice of platforms and applications that can then be integrated into a single solution. Our pedigree speaks for itself as Platinum partners with Mitel, Gamma and 8×8 and Silver Microsoft Cloud Solutions Partner. We also partner with a host of leading contact centre applications providers, such as Teleopti, Noetica, Verient, Red Box, Talkative and Semafone.
Contact us today to arrange a no obligation demo
Visit us at Call & Contact Centre Expo
We’re delighted to be exhibiting at Call & Contact Centre Expo, at ExCeL London on 18th and 19th March 2020. Call & Contact Centre is the ultimate event for customer engagement professionals and is the place to be if you’re looking to further your call & contact centre knowledge and success. Visit us on Stand 2450 to find out more about the Contact Centre solutions we offer.
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