Wouldn’t it be great if the contact centre that works for 100 customer enquiries, worked equally well for 1000… or even 10,000? In other words: wouldn’t it be great to operate with a truly scalable contact centre?
Well, here’s some good news: scalability is no longer a pipe dream in customer communications.
With modern cloud contact centre software such as our VCC, you have access to an omnichannel communications platform that flexes according to call volume, and is limitlessly scalable to match your ongoing business needs.
A scalable contact centre owes a large part of its business success to being located in the cloud. Released from the ties and limitations of physical premises, businesses have the room to grow and optimise their support services.
In addition to growth potential, the operational benefits of a contact centre in the cloud are impressive: 91% of businesses say cloud-based agents are more secure and less susceptible to downtime (Salesforce), and 90% found a greater financial flexibility (Aberdeen Group).
What is a Contact Centre?
Let’s start with the basics: what exactly is a contact centre?
‘Contact centre’ refers to a centralised communications platform used by a company or organisation. It represents a large part of CRM (customer relationship management) strategies, and is the hub through which all user interactions are conducted. The goal of a contact centre is to provide efficient support, customer service and sales-related assistance.
Sometimes, ‘call centre’ is used interchangeably with ‘contact centre’, although they are not strictly the same thing. Where a call centre is tasked primarily with phone-based communications, a contact centre is far wider in functionality and scope, constituting a digitalised omnichannel solution.
For instance, on top of inbound call handling or voice services, a modern contact centre may provide customer service in channels such as:
- AI-powered web chat
- Social media
Our VCC (Virtual Contact Centre) is a great example of this. Cloud-based and designed to deliver both empathy and excellent customer service, this future-proof technology has the potential to totally transform the way your organisation communicates.
Among many productivity-boosting features, the software includes analytics systems for reporting, and can provide agents with a centralised, secure point for vital customer information.
Book a demo today to find out what our VCC could do for your organisation.
For technology or a system to be scalable means it is capable of increasing or decreasing in size and application without any upgrades being necessary. In a sense, scalability refers to the power to grow or shrink effortlessly to meet ongoing business needs and operational requirements.
As Gartner define it, “scalability is the measure of a system’s ability to increase or decrease in performance and cost in response to changes in application and system processing demands” (Gartner).
In the context of customer communications, a scalable contact centre might mean the system is capable of handling an increasing number of interactions; alternatively, it could be that the software doesn’t become overburdened as more agents work with it simultaneously, or includes analytics tools that can perform reporting tasks on larger (or smaller) data sets.
Scalability is vital for forward-facing organisations looking to drive efficiency.
As businesses grow and expand, it’s essential to have a scalable contact centre in place – it avoids the need to completely overhaul comms systems, and adds flexibility to the way companies navigate changing environments.
3 Things to Consider in a Scalable Contact Centre
A scalable contact centre can mark a real cultural, as well as digital, transformation within your wider organisation.
In the modern world of consumer communications, the customer experience (CX) is paramount; companies must prioritise the individual customer and their preferences, catering to each user as a unique person. This is what’s known as customer-centricity, and it’s a business culture that you can nurture with the help of a scalable contact centre.
Here, we examine three other areas or aspects of your operation that would see a positive impact.
1. Volume of enquiries
Assuming things go well for your business, you can expect it to grow. This, of course, means bigger profits and improved industry positioning; but it also means you’re likely to deal with far more customers than you were in the early days of operation.
As your organisation expands, there will be an ever-increasing number of users to provide service to.It’s likely that these users will contact your business at peak times, so you can expect some traffic spikes. More customers means more customer information, which your agents will need to find and apply in an omnichannel context; and don’t forget about the culture of customer-centricity, where every user must be met with an incredibly high level of personalised service.
A scalable contact centre based in the cloud allows your business to reach this potential, by effortlessly growing to match your expanding customer base.
Equally, when there are low-volume times of enquiry (over a holiday season, for example), your contact centre will be able to adjust downward. In this way, a scalable contact centre allows you to react and optimise operations in response to changing volumes.
2. Software and tech capability
Part of the power of an omnichannel contact centre is the range of functionalities it presents; we’re talking about far more than an upgraded call centre.
An omnichannel communications platform allows you to meet and provide service to your customers in their preferred channel, whether that means email, via SMS, voice using VoIP, social media, or any other channel of communication.
Contact centres also open the possibility of implementing self-service tools, such as automated web chat on your site, or IVR (interactive voice response). This can ease the workload of your agents, and give users who prefer to navigate their own interaction an effective means of doing so.
Data analytics – the ability to gather and report on customer information – is an essential component of growth and improvement. In a cloud-based contact centre, your team will have instant access to a centralised system of accurate records, which can be rendered as reports and used as the basis for more informed business decisions.
It’s true that a scalable contact centre allows you to perform more tasks, at a better standard, without having to expand headcount. But rather than seeing cloud solutions as threats or as a competitor to your employees, savvy organisations understand that this technology is actually a work-enabler for agents.
It is software that can take care of many low-value, repetitive tasks autonomously, and give your team the freedom and flexibility to focus on higher-priority activities; those actions that do require a human touch.
This can have a profound impact on the individual agent. Staff engagement and retention will improve, because team members will be tasked with more fulfilling, absorbing work.
They’ll also have the sense of working with a truly forward-facing, contemporary organisation; a business that uses the best tools in the industry and is positioned at the forefront of technology. This can be a powerful selling point in terms of attracting new talent, and again, speaks to a modern, dynamic company culture.
Cloud-based Solutions and Strategies
As we’ve seen, a cloud-based and scalable contact centre creates the conditions for wide-reaching benefits; improvements that support your business growth in a universal, holistic way.
Below, we’ll zoom-in and consider at a more granular level four of the specific solutions, strategies and systems which enable process optimisation and business expansion.
Storing records physically (in filing cabinets for instance) is a yesteryear solution; forcing agents to manually retrieve and maintain information in this way is spectacularly inefficient.
Replacing this fraught legacy system with a digital solution ensures better accuracy, improved security and greater accessibility.
A centralised system:
Digital tools enable centralisation. Optimised systems require a single source of truth – with a contact centre implemented, all staff and departments will have access to consistent information, so there will never be errors or uncertainty stemming from conflicted data sets.
Remote and hybrid working:
Releasing your organisation from the limitations of physical premises means you dramatically widen your talent pool; rather than needing to find staff who are based locally, you open the potential to hire the very best candidates for available roles – wherever they live.
Plus, remote and/or hybrid working allows you to significantly reduce overheads, and is considered a hallmark of forward-facing, dynamic, exciting organisations.
The possibilities enabled by AI-powered tools can increase efficiencies and eliminate errors or bottlenecks from your operations. For instance, you might find that a large number of customers contact your organisation for similar reasons. Rather than having agents respond to each user individually, which is not an optimal use of resources, you may set up a web chat functionality on your site.
Alternatively, you might decide that implementing IVR into your call handling is the way to go, to expedite routing and ensure time doesn’t get wasted with customers bouncing from department to department. Then again, you may do both! The point is, AI allows users to get the answers they are searching for in a self-servicing system, and means you can reallocate agents to more productive and valuable tasks.
Scale for Success with Our VCC
Scalability is a much-touted concept in the modern world of omnichannel communications, and with good reason. From construction to retail, and beyond – industries are more competitive than ever before, and companies must continually find ways to drive efficiencies and optimise processes.
One such way is to implement a flexible , cloud-based technology system that’s capable of adjusting, so that it perfectly matches the size and needs of your current (and future) operations.
Scalability is a masterkey for maximised business growth; and, by implementing a scalable contact centre, you’ll position your organisation to service customers in the most efficient and effective way, as your business goes from strength to strength.
Discover the profit-boosting power of maximised communications and scalable tech solutions: book a free demo of our VCC today.