Contact Centre

8 characteristics of the modern contact centre

Today’s customers have high expectations. The success of your contact centre depends on meeting - and exceeding - those expectations every time. But how? The integration of contact centre technology with hosted telephony or unified communications platforms is something contact centres are investing heavily in. Leaving behind costly and outdated legacy telephony systems for good.

We’ve found eight characteristics that the most successful, modern contact centres have in common. And they’re traits that lead to better customer service and agent performance every time.

1. Designed for omni-channel and multi-media contact

It's your job to make sure your customers can contact you however they want. Whether it's through a call, email, text, web chat or social media, you still need to deliver service quality.

Unified communications brings every contact method together in one place, whether it's in the office or in the contact centre. So you can encourage your customers to contact you through a range of different channels while meeting your customer service standards and Service Level Agreements. 

2. High customer satisfaction and NPS scores

Whichever communication channel your customers use, they’ll expect a minimal wait time and an agent that's friendly, quick and efficient. That’s the product of a landscape where customer experiences are increasingly joined-up and customers are used to having more control over how they interact.

Your processes, applications and technology need to empower your agents in delivering the best experience. For example, successful contact centres use technology like intelligent call routing to connect customers to agents with specific skill sets, improving response times and service quality.

This can have a huge impact on customer experience and satisfaction, which you can measure using metrics like the Net Promoter Score.

3. High collaboration and staff productivity

Successful contact centres know that service ultimately depends on agent performance. They encourage collaboration wherever possible, taking advantage of everybody’s skills and expertise.

With a unified communications platform, agent availability can be flagged via presence indicators. This helps employees communicate and collaborate. The right technology will also give you a range of internal communication methods, including web conferencing with desktop, application and virtual whiteboard sharing.

As a result, your agents can collaborate more conveniently - and your customers don’t need to be passed from one agent to another. You could also use blended inbound and outbound calling to keep your agents productive, giving them the right mix of reactive and proactive customer contact.

4. Easy management for remote and home workers

Another way to maintain a high level of agent productivity is allowing people to work from anywhere. Just blend your home-based and remote employees with your contact centre traffic to ensure they’re working seamlessly with the rest of the team.

Mobile options will also give you a way to cope with spikes in traffic, quickly adding new agents to help you cope with demand, regardless of where they’re physically located.

5. Driven by performance data

With the right technology, your agent productivity should be at an all-time high. With real-time reporting, you'll be able to see the results for yourself.

Your hosted telephony service will give you access to data at a management level, as well as options to display performance to agents (either individually or as a team) through a wallboard. You'll also be able to access call recordings quickly and easily so you can investigate any performance issues.

When you’re fully equipped performance data, you can implement strategies for continual improvement, reacting quickly to issues before they escalate.

6. Flexible enough to meet demand

The most successful contact centres are able to predict their requirements and allocate resources appropriately. While the right technology gives you the best service and performance, you also need to be able to cope with sudden change.

Hosted telephony gives you the flexibility to increase and reduce your capacity quickly, adding new lines or new sites whenever you need them. This lets you balance cost against demand – easily scale up, or scale back down, when lines aren’t being used.

7. Compliant with all contact centre regulations

It’s not just customer expectation that’s shifting. Businesses and contact centres are also expected to comply with a wide range of different compliance standards.

If you process payments, you’ll already be familiar with PCI DSS compliance. But are your contact centre systems designed to meet those standards when you handle payments remotely? Technologies like Interactive Voice Response (IVR) systems can automate payment processing to drive security and achieve compliance.

Meanwhile, OFCOM compliance is essential. From Spring 2017, the penalties for nuisance calls became even more severe. Your hosted telephony system should support your OFCOM compliance, allowing you to monitor abandoned and dropped calls and adapt your dialler rate accordingly.

8. Integrated systems working seamlessly together

Finally, successful contact centres bring all of these characteristics together in a fluid and flexible way. Application integration opens up new opportunities that drive service and performance - from reducing admin and wait times to improving efficiency.

A unified communications platform can bring all of your communications together – and then go even further by integrating with your CRM system for complete business process automation.

How did you do? By using unified communications or hosted telephony, integrated with your contact centre technology, you can help adopt the characteristics that lead to success. Find out more about Hostcomm’s Omni-channel Contact Centre.

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