The term contact center can cover a broad range of functions and capabilities, and it can be a confusing undertaking for a small business to determine the most advantageous and cost effective contact center solution for their individual needs. While many contact center solutions are designed with larger companies in mind and may seem out of reach financially to small businesses, there are many more that aim to serve these smaller enterprises and have the functionality and adaptability necessary to improve your small business’ communications and customer experiences.
Contact Centers Are for Businesses of All Sizes
More than at any time in the past, customers have come to expect a certain ease of communication and flow of information when they interact with companies. This applies to smaller businesses as well as the much larger ones. Because contact centers are inherently a communications and information gathering tool-set, these systems can easily be tailored to fit almost any operational structure and can include a range of tools to specifically improve your business processes.
Smaller businesses are generally more budget conscious when it comes to new technologies and systems, and have a greater need for research and specificity in their selections. Fortunately, contact center solutions are typically modular, and are designed to be an adaptable and customizable solution. Defining the specific role that your contact center solution should play in your operations will help dictate the attributes that are necessary, and will help narrow the field.
Back to Basics
In its simplest terms, a contact center solution is the central point in which all of your available customer interaction is handled, catalogued, and scheduled. Whether this means inbound and/or outbound calling, integrated messaging functionality, email marketing and sales support, or a combination of all of these and more is a matter of what will benefit your business most.
Determining what core functions of a contact center are most applicable to your business’ operations and analyzing which additional functions will help your business evolve and function more efficiently will help in your decision making process.
Defining Contact Center Expectations:
- Is your contact center geared to be primarily a sales tool?
- Should the focus of your new contact center be on the integration of various forms of customer contact, or should it focus primarily on a few?
- Are there geographic considerations involved? (Linking separate offices, etc.)
- What integration is necessary with other systems?
- Is your contact center solution the springboard for changes and improvements in customer interaction and/or marketing?
Making a Contact Center Solution Work for Your Small Business
Once you have begun research specific to your small business’ needs and the available options for your new contact center, you will have a better understanding of what is available and applicable to your business in particular. This will allow you to better communicate with potential vendors and to create the contact center that is most effective for your business. The beauty of most contact center solutions lies in the fact that they are so heavily customizable and need not be treated as an off-the-shelf solution.
Contact centers can be surprisingly cost effective for small businesses, and can help to increase communication and effectiveness in customer interactions—which often translates directly into higher sales and conversion rates. The most important step in finding the best fit for your business is in accurately and appropriately defining the role that this new system will play in your daily operations, and finding the right vendor and system to suit your needs.