A hosted contact center solution is either hosted in the cloud or off-site at a service provider’s physical location instead of on your premises. A hosted contact center solution is used by businesses, as a cost-effective and scalable alternative to on-premise contact centers, for handling inbound and outbound calls and managing voice-based customer interactions in real-time, from virtually anywhere.
The best hosted contact center solutions offer valuable enterprise contact center features such as the predictive dialer, call analytics, speech analytics, call center monitors, computer telephony integration, call accounting solutions, and interactive voice response (IVR).
What are the Different Types of Contact Centers?
For businesses only beginning their journey into call centers vs. contact centers, it is customary to get confused with their different types and sometimes even undergo the unfortunate experience of investing in the wrong type. To avoid making a wasteful and useless investment in a customer service contact center, such as implementing an on-premise solution when you need a hosted contact center solution, it is crucial to know the distinct features of the various contact centers and what sets them apart. While some key elements are similar in the different types of call and contact centers, a handful of differences make each type more or less suitable for your business.
These are also varieties of VoIP contact centers that you should know about before focusing your resources on purchasing and implementing a solution:
- Call Centers
- Cloud-based, Remote Contact Centers
- Inbound Contact Centers
- Multichannel Contact Centers
- Omnichannel Contact Centers
- On-premise Contact Centers
- Outbound Contact Centers
What is a Contact Center Solution?
Be it a hosted contact center solution or a general contact center solution, the best contact center features are designed to help users handle customer interactions for a business. This involves managing interactions across multiple channels, teams, and processes required to provide customers with an engaging and satisfying experience. A contact center solution may be an on-premise software installed onsite or a hosted contact center solution, meaning it is hosted in a cloud environment. The best contact centers integrate with other managed services, including a business phone system and a customer relationship management (CRM) system.
Since the contact center is your business’s communications hub, its primary purpose is to improve customer interactions by enabling them to engage with your brand quickly and efficiently. A contact center solution connects multiple communication channels like live chat, voice calls, emails, text messaging, and social media into a single consolidated platform. This centralized platform allows your customer services team to manage your external communication channels and conduct inbound or outbound interactions.
Meanwhile, the team leader or contact center manager monitors critical KPIs via centralized control. A contact center solution, such as a hosted contact center solution, provides customer services, including sales advice and technical support, and develops the customers' understanding of your products and services.
What is a Hosted Contact Center Solution?
A hosted contact center solution is used by businesses, as an alternative to on-premise contact centers, for handling inbound and outbound calls and voice-based customer interactions, from virtually anywhere and in real-time. A hosted contact center solution is either situated in the cloud or off-site at a 3rd party service provider’s physical location instead of on your premises. Hosted contact center solutions are cost-effective and scalable compared to on-premise call center solutions. There is no need for further infrastructure investment or software maintenance costs while scaling your contact center activities. Comparing enterprise contact center systems is a great method for ensuring you choose the best contact center with all the features and tools your company needs.
Although often used interchangeably, the terms “cloud contact center solution” and “hosted contact center solution” don’t mean the same. A cloud solution is a subset of hosted contact center solution services, as the hosted services include any infrastructure that isn’t a part of the user’s premises. A hosted contact center solution could be a cloud contact center solution, or it could be hosted from a different physical location. There are contact center pros and cons to consider as you make your choice, and weighing these into your decision can help you get the best tools.
Leading hosted contact center solutions allow users to interact across multiple communication channels such as voice calls, text messages, emails, live chat, instant messages, and social media. Furthermore, these solutions may offer call analytics, auto dialer, call center monitors, computer telephony integration, call accounting solutions, interactive voice response, speech analytics, and predictive dialer.
What Does a Hosted Contact Center Solution Do?
A hosted contact center solution, also known as a virtual contact center, does much more than traditional on-premise alternatives. Centers that employ hosted contact center solutions don’t need to rely on copper wiring and other physical infrastructure. As long as your agents have access to an internet connection, they can work from anywhere.
Hosted contact center solutions have powerful integrations for centralized data access. This allows contact center managers and team leaders to implement Computer Telephony Integration (CTI), enabling the connection of their phone system with existing business tools. A good, cloud-based, hosted contact center solution features several useful functionalities besides simultaneously managing several phone calls. The top valuable features of a hosted contact center solution include agent status, call queue and call parking, internal team chats, call recording and call monitoring, and easy call transferring.
What is a Good Cloud Based, Hosted Contact Center Solution?
A good, cloud-based, hosted contact center solution caters to the business's specific needs and increases effective customer engagement and brand loyalty with contact center workforce optimization. Although a significant upfront investment, a good hosted contact center solution is more affordable in the long run than its on-premise alternatives. Since a 3rd party service provider maintains hosted contact center solutions, the contact center personnel do not have to worry about software implementation or maintenance.
Data centers in which hosted contact center solutions are hosted are sufficiently secure. A good, cloud-based, hosted solution is often further protected with multi-site redundancy against downtime. Hosted contact center solutions are generally seen as cost-effective and therefore preferred since they come with an indefinite license. After the upfront purchase and implementation cost, users only pay monthly maintenance fees for a hosted contact center solution. The maintenance fee is optional; if you stop paying, the software will work fine. However, it will remain stuck in the same version.