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How to Build a Profitable Inbound Contact Center

With modern communications technology, businesses can provide customers with more ways to reach out for help than ever before: online chat, email, Interactive Voice Response (IVR), and voice calls. But, even with multiple ways to reach the customer service department, most people still prefer talking to a live agent, which is why having an inbound contact center is so important.

According to a 2019 survey, 88 percent of respondents prefer speaking to a live agent on the phone. In another more recent consumer study, 69 percent said talking to a live agent by phone is one of their top three preferred methods of communication.

Without the ability to talk to a real person, your business could lose customers. But adding an inbound contact center to your company can be expensive.

The solution for most small to mid-sized companies is a flexible contact center powered by the right technology. With flexibility and technology, your business can operate a reliable customer service department without going over budget.

Let’s look at what you need to build an inbound contact center that supports your business’s bottom line.

How an Inbound Contact Center Can Drive Revenue Growth

Whether someone needs to call about a package they ordered or requires help using your services, the people who buy your products or services should be able to solve their problems and get their questions answered with zero friction.

An effective inbound contact center makes that possible. It gives your customer a clear pathway to conflict resolution.

And when you provide a seamless experience for your customers, your business can count on more loyalty, less customer churn, and more profits.

A study by Forrester found that if mass-market auto manufacturers were able to increase customer experience (CX) by just one point, they could bring in an additional $1B in revenue. Your company might not be as large as a mass-market auto manufacturer, but there’s still clear potential in investing intelligently in a better experience.

Your inbound contact center is ground zero when it comes to delivering that leading-edge customer service.

Inbound vs. Outbound Contact Center – Should You Have Both?

An inbound contact center receives calls from customers. An outbound contact center does the calling – your agents can call prospects and customers to increase brand awareness, nurture leads, or gather market research.

As you build your inbound contact center, consider starting with the tools that will enable your contact center agents to receive inbound calls and make outbound calls. The reality is, an outbound contact center can help to boost sales because you can take your customer relationships to the next level.

What Your Inbound Contact Center Needs to Be Profitable

In addition to being set up for both inbound and outbound calling, let’s unpack what your contact center needs to be effective.

1. Technology that Empowers Your Contact Center Agents

The first thing you need is a contact center platform with the right tools. To engage with customers and ensure an exceptional customer experience, your agents need certain features.

  • Intelligent call routing that automatically routes calls to the most appropriate agent
  • Call queues that ensure your agents are answering customer calls in sequence
  • IVR (Interactive Voice Response) technology that gives customers the option to self-serve their inquiry
  • Relevant caller information and call classifications to help your agents handle each call faster
  • Channel integration so agents can field customer inquiries in the way that best serves each customer’s needs, whether it’s chat, social media, IVR, email, or voice

All of these tools will help your agents provide a consistently high-quality service experience, which means happier customers, and happier agents.

2. The Flexibility to Scale Your Contact Center Quickly

If you build with flexibility in mind, you can create an inbound contact center that grows with your business.

How can you make your contact center flexible?

Skip the office space and the limits that come with hiring locally, and create a remote contact center.

With a cloud-based contact center platform, your agents can handle customer communications from anywhere. All they need is an internet connection and the contact center software downloaded on their device. Your agents might also need hardware, such as a headset, cloud-based desk phone, and webcam if you also provide video calling.

With a remote contact center, you’ll save on the costs of maintaining a physical space for your agents. And, you can hire from anywhere, allowing you to find the best customer service agents for your business.

Even better, when you need to scale your inbound contact center, you simply hire new agents and add users to your contact center system.

3. The Insights to Power Effective Processes

And finally, you need the analytics that will show you how effective your contact center agents are, where you could improve, and what you’re getting right.

To make this happen, you’ll need a contact center platform that makes tracking metrics easy. You should be able to see data on call volumes, average handle time (AHT), first response time (FRT), and abandoned calls in real-time.

With advanced reporting, you can improve your contact center staffing – ensuring you have enough agents at the right time without overstaffing – and learn where there might be performance shortfalls that your contact center manager can address with extra training.

Start Building Your Inbound Contact Center with Intermedia

To make your contact center profitable, you need to give your agents the tools that will enable them to provide great experiences for customers. But you also need to keep your costs down without sacrificing quality, which you can do with a remote contact center and cloud-based technology.

With Intermedia Contact Center, your agents will have all the features you need to thrive, including the ability to make inbound and outbound calls. And as a cloud-based solution that deploys quickly, you can get started right away without a large investment. Take the first step to building a profitable contact center for your business – get a quote today.

About Kirsten Barta

Kirsten Barta is Program Manager of Digital Content and Strategy at Intermedia