Is Contact Center Software a Good Option for Small Businesses?

October 27, 2021

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Contact center software for small business can be a great investment. When SMBs deploy CCaaS (Contact Center Software as a Service), they reap many benefits. It can drive productivity, better customer experiences, and provide data to improve operations.

Is it the right option for your small business? Let’s explore what you get with such a solution and its many benefits.

What Does CCaaS Offer Small Businesses?

There are lots of contact center software options on the market. Many have similar features, but certain ones are must-haves for small businesses.

One of the biggest differentiators with CCaaS versus standard software is that it’s cloud-based. Having this flexibility is critical in today’s world, where remote or hybrid work models are the norm. With CCaaS, your employees can support customers from wherever. All they need is an internet connection, a device, and a headset.

Beyond this core feature, there are several others to take into account when considering a move to CCaaS for your small business.

Interactive Voice Response (IVR)

IVR is a common function and one that creates lots of efficiencies. It’s an automated telephony system that allows for caller interaction. It gathers information from the caller about the reason for their call. It then routes the call to the right agent.

In some cases, callers may not even need to speak to an agent, as it can relay general information like your address and hours of operation. Additionally, with input from the customer, it can tell them their account balance or help them make a payment. For these non-agent requests, IVR can save lots of time and resources.

Those callers who do need to speak to someone will be able to connect with the right person. Further, many platforms allow you to integrate your CRM. Information about the customer is readily available for the contact center agent. This can create a better experience for callers and faster resolution.

In looking at IVR options, be sure that you can easily update it when needed. Some products make this difficult to do without substantial technical knowledge.

Omnichannel Routing

If you want to be as efficient as possible, which is paramount for small businesses, you’ll need omnichannel routing. Since you likely have limited resources, make the most of them by grouping agents within queues. Some may have specific skills or specialties, and routing can ensure the caller’s problem matches the employee’s capabilities.

Such a feature integrates channels, including voice, chat, and email. No matter how your customers want to interact with you, it’s in a central queue.

Outbound Notifications

Did you know a CCaaS can offer outbound notifications? Some can, and that includes voice, SMS, and email. It can be a gamechanger for communicating with customers. Some use cases are appointment and event reminders, account balance or payment due dates, utility outages, and customer alerts that a technician is on the way.

You need to maximize your resources. Having your agents making multiple outbound calls for these notifications isn’t a good use. CCaaS can help you automate the process.

Agent Scheduling

Is your contact center manager spending too much time trying to optimize scheduling? It can be easier and more streamlined with CCaaS. With a built-in scheduler, you can integrate events, vacations, shift trades, and more. You’ll also be able to look at availability in real time.

Managers can also run reports to understand when they have peaks in calls and communications to ensure staffing effectiveness.

Quality Assurance

Supervisors need to keep a check on agents to ensure consistency in the quality of service. There are multiple features in a CCaaS to help you do that. For example, you can record calls and screens. Also, there are live options with monitor, whisper, and barge.

Having access to these things enables you to measure adherence to your protocols and evaluate performance. You can then coach agents on areas where they are underperforming.

Analytics and Reporting

Another must-have component for contact center software for small businesses is analytics and reporting. Such features offer complete visibility into your operations. Real-time dashboards are part of this, allowing managers to monitor what’s happening.

The data you collect on every contact with customers can also help you answer questions around:

  • First call resolution rates: Are they increasing or decreasing? Why?
  • The average length of calls: Do the intervals seem accurate?
  • Queue performance: How well are you managing volume? Are customers waiting too long?
  • Transfers: Are agents transferring callers at high rates? If so, it might indicate you need to work on routing.
  • Agents that have the best performance: You can identify who is doing well and elevate their role or have them mentor other agents.

Beyond Features, What Else Will Influence Your Decision to Adopt Contact Center Software?

All these features are critical to productivity, efficiency, and customer experience. However, other things will contribute to whether you put a solution in place.

  • Cost: SMBs are often price-sensitive, so the solution needs to be affordable. Look at the total cost of ownership (TCO) and how the product could save you money versus what you use now.
  • Is it easily scalable: Your business may be small now, but you have the potential for growth. Choose a platform that can expand with you, not cause growing pains.
  • How quickly can you deploy: You want a solution you can deploy quickly, not something that will take considerable time to be ready to use.
  • Is it secure: Security is another consideration, especially if you’re in a regulated industry like healthcare or banking. Ask questions about the platform’s security features.

Is Contact Center Software Right for Your Small Business?

With the right technology, you can better serve your customers, ensure agents are more productive, and manage queues effectively. It’s a smart investment for small businesses that want to make it easy for customers to seek support or help.

Learn more about CCaaS today by reviewing Intermedia Contact Center and what it offers.

Kirsten Barta

Kirsten Barta is Sr Marketing Communications Manager at Intermedia

October 27, 2021

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