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Augmenting contact centers to meet demand

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During the last several years, the conventional contact center has evolved into a more sophisticated entity capable of meeting customer demand on virtually every level. This is more important than ever, as consumers living through today's ongoing macroeconomic crisis are increasingly disgruntled by expensive products that do not necessarily meet expectations. With highly efficient and available contact centers, enterprises can reduce client problems.

A recent report by Destination CRM revealed that the traditional "everyone is in sales" saying is more applicable today than ever before, especially as cloud, social and mobile trends continue to break down the conventional walls of the contact center. Instead of having a single team in charge of managing all client relations, companies are developing highly collaborative strategies that combine the efforts of multiple disparate departments.

Dealing with today's self-reliant consumer

The consumerization of IT is impacting corporate strategies throughout the private sector, causing companies to embrace next-generation tools to keep up with demand. This phenomenon means that today's customers are much more tech-savvy than they used to be. In many cases, individuals try to resolve any product or IT issues themselves before consulting with a contact center, Destination CRM noted.

This means that companies need to provide consumers with a seamless transition to corporate representatives when contact is initiated, the news source said. In the past, this integration was difficult because traditional telephony solutions were unable to connect with remote platforms. Today, however, business phone systems are highly sophisticated and can communicate well with a variety of endpoints, making the process of waiting in queue until the appropriate agent is ready a thing of the past.

Embracing the platforms of tomorrow

While voice is still among the primary communication methods between contact centers and customers, it is no longer the only one. Businesses around the world are recognizing the growing demand for social platforms, mobile applications and messaging solutions in customer relationship management processes. Destination CRM said this is largely due to the emergence of the next generation of employees.

Enterprises are now supporting a larger remote workforce than ever before and adopting a wider range of technologies to ensure both employee and consumer demands are met. This is primarily due to the proliferation of smartphones and tablets, which have completely transformed the way individuals carry out traditional computing tasks.

The cloud has become crucial

In addition to mobility and social media, cloud services have quickly gained momentum in the contact center. A report by DMG Consulting revealed that the number of cloud-based contact center solutions grew more than 224 percent between 2008 and 2012. This is largely because organizations are now recognizing the benefits associated with using a hosted PBX system in the contact center, as this type of system is more flexible than traditional land line services.

DMG Consulting said contact centers are adopting cloud-based services to become more agile, allowing employees to deal with an increasing number of customers without impairing connectivity, operations or overall efficiency. By establishing clear and specific business requirements while following best practices, enterprises looking to implement hosted contact centers can do so securely and effectively without introducing unnecessary challenges.

In the coming years, the consumer landscape will continue to evolve and force businesses to change their contact centers to meet new demands. By capturing, analyzing and harnessing customer information, decision-makers may be able to gain a better understanding of what needs to be done to keep clients happy and coming back to make more purchases in the future.