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How Do I Know When I Need a Contact Center?

I am often asked by small business owners “how do I know when I need a contact center?”

Here is my advice . . .

The size of your company is not related to whether or not you need a contact center; it is related to the services you want to provide to your customers and how you handle satisfying those inquiries.

 These inquiries can be:

  • Sales
  • Technical Support
  • Customer Service
  • Returns
  • Billing
  • Collections
  • Customer Feedback
  •  Etc.

A lot of smaller companies do business over the telephone; therefore, a large percentage of handling inquiries may be done by asking every employee to answer telephone calls. The result is employee frustration. How can they be expected to interact with a customer to provide a great customer experience when they cannot perform their “normal” jobs?

Your goal is to be sure customers are completely satisfied, remain loyal to your brand and tell their friends and business colleagues about you. The decision to establish a contact center can only be determined on how accessible you want to be to satisfy problems, answer inquiries and have a single point of contact for your customers.

The methods you offer customers on how to reach you are equally important.

  • Unique telephone number?
  • Unique email address?
  • Website with customer log-in that provides e-commerce and chat services?

The core value of a contact center is the ability for the staff to handle any type of customer interaction whether by – telephone, email, chat, text, website login, mobile, social media, etc. Every interaction is an event that impacts how your company is perceived by your customers.

Customers today want to communicate with a business:

  • On their terms
  • When they want
  • How they want, and
  • Expect the same service and answers regardless of a communication method

The dynamics of operating a successful contact center incorporates people, processes and technology (software and hardware) so that regardless of the customer interaction type your staff knows who your customers are, when they contacted you last, about what and why they are contacting you now.

The financial percentage impact of operating a contact center within your offices is:

65% = Personnel

20% = Network

10% = Overhead

 5% = Equipment

The size of your center, technology and staffing requirements, is dependent on the number of interactions you receive and the time spent to handle.

If you choose to outsource your interactions to a 3rd party, your expense is generally a monthly cost per call and an agreement that ensures Service Level adherence.

I strongly believe a contact center focuses you and your staff on creating a positive customer engagement with minimal effort on their part which results in happy and loyal customers.