Your guide to contact centers

Contact sales

Everything you need to know about delivering a superior customer and employee experience.

A business contact center is an ever-evolving ecosystem, with high volumes of constant updates and a revolving door of shifting priorities.

Customers expect seamless interactions with your business — at every stage. Managers expect high performance (regardless of call volume), efficiency, insights, flexibility and cost savings. Agents want the freedom and ability to be able to work from remote locations. 

“Over half of consumers say that the overall enjoyment of their experience is important in their decision to buy a product or service.”

Deloitte

A better customer experience

Delivering exceptional experiences is a key part of customer retention, which can lead to significant cost savings.

“More than half of Americans have scrapped a planned purchase or transaction because of bad service, and 33% say they’ll consider switching companies after just a single instance of poor service.”

American Express

You might be asking yourself a lot of questions related to contact center options and goals. Here are some common questions our customers ask as they to map their contact center evolution:

To offer an excellent customer experience, contact centers need to quickly resolve customer problems. This is why it’s very important to monitor metrics such as average speed to answer and first-call resolution.

Workforce management has always been a top priority for contact center managers. But in this era of remote work, companies are increasingly turning to modern cloud-based solutions to better serve employees and customers.

Scalability, adaptability and business continuity are table stakes.

By using the right tools, you can make sure inquiries are dealt with promptly and appropriately, and ensure that your workforce is efficient and ready to adapt to changing conditions.

With a good contact center solution, you’ll be able to better manage your workforce by:

  • Measuring agents’ performance
  • Managing agents’ schedules
  • Helping agents solve customer issues more easily

To streamline your customer service process, you can offer a self-service option. You can also direct customers to channels like email and live chat when possible.

Using bots and artificial intelligence applications reduce the time spent with a live agent – but these interactions can be escalated to live agents to complete the customer experience.

Features such as these can be enabled through a cloud-based contact center solution.

Since the COVID-19 crisis began, many contact centers have shifted to a work-from-home model. While this has often meant increased flexibility and cost savings, it has also presented challenges in terms of employee motivation, performance monitoring and increased call volumes.

In this context, it’s more important than ever to have access to solutions that effectively address workforce planning and management. This should include advanced built-in scheduling capabilities, and technology to allow for call audits that will help address key issues faced by both workers and supervisors while working remotely.

Cloud-based contact center adoption is increasing as companies look for more flexibility and resiliency in their solutions.

Learn the key reasons that companies are turning to Cloud-based contact center solutions.

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Contact center options: Choosing the right solution

Contact center solutions can help you support your staff, making their job easier so they can focus on serving your customers.

When choosing a contact center solution, one important factor to consider is whether you want a cloud-based or a premise-based setup.

While there may be some situations where a premise-based solution is preferred, they require significant up-front CAPEX investment for equipment and facilities, plus ongoing maintenance and management costs. They also require agents to be in the same location. They lack redundancy for business continuity—if a critical piece of equipment goes down, the entire contact center can fail until the issue is resolved.

Cloud-based contact centers can provide significant cost savings and flexibility. However, it’s also key to look at what your cloud-based contact center solution provider is offering. Some cloud-based contact center solutions aren’t involved in critical components such as network connectivity, architecture and security. You need to make sure that your contact center solution fits holistically within your wider business operations environment, and that you have support in every area.

Choosing a total solutions provider (such as Allstream) can save you time, preventing you from having to pass information between multiple vendors. With our expertise in networking and connectivity solutions like SD-WAN, you can take care of your whole setup in one place.

Here are a few features to look for:

  • Expertise in telecommunications
  • Integration with your other software solutions (open API)
  • Current and future artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities
  • Flexibility and efficiency
  • Gamification and worker incentives
  • Advanced capabilities for insights and metrics
  • Hyper personalized experiences with enhanced, easy-to-use self-serve options
  • Real-time customer details that drive elevated customer experience
  • Training portals and interactive learning for workers
  • Predictive analytics
  • Omnichannel delivery
  • Advanced call recording
  • Workforce management to optimize resources and scheduling across different support channels
  • Work from anywhere capabilities
  • Supervisory dashboards and reporting
  • Real-time agent response to efficiently handle calls in fewer steps
  • Web chat translation
  • Video chat capabilities

An experienced contact center solutions provider will take the time to evaluate your unique needs and situation.

Typically, you’ll be asked to join a personalized “discovery call,” where an expert can answer your questions, assess your needs and propose a solution that works for you.

 

The world of contact center solutions has evolved considerably. Busting through these myths could help give your business an edge. 

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Why Allstream for contact centers?

With Allstream’s Contact Center solutions, you can stand out from the competition while increasing your team’s efficiency, while delivering excellent customer service in the method your customers choose to contact you: phone, email, chat, or videocall.

Allstream offers a complete telecommunications solution, partnering with industry-leading providers Cisco and Mitel. We have the experience to help you find and implement a setup that works for your contact center.

Our solutions give contact center managers the tools they need to measure and reward agent performance, meet customer demand and remain flexible in the face of unexpected circumstances, ensuring you never miss a call, and provide a superior service for your customers.

  • Insights for managers: Provide your managers with real-time information and call recordings
  • Variety of support options: Omnichannel — voice, email, chat or social media
  • Resources for agents: Give agents the help they need, when they need it
  • Agent matching: Make sure customers can connect with the right people
  • Flexibility and adaptability: Easily schedule, manage and collaborate from anywhere
  • Budget control: By leveraging all or part of an OpEx model, you can eliminate potential surprises related to legacy or on-premise components

Whether you have just a few team members or hundreds of employees, Allstream has experience working with businesses of all sizes. Contact us today, and see how we can help your business.

“96% of survey respondents say customer service plays a role in their choice of and loyalty to a brand.”

Microsoft

Success Story | Allstate Peterbilt

Learn how we helped Allstate Peterbilt manage 1500 calls per day with real-time reporting, and eliminate outages that had been impacting mission-critical operations.

> Read More

Ready to get started? Explore Allstream’s Contact Center solution.

Call Sales at 1-833-603-6600, or let us know more about your needs and an Allstream expert will be in touch. Our experienced representatives can make a personalized recommendation for you, based on your business’ specific situation and requirements.