How to Bring Your Call Center Into the 21st Century
by Joe Michalowski on

 What’s the end goal of digital transformation? You’re updating business processes and internal applications, but for most business leaders, the ultimate focus is becoming more agile to meet the changing demands of customers.

Unfortunately, legacy-laden call centers are often lost in the mix, or are low on the digital transformation priority list.

The problem is that call centers are seen as cost centers within the business. Just think of all the miserable times you’ve spent on hold with a company waiting for a service representative. Call centers haven’t exactly driven business results in the past.

However, bringing your call center into the 21st century isn’t just another step in the digital transformation process. Outfitting your contact center with the right technology can turn it into a profit center.

The Win-Win Scenario of Call Center Modernization

 It doesn’t take a business expert to know that outdated call center technology frustrates customers to no end. With so many advancements in consumer technology, digital natives (and even digital immigrants) are left wondering why they’re still dealing with clunky interactive voice response (IVR) systems when they call customer support.

But if this is the case, why isn’t every business leader rushing out to invest in new call center technology? The issue is that you’ll spend millions of dollars refreshing a legacy infrastructure for customer experience improvements you might not be able to quantify.

However, call center modernization isn’t all about direct customer interactions. The right technology won’t just help you automate support calls—it will free up valuable resources to enable call center reps to improve sales conversions, focus on cross-sell opportunities, and spend more time personalizing the customer experience.

Call center modernization is a win-win scenario for your business and your customers—but only if you implement the right solutions.

7 Technologies That Help Call Centers Become Profit Centers

As you start to focus your digital transformation efforts on the call center, consider these valuable technologies that can help you achieve this win-win scenario:

1. Cloud-based communications software: Getting rid of your on-premises PBX and adopting cloud-based software can help you cut costs while also opening new opportunities to hire remote workers. The scalability and cost efficiency of these cloud or SaaS apps will align with digital transformation goals in other areas of your business.

2. Mobile service platforms: Mobile devices have quickly become the preferred consumer channel, so it only makes sense to offer access to customer service through them. When people can communicate with your contact center without leaving an app, you create a much more fluid customer experience.

3. Automatic callback: Stop forcing customers to wait on hold. Let them enter a phone number and receive a call back when the representative is ready. It makes the customer happier (which makes your agents’ lives easier).

4. Social media integration: Similar to mobile access, allowing customers to interact with support via social media can improve customer experience and reduce call volumes in your contact center.

5. Automated/virtual agents: Call center modernization isn’t all about automation, but that doesn’t mean it’s not useful. Virtual agents and AI can answer simple questions and eliminate outdated IVR systems. You can reserve human interactions for the more pressing matters.

6. Video communications: When you think about video in a call center, your first thought might be video chats between agents and customers. These are helpful, but video can also be used as a means of visual instruction for self-service troubleshooting.

7. Digital self-service portals: Not all call center technology has to enable direct communication between agents and customers. Many consumers research their problems before calling customer support. Give these customers the resources necessary to troubleshoot on their own before forcing them to call an agent.

There aren’t any hard-and-fast rules for modernizing your call center with these technologies. You might find some fit into your use case more than others. Or you might find that there are other types of call center technology out there that aren’t on this list. Regardless, it’s time to bring call centers into the 21st century.

If you want to learn more about the challenges you’ll face as you pursue digital transformation for your distributed business, download our free white paper, How to Solve the Top IT Issues at Remote Locations.

Filed Under: cloud computing, Industry Insights

Tags: call center , cloud applications , legacy IT