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contact center solutions for mid size business

Mid-size contact centers face special challenges when compared to smaller and larger competitors. If your contact center has between 21 and 300 agents, what do you need in a contact center solution, and why won’t solutions that work for smaller or bigger operations work for you?

The Mid-Size Contact Center Squeeze

Mid-sized contact centers get squeezed by their smaller and larger competitors.

Smaller businesses are able to be more agile, and frankly, can run their business with less. For example, they can do their reporting and analytics manually in a spreadsheet, and don’t need to worry about integrating data from multiple systems. They can manage their workforce and the quality of their work easily, since they are typically co-located. They don’t need sophisticated routing. Because of their small size – a low-cost, commodity call center solution is more than enough to meet their needs. But what works for them doesn’t necessarily scale up for the mid-size contact center.

Larger contact centers can afford big investments in infrastructure. They afford contact center solutions that include things like workforce optimization and omnichannel communications. To get a picture of what’s going on in their contact center, they can purchase or develop an in-house analytics solution that integrates data from multiple systems. They have the resources to create sophisticated routing strategies and outbound campaigns. They can use unified communications and other means to collaborate throughout the enterprise. But your mid-size contact center can’t realistically make that kind of investment in infrastructure.

So what is a mid-size contact center to do? How can you compete with those smaller, more agile competitors who can spend less, and your bigger competitors who can afford to invest in costly infrastructure and solutions?

Unified Cloud Offerings Solve the Mid-Size Contact Center Squeeze

If you can’t get away with a small contact center solution, and you can’t afford a large infrastructure investment, you still have to compete, so you have to find a middle ground. A unified cloud offering scales to fit the size of your contact center, so that is a good place to start when looking for a mid-size contact center solution.

Get what the big guys have without spending the big money. With a unified cloud contact center solution, you get:

  • The latest technology – cloud-based call center software includes continuous software upgrades, and you don’t have to maintain IT staff to keep the software up-to-date
  • Workforce optimization – to assure quality interactions and make the best use of your agents and supervisors by placing them where they’re needed when they’re needed
  • Just the channels you need – so you can start with voice and add additional channels as needed
  • Analytics-based routing – to predict customer needs and their propensity to buy based on their past behaviors and to make sure each caller is matched with the best agent to meet their needs
  • Adjust to peak demands – redirect traffic and reassign agents on-demand, based on volumes and skills
  • Real-time dashboards – to monitor operations and see everything that’s going on in the contact center across sites, teams and channels
  • Built-in collaboration – so agents in the contact center can communicate with each other and subject matter experts on-demand
  • Unified agent desktop – to make agents more productive by reducing the number of applications on their desktops
  • Customer context data for agents – to arm agents with information about the customer, their history, and past contact center interactions for contextual customer service
  • Pay only for what you use – scale up during the busy seasons and down when you can

Benefits of the Cloud for Mid-Size Contact Centers

There are multiple benefits to be gained by getting the right cloud offering for your contact center. Not only do you get a system that fits your needs, you get productivity, performance and operational improvements that will bring further benefits to your bottom line.

  • Productivity – Agent productivity is enhanced by a unified desktop that means they spend less time juggling applications and searching for customer information and spend more time with the customer. Managers benefit from the increased insights they have into everything that is occurring in the contact center, and their ability to easily make changes to improve contact center performance.
  • Visibility – Managers and administrators can now see how the contact center is performing across all channels, sites and teams via operational dashboards. They have one place to go to see what is happening, and one place to modify operations to maximize performance.
  • Business Performance improvements – Analytics-based routing sends contact center traffic to the best agents and teams to increase first call resolutions and other business and operational KPIs.
  • Multi-site Management – If you have a distributed workforce, outsourcers or work-at-home agents, you can always know what they are doing and manage them as if they were all onsite.
  • Reduced CapEx and Predictable OpEx – Cloud-based contact centers require no capital investment in on-site equipment and have a predictable monthly fee with no extra maintenance or licensing costs.
  • Reliability – The hardware, communications and infrastructure for cloud-based contact centers are managed by the vendor at multiple, professionally managed data centers, with security, disaster recovery and redundancy capabilities that were previously only available to large enterprises.
  • Better Customer Experiences – Unified omnichannel interactions and arming agents with customer context data across channels, give customers a better and more consistent experience. By giving agents real-time access to their colleagues, customer records, and customer conversation history, they can collaborate to increase first call resolutions.

When you are comparing cloud-based contact center solutions, you want to make sure it provides these features and benefits. Then by going to the cloud, you turn the challenges of a SMB contact center into advantages over both your smaller and larger competitors.

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About the Author

Rich is a member of the Customer Journey Platform marketing team. He has built a 25-year career in Silicon Valley bringing new B2B cloud and on-premise software technologies to market including contact center systems, Big Data analytics, Business Intelligence, interactive development environments and web application servers. He has held sales, product management, product marketing, solutions marketing, partner marketing, GM, VP and CMO positions.