Why Every SMB Needs Hosted Call Centers
Call centers aren't new, however, it is new for small businesses to be able to afford them. That is all thanks to hosted call centers.
Whether you call it a cloud call center, virtual call center or call center-as-a-service, network-based hosted service can increase your company’s efficiency, lower your costs, and improve the customer experience. Call centers are hardly new to the business world.
Companies able to afford them have been using full-featured on-premises call systems for years to ensure that all their calls are answered. However, few small and medium businesses (SMBs) have been able to afford to lay out the capital needed to purchase the hardware, software, servers, recording systems, and then overburden their IT staff with maintaining them. All that has changed, thanks tohosted call centers.
Lower total cost of ownership (TCO)
Since a hosted call center is a network-based service in which a provider owns the infrastructure and technology, and provides answering service to companies for a small monthly fee, not only is the TCO negligible, but the expense can also be charged as part of the company’s operating costs. This means it can leave its capital intact for upcoming purchases or projects.
Lower telecom expenses
During periods of high caller traffic, it’s not uncommon for callers to outnumber agents. With a cloud-based hosting system, the calls will queue up in the service provider’s architecture rather than the local phone system. This means the SMB only needs enough bandwidth to cover the number of agents on duty at the time. As a result, the company can cut its traditional telecom expenses.
Hosted call centers do away with the need for location-based agents. Automated call distribution (ACD) queues each call in the cloud according to the customer’s selection of department. Therefore, sales reps, customer service agents, and tech support can log-in from any office or branch to pick up a call from the queue of callers awaiting assistance. As a result, calls end up being answered quicker, with fewer staff members.
Since workers can log in from any location, a hosted call center fits the needs of companies with apolicy or a flexible work space. Sales reps and agents can transfer calls to their home phone or take an office VoIP phone home and plug it into any broadband connection. They can even accept ACD calls from their smartphones. So while a worker can be talking from her kitchen table, favorite coffee spot, hotel room, or even the backyard, the customer will be under the impression that she is at her desk in the office.
It’s an unfortunate certainty in life that sooner or later, a natural disaster will cause a business disruption. A tornado or hurricane may take power or phone lines down, or blizzards may strand workers at home. Every lost call is a lost opportunity, but with a VoIP hosted call center, business will carry on as usual. The cloud system will accept and queue calls, play messages, route calls to available locations, or fail over to home phone lines or cell phones without the SMB having to take any action.
Since businesses subscribe to a hosted call service on a month-to-month basis, they can try out new features as they become available without spending a lot of money. And since the service provider has to prove its system is worth keeping every month, rather than when a lengthy contract is up, SMBs can be assured those innovations will keep on coming.