By Martin Tracey
Contact center technology has continuously evolved over the last 20 years and can do more now than most people could have imagined. It's now well past the “call center stage” when the only function a service center had was offering was inbound or outbound calls. Contact centers in the United States and Canada today are a business productivity tool. They have evolved to “omnichannel” and include numerous forms of communication, interaction, and analytics.
Until recently, some of the more advanced contact center applications like WFM, Analytics, and Quality Management were restricted to those contact centers that had the budget for a costly premise-based solution with access to these applications as add-on models. The other alternative was adding these applications as individual third-party modules to your existing premise solution. Again, this could be very expensive and often came with a stack of other issues due to the need to keep multiple disparate databases synchronized.
Thanks to CCaaS these applications are now readily available in an affordable delivery model for contact centers of all sizes. The availability of these higher-end applications like WFM and Analytics in numerous CCaaS offerings provides customers the opportunity to take advantage of the information and efficiencies these applications bring.
Is this an area where you hope to invest in 2018? Let’s make a case.
Determining Upfront Cost
With CCaaS solutions, the substantial upfront capital cost is no longer a barrier. The elimination of hardware erases the cost for a data center or internal rack space. Upgrades no longer have any related costs, and they happen regularly without any interruption. You create substantial saving with the elimination of traditional carrier connections like PRI. Less expensive Direct Internet Bandwidth can cut your monthly voice related carrier bills by 50% or more. Furthermore, the total cost of a Cloud implementation for a mid-size contact center can easily be a third of what you would have paid for a new premise system. If you're building the case to move to Cloud technology, calculate your potential savings, and share these numbers with your CFO.
Access to Advanced Applications
Most CCaaS solutions come with advanced applications like WFM, analytics, voice recording and CRM integration. With a premise solution, you would have to add these items to your technology, driving up the upfront costs and on-going support. In many cases, these applications are third-party additions.
Our customer data suggests that even the smallest contact centers (with around 40 agents) can increase their efficiency by at least 10% using a Cloud WFM tool. As a result, they can drive down the most significant cost in any contact center: labor. This produces more ROI than the monthly fee of the Contact center software in most cases. With the labor utilization efficiencies gained in scheduling optimization from the WFM application, the monthly savings labor costs easily build the case for an ROI on the monthly solution cost of a CCaaS deployment.
With the removal of the large up-front cost that was previously required to acquire high-end solutions, Contact centre managers can now approach their CFO with a reasonable monthly fee for access to desirable applications. And you can easily justify your request by showing the potential ROI of using a WFM tool. At the other end of the spectrum, the WFM technology will optimize your staffing so your customers get the best experience, which should, in turn, lead to continued growth and improved revenue. After all, customer experience is now the number one competitive differentiator.
On top of these benefits, a CCaaS solution that can offer these applications as a single database will also eliminate the never-ending battle of reconciling and keeping current multiple disparate databases.