How good is your customer service process?
Can you resolve your customers’ issues 24/7?
Can you help them via chat? Video calls?
Or are you using only voice calls?
If you are responsible for managing customers in your business, you need to ponder these questions immediately. If the answers to these questions suggest that your current customer service process needs an upgrade, then a hosted contact/call centre is the solution you are looking for.
What is a hosted call centre?
A hosted call centre is a communication software hosted on the cloud. Modern hosted call centres enable a business to communicate with its customers via different channels, also known as hosted contact centres.
In short, hosted contact centre and hosted call centre are terms used interchangeably. Thus, a hosted contact centre enables businesses to communicate with customers via video calls, chat, SMS, and standard voice calls.
Hosted call centre v/s Traditional call centre: Differences
Hosted call centres are very different from traditional call centres. Here are some key differences –
- Location of servers: In traditional call centres, the communication software is housed in internal servers within the business premises. On the other hand, Hosted call centres are hosted on external servers in the cloud.
- Cost of installation: Businesses pay the cost of installing traditional call centre infrastructure. However, in the case of hosted call centres, businesses do not have to incur such installation costs.
- Responsibility of maintenance: Businesses maintain traditional call centre infrastructure. External service providers maintain hosted call centre infrastructure.
- Communication channels: Traditional call centre is a limited customer service solution as it only offers the possibility of voice calls. On the other hand, hosted call or contact centres offer the possibility of video calls, chat, and SMS on top of standard voice calls.
Features of a hosted call centre
Hosted call centres can have a wide range of features. Here are some common features in a hosted call centre –
- Use of IVR: Hosted call centres use advanced Interactive Voice Response or IVR technology. IVR is an automated system that routes customer calls to appropriate agents. In its basic version, IVR connects customers with the right agents, a process that could be time-consuming. Advanced IVR systems such as Airtel IQ use smarter IVR scripts to connect customers with agents faster.
- Integration with CRM: Hosted call centres can be easily integrated with your business’ CRM applications. Thus, agents have access to all customer information at their fingertips.
- Secure conversations: Hosted call centres help disguise your customer and employee phone numbers. This ensures secure conversation and enables both customers and agents to interact with more confidence, improving the quality of customer service.
- Call recording and monitoring: Hosted call centres enable recording and monitoring for quality purposes.
- Omnichannel support: Hosted call centres enable communication via multiple channels – video calls, voice calls, chat and SMS.
- Call analytics: Hosted call centres provide advanced call analytics for your business. You can customise your dashboards, set your KPIs and obtain invaluable insights into customer behaviour.
Benefits of a hosted call centre
Hosted call centres offer several benefits –
- Affordability: With hosted call centres, you can say goodbye to installing expensive server infrastructure on your premises. You also save money in terms of space and staff required to maintain internal servers.
- Security: Hosted call centres are usually more secure and less vulnerable to disasters, as the communications software is hosted in the cloud.
- Scalable: You can scale your business rapidly with the help of a cloud-hosted contact centre, as you do not have to invest significant money in server infrastructure.
- Better availability: The hosted call centre’s downtime risk is significantly less. Solutions such as Airtel IQ offer 99.9% uptime SLA. This ensures that you are there for your customers 24/7.
- Better customer interactions: Customized analytics dashboards, smarter IVR technology and CRM integration ensure high quality of conversation between agent and customer. Businesses can improve their customer experience process over time by taking strategic decisions based on hosted contact centre data.
Overall, a hosted call centre is a cost-effective solution to enhance your business’s customer experience.
How to choose the right hosted call centre?
As stated earlier, hosted call centre solutions are more or less similar in terms of features. However, certain factors separate advanced solutions such as Airtel IQ from the rest. Let’s look at these factors –
- Downtime risk – Downtime is when systems are down, and you cannot function. Hosted contact centres with high downtime percentages will prevent you from attending to your customers 24/7. You need to ensure that downtime percentage is low, or conversely, uptime percentage is very high
- Security – You need to ensure that your interactions with your customers are always secure. Advanced encryption capabilities can help in this regard. Look for these in your call centre solution.
- Integration capabilities – If your call centre solution cannot integrate with your existing applications, such as CRM, then you should discard it. Integrations ensure that you can easily provide data to your agents to deal with customer issues properly.
- Use of AI and NLP – AI and NLP technologies make customer conversations more intelligent than ever. If you want your customer experience process to be future-proof, you need solutions with these technologies.
Switch to hosted call centres today
Customers these days are increasingly demanding and impatient. They want a quick resolution of their issues. If your business cannot quickly resolve its issues, you risk losing them.
If your business uses traditional call centre solutions, then it is high time you switch to advanced hosted call centre solutions such as Airtel IQ. Only then can you be available 24/7 for your customers in every way possible.