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VoIP is Ready for Prime Time in Contact Centers - With Proper Configuration

December 14, 2007

By Susan J. Campbell,
TMCnet Contributing Editor

Although they may not know the industry term for it, consumers throughout the global economy are increasingly embracing VoIP. Voice over Internet Protocol is becoming widely accepted and available as a communication venue of choice in both business and consumer use.
 
Voice and data networks are being increasingly converged, especially in the contact center as these organizations continue to look for ways to cut costs while also improving the experience for the customer.

And, while VoIP can certainly help the contact center in achieving these goals, there are specific elements to which the IT manager must pay attention to ensure that quality is enhanced and not negatively impacted by poor configurations.

Implementing solutions that converge the voice and data networks can deliver significant cost savings for the customer.

Poor voice quality in the contact center can greatly impact the performance of the center. For example, the customer can become frustrated when they cannot understand the contact center agent. Poor voice quality also communicates to the customer that the contact center has not taken the time or the resources to implement a communication system that delivers clear voice quality. The perception created can increase customer churn.

Insufficient bandwidth is also an important issue for IT managers to consider when configuring the converged network for the contact center. Shortcuts are often taken in the bandwidth area to try and control costs. Here again, voice quality can be negatively impacted, which can degrade the experience for the customer.

VoIP implementation earned a poor reputation when it was first launched as quality and continuity were not always 100 percent. As quality dramatically improved, widespread adoption occurred and businesses throughout the world came to experience the benefits that VoIP has to offer.

The contact center especially has much to gain from a VoIP implementation. Not only are networks being converged, contact centers are also increasingly offering multiple communication channels. With a converged network, contact center agents can easily interact with customers through their preferred channel, delivering a quality experience for both the customer and the agent.

Like any technology solution, VoIP must be properly implemented and networks properly configured in order to realize the benefits that VoIP can provide. Failure to do so can actually cost the contact center more than the technology was implemented to save, negating the purpose of the implementation in the first place.


Susan J. Campbell is a contributing editor for TMC (News - Alert) and has also written for eastbiz.com. To see more of her articles, please visit Susan J. Campbell’s columnist page.
 
 
 Don’t forget to check out TMCnet’s Whitepaper Library, which provides a selection of in-depth information on relevant topics affecting the IP Communications industry. The library offers whitepapers, case studies and other documents which are free to registered users.
 
Today’s featured White Paper (News - Alert)  is titled VoIP Doesn’t Require Any Phone Equipment Investment, brought to you by Accessline.