Throughout traditional contact center operations, there have been arguments both for and against the hosted contact center. Historically, the hosted contact center platform suited only those smaller organizations that required minimal functionality as larger companies opted to keep complicated and customized systems in-house.
This perception is changing, however, as hosted contact center solutions providers are emerging with robust platforms that can deliver complex and customized features to suit even the largest of contact centers. The challenge is that mere availability of the solution and communicating its benefits to potential customers are two different concepts.
Contact centers often track their performance and the performance of their agents using key performance indicators, or KPIs. These KPIs are communicated back to the parent organization or the outsourcing customer who is measuring the effectiveness of the center. As such, high KPIs are essential for the continued success of the contact center.
For those contact centers that are operating premise-based systems, it may be more difficult to increase KPIs and perform at best-in-class levels. Why? These centers have made significant capital investments in their premise-based solutions and they are often difficult if not impossible to change once deployed. Improving the performance or efficiency of the system without additional software or hardware implementations could prove to be difficult.
In such a situation, a hosted contact center model could prove to be very valuable. When a particular application or solution is failing to deliver the necessary fundamentals that the center needs to perform at best-in-class levels, it can simply be changed to reflect the strategic goals of the contact center. The result can be better overall performance, lower costs, and increased customer satisfaction.
Performing at best-in-class levels is about more than just competing effectively. Best-in-class companies time and again prove that they are able to deliver higher levels of customer service, better first call resolution, increased customer loyalty levels and reduced employee churn. Each of these elements are critical to the overall success of the contact center, and ultimately the long-term success of the company.
The hosted contact center model also allows the contact center to change according to the market, customer demand and buying habits. In order to ensure that it can maintain loyal customers, the contact center must be able to provide the service and solutions that customers demand. In an age where customer deflection is as simple as the click of a mouse, the contact center must be able to accommodate the changing customer.
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