Save Money and Boost Service with Hosted Contact Centers for Small Business: A Better Way to Beat the Big Guys


Call Center Agent - Save Money and Boost Service with a Hosted Contact Center

Just a phone and a computer is all that's needed!

Every business wants to beat the competition. It’s necessary not just for survival, but for leadership. There’s also nothing quite like the pride that comes from seeing the business you’ve started grow and thrive. For small businesses everywhere, there’s no understating the impact that small business has on people’s lives. For example, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, small firms with fewer than 500 employees accounted for 64% of net jobs created during the 1993-2008 period.Yet, even with the major effect small business has on the economy, there is no denying the challenges small businesses face in competing with bigger firms. One of these challenges is the ability to offer quality customer support. Yet it’s often customer service that’s the strongest differentiator between small businesses and big ones.

Smaller firms lack the resources to maintain full customer contact centers. However, the advance of cloud technology has changed that. One solution made possible by the cloud is the development of hosted contact center technology.

What is a Hosted Contact Center?

A hosted contact center is cloud based software that allows your customer service agents to help customers wherever your agents are located, with minimal investment in infrastructure like buildings, switching equipment, software, etc. All of the behind the scenes processing, computer power, technology, etc is maintained by the contact center software company and hosted on their servers. You’re just accessing that power through the web. In most cases, all your agents require is a phone and a computer to access the software. The rest is provided by your hosted contact center vendor.

Capable Agents, Capable Companies

One common concern from companies looking at a hosted solution is the agents ability to function without access to the latest specialized call center hardware and software. Hosted solutions eliminate the need for this infrastructure since all maintenance, technology, and hardware is the responsibility of the vendor. The software and hardware capability is also delivered over the web to the agent, providing the agent with all the necessary tools. Many vendors also espouse the customizability of their solutions, allowing you to tailor the technology to your application.

Look for a contact center solution that provides you with collaboration capabilities, automatic routing, and knowledge management systems. By utilizing hosted technology, you could realize cost and time savings. Contactual, a provider of hosted contact center technology, estimates “… an average 40-seat contact center taking 40,000 calls per month will recognize a reduction in cost per call from $1.75 to $0.77, which translates to $468,000 savings per year.”

With these cost savings, you could maintain high quality customer support without the infrastructure cost. You don’t have to buy a multiple software packages to fill out your call center. You don’t need to purchase specialized hardware or additional office space. And you don’t need to hire IT staff and system integrators to get the whole thing working. This translates to more resources to focus on enhancing the competitive capability of your business.

Know that you are not alone in considering a hosted contact center implementation. According to a recent Contactual blog post, small businesses account for 75% of the 2010 market share in the hosted contact center segment. Small deployments of less than 100 seats compose about 37.4% of the North American market. Midsize deployments of 100-500 seats compose about 37.9% of the market. This means 3 out of every 4 hosted solution deployments are less than 500 seats.

Hosted contact centers may be the right fit for your business. The marketplace is a tough world, but recent developments are leveling the playing field. Are you ready to compete in it?

This post originally appeared in another form on one of my other blogs.

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