Contact Center Services and Examples

As technology evolves, so do our expectations as consumers—thus, the contact center came to be. In the decades following the first contact center technology, organizations have greatly evolved the ways they communicate with consumers. Businesses used to handle inbound requests solely by telephone, but that is simply not the case anymore; email, instant messaging, and even texting are all desired (if not expected) by modern consumers. An omnichannel experience is now a critical piece of operations for organizations, not just to handle questions but for marketing and even brand reputation as a whole.

Contact centers face a rising demand for timely, quality service—all through an omnichannel experience. Thankfully, technology makes this more than possible. With the right software, a contact center can more than accommodate the growing need for a more personalized customer experience. On top of that, today’s contact center solutions can greatly enhance the working experience for agents, allowing them to be more efficient and effective. Keep reading to learn more about contact center technology and how to use it in a way that enhances your contact center, both for your callers and your agents.

To start, let’s take a look at what the contact experience of today looks like, and what services contact centers need to be successful. We’ll then discuss the software solutions that exist, and how managed services providers (MSPs) like InterVision help organizations navigate contact center setup.

What Are Contact Center Services?

Contact center services can be thought of as anything involving direct communication with customers. Traditionally, interactions primarily (if not solely) occurred through telephone calls, but modern contact centers have since expanded to include other channels like email, messaging platforms, texting, and even social media. Contact centers and their technology have evolved to support many operational functions of organizations, from marketing to administrative services and even consumer data collection.

The term “contact center services” can also refer to organizations that provide these services to clients. Managed service providers (MSPs) like InterVision help their clients find communications solutions that work for their specific situation, solving challenges and finding the right software solutions for each contact center. We’ll discuss MSPs later in this article.

What Are the Functions of a Contact Center?

Aside from the typical troubleshooting and customer service, there is a wide range of possible contact center services. Some examples include:

  • Providing proactive updates and news for customers
  • Chatbots and/or live chat services for consumer requests
  • Direct engagement via social media or other public platforms

Contact centers are expected to fill more roles than ever before. They may deal with scheduling, administrative roles, and even industry-specific questions. As a result of this, a typical contact center agent now has a much more diverse and demanding job. Agents must work with multiple forms of communication and be equipped for a wide range of customer interactions. On top of all that, contact center agents are expected to do their jobs quickly and with a high quality of customer service.

Is a Contact Center a Call Center?

Yes and no. A contact center provides the same services a call center does, but also can communicate through other channels besides telephones. While call centers strictly focus on phone-based services, contact center technology involves phones and other communication channels such as email and instant messaging. Additionally, cloud contact center software can provide analytics and data from customer interactions, which helps contact centers understand (and improve) their customer experience.

In terms of which provides a better experience, the debate between a contact center vs. a call center is not much of a debate at all. Contact centers provide far more services at a much more efficient rate, mainly because they use more communication channels and have the support of modern technology. Additionally, contact centers are the better choice because consumers expect to have options for how they can reach an organization—partially for convenience, but also personal preference. As Forbes noted, almost half of people would rather clean a toilet than make a phone call to customer service. While some of this hatred is more for poor customer service rather than phones specifically, the stigma surrounding phone calls remains a reality. In short, versatility and convenience are king in customer service—and contact centers provide this in a way that call centers simply aren’t equipped to do.

What Is the Importance of Contact Center Services?

Having a convenient, quality customer experience is critical to any organization, regardless of its industry or the products/services it provides. Contact center services make this much easier to accomplish, by offering the technology and support businesses need to care for their customers. This improves the experience of both the customer and the agents who make contact centers possible.

Getting the right setup for your contact center…

  • …improves your brand image and reputation.
  • …increases your outreach and sales opportunities.
  • …makes your organization more flexible and versatile.
  • …is the standard for modern operations and customer service.

Customers want the option to reach out through any communication channel and have their requests addressed—both properly and promptly. With this in mind, it’s important to note that a contact center can only get so far without the right technology to support it. Contact centers need to have agile, versatile means of interacting with their customers. That’s where contact center software comes in to help, providing more flexibility, features, and customization to contact centers across all industries.

What Is Contact Center Software?

Contact center software is any digital solution that supports contact center operations, either through automation or providing added functions. Contact center software may enable communication through multiple channels, create a system for routing requests, and/or compile data from customer interactions—for example, by recording customer calls. This data can both provide feedback to the contact center and help guide future decisions for improving customer service.

Most contact center software comes in the form of Contact Centers as a Service, or CCaaS for short. CCaaS platforms bring together all the technologies and features contact centers need for successful operation, making it easier, simpler, and cheaper to provide a high-quality customer experience. These platforms also give organizations more flexibility and data for the future, empowering them (and their agents) to better accommodate their customers.

Additionally, it’s worth noting that contact center software often uses AI to assist agents in their day-to-day roles. While artificial intelligence is not a replacement for human interaction, it can be used to supplement a contact center’s efforts—whether that’s through a chatbot, data collection, or interactive voice menus to direct call flows. In this way, AI supports contact center agents, rather than replace them. Especially as AI improves, it can enable a more natural, comfortable customer experience.

What Does Contact Center Software Do?

Contact center software provides tools to enhance, analyze, and improve contact center operations. In addition to adding other channels of communication besides phones, having this software gives organizations actionable insights from their customer experiences. These insights can guide contact centers toward a better customer experience, with real-time data as the driving force.

The best contact center software options should provide the following capabilities at a minimum:

Ultimately, CCaaS solutions should bring flexibility and possibilities to an organization. CCaaS platforms that include all three of the above—like Amazon Connect—are ideal for upgrading any contact center.

How Does a Contact Center Work with Software?

Contact centers can support any organization’s efforts—both by improving an existing contact center and/or starting a new one entirely from scratch. For example, companies can use software like Amazon Connect to set up a virtual contact center. A digital call center provides more flexibility in designing the contact center, including call flows, agent assignments, and what data gets collected from customer experiences. Virtual contact centers also allow for customizable levels of access, giving more visibility and permissions to certain users, such as administrators or leadership staff.

This level of flexibility also means that virtual contact centers can be configured to work seamlessly with an existing, physical contact center’s workflow. So even if an organization already has a contact center, there is still something to be gained from adding digital capabilities to the toolbox.

Here are some of the ways a contact center can use software solutions like CCaaS platforms:

  • An omnichannel experience that adds email, instant messaging, text, and even video capabilities
  • Flexible digital tools that create a more streamlined, connected workflow for contact centers
  • Real-time collection of consumer data—such as calls and feedback—to guide future changes
  • Interactive AI chatbots that answer frequently asked questions and/or direct customer requests
  • Improved training and education resources for agents to keep them updated and well-equipped

Because virtual contact centers are digital, they are also far more scalable—so as an organization grows, its communication channels grow with it. Adding lines, altering call flows, or changing administrative setups is as easy as a few clicks of the mouse. This is made even easier with the help of a managed service provider (MSP). And speaking of MSPs…

InterVision: The Best Call Center Services Provider

If you’re looking for a way to boost your call center capabilities (and more), a managed service provider (MSP) is a great option. An MSP like InterVision helps organizations set up their communications in a way that not only improves call center capabilities, but all forms of customer contact—including email, instant messaging, text, and even social media.

While phones are still a common way to engage customers, organizations today are moving toward a more omnichannel experience—and rightfully so. To stay engaged with people today, you need a multi-pronged approach to communications. Consumers today expect to be able to reach businesses in the way that is most preferred for them, and oftentimes that’s not through a phone call but email, text, and so on. Thankfully, contact center technology makes creating a multi-channel experience both affordable and easy for businesses. Not only that, an MSP like InterVision can help set up communication channels in a way that is secure and private, keeping security at the forefront.

Contact centers are flexible, scalable, and customizable to an organization’s needs. You’re able to add (or take away) features as needed with a few simple clicks, and there’s much less hardware required. The advent of new communications technology has also made it far more accessible; this means that no matter your organization’s size or goals, contact centers can fit your needs—and MSPs like InterVision can help you find that perfect fit.

What Could Your Contact Center Experience Be? Find Out With InterVision

Customers nowadays expect fast, quality service from organizations. That can seem almost impossible, but with the right technology and support it’s more than achievable. If you’re interested in upgrading your contact center experience or seeing what options are available, reach out to us at InterVision. As one of the best managed services providers, we prioritize helping organizations find the right solutions for their business needs—and that includes contact centers. We look forward to helping you next!