Top 8 Challenges for Small- and Mid-Sized Contact Centers

No matter what business your contact center serves, your ultimate goal is to deliver a great customer experience. That means you need to empower your agents to deliver seamless customer journeys and build lasting relationships.

Small- and mid-sized contact centers have the inherent advantage of adaptability, but they also have some unique challenges. And many of those challenges are interconnected. The bright side is that the right cloud-based contact center platform can solve those challenges. Here’s a look at the top eight challenges and how a cloud contact center addresses them.

  1. Agent Training

The contact center is growing increasingly complex; agent performance levels suffer if they aren’t empowered to do their best. The right technology can help — from performance management tools to automated training systems. It also enables you to meet today’s workforce demands by sending training to workers’ cell phones or providing more visual or video-based content, instead of PDFs and Q&As, for example.

  1. Agent Attrition

Small- and mid-sized contact centers feel the financial pain from agent turnover. Often, insufficient training, unsatisfactory work environments — stress, repetition overload, scheduling challenges — outdated or overly complex software systems, and having to deal with frustrated customers are reasons for employee turnover.

The latest technology can help — with forecasting, scheduling and assignment rotation, to avoid stress and burnout. An omnichannel platform that lets customers use their preferred channels creates happier customers. And that creates happier employees.

  1. Lack of Integration Among Technologies and Processes

In legacy contact centers, front- and back-office systems typically aren’t connected on the same platform. They also offer limited data to analyze agent performance and skills. This makes it difficult to gain deep insights from your customer conversations and to forecast and schedule employee time from a single interface. Workforce optimization integrates siloed technologies and automates processes to support seamless omnichannel customer journeys, reduce operational costs and manage employee performance.

  1. Inconsistent Customer Experiences

Legacy contact center limitations lead to an inconsistent customer experience. Creating an amazing experience requires organization, planning, and setting up your infrastructure and workforce to deliver extraordinary services. An omnichannel platform delivers the necessary infrastructure; and workforce management tools put the knowledge and instruments at agents’ fingertips to answer customer questions and follow up, as required.

  1. Technology

Siloed technologies and an inflexible infrastructure limit your ability to deliver a great customer experience. If your customers can’t switch seamlessly between their preferred channels or if agents can’t see their contact history, everyone ends up frustrated. And when you can’t scale easily to meet demand, you lose business and waste valuable resources.

An omnichannel, cloud-based platform delivers a complete customer engagement and communication solution, enabling you to provide the experience your customers demand.

  1. Demands on the IT department

Contact centers often rely heavily on IT, particularly if your legacy platform limits a manager’s ability to update customer service rules. This can cause delays (you submit a ticket to IT … and then you wait) as well as unnecessary expense. This makes your contact center less agile and means that IT has less time to work on other issues.

An updated software solution puts IT in control, when needed. But contact center managers can leverage simple and intuitive tools that deliver the agility they need.

  1. Metrics

It’s been said that you can’t manage what you can’t measure. So, it’s nearly impossible to deliver the best customer experience without insights into the customer journey or agent performance. Contact centers need analytics and dynamic reporting. The right software can unlock actionable insights from every interaction, across every channel.

  1. Management Buy-In and Budget

Increasingly, executives are demanding efficiencies across the board — and requests for additional staff or upgraded technology can fall on deaf ears. Your management team needs to understand the contact center’s role in driving customer experience and improving ROI. Often management thinks of the contact center solely as a “necessary expense.” The right software platform will demonstrate how your contact center serves as a profit center —  not a cost center. Without it, you’ll struggle to solve many common issues.

Sustaining a Competitive Advantage

If these challenges sound familiar, the best way to address them — and sustain a competitive advantage — is to invest in contact center software that adapts with your needs. By eliminating massive upfront costs and streamlining implementation, a cloud-based platform levels the playing field — and ensures that you have the most current tools to optimize your customer experience.

For more information, check out the customer service best practice e-book and the journey mapping ebook for delivering great customer experience.