There was a time when the phone was the primary mode of communication for most people. During this time, traditional contact centers thrived.
Table of contents
- Traditional contact centers
- Major changes from traditional to next-gen contact centers
- Benefits of a next-gen contact center
- LiveVox is the next-generation contact center platform
- Contact us to learn how we can help
Now, most of our communication habits have evolved. We rely on a number of devices and channels to get in touch with one another and do so very comfortably. For contact centers, however, the progression hasn’t been so effortless. With their phone-based infrastructure and fragmented technology, traditional contact centers leave much to be desired for the modern customer.
Here, we’ll explore how upgrading from a traditional call center to a next-generation contact center can take you from a world of siloed data, clunky interactions, and outdated infrastructure to one of seamless conversations, intuitive workflows, and digital-first strategies.
Traditional contact centers
First things first: what is a traditional contact center?
In a traditional setup, a set of analog phone lines connects to a phone system that distributes calls amongst customer service agents. Those agents are typically based at desks and tethered to headsets in an onsite call center. They use a desktop computer with a slew of different programs and have access to a basic range of phone functions, like call transferring and voicemail. Adding additional functionality requires the use of external hardware or software.
Because of traditional call centers’ legacy architecture, different communication channels must run on different platforms, with no simple way to aggregate conversations or recognize the same customer from one channel to the next. Adding or modifying channels requires heavy investments in infrastructure as well as highly specialized personnel.
While traditional contact centers served their purpose for many years, the rise of digital activity has caused a surge in demand for digital support platforms to match. That means traditional call centers become more and more outdated with each passing year.
And yet, many companies resist adopting a more modern approach. Traditional systems run on costly hardware that was acquired by massive up-front capital investments, so it’s no surprise organizations are hesitant to leave them behind. Holding on to the old way of doing things, however, can mean leaving a lot of other advantages on the table.
Major changes from traditional to next-gen contact centers
Here are a few of the key differences that set next-generation contact centers apart from their more-traditional counterparts.
Traditional contact centers are architected from a web of phone systems, web servers, routing technologies, and hardware. Setting them up comes with a major capital investment, as does upgrading them. Next-gen contact centers are software-based, meaning it takes little more than the installation of an app to get agents up and running. Updates can be done quickly, remotely, and with little to no downtime.
Customer support agents in traditional contact center settings waste a lot of their time trying to make various pieces of technology work together—searching for customer information in one database, then plugging it into another application, for example. In a next-generation call center, all the pieces of technology work together through a single agent dashboard. Agents are supported by cutting-edge technology like artificial intelligence, natural language processing, and smart call routing, all of which help them do their jobs more efficiently and provide a more personalized experience to the customer.
Earlier we touched on how modern customers communicate, using different channels as it suits their needs and situation. Next-gen contact centers are built for these kinds of multi-platform interactions. In an omnichannel contact center, customers and agents can shift between channels without a loss of context or an awkward handoff in the middle of the conversation, which leads to a much more seamless customer experience.
Up-to-the-minute business intelligence
Any savvy business leader would agree that more data breeds better business decisions. In a traditional contact center, however, gathering that data is hugely labor-intensive, requiring manual call monitoring and piecemeal analysis. Because of their digital-first nature, next-gen contact centers have business analytics built-in. Call monitoring can be automated and the resulting data used to glean instant performance insights, train agents, refine workflows and improve compliance.
Benefits of a next-gen contact center
A next-generation contact center can be a boon to organizations in an array of industries by improving speed, quality, and business outcomes. Here are a few noteworthy benefits.
Automatic call recording
Instant call and screen recording gives you complete visibility on how agent interactions are unfolding. Give agents highly detailed feedback and turn the best calls into training materials so that every positive customer interaction serves your business long after the call has ended.
Lower cost of ownership
Implementing a modern contact center has a twofold impact on labor costs. Intuitive dashboard features help agents process more queries faster and achieve more first-call resolutions, which means you can tackle more calls with fewer employees on the schedule. On the customer’s side, convenient self-service tools help them resolve many routine issues on their own, mitigating call volume and reserving agents for more complex tasks.
An onsite contact center comes with many location-centric risks, like natural disasters, power outages and hardware crashes. A software-based platform isn’t subject to such vulnerabilities. 99.99% uptime means there will almost never be a moment when customers can’t reach you, preserving their confidence in your brand.
Enhanced risk mitigation
A compliance violation can come with hefty penalties, not to mention the resulting legal fees of defending yourself in court. A next-gen call center makes it easy—and automatic—to gather consent, manage contact attempts and comply with all national laws and industry-specific guidelines, significantly lowering your risk profile.
LiveVox is the next-generation contact center platform
For more than 20 years, LiveVox has been an innovation leader in the contact center space. We help clients in the private and public sectors maximize their potential while keeping pace with lightning-fast technology advances to stay one step ahead of the competition. With more than 500 employees in seven offices around the world, LiveVox powers more than 14 billion interactions a year.
Built to solve real-world problems, our next-generation contact center platform offers a forward-thinking yet practical approach to serving customers. We believe in improving service by optimizing the agent experience, mitigating risk by automating compliance, and increasing customer satisfaction by taking a digital-first approach. Our robust yet easy-to-use solutions make a bottom-line impact for organizations in industries from finance to healthcare and everything in between.
Contact us to learn how we can help
What do the most influential brands have in common? They’ve phased out the conventional, comfortable way of doing things in favor of blazing a new trail. That includes the way they communicate with their customers. Let LiveVox help you take a different approach to customer service, implementing a next-generation contact center that supports your future growth. Contact us with questions or schedule your free demo now to see our omnichannel contact center platform in action.
How is the government using next generation contact center technology? Read more: Understanding Next Generation 911 – 911.gov