Below we outline the top 10 challenges that small business (SMB) contact centres face in 2020 and how cloud technology can alleviate them.
1. The Work-From-Home Reality
As a result of the coronavirus pandemic, all contact centres have rushed to ensure the safety of their employees and find ways to move their agents to work from home. However, according to a recent Contact Babel Report, before the pandemic struck only 4% of UK contact centres were working remotely on a permanent basis.
The ‘new normal’ still feels far from normal and contact centres now need to look at building a solid foundation for a work-from-home model, one which addresses technology needs and environment specifics like security and reliability. Small businesses are now looking to best practice guides to have agents up and running in a work at home environment, as well as build agility and scale.
2. Scaling Quickly to Meet Business and Call Volume Demands
The volume and complexity of inbound interactions can spike dramatically for many small business contact centres, whether the result of normal seasonal business, responses to marketing campaigns, or as we have witnessed more recently, the result of external environmental factors such as the coronavirus pandemic.
With cloud contact centre software, small businesses can respond quickly by adding or removing seats seamlessly, whilst also allowing agents the freedom to work remotely. Being able to scale and operate with confidence, and only pay for what you use is key.
3. Integrating Products and Applications
Chances are that you do not have one solution for your small business contact centre and customer service needs. CRM applications like Salesforce and Zendesk all require integration with your contact centre software. With NICE CXone, custom CRM integration makes the process that much easier. Consolidating your customer context and contact centre controls into a single interface leads to more efficient and happier agents, resulting in improved customer experiences.
4. Providing Ease of Navigation for Agents
When agents spend more time navigating through cumbersome contact centre software, they’re spending less time actually meeting the needs of their customers. An intuitive interface that empowers contact centre agents by presenting the right information at the right time can mean the difference between a happy or an unhappy customer.
5. Increasing Supervisor Visibility into Contact Centre Metrics
Some small business contact centre managers prefer a helicopter view of their contact centre, whilst others prefer to drill down into some very specific metrics. In either case, with CXone, call centre managers and supervisors can get actionable insights to drive real improvement in customer experience and agent performance.
6. Accurate Forecasting of Demand
Forecasting demand in any business is difficult, but for small business call centres it can be even harder. With a robust set of analytics tools however, you can look at historical data and plan accordingly.
7. Intelligent, Skills-Based Agent Scheduling
Like all of us, agents have their strengths and weaknesses. Instead of trying to train every agent on all services your small business contact centre provides, identify specialists in each area. With skills-based routing, you can put your agents in a position to succeed.
8. Managing Multiple Contact Centres
Even though each individual contact centre may be small, some small to medium size businesses have multiple locations for their contact centres. And now, more than ever before, they need to employ at-home agents.
A cloud solution gives contact centre managers the flexibility to send call traffic to different locations, including at-home agents. If you’re looking for tips and techniques on how to manage agents spread across multiple locations, this short (20 min) webinar is a must watch.
9. Managing Inbound and Outbound Demands
If your small business contact centre handles both inbound and outbound calls, you know the difficulty of trying to accurately forecast call volumes. How do you make sure you are adequately staffed to handle customer service issues and meet sales goals? With a cloud ACD and IVR solution, you can easily switch your agents to handle inbound and outbound calls when needed.
10. Connecting with customers in the digital channels of their choice
In 2020, customers are demanding support from every channel including phone, chat, email, social, and text. A cloud software platform easily handles all channels and supports your efforts to open all forms of communication with your customers.
At NICE, we recognise that every contact centre is different, that's why CXone is built to serve all types and sizes of business. Whether your contact centre is focused on fundraising, collections, handling customer requests or internal help desk support, our contact centre solutions are built to cater to your small business needs.
See what CXone can do for your small business contact centre
To see first-hand what CXone can do for you, Watch the demo.
Alternatively, to experience the CXone platform for yourself, request a free 30-day trial