Contact centres of the past
The archetypal contact centre overfilled with headset-topped operators is going extinct. The clamour of keyboards and overlapping voices to be replaced with relative silence as customer service professionals field inquiries from the comfort of their own home. Fuelled at first by the need to work remotely, employees now often indicate they would consider leaving if their employer did not allow hybrid work arrangements. As a result, companies are having to re-evaluate their technology and whether it is suitable to support these new ways of working. This shift has been felt across a range of industries and roles, and contact centres are no exception.
Traditionally, businesses needed to purchase physical, out of the box solutions to set up their contact centres. However, with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and the mandatory requirement to work from home, organisations have had to rethink the current state of their contact centres. The sudden switch to how we work has forced organisations to reevaluate whether their current contact centre infrastructure is able to flex as business needs change, particularly given the desire for hybrid work models.
What is VoIP?
Voice over Internet Protocol (IP) — better known as VoIP — telephony solutions allow for inbound or outbound phone calls to be made or taken through an internet connection, eliminating the need for physical telephone cables. This means operators can log in and use contact centre softphones from their home, something that was not possible with hardware phones.
These solutions come in many different flavours, from on-premise boutique solutions to solutions completely hosted in the cloud. These software based phones — softphones — have become the new norm as they allow employees to be flexible with their working arrangements, whilst ensuring customers get the same experience they would have previously.
Those benefits aside, not all VoIP telephony solutions are equal. Call quality, internet outages, and software incompatibility are all issues that need to be considered when selecting a VoIP solution. Although most of these issues are minor and are usually rectified moments later, some issues can be more severe. Consistent issues with failed call recordings or inconsistent call quality could indicate a fundamental flaw with the solution itself, leading to continued poor experiences for customers. This makes choosing the correct solution vital to guaranteeing customers’ interface with the business is both pleasant and efficient — whilst ensuring your organisation is compliant with current legislation.
The AWS Solution
Cloud services such as Amazon Web Services (AWS) provide organisations with the tools to design their own cloud-based contact centres. AWS specifically provides this service through AWS Connect, but equivalent technologies may be available from other cloud service providers. One of the most significant benefits is ownership of the contact centre. In addition to designing the messaging, call flows, routing profiles, queues and security, the business also has the capability to rapidly change all of the above when there are, for example, new campaigns, new team members or a need to address recent events. To piece all this together does not take long. Depending on the complexity of the requirements, in our experience it can take as little as 6 weeks to get a fully functional, Amazon Connect contact centre operational and to completely cutover from your pre-existing solution with the support of an experienced implementation partner. To demonstrate the simplicity of design, implementation and deployment of Amazon Connect, we have set up a simple example, depicted in Diagram 1 below.
Another notable benefit is the pricing model compared to traditional on-premise solutions. Like nearly all AWS services, Amazon Connect runs on a pay-as-you-go model. In most use cases, this cost model can produce significant cost savings, as you’re not paying the conventional monthly or yearly subscription fees. This means, unlike traditional telephony solutions, that your contact centre will only be billed for what you use when it is operational and for any phone numbers that you claim.
Whether you take advantage of the inbuilt sentiment analysis, or you want to deeply customise the user experience through various APIs, there are numerous benefits to switching over to an Amazon Connect solution. In conjunction with these advanced analytics and integration capabilities, VoIP technology can be leveraged to improve both the business and customer experiences.
At Novigi we love to see our clients innovate and solve complex and deep rooted business problems using cutting edge technologies. Whether the problem is a need to provide hybrid work capabilities, better customer experiences, cost-save or simply modernising the contact centre, cloud hosted solutions that can be self-managed are, in our opinion, the future of customer satisfaction — and less headaches for IT departments.
For more information about anything you’ve read here, or if you have a more general inquiry, please contact us