Small Businesses Need Contact Centers to Deliver Great Service

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1 Small Businesses Need Contact Centers to Deliver Great Service March 2014 Sponsored by: DMG Consulting LLC

2 Table of Contents Cloud-Based Contact Center Solutions are Ideal for Small Businesses... 1 What Contact Center Applications are Needed by Small Businesses?... 3 Decision Framework: Will your Organization Benefit from a Contact Center?... 5 Final Thoughts... 7 About Five About DMG Consulting i - DMG Consulting LLC

3 Introduction Customers expect outstanding service and support from every company or organization. They turn to small businesses when looking for unique offerings and a more customized experience. Achieving this level of intimacy with customers is challenging, but the alternative is worse. This underscores how important it is for small businesses with as few as 2 to 20 service representatives to utilize contact center technology and best practices to deliver a consistently outstanding customer experience. The cloud opens up a world of possibilities for small and mid-sized organizations that do not have big budgets for technology or the staff to support it. Companies can now acquire enterprise-quality, highly sophisticated and feature-rich contact center capabilities at prices they can afford. They have to pay only for what they need and use on a monthly basis, and do not have to make long-term commitments. Even better, many of these offerings are supported by contact center professionals who are dedicated to their clients success, as they appreciate that they will get paid only when clients achieve their service and sales goals. Cloud Benefit: Acquisition of advanced contact center applications and functionality with no capital investment and paying only for what you use Cloud-Based Contact Center Solutions are Ideal for Small Businesses The challenge for small organizations is that they need advanced service, sales and collections applications, but do not have a large group of agents to share the costs. Until recently, most small companies could not afford to acquire the contact center technology and applications needed to give them a servicing advantage, but this has changed as feature-rich and functionally broad contact center infrastructure offerings have entered the market. While cloud-based contact center infrastructure offerings differ substantially, the good ones are multi-channel (also known as omni-channel) inbound, outbound and blended solutions that offer the following core capabilities: 1. Automatic call distributor (ACD) routing and queuing solution that manages the flow of incoming transactions and routes them to the most appropriate agent DMG Consulting LLC

4 2. Dialer automates outbound calling in three modes: predictive fully automated; progressive partially automated; and preview phone number is delivered to an agent who reviews it and then automates the dialing process. 3. Interactive voice response (IVR) automates the handling of incoming calls by using touch tones; advanced IVRs use speech recognition technology that allows callers to interact by speaking with them instead of pushing buttons on their phones. 4. Computer telephony integration (CTI) uses phone number data to identify and connect each caller to the servicing, sales or collections system, and then delivers the call with account information to the agent. 5. Recording captures and records all interactions (calls and screens). 6. Universal queue integrates the handling of interactions from multiple communications channels voice, , chat, short message service (SMS), fax, social media, etc. into a single queue so that they can be delivered to the ACD. 7. Reporting tracks and manages the performance of agents, teams, the overall department, systems and processes within the contact center. 8. Presence real-time status information about the availability of each person in the network, in this case the contact center, as well as their preferred method of communication. The more advanced cloud-based contact center infrastructure solutions come with a number of optional modules to help managers improve the performance of agents and their departments. The optional modules that provide the greatest benefits for small and mid-sized contact centers are: 1. Quality assurance (QA) evaluates how well each agent adheres to the internal policies and procedures of the department. 2. Coaching provides highly tactical and timely feedback to agents to help them improve their performance. 3. Surveying creates, issues, receives and evaluates customer feedback about an organization s products or services DMG Consulting LLC

5 4. Speech analytics structures phone conversations and converts them to metadata for further analysis or actions. 5. Performance management integrates data from multiple sources to produce contact center reports and dashboards. 6. Campaign management facilitates targeted cross-channel marketing campaigns to customers. 7. Customer relationship management (CRM)/servicing provides an overview of customer journey. 8. Workforce management (WFM) forecasts and schedules the number of agents required to handle interactions. Figure 1: Top Cloud-Based Contact Center Infrastructure Solution Capabilities for Small and Mid-Sized Companies Source: DMG Consulting LLC, March 2014 Cloud Benefit: Obtaining fully integrated contact center infrastructure along with optional management and CRM applications DMG Consulting LLC

6 What Contact Center Applications are Needed by Small Businesses? Many companies continue to struggle with the decision of whether or not to set up a contact center; they know they need to do a better job of selling to and supporting their customers, but are concerned about the impact of a contact center on their employees. In fact, applying contact center technology and best practices typically simplifies the operating environment by giving the staff the tools they need to perform their job instead of forcing them to make do with an outdated phone system and spreadsheets. Contact center solutions usually come with a variety of standard reports that show managers how well they are doing on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. It s up to each company to determine if they want to run their contact center as a highly structured formal environment or as an informal one where they just take advantage of the solution s ability to cost effectively deliver transactions to the best-qualified employee. Once a service entity accepts that it is a contact center, the rest is relatively easy. There are many types of informal and formal contact centers: internal and external sales teams, order-taking departments, office receptionists, hotel front desks, bill-processing groups, travel agencies, pharmacies, medical offices, credit unions, and government and university information offices, just to mention a few. The challenge for these groups is to bring some order to the chaos of randomly arriving calls, s, chat sessions, faxes and social media interactions. The core functionality needed to operate a contact center is a routing and queuing engine for inbound transactions, or a dialer for placing outbound interactions. And for sales environments or processing credit card payments, it will also be necessary to invest in recording functionality to capture calls and other transactions in a manner that complies with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS), the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), or other relevant regulations. What this means is that an organization needs an ACD for handling inbound calls and a dialer for placing outbound calls. In order to be able to support customers in their channel of choice, which is a necessity today, a universal queue will be needed to receive all types of interactions and then route them to the ACD for proper treatment, which means identifying the right employee or agent to handle the interaction. In small businesses, it s highly advantageous to use an ACD s core capabilities to route interactions to the person best suited to address an issue, whether they sit in the service organization, back office or another department. (This is why small businesses have started to put non-contact-center departments up on their contact center infrastructure solution; it allows them to intelligently and cost effectively handle all types of incoming interactions, and improves first contact resolution rates.) DMG Consulting LLC

7 A company that is making outbound calls or sending out a variety of messages , SMS, faxes to their customers will benefit from an outbound dialing solution that complies with federal and state regulations such as the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) in the US, and similar requirements in other countries. A dialer improves the organization s ability to reach live customers by providing preview, progressive or predictive dialing functionality, and can enhance the effectiveness of communicating with customers through fully automated proactive outreach when the goal is to inform and educate. Once an ACD and/or dialer is in place along with the recording solution, then a formal or informal contact center has been created, and all of the other functionality is optional. However, each application adds another dimension to the organization and better positions the company to cost effectively deliver an outstanding and differentiated customer experience. DMG recommends that small contact centers utilize the following applications in addition to an ACD, dialer and recording: CTI, IVR (in order to realize the benefits of self-service), quality assurance, surveying, coaching and, of course, campaign management for outbound-oriented companies. Other applications are optional, but could be beneficial depending upon the activities performed by the contact center and the number of agents. For example, in a 24 x7, multi-channel contact center with 20 or more agents, a workforce management application could play a major role in ensuring that the right employees are scheduled. On the other hand, for an environment with 2 to 10 agents, a WFM solution would be very difficult to costjustify. Cloud Benefit: Easy addition of applications such as IVR, CTI, campaign management, QA and surveying, as needed Decision Framework: Will your Organization Benefit from a Contact Center? Below is a list of activities and challenges faced by small and mid-sized organizations that contact centers help to address. We recommend going through this list and identifying the issues that apply to your company. If you select 12 or more of these items, a contact center solution is expected to have a rapid payback for your company, particularly if you acquire a cloud-based solution that does not require a large capital investment and can be installed quickly DMG Consulting LLC

8 Figure 2: Contact Center Decision Framework Yes No Are you doing sales, customer service or collections? Do you have 2 or more employees involved in handling customer inquiries or making outbound calls? Are you communicating with your customers, prospects and/or partners in a variety of channels calls, s, SMS, chat, faxes, social media, etc.? Would you like to be able to route transactions to employees with the right skills? Would you like to reduce the number of messages taken and callbacks attempted? Would you like to know the volume of service and sales transactions received and handled by your staff? Would you like to know the number of calls that are abandoned each day because you do not have enough resources? Would you like to know which of your employees are placing customers on hold and transferring them to others? Would you like to improve your first contact resolution rate? Would you like to reduce the time required to handle sales and service? Would you like to know who on your staff is delivering an outstanding customer experience and who is not? Would you like to be in compliance with recording, security and healthcare regulations? Would you like to involve employees from various departments in handling customer interactions? Would you like to use an IVR to automate calls that do not require the human touch? Would you like a more cost-effective method for placing outbound calls? Would you like to increase the productivity of your sales staff and book more revenue? Would you like to know if your contact center is meeting its goals? Would you like to decrease your operating costs? Source: DMG Consulting LLC, March DMG Consulting LLC

9 Cloud Benefit: The right cloud-based contact center infrastructure solution will have a 3- to 6-month ROI Final Thoughts To consistently and cost effectively deliver an outstanding customer experience and increase sales, small and mid-sized organizations need contact center solutions. In this era of the cloud, small companies can acquire functionally rich contact center technology that gives them a strategic service advantage. Whether an environment has as few as 2 agents or more than 20, there are cloud-based contact center infrastructure solutions, ACDs and dialers in the market that are right for almost any budget and provide all necessary features. Never in the history of the contact center market have there been so many good options for small and mid-sized organizations. Make the investment and level the playing field by closing the technology gap DMG Consulting LLC

10 About Five9 Five9 is a pioneer and leading provider of cloud contact center software, bringing the power of the cloud to thousands of customers worldwide and facilitating more than three billion customer interactions annually. Since 2001, Five9 has led the cloud revolution in contact centers, helping organizations of every size transition from premise-based software to the cloud. With extensive expertise, technology, and an ecosystem of partners, Five9 helps businesses take advantage of secure, reliable, scalable cloud contact center software to create exceptional customer experiences, increase agent productivity and deliver tangible business results. For more information visit About DMG Consulting DMG Consulting LLC is an independent research, advisory and consulting firm that provides strategic and tactical advice to enterprise and contact center managers, vendors and the financial community. Our mission is to help clients build world-class contact center and back-office environments by leveraging technology, processes and people. We provide insight and guidance to assist management in optimizing performance by increasing operational efficiency, providing an outstanding customer experience, enhancing loyalty, and increasing sales and profits. DMG devotes more than 10,000 hours annually to researching various segments of the contact center, analytics and back-office markets, including vendors, technologies, best practices, solutions and their benefits and ROI. More information about DMG Consulting can be found at DMG Consulting LLC

11 2014 DMG Consulting LLC. All rights reserved. This Report is protected by United States copyright law. The reproduction, transmission or distribution of this Report in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission of DMG Consulting LLC is strictly prohibited. You may not alter or remove any copyright, trademark or other notice from this Report. This Report contains data, materials, information and analysis that is proprietary to and the confidential information of DMG Consulting LLC and is provided solely to purchasers of this Report for their internal use. THIS REPORT AND ANY PROPRIETARY AND CONFIDENTIAL DATA, MATERIALS, INFORMATION AND ANALYSIS CONTAINED HEREIN MAY NOT BE DISCLOSED TO OR USED BY ANY OTHER PERSON OR ENTITY WITHOUT THE EXPRESS PRIOR WRITTEN CONSENT OF DMG CONSULTING LLC. Substantial effort went into verifying and validating the accuracy of the information contained within this Report, but we cannot guarantee that all information is complete, accurate, or current or that the recommendations contained within this Report are adequate or appropriate for your particular situation. DMG Consulting LLC shall not be liable for any errors or omissions in the information or recommendations contained in this Report or for any losses or damages arising from use hereof.

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