Bringing Modern Contact Center Capabilities to Microsoft Teams

Empower your Employee Experience (EX) with CX capabilities without investing in a fully-fledged CCaaS platform

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Bringing Modern Contact Center Capabilities to Microsoft Teams - CX Today News
Contact CentreNews Analysis

Published: May 16, 2023

Charlie Mitchell

It’s not only customer service reps that use contact center tools anymore. With a CCaaS platform that effectively integrates with MS Teams, various departments can benefit from the technology. Every Teams user becomes a potential agent. 

Indeed, when businesses have a CCaaS solution that leverages a UC like Microsoft Teams, they not only enhance the main service desk, but spread its capabilities throughout the company.  

Now, agents have real-time access to back-office experts, creating a dynamic connection between the customer experience and employee experience. 

From IT helpdesks to sales teams, delivery drivers to store associates, the list goes on. 

Yet, many businesses still resist equipping employees with these tools. Why? Because they envision two possible options. Both have significant shortcomings.  

When There Were Only Two Options

Traditionally, businesses choose one of the following options when proliferating contact center tools across the enterprise: 

  1. Buying more seats from their CCaaS provider 
  2. Extending their UCaaS solution  

The first option typically means working with a vendor such as Genesys, NICE, or Talkdesk. Yet, these vendors provide fully-fledged contact center platforms that often prove too capable. 

“Businesses frequently find that they only use 20 percent of the capabilities within their specialist contact center solution,” adds Peter Broeckx, Regional Sales Director of Contact Centers at AudioCodes. “The bells and whistles don’t meet their everyday needs.” 

As such, many organizations instead choose to extend their UCaaS platforms. Within enterprises, this is typically Microsoft Teams. Indeed, with 300MN active monthly users, Teams has become the de facto UC choice.  

However, the native contact center capabilities within Teams are limited.   

Sure, the platform offers a voice channel to connect with customers. There are also foundational call queues and auto-attendant features. Yet, that’s about it. 

Making this point, Broeckx concludes: 

“There is an enormous gap that exists between the capabilities in Teams and those within a fully-fledged CCaaS platform.”

Thankfully, AudioCodes is putting forward a new approach to give businesses a happy medium.  

Layering Contact Center Tools Over the Top of Teams

The Voca Conversational Interaction Center is a solution developed by AudioCodes that allows businesses to add layers of contact center functionality on top of Teams.  

It is not a Genesys, NICE, or Talkdesk – nor does it claim to be. Instead, it is a “contact center lite” that allows businesses to pick and choose from the most critical components of a CCaaS solution. 

Such an approach is typically more cost-effective.  

But, perhaps most pertinently, it is more user-friendly and effective, as the platform integrates tightly with Teams using the latest and newest Teams interoperability technology from Microsoft, known as the ‘Power Model’ for a Teams CCaaS. 

Pinpointing the benefits of this, Broeckx states: 

“Employees can leverage contact center capabilities from within a familiar UI, under one shared voice infrastructure, and there is no steep learning curve.”

Moreover, sales leadership can access customer engagement reports, store associates can handle queries during quiet days, and field service personnel can keep in touch with customers while out and about. 

Then, there are other use cases where agents can draft in colleagues from different departments (like IT, HR, and more) to solve complex customer queries. 

“Finally, employees can work from an environment where there is almost no more separation between front and back-office,” Broeckx concludes.  

Out with the Old, In with the New

When turning to Voca, many businesses first take advantage of its agent desktop. 

The solution connects with the company’s CRM. This allows agents to open tickets, track customer cases, and keep journey context as they switch between channels.     

All this within the Teams UI is a game-changer. As is the Voca Conversational Interaction Center solution. 

Today, everyone is fed up with DTMF IVR trees. “Press one for this, press two for that…” It’s a cumbersome, stilted experience, which often leads to the customer entering the wrong queue. 

Voca’s built-in conversational IVR understands natural language, recognizes the customer’s intent, and initiates a simple flow. Doing so takes only minutes to design, simplifies the contact center experience, and cuts transfer rates.  

Moreover, it allows contact centers to track customer intent and sets the foundation for future conversational AI deployments more accurately. 

The no-code virtual agent flow designer will help build toward this future. Meanwhile, other features – including call steering, analytics, and routing – combine to push customer, employee, and business outcomes further. 

To learn more about these and to dive deeper into the Voca Conversational Interaction Center, visit:  

CCaaSMicrosoft TeamsOmni-channel

Brands mentioned in this article.


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