In business, size governs the approach to pretty much everything.
If enterprises are big, they likely need scale and complexity to either manufacture their products or deliver their services.
Smaller enterprises, by their very nature, thrive despite deploying simpler, less sophisticated systems.
Indeed, when it comes to communication, businesses that somehow overdo their tech stacks by unnecessarily going large can wind up doing themselves a dis-service.
Modern, slick, omni-channel communication capability is of course a must-have for ALL enterprises.
And, brilliantly, a small-yet-perfectly-formed contact center has the power to pack a punch just as transformative as a giant alternative.
For small enterprises – and their technology service providers – the opportunities to leverage the benefits are huge.
“There are a lot of businesses trying to force a square peg into a round hole – it can be like buying too much house for just one or two people,” says Mike Winslow, Product Marketing Manager at global cloud communications provider Plivo, whose smart and powerful contact center solution ‘Contacto’ delivers big for those who want to keep it small.
“They wrongly assume they need to buy a huge house on day one, thinking they are planning for the future. But a huge house can weigh you down if you aren’t ready for it. The perfect house would actually be one that starts small and grows with you.
“That way, those businesses can start with a high-quality voice solution, later on add messaging, and then further down the road integrate it all with other solutions such as a CRM platform. It’s about having something that can evolve from the ground up, at a pace which suits. Being able to scale from, say, five agents now to 100 agents in the future.”
It’s certainly the case that many of the bigger platform providers woo new customers with giant technological offerings that appear to come relatively cheaply.
However, forcing that kind of scale and complexity into businesses’ modest tech stacks can actually hinder their ability to respond effectively to the communication demands of their customers.
It can complicate a business that really only needs to communicate with its customers via voice or chat and which has no current need for, say, an AI chatbot that requires training to be relevant to your business.
Indeed, small businesses whose customers and employees would benefit hugely from a basic-but-brilliant contact center solution could be forgiven for actively shying away from that kind of investment – choking off any productivity and service improvement gains before they have even had chance to begin emerging.
So, at what point should those businesses take the plunge? And what returns on investment should they expect to enjoy?
“There are a few things for small-medium sized business owners to consider,” says Winslow.
“First, how much of my or my staff’s time is being spent answering the phone or responding to customer enquiries? Maybe several people are having to do double duty working the shop floor and also responding to sales or service enquiries.
“What’s the cognitive expense of my staff for having to physically swivel chair and do different jobs like that? If I were to dedicate one or two or five staff members to that, and give them an enabling tool, what is the short, medium, and long-term value for my business?
“Second, am I measuring customer satisfaction and, if so, how am I doing? Am I actually retaining my hard-won customers? If businesses look at those kinds of basic KPIs, they can evaluate whether or not a contact center investment is justified. Crucially, the CapEx investment may appear challenging but, retaining customers is more efficient than acquiring customers and, from a human capital perspective, it frees up staff.”
Ultimately, of course, it’s all about customer satisfaction and increased revenue.
However, too many small businesses fail to connect effective communication with either of those deliverables.
“In short, they don’t see their contact center as a profit center,” says Winslow.
“For example, I recently had an interaction with a customer service representative of a small business from which I bought a new garage door opener. My issue was resolved during the call but, as a contact center guy, I was quietly hoping that the agent would try to nicely upsell me a maintenance package or some other service the business offers. It didn’t happen, and so potential new money was left on the table.
“A small-scale contact center staffed by agents trained in the right way, or even with just the right script to hand, can capitalise on those kind of interactions in ways which not only support great service delivery but also additional revenue generation.”
The overarching point is that one size does not fit all.
A basic, affordable CCaaS package can be as transformational as a gargantuan, more expensive, all-singing-all-dancing alternative.
In fact – in the case of Contacto – the former can easily and efficiently evolve into the latter; however and whenever is appropriate.
To learn more about how your and your customers’ businesses can digitize and thrive, visit www.contacto.com