Businesses often rely heavily on customer contacts via telephone for the initiation of sales/orders transactions and customer service queries or reports. The efficiency of these functions has a major impact on the perception of a business in the eyes of its customers and the public. Poor performance of the telephone sales / customer service points of contact, whether due to failings in infrastructure, process or the staff who interact with customers, will have grave reputational and revenue repercussions for the business.
Some solutions to problems like this can require businesses to invest money and time in expensive on-premise telephony solutions, to hire and train additional staff, and to radically change processes. Northpoint Consulting’s Hosted Contact Centre service offering may be a potential easy-to-implement, low-cost, low-friction, feature-rich managed solution for enterprises facing this kind of challenge.
Our client faced significant problems with its telesales and distribution service in Barbados. A major Caribbean regional player in the distribution of petroleum products, its sales and order fulfillment processes in Barbados were being stymied, and customer satisfaction was suffering due to systemic limitations in their order handling infrastructure and sales resourcing. They realized that they had an urgent need to improve their efficiency with order taking via telephone, and in subsequently fulfilling and delivering the orders to meet customer expectations. Internal staff operated a few telephone lines and fielded calls from customers with orders for products. However, call volumes way exceeded the capacity of the telephone system and the number of staff assigned to the order taking role, resulting in an unknown quantity of missed or delayed orders. The client’s sales team was also not staffed to support customer queries 24x7x365. Their entire customer base was at risk.
The customer considered two options: invest in developing a 24x7x365 contact centre operation internally, adequately sized and equipped to handle the total volume of calls made by their customers to place orders or outsource the operation to an entity that provides a hosted contact solution in a robust, reliable and secure manner. The costs associated with investment in a new PBX platform equipped with more capacity and capability than their existing telephony system, maintaining the platform, hiring additional staff members to handle calls/take orders, and the length of time all of these tasks would take to implement was unattractive. Meanwhile, the lifeblood of their business was leaking away, and they needed a quick-to-implement and low-friction solution to their problems.
Northpoint Consulting’s Hosted Contact Centre solution was deployed within a couple of weeks after commercial acceptance of our proposal by the client, and the implementation cost and risk were much reduced compared to what they would have faced if they developed and deployed their own solution.
We provided contact center infrastructure – including inbound/outbound telephony, interactive voice response (IVR), call recording, call routing and reporting – and human resources, delivered as a service from a secure location remote to the client in place of a traditional on-premise implementation.
Our approach addressed the key pain points associated with on-premise implementation, including the significant up-front costs reflecting the purchase of software licenses and hardware. With sufficient planning and preparation the solution had a short implementation timeline.
Our solution also removed from the business the headaches of support and maintenance, the implementation of system updates and the need for specialized skills.
With Hosted Contact Centre service, the client has gained operational agility, with the ability to update the customer experience as expectations change and as new capabilities are introduced. Hosted Contact Centre service is immediately scalable and is easier to run, with no operating system, software or hardware maintenance and no on-site support for the client to worry about.
Within a few days of the Northpoint Consulting Hosted Contact Centre being implemented, our client noted a significant increase in the number of orders and queries being processed daily, and with over 90% of the calls being answered even in the busy part of the day, the client was able to reduce the proportion of frustrated and unsatisfied end customers and improve its cash flow.
Because you will subscribe to a hosted solution, the initial investment costs are lower than you would bear if you set up or expanded a traditional in-house contact center. Moving to Hosted Contact Centre solutions provides you with substantial cost savings and efficiency gains common in other hosted service scenarios:
- Less need for upfront capital
- Reduction of ongoing costs (enterprises/agencies subscribing to the service require no staff to maintain service)
- Real-time communication with consumers
- Detailed analytics, personnel tracking, and performance reporting
- Improved customer experiences
- Ability to integrate non-voice contacts, e.g. web-chats, email and serve a wider variety of customers
- Improved scalability and flexibility
- Built-in business continuity and disaster recovery
- Minimal cost of ownership
- Decreased workforce management
- Streamlined billing
- Ability to support remote agents
- Scalability up or down on-demand
- Assured security and compliance