Call Center for Small and Medium Businesses
Many small to midsized businesses are sometimes reluctant to upgrade to better technology, partly because they see it as exclusively in the realm of ‘the big guys,’ corporate behemoths with the resources to invest in all kinds of fancy new IT systems. The reality is that there are many technology options that are in many ways tailor-made for an operation that may only employ a few people, and may operate out of only one physical location. Even the smallest businesses can profit a great deal from better knowledge of customers, automated tools for communications, and data handling software that will support sales. It’s just that business leaders who runs smaller shops need to know where to turn for these kinds of solutions.
The Modern Call Center
A call center solution tailor-made for the SMBs is a good example. Any business, whether it’s a medium or small sized operation, needs to improve its customer service and phone interactions, and a customized call center software might be handy for business owners and managers. But many tend to think of a call center as a large room with dozens of people linked into an Ethernet network or other large physical hardware installation through headsets, desktop computers, and seats at cubicles. This is by no means the only way to organize a call center, and it’s this kind of visual thinking that lead many small business entrepreneurs to reject the idea of buying and using “call center software” services. Just changing the name of these kinds of resources to something like “mom and pop call tools” might attract more of the businesses that can use these systems the most. However, more business leaders are now catching on to the idea that it’s possible to run a call center with a small budget, in a small floor space, and with a small staff.
Controlling Costs Through Telephony Innovations
One of the fundamental points of a small business call center is that businesses can set up multi-line telephone systems without paying for many individual lines from a traditional landline telephone service provider. Options include private branch exchange and similar kinds of voice over IP phone systems that only require a single landline for call origination, supported by a network that routes calls within the office.
Hosted or Cloud-Based Call Center Solution
Another way to cut down on the cost and the size of a call center is to use hosted call center software solutions. These services are provided over the web, and maintained and administrated at remote vendor locations. This also helps small business leaders to develop a sophisticated call center without adding server rooms and other physical space to a headquarters or operating location.
Matching Platforms to Existing Telephony Architecture
Another reason that many small business owners shy away from call center services is that they fear the cost of adopting a kind of ‘gold-plated’ call-center software used by larger, more established firms. It’s important that vendors serving smaller businesses understand how to deliver the best options to a smaller business operation: in many cases, the better choices will be less detailed, less data-intensive, and otherwise “streamlined” to fit the needs of an SMB. This doesn’t mean business leaders need to sacrifice quality, it just means that many of the more elaborate data structures are not usually needed for a smaller customer base and a more finite set of products and services, not to mention a staff directory that doesn’t fill more than a couple of pages.
It shouldn’t be hard for small business leaders to get what they need out of a hosted call center software solution. The best vendors can easily explain how very useful interfaces for customer relationship management and call handling can be built into any kind of telephone system already in use in a relatively small office. In fact, these solutions can be easier to implement and take less time to install. The key is to be able to match the customized product to the exact needs of a business, and to keep in mind how hosted solutions will work efficiently in a more “compact” business environment.
Justin Stoltzfus is a freelance writer covering technology and business solutions at Techopedia, Business Finance Store and Ringio, focusing on emerging trends in IT services.
Ringio offers a complete call center solution for a small to midsized business. Learn more about Ringio’s cloud-based call center solution.