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CXM Guide

Hosted Call Center

Learn everything about hosted call centers — definition, benefits, essential features, and the industry-leading call center solution to enhance your agent and customer experience.

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What is a hosted call center?

A hosted call center is a software solution that businesses use to handle inbound and outbound calls, and voice-based self-service customer interactions, from virtually anywhere in real time. An alternative to on-premise call centers, a hosted call center is situated either in the cloud or off-site at a third-party service provider’s physical location or data center. Hosted call centers are a cost-effective and scalable alternative to on-premise call centers, as businesses don’t need to invest in added infrastructure and maintenance when setting up or scaling call center activities.

How is an on-premise call center different from a hosted call center? 

On-premise and hosted contact centers differ in several ways. Here’s a quick comparison:

Hosted Call Center

What are the benefits of a hosted call center?

There are several advantages of setting up a hosted call center, including:

Cost-effectiveness

The cost of providing support services via a hosted call center is much lower than the cost of deploying, managing, upgrading, and troubleshooting a traditional call center. Businesses using a hosted call center solution can cut back on their physical office space, computing, upgrades, and telephony infrastructure — saving time and money on utility and equipment bills.

Learn more: Can You Have Your Cake and Eat it, Too? How to Balance Quality and Efficiency in Customer Care

Flexibility and scalability

Hosted call centers give your agents the freedom to work from virtually anywhere if they have a stable internet connection. The pay-as-you-go model of hosted contact centers makes it easier to scale up operations without employing more live agents — even when you experience high call volumes. 

Security and compliance

Businesses can keep their operations running — and never lose an active or queued call due to downtime — with guaranteed uptime service level agreements (SLAs). Hosted call centers are typically contract-bound to meet compliance and data security.

Improved customer satisfaction

Advanced call center solutions are equipped with features that are aimed at improving customer satisfaction, such as automatic call distribution (ACD), interactive voice response (IVR), voice bots, call analytics, automated skill-based routing, and predictive dialers. In addition, an AI-powered hosted call center solution with real-time dashboards and call analytics gives agents immediate access to CSAT scores and insights on top call drivers and customer call frequency — allowing  agents to proactively mitigate customer frustration, and gradually turn it into satisfaction.

Learn more: Customer service tips: how to improve your strategies with technology

Increased agent productivity

Agents can stay on top of all conversations if they have a 360-degree view of callers from a single unified agent desktop — even when callers switch their interaction channels and devices. Agents do not have to waste time looking for past interaction data or contact details — thereby increasing their resolution speed and overall productivity. 

Discover why AI is a must have for Care Agents

What features should you look for in your hosted contact center software?

The best hosted contact center solution for your business will vary based on your unique business needs, budget, integrations, service provider, and vendor preferences. But there are a few key features and functionalities that you should prioritize when evaluating and comparing software. They are:

Omnichannel customer service 

A true omnichannel hosted call center will help you serve your customers on multiple communication channels — including voice, email, live chat, SMS, and social media — from one unified platform. It should unify conversations, channels, and customer data from your CRM, plus all your integrated channels, so that your agents don’t lose context when customers switch channels or when different agents handle the same call. Your support teams need to create consistent and personalized customer experiences that lead to greater customer satisfaction and a stronger brand voice. 

Smart call routing

Intelligent call routing is an inbound call-assignment logic that ensures that the right case reaches the right agent — someone who has the right skills, capacity, and experience working on similar cases. And an automatic call distribution system helps route calls to the best-suited and the next available agent. The end result is faster resolutions, faster queues, fewer repeat calls, and better ROI for your business.

Learn more: How AI can make your contact center’s routing strategy more efficient

Integrations 

It can be frustrating for customers to repeat their personally identifiable information (PII), case history, and issue to different agents as their call moves along the resolution queue. If your hosted call center software is tightly integrated with your CRM solution and sales and marketing automation tools, your agents will be able to quickly identify callers through their phone numbers, social media handles, and more. 

When your agents have all the necessary context about a case before the caller even connects with them, there will be less overall frustration and churn. And with centralized access to customer data, they will be able to handle all customer interactions from a single dashboard. 

Reporting and analytics 

A powerful hosted call center is agile and responsive. This is possible only when it is configured to generate real-time reports and insights based on various contact center metrics, such as agent efficiency, average response time, average handle time, first contact resolution, incoming call volume, call trends, and customer satisfaction. With the right reporting and analysis in place, a business can identify common customer issues, detect gaps in support strategy, and spotlight potential training opportunities.

Outgoing calls 

To make outbound calls, it’s essential that your outbound call center solution is equipped with a predictive dialer, call recording, and easy-to-use call logging capabilities. Your agents can offer proactive customer service, push upsells, seek feedback, and strategize other methods for outbound calling.

Learn more: Digital customer service for today’s human

Interactive voice response (IVR)

A built-in interactive voice response (IVR) feature allows your customers to interact with a set of ready menu options — based on common inbound caller actions — before they reach your live agents. So by the time a customer speaks to a human, those agents will have all the relevant information to serve the customer better by giving them faster, context-rich assistance.

Learn more: Press none for great customer experience

Voice bots 

Another essential self-service option for your hosted call center solution is AI-led voice bots. Well-designed bots can offer human-like responses to routine customer queries anytime, anywhere. Voice bots serve your customers 24/7 and help ease your agents’ caseloads by smart deflection — all at a fraction of the cost of live agents. 

5 Ways to Improve Customer Response Times — and Your Bottom Line

Use Sprinklr’s unified hosted call center solution to bring down your customer support overheads

If you want to convert your call center from a cost driver to revenue driver, you need to stop using multiple disjointed point solutions for your different call center functions. Sprinklr’s call center software is built on top of a unified customer experience management (Unified-CXM) platform that enables you to use one single solution to accept customer calls, automate dialing, manage outbound campaigns, smart-route inbound calls, and generate agent performance reports, using advanced features and functionalities, including:

  • Configurable rule engine and AI matching to automate call routing

  • 360-degree customer view to provide proactive and multi-channel support from a single interface  

  • IVR deflection to social media and messaging channels when the dialer queue is full

  • AI-powered voice bots and self-service to accept calls and reduce call volumes

  • Automated dialers to handle more outbound calls

  • Dialer history on customers across channels to manage outbound, cross-sell, and upsell campaigns 

  • AI-led speech recognitionto uncover hidden customer cues and leverage sentiment insights, forecast call volume, manage your workforce, and see other real-time insights

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