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Does your business have an informal contact centre?

When imagining a contact centre, you may be thinking of a field of desks and headsets, with dedicated teams of agents for service, sales, and support. Based on that, you may not think you operate a contact centre in the traditional sense – but this is where the informal contact centre comes in. 

Read on to evaluate whether you have an informal contact centre and why embracing it – and the technology designed to support operations – could be a game-changer for your business.

What is an informal contact centre?
An informal contact centre is where an employee(s) not exclusively setup to handle customer interactions, incorporate various engagements through channels like phone calls, emails, social media, or chat into their day-today.

While formal contact centres are typically trained for volume work, employees in an informal contact centre will incorporate various tasks into their day, many of which non-repetitive and unrelated.


How can I evaluate if my business is an informal contact centre?
Consider the following checklist:

  • Customer Interaction Volume
    • Are you experiencing a growing number of customer inquiries?
    • Is it challenging to manage interactions using traditional methods?
  • Multi-Channel Presence
    • Do customers reach out through various channels like social media, email, and phone calls?
    • Is your business equipped to handle multi-channel communication effectively?
  • Scalability
    • Can your current setup adapt to the increasing demands of your business?
    • Are you prepared for potential growth in customer interactions?
  • Efficiency:
    • Is there a delay in responding to customer queries?
    • Do you have a streamlined process for managing and tracking customer interactions?
  • Customer Satisfaction:
    • Have you received feedback about delayed or inadequate responses?
    • Are customers satisfied with their overall experience when interacting with your business?


Why should my small business embrace the informal contact centre approach?
In the dynamic landscape of customer experience, small to medium-sized businesses often find themselves at a crossroads when it comes to managing interactions.

Knowing you operate an informal contact centre offers several advantages, such as increased efficiency, improved customer experience, and scalability. It allows your business to handle customer interactions seamlessly, whether you have a dedicated team or not, ensuring no query goes unanswered.


How does an informal contact centre enhance efficiency?

The challenge of efficiently delivering exceptional experience has previously been solved by simply increasing service staff. However, with rising costs, adopting technology to drive operational efficiencies can be a more effective first port of call.

Utilising a cloud-based contact centre solution can deliver a host of benefits, namely centralised communication, interaction history tracking, and delivering more timely responses. Having the option to provide multiple inbound channels for customers to use, plus the ability to automate routine tasks as well as access to comprehensive real-time and historic performance analysis naturally leads to better contact management, enabling your team to focus on more complex issues, ultimately leading to increased productivity and efficiency.

Unifying all this within one interface removes the need for disparate systems for each channel or function you wish to provide, simplifying internal and external interactions, as well as reporting by removing data siloes.

It’s also likely this will lead to a reduction in operational costs through single-vendor supply, rather than managing multiple licenses across the business.


Can an informal contact centre improve customer experience?

Absolutely. By embracing technology designed for formal contact centres, you can create a cohesive platform for customer interactions. Real-time communication across channels can enable prompt and consistent responses, contributing to an enhanced customer experience. 

You may already be making do with simple but restrictive unified communications (UC) software that suits phones on desks but doesn’t cater to a digital-first consumer world. It is possible to overlay new functionality with old, which means unless it makes sense, there’s no need to rip and replace – this not only preserves the customer experience you already deliver, but enhances it.

It also allows you to gather valuable insights for future improvements.


Is scalability possible with an informal contact centre?

Yes, but you should choose your provider carefully. Not all cloud-based solutions are made equal. Scalability may come in the form of different features, many of them bundled into inflexible packages leaving you with a platform underutilised until your business has grown to take full advantage of them. Starting small requires scalable pricing, allowing your business to adapt effortlessly to changing customer demands and making use of additional channels and functions as you need them.

Whether you're handling a small volume or experiencing rapid growth, you should be looking for Contact Centre as a Service (CCaaS) that provides the flexibility needed to scale operations seamlessly.


How do I get started with an informal contact centre?

Assess your Current setup:

  • Identify existing communication channels.
    • Evaluate the effectiveness of your current process.
  • Explore cloud-based solutions:
    • Research and choose a reliable cloud-based contact centre software.
    • Ensure it aligns with your business size and requirements.
  • Employee training:
    • Emphasize the importance of a customer-centric approach.
  • Monitor and improve:
    • Regularly analyse customer interactions and feedback.
    • Implement improvements based on insights gained.

In conclusion, if you do operate an informal contact centre, modernising your technology to adapt to evolving customer demands is a strategic move that can help stay competitive and meet the evolving expectations of today's customers. Evaluate your current situation, consider the checklist, and unlock the potential of a more efficient, customer-centric approach to communication. Your team and customers will thank you for it.


Want to add efficiency and set your customer experience apart? Get in touch.