Imagine being able to scale your call center up or down as needed and only pay for services used. How about a solution with scalability and virtually no upfront costs? Scalability may well be the number one reason so many call centers are either moving to or supplementing with hosted call center solutions.
In the traditional, brick-and-mortar call center, adding seats for a larger campaign or a seasonal influx of volume is a challenge. The call center may not have the available real estate to accommodate the added agents. At the same time, the call center technology in place – the PBX – may not be able to rapidly ramp up in time to meet the needs of the campaign. When the hosted call center is introduced into the mix, however the game changes dramatically.
A hosted call center can not only accommodate fluctuating demand, it can do so quickly and efficiently. When one political group needed to place a large number of outbound calls on behalf of their candidates for a 30 day block of time, hosted solutions easily allowed them to accomplish this. Within just a few days, the political group had over 2,000 at-home agents up and running to place those calls.
The agents were able to connect to the hosted call center platform through their browser and either a home phone or cell phone. Reps simply logged in via their browser, immediately received a call from the platform, and were then connected to the host until the time they logged out. Once connected, the system’s predictive dialer efficiently dialed outbound calls to constituents and routed them to available agents and the campaign was a tremendous success. It did not require a large capital investment to get started, and there wasn’t a penalty for only using the platform for 30 days.
A hosted call center platform can also provide tremendous benefits to businesses experiencing sudden peaks and valleys during specific times of year. A good example is the catalog company whose call volumes explode during the holiday season. This type of business may only require 100 agents per shift most days of the year, but during December, the demand for these agents might double based on increased call volumes.
Does it make sense to invest in additional infrastructure for a short-term event? Companies don’t have to if they partner with a hosted solutions provider. Hosted providers can usually work with or integrate to their incumbent systems. The company only pays the hosted provider for the licenses used by their holiday agents for the time period needed. The licenses are then terminated when no longer required.
Perhaps those companies benefiting most from hosted call center platforms are BPO’s (otherwise known as outsourced call centers). Quite frequently they will contract with a customer who needs inbound or outbound services for a short time such as three to six months. By partnering with a provider of hosted call center solutions, the BPO can take on short-term clients without further investment in their infrastructure.
In sum, utilizing a hosted call center allows businesses great flexibility when it comes to scalability. Whether they need to scale up or down, they’ll only pay for actual services used with the solutions provider. Additionally, while many call centers are moving away from premise-based systems to hosted solutions because of their versatility and cost benefits, others are finding it beneficial to partner with hosted providers throughout the year. Such partnerships allow call centers a quick and cost-effective means to augment existing infrastructure to successfully accommodate fluctuating call volumes.