David RollisonSeptember 26, 2019

Creating a Contact Center for Your Startup or Small Business

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Startups and small businesses (between 5-100 employees) arguably stand to gain the most from digital transformation. Research from Forbes, for example, shows that start-ups can increase revenue by 34% relying on digital-first strategies, compared to 23% for enterprises. Maybe you started a business from your couch and are now finding the need for more resources and support. As you experience continued growth, your goal today is to simply ensure things run smoothly.

The best way to do this is to secure the foundation of your business communications. Years ago it might have sufficed to hand out your personal cell phone number, but chances are the growth and changes to your business have left you needing more from a technological standpoint. What started out as you and possibly a couple of associates might today be a dozen or more employees working in-office or remotely. You might be seeing your volume of service interactions growing, with customers wanting to do business over a variety of communication channels (email, video, social media, text message).

If so, you - and many other startups and small businesses -  are heading into a new phase of operations; one that is inevitably moving in a digital direction. There could be a very good chance that your start-up or small business needs to evolve its communications strategy to a dedicated contact center solution.

How Do You Know Your Startup or Small Business Needs a Contact Center?

This is a fair question to ask before diving into the details. You might believe your current level of communications is holding up, or perhaps you’re facing resistance when it comes to this digital shift - a recent study from SMB Group found the No. 1 challenge of digital transformation for small businesses to be team resistance to change.

Every startup and small business is different, and that may mean waiting to roll out a contact center. But if you’re a customer-focused company that directly provides a product or service and you’ve reached a point in business where you rely primarily on customer relationships and interactions to succeed, you’re going to want to look at a more robust communications solution.

There comes a point where you need more accessibility to your customers and greater visibility into the nature of interactions—how people are contacting you, themes or patterns in conversations—so that you can deliver the level of service that is expected.

Customer connection is the lifeblood of every business. If you’re doing things right then you’re growing, evolving and advancing. You want to make sure the communications system you have in place can handle customer connections in a way that truly serves your business and helps you do what you do best.

Finding Your Perfect Contact Center Solution

So, you’ve determined that you need a more robust communications solution - or at the very least are considering one. What should you be looking for? That will depend on the specific challenges you’re trying to solve for your business; however, most startups and small businesses would agree that they need:   

  • Something simple: You don’t have time to figure out the nuts and bolts of how a solution works. The solution you invest in shouldn’t have you more focused on figuring out the technology than keeping your customers satisfied. You’re not a sprawling operation; you need something simple but effective.
  • Something scalable: Consider a small retailer that, during normal business hours, has around 10 people manning phones. During the holidays, however, the company needs 40 people. If you’re this retailer, you need to know that during those 1-2 times a year you can easily scale your communications solution to accommodate those extra 30 people. You need the solution to be able to move and scale and shape around the way your business flows.
  • Something that helps you dig a little deeper: According to a new report from BrightLocal, 60% of customers prefer to call small businesses on the phone. How is your startup or small business optimizing every conversation? At a certain point, startups and small businesses can benefit big from reporting and monitoring capabilities like seeing how long calls are or flagging certain keywords in conversation to better improve service. The right solution will offer these fundamental capabilities with more advanced options as your business evolves.
  • Something flexible: There comes a time when you need to start adding more employees. Maybe you recently hired some part-time people to handle customer inquiries from wherever they are, be it across the hall or across the country. You need a communications solution that will effortlessly handle this expansion; something that will centralize communications (in other words, bring all your employees together under one central communications system).
  • Something that works: In the end, you want to ensure you’re spending more time on your business than wondering if your phone system is functioning properly and handling calls. You need a communications system that works; something that’s truly reliable, secure and has amazing quality of service.

So, what does all of this boil down to from a tech standpoint? It boils down to the need for an all-in-one communications provider that can meet all of those needs – someone like Avaya. With the Avaya OneCloud IX Contact Center you not only get the simple, scalable solutions you need to make your business run, but the peace of mind knowing a vendor trusted by the largest businesses in the world is doing the same thing for you.

Find out more about the Avaya OneCloud IX Contact Center here.

Creating a Contact Center for Your Startup or Small Business

David Rollison

David Rollison is a Senior Marketing Manager at Avaya tasked with leading marketing efforts for Avaya Professional Services, as well as supporting Avaya's cloud initiatives. Getting his start with a BFA in Theatre, Playwrighting and Directing from Cornish College of the Arts, David has spent the last 12 years supporting B2C and B2B messaging and strategy across the technology sector.

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