Multi-Site Contact Centers – Can they work for your business?

Multi-Site Contact Centers

Contact Centers are often the main point of communication between your company and your consumers…the lifeline of your business.  A Contact Center that integrates a comprehensive telephone system with customized software can generate sales leads, acquire new business, educate consumers, service the needs of existing customers, and improve customer satisfaction for a business that depends on phone customer interactions.

Although a single centralized Contact Center can create an environment that is focused, standardized and more easily managed than a multi-site Contact Center operation, the multi-site approach can be a more beneficial and diverse approach to meet the needs of your customers.

Multi-site Contact Centers can provide scheduling flexibility, demographic diversity, skill focus, disaster protection, and geographic divergence to better serve a nationwide customer base. Well planned multiple sales and customer support sites can provide an efficient and cost effective Comprehensive Customer Contact Division that is a valuable part of the business.

Large companies that have several business divisions often require multiple Contact Center operations that are established at sites dictated by product line or geographic location.  There can be economies and efficiencies in coordinating the activity of this type of multi-site Contact Centers by focusing on planning the staffing, equipment, and connectivity to create an integrated communication vehicle for the entire business.

Mergers and Acquisitions can result in the need to integrate diverse multi-site Contact Centers.  The development of a cohesive Contact Center solution can be implemented by evaluating and planning policies, procedures, staffing, equipment and connectivity among centers that may have been operating under different management styles and approaches.

Call Routing – What to consider

In order to effectively manage multi-site Contact Centers, there are several factors that must be considered in determining the best approach for an effective communication operation.  Deciding how calls are routed is crucial in developing the best approach for your business needs. Call routing options include:

  1. Each site operates independently and only handles one type of call (e.g. sales, technical, location). The work flow and scheduling are managed within each site
  2. Route calls to one site first for specific calls and uses a remote site for overflow calls or off-hours. This approach allows for a larger quantity of specialists in the primary site and cross-trained staff to handle basic communications in the referral site(s).
  3. Route calls to the next available representative with the specific skill regardless of location. This approach would typically require a telecommunications system that communicates between the caller and the site to determine the most appropriate direction for the call. All staff must be properly trained in all locations, however, supervisors that are not required for in-person communication can be shared among multiple locations. Multiple call center sites in different time zones can effectively manage calls over an extended time period each day.  Multiple sites with cross-trained representatives can also be impactful during disasters (e.g. power outages, storms) that disrupt one location but maintain operations for all callers.
  4. Routing of calls to work at home representatives requires centralized scheduling and equipment and a systemized approach to supervision and call escalation.

Equipment and Connectivity

Technological advances over the past few years have introduced equipment and software that can be installed on site or operated in the cloud.  The real advantage of the available technology is that multi-site Contact Centers can be linked together as one with shared resources and can capitalize on new connectivity approaches as they develop.

The choice of purchasing or leasing the equipment and the relevant connectivity services compared to the utilization of a cloud-based system will depend on your usage, staffing and the geographic diversity of your contact centers.

Management

Once you determine the most effective call routing for your business needs, you will be able to focus on staff scheduling, equipment and facility operations, staff/call supervision, forecasting, and reporting.  Management decisions will be impacted by:

  1. Number of sites and locations
  2. How calls are routed
  3. Business Functions managed by each site
  4. Staff skills required for calls
  5. Call escalation support

Whether management is centralized or executed separately at each site, a complete management, and operating plans must be developed that identifies call routing procedures, supervision, client interactions, technical support, in person staff assistance, call escalation, and work site procedures. Effective communications between sites are crucial to a successful Contact Center operation for any business.

Contact Center technology offers a wide array of both premise and cloud-based systems.  A myriad of solutions can be developed to match your current business situation while planning for future adjustments to expand or contract operations to match changing business environments.

Rather than there being one right system and design, there are hundreds of configurations, equipment combinations, and software options that can be developed just for your business.  The ultimate goal is to improve the productivity of your Contact Center operation, while simultaneously reducing the monthly cost of this vital business function.

An evaluation of the entire Contact Center operation and careful, knowledgeable planning can develop a unified approach to customer sales, service, and support.  Since 1992 Global Link has been providing Contact Center solutions utilizing the latest technology for a wide variety of businesses.  You can schedule a FREE, no obligation consultation on your Contact Center needs by contacting Robert Sidky rsidky@glci.net – 215-485-4003.

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