Cloud PBX or Cloud Contact Center? 5 Questions to Ask to Help Make the Call

If you're investigating the cloud to enable communications for your back-office staff and frontline agents, you may be wondering if you can get by on a cloud PBX alone or if your needs call for contact center services. Getting the answers to these key questions will help establish when your customer communications requirements would be better met by a cloud contact center solution than a telephony system.

1.     What's the focus of your teams?

The telephony system is a tool to assist workers in their roles, as opposed to being integral to their job descriptions. If a standard Call Detail Records report would suffice for metrics, then a cloud PBX solution should cater to these basic requirements.

If you have users who are (or will be) focused on metrics such as Average Handling Time, Abandonment Rate, or Longest Wait Time, then you'll need a contact center solution that can provide these stats. Look for delivery in a real-time dashboard as well as in historical reporting.

2.     How much time do your workers spend on the phone?

If the answer to this is "all shift," then a contact center solution is certainly the way to go. A team that moves from one call to the next with minimal downtime will benefit from a system that automates administrative tasks such as scheduling callbacks or sending template emails and text messages. This can free up time for agents to move to the next customer and improve handling metrics overall.

3.     Do your teams use scripts?

Scripts are a key indicator of an operation in need of contact center technology. Instead of using static documents (or even paper-based counterparts), interactive scripts can be as comprehensive and dynamic as your contact routing rules. In fact, this can be the difference between an average and a great customer experience.

If your agents use a knowledge base for FAQs, articles, and policies, a contact center solution should allow you to embed that directly in the agent desktop rather than forcing agents to switch between different windows or applications.

4.     Do your users frequently move between different contact channels?

A typical PBX solution focuses on voice as the key channel, with unified communications options for internal instant messaging and presence capabilities. But if users frequently need to switch between the standard telephony system and an automated dialer, or if agents find themselves juggling calls, emails, or Web chats from various applications, then a blended multichannel contact center platform is the answer.

A cloud contact center solution can route all forms of customer contact through regardless of direction or medium, giving you the ability to create a seamless, omnichannel approach to contact management and get a comprehensive view of a customer's contact history.

5.     How complex are your routing requirements?

In some cases, hunt group functionality may be all that's required and a cloud PBX could accommodate small or simple operations with limited requirements. But for more specific routing scenarios, consider investing in a platform with more advanced routing options and contact tagging built in.

When your customers get in touch, do you need to be able to route them to specific teams or departments? Is there a significant advantage in offering callbacks to your VIP customers or providing IVR-based survey capabilities? A cloud contact center solution would be in order.

For additional information, read "The New Rules of the Inbound Contact Center," and learn more about the world of inbound contact center requirements and possibilities.