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Internet telephony has evolved from the tried-and-true hard phones into technology that operates wherever its users are. In the face of changes in working patterns brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic, which approach to the voice channel is right for your contact center? Fabrice Malecot sheds light on the situation.
In light of the developments of recent years, choosing the optimal internet telephony software has implications for meeting the demands of your contact center’s agent experience (AX) as well as your brand’s customer experience (CX) strategy. This means quality experiences so customers feel listened to by the brands they interact with, while also empowering the growing number of employees seeking hybrid or remote work. An omnichannel approach can certainly help with CX, but what will drive voice-led strategies and facilitate hybrid/remote work?
When considering which internet telephony software to integrate with your CCaaS solution, there are two methods to consider: Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) and Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS). The former powers the personal communication apps you use most such as WhatsApp, Skype and Viber. It works by using the internet to send and receive analog-to-digital voice data between users, running it through a provider’s servers to be decoded at each user’s end, which means it runs on-premises and is wholly managed by the end users.
Meanwhile, UCaaS uses VoIP to facilitate business communications functions for not only voice, but video, conferencing, videoconferencing, messaging and collaborative capabilities such as virtual whiteboards. Indeed, an entire suite of popular business communications platforms such as Zoom and Microsoft Teams can be grouped under the UCaaS umbrella. What’s more — as with any XaaS platform — it runs via the cloud to assist the smooth functioning of its collaborative capabilities.
The traditional mainstay of workplace telephony is the hard phone, which typically takes the form of a desk phone or conference room setup. They are capable of leveraging VoIP capabilities for business communications. With that said, there are significant disadvantages when it comes to modern business communications.
For one, there’s a lack of mobility. Hard phones must stay tethered by Ethernet to the outlet where they are installed, which severely curtails their portability. Another is that, though VoIP can be leveraged, they represent additional costs both for purchase and maintenance. Taken together, relying on hard phones, while possibly fine for working from the office, is not logical for contact center agents working remotely, from either a cost or productivity perspective.
Capable of leveraging UCaaS, so-called “soft” phones are a kind of internet telephony software that can operate without the need for any additional hardware, and provide mobility for contact center agents working remotely. What’s more, softphones offer more features than hard phones’ calls and conferences. File transfers, messaging capabilities and digital whiteboards are all available with softphones, and can be updated to the newest versions more quickly and easily.
Unified communications platforms like Zoom, which were highly touted as a way to preserve as many office functions as possible, became popular during the Covid-19 lockdowns. One thing we all think of when remembering that period of time is the learning curve involved. Whichever softphone solution you consider, your contact center agents will require training, which takes time and effort away from catering to customer needs.
If your contact center is in need of a solution that helps your agents provide top-tier CX while keeping costs down, ensuring mobility and minimizing training time for agents, WebRTC delivers. WebRTC provides natively integrated, UCaaS-powered internet telephony features that can be readily accessed anywhere via a web browser, requiring no extra software to be learned and mastered.
This technology enables call management capabilities based on agent skills and availability, distributing calls where they’re needed. Contact center managers can also make use of statistics from every workstation to monitor agent workloads and performance. WebRTC is a beneficial solution for contact center managers and agents alike because it helps maintain contact center functionality no matter where agents are. Most important of all, these features mean WebRTC is your brand’s partner in optimizing the customer journey.
When in need of internet telephony software that can adapt to your contact center’s context, consider Odigo™. Our proprietary CCaaS solution allows you to receive calls via web browser using the internet telephony software of your choice, thanks to its highly flexible and integrative nature. If your contact center needs an open, cloud-based CCaaS solution that deploys internet telephony quickly while cutting costs, contact our experts to discuss your situation and receive a demo.
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