The contact centre has evolved drastically in the last few years. We’re now living in a world where customer service agents and sales representatives are distributed across a hybrid working environment. These agents are dealing with more complex queries, requiring greater collaboration among specialists as consumers reserve contact centre queries for issues they can’t solve with self-service.
All the while, the environment for customer communications is evolving too, with new avenues emerging all the time, from chat and SMS to video and voice. For many companies, staying ahead of the curve with CX means investing in the next generation of contact centre tools.
Microsoft Teams, one of the world’s most popular platforms for communication and collaboration, is quickly emerging as the ultimate alternative to the traditional contact centre.
Currently, there are more than 270 million monthly active users on Microsoft Teams, and many have begun using this platform not just for productivity and collaboration, but for internal and external communications too.
The flexible Teams environment and robust partner community means it’s easier than ever for companies to leverage the contact centre features they need within the Teams platforms their employees are already using. The question is, what makes a Microsoft Teams contact centre more effective than a traditional platform?
Here are just some of the major differences and benefits worth noting.
When you invest in a traditional contact centre, you’re buying a solution specifically for customer service. While some more modern tools come with certain features for collaboration, few can match the synchronisation available with Teams.
With Microsoft Teams your employees already have an environment where they can share files, track the presence of other employees, and connect with colleagues to complete complex tasks. Adding contact centre functionality into Teams means you keep internal and external communications in the same environment. Contact centre agents can easily reach middle and back-office employees with the experience they need to answer complex questions.
You can also ensure all of your staff members remain connected and have access to the same crucial knowledge and tools, regardless of whether they’re working remotely, in the office, or in a hybrid environment.
Part of what makes Microsoft Teams so attractive to companies in search of a hub for internal communications is the flexibility of the ecosystem. The cloud-based Microsoft Teams environment doesn’t just integrate with other Microsoft 365 tools, it also offers endless extensibility. Through the AppSource marketplace, and features like Direct Routing and Operator Connect, companies can expand the capabilities of their software as much as they choose.
You can add new channels for customer service to your strategy in an instant, opening the door for video service, messaging, SMS, and more. It’s also easy to quickly provision contact centre tools to your employees wherever they are, even when you’re hiring remote or outsourced staff.
The integration capabilities of Microsoft Teams even mean you can more rapidly innovate when new functionality becomes available. Leading Microsoft partners are already offering features like compliant call recording for regulated brands, auto attendant technology for sorting through customer queries, and intelligent bots for self-service.
Traditional contact centres are often disconnected from the rest of the tools employees need to stay productive in today’s fast-paced digital environment. This means employees need to constantly jump between different apps and tools to check customer data in a CRM, or resources in an ERP app. The more time your employees spend moving through these tools, the more disjointed and unproductive their work becomes.
Microsoft Teams helps to create a single pane of glass environment for higher levels of staff productivity. Used correctly, it can enhance your employees’ performance by giving them an all-in-one space for finding support from other staff members, tracking down valuable business insights, and more. You can even leverage bots and virtual agents to support teams in finding data.
The flexible landscape offered by Teams leads to a better, more efficient employee experience, regardless of where your staff members are. You can even integrate your Teams environment with the crucial apps your teams already use from Salesforce and similar vendors.
Microsoft Teams is a secure and compliant application, designed to support the needs of companies all across the globe. Working with the right tools to enhance your Teams instance, you can take your compliance and security levels up even further. For example, with compliant call recording tools, you can store valuable information from conversations and messages in the cloud.
Microsoft Teams’ access control features also allow users to assign different permissions to different employees throughout the workforce. You could even set up two-factor authentication and biometric security systems to take your privacy options up a notch.
Thanks to the wide range of partners in the Microsoft ecosystem, it’s easy to find a vendor or app creator who can help you build the ultimate strategy for security and privacy in Teams.
With Microsoft Teams at the heart of your contact centre, companies can build an all-in-one environment for communication both internally and externally. This doesn’t just lead to better productivity for your teams, it can also pave the way for stronger insights too.
With analytical tools in Microsoft Teams and integrations to Microsoft Power BI, you’ll be able to learn more about your teams’ engagement levels, your contact centre operations, and even your customer journey. You can even implement tools for analysing sentiment and voice directly into the Microsoft landscape, for AI-assisted guidance.
The more information you collect about your contact centre, the more you can optimise your ecosystem to make the most out of your investment. This can help with reducing costs, generating better CSAT scores, and outshining the competition.
Though Microsoft Teams wasn’t initially built as a tool for the contact centre, it’s quickly becoming a compelling option for a wide range of business users. If you’re planning on taking your contact centre into the cloud already, or you’re looking for a new way to invest in CX, using Microsoft Teams as the core of your new strategy could be the ideal option. Get in touch to learn more.