16, February 2017
Small and medium-sized businesses (SMB’s) are considered the backbone and life blood of the contact center industry. They are responsible for generating growth, creating jobs, and using innovation to rapidly grow in new markets. They are a promising yet challenging market because they have their own set of limitations. To compete with larger organizations, SMBs have to be able to transform their businesses, gain greater access to markets and compete more competently. Listed below are some of the top challenges faced by SMB contact centers:
(1) Keep pace with large competitions – SMBs have the same business requirements, collaboration, and mobility requirements as large enterprises but with limited resources. With the Internet of Things (IoT) creating a buzz in the world of contact centers, keeping up with large players has become difficult without proper resources. Like larger contact centers, SMBs also have to achieve business targets with fewer resources. They have to be efficient and productive. But, one of the biggest challenges they face is how to meet their goals with fewer staff/resources.
(2) Lack of versatile agents – Large contact centers can afford to have specialized agents each catering to a particular line of business. But SMBs with limited resources do not have the luxury of dedicated teams and functionally aligned resources. Sometimes it leads to over committing but under delivering.
(3) Peak-time paralysis – Scalability is best defined as the ability of an organization to handle growing amounts of work effectively. SMBs with their limited people, process and technology find it difficult to keep up with the additional demand, especially during seasons of festivities.
(4) Provide a seamless connected customer experience – The proliferation of mobile devices and cloud technologies are changing the way people collaborate and communicate. And SMBs do not have enough resources to scale up to address these challenges.
(5) Technology upgrades – Most SMBs purchase technology in a modular way. They look for ROI and business value before investing and prefer to buy as and when required. Making the right technology investments that optimize the breadth of functionality and cost, while solving pain points is highly important for SMBs.
(6) Embracing Change – Emerging technologies like mobile, cloud, unified collaboration bring new sophistication and SMBs with their legacy operating systems are not able to keep up with the demand for innovation while running daily business activities.
(7) Budget constraints – Budget constraints limit the ability of SMEs to invest in complex and sophisticated tools and services that require greater levels of professional services.
(8) Managing inbound/outbound demand – SMBs with their limited resources find it difficult to handle both inbound and outbound calls.
(9) New targets – Agents already struggle to meet the usual workload, handle inbound and outbound calls, meet targets etc. They cannot afford to spare time to market and bring in new customers.
(10) Retaining customers – Having fewer staff members, affects the quality of service offered. As customers continue to be put on hold or treated insufficiently, there are more chances for customers to opt for a better service provider.
(11) Security compliance – Unlike earlier times when large organizations were targets for threat attacks, now smaller organizations fall in the same radar because they are easier to target. The barriers to implementing, managing, and using threat detection systems and address regulatory compliance requirements are higher for SMBs than larger organizations.
The advent of hosted and cloud technologies is a welcome boon for the SMB contact center. Not only are they are popular with SMBs because of cost efficiency, but because they offer scalability, enable remote workforce, require minimal or in-house support, it widens the geographic base and allows small players to have a chance to compete with bigger organizations.