You can probably name a lot of reasons to connect your business phone service across different sites.
But the big question of the day is this: how can a multi-site setup help you manage increased call volume with a reduced workforce?
In this post:
- Three reasons you’ll multi-site your business phone service
- better peak management
- wider agent skill sets
- major cost savings
- Multi-site challenges (and how you’ll overcome them)
- Creating consistent, compliant service
3 reasons you’ll multi-site your business phone service
#1 Better Peak Management
Basically every large business has contact centers across different sites.
And whether they’re 50 miles apart or 5000, they get different levels of traffic.
That makes your first clear benefit clear: you can spread the peaks across those sites.
This used to be an expensive infrastructure challenge. But now we’re in the age of the VoIP phone system.
With most (or all) telephony in the cloud, the technical challenge has disappeared almost completely.
#2 Wider agent skill sets
Question: do the agents across different sites have the exact same skills?
Answer: of course not.
This benefit is easy to overlook. Not only can you split general demand across several sites – you can split demand for specific skill sets across those sites.
Take language skills. A typical North American site might want more Spanish speakers than it can recruit. There’s a clear benefit if you can route some customers to another site with far more Spanish speakers.
But language skills aren’t the only skills that can be grouped regionally. You can see this for yourself by looking at your call routing and asking: which routing pathways are used most and least?
#3 Major cost savings
This one usually grabs attention.
The most obvious cost reduction comes from using off-shore contact centers. At scale, this reduction can be staggering; GE moved part of their operation to India and saved around $275 million per year.
Of course, there can be downsides to off-shoring. But that doesn’t stop it from being a viable option in some contexts – especially overflow.
Creating a multi-site contact center also generates less obvious savings. An outbound or blended call center operation saves on long-distance calls by automatically placing them from the nearest contact center.
Then there are the savings below the surface. As we’ve seen, multi-site contact centers can offer shorter call queues, more skilled agents and greater personalization – in short, better CX.
CX leaders achieve 17% annual growth, compared with just 5% for CX laggards.
Multi-site challenges (and how you’ll overcome them)
So how do you route across a dispersed business phone service?
If your sites were only a few miles apart, the solution would be easy. You’d simply route each call to the site with the lowest volume.
In reality, your contact centers could be on different continents. That means your routing strategy will factor in opening hours, language preference and the regulation in the caller’s territory.
All of this used to be a massive challenge. Now it’s easy… with a few provisos.
To get started, you need:
- VoIP telephony
- Robust call infrastructure
- a contact center platform that lets you easily manage your call handling
Let’s dig into those a little.
VoIP telephony is a must because it solves two of your biggest issues: distance, and setup costs. True, VoIP isn’t 100% distance neutral – but it comes a lot closer to neutrality than traditional telephony. As for setup costs, VoIP tends to be around 90% cheaper. This one’s a no-brainer.
You need robust infrastructure because… well, you always need that. But a multi-site setup creates new challenges by stretching that infrastructure thin. The answer is to build in as much resilience as possible.
(For example – a lot of businesses rely on two or three carriers. Don’t. We use 40 carriers and 300 integrated service providers, because that’s what it takes to be resilient.)
Then you need a contact center platform that lets you manage your call handling.
Part of this is call routing – where does each call go, and what contextual factors influence them?
Another part is managing different phone numbers – can your platform supply international numbers? Can they supply the right mix of toll-free and other numbers? Will they let you bring your existing numbers, and is there a straightforward way to organize them?
Consistent, compliant across your business phone service
Of course, you’ll want to create consistent and compliant services everywhere.
Let’s tackle those two separately.
Compliance. Strong controls like GDPR turn compliance into a routing issue. If you know where a certain contact center’s traffic comes from, you can plan around the regulations for those territories.
Sure, getting traffic from multiple territories could mean juggling different sets of rules. The easiest approach? Live by the most stringent rules and apply them everywhere.
(Luckily, the really big one – PCI DSS – already applies everywhere.)
Consistency. Whether your customer gets routed to Delhi, Dayton or Durham, you want them to get the same high-quality service.
We’ve already talked about how your platform should let you manage your call handling. That includes every element of the experience; how long they’re kept on hold, which services they’re offered and how their outcome is recorded.
If you want to offer the same service, you use the same tool – preferably a platform that lets you apply global changes, easily, at any time.
That creates a single location for managing a lot of different resources. Look for platforms and tools which give your business phone service that kind of capability, and you can’t go wrong.