What is a hosted call center?

Hosted call center explained

A hosted call center is a consumer experience application where a company’s central point of outbound and inbound communications are a cloud on a service provider’s back-office systems, thus providing a lower cost of possession. It is a software with a delivery model that differs from the on-premise application and have similar characteristics with a cloud-based application.

Hosted call centers provide a flexible and scalable alternative to premise contact centers. The capability to deploy a hosted call center with less up-front fees attracts legacy enterprise and new startups who desire to meet the demands of their technically savvy consumers.

A similar idea to a hosted call center is a virtual call center. A virtual call center also offers businesses to amplify consumer’s service capabilities without increasing operational cost but from the cloud. This causes higher security, flexibility, and scalability of call center operations to adjust faster to changing customer service needs.

In this article, we will look at the hosted call center application, its merits, and best practices for selecting the appropriate delivery model for your call center.

What is a hosted call center?

Definition of hosted call center application

When software is hosted, it is installed and hosted on a remote server, off-site, in a different area than your company. A hosted application is also managed by the manufacturer or a third party vendor, and users access it from anywhere within the organization at any period, as long as they have an internet connection. Hosted software is also referred to as software as a service, SaaS, or cloud software, in case the servers are virtualized.

Call center software is significant to a company looking for a solution for communicating. Top call center solutions offer users the capability to communicate across a variety of mediums including email, phone, social media, SMS text, live chat, and instant messaging. A call center application may also include call center monitors, auto dialer, call analytics, call accounting applications, computer telephony integration, predictive dialer, automatic call distributor, interactive voice response, and speed analytics.

Users across hosted call center software access the application via a network connection. Call centers opting to use hosted application put their whole call center infrastructure in the cloud. Nonetheless, some opt for a hybrid approach that leaves some infrastructure on the premises and some off-site. 

Advantages of hosted call center software

A hosted call center application is more economical than the on-premise application. A service provider maintains hosted applications, so the call center is not in charge of implementing the software or maintaining it. Below are significant uses of hosted call center software;

  • Hosted call center application allows advisors to work from home

Hosted call center opens up the barrier for remote advisors and offers the contact center the chance to expand its employing range in terms of location and ensures it is easier to draft in advisors during unexpected rises in contact volumes.

Hosted call center solution, incorporating remote advisors is efficient and simple. These applications are frequently offered as a service; advisors can just connect to the platform using a standard internet connection, despite their geographical area.

  • You can own a hosted call center software without a license

Most call centers prefer hosted software since they can possess it without an indefinite license. In this case, you pay once for it, and then you pay per month maintenance charges for it. In case you stop paying for maintenance, the software keeps on working at whatever type you used when you stopped paying. Whereas hosted call center application does need a substantial upfront investment, most organizations opt for it since they believe the original investment is worthwhile since the provider is in charge of making sure hosted software is upgraded, managed, and patched so that subscribers always have access to updated and bug free types of their call center software.

  • Hosted call center software reduces hassle with hardware

With an on-premise application, the installation and configuration can take up to several months to end. However, in the hosted, implementations are much faster to deploy.

For instance, with a workforce management host-based implementation, the steps involved are more uncomplicated, needing on the creation of a new user account, the loading of data and configuration of the system. This can be done in a few days or weeks instead of months.

It is worth noting that, with many hosted call center solutions, there is no upfront investment for hardware or application. The software can be offered via a monthly subscription user fee which usually includes training, support and maintenance, and upgrades and new releases of features.

  • With hosted call center software companies spend less on ingoing IT maintenance

Since hosted call center application is housed off-site, your organization will spend less on ongoing IT maintenance and support costs. Similarly, you need less in house call center technical expertise when you opt for a hosted call center software application. You also ensure monthly maintenance payments out of your operating budget rather than your capital budget, which is where you use the money when you buy or upgrade on-premise call center application solutions.

  • Unifying fractured communication channels

With so many ways of communication available, be it social media, video, email or phone- today, staff are now facing an explosion of disjointed inbound information besides their own internal communications channels like Skype or Slack.

There are many mediums resulting in disjointed service and a system that is challenging for staff to use. This results in substandard customer service and subpar working experience. Unified communication channels and call center solutions under one umbrella indicate diverse parts of the company are no longer siloed. Instead, there is a constant flow of consumer information between departments, leading to improved cross-collaboration and united team.

Not only will your employees benefit from having all consumer information in one place, but consumers benefit from dealing with advisors who can deliver outstanding service, all the time.

Is hosted call center software right for your business?

Choosing the right hosted call center application is essential for efficient operations. Usability is the chief key, but you will also want to consider integration and ease of setup. Generally, the hosted call center application will integrate seamlessly with other company software solutions and systems you are already using. For example, most call centers combine call center application with their existing customer relationship management(CRM) solutions. Making sure the hosted call center software is compatible with existing solutions is one of the first steps to take when assessing and comparing sellers.

In some situations, the on-premise call center application is a better choice for a company. In case a company opts to make an upfront investment instead of ongoing payments, for example, on-premise applications may be more suitable. Similarly, call centers needing a high level of customization may opt for on-premise applications. Companies that do, however, should make sure that they have the right IT  resources to control and maintain at on-premise application.

However, companies that to manage operational costs may prefer hosted call center solution to remove the need to maintain physical data centers and decrease demands on in house IT  resources. Similarly, rapidly developing organizations or call centers that deal with fluctuating demand frequent prefer hosted call center applications that can scale seamlessly to accommodate these requirements.

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