Integrated vs. Unified (UC): Five Reasons Why Contact Centres Must Get Unified; Aspect Software

Author: Aspect Software

Date: 1st March 2010

Imagine your contact center as a jigsaw puzzle, but each of the pieces has been provided by a different puzzle maker. One created the automatic call distributor piece, another the voice portal piece, another the predictive dialer piece, and still others the Internet contact, workforce management, recording and quality management pieces. Completing the puzzle to make it look like the picture shown on the lid of the box has become a futile effort – the pieces just won’t fit the way they should.

Providing better service to your customers should be your focus, not getting your disparate contact center systems to work together. Custom integrations can be cost-prohibitive, labor-intensive and potentially very time-consuming and burdensome. Implementing upgrades or adding new capabilities in an environment like this only adds to that challenge. And, reporting and administration become a veritable nightmare when trying to pull information from multiple systems.

For most of you, this isn’t an imaginary scenario, it’s your day-to-day reality. You’re striving to deliver the exceptional experiences your customers demand and deserve, but you’re spending more time with your IT department trying to get the systems to work together. When you can’t focus on maximizing the solutions you have, agent productivity can suffer, customer experiences become dismal and the bottom line may take a direct hit as a result.

How would you feel if, rather than dealing with multiple puzzle makers or contact center vendors with niche experience and expertise, you could have a single, master craftsman who could build, run and maintain your contact center, regardless of the shape or size? What if there was a way that you could have everything fit together, literally, right out of the box?
Well, there is.

The solution to your perplexing contact center puzzle and its many different pieces and parts is a unified solution. By administering, managing, monitoring, and driving the performance of the contact center – inbound and outbound calls, emails, chat sessions, faxes, staffing, productivity and more – from a single unified platform, you can increase flexibility, reduce complexity, lower costs, inspire customer loyalty, and enhance productivity. Most importantly, a unified contact center puts control in the hands of those closest to the customer – your business managers.

The time has come to ask yourself...

- Can I address my customers’ changing business needs quickly and easily? - Am I able to deliver an exceptional customer experience?
- Do I have a complete view into my contact center’s operations?
- Are my agents as efficient as they could be? Are they empowered with the tools they need to make the most of my customer relationships?

Learn how to rise above those integration challenges, control the chaos and reap the benefits that a unified solution can bring to your contact center.

The Tyranny of Integration

Unified and integrated. Many contact centers make the expensive mistake of not differentiating between the two. It is typical that, in an effort to address the pressing customer service, collections, or sales and telemarketing needs of a quickly growing business, companies accumulate a plethora of siloed, or point, solutions. As a result, most established contact centers today are integrated contact centers, where point solutions from various vendors have been cobbled together to give the appearance of a ‘single’ solution.

The reality is that these integrations are often chaotic, inefficient and very costly – and most importantly, they hinder the contact center from meeting its customer demands and strategic objectives. With multiple systems in play, the experience that customers receive is different depending on whether they contact a company via telephone, email or Web chat; agents lose productivity because they are logging in and out of systems all day long to accommodate spikes and valleys in traffic; and, business leaders lack the ability to truly see what is happening with employees or customers at any given time. Identifying the source of an issue in an integrated environment may take hours or even days since there are so many products tied together, and making any little change to this type of fragile arrangement can be a daunting, if not crippling, task.

Most of the challenges that emerge in integrated contact centers can be categorized into the following areas:

- Inflexibility
- Extreme Complexity
- High Costs
- Low Customer Satisfaction
- Unproductive Agents

Aspect Software

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