What is an Informal Contact Center?

With budgets today at an all-time low, companies are continually looking for ways to increase performance and reduce costs in the call center. From IVRs to website FAQs to live online chat, there are many ways companies can bring the cost of a call in line with the value of the customer.

But these aren’t the only ways companies are getting creative with sales and service. A model known as the ‘informal’ call center, which was popular several years ago, is making a comeback – and a strong one at that.

What exactly is an informal call center?

It’s when the employees who are trained to handle customers’ needs one-on-one are not necessarily call center agents. For example, they could be knowledge experts who work in other departments or locations. They could come from IT, accounting, finance, or engineering as well, or they can be retail store clerks or employees who work from home.

Why do companies use this type of call center model?

Labor is the highest cost within the call center, accounting for as much as 85 percent in some cases. The informal call center allows companies to match the right respondent with the right customer at the right time, significantly reducing the operational costs associated with customer service.

What kind of technology plays a role in the informal call center?

Technology, such as a hosted call center solution, eliminates the need for a physical location, allowing staff to be distributed anywhere throughout the organization. This model offers employees tremendous scheduling flexibility, enabling companies to hire best-of-breed staff and to scale up or down as needed. Even more, managers can supervise, analyze and provide feedback to all staff, no matter where they are, via one single easy-to-use interface.

How do I know if a hosted call center solution is for me?

A hosted call center eliminates the need for installation, repairs, upgrades, consultants and much more. So, whether you run a formal or informal call center, anything that generates operational efficiencies should be seriously considered.

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