The rise to power of Microsoft Teams through the pandemic, and still today, empowers businesses with an all-in-one collaboration platform that offers unified voice calling, video meetings, hybrid room-remote scenarios, file sharing, chat and more.
We like to reference the Microsoft ecosystem as “the triangle”: Azure supports compute and AI, Dynamics for data aggregation and Teams for communication and collaboration, which together make an ultracapable platform that can support many use cases today and even more in the long run.
The world revolves around convenience, and Microsoft Teams wins at that, too. Teams’ features are literally at our fingertips, from being able to join meetings on the go and sharing content from our phones. Teams offers a level of convenience that can’t be overlooked.
So, does Microsoft Teams’ greatness expand into contact center capabilities too? Let’s take a closer look.
When to Consider Using Microsoft Teams as Your Contact Center
You have varying requirements when it comes to contact center functionality. For many, the key to success lies in a contact center that can be up and running quickly and with minimal investment or expenses. That’s why businesses across the globe are adopting Microsoft Teams in growing numbers. When you already use the Microsoft ecosystem across your organization, it makes sense to leverage the tool you’ve invested in to empower every UC user with modern customer experience (CX) capabilities.
For small businesses, Microsoft Teams Voice can accomplish most of your contact center needs. This allows a small staff to easily focus on strategic tasks, while allowing Teams to handle repeat requests, like operating hours. The Teams Contact Center functionality requires very basic setup and includes features like an auto-attendant and call queuing. Once you emphasize service experience for callers, you need reporting and data to act on, and that’s where Teams native functionality becomes limited.
Where Microsoft Teams’ Contact Center Capabilities End
Customer interactions are your business’s chance to hear their voices and deliver unmatched service that represents your brand. One way to do this is to have a clear understanding of what's happening in the auto-attendants and call queues.
This includes information such as:
- How long are callers are spending in the IVR?
- Do callers have the right options to choose from?
- How long are callers waiting in the queue?
Reporting is a key tool to gain visibility into these metrics.
Once you have this reporting in place, the next step is to act on the data you’ve collected. For example, if you notice a bottleneck in the IVR, you may want to add more complexity like multi-staging or data dips to help automate a certain process. This allows you to improve the overall customer experience.
While Microsoft Teams offers some native functionality for contact centers, there are limitations to what can be done. For example, multi-site management can be challenging, as everyone is on the same single global Teams tenant. This means that IT admins from one site may have access to another site's IVR, which can be risky. In such cases, it's necessary to explore other contact center solutions that can provide multi-tenant functionality to separate reporting and configuration management on a per-site basis.
Overall, your contact center needs to focus on delivering a high-quality customer experience. This requires not only collecting data, but also acting on it to continually improve the service. While Microsoft Teams provides some capabilities for contact centers, it's important to evaluate how to overcome its limitations.
What to Look for When You Need a Contact Center But Not All the Capabilities of the Big Players
It can be challenging to know what to look for, especially if you need more than Teams native Contact Center capabilities but not a premium contact center as a service (CCaaS) vendor.
One thing to keep in mind is that the premium CCaaS may offer more capabilities than you actually need. Instead, it might make more sense to look for a solution that can complement Microsoft Teams. By supercharging your Microsoft Teams with contact center functionalities, you can complete the feature set you're looking for without having to invest in a separate, detached platform.
But what should you look for in a CCaaS that integrates with Microsoft Teams?
- Ensure that it can provide a seamless, integrated experience. That means that your agents should be able to handle all interactions within the Teams interface, including voice, video, chat and email.
- You'll want a solution that provides robust analytics and reporting, so you can monitor your team's performance and make data-driven decisions to improve customer service.
- And of course, it's important to consider factors like scalability, ease of use and pricing to ensure that you're getting the best value for your money.
By choosing the right solution, you can improve your team's efficiency, boost customer satisfaction and ultimately drive business success.
How Consolidation of Your UC & CC Leads to Improved Customer Experience
The convergence of UC and CC is a growing trend, and it's easy to understand why. As CX technology becomes more commoditized, it presents an opportunity for you to leverage these modern technologies to not only the Main Service Desk but also to other internal business lines, such as the IT Help Desk, HR Desk, Sales teams, Security teams and more.
This means that any user in the company can start providing modern services with the contact center solution that leverages technologies, such as Microsoft Teams. Now your entire staff is using the collaboration tool they are familiar with: Teams.
When your staff is equipped with the tools to do their job confidently and effectively, they have a better employee experience, which comes full circle with providing quality customer experience.
From an IT standpoint, a contact center solution that leverages Teams resonates in terms of security and media quality, and the same credentials for cross-company management, which means there's no need to deal with another application.
By pulling one lever with Microsoft Teams, you can get the most out of it and provide a better experience for your customers and employees.
Advice for Leveraging Microsoft Teams as Your Contact Center
There’s often not enough dialogue between IT and CX departments, which can result in a fragmented approach to customer service.
- Facilitate this dialogue by talking to different internal business lines, such as the IT Help Desk, HR Desk, Sales team and Security team, to understand their unique requirements. By doing so, IT teams can gain insights into the diverse needs of different business units and tailor their solutions accordingly.
- Squeeze the lemon and get the most out of the existing tools, like Microsoft Teams. Instead of investing in fragmented and costly multi-element architecture, you can achieve a lot by leveraging what you already have.
- Use Teams’ powerful ecosystem to enable formal and informal agents to collaborate seamlessly, escalate calls to product experts and provide customers with timely and accurate responses.
- Pick the CCaaS that strikes the right balance between feature set and cost. There are many solutions available in the market, and it’s important to select the one that fits your business needs.
To learn more about how AudioCodes can support your move to a Microsoft Teams contact center, check out Voca Conversational Interaction Center.
Want to hear more about improving your customer experience and employee experience? Watch the January session of Always On CX:EX Presented by AudioCodes Voca on YouTube!