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Omni-channel communication, or the ability for businesses and customers to interact with each other through the channel they prefer, is the hallmark of the modern contact center. However, most businesses struggle to create a truly modern contact center because of the limitations of the tools they are using. Take, for instance, rigidity and constraints associated with the workflows pertaining to contact centers, at both operational and integration levels.
Intelligent Contacts, one of the leading providers of hosted contact center technology, helps their clients overcome these limitations cost effectively by creating one of the most innovative, intuitive contact center platforms available in the world. The company’s novel cloud-based omnichannel communications platform is also integrated with payment processing solutions.
The biggest obstacle to make the jump to omnichannel for most call centers is finding one platform that can adapt to their specific business and customer needs. “Every business-customer relationship is unique. The needs of the workforce are changing too. Many companies realize that finding qualified staff often means offering the option to work from home.” We spoke with Jeff Mains, CEO, Intelligent Contacts to learn more about the company and its growth plans for 2019 and beyond.
Could you give us a brief on what spurred the founding of Intelligent Contacts?
I started the company nine years ago. I was leading a SaaS company heavily focused on accounts receivable management, and the contact center software available at the time did not fit that model, was inflexible and took significant IT expertise to manage. At the same time, our clients had significant challenges and expense with accepting card payments — almost every conversation they had involved taking a payment. To make things worse, most systems weren’t built to interact with each other. I started keeping a list of features our clients wanted and couldn’t find. So I set out to build a development team, and that was the start of Intelligent Contacts.
What are the reasons for the growth of Intelligent Contacts in such a short time?
When we started 9 years ago, we understood that the smartphone was going to change how businesses interacted with customers on multiple levels. It was a disruptive technology. With a smartphone, the communication and payment worlds merge into one. This was our inspiration for building our own, completely integrated communication and payment solution. Our hosted contact center and payment gateway are seamlessly connected; the way it should be.
With a variety of companies offering “omnichannel” contact center software, what sets Intelligent Contacts’ apart?
We’re a true technology company. We develop and maintain all of our communication and payment technologies in house. Many of the companies offering omnichannel contact center software are actually reselling third-party technologies that are cobbled together.
With our system, agents are always in a status, which means every minute can be accounted for and reported
We created our contact center software to be highly configurable – like building blocks. This allows companies to use our solution in a way that best fits their business needs and goals. It doesn’t matter if the contact center is providing customer support, doing sales and marketing, collections, healthcare scheduling, or all of the above. The complexities of the automation and call routing are all simplified and streamlined behind an easy-to-use, campaign-based interface.
We’re also vendor agnostic. We have an open API, and our solutions integrate with any system capable of sending us structured data. In the end, our goal was to build a solution that could answer every question that starts with, “can your system do this,” with a “yes it can!”
How did Intelligent Contacts achieve a 99 percent client retention rate? Is that a reflection of the features you offer?
Clients choose us initially for some of the unique features we offer, but we’ve always taken a partnership approach as opposed to a sales-centric approach. One of our core values is that “we’re all in together.” We understand that our success and the success of our clients are one and the same. A lot of the credit goes to our client support team. They’ve earned the trust of our clients and developed great relationships over the years.
Having said that, we believe we have the best contact center software in the industry and we’ve watched as several of our clients have doubled and tripled in size since they’ve started leveraging it. Clients stay with us because we consistently deliver big results.
Could you elaborate more on the company’s core offering and some of its unique features and functionalities?
Our contact center software is designed to be a people multiplier. Instead of adding agents, companies have taken our advanced analytics and real-time performance dashboards and maximized the productivity of their team. With our system, agents are always in a status, which means every minute can be accounted for and reported.
Automation is very important. Any frequent and recurring task should be automated. For instance, when an agent completes a call, he or she chooses a preset call result. Most contact center managers will pull call results during the week and load them into the next steps campaign. Some of our clients have taken advantage of our automated campaign rollover feature to automate this step. In fact, when set up properly, the whole follow up process can be automated and scheduled.
Could you give us an overview of your client onboarding process?
Everything we do is hosted, so there is nothing to install, break, or fix. If one has a browser, then they can use our solutions from anywhere. Implementations are usually fast and easy. Depending on our potential client’s existing technology stacks, sometimes the integration is already done. Other times, it might take a week or two. Our systems are designed to be able to talk to any other system out there.
For many companies, changing providers of a contact center solution seem like a daunting task. How do you ease these concerns?
I think that is always a challenge especially with larger companies because it is a major change. You take it one step at a time and build success on success. From a technology standpoint, it’s a straightforward process. However, you’re dealing with people, and the fear of change is real. Intelligent Contacts has a seasoned implementation team and a proven process that works. Our clients appreciate the structure, attention to detail, and ensuring that their business needs lead the way, not the technology. In the end, it’s about just ripping the band-aid off. It’s never as painful as the thousand paper cuts they experience every day in a very cluttered system.