Cookie Preference Centre

Your Privacy
Strictly Necessary Cookies
Performance Cookies
Functional Cookies
Targeting Cookies

Your Privacy

When you visit any web site, it may store or retrieve information on your browser, mostly in the form of cookies. This information might be about you, your preferences, your device or used to make the site work as you expect it to. The information does not usually identify you directly, but it can give you a more personalized web experience. You can choose not to allow some types of cookies. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings. However, you should know that blocking some types of cookies may impact your experience on the site and the services we are able to offer.

Strictly Necessary Cookies

These cookies are necessary for the website to function and cannot be switched off in our systems. They are usually only set in response to actions made by you which amount to a request for services, such as setting your privacy preferences, logging in or filling in forms. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site may not work then.

Cookies used

Performance Cookies

These cookies allow us to count visits and traffic sources, so we can measure and improve the performance of our site. They help us know which pages are the most and least popular and see how visitors move around the site. All information these cookies collect is aggregated and therefore anonymous. If you do not allow these cookies, we will not know when you have visited our site.

Cookies used

Google Analytics

Functional Cookies

These cookies allow the provision of enhance functionality and personalization, such as videos and live chats. They may be set by us or by third party providers whose services we have added to our pages. If you do not allow these cookies, then some or all of these functionalities may not function properly.

Cookies used




Targeting Cookies

These cookies are set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant ads on other sites. They work by uniquely identifying your browser and device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will not experience our targeted advertising across different websites.

Cookies used


This site uses cookies and other tracking technologies to assist with navigation and your ability to provide feedback, analyse your use of our products and services, assist with our promotional and marketing efforts, and provide content from third parties


Here are some suggested Connections for you! - Log in to start networking.

Stay Nimble with “A La Carte” Customer Service Solutions - FCR - Blog

Stay Nimble with “A La Carte” Customer Service Solutions

This article was originally published on as part of Jeremy’s regular advisor column on December 7, 2017. Click here to read the original post.

Just a bit over a year ago my boss approached me and asked me to start an “Emerging Technologies Team” at FCR. This was basically license for a few of us to watch a lot of sales demos and get familiar with the variety of support technology on the market. There have been several wins with our clients as a result of this initiative — some that I’ve shared in previous columns.

A la carte vs All-in-one

There’s one genre of software that’s been a challenge to translate to the needs of our clients. It’s the all-in-one customer engagement platform. These include companies like InContact, Calabrio, Genesys, Interactive Intelligence, Bright Pattern, and others that offer the ability to manage any and all support channels under one system. They also include other added features like quality assurance, speech analytics, and workforce management. Make no mistake — there’s definitely an allure to the promise of having everything in one platform.

Sponsor message - content continues below this message

2022 '17th annual' Global Contact Center World Awards NOW OPEN

Enter your Center, Strategy, Technology Innovation, Teams and Individuals into the ONLY TRULY GLOBAL awards program - regarded by many as being like the Olympics for the Contact Center World! Join the best from over 80 nations and compete for the most prestigious awards out there!


Content continues ….

At the end of each of these demos, I’ve been left asking, “When does it make sense to switch to a platform like this?” You see, a quick survey of the the clients we work with shows that the majority of them use either Zendesk or Salesforce as the main hub for their customer communication. We see a sprinkling of others but these two are the biggies. Both platforms offer the ability natively to handle other support channels like chat, phone, and social media but they also boast robust app marketplaces and APIs that give companies a variety of tools to choose from. I like to call this the “A la carte” model.

The goal of this article isn’t to sway you either way but rather to discuss some of the benefits of adopting the a la carte model, especially as your business scales. I’ll then wrap up with some interesting trends I’m seeing with regard to omnichannel and invite those readers with “all-in-one” savvy to present their rebuttal.

The benefits of A la Carte

There are a number of clear benefits to businesses of all size that go the a la carte route. Here are five that come to mind:

1. Add channels and features as you go (and grow) – I’ve worked with a number of startups that limit customer service to email only for as long as they possibly can. An email platform that easily integrates with tools for chat, phone, email, social media, and others makes it easy to add other support channels as needed in the future.
2. Use best of breed rather than the only available option – When using an all-in-one solution, you might be stuck with the functionality they’ve developed for handling each support channel. Not so with a la carte where you have several software options for each channel. For example, we have clients integrating InContact, Interactive Intelligence, Five9, and Talkdesk into Zendesk in addition to Zendesk’s own Talk product for handling phone calls.
3. Swap out one, rather than all – Whether you outgrow a system or simply find something better, the a la carte model allows you to swap out individual parts rather than taking on the daunting task of migrating everything. For example, if the chat platform you’ve chosen is having issues, there’s no need to move your entire customer engagement platform. Instead, just sign on with a new chat support company and easily integrate that into your pre existing platform.
4. Don’t wait on your all-in-one – When switching platforms is easier, there’s somewhat less of a sense of being trapped by a lack of functionality. If another system offers a feature you need, you have the option to switch. Also, consider the fact that there’s an integration for other systems and tools to make your support channels better. These might include tools that leverage the power of AI and machine learning or talk to other systems like a CRM. I’ve been fascinated by the variety of creative integrations that middleware companies like Zapier and Workato make possible. No need to wait for one company to innovate anymore.
5. Many all-in-ones also offer a la carte options – There’s so much a la carte business to be had that the all-in-ones don’t want to miss the party. Many all-in-ones like Genesys, InContact, Interactive Intelligence, and others also offer the ability to use one of their features, like voice, and hook it into a system like Salesforce or Zendesk. Don’t feel like you have to go all in on the all-in-one.

Where does this leave omnichannel?

Do you know how much time is wasted in your contact center when agents have to search for duplicate tickets from the same customer? Or how many customers call in after emailing with an agent only to have to explain everything all over again to the next person? Omnichannel support is something that’s slapped on a lot of websites of vendors claiming their software delivers it — and while they offer customers many more options to contact support — many fall short of a true omnichannel experience.

That’s why I’m closely watching the likes of Kustomer and Gladly who are daring to reinvent support as we know it. They start with the customer at the center, and regardless of the support channel(s) the customer uses, it’s all just one continuous conversation with customer support. This is new and a bit outside of the box, but I think they’re onto something. It’s a different and perhaps better way of doing all-in-one and we’ll see which other players in the market follow suit.


The customer service technology space is rapidly changing and will continue to do so. For businesses that expect to scale or simply want to save money while keeping their options open, a la carte offers the ability to adapt and adjust quickly. Furthermore, with a variety of plugins and integrations, companies can build what more closely resembles an omnichannel experience that’s truly tailored to the needs of customers while also optimizing the agent experience.

That being said, my colleagues and I want to hear from you. Where do the all-in-one platforms outperform the a la carte model?


Publish Date: January 29, 2018 5:00 AM

2021 Buyers Guide Contact Center Assessments

The House of Contact Centers

Assess the roadmap to a higher potential for your customer contact center:

• Discover strenghts and opportunities in only 30 minutes.
• Receive a FREE roadmap and actionplan to growth.
• Determine in 39 statements the foundation for a futureproof contact center.

Click on the link below to start your FREE assessment!


Snapshotz is a web-based audit tool with strong analytics that helps large and small organisations understand and benchmark customer experience delivery. Snapshotz reports contain validated CX practices, technology use and operational metrics from over 3,000+ customers globally. These are benchmarked against the ISO 18295 customer service standard, digital service delivery, health & safety and mental health and other global standards enabling validated roadmaps for CX strategy and investment

View more from FCR

Recent Blog Posts:
When Friendly Customer Service is SecondaryFebruary 20, 2019 5:00 AM
Customer Service Edge Cases. To Empower or Not to Empower?January 18, 2019 5:00 AM
FCR Solutions Spotlight: 5 Contact Center Tech Upgrades to Consider in 2019January 11, 2019 5:00 AM
How Chat Analytics Differs from Voice AnalyticsJanuary 3, 2019 5:00 AM
Sad and Happy GoodbyesDecember 21, 2018 5:00 AM
Creating A Customer Service Quality Assurance Form Doesn’t Have To Be Scary (Here’s How)December 14, 2018 5:00 AM
A Miscellaneous Lot of Thoughts on Quality ScoringDecember 10, 2018 5:00 AM
7 Essentials for a Customer Service Voice and Style GuideNovember 29, 2018 5:00 AM
The Customer Service Advice We’re Thankful ForNovember 21, 2018 5:00 AM
Customer Experience Insights From the InnovatorsNovember 15, 2018 5:00 AM

About us - in 60 seconds!

Latest Americas Newsletter
both ids empty
session userid =
session UserTempID =
session adminlevel =
session blnTempHelpChatShow =
session cookie set = True
session page-view-total =
session page-view-total =
applicaiton blnAwardsClosed =
session blnCompletedAwardInterestPopup =
session blnCheckNewsletterInterestPopup =
session blnCompletedNewsletterInterestPopup =