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Article : Answering Services: Getting Over the Hump

Content Developer and Marketer
Clutch
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#contactcenterworld, @clutch_co

Grayson Kemper, Content Developer and Marketer for Clutch, examines the history of answering services and where it might be headed in the future in the following article.


Looking back twenty or thirty years, most industries would barely recognize themselves. Advancements in technology over that span (small things like development of the internet) have fundamentally transformed nearly every aspect of the industrial makeup of our economy.

For the answering services industry, though, the differences would be lost on many. In the 80's and 90's, automated phone answering services defined the answering services industry. According to research from Clutch, a B2B research firm, that paradigm has yet to change. Over half of businesses today that use answering services still employ some form of automated answering service, whether it be an auto attendant, interactive voice response, or traditional voicemail system.

While there have been significant developments in telephonic technology, like PBX and VOiP, which leverage internet connectivity to provide phone and voice-over services, these softwares do not necessarily qualify as answering services.

That’s also not to say there have been no advancements in the industry over that time. New and innovative services have emerged, like live virtual receptionists and internet-platform answering services, and have made significant headway in the answering services market. Internet-platform services in particular, provide software to manage digital communications, including email, social media, and live chat. However, each of these forms of service are only used by about 25% of businesses that use answering services.

Part of the reason why more traditional forms of answering services still dominate the market actually has a technical basis. Eric Schurke, Director of Operations for VoiceNation, explains how many answering service providers are essentially boxed in to only providing their current suite of offerings, thus the majority of offerings on the market remain a form of automated service.

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"There’s about 3 or 4 major providers of live answering service software. It’s a 6 figure startup cost - anywhere between $100,000 and $200,000 just for maybe 10 licenses," Schurke said. "So now you’ve got these answering services that are financially committed and have a mortgage to these companies for their licenses."

These massive licensing fees, act as a sort of internal barrier to entry in which providers cannot afford to develop or contract more technically innovative platforms, from which they could provide or develop a more innovative suite of services. Faced with barriers such as these, companies like VoiceNation have developed their own software platform before entering the live-answering market market. While this maneuver requires a hefty initial investment, the long-term flexibility it provides a roadmap for future success and much more flexibility to adapt to a changing communications and technological landscape.

If more providers follow this sort of model, or find other means to innovate within the answering services ecosystem, it is doubtful that we find ourselves in the same position as we are now in twenty or thirty years.

#contactcenterworld, @clutch_co


About Grayson Kemper:
Grayson Kemper is a Content Developer and Marketer for Clutch. He focuses on telecom and enterprise mobility solutions.

About Clutch:
Company LogoClutch is a B2B research and review firm for SMBs. Based in the heart of Washington, DC, Clutch provides a platform where buyers of technology services can compare and review vendors for their specific area of need.
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Today's Tip of the Day - A Question For Your Agents

Read today's tip or listen to it on podcast.

Published: Monday, March 13, 2017

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2020 Buyers Guide Customer Relationship Management

 
1.) 
Cloudyflex

Zoho CRM Suite
Zoho CRM is a world leading cloud based customer relationship management suite covering all CRM functionalities a modern company needs :
- Multi Channel Lead Management
- Sales Force Automation
- Quotation & Order Management
- Full 'Lead to Order' process
- After Sales Services
- Social Media Management
- Mass E-mailing & Marketing Automation

& several other capabilities

2.) 
eGain Corporation

eGain Solve™
eGain Solve™ is the industry’s leading cloud solution for omnichannel customer service and engagement. As the industry’s only unified customer engagement and knowledge management software suite, eGain Solve helps businesses design and deliver smart, connected customer journeys across social, mobile, web, and contact centers. The suite consists of modular, best-of-breed applications built on a unique customer engagement hub platform, eGain CEH™ Platform, that combines 360-degree customer context, intelligent process guidance, and actionable knowledge to enhance every customer interaction. The web-services-based architecture of the platform enables rapid innovation and extension of customer engagement capabilities.

3.) 
MFE International

Creatio(formerly bpm'online) Process-driven unified CRM
Unified Marketing, Sales, Service CRM built on a business process management (BPM) platform. Award winning CRM .Recognised by Gartner, Forrester, OVUM, Nucleus research as leading marketing automation, sales automation, customer engagement, business process automation and dynamic case management software.
A new process-driven CRM and not the traditional CRM type.
PH: 96386615

4.) 
NetHunt CRM

NetHunt CRM
NetHunt CRM blends entirely with Gmail, placing the full-featured CRM right next to your emails. Everything you need is now available in Gmail inbox: customer profiles, deals and opportunities, data filters and views, team collaboration, email tracking, bulk email campaigns, and much more! Simple setup process, intuitive UI, and personal guidance of customer success allow quick integration.

Core Functionality:
- one-click lead capturing;
- pipeline and deals stage management;
- unmatched integration with G Suite apps;
- integration with Linkedin and other apps via Zapier;
- automated contact sync;
- bulk email campaigns, open and clicks tracking;
- dashboard, performance reporting, and tasks;
- full customisation.

5.) 
Noetica

Synthesys™
A complete contact centre technology offering including a flexible and highly configurable CRM solution which can be multi-tenanted, relational and visually configured. CRM entities are fully embedded in a sophisticated dynamic call scripting drag & drop solution which allows for complex process flows and integration to external systems for the delivery of an integrated intelligent agent desktop solution. The solution can be integrated to telephony for both inbound and outbound using the Noetica Voice Platform which is a fully featured contact centre telephony platform.
PH: +44 345 0181 070

6.) 
Vads

Customer Relationship Management enables you to focus on your organization’s relationships with individual people – whether those are customers, service users, colleagues, or suppliers.

CRM is a hybrid business solution that can increase sales and marketing efficiency many other key customer relationship matters. CRM platform enables you to focus on your organization’s relationships with individual people – whether those are customers, service users, colleagues, or suppliers.

Benefits :
- Help to see 360 degrees of customer view perspective
- Analysis to measure performance and gain new target and business insight
- Tracking and scheduling are centralized in one database
- Help to stay abreast and stay close each other, increase productivity.
PH: 0217991445

7.) 
TrendzAct

Trendzact CRM
Trendzact’s CRM case management platform specializes in contact engagement centers with complex workflows or integrations. Our features, full customization, scalability, native on-demand AI and flat-fee pricing sets us apart from the competition.
PH: 3854343250
 

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