The Informal Contact Center Opportunity

February 15, 2024

For years, service providers have understood the value contact center technology brings to organizations, but there’s a huge untapped market opportunity by selling beyond the walls of the formal contact center to the “informal” or “casual” contact center.


Informal contact centers can be small but structured organizations or an unstructured group of workers, such as sales, service, or technical support personnel. Calls are routed to groups of employees with the right expertise (often using hunt groups) and are answered on a best effort basis.


Many – or most – organizations may not realize that they have informal contact centers. As a service provider, you may be missing out on a growing market segment with tremendous opportunity without realizing it.


Organizations of all sizes and in all geographies are likely to have informal contact centers, whether they realize it or not. In fact, anywhere from 50-70% of businesses have informal contact centers, which means that the informal contact center market opportunity is in the tens of billions of dollars. This presents tremendous potential for service providers who can sell various products and services to this untapped market. Whether it’s a fast-food chain, a franchise business, a boutique retail store, or a large distributed enterprise, these businesses have teams of workers that handle customer interactions but don’t have the technologies that large contact centers have. They need tools that make it easy to monitor performance, manage and control staff resources, and base decisions on accurate and invaluable data.


Service providers can address these needs while growing their addressable market.


Identifying an Informal Contact Center


The first step is to help your customers identify if they have an informal call center and can benefit from these tools. Start by asking these questions:


  • Do you have small groups of knowledge workers in your company who receive frequent phone calls either on a regular basis or at certain times of the year?
  • Do you have an unstructured group of workers, such as sales, service, or technical support personnel that handle multiple incoming service requests?
  • Do your workers miss important calls from customers and potential customers because they’re busy doing other things?


Once organizations recognize that they do indeed have informal contact centers, they need to understand the various tools and technologies that can help their engagement workers be more effective. Most UCaaS and telephony solutions provide hunt groups and call queues that offer the basic routing and queueing functionality needed. However, they don’t provide the data and insights needed, including cradle-to-grave reporting, real-time visibility of call traffic and agent activity, proactive notifications, missed call notifications, and other important capabilities.


Data-driven decision-making is crucial for improving customer service, but most informal contact centers don’t have the technologies that provide the right insights. Service providers can help their customers be more successful by providing the tools they need to be more data centric, enhance engagement worker responsiveness and performance, optimize resources, and improve the customer experience, without incurring the expense of full-blown contact center solutions. This is where Akixi comes in.


Akixi – Providing Customer Engagement Analytics Solutions for Service Providers


Over 50 service providers are reselling Akixi CX analytics as part of their Value Added Service offering, providing informal contact center capabilities to a large portion of their 6000+ business customers. Akixi provides cost-effective customer engagement insights and reporting for informal contact centers, with real-time and historic trend analysis and reporting, and proactive notifications.


Organizations can validate business models, identify areas for improvement, and track changes in customer engagement service levels. Akixi’s engagement analytics provides over 250 metrics (150+ real-time), as well as 16 types of charts and graphs, providing insights on active calls, worker status, and more.


Users can be proactively alerted to changing engagement service levels through notifications. For example, engagement workers get notified and can see missed or abandoned calls in real time in their web-based client, and can simply click to connect and engage with the caller.


With visibility of all call traffic and user activity, workers get insights into missed calls, busy periods, average answer time etc. And with proactive notifications, workers can see when it’s taking them too long to answer the phone, or when calls are waiting in queue and then take appropriate action. For example, engagement workers can see all the various queues and how many agents are available, and can make real-time decisions to sign in and out of queues.


Managers or supervisors of informal contact centers can monitor and react to SLAs in real time. They get granular cradle to grave information and can diagnose pain points within the customer call journey. For example, they have visibility as to when someone was on hold for too long or transferred too many times. Measuring key performance indicators or service levels in real-time allows targeted resource management, so that issues can be addressed before they become problems.




Offering full-blown contact center solutions require significant amount of professional services, creating a substantial delivery cost that might make the service provider-managed contact center product unprofitable or non-competitive.


Akixi, by contrast, is built with fast cookie-cut provisioning designed for service provider delivery, which reduces the requirement for professional services time and therefore minimizes the bottom line of an informal CC portfolio product.


Service providers can expand their market opportunity by looking beyond the formal contact center to informal contact centers.


By Blair Pleasant
President & Principal Analyst, COMMfusion


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