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Zoom updates Contact Center, but features lag rivals

Zoom has added new Contact Center tools for supervisors and agents, giving management better insight into metrics while offering agents more ways to help customers.

Zoom has bolstered management and service agent capabilities in its Contact Center product as it works to catch up with more established competitors.

This week, the company launched a slate of Contact Center features meant to provide supervisors with more agent performance data while offering service reps additional avenues to resolve customer problems. Other capabilities include easier-to-read analytics information and tie-ins to Zoom Phone and third-party chatbots.

Zoom launched Contact Center in February, entering a cloud-based contact center market that research firm Fortune Business Insights projects to grow to $56 billion in 2027 from $11 billion in 2019. The initial product lacked features found in competitors like Genesys, Nice's CXone and Five9. For example, its SMS messaging and web chat features were only in beta.

The latest release has capabilities to help call center supervisors manage agents. Managers can set performance targets, receive warnings when those goals are not met, and use an overview tab to see real-time and historical metrics. In addition, supervisors can view and delete call recordings from one place, referred to as the recordings log.

Agents have more tools to handle calls. They can use Zoom Phone to transfer Contact Center calls to an expert inside the company to resolve customer problems faster. Chat features enable agents to share files with customers, review a customer's chat history and elevate a chat to a video call. Agents can also have video calls with customers using mobile web browsers instead of requiring them to download an app.

Zoom Contact Center in use on a laptop screen
With Zoom Contact Center, service agents and customers can hold video calls on a company's website.

Contact Center works with third-party chatbots Google Dialogflow and Amazon Lex, enabling companies to use those tools in conjunction with Zoom's product.

Despite this week's enhancements, Contact Center trails rivals in capabilities like workflow automation and AI call routing.

"It remains a work in progress," 451 Research analyst Raul Castanon said.

Zoom has not provided any data to show Contact Center's progress in the market. During a Monday earnings call, company executives said the product had gained traction, but they did not release sales data.

Zoom also released a slate of improvements across its platform this week, including the following:

  • External user notices in chat. The feature informs workers when a chat session or channel includes people outside their company. The safeguard prevents employees from unintentionally sharing confidential data.
  • Call transcriptions in Zoom Phone. Workers can see a live transcription of a Zoom Phone call, enabling them to follow the conversation in text.
  • Voicemail forwarding for Zoom Phone. Employees can transfer a voicemail message to a co-worker.
  • Additional captioning languages in Zoom video meetings. Both paid and free Zoom users can see live captions for 12 languages.
  • Exporting Zoom Events sessions to attendee calendars. Event attendees can add specific sessions of an event to Google Calendar, Microsoft Outlook or another personal calendar.
  • Topic filtering for Zoom IQ for Sales. Using this IQ for Sales feature, sales teams can track and review how often a particular topic came up during a sales call.
  • HubSpot and Monday CRM integrations with Zoom IQ for Sales. The tool can pull customer data from the HubSpot and Monday CRM software to improve insights.
  • UI localization for Zoom Whiteboard. The menus and user interface in Whiteboard appear in a worker's preferred language.

Mike Gleason is a reporter covering unified communications and collaboration tools. He previously covered communities in the MetroWest region of Massachusetts for the Milford Daily News, Walpole Times, Sharon Advocate and Medfield Press. He has also worked for newspapers in central Massachusetts and southwestern Vermont and served as a local editor for Patch. He can be found on Twitter at @MGleason_TT.

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