Zoom Expands Into Customer Service With New Contact Center

The service will only be available in the US and Canada at first, with international markets coming later in 2022.
Adam Rowe

Popular video conferencing app Zoom is adding a new business offering: Zoom Contact Center for customer service.

It'll have more than 100 features at launch and will cater to the agents, supervisors, and contact center administrators who all work together to address their customers' needs.

Zoom was one of the fastest business successes of the pandemic, creating $2.6 billion in revenue in 2020 for a 317% year-over-year increase. With revenue growth comes expansion, and customer service is a natural fit for a video business software.

Zoom Contact Center

The Center can be deployed with a graphical drag-and-drop IVR designer that lets administrators craft menus, greetings, and prompts. It can integrate chat and video into an existing website as well.

Some details of the new Contact Center aren't available yet. Support for additional channels including SMS and webchat still remain in beta, while other upcoming features include CRM and workforce management integrations, along with machine learning tools aimed at boosting agent productivity.

The service will only be available in the US and Canada at first, though additional international markets will come some time in 2022, according to Zoom.

Zoom's existing integrations with other contact centers won't be going anywhere, either so no customers will be forced to switch services.

Part of the Remote Work Shift?

Zoom notes in their press release that most traditional contact center agents are tied to physical locations and when they operate remotely, don't have a central hub to group all their communications. Zoom's hoping it can fill that niche.

“Previously, contact center infrastructure was complex to deploy, expensive to operate, and time-intensive to upgrade. Zoom Contact Center was carefully designed to meet the needs of the modern agent and end customer, both of which expect a personalized, digital, and effective contact center experience,” said Oded Gal, Chief Product Officer of Zoom.

They picked the right time. The state of the once-standard nine-to-five commute is in flux, with many workers preferring a fully remote work environment. More than 30% of respondents to one recent survey from a Stanford professor reported they preferred to stay home for the entire workweek.

Web Conferencing and Customer Support

Zoom will be competing directly with Microsoft Teams — a business software offered by a far larger company that also includes video conferencing tech with contact center integration.

It's hard to see it going wrong for Zoom, though. After spending the first years of the pandemic building a large audience of businesses that need remote video communication, they have a great opportunity to further monetize each one by expanding their offerings. If companies already have Zoom and need a contact center, they'll use Zoom's. If they have Microsoft, they'll use Microsoft.

The host of smaller web conferencing will have to settle for offering third-party integrations. If you aren't locked into the Zoom or Microsoft ecosystems yet, we've put together a quick table explaining your web conferencing options:

0 out of 0
Price from
The lowest starting price for a paid plan. The lowest price available for your business will depend on your needs.
Best for
Free plan
Audio-Conferencing
Pros
Cons

Zoho Meeting

GoToMeeting

Zoom

RingCentral

Webex

Google Meet

Microsoft Teams

Lifesize

BlueJeans

$14.99/month

$14.99/month

$8/month

$4/month

$12.95/month

$12-$16/month

Zoho users

Overall conference calling

Beginners

Longer meetings

Larger businesses

Google users

Microsoft users

Users that need hardware

Users that need customer support

Yes (paid plan) – VoIP, Phone & Toll-Free

Yes – VoIP, Phone & Toll-Free

Yes – Add-on audio plan allows you to add Call Out, global Toll-free & local dial-in for premium countries

Yes – Companies get a single audio conferencing bridge dial-in phone number for easy universal access.

Yes – Audio-only calls can be created when a host generates an Audio pin

Yes – Just call the number listed on the meeting invite, or join via the link and turn off your camera

Yes – but only in selected countries, and each user dialing into meetings will need an audio-conferencing license.

Yes – in a meeting contact card, users can tap the phone number under Details to call using their default phone or voice app

Yes – Easy access to audio conferencing is provided via a traditional PSTN number

  • No time limit on free plan
  •  Browser functionality
  •  SSL/128-bit AES encryption
  • High quality audio and video
  • Very reliable and secure
  • Lower cost than competitors
  • Easy to use
  • Feature-rich free version available
  • Intuitive interface
  • Lots of customizability
  • Can also be used for Glip
  • Feature-rich software
  • High quality audio and video
  • Easy setup
  • Google Calendar compatibility
  • Saves chat logs
  • Easy integration with Google apps
  • Completely free
  • 300 participants
  • Integrates with Microsoft 365
  • 1080p video and HD audio,
  • Integrates with third-party apps
  • Good value
  • Amazing sound quality
  • Lots of features
  • Many software integrations
  • Recording costs extra
  • Weak free plan
  • Poor audio quality
  • 24-hour meeting limit expires in July 2021
  • Occasional bandwidth issues
  • Spotty connectivity
  • No gallery view for guests
  • Steep learning curve
  • Unsophisticated chat function
  • Connectivity issues without update
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Adam is a writer at Tech.co and has worked as a tech writer, blogger and copy editor for more than a decade. He's also a Forbes Contributor on the publishing industry, for which he was named a Digital Book World 2018 award finalist. His work has appeared in publications including Popular Mechanics and IDG Connect, and he has an art history book on 1970s sci-fi coming out from Abrams Books in 2022. In the meantime, he's hunting own the latest news on VPNs, POS systems, and the future of tech.

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