Learn how technology can help enhance call agent productivity and improve customer care.
Customer satisfaction is the top priority for any kind of business and it is up to your customer service to establish a healthy, trustworthy and harmonious business-to-customer relationship. It does not make any difference if call center is your core business or if you have to set up an in-house call center for the needs of your own company; You still have to make sure your call agents are equipped with the proper technology.
Choosing the right technology for your contact center requires an investment. The question is how to make the right investment decision. Making a wrong investment can cost you a lot of money, make your lose your customers, and, potentially, even lose your whole business.
In the past, a business phone system capable of placing, handling and answering calls was enough to satisfy the needs of any call center. With so many tools and technologies available in the market today, choosing the right call center software or communication system can become a challenge. To choose the right phone system or software for your call center, make sure it offers the right technology.
10 BASIC CALL CENTER FEATURES A PHONE SYSTEM MUST OFFER
- Automated call distributor and advanced call routingThis means, managing your inbound calls in an intelligent way, making sure calls are routed to the right call agent, setting up courtesy messages and music on hold for your customers, offering day and night service etc.
- Skills-based call routing.In a very simple scenario, calls are automatically routed to the next available operator, but to provide better customer service, you should have an opportunity to choose the strategy of call distribution. In this way, you can make sure calls are assigned to the most suitable agent in each queue.
- Call reporting and analysis.To identify bottlenecks and waste, you need to collect some statistics. Having access to information regarding the number of missed and answered calls, ringing times, etc, means having control over your business.
- Real-time wallboard.Wallboards allow real-time monitoring of queues and SLA calculation. In an emergency situation, a manager can interfere immediately and add more agents to a queue to decrease the waiting time.
- Integrations. Integration with a CRM used within the company allows for significant automation of daily tasks and, consequently, increases the productivity of a call agent. Other integrations useful for call centers may include real-time sync of events and call agent working hours with Outlook and/or Google calendars.
- Omni-channel communication. Provide your customer with the possibility to contact you via multiple channels (phone, email, chat, website, social media) and make sure your phone system correctly handles all the requests coming from all those sources.
- WebRTC support. To continue on the theme of omni-channel communication, WebRTC enables direct browser to browser communication and makes it possible for a customer to start a call or a chat with the company using only the browser, for example, from a company website. By choosing a solution that natively supports WebRTC, you make sure calls coming from the website are fully integrated with your phone system.
- Predictive dialer for outbound calls. Predictive dialers dramatically boost the outbound call activity making sure call agents are connected only after a call has been answered by a customer.
- CTI (Computer Telephony Integration) – Attendant Console.Managers tend to underestimate the CTI component, but dealing with high volumes of concurrent calls using just a desk phone can become an impossible task. With a CTI interface a call agent can manage calls directly from a PC using a mouse and a keyboard. In addition, some Attendant consoles support assistive technology for visually impaired employees.
- On-screen caller information On-screen caller information may include a popup from the CRM used in the company, providing you with some additional information about the caller or the call; a possibility to perform an action upon placing / receiving a call (open a ticket, add an event); social lookup.
Call center wallboard
Social Lookup example
PHONE SYSTEM VS CALL CENTER SOFTWARE?
If your old phone system does not support the features that your contact center needs, you have three options:
- Change the phone system
In the long run, changing the PBX is definitely the best decision. The main argument in favor of this investment is that all of your call center features and activities are going to be fully integrated with the company phone system, and in this way, you can avoid adding third-party components that create compatibility issues.
- Keep the old phone system and opt for some contact center software
Some businesses prefer not to invest in a new phone system but instead, to buy contact center software. However, adding a software that is not integrated with the phone system can significantly complicate your infrastructure and the daily activities of your call agents.
- Change the phone system and still buy a contact center software
This is the worst choice because it makes you pay twice, but you run the risk of ending up with it if you fail to choose the proper technology and the right PBX for your call center. This is why it is so important to carefully evaluate the needs that your business has today and take into consideration those features that you don’t need right now, but you might need in the nearest future.
Buying a cutting edge phone system is an investment that not every business can afford. So many companies end up with settling for a middleware solution, that does not fully correspond to their needs and are bound to add different components to the system, which are not integrated with their PBX.
Don’t settle for less, instead opt for a Cloud phone system that offers all the newest technology, but at the same time, is scalable in terms of licensing, and provides a tailored response to configurations of different sizes allowing you to pay on per-month basis.