Reduce resolution time for incoming customer support calls and win more sales business using cloud-based call center software.
Both normal company phone systems (also known as PBX systems) and customer service/help desk solutions have features in common with call center systems.
Simultaneously, call center software provides a variety of unique features for both agents and supervisors that aren’t available in other types of business communications software.
This buyers guide will explain the primary differences and overlaps between these software categories so you can figure out which one best suits your needs.
We’ll also go over some of the unique features that can only be found in a true call center system.
What is call center software?
Simply put, this is a catch-all term for applications designed for use in a formal or informal call center.
The term “contact center software” is often used interchangeably, but it also refers to features used in call centers that handle multiple communication channels in addition to voice (e.g., email, instant messaging, SMS text, social media, and live chat).
Call center software assists agents who assist customers over the phone or through one of the other channels. It also assists the supervisors who oversee the operations of the call center.
Standard features and applications for call center software
In a typical call center software package, you can expect to find the following features:
Automatic Call Distribution (ACD)
Incoming calls are placed in a queue, and callers must wait for an agent to become available.
Skills-based routing, a type of ACD that allocates calls to agents based on rules that include agent skills and performance indicators, is available in most call center systems.
ACD in a more basic form can be found in most commercial phone systems.
Interactive Voice Response (IVR)
The technology that allows callers to complete things over the phone using their voice or keyboard input.
IVR systems are comparable to auto attendants, but they are far more versatile, allowing callers to do things like pay bills or check account balances.
Inbound call center solutions are defined by their interactive voice response (IVR) technologies.
IVR is unnecessary for businesses that merely need to route callers to the appropriate line; a conventional business phone system and an auto attendant would suffice.
Computer Telephony Integration (CTI)
A jargon phrase for phone system and customer relationship management (CRM) system integrations. CRM and call center systems both benefit from CTI interfaces.
Click-to-dial feature is added to CRM systems, allowing agents to dial out a customer’s phone number from a database of contacts.
When a contact center agent receives an inbound call, “screen pop” (screen population) capability, or displays that show instantaneously on their screens, is added to the system.
To help the agent better manage the encounter, screen pops extract facts about the inbound caller from the CRM system.
Automated dialing applications that dial numbers from a list or at random. There are three primary types:
- When an agent becomes available, progressive dialers immediately dial a new number.
- Predictive dialers make several phone calls at the same time and route the calls to agents based on availability and wait time.
- Preview dialers are progressive dialers that allow agents to see details about upcoming calls in the dialing list before accepting or rejecting them.
Enables forecasting of staffing requirements based on historical data.
Performance analytics and reporting
Information concerning agent interactions is captured and analyzed (frequently via integration with a call recording application for easy retrieval of problem calls).
This data is used to create agent scorecards and team-wide statistics like abandonment rate and average queue time.
Call center scripting
Agent scripts for sales and customer care calls can be programmed by supervisors. Supervisors can also set call operational rules and establish fields that input call data into the CRM system.
Call center supervisors employ the following three typical call control features:
- Supervisors can listen in on calls without the agent or caller being aware.
- Whisper allows managers to coach agents without being heard by the other party on the connection.
- Supervisors can join the calls they’ve been watching right away using Barge.
How call center software differs from PBX and customer service software
Many of the same functions are available in call center systems as they are in commercial phone systems.
Help desk and customer service software can also be considered a subcategory of contact center software.
The following are the significant distinctions:
- IVR, dialers, and skills-based routing are not available from standard business phone service providers.
- Although some systems contain capabilities for front-office personnel, call center systems are solely ideal for people who work in sales or support teams. Many call center providers also provide traditional phone systems and can install both if necessary.
- Call center system licenses are, on average, much more expensive than regular phone system licenses.
- When a consumer contacts assistance, a ticket is issued to help agents track the issue until it’s resolved, which is available in help desk and customer service solutions. This feature can be added to call center systems, however connectivity with a CRM system is required.
- Only inbound contact centers should use help desk and customer service solutions. In outgoing contact centers, they don’t have any facilities for managing sales campaigns.
Similarities and differences between call center, PBX, and customer service software
What kind of buyer are you for a call center software?
We’ve already seen that call center systems, company phone systems, and customer service systems have a lot in common. Different types of solutions will be required for different types of buyers:
- A conventional business phone system can usually suffice for small offices that require call queueing. (Here are some examples.)
- Outbound call centers that are primarily focused on sales will require a dedicated call center system, such as those described on this page.
- Support-oriented inbound contact centers can use either:
- For trouble ticketing, a call center system is coupled with a separate CRM system.
- A customer service or help desk solution that includes built-in trouble ticketing.
- Vendors who specialize in installations for this industry area are needed by collection agencies. These companies provide technologies to help increase debt collection rates and ensure that call centers follow all applicable standards.
- Contact centers that rely significantly on remote workers, such as virtual contact centers, will require solutions that include sophisticated mobile apps and softphones.
Market trends to understand
With the rise of mobile devices and social media, contact center software has changed to meet the changing expectations and demands of customers. The following trends should be taken into account while choosing a solution:
Contact center software has evolved to enable agents to connect via these new channels as more customers desire to engage businesses through channels other than voice (e.g., SMS messaging, live chat, and email).
In a multi-channel system, interactions from all channels feed into a unified agent queue.
Contact center software companies are increasingly including modules that allow agents to handle interactions through social media sites like Twitter and Facebook.
New analytics tools are also assisting firms in data-mining social media for signals of possible consumer troubles before the phones ring.
Callers used to have to wait on hold to keep their place in an ACD queue. With virtual queuing/web callback, this is no longer the case.
Web callback, also known as virtual queueing, is a novel technology that allows callers to “virtually” keep their place in the queue after they hang up in order to get a callback later.
While consumers have shown interest in this technology, it is still not a typical feature in call center systems. If this is a must-have feature, make a list of providers who provide it.
Call center reporting has typically been focused on indicators like call length and call abandonment.
Systems that analyze audio data to detect rage, irritation, and other emotions in callers’ speech tones are now being developed.
This analysis’ findings can be utilized to spot trends in agent performance and the contact center’s overall performance.
Text analytics is a technique for searching textual exchanges (e.g., emails, SMS text messages, and instant chats) for keywords that indicate client displeasure or happiness.
Despite their capabilities, these tools are still uncommon compared to traditional apps like ACD and call recording.
CloudTalk is a contact center management solution that allows enterprises to use virtual call systems to streamline communications with employees and customers.
It enables executives to manage inbound and outbound calls, retrieve interaction data from a variety of sources, and provide clients with individualized help.
Automated call distribution, interaction recording, voicemail, interactive voice response (IVR), and custom reporting are all aspects of CloudTalk.
Using sentiment or emotional analytics, businesses can acquire real-time access into employee behaviors and uncover behavior trends.
Agents can also use the after-call-work (ACW) feature to do follow-up tasks, which improves client satisfaction.
Adversus Dialer is a cloud-based auto-dialer and customer relationship management (CRM) solution for telemarketing, fundraising, and appointment scheduling companies.
Appointment scheduling, automated workflows, lead tracking, data protection, reporting, and lead management are all important elements.
Adversus Dialer allows organizations to build customisable reports by tracking campaign results, agent activity, and active calls across departments, workers, and projects.
It allows customers to automate recurring processes such as call recording, email distribution, and lead refreshes, among other things.
Its lead management features enable businesses to integrate contacts from a variety of sources and generate custom data fields to track down specific client information.
Adversus Dialer integrates with a variety of third-party apps, including Zapier, Slack, Salesforce, Zendesk, Office 365, and others.
Monthly subscriptions are offered, and assistance is provided by live chat, email, phone, and documentation.
Dialfire is a cloud-based contact center solution for small to large businesses that helps them manage and streamline all inbound and outgoing calling procedures.
It includes a predictive dialer, automated workflows, and real-time data, allowing customers to manage all phone campaigns from an one location.
Outbound and incoming call handling, monitoring, recording, security, and multiple tenant administration are all key elements of Dialfire.
It has customization options that enable users to create campaigns with an unlimited amount of data fields, a custom agent screen, caller ID, and do-not-call lists, all while adhering to brand guidelines.
Businesses can also manage each campaign separately or use established procedures to automate the creation of multi-step campaigns.
Through an application programming interface, Dialfire allows businesses to input and export data in spreadsheet formats, as well as integrate the platform with corporate systems or Webhooks.
Monthly memberships are offered, and support is provided through documentation, FAQs, and other online resources.
NUACOM is a call center and business VoIP system that uses softphones, IVR, auto-attendant, conferencing rooms, number porting, and other features to help manage business operations.
To improve outcomes, supervisors can use the centralized platform to keep track of agents’ activity and record inbound and outbound talks in accordance with GDPR requirements.
Call queue management, analytics, encryption, user localisation, performance tracking, and data monitoring are all key elements of NUACOM.
It has a smart call transfer feature that allows employees to route calls to a specific agent or group and move calls from desk phones to mobile phones manually or automatically.
Administrators can also use the IVR design tool to customize greeting messages, menus, and call workflows, as well as capture important data such as custom call ID, number-name, phonebook, and more.
NUACOM integrates with a variety of third-party applications via API and Zapier, including Salesforce, Hubspot, Pipedrive, Agile CRM, amoCRM, Streak, and others.