You’ll need effective call center software that allows your service team to do their finest work if you want to provide excellent phone assistance to your consumers.
Customers will be placed on hold if this program is not installed, and employees will struggle to answer questions.
Supervisors will be unable to control the mayhem since they will be unaware of call volume or trends.
While alternate methods of connecting with businesses are becoming more popular, phone calls are still the most common way for customers to contact them.
Managing these calls necessitates a staff of highly trained agents as well as software that allows them to perform at their best.
What is Call Center Software?
You can do more than just connect your agents to consumers when you use call center software. It’s a multifaceted system designed to manage every aspect of a contact center.
Call center software may streamline your customer service and help you provide outstanding service, whether you handle incoming or outgoing calls or a combination of the two.
Contact centers don’t simply handle phone calls anymore; they now provide help across several channels, including social media and email.
As a result, you will be able to handle all of your client conversations in one place, ensuring a consistent experience.
Only larger organizations have the means and room to set up physical infrastructure to build a call center in the past.
Smaller businesses and those without fixed locations can host virtual call centers using software-based solutions, which also lower the upfront cost of on-site call centers.
Computer telephony integration will be included in the best call center software, allowing it to work alongside existing phone systems (be that physical, VoIP, or something else). This means that you don’t have to upgrade everything in order to get the benefits.
Important Call Center Software Features
When picking which call center software to use, consider what features are available and how they will help you.
While an all-in-one solution may sound appealing, it might be pricey if you don’t require all of its features.
After all, if you outsource your social media management, you won’t need to spend money on a comprehensive solution. Consider the following features:
1. IVR – Interactive Voice Responses
The IVR (Interactive Voice Responses) system is a must-have for any contact center. Most of the time, calls are answered by machines.
Some of these responses are a confirmation of the call with an estimate of how long the caller will have to wait, an attempt to send the caller to the website, or a prompt menu.
Customizing a prompt menu is a great way to route calls because it lets the caller narrow down the department before being connected.
This is helpful if you only have one phone line, but it can also be used in smaller departments where each agent may be an expert in a different area.
2. Skill-based call routing
Some systems will automatically route calls to the agent who is available the quickest, but skills-based call routing is often more efficient in the long run.
While IVR can help in some cases, competent contact center software will enable you to use this method with more data.
The dialed number, caller information (such as the number they’re calling from), and IVR responses can all be used to route the call to the appropriate agent.
If you supply SaaS to businesses, for example, you may discover that one particular company has a large number of employees and frequently comes in with complex questions.
Call center software uses ACD (automated call distribution) to recognize the number they’re calling from, rather than placing them in a queue for the next available agent.
This guarantees that clients are connected with a higher-tier support agent who is conversant with their situation, resulting in a better customer experience.
This is true not just for those who are routed to certain agents, but also for those who have small questions that can be answered more quickly at the lowest level of support.
3. Voicemail or external routing
There will be moments when no agents are accessible, unless you run a 24/7 contact center. If you have a contract with an external contact center, a decent system should be able to route to voicemail or an external call center.
Call center software should include voicemail management in addition to routing. You should be able to personalize the greeting and select how you want to be notified. Email notifications might be useful in this situation, particularly when voicemails are left for a specific extension.
Many call center solutions allow you to visually organize voicemails, displaying the caller ID, the time a message was left, and any other information it has.
This makes it much easier to answer to voicemails the next working day, because you may prioritize them anyway you like – from oldest to newest, or by dealing with the ones from whom you expected callbacks first.
4. Omni-channel support
The functions listed above are geared toward phone conversations, but contact center software shouldn’t be limited to just that.
The majority of businesses employ a multichannel or omnichannel strategy, and their software should reflect this.
Instead of having a separate crew to handle website queries, live chat, email, social media, and phone calls, omnichannel support allows you to manage everything in one location.
See Also: Best Call Center Software 2022
This allows you to observe a customer’s history with your organization, which is useful because 70% of customers demand connected operations, and 59 percent of customers value customised encounters based on their previous contacts.
It also makes it easier for your agents to give outstanding customer service since they can refer to earlier correspondence on other platforms rather than having to start from scratch.
5. CRM integration
CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software is also essential, and call center software should be compatible with it. Integration allows you to make the best use of all of your consumer data rather than manually transferring data between the two.
This is especially useful if you have a ticketing system, regular callers with specific needs, or need to localize services across several locations.
It can also be used for predictive and automated dialing, if the data set for the outbound campaign has already been acquired.
6. Cloud-based calling
With more people working from home, you’ll need a solution that can handle a distributed workforce.
Cloud-based call center software eliminates the need for on-site servers and infrastructure, allowing your employees to access it from anywhere.
It also bypasses local restrictions, allowing you to have phone numbers in multiple regions – ideal for a worldwide market.
Cloud-based calling also allows you to expand far more effectively than a conventional phone system, allowing you to have more agents available on more lines during peak hours without those lines costing you money to maintain idle during off-peak hours.
There are other benefits for internal communications. Conferencing between remote workers can be enabled via a cloud contact center, independent of their gear or location.
7. Outbound campaign management
If you’re doing continuing phone campaigns, you’ll need a service that can help. There are two important aspects to consider here: click-to-call and automatic dialing.
Click-to-call is exactly what it sounds like: instead than typing in each phone number and double-checking for accuracy, you can simply click and it will dial for you.
When an agent finishes a call, automatic dialing takes it a step further by simply dialing the next number from an allocated list.
Auto dialers can even account for time zones and workday length to guarantee that you only make calls at the appropriate times.
The best call center software will be fully up to date on local rules, depending on where you’re located, so you won’t have to check them manually.
These capabilities will save your sales team a lot of time and should be considered if you plan to make a lot of outbound calls.
8. Reporting and analytics
Contact center software, on the other hand, may do more than just help with calls. Its capacity to track metrics, evaluate them, and generate reports is a fantastic method to build a productive team. The following are some items to keep watch of:
- The average length of a call
- Rate of first-call resolution
- Idle time for agents
- Ratio of agents used
- Rate of call transfer
- Time spent in line by customers on average
- The percentage of calls that are dropped
- Per-contact cost
- Rate of success (for outbound teams)
Some applications can even interface with apps that allow for text analysis using natural language processing (NLP).
This is especially useful if you need more specific information, such as which problems are most frequently mentioned or which sales scripts are most efficient.
9. Call recording
Call recording is a good idea if you want to make sure you’re giving your customers a great experience. This allows you to go back over difficult calls and double-check the details of how something was resolved, as well as perform regular quality checks.
Call recording can also be used for other purposes. Taking sample recordings can help you improve the effectiveness of your training, and a thorough study of the recordings can reveal useful business insights.
10. Supervisor tools
Having empowered supervisors is one approach to get the most out of your customer service team.
A call center system that includes a suite of supervisor tools is a wonderful method to do this because it encourages real-time replies and assistance. The following are some tools to keep an eye out for:
- KPI monitoring
- Team messaging
- Listen, whisper, and barge-in features
- Work optimization reports
Call barging is an especially useful training technique since it allows supervisors to listen in on calls in real time, regardless of where their employees are located.
This helps to prevent negative habits from forming and enables for much more immediate and individualized feedback.
Best Call Center Software
- Cloud-based by default to allow for smooth remote agent work and support for multi-site enterprises.
- A large number of other apps are available.
- Omnichannel routing based on skills spanning speech and digital channels
- Interactions via social media, chat, and email
- Capabilities of a powerful outbound dialer
- Advanced Interactive Voice Response (IVR) with Speech Recognition
- Historical and real-time reporting, dashboards, and analytics
- Workforce management, quality management, performance management, and analytics are all deeply integrated and market-leading.
- Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics, and ServiceNow are just a few of the CRMs that have prebuilt connections.
- Using AI and self-service together
- For high-quality, low-cost telephony and agent collaboration, deep integration with the market-leading UC platform is required.
- RestFUL APIs can be used to integrate with any bespoke backend system.
RingCentral is a cloud-based service that offers complete omnichannel assistance and CRM connectivity.
It prioritizes skills-based call routing, powerful supervisor tools, and agent management software. It avoids some of the challenges that other software has had with trying to upgrade outdated systems because it was created in the cloud, for the cloud.
Because of the wide app library, it can be linked with most software you already have, allowing you to customize your experience as desired.
This is accomplished by combining market-leading cloud contact center, workforce optimization, and unified communications (UC) solutions into a single suite to simplify contact center management and empower businesses to concentrate on providing exceptional customer service.
There are three price levels to choose from: entry, advanced, and ultimate, allowing you to take on only what you need and making it suited for both small and large organizations.
Workforce Optimisation Pro is one of the aspects to consider when utilizing RingCentral. This feature is built into the cloud contact center solution and allows you to create timetables, monitor deadlines, and review calls.
When you combine this with the performance management dashboard, you get a solution that benefits both your staff and your consumers.
- Omnichannel support
- Mobile-specific experience
- Personalizable desktop for agents
Avaya can be deployed in the cloud or on-premises and includes many of the aforementioned functionalities.
It is intended to facilitate individualized interactions with recurring consumers and offers unique advantages for mobile callers, such as a reduction in toll-free expenses.
A configurable desktop enables agents to establish a workflow that works for them while displaying aggregated client data.
According to their website, nine of the top ten healthcare institutions in the world rely on Avaya solutions; if it has a drawback, it’s that it’s better suited for major global enterprises than SMBs.
- Offers on-demand solutions
- UCaaS Integrations
- Small and large versions of hosted solutions
Atos Unify offers on-premise or hosted cloud solutions, as well as an on-demand cloud center. Companies with big peaks and troughs in demand will benefit from the on-demand option, which allows them to avoid maintaining an idle system.
There are two versions of their on-premise solution. Agile is intended for a single location with up to 100 agents working at the same time.
Enterprise supports up to 1500 concurrent agents per system, 7500 agents per cluster, and can be single or multi-site.
Enterprise provides a lot more capabilities, such configurable interactive voice response, chatbot connections, and a variety of speech platforms to choose from. One drawback is the lack of size options, although at the large end, it’s a full package.
Their cloud-native on-demand cloud contact center. My Agent eXperience (MAX), RESTful APIs, and Partner AI Chatbots are just a few of the new features and products that are constantly being added.
- Supports legacy call center platforms
- Flexible scaling
- Call blending – agents can switch between inbound and outbound
BT Contact offers cloud-based services that may be scaled up or down based on demand. In a matter of hours, new agents can be added, providing for more flexible scheduling and workflow.
It also allows agents to switch between inbound and outbound calls, which is useful if you’re running a marketing campaign and providing customer service at the same time. Rather than having defined prices, the cost is scaled proportionately.
Intelligent routing, multi-channel interactions, and real-time monitoring are all features of this call center solution.
When it comes to dedicated outbound calling features, such as the ability to filter for switched-off lines and show as a local number when dialling, it really shines. There are several dialing modes available, including automatic dialing.
While it may lack some of the features of some of the other options on the list, its versatility makes it an excellent choice for growing enterprises.
- CXone Reporting and Analytics
- Workforce management
- Link training to eLearning assignments
NICE inContact is a multichannel cloud platform that is unified. It provides a number of call routing options, including IVR, and its workforce management tools let you schedule agents depending on their abilities.
It also features the option to link workforce management to eLearning, making it beneficial for organizations who need to train new employees on a regular basis.
It has good CRM connectivity with common programs, and you can track a variety of industry-standard KPIs with CXone reporting and analytics.
It supports both inbound and outbound campaigns and includes predictive dialer capabilities and call suppression. It’s geared for both SMBs and large companies.