When looking to gain an advantage in today’s world of digital communication, call centers turn to innovations in the field of communication to find an answer. Modern call center software is primarily designed to improve the performance of your customer service department and ensure better Customer Experience (CX) for those interacting with your business. These software work in conjecture with knowledge management systems to give agents complete control over customer data, common problems and solutions, and training programs.
Use the right call center software to reduce costs
A call center’s primary concern today is to reduce its cost of operations, and that requires automation. Call center software includes call recording, queuing, call transfers, Interactive Voice Response (IVR), etc. More advanced call center software solutions enable speech and voice-based pattern recognition and communication, allowing companies and agents to document more valuable data. Further, they’re easy to set up and use. Different KM plans come with features that further streamline call center functioning, maximize agent productivity, and reduces training time.
Types of software for virtual call centers
It is important to decide on the type of call center software you need – inbound, outbound, or mixed. Then you decide the architecture involved:
1. On-site call center software
On-site call center software is organized in your center. The employees in your company are responsible for installing, maintaining, and updating software and hardware. This requires a substantial investment when compared to cloud-based solutions.
2. Cloud-based call center software
Cloud-based call center software is hosted online by a third-party service provider who is responsible for all the hardware and software. You can simply log in and use the software. Employees can use this conveniently for their work, no matter where they are located.
Features of call center software
Never miss a detail. All calls are auto-recorded for quality checks and adherence.
2. Voice and email transcription
Transcripts of calls and more importantly, online chats, can be created with call center software.
3. Automated call distribution
This feature ensures that the call goes to an available agent, cutting down customer’s wait time, and churn rate.
4. SMS tracking
This software tracks individuals or group texts, analyzing content, delivery patterns, encoding details, and errors.
5. Integration to an IVR system
Ensures that calls are automatically classified based on certain customizations. This includes self-service for customers.
6. Integration to CRM
CRM often shows you everything you need to know about the caller. This way your call center agents can prioritize customers and sometimes act as sales agents.
7. Real-time reporting
Track performance across the organization and return results in real-time for management to assess. They can then institute tweaks, fixes, and changes as required to reduce operational time and costs.
Choosing a compatible call center software
Before choosing a call center software, you should consider:
1. Type of software
The major categories are on-site, cloud-based, and browser-based. The most popular platforms are cloud-based, but there could be a situation when businesses benefit from the other formats depending on their need. You should carefully weigh your needs and make your decision.
Since your call center is not a stand-alone system, make sure that the call center software you choose can be integrated with your Customer Relationship Management (CRM), social media platforms, helpdesk platforms, and marketing tools. Smooth communication between these systems is a priority for your company.
You may start as a small call center but eventually, you may want to expand your company. Choose a fully scalable software. This will permit you to add agents, adapt to fluctuating call volumes, and add or remove features.
4. Ease of use
Pick a software that is easy to install, log in, and use.
5. Features provided
Every call center does not necessarily need the same features. You need to evaluate and choose the features appropriate for your company.
6. Customer service
A software that caters to customer service, and even better, allow them to self-serve, is the need of the hour. Check the features that equate to the best solutions for your company.
Benefits of a cloud call center software
1. No more toggling between screens
Allows agents to access customer queries, insights, and previous interaction on a single interface instead of switching between multiple screens.
2. Improved customer service management
A call center software routes a call based on the category of the product, service, or location of the customer. This ensures a good Customer Experience (CX).
3. Improved features
Advanced features help in tracking call records, diverting it to available agents, and a lot more to improve customer service.
4. Productivity and efficiency
Software like call distributors ensures calls are directed to a free or relevant agent, allowing them to respond efficiently.
5. Enhanced data access
This permits agents to interact with clients productively as they have easy access to their data, providing a unique store of information about the client’s history and problems.
6. Better communication, cost-effective, and boosted sales
Call center software combined with a knowledge base will provide a centralized hub of information, easily accessible to employees online. Interfaces allow them to interact with the data, communicate with one another, and upload their fixes and solutions. This improves communication, cuts down costs of operation, and ultimately leads to higher profit margins. Calls can further be categorized, making it easier to identify existing clients and entertain potential clients.
7. Great customer experience
Customer experience is improved when the agents can deliver prompt solutions with a personalized touch. Call center software streamlines data processing, promotes customer experience and maintains brand loyalty.
Current trends of call center software
1. Use of artificial intelligence
Artificial intelligence or AI technologies have been developed to open up better opportunities and simplify interactions between a client and a company. From 2020 onwards we can only expect this trend to continue and get better with refined applications, Machine Learning (ML), and better chatbots.
2. Analytics as the driving force
All customer-business interactions churn out data that can be analyzed to derive agent productivity and customer behavior. Metrics like First Call Resolution (FCR) and Average Handling Time (AHT) drive analysis and solutions.
3. Advanced self-service tools
Customers have developed convenience and a sense of independence in solving issues with self-service tools. Agents on the other hand have a benefit as the pressure on them has dissipated and reduces call queues.
4. Cloud communication
Today, brands are using cloud-based platforms that enable agents in remote locations to interact with customers. This ensures data flow between your agents, and gives customers a base standard of quality in interactions with them, boosting CX.
5. Customer satisfaction measurement
It is convenient to measure and analyze customer satisfaction with advanced features such as the ability to track repeat calls, indicating that the customer in question has not been satisfactorily serviced. Use KM platforms with the right call center software to accurately track CX metrics, and ultimately reduce time spent on pacifying angry customers.
Applying knowledge management in call centers ensures that the right data is captured, managed, and constantly updated. Knowledge management systems key employees into data relevant to them, ensuring that information gathered by smart software is put to efficient use and giving you the resources you need to support and maximize their value.
Knowledge repositories in a call center are also the primary source of information given to customers. With data flowing both in and out of your agency with ease, virtual call centers can continue to operate, and still generate a healthy profit.