Introduction of Call Center Software
Call center software, also called call center CRM (customer relationship management) are software solutions that help call center agents access the right information and knowledge about a customer’s history to improve the overall customer experience. It is typically desktop software that integrates with existing telephony and back-office applications.
How Does Call Center Software Work ?
The workings of call center software will determine the level of quality of the support service and help you will provide to your customers. It is first and foremost a management solution used by organizations to administrator the incoming calls and communication related to product support or informational queries. Likewise, it is also used to make outbound calls to targeted audience for product marketing and sales.
Types of Call Center Software
These are mainly four most common types –
- On-premise call center software
The first type of call center software is on-premise. With on-premise call center software solutions, the software, hardware and associated infrastructure is installed at your office and maintained by your IT staff or an outside service provider.
- Hosted call center software
Hosted call center software is hosted off-site and accessed through a network connection that may or may not run via the internet. With hosted solutions, call centers can have their entire call center infrastructure, except for agent terminals, on a hosted platform offsite. Alternatively, they can take a more hybrid approach and have some of their infrastructure on premise and some off site.
- Cloud-based call center software
Cloud-based call center software solutions are hosted online and can be accessed through an app (which is installed on a computer or mobile device) via the internet. With cloud-based call center software solutions all data is stored in the cloud and can be cashed so users can access it when they are offline.
- Browser-based call center software
The final and the most progressive call center software solution is browser-based call center software. Browser-based call center software provides the software, telephony and all associated call center features in the computer browser and can be accessed via the internet.
Features of Call Center Software
These are some of the key features:
- Controlled Telephony: Call center software is just like your typical phone but re-engineered for call control with a mouse click enabling you to hold, transfer or mute callers. Of course the system can do more than just voice calls, it can do live chat, conferencing, email and even respond to social media messages.
- Automatic Call Distributors: ACD comprises the heart of every good call center. It enables route calls to the most appropriate agent without you being involved in the process, while monitoring performance and gathering information.
- Interactive Voice Responses: IVR is the meanwhile feature that takes care of callers before/after they are connected to the appropriate agents. These could be message greetings, service prompts menu or waiting queue coverage.
- Call Queues: These are used by virtual call centers so that customers do not disappear after being told that they have to wait. Each agent gets specifically designed waiting queue where customers arrive after being skills routed and a special dashboard is used to measure statistics based on real-time data.
- Disposition Codes: This feature tags the outcome of every call such as ‘Not interested’, ‘Transferred to IT support’, ‘Refunded’ and so on. Agents select the code from a special menu and attach it in the profile of a particular caller.
- Call Barging: Developed for new agents, this gets to transfer the call to the manager who can drop in on the agent’s behalf using a feature called whisper coaching.
- Predictive and Power Dialers: Used primarily to inform a client when an agent becomes available and can even make calls automatically and connect the agent to a group of callers.
- Voicemail and Notifications: These allow customers to leave a message for the agent when he is not available. Advanced systems are capable of transcribing messages or email them to the agent to keep messages within the activity feed.
- Real-Time and Historical Reporting : The reporting feature is view and learn about metrics including number of calls per day/line/agent/department, average duration, average abandoning rate, waiting time, service level and more.
- Integration: This significantly extends the functionality of the system, allowing it to work with third-party apps to secure more client/caller information, process and analyze customer data, build up customer relations, and do other tasks right within a single platform.
Advantages of Call Center Software
These are the following advantages:
Lower costs: On the premise call center solutions will require you to come up with fully capable components, hardware and the application which of course, translate to an investment that may take a longer time to recoup. However the more popular and budget friendly SaaS and hosted solutions can provide you a call center system without the worry of installation, hardware, upgrades, and maintenance while keeping the system secured and up all the time. They definitely equates to lower cost.
Small remote teams: Unless run a large BPO operation, having small dedicated teams would enough for most of your customer support requirements. Adding to your cost savings is having remote agents for your virtual call centers. They can be at any geographical location and as long as they have internet connected devices, they form part of your team.
Enhanced security: Call center software, especially cloud or hosted platforms, carry security features to keep your call center operation safe and running all the time. It is therefore vital that you get a reliable provider that has robust security protocols, compliance, and maintenance of the system.
Operational flexibility: Todays software is out-of-the-box, all-in-one solution, being able to do so much more than managing calls and information. They are easy to use even by new agents and are designed to adapt to multiple types of operations simultaneously. The software can be integrated with your existing apps for CRM, CEM, e-commerce, marketing solutions, and others, giving you a powerful platform. It is also highly configurable to meet all sorts of organizational needs.
Productivity booster: This software is packed with automated features such as auto-dialers, monitoring tools, time routing, prioritization, and call route matrices. Each system works on KPIs to measure the productivity of each agent, and to reveal real-time feedback on how you customer support is actually doing.
Improved customer relationships: Improving customer relations starts with delivering the best customer support. One survey found that 80% of companies say they deliver “superior” customer service but only 8% of customers think so. It gives you the means to provide optimal, reliable and prompt customer service. Customer is king, and if they feel their issues are taken for granted, they can easily churn which you wouldn’t want for your business.
Examples of Call Center Software
These are the top examples –
Freshcaller is the call center software from the well known Freshworks family of business solutions. The cloud hosted call center ad multi-level IVR solution allows you to purchase local, international, toll-free, and vanity numbers in over 40 countries worldwide. Requiring only your browser to make and receive calls, set interactive voice responses, and queue up callers, Freshcaller provides your agents a top of the line, hassle-free cloud telephony that can be deployed and used right away.
Five9 is a mix of inbound and outbound capabilities that combine to create Active Blending. You can use the platform to maximize your agents productive time and respond proactively to your customers. The blending capability allows you, for instance, to adjust your contact center traffic and always prioritize inbound customer service calls.
Vocalcom Cloud Contact Center is a cloud-based, scalable platform that lets you easily add agents, customize reports, and design IVRs. It supports voice, chat, email, SMS, Twitter, and Facebook all from one place. It goes beyond Web chat and audio communication to include video and co-browsing, and seamless transition from self-service to live service. It preserves the context of previous interactions, and can quickly be deployed as an always-on, secure contact center solution using a pay as you go model.
PlayVox is monitoring software for live chat, email and phone designed to help businesses analyze how the customer support staff interacts with actual customers. It aims to enhance performance and customer experience and can create a QA monitoring program in minutes. Customer interactions can be analyzed in all channels for a robust evaluation of coaching and motivation. At the same time, PlayVox also helps businesses train their customer support staff for better performance and improved customer experience.
Convoso provides a simple to use, yet powerful inbound and outbound call center platform designed to supercharge your call center productivity. Their all-in-one products are equipped with proprietary and market-leading features and functionality that cater to call centers of any size from outbound call centers ranging from 1-10 seats to inbound, outbound, and blended call centers from 11-1000+ seats. The systems require no hardware or phones to make calls as it uses a softphone that only needs an active internet connection.
Deskforce comes equipped with a suite of real-time communication solutions designed for effective client engagement. This includes inbound and outbound calls as well as messaging and SMS notifications and support. One of its unique features is the Atomic Dialer, a predictive dialing tool that validates your leads, phone numbers, as well as their time zone to greatly reduce the number of unanswered calls from your agents. The system is entirely cloud-based and boasts a high degree of scalability.