A Call Centre Software is a technology that integrates the characteristics of both a standard business phone system and customer service solutions.
This innovative service thus makes it more attractive as compared to a stand-alone PBX system or a help desk solution. Additionally, a call center software can easily be customized to represent features desired by the supervisor as well as the agent.
Common business communications solutions aren’t able to provide this kind of service. This article will help you understand the working and features of an ideal call center software.
You can compare and understand which of the two software options fits you best. Apart from that, we will also talk about the highlights of these new services and why it makes for a competent solution in comparison to the existing ones.
Table of contents
What is Call Center Software?
A call center software is an application that categorizes all kinds of formal and informal call centers under itself. It is quite similar to contact center software in a lot of ways.
However, the latter is mainly used in call centers where voice and communication channels are maintained with the help of features like SMS texts, e-mails, instant messaging, social media, live chat, etc.
Call center workers find it considerably easy to work with clients using this software while they assist through problems or processes on the call or some other channel. Moreover, supervisors of call centers can efficiently track the operations of their offices.
Standard Features And Applications
An ideal call center software package has the following functionalities that have been explained in detail below:
Automatic Call Distribution (ACD)
Automatic Call Distribution is a vital feature of a call center that queues incoming calls from customers and then redirects them to the concerned I charge according to the queries and problems they are facing.
Hence, through this system, your clients wait for their turn to speak to an agent skillful in the field they are looking for expertise in. Moreover, you can direct calls to people with higher performance metrics in order to solve more complex issues.
However, if you want to stray away from the technicalities and stick to the general ACD model that works best for business Phone systems, you can easily find that as well.
Interactive Voice Response (IVR)
Just like ACD, IVR enables you to engage with the customers. They are an important aspect of inbound call centers. This technology allows you to communicate with callers using a list of predefined menus that can be navigated through buttons.
In a more advanced form, voice inputs can also be used to find solutions to problems. This feature becomes really useful when you simply need an answer to a question like checking your account balance.
Additionally, it can also be used to perform tasks where you need to connect to the company without actually taking any help from auto attendants. An example of this could be paying your bills.
IVR is a valuable feature for numerous companies, however, businesses that simply need to direct their clients to the desired extension don’t find much use of this technology. For that, all you need is a standard business phone system along with an auto attendant.
Computer Telephony Integration (CTI)
The features of customer relationship management (CRM) combined with phone systems are provided by a technology commonly known as Computer Telephony Integration (CTI). CRM and Call Centers that need to constantly deal with each other can opt for this method.
A CRM has a click-to-dial functionality while automatic agents have the benefit to connect with a customer by simply clicking on their number on the database available on their screen.
The contact center systems have a screen pop-up feature in which the screen displays the contact center agent’s number when an inbound call is received. It consists of important data or information about the inbound caller that becomes a useful guide in dealing with their problems or simply interacting with them.
A feature called auto-dialing allows you to dial numbers at random from a given list. There can be three different types of auto-dialing features:
- Progressive Dialers: As soon as you start the system, the software dials a random number for you automatically.
- Predictive Dialers: This feature dials multiple phone numbers at once and then distributes these calls to agents at random based on their availability and wait time.
- Preview Dialers: This is a more advanced form of auto-dialing where agents receive details of their callers that helps them decide whether they want to take the call or not.
This feature is quite helpful when you want to forecast your staffing requirements beforehand based on the historical data available.
Performance Analytics and Reporting
This feature enables you to retrieve and make future analysis of the interaction made between the agent and customer. This is done via integration of the software with the call recording application that makes taking a look at past calls easier.
Call Center Scripting
Call center scripting is the process of creating predefined scripts for automatic call agents in order to interact effectively with customers.
Moreover, supervisors can also control the operational rules for calls apart from using data retrieved from calls to generate fields in the CRM system.
Another important call control feature is mostly used by call center supervisors and has the following three types:
- The monitor is used to listen to the conversation between the call agent and the client without the information of the said worker
- Whisper is a technique of training a new call agent to interact with the customers without them being able to hear the conversation
- The barge is a feature where you can immediately join the ongoing conversation that was initially being monitored.
How Call Center Software Differs From PBX And Customer Service Software
Call centers can be said to be a more advanced form of business phone system. Although it has the same features, you can enjoy additional perks like a help desk and customer service solutions.
These two features are what make a call center software more unique. Here is a list of some major differences between the two:
- You can gain access to more advanced calling features like IVR, dialers, and skill-based routing.
- The Call center system seems to work best for sales agents of a company or their support teams. However, there are some features that can be useful for front-desk employees of the office as well. Hence, with this software, you can either opt for a standard phone system or use the features as well depending upon your requirements.
- Standard phone systems have cheaper license rates as compared to call center systems on average.
- A call center software has a very special feature called “trouble ticketing”. Using this you can track the issue your customer has until it gets resolved. This extremely helpful feature can be integrated into standard call centers with CRM systems as well.
- In case you need to manage the sales campaign for your outbound contact center, Help desk and customer service solutions might not be of much use to you as they are designed to work with inbound contacts only.
Similarities And Differences Between Call Center, PBX, And Customer Service Software
The business phone system works best for an office where you don’t really require a call center agent. However, it offers you basic call center features like call queueing (ACD), etc.
Call Center System
A call center system offers both inbound and outbound services. Thus while focusing on the problems of your customers you can also work to improve the sales growth of your business.
Help Desk/ Customer Service
This software works best for inbound contact centers. Additionally, it also provides you with the special “trouble ticketing functionality”.
What Type of Buyer Are You?
Call center systems, business phone systems and help desk/customer service systems have a lot of similarities and differences between them and work best for different fields with different needs.
There might be different companies looking for specific solutions and one of these software could be the answer. Take a look at different categories of buyers:
Small offices are usually in need of features like call queueing that can easily be delivered by standard business phone software systems. Let us take a look at a few examples here:
- If you want to focus on your sales using outbound call centers, you will require a dedicated call center system
- On the other hand, if a company likes to work with an inbound call center, they can choose to work with:
- A call center system that has been integrated with the CRM system in order to upgrade it with the trouble ticketing feature
- A help desk system or a customer service system is added with trouble ticketing functionality.
- If it is a collection agency working with vendors specializing in the deployment of related industry products, the needs might change differently. In order for the call center to function smoothly, in compliance with the laid down rules and regulations, they need to maximize debt recovery
- If the service provided is a virtual contact center, it is imperative that call agents own robust mobile apps and smartphones so as to function without any glitches as these are mostly based on remote workers.
Market Trends to Understand
With changing times, the platform of call centers is also evolving. These changes are mostly influenced by social media and modern devices that are much more powerful.
As a result, customers calling the call center/ help desk also have higher expectations regarding the company’s services.
The following are some of the most common market trends in the field and are important to understand while making a choice to choose an ideal call center software for your company.
Multi-channel Contact Centers
With technology bringing in various methods of customers being able to connect with businesses apart from voice calls, the call center software is also developing.
With additional channels like SMS, text, live chat, email, social media, etc being brought into the multi-channel system, you can access the software with a unified agent queue.
Social media has become an integral part of everyone’s lives while many brands seek to connect with their customers online.
Contact center software provides modules that allow sales agents to manage social media interactions on sites such as Instagram and Facebook.
Moreover, there are different analytics tools that let you discover potential customer issues by digging through various social-media-related data so that you are ready to provide a solution to the problem once a client contacts you.
Virtual Queuing/web Callback
The days when you had to hold your call in order to wait for your turn before your issue gets resolved were extremely lethargic and are now thankfully gone.
The ACD queue has now been replaced by a virtual queue or a web callback where you can hold your queue “virtually’ even after you hang up.
This feature means that you can go back to your work while the call agent calls you back once your turn comes. Although the technology is offered by a selected few call center systems, it has been quite popular with both consumers as well as companies
So, if you really want to integrate this feature, you will have to keep an eye on the services that provide it.
Earlier, supervisors used to analyze the performance of call agents through properties like duration of the call, call abandonment, etc.
However, this has been made more accurate by additional features like analysis of audio data of the consumers as well as the call agents. This can allow you to detect emotions in the caller’s voice tone like anger, frustration, etc.
Through this, not only can you take a look at the performance of the entire contact center but a single individual as well. On the other hand, the text analysis feature is used to analyze textual interactions like (emails. Instant messages, or SMS text messages).
These are extremely powerful tools for the success of the call center service. However, they are not as easy to find as common features like ACD and call recording.
Be it a business phone system, customer service, or call center system, the software not only enhances your performance but also helps you in a wide range of fields by deploying advanced technology at your service.
With upgraded features, you can take your business to new levels. Moreover, companies are able to boost their relationship with their customers and build a healthy environment for everyone to work in.