Customer service is an essential part of the customer experience because it helps companies to quickly resolve reported problems. Although we are in the digital age, a survey conducted by the international consulting firm Deloitte reveals that most people still prefer to be attended by telephone. That’s why having a contact centre gives you a competitive advantage and helps you offer a greater customer experience. But if you’ve come this far, you might ask yourself this question: What kind of call centre software do I need in order to have a contact centre in my business? Local contact centre? Virtual pbx switchboard? There are many solutions on the market, so making the right decision is a challenge. Read on to learn more about call centre software and the features they offer.
Types of software for Call Centres
Before choosing the software for your contact centre, you must decide what type of call centre you need: reception, broadcast or mixed. Customer service agents usually handle incoming calls, although they may also need to call customers (to follow up on cases, for example). Call centre software usually supports both incoming and outgoing calls.
You also need to choose how to install the contact centre software you need. Without going into too much detail, the call centre software is divided into two categories according to where it is hosted: local centre or virtual call centre (virtual switchboard) that is installed in the cloud. Let’s briefly review these two types of software for call centres.
Local Call Centre
On-site call centre software (also called local) is implemented in your own data centre. You would have total control over its operation and your employees are responsible for installing, maintaining and updating both hardware and software. Therefore, this requires a considerable initial investment.
Virtual Call centre (or Virtual PBX Switchboard)
Virtual call centre software is hosted in the cloud, which means an outside service provider is in charge of all hardware and software. As a client, you simply log in and use the software through a web browser.
Essential functionalities in a Call Centre Software
As soon as you have decided on the type of contact centre software you want, you must carefully determine the features you need. Modern software for Telemarketing platforms -virtual call centres- offers many different features that help companies manage customer service centres. There are some important functions that any call centre software must have to be efficient in daily use.
Contact centre software has to provide extensive call management capabilities. First, it must be flexible. Most virtual switchboard software providers allow you to integrate an existing phone number or select one or more new virtual phone numbers. Second, even if you need a call centre primarily to handle incoming calls, you should also be able to make outgoing calls, so the software you choose must support both functions. Some other crucial features that your call centre software must have are:
- Call control so your agents can hold, mute, transfer and end calls
- Recording of calls to ensure the quality of teleoperators’ work
- Blacklists to block spam and bots
- Manage call queues so you can set up a queue while callers wait to be answered by a phone manager
- Automatic ticket creation to ensure that all issues raised by callers are resolved by the team responsible for the platform
Having agents working in your call centre is fantastic, but it is essential to guide callers to agents who specialize in solving their problems. Therefore, make sure that the call centre software provides routing capabilities that will enhance the customer experience and streamline the workflow of your Telemarketing platform such as Interactive Voice Response (IVR), call Forwarding, queue calls, which allows people to request a call back, rather than waiting in a queue when the call centre is overflowed and business hours management to inform callers of customer service hours.
A call centre software must come with a powerful contact management functionality. Agents must be able to access detailed information about customers and their interactions with the company to provide the highest quality customer service. In order to do so, you contact centre needs CRM integration so you can integrate CRM within the Call Center software; interaction history to track all the cases where customers contact the platform to better understand their needs and resolve their issues quickly; and caller ID so telemarketers can view detailed information about each caller and provide personalized assistance.
Monitoring and Performance
No business can succeed without reports and analysis. Call center software should provide you with detailed performance-related information. The goal is to analyze if your platform is working properly and if the agents are doing their job well. Without monitoring and reporting, customer service will be inefficient.
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