In today’s highly competitive business arena, the key to success lies in providing the ultimate customer experience through excellent customer service. It’s a significant way to help you address customers’ growing and evolving demands, differentiating your business from the competition.
Customer interactions often take place in call centers. And, these days, call centers are well-equipped with highly-advanced technology solutions that aim to provide the best customer experience. Therefore, choosing the right call center software is crucial for many businesses.
However, choosing a call center software solution can be a bit confusing, especially when you’re served with a plate full of options. While it’s tempting to go for the biggest names, keep in mind that they may still lack the features you need. Also, they might have restrictions that may hinder your operations and customer satisfaction.
Fear not. You may check out online platforms such as Call Cowboy or visit your local call center software provider for additional information and help. Or, you can continue reading this article as it’ll provide you with the necessary information to help you pick the best tool for your team.
Here are some of the most important factors you need to consider when choosing call center software:
The Types Of Automated Dialer
Call center software comes with a built-in auto dialer that automates the manual dialing process for more efficient and productive work operations. However, this may differ depending on the type of dialer you prefer.
The three types of auto dialers are preview, power, and predictive dialers. Each type serves a different purpose and function. So, it’s crucial to choose the one that fits your needs.
As the name implies, a preview dialer provides information prior to dialing. It gives sales agents a chance to prepare before having a conversation with a client. This is relatively useful when clarifying and addressing customer issues and concerns.
However, with preview dialers, your sales agent may face a lot of disconnected lines, busy numbers, and voicemails, affecting their overall performance and motivation to call. Therefore, only use a preview dialer when addressing complex issues, legal matters, and crucial requirements—for example, debt collection.
This is another automated dialing solution offered by companies such as Power Dialer. It has a different function and operation process compared to preview dialers. It doesn’t provide the information your agents may use to prepare for the call. Instead, it automatically connects answered calls to available agents.
In addition, it automatically dials a new number once a call is marked completed. And, when it dials a disconnected, busy, or unattended number, it instantly moves to the next number on the list. With this, you’ll never waste your time on unwanted calls again.
Furthermore, power dialers are best used when making cold calls, telemarketing campaigns, and follow-up calls because of their ability to connect with many people per day.
A predictive dialer is a highly advanced auto dialer that uses algorithms to predict the average time required to answer a call. It also predicts the number of dials needed to connect with a customer.
For example, if an average call lasts 80 seconds, the predictive dialer will begin dialing a number at 60 seconds, considering that the average time to answer the call is 20 seconds.
With a predictive dialer, you’ll be able to reduce the idle time between calls and boost your agents’ productivity and revenue. However, you have to be mindful of the possible restrictions that may limit your operation due to its rapid dialing rate.
The Types Of Call Center Software
Another factor you have to consider is the types of call center software, which include on-premise, hosted, cloud-based, and browser-based. Each of these types functions differently from the other. Therefore, it’s important to choose the right one that’ll help you meet your goals.
Here’s an in-depth discussion to help you decide what’s best for your business:
On-Premise Call Center Software
On-premise means that the hardware, software, and other related infrastructure are stored and installed at the location of your business. It can be managed and maintained by your in-house IT team or a third-party IT service provider, whichever suits your budget.
With on-premise call center software, you’ll be able to manage and take control of all the data and systems as they’re all within your business’s site. But, then again, you have to invest in hiring an IT professional to update and maintain your call center infrastructure.
However, since it’s all on-site, the upfront cost of establishing this type of software can be pretty expensive. Not just that, it also has limited integration and always requires an upgrade for every new version, which can be time-consuming and may hinder your operations.
Hosted Call Center Software
Hosted call center software is the opposite of on-premise. It’s managed offsite and can be accessed through a network connection, which may operate with or without an Internet connection.
In addition, hosted call center software is less expensive compared to on-premise. However, it’s still more expensive than browser-based and cloud-based software. And, since it’s managed by a third-party service provider, the execution isn’t as tedious as on-premise solutions.
Like on-premise call center software, hosted solutions have limited integration and require to be updated for every new version of the available software.
Cloud-Based Call Center Software
Cloud-based call center software runs online through an Internet connection. Also, it comes with an app that you can download on your mobile device, so you can access it anytime and anywhere, as long as you have a reliable Internet connection. Otherwise, it won’t work.
Compared to the other types above, cloud-based solutions offer more powerful security and privacy to keep your data safe from hackers and attackers. Also, they’re less expensive than hosted and on-premise solutions, and offer a wide selection of business tools for integration. However, you’d still need to have it updated over time, which can be time-consuming.
Browser-Based Call Center Software
Browser-based call center software is the most advanced and progressive solution for your call center needs. It allows everyone to access the software anywhere, as long as there’s an Internet connection available. This helps teams collaborate effectively, work remotely, and stay in touch, even if they’re miles away from the office.
On top of that, browser-based solutions are the cheapest among the rest. This is because they don’t require an upfront payment and IT staff to manage and maintain it. In addition, they’re easy to scale and implement.
Furthermore, such solutions offer instant access to the latest versions of the product. Therefore, you don’t have to worry about downloading and updating your system whenever there’s an update. This saves you time and hastens your business operations.
The Features Involved In Call Center Software
Once you’ve identified the right software solution for your business, create a list of software features you want your call center software to have. Some of the most important ones include:
- Computer Telephony Integration: This feature allows agents to make and answer phone calls directly from their computers.
- Automatic Call Distributor: This feature connects callers to agents best suited for their needs. For example, if the caller is from Spain, they’ll be redirected to Spanish-speaking agents. Also, it identifies and responds immediately to VIP callers.
- Interactive Voice Response: This feature allows you to create customized greetings and messages to callers. For example, ‘Press 2 for English.’ Also, it collects and stores information it gathers from first-time callers.
- Skill-Based Routing: This feature focuses on routing callers based on the agent with the right skills to address their concerns and meet their needs. Skills are based on language, geographic location, product knowledge, department, and area of expertise.
- Call Queue: If all agents are busy at the moment, this feature will automatically route incoming calls to a queueing system. From there, agents may prioritize calls based on caller value and urgency.
- Automatic Screen Pop: When someone calls, this feature automatically alerts the agents and pops up a window of details about the caller. It saves the time of asking callers for their names and account numbers.
- Call Monitoring And Recording: This feature allows you to record and listen to every call to identify potential aspects that need improvements. This is ideal for training new agents to see how well they perform.
- Voicemail Drops: Voicemails are pre-recorded voice messages that can be automatically sent to prospects who are unable to answer the call. These go directly to the voice mailbox that they can access and listen to anytime.
Call Center Software Integrations
An effective call center software can integrate with other software solutions. Such tools include CRM (customer relationship management), helpdesks, sales and marketing tools, eCommerce, and social media platforms.
Integration helps improve your team’s productivity and efficiency. Instead of opening multiple tabs of different software at the same time, you can access everything in one single platform with just one simple click of a button.
If you want nothing but the best, look for call center software that focuses on automated integration. By doing so, you’ll be able to free your team from tedious and repetitive manual tasks.
Here are some examples of how the integration works:
- Any information you add to your CRM will also occur to your call center software.
- If someone messages you on your social media account, chats will be delivered directly to the software and stored for future reference.
- If you’re unable to answer the call, your helpdesk system will create a ticket with a voicemail and other information regarding the call.
When choosing a call center software solution, you want to make sure that it’s scalable. Otherwise, you got yourself some pretty big trouble. Why? Because the software won’t be able to meet the growing demands of a growing business.
If that’s the case, here are some questions you might want to ask a call center software provider:
- Will I be able to remove or add sales agents in the process instantly?
- Will I be charged per minute of calls? Will I get a discount if I purchase minutes in bulk?
- Will your software solution handle a flood of calls, especially on holidays?
- Will I receive unlimited concurrent calls?
- Will I be able to customize and get the features I want?
- Do I have to hire trained staff to maintain and manage the software for me?
- Do I have to download updates or install a new software version? How about plug-ins?
If you don’t like how they answer most of these questions and feel you’re not getting what you deserve, then head on to the next provider.
Ease Of Use
Once you’ve found some potential candidates for the best call center software solution based on the right features, integrations, and scalability, it’s time to evaluate them based on how easy it is to operate.
You want to ensure that your agents can understand and master navigating the solution in a matter of hours. To find that out, randomly select one of your agents and have them test the software. If they can’t be proficient in a couple of hours, head on to the next solution.
Easy To Implement And Deploy
Some call center software solutions may be easy to operate but difficult to implement and deploy. So, make sure to check how long it’ll take to start working.
A couple of minutes of processing time may be enough for small teams, while an hour or so for larger teams. If it takes longer than expected, then look for other solutions available on the market instead.
Remember, time added means money wasted. Every additional day you consume implementing and executing a new solution will cost you significant money, bring you headaches, and, above all else, lose your customers.
Hence, you want to make sure that the deployment time doesn’t hinder customer experience and your day-to-day operations. And, you may do so by choosing a software solution that can be implemented in minutes.
Call center software solutions are one of the most crucial elements of running sales and marketing campaigns, and providing exceptional customer service. Hence, it’s a crucial step for your business to find the best tool that can bring your team to greatness.
When choosing the right solution best suited for your needs, always consider the following important factors: the type of auto dialer, ease of use, deployment time, scalability, and available integrations.
These factors will help you improve your productivity, work efficiency, and above everything else, sales and revenue. So, don’t ever ignore even one of them if you want to achieve your goals.
I am a passionate blogger and developer sharing business tips. I Help others solve programming problems on various online forums.
You must follow these marketing tactics to promote your business online.