Successful call centers owe their success to a number of things, including skilled agents and sophisticated software. No matter how highly skilled your agents are, your call center is bound to run into some hitches if proper software is not installed and deployed. The success of any call center is tied closely to the technological resources at their disposal.
Luckily, the leaders in this space are not lacking as there is a list of reliable inbound call center software providers to choose from. However, productivity is maximised when the software chosen is up to the task. To ensure that this is the case, there are certain features that any inbound call center software worth its salt should have. Below is a list of five of such features.
This feature allows your agents to record and view any past interaction between a customer and the call center. With interaction history, your agents can get up to speed on the situation of any customer without having to ask them to explain their problems, especially if said customer is not a first-time caller. It also ensures seamless provision of service no matter which agent is handling customer requests.
An omnichannel is a feature that synchronises communication, records, reports, etc. across various channels.
Call centers are usually part of a more robust contact center system which manage other channels of communication—email, social media, and more. Customers may interact with the contact center through other channels before calling, as is sometimes the case. In this situation, without an omnichannel, the call center agent may have to pull up information about the customer from the channel they first contacted the center with or start afresh. Both options can waste time and break the seamless flow of service.
However, with an omnichannel, all information recorded by any agent about a customer via any channel is synced and available on any other channel for that customer.
Skill based routing
Centers that receive a high volume of calls cannot afford to keep customers on a queue for one agent while another is less busy. Call routing is a feature that ensures every available agent is utilized by routing or directing calls to available agents.
However, while routing calls to available agents has its benefits, these benefits are trumped when the agent does not have the required expertise to handle the problem. The agent ends up having to transfer the customer, wasting time and reducing overall quality. If a majority of calls answered by that agent is about a problem he or she cannot handle, then they will keep having to transfer calls to people, wasting more valuable time that could be spent tending to customers with problems within their skill set.
Skill based routing is a solution to this problem. This feature routes calls directly to agents based on their skill set. When a customer calls, the agent that responds is one who has been trained to solve that particular problem.
Reports and Analytics
This is the aggregation, compilation, and presentation of useful data like number of calls per agent per day, average handling time, abandoned calls, etc. Agents and management can gain actionable insights from this data and make informed decisions.
Interactive voice response
With the development of self service comes the Interactive voice response. This feature provides pre-recorded voice responses when customers call. These pre-recorded voices could be welcome greetings, instructions, or more, and they serve to assist customers navigate their way to information or direct customers to the appropriate agents.
Information/instructions between the customer and the system is usually shared through the keypad—like pressing one to get your account balance—or through voice recognition. Modern IVRs can understand oral instructions via a voiceXML language so customers can actually talk with the system.
With IVR, customers can be attended to simultaneously without an agent needing to get involved. Mundane requests like account balance inquiries and subscription statuses can be done using text-to-speech features instead of by engaging an agent. This frees agents for more complex and important tasks and reduces queues.