Call center software enhances various aspects of call center management, from automatic call distribution to CRM (customer relationship management). In many cases, a call center or contact center relies completely on its call center software and applications for daily functions.
There are many advantages to using call center software. Applications help management, workflow, and productivity of call center agents. Other benefits include:
- Improved customer retention and satisfaction
- Decreased costs for phone service and agent training
- Better quality control
Call center software creates a more efficient call center environment overall.
Additionally, modern call center software can be deployed via an office network, or even through cloud computing, which can save on equipment and software costs. Cloud computing can also be useful (and necessary) for virtual call centers with remote agents.
Here are the standard call center software solutions commonly used:
- Customer Relations Management
- Computer Telephony Integration (CTI)
- Interactive Voice Response (IVR)
- Automatic Call Distributor (ACD)
- Predictive Dialer
- Call Monitoring, Recording
- Performance Management
- Workforce Management (WFM)
Customer Relationship Management solutions are applications integrating a wide variety of facets to a call center's relation with its clients: sales activities, marketing, customer service, and technical support. A CRM system can help measure and strategize customer relations, as well as automate some processing of sales and marketing. A CRM system may also integrate the below applications as a large, all-encompassing call center software solution.
Computer Telephony Integration (CTI) is crucial to modern call center operations. CTI encompasses a spectrum of components that make telephony processing more intelligent through the connection of computer and phone. For contact centers, CTI includes integration of email, fax, web, instant chat, and telephony. CTI is one of the many features that increases productivity and customer interaction, making for a seamless phone service.
Interactive Voice Response (IVR) is a system that automates certain actions for inbound calls. Callers choose the desired option with numbers on a touch-tone phone. IVR is useful for retrieving basic information or routing customers to a representative. Some IVR systems include speech recognition to further assist customers.
Automatic Call Distributor software routes incoming calls to available agents. It can handle a large number of inbound calls and disperse them based on selections callers had made with an IVR system. The ACD is part of a CTI system.
Predictive Dialer applications automatically and intelligently dial numbers. The dialer screen out busy signals, voicemail, or unavailable numbers. This kind of call center software enhances agent efficiency by increasing the number of live outbound calls per hour.
Call Monitoring systems use call recording to audit calls for various triggers or key words. Call center supervisors can track flagged calls at a later time or listen in on live calls.
Performance Management or call center analytics solutions help supervisors track important metrics: first call resolution, call handle times, customer service surveys, etc. Call centers can then work toward needed areas of improvement.
Workforce Management software automates necessary management-related tasks like scheduling, training, and agent adherence. Such tasks are recorded and processed through workforce management solutions, which can optimize staff schedules based on performance metrics and forecasted workloads. Workforce management can also lower costs and strain by spreading agents across calls, reducing over-staffing and under-staffing.