A call center is a facility which is equipped to handle the customer interactions for an organisation. These interactions are broadly termed as inbound & outbound interactions. The channels which are used in these interactions are voice and the digital mediums e.g. email, website chats and social media.
These interactions are handled using an automation software which is known as call center Software. Call center software is used for directing the incoming calls/inbound calls for the complaints or queries to the best available agent, or for the outgoing calls/outbound calls to a targeted list of clients for the purpose of sales & marketing of the product.
Call center software empowers the agents to provide the best customer experience they can, while being as efficient as possible. But it all depends upon the nature of business, which call center software suits your business. Whether it’s an inbound process receiving the inbound communications for inquiries or complaints, Or it’s an outbound call center completely focusing on the tele sales. It can be a blend of both as well. Working of the call center software depends upon the business of the call center.
Features of call center software are divided into two parts, features of inbound call center & features of outbound call center which are explained in the next two headlines. But given below are some common features of a call center software-
An inbound call center predominantly caters to all incoming requests. These incoming requests can come through any channel of customer’s choice e.g. voice, business email, social media company page or from an integrated website chat.
The inbound call centers cater to the inquiries of the customer and they also register the complaints of customer as a customer support desk.
An outbound call center software is a unit which generates the business by making the outbound call to its customers/prospects. These calls are made to create the new customer or to cross sell or upsell to the existing customers. Outbound calls are also done for market surveys or research.
Outbound dialer is an automation tool used in outbound call center for dialing the calls. Dialer is used for dialing the numbers automatically without human intervention.
The effect of call center software is to smoothen the process of customer interaction and using the resources at an optimum level of profit. Call center software automates routine tasks. In an inbound call center, the intelligent routing enables quick response to customer by routing it to best available resource for that call.
In case of an outbound call center when a huge list of numbers is to be dialled the efficiency can only be achieved by using an auto dialer as compared to the manual dialing. And the manual dial will definitely fail for call backs and the follow up. Call center software take care of such crucial business tasks.
A contact center software is not only limited to voice which is inbound & outbound calls. But also manages the other digital channels like email, chat and social media interactions on a unified platform. All the channels are the part of an integrated software, so the customer can interact with the contact center via any channel of his choice. The customer interaction remains consistent regardless of the channel customer chooses to come through.
The evolution of call center software to contact center software is due to inclination of customers to use non-voice channels along with voice channels.
There are lots of call center software available in the market. But the best will be the one which helps to streamline your business operations and elevate your customers’ experience. The software choice should be capable enough to empower the agent for providing the seamless customer experience while maintaining their efficiency. The software should be scalable enough to take care of your growth and future needs.
There are two types of contact center solution available in the market-
When the call center application is installed on the server placed in the call center it is known as the premise based call center solution. The complete infra and the hardware related to the application is in the control of the designated call center staff along with the client details saved in local data base. The software provider does not have the control on any of the client data. Premise based contact center solution is considered as one of the most secured type of call center solution as all the applications and client’s database are local and is in reach of the call center staff.
A cloud based call center solution is a solution where in the application is hosted on a cloud and is accessible through a browser on a computer or mobile phone. This type of set up does not require any hardware at the contact center as the resources are shared but has a limitation in terms of data security. This type of set up is used by small set ups where they are looking for a cost effective solution.
A virtual call center software is based on the centralized architecture, where in the call center representative are at different geographical locations, instead of being located at a single premise. This is an enticing factor for many of the employees as their presence is not required in the call center facility. This type of call center software gives the agents the flexibility to work from their home and there’s no dress code or commute time.
The connectivity is provided by MPLS or a WAN between the different locations and the call center application is installed at one location. The data is stored and fetched from a centralized location.
The cost of a call center software depends upon several criteria’s but the primary criteria is the application cost and the number of agent licenses for the concurrent logins.
Other factors can be the channels and the CRM pop up involved. This CRM can be the lead management tool or a ticket generation tool for the complaint management which comes in line of the customizations. The integrated workflow involved in the CRM may add some cost to the overall invoicing.
The primary objective of any call center is that the customer is satisfied at the end of the call. An efficient call center software can align the call center agent’s skill with customer, which leads to a rich customer experience in the very infant stages while building the strong & trustworthy relationship.
Some of the challenges which are handled using the call center software are:
(Also Read- Role & Benefits of Live Chat in a Contact Center)
A wide range of choices are available in the market. The best call center software is the software which meets your call centre’s business needs. Before choosing the software the important things to keep in mind are the features stated above and the scalability of the product. For future expansion the software should be able to cater to the needs.
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