The Ultimate Guide: 7 Points to Consider When Choosing a Call Center Software
Automatic Call Distribution, otherwise known as ACD, is the heart of every contact center. A significant feature of ACD is forwarding customer inquiries with crystal clear accuracy and assuring immediate availability even during peak call volume duration.
Routing: Distributing calls automatically is by definition, a mandatory task for any PBX or Automatic Call Distribution system. This includes the option of flexible call destination settings, depending on the time of day, origin, call volume or other criteria. Equally essential factors are the clearly defined overflow targets, where the caller is directed to the next available agent instead of hanging in a waiting loop.The required group functions, as well as the playing of announcements whilst no agent is truly reachable, is a dominant principle in modern systems.
The differences rely on the clarity of the user interface. If the learning curve is too steep or if the employees have to work their way through cumbersome menus during administration, advanced functions often remain unused. Then, you may have invested in key features that your team will not really be able to operate in real time.
Outbound: In fact, a good ACD also actively supports you in the management of Outbound calls. In the simplest case, this is the callback feature to advise a customer in detail. However, even complex sales and marketing campaigns can be controlled with a good ACD, without you having to work out a call list with the utilization of pencil and paper.
Functions such as resubmission should be as self-evident as the ability to deposit conversation notes directly in the system. We clarify the question of which system will be implemented in the next point.
Omni-Channel: So far, we have talked exclusively about the classic contact path telephony. Meanwhile, the reality in the contact center, however, looks much more complex. More and more inquiries enter via email, SMS, chat or social media. Setting up the appropriate channels is not the problem – the difficulties usually start with the operation, because each of these channels has its own technical infrastructure.
Emails and SMS end up in the email client; social media channels are often accessed and administered via web browsers. The result is a variety of different shelves, which can be adjusted manually, only with great effort In situations where advice-seeking customers expect a real-time response, this may be challenging.
System Integration: The multitude of channels thus makes a cross-system approach indispensable, wherein the entire customer activities are stored in a common archive and can be accessed by every agent from every workstation. The information given by the customer through the phone, which was then documented by email, and perhaps specified again in the chat, is available for every agent without detours.
Existing systems such as ERP or CRM systems, SAP, Salesforce or internal shipping management can also be defined using clearly defined interfaces.If you found this complicated, then you must take a look at our video of agent Susanne doing her work to understand how easy and intuitive it can be.
AI-ready: Whether you have 2, 20 or 200 agent slots, even the best and smartest routing can manage only a finite number of resources. External influences such as winter chaos on the streets or the strike of a transport service provider, or mere marketing campaigns can lead to a short-term increase in inbound traffic.
Then the caller lands on hold. Smart assistants are a great help in this situation. They can identify routine requests such as late delivery and can often respond to them within seconds without the intervention of agents. So the customer will be able to solve several questions in self-service, so to speak – by chat, email or even in the speech dialogue. That moderates demand peaks, significantly increases the first-done rate and frees the agent’s head for more complex tasks that only a human can solve.
Incidentally, bots can also be used behind the scenes without direct customer contact. Artificial intelligence then does the supposedly dark processing routine tasks such as the pre-sorting of the inbox email assistant or the extraction of certain documents for further processing by an agent or clerk Chat Assistant. Some basic considerations for the acceptance of these bots can be found in this article.
Monitoring: Transparency, clarity and an intuitive user interface are important not only for the individual agents but also for the supervisor. The central tool for this, is the wallboard, where you can have a closer look at the call behavior in the form of meaningful real-time statistics. This allows you to optimize agent control, identify additional capacity needed for peak loads, and plan ahead strategically.
Whether you want to focus solely on ACD telephony or if you want to build a complete customer interaction center in the long term process, it’s best to choose a system from the start; a system that can track all of your organization’s communication channels, step by step.
Quality Management: Combining all these possibilities in a modular platform solution with perpetual scalable ability like ‘digicom event routing’ not only increases your accessibility but also creates a variety of approaches to quality optimization. Through the cross-system view, you can overcome data silos and make value-added information from dead numbers – such as the Satisfaction of your customers.
This, in turn, results in concrete starting points for service improvement, workflow optimization, and product development. If you want to understand the process steps of the transformation of traditional ACD to a lean, efficient cloud contact center, get to know the contact center solution from Hottelecom.
My name is Denys Likhachov and I am Product marketing manager at HotTelecom (https://hottelecom.biz/). Our company provides telecommunication services all over the world for small, middle and enterprise business.