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What is call center software?
Call center software helps businesses run their call centers efficiently by managing inbound and outbound calls, recording customer complaints, monitoring customer experience, and tracking agent productivity. These solutions can be used in multiple departments.
While sales and marketing teams use call center solutions to make sales and promotional calls to clients, support teams use this software to address customer issues, resolve complaints, and even provide post-sales training. Call center systems not only facilitate communication and engagement via phone, but also through channels such as email, live chat, instant messaging, SMS, and social media.
Benefits of call center software
- Enhanced agent productivity and efficiency : Call center solutions include robust features like automatic call distribution and rule-based escalation to help businesses handle calls efficiently, minimize idle time, and modulate call speed and wait times based on the number of available agents. Role-based assignment ensures that calls are routed to the most appropriate agents without delays. Overall, call center solutions help businesses improve operations and address more customer queries by maximizing time and resources.
- Improved customer relations : Call center systems help businesses stay connected with their customers and deliver a more personalized and rewarding experience through multiple channels. Efficient customer service helps build customer trust, brand loyalty, and longevity.
Typical features of call center software
- Built-in telephony: Make phone calls from internet-enabled devices.
- Call routing: Distribute and assign calls to individual agents or queues based on pre-established criteria such as time, day, or agent availability.
- Telephony integration: Integrate VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) services with existing telephone equipment.
- Call logging: Collect, record, and analyze calls made from or received by a business over a specified period. Provide statistical information such as time and date, call frequency, call duration, and caller ID.
- Call recording: Record inbound and/or outbound calls to a call center and maintain a central repository of all recordings for training and quality monitoring purposes.
- Queue management: Receive calls from customers, create a call queue, and keep customers on hold until they are connected with a live agent.
Considerations when purchasing call center software
- Type of deployment: Call center solutions are available through hosted, on-premise, and cloud-based deployment options. On-premise and hosted deployment options suit businesses looking for customizable call center solutions, but prove costly if only needed for a short time. While cloud-based software is relatively cheaper and can often be set up in a few hours, it requires a reliable, constant internet connection to function effectively. Users should compare the advantages and disadvantages of cloud-based and on-premise systems, and shortlist products accordingly.
- Multichannel support: Call center software lets businesses manage communication across multiple channels—such as SMS, online messengers, email, live chat, and social media platforms—for low additional costs. But, requirements vary based on use cases. If your brand is built on social media, for example, you need social media management functionality. Alternatively, if your marketing, sales, or customer support strategy involves text messages, your business needs SMS support. Buyers should clearly identify their needs before beginning their software search, and ensure desired functionality is included before making a purchase.
Relevant call center software trends
- Voice-based customer interactions will decrease in the next two years : Call centers are shifting from traditional call center software to contact center solutions that let them leverage other communication tools (such as email, SMS messages, social media, and live chat). A Capterra research shows that while voice will remain a significant source of customer interactions, its usage will continue to decrease in the coming years as more and more businesses start leveraging digital channels.
- Artificial intelligence (AI)-based conversational bots are picking up the pace in the small and midsize business (SMB) world : Voice- and text-based bots are effectively streamlining initial customer conversations. A Capterra research found that 68% of small businesses are currently using or plan to use some type of conversational user interface technology within the next one to two years. When such interfaces are used, customers hear a robotic tone or message (instead of live agents) that collects their personal details and query type. The bot can then answer basic queries on its own, or route calls to the most suitable agent. This automation speeds up the entire call process, and frees agents to handle more complex queries.