Companies all over the world are always on the lookout for anything that would give them an edge over the competition. In the case of contact centers, finding the best call center software is one of the best ways to increase efficiency and thus help keep competitors at bay. But that is something that may not be so easy to do. What is the best call center software? Almost all software feature lots of useful features and many of them claim to be the best for contact center use, but how do you validate those claims?
The first step toward finding the best software for call centers is defining your particular needs. How big is your call center operation? Really large operations benefit most from automating repetitive tasks; in small operations, too much automation may lead to unnecessarily complicating the call center agent’s tasks. Are you handling only inbound calls, only outbound calls, or both? You will find that some call center software solutions specialize in one or the other; there are even those who cover features helpful to both outbound and inbound call handling adequately. The rationale behind defining your needs is to be able to rate different call center software from a proper perspective. What you need is to find software that closely meets your present needs and is flexible enough to cover future requirements. Organizations like the Professional Association for Customer Engagement (PACE) may be able to help you find the most appropriate software.
Having said all that, there are a few attributes of good call center software which would benefit almost any size of operation, such as:
A user-friendly layout. The software is there to automate repetitive tasks, but the main goal is still to assist the call center agent. Good software have clean and clear layouts and should feature easy navigation.
Automatic Call Distribution (ACD): Using artificial intelligence to make call distribution more effective and more efficient is one of the most basic functions of call center software. The complexity of call distribution systems should match the requirements of each particular contact center operation, though features that consider agent skills and maximum waiting times are common.
Interactive Voice Response (IVR): Properly programmed IVR help qualify the caller’s requirements. This causes a significant reduction on the workload of the call center agent, as information gleaned from the use of the IVR is made available during the call.
Real Time Statistics: Such statistics as number of calls in progress, duration of each call, number of calls in the queue, caller’s name and number help determine whether company standards are being met. Additionally, they also provide can be considered cues as to when particular call center agents may need help handling their calls.
Call Monitoring: This is an important management tool that helps ensure call handling quality standards are met. In another sense it helps bolster the confidence of agents that their superiors are watching over them and are ready to assist when required.
Once you have shortlisted a few software with all the right features, it will be easy to choose which one provides the best fit when compared to your organization’s requirements.