Evaluating call center software is challenging. With so many technology solutions on the market, companies can be hard-pressed to find the right solution. You have a lot riding on this purchase. How can you pick the right call center software for your inbound or outbound agents? What integrations should you consider? Which call center software can provide the best ROI for the investment? In this blog, we’ll offer professional tips for choosing the right call center software to lessen your risk and improve the transition.
What Are the Types of Call Center Software?
Whether you are handling either inbound or outbound calls or both together, the call center software you choose has features that generally fall into several different categories:
- Automatic call distributor (ACD) software is designed to route calls to the appropriate recipient.
- Call accounting or call logging features can collect and record call center activity and usage, whether it’s inbound or outbound calls you’re tracking.
- Call analytics, which includes call accounting and speech analytics, track metrics such as the length of call or the time to answer, or even whether the customers were routed somewhere else from the original call center agents.
- Call center monitoring features allow for a dashboard review and reporting functionality that allows for training and improving call center agent response. These tools also help call center managers make minute adjustments to day-to-day operations to improve the overall customer experience in real-time.
- Predictive dialers automate manual dialing to increase the speed and improve the accuracy of your call center agents. These systems are often used for sales, collection, or other types of call center activities that require outbound calling.
While this is by no means a complete list of call center software features, it gives you an idea of what you should start to look for when picking the right tools for your business.
Best Questions to Ask When Choosing Call Center Software
Your customers depend on your call center software. A better customer experience positively impacts customer retention. In today’s competitive market, it costs more to bring on a new customer than it does to retain your existing ones, so selecting the right call center software can have a big impact.
If you’re searching for call center software, be prepared for a barrage of sales pitches. To ensure your success, arm yourself with some serious questions to help cut through the hype during the sales process. Some of the best questions to ask include:
- Will we need hardware for call center software to function? This adds cost and decreases your ability to scale.
- How difficult it is to add new features or change/add users to the system? Speaking of scalability, look for call center software that can easily scale up or down to fit your business needs. Seasonal companies (e.g., holiday manufacturers) may need to add temporary workers with regularity, but they will not need that capacity full-time.
- How reliable is your service? Look for 99% uptime and a provider with a good customer service track record.
- What integrations are available? This is a critical feature. You want a call center software solution that can work with your help desk software, customer relationship management tools, or ticketing technology. Integration improves the workflows of your call center teams. The last thing you want is for your call center software to make more work for order entry, ticketing, or any other type of tasks that are part of call center workflows.
- How much customization do you offer? Look for vendors that do more than offer a one-size-fits-all approach. You should be able to design automation rules and routing parameters at the very least.
While these are just a few of the best questions to ask, depending on your requirements, you’ll probably come up with a few more to help keep third-party call center software vendors honest.
Professional Tips for Call Center Software Selection
Generally, it’s a good idea to create a requirement list for your call center software. These requirements depend on whether you’re taking inbound and outbound calls, and the kinds of tasks associated with your call center agents. Some of the typical call center software requirements that we see include:
- Extensive calling features that include everything from automatic call distribution and interactive voice response (IVR) for traditional call center software to new integrations of cloud-related features such as instant messaging, email, and secure texting.
- Integration with other business tools can’t be stressed enough. Traditional on-premises call center software has fallen short in some of these areas. But call center software that resides in the cloud typically uses application program interfaces (APIs) to easily meld their functionality right into marketing platforms, e-commerce, help desk tools, and even email and calendars like Microsoft Outlook.
- Intelligent interfaces for your call center software make these systems more intuitive and easier to learn. One integrated dashboard can and should allow your call center agents to handle call recording, collaboration with other agents, and even presence management for a more effective system on the whole.
- Call center support is also important for your software solution. While you’re looking for a vendor with high documented uptime with excellent call quality, you should trust the provider to follow through with the highest level of customer support should things go awry.
Finally, your call center software should also save you money. In the past, call centers were stuck with on-premises software solutions that were challenging to upgrade and costly because they used traditional telephone services for inbound and outbound calling. Today, call centers are upgrading their platforms to voice over internet protocol (VoIP), to increase their scalability, improve their software features, and reduce costs. How can VoIP call center software help your business?
Benefits of VoIP Call Center Software
VoIP services for call centers leverage the power of the internet to provide high quality service to customers. Traditional call center phone service is expensive to set up, with overhead costs, maintenance, and monthly per call charges. These services heavily cut into margins for profit-driven call centers. Today’s VoIP call center software offers the reliability of the internet, with unlimited calling, and infinite scalability. Plus, VoIP call center software offers integration with internet-based services such as chat and email. Today, you have options. Don’t settle for traditional call center software when VoIP First Media offers a more effective solution for your business. Contact us for a quote to start the conversation.