How To Take Your Call Center Into the 21st Century
Once upon a time, there were call centers where people sat in rows with headsets and answered customers’ questions on landlines with too many buttons to count. Depending on who you are, this sounds like either a fairy tale or a horror story. For many business owners, it’s the latter. Trying to stay on top of customer service using only landlines with a multitude of opportunities for human error isn’t great, to say the least. Not only is the efficiency far from optimal, but the workflow in that kind of call center is bumpy and irregular. What if half the workforce calls in sick? Well, you’re out of luck.
Thankfully, the days of those call centers are in the past. These days, call center software is so advanced that efficiency doesn’t need to be compromised by a bout of local flu or even by meandering time zones. Incoming calls can be answered at all times of the day and night—allowing businesses to be global—and outbound calls can be timed to fit clients’ schedules. Not to mention the use of live chat and social media. If you’re a business owner or vendor who wants to learn more about how to incorporate the best call center software into your business practices, you’ve come to the right place.
Let’s talk about interactive voice response (IVR).
Gone are the days in which you screamed at your phone, trying to get a robot to understand what you’re saying to it. The whole premise of IVR was to make things easier for callers, but the initial technology was lacking. These days, though, callers can enjoy the automation of IVR and get the information they need without the frustration that used to be part and parcel of using a bot.
Not only does IVR take the pressure off your human customer support team by providing answers to frequently encountered challenges, but it also enhances the customer experience because callers no longer have to wait in the queue until the right agent becomes available. Now that all the wrinkles are ironed out, this automation is an integral part of any 21st-century contact center software you should get.
A great call center solution integrates with your CRM platform.
It’s not enough to just provide a great customer experience, you also need to keep track of all your callers’ needs and how they were (or were not) met. Call records are a key part of your analytics infrastructure; they’re what help you and your customer support team get better and better at your jobs. Naturally, that’s why you have a CRM platform installed—something like Zendesk or Salesforce—but what use is a CRM platform that doesn’t work with your contact center solution? Thankfully, a 21st-century contact center solution comes complete with CRM integration (and if it doesn’t, look for a better one) so that you can easily access the metrics that make your customer support pros and sales team advance their skills.
Help your customer support team be their best selves.
Speaking of making the lives and work of your sales team and support team the best they can be, let’s not forget that this also includes giving them plenty of tools with which to do so. A predictive dialer saves your outbound callers time. Omnichannel functions mean that they can hop between SMS text, social media messengers, and video calls seamlessly.
A user-friendly dashboard enables agents to have all the customers’ information at their fingertips. All of these advanced features and functions serve to make your team members’ lives better which, in turn, makes your customer interactions better. Happier customers translate to a better bottom line.