Call center technology and software programs are in constant evolution as the demand for more high-efficiency programs and productivity tools are rife. Improvements and innovations are bound to happen as user experience is and feedback can easily be gathered. There are two types of applications that a call center needs. Once is the call center software that will manage the agent’s interaction and facilitate communications among clients. The other one is the customer or CRM application, which is focused on information gathering, and the ability to respond to gathered information from clients. The two applications work hand in hand for a more effective business process.
Here are the steps and tips to base your decision in find the right software for a call center.
Gather all the required information that will be your guide in making inform decisions to upgrade your current system for future planning. Get inputs from agents who will be primarily the end user of the software.
List down the features that you require from the call center software you are planning to buy. Here are some that may help you:
- Ease of use – see a trial run of the software and get your agents to evaluate it. The software should be user –friendly and easy to navigate, the tabs and controls are easy to understand.
- Time to install and integrate – Check with the vendor/s how long it will take for the software to be installed and integrated into your system.
- Flexibility – check how the software can match and complement your current system.
- Administration and maintenance – the software should allow your administrator or IT people to easily configure it to your needs without calling for service
Additional report generation – there are built-in reports generating functions that are included in call center software. However you may need some other types of report aside from the standard real-time performance analysis and periodic overall reports. The software should be flexible enough to be configured to generate other types of reports that you may require and unique to your company.
Advanced Automatic Call Distribution – Automatic call distribution is one of the most important feature of a call center software but look for a software with advanced ACD capability like conditional routing wherein the program can automatically route calls to another team if the team that usually handles such types of call is not yet available so down time and waiting period is shortened. You can also look for a software application that can be configured so you can input your agents’ strengths and use it for skills-based call routing.
Interactive voice response - when properly designed, interactive voice response can lessen the burden on your agents while providing instant service to your clients. New interactive voice response capability can collect basic client information while still waiting for a live agent; some have text-to-speech capabilities where an agent can update welcome messages by just typing a new message. Ensure that the software you are getting has this capability.
Call blending – this is an increased productivity feature that allows agents to switch between inbound and outbound calls based in the volume of calls received.
Multimedia handling capability – Plan for the future with the new application that you are buying. The software should be able to handle web, fax, chat and email inquiries. This will minimize the idle time of your agents as they can answer other forms of inquiries.
Remote access – with the global locations of other agents, remote access should be included in your system. If you are not yet using this, then make sure that this is included in the list of things you need to ask the vendors.
Choose between hosted or local solutions. With a hosted solution, the vendor hosts the program for you and your agents access the system through broadband connection. You pay the host a regular monthly fee. The risk here is when the broadband connection is down. A local solution on the other hand will require you to buy the program and install it to your system. You have more control for the system but this requires a huge initial capital outlay.