What Are The Key Benefits of Cloud Based Call Center Software
Recently the demand for cloud based call center software has increased considerably in the customer service industry.
This increased in demand is because of the various features offered by the cloud based call center software solutions and the ease it provides in hosting the services on a third-party data center.
To gain better insight into the different features offered by the call center software, let us familiarize ourselves with the fundamental benefits .
Similar to on-premise call center software a cloud-based call center provides the following features:
1. Call Recording: Call recording is an integrated part of the customer service industry.
Any call center software app is incomplete with this feature.
It provides the user of the software with an option of using the past customer’s call recording anytime to check the level of compliance with the companies quality standards.
2. Automatic call distribution: It is commonly known as ACD in call center terminology.
This feature of the best call center software is used to distribute the incoming customer’s call to a specific group of agents within or outside the organization.
3. Call Queues: The call queues function is mainly used for call management purposes in a contact center.
A call center management can define multiple queues based on their call volume.
The most common call queue available in every call center is ‘call wait’ queue.
It is used to enhance the customer’s waiting experience.
4. Interactive Voice Response: It is also known as IVR. Using a cloud-based call center software, the management can easily configure a multilevel IVR. This step ensures that every call gets directed to the right department, avoiding the chances of multiple call transfers.
Now that we are aware of some common functionalities ; let’s examine some of the benefits of using this software in your contact center.
Here are some of the chief benefits of implementing a cloud based call center.
1. Low cost of infrastructure: When compared with the previously popular on-premise software, which requires a large number of hardware components for proper functioning.
The cloud-based call center solutions do not require any infrastructure. All these features make the cloud-based solution an easy, quick and cost-effective method of deployment.
2. Easy accessibility: As the software is deployed through a third-party data center on the cloud, it can be accessed from any location with the help of internet.
3. Increased security: Cloud-based call center software has special security features that provide data protection. It also makes sure that the system is up and running at all the times.
4. Disaster recovery: The cloud service provider offers the built-in provision of data backup. So, if in any circumstances the data has got erased, it can be retrieved easily.
5. Scalability: With the increased progress in technology it becomes essential for a contact center to keep pace with the industry needs.
A cloud-based service provides an option of easy scaling up or down of the software based on the business requirement and in a cost-effective manner.
From all these points above we can see the numerous advantages a cloud-based call center offers to its users at a very low cost.
How Call Center Scheduling Software Control Costs At Your Call Center
Call center scheduling is one of the most important but difficult tasks that a call center manager has to perform.
By taking the help of advanced call center scheduling software this task can be completed in an effective and efficient manner.
Scheduling in a call center is critical because the overall performance and productivity of a contact center are hugely dependent on the scheduling.
In this article, we will cover the various tips for proper scheduling, features and the benefits of scheduling in a contact center.
Tips for call center scheduling:
1. Hiring new agents based on their availability to better suit the office working hours.
2. The management should make the shift schedule in such a way that at least two top performing agents are present in every shift.
3. The team leader should make sure that the minimum number of agents are available on the floor to provide assistance to the customer calling in the queue.
4. Every agent should be given with some work that they can complete when they are off-call, so as to ensure maximum productivity.
5. To be able to plan the number of agents required in a shift, the manager should review historical data and decide the shift plan accordingly.
6. The call center management should make use of latest call center software, which contains features like Interactive Voice Response (IVR) and Automatic Call Distribution (ACD) along with the scheduling software.
Essential Features of call center scheduling software:
These are some of the most important features that every latest scheduling software must possess.
1. Option to check Schedule Overview: This feature is very much beneficial for reviewing the weekly, biweekly or monthly shift schedules. With the help of this feature, you can gain useful insights about coverage gaps and can make the required changes.
2. Auto-assignment of shift: The auto-assignment feature automates the most time-consuming job of a call center manager which is the assignment of the shift.
Based on the work profile and skills of a particular agent the software assigns an appropriate shift. The manager can review the assignment and can make changes if required.
3. Option for shift swapping: The option of shift swapping is also available where employees swap their shift suddenly. The use of shift swapping option avoids double-booking of transport services or lack of coverage in the shift.
4. Worker Profile Overview: The worker profile overview option contains all the essential information of an employee. So that the manager does not have to remember all these information while making the shift schedule.
5. Reporting and analysis: The reporting function of a call center employee scheduling software, keeps track of vital agent information that is related to the labor costs and billing.
This option can also be used to analyze the schedule adherence and work efficiency of an employee.
Benefits of scheduling in a contact center:
There are a lot of benefits of using a best scheduling software, some of them are listed below:
1. Increased efficiency and productivity: With the use of worker profile overview and auto-assignment feature the manager’s task is reduced.
Also as the agents are assigned shifts based on their skills, the overall productivity of the contact center is increased.
2. Reduced costs: With the help of reporting feature of the software the manager can track an agent’s efficiency and do the billing accordingly.
3. Ensured coverage: As the shift swapping option takes automatic care of all the related activities for the new agent like – managing transport, tracking productivity and many more. So when an employee swaps a shift with another agent it can be assured that the floor coverage will not be affected.
So, from all these tips and benefits we can easily conclude that using a online scheduling software in your contact center will not only be beneficial to the manager but also for the contact center as well.
How to set up call center software for your small business
Every business’s ultimate goal is to become independent and start their journey to independence by setting up their own products and services.
The same applies to the customer service industry.
For a small company, the next goal is to stop using outsourced call center software and start implementing their in-house call center software for small business.
In this article, we will evaluate the various aspects of how a company can setup their own call center software.
But before that, it is important to have a clear understanding of what is a call center software.
What is call center software?
Call center software enables a business (small or medium) in proper management of their telemarketing campaigns and improves the quality of customer support service.
The different features of the call center software allow automation of similar type of customer queries which accelerates the progress of campaigns.
Adding all these qualities together makes a software the best call center software for business use.
Now, that we have some overview, let us look at some tips of how the small businesses can setup their own call center software.
The most important thing to consider is the type of software you want to setup for your business, is it cloud-based or on-premise?
As per the industry experts, for a small business implementing cloud based call center software is the recommended option, because of the benefits it offers like:
3. Easy Scalability
4. Quick Deployment
5. More Secure
6. Future Technology
Another reason to adopt cloud-based application is the decrease in the demand for on premise call center software. Some of the demerits of on-premise call center are:
1. The high cost of infrastructure development and management
2. Risk of hardware failure is always there resulting in loss of data
3. Deployment in time-consuming
4. It requires effort and money for scaling the software features
5. Cannot access the services from anywhere other than the office
Once you have decided the type of online call center software, the next step is to review other important aspects of the business which are as follows:
1. Which departments in the organization will be benefited by using the software?
• Sales and customer support team
2. How can we implement the new software with low cost?
• By using the latest in trend cloud-based call center software.
Most of the service providers give a free trial period so you can try multiple call center solutions and choose which best fulfills your business requirement.
3. Will the organization have profit in terms of revenue and productivity?
• By using effective low cost call center software that suits your business needs, the company can stratify their customers and ensure satisfaction.
As for any contact center, the primary source of revenue and business opportunity generation is the end-user.
So, it is important to ensure that the customer gets the best service in every interaction they have with your agent.
To achieve this goal the call center even a small one, should have the software that helps the agents and management in successful handling of call volume.
If a contact center is able to hit the bull’s eye in selecting the right call center software the customer satisfaction and business growth is ensured.
How Call Center Dialer Software Can Improve Productivity
For any contact center, customer satisfaction and business productivity are the major goals that they always aim for.
But to achieve these goals there are a number of factors that play an important role.
One such factor is the call center dialer software used within the organization.
So firstly we will start with understanding what is a call center dialer
Call center Dialer:
A call center dialer is a software which is used in a contact center to automate the process of dialing to a phone number.
Let’s look in details on how it helps to increase the efficiency.
But before that, let’s look at the various types of call center dialer that are available in the market.
Types of Call Center Dialer:
1. Manual Dialer: It is the most basic type of dialer and is not used anymore.
These were the first of kind that were used in a contact center.
In a manual dialer, the agent has to dial the number manually and wait for the customer to pick up the call.
The major disadvantage and probably the biggest reason why manual dialers are obsolete is that it is very much inefficient and time-consuming when used.
2. Predictive Dialer:
A predictive dialer is the most used dialer software in an outbound call center.
It is called predictive dialer as the software is designed to predict agent’s availability and based on that it dials various numbers from the given list of numbers present in the database.
The predictive dialer takes into account various aspects of a contact center to make a call.
It includes – the number of agents, average call length, Time of the day etc.
A predictive dialer can also differentiate between a voicemail and an actual customer so that an agent is placed to lead the call.
A predictive dialer reduces the idle time for agents which increase their productivity.
3. Click-to-call Dialer:
In a click-to-call dialer the agent have to just click on the phone number and the call is placed automatically.
It is slow when compared to predictive dialers but as the customer information is right in front of the agent they can use that information for better up-sell and cross-sell.
4. Preview Dialer: Just like click-to-call, a preview dialer gives agents a preview of customer information so that the agent can review customer’s information before placing a call.
5. Power Dialer: A power dialer can be called as the first step towards the automated dialing process.
The power dialer automatically dials a number only when an agent is available.
You also have an option to pre-select your outbound calling queue for better time management.
So, we can see that there are plenty of dialer software available in the market.
Based on the requirements of your company, the dialer software can be integrated.
Now, to gain some understanding of how a call center dialer software helps in being productive we will look at some of its benefits.
Benefits of dialer software for contact center:
Better time management: The progress of a contact center totally depends on the number of leads generated and retained by your agents.
So, time management becomes a critical criterion for increasing performance and sales.
By automating the dialing process in a contact center a lot of agents idle can be saved which can be used to create leads.
Increased efficiency : Without the automation for dialing every agent in the contact center wastes about 30 seconds in dialing every call, where some of the numbers are not even answered.
So by adopting to dialer systems for call centers, the management can give agents an opportunity to increase their efficiency which results in more business.
From the above points, we can see that implementing a call center auto dialer software has a direct impact on your agent’s performance as well as the productivity of the contact center.
This implementation makes it a win-win situation for both agents and for the contact center.
How To Find The Best Call Center Software For Your Business?
In any contact center, the software used for handling of calls plays a very critical part.
So finding the best call center software for your contact center becomes an important pre-requisite to ensure that the functioning within the contact is smooth and error-free.
But with so many alternatives available in the market it can be very difficult and tiring process to choose the call center software that best suits your requirements.
So, the question here is what factors govern the process of selection of a call center application software?
In this article, we will evaluate various aspects that dominate the process of selecting the software that best fulfills your requirements.
Top 10 factors to consider when finding the best calling software
1. The type of software:
While selecting a call center software for small business the management can pick anyone from the following types available:
a. Hosted call center software
b. On-premise call center software
c. Cloud-based call center software
d. Browser-based call center software
The reliability, time required for installation, level of security cost etc. vary from one type to another.
2. Features provided:
There are a number of features that a call center calling software must have so as to ensure easy handling of a call.
The features required can vary from one contact center to another.
So, before finalizing a online call center software for your business the management should make a list of all the essential features.
Some of the most common features are listed below:
a. Predictive Dialer
b. Automatic Call Distribution (ACD)
c. Call Queues
d. Skilled Based Routing
f. Automatic Pop-up option
g. Interactive Voice Response (IVR)
h. Call Recording and Call Monitoring
i. Automatic Dialer
j. Whisper coaching
k. Conference call and many more
3. Capability for integration:
For a business to be able to ease and automate process it is important to consider the integrity capability of the call center management software with existing helpdesk, CRM and other applications and platforms.
With increasing use of technology, there is one thing that we can be certain about is – technology is going to change the way we work.
So when selecting the call center software solutions for your contact center it should be made sure that the contact center is competent to scale with your business.
A software can become the finest call center software only if it is easy to use. So, during the shortlisting process, one should consider the ease of use of a software as well.
6. Quick Deployment:
This is a critical point to consider when choosing any product or software. One should ask the question “How long will it take to deploy the software?”
The less the deployment time the better as for every minute you are spending in the deployment of software the company is losing on new business opportunities.
7. Product documentation:
To be able to use the product or software after deployment it is important that the product documentation is clear and easy to understand.
As only after one or a few agents are trained on the software they can provide training to the remaining team so that the selected software can be used to its full potential.
8. Product pricing:
Needless to say that the costing is one of the primary factors when thinking of implementing a product or software. Only when the pricing of the product is within the companies reach than the other factors matters alot.
9. Free Trial service:
A trial period plays a crucial role when finalizing the software. A company should try and explore every feature available in the software to gain a better understanding of the product and then make a decision.
10. After sales service:
It is almost impossible to say that the product will never give you any trouble.
So when you are facing a problem the support team of the service provider plays an important role. One should make sure that their support team is available round-the-clock and is responsive to the customer queries.
So, if you keep these 10 points in mind while finding the call center solutions be assured that you will get the best software available in the market based on your needs.
What Is An On-Premise Call Center Solution
In spite of the fact that the popularity of cloud-based applications is rapidly increasing in the customer service industry, there are still a big number of contact centers that prefers working on the platform of on premise call center solutions.
So, first let’s understand what is the meaning of on-premise call center software
It is one of the oldest call center software application available in the market.
For using on-premise call center software solutions, the cloud based call center software, the hardware and associated structure should be installed within your contact center’s premises.
And the on-premise call center solutions are maintained internally by the IT team.
Now we will go through some of the advantages and disadvantages :
1. Ease of maintenance:
The contact centers that adapt to the on-premise technology for their call center software are solely responsible for any changes made in the system.
This helps in business to have control over the every activity performed for the maintenance of the system like upgrade or installing upgrade patches.
This makes sure that the business is not loosing on any revenue as the schedule can be made that best suits their business requirements.
2. Easy to Control:
As the software is maintained by the internal IT team in the organization there has to be more control over the system when compared to cloud based call center software solutions.
They can control a variety of features without any external help that supports in cost cutting on services as well.
When comparing with cloud-based or web-based call center the on-premise outbound call center is more secured and thus reliable.
As the cloud-based and web-based call centers runs over the internet the probability of providing good quality and secured channel can be hampered easily.
While in the on-premise best call center software the organization has to get direct connection ensuring security and reliability that the customer information is secured.
1. Mobility Issues:
In the customer service industry the amount taken in resolving a customer’s problem or query plays a very important role in the business performance.
But when a contact center has implemented the on-premise online call center software for small business then it is mandatory for the agents to be present on-site in order to login to the system or resolve the customer queries.
This also applies to other activities as well like monitoring calls, reporting, live training etc.
2. Disaster Recovery:
When running a business the top level management has to make sure that every aspect of business is safe and implemented in such a way that it is recoverable.
But in the on-premise call center the chances of data recovery is either not there or is very time-consuming.
But in both cases the business is facing loss.
As in case of any disasters technical or natural like hardware failure or floods the customer data is lost and the agents cannot get access to valuable information that helps them in making better up sell or cross sell opportunities.
So, in this article we have covered some of the basic information on the on-premise cloud based call center solutions so that the business can make an informed decision based on their requirements.
How outbound call center software helps you to manage customer engagement
The ultimate goal of a contact center is to improve the level of customer engagement within their contact center.
There are number of adapting ways through which a call center can meet this goal, however in this article we will see how an outbound call center software helps a contact center in increasing the customer engagement.
But first let’s understand the meaning of customer engagement and its need in the customer service industry.
What is customer engagement?
Customer engagement can be defined as an emotional connection between a customer and a company or a service provider.
Need of customer engagement:
Customer engagement is needed because highly engaged customers buy more, promote more, and demonstrate more loyalty which helps in the business expansion.
Best Outbound call center software for customer engagement:
One of the major keys for effective customer engagement in a call center is – quality of service and customer satisfaction.
When the agents correctly follows the tips provided for an outbound call center, it will eventually results in customer satisfaction which is the most critical factor for customer engagement.
So, what is it that agents needs to make sure when interacting with a customer?
The answer to the above questions are as follows:
1. Keeping track of customer preference and providing offers accordingly:
The outbound call center management software offers features that can help an agent in understanding the desired services. The agents should use this information while they are interacting with the customers.
They can relate the current topic of discussion with a service that is provided by the contact center but at the same time they can help the customer in fixing the issue.
This not only helps the contact center but also improves the level of customer satisfaction. And as said previously, is the basis of customer engagement.
For example, consider an outbound call center for a direct broadcast satellite company, where the agent first gain valuable information about customer preferred channels using the outbound call center software for the small business.
Then while the agent is interacting with the customer about a payment issue of client, the agent can offer a new plan that consist of all the channels.
This helps the customer in cutting the package cost and also give the confidence that the organization really values their relation with the company.
2. Using the software for collecting feedback:
The call center software can be customized to send automatic feedback to the customer which can give the management an immediate overview of how the call went.
The feedback forms sent on the email are mostly ignored and the call center management never gets the real picture of the quality of service given by their agents.
3. For maintaining contact with customer after the sales:
The contact center needs to give importance to their client after they have purchased the services provided by them also plays an important role in the customer engagement.
Calling customer for follow-up after 1 month of purchase shows that the organization consider them a part of the company as well as their issues.
This step is very critical as most of the contact center forgets the significance .
This can result in losing a customer and the revenue.
So, from this we can see the important role played by the outbound call center solutions in customer engagement.