Even in today's digital world, people often prefer phone support over other communication channels when contacting customer service. A direct conversation with a real person builds trust in customers and contributes to their loyalty.
These statistics from Microsoft's State of Global Customer Service Report speak volumes about how important customer service is to clients.
Many industries use call centers for various purposes: comprehensive customer service, technical support, increasing sales, debt collection, etc.
Call center agents are the ones juggling the most responsibilities. They need to make incoming or outgoing calls, know answers to various questions, handle inquiries and take notes that other agents can use in the future.
Tracking calls, measuring performance and analyzing quality based on generated metrics certainly benefit the overall workflow of the call center, but what your call center agents really need is а call center software which will facilitate their work and increase their productivity.
For call center agents to reach their full potential, they need the right tools to help them succeed. In today's article, we’ll take a look at 7 software features that will improve operators' productivity and help them process calls more efficiently. We will also mention 3 bonus functionalities as an addition, in order to give a complete picture of the technological capabilities of call center systems.
This is the first and perhaps the most mandatory tool. When the call center software has a built-in CRM, everything is a lot more organized, thanks to the elaborate customer files filled with punctual data and a complete history of correspondence from the main communication channels - Telephone, Email, and Web Chat.
The integrated CRM system and centralized database provide your agents with a complete, 360-degree view of the customer - detailed information about them and a history of previous inquiries. This way, the agents can check at any time what the particular client has been looking for - what they’ve asked; what they’ve purchased or what issues they’ve experienced.
As a result, call center agents will always be prepared for a personal approach, adequate assistance, and ability to provide more timely and accurate responses. A functionality, equally useful both for increasing customer satisfaction with your service and for facilitating the work of call center employees.
In fact, research by Zendesk shows that more than 70% of consumers believe that companies should store customer information so that it does not have to be repeated every time they contact the call center.
The omnichannel communication and detailed customer files featured in a call center system with integrated CRM are functionalities that will fully meet these expectations.
INTERACTIVE VOICE RESPONSE (IVR)
IVR or Interactive Voice Response System is a technology that allows customers to make their selection from the interactive menu by dialing a tone signal through the phone's keypad and obtain the needed information without necessarily getting in contact with a call center agent.
It is part of the so-called self-service in call centers and automates certain customer service processes - for example, by providing information about frequently asked questions, conducting client satisfaction surveys, etc.
Because of these capabilities, IVR is a huge help to call center agents, as it completely overrides them in assisting with certain customer operations and lets the software do its job.
AUTOMATIC CALL DISTRIBUTION
A convenient and practical tool that has the ability to direct incoming calls to the most suitable operator, based on previous conversations or other criteria. This feature is automated, which saves time from the need call center agents to transfer calls to one another if, for example, a particular operator handles the phone communication with a particular customer or the latter has agent preferences.
This is of big importance to consumers. Again, a Zendesk study indicates that switching from one operator to another during a call negatively affects over 2/3 of customers in terms of their satisfaction and overall user experience.
Another advantage of call center software related to this functionality is the recognition of the customer by phone number or another identifier, such as a personal number or customer number, and displaying their entire file on the operator's screen. Thus, the agent already knows who is calling and in what way to approach them.
This feature is similar to the previous one, but more specific, as it directs calls based on the agent's skills and competencies. If, for example, a customer calls a TV and Internet service company and is looking for an answer about an Internet service case, Skill-Based Routing will direct them to an agent who has the necessary competencies for that particular service.
This way, agents specializing in one certain are not required to answer questions and resolve cases in another. On the other hand, customers will communicate only with operators who are responsible for the exact product or service and will provide the fastest, most accurate and adequate solutions. This will increase customer satisfaction.
Critical to the productivity of call centers and their agents who primarily conduct outbound telephone campaigns (everything from telesales and marketing research to surveys and debt collection) is the use of Automatic Dialers.
Automating the outbound calls is of great help to agents, as depending on their needs, they have different types of Dialers. For example, the so-called Preview Dialer displays the customer’s information on the operator’s screen, before the call is initiated, and the Progressive Dialer performs the outbound dialing completely automatically. You can learn more about the capabilities and advantages of Call Center Dialers from the specialized article: Call Center Dialer - Definition, Types, Application.
All of these tools contribute to agents being more efficient in their duties and save them time that could be used for making additional outbound calls.
This is a practical functionality when agents need to send informative voice messages or survey a large number of respondents in a short period of time.
The functionality’s name suggests its greatest advantage – the lack of physical agent involvement. Outgoing dialing is done fully automatically, according to a pre-set ringing schedule. This saves time and human resources that can be utilized for other business needs.
The ability to record calls is one of the most basic features of call center software, but also one of the most useful – both for the agents themselves and their managers.
The recorded conversations remain as history in the customer file, which provides the opportunity for them to be listened to at any time, with an informative purpose, insight into a specific case or getting to know the customer better in order to provide relevant offers, proposals, and solutions.
Only incoming, only outgoing, or all calls can be recorded, depending on the needs of the call center, with some software also providing a "controlled recording" option that allows the operator to record only part of the conversation with a single click to start and end the recording.
In addition to the seven vital features described above, we will mention 3 extra, because they are important enough to be given the attention they deserve.
Customer Screen Pop-up – displays the customer file on the screen, with all communication and information gathered in one place, in order for the agent to be instantly prepared.
Call Scripting – pre-prepared scenarios for conducting a conversation with customers, which also eases the work of agents, making conversations tighter and more to the point.
Missed Call Distribution – a function that helps missed calls to be distributed among individual agents and processed according to their workload.
A well-built and developed call center software should possess, most of these functionalities, if not all, as they contribute significantly to facilitating the work and increasing the productivity of agents, as well as improving customer service.
InfoServ CRM has been developed to cover all the needs of a modern call center, regardless of its scale. Contact us and request a FREE DEMO and see its capabilities for yourself.