Running a call center is becoming more and more about the features available to you and your agents. Choosing the right provider or software for your inbound team has become an extremely delicate task with the numerous options out there. With rapid advancements in call center technology happening everyday– it has become more important than ever to pick a platform that is meant for your business model. Rather a contact center suite filled with features you may never use, try to focus your business around a solution that truly meets your needs.

When seeking to install or upgrade your systems, it can be difficult to select the best call center software for your business out of all the options available. When conducting your research, consider these 10 important features:

1. Hosted IVR

An interactive voice response system is a must for any busy call center, especially when there are several departments. The IVR system allows you to customize greetings, prompts and menus, so that callers can quickly and easily be routed to the proper department, eliminating the need for multiple transfers and the customer frustration that often results.

A hosted IVR makes life easier for your customers and agents alike. By having a feature like hosted IVR, customers can be routed to simple questions without needing to reach a live agent. Questions like: store hours, support hours, billing inquires, etc can all be set up within an IVR system. As well, with the right set up your customers will be routed to proper department; eliminating the need for incall transfers and reducing time spent on calls. Multiple levels of detailed prompts get callers to the right place if they do need live assistance.

2. Automatic Call Distributor

An ACD is a system that can be utilized to effectively manage all incoming calls using a database of predetermined identifiers, instructions, and call volume. A proper ACD provides the call center with automatic customer/caller identification, typically through the number the call is coming from. After validation of the caller, the call can be properly routed to the correct department, placed into a queue, and monitored. The ACD can also collect and store data for each call, making it a truly invaluable feature for any call center.

An ACD system is designed to help improve average handle time, call duration, and queue time by quickly matching customers with agents to answer their inquiries. This increases efficiency by not having agents lobby on who is taking on which call. By automating the process, call centers will drastically decrease queue times and ultimately allow the customer to get on with their day.

The top 15 KPIs for your inbound call center!

3. Customized Call Queues

A customized call queue can be configured to play music, provide customers with interesting and important information, or simply let callers know how long they should expect to wait. The queue can also give customers the option to leave a message or receive an automatic call back. A quality customization within a call queue can alert your customers how long they still have on hold or add some flare to their wait. Within these call queues you can also advertise or endorse your product or other methods that a customer can interact with your company. A custom call queue can add the personalized touch that your customers need.

4. Call back reminders

Call back reminders are extremely important to keeping your customers satisfied and your agents on task. Whether your agents are daily taking a handful of calls to hundreds, it will be very hard to implement a perfect calendaring system that puts every agent accountable for individual customers. Call back reminders not only give your business a seamless way of calendaring, but it also allows for inbound agents the chance to follow up on a customer’s inquiry.

5. Scripting

Having a platform with dynamic/advanced scripting capabilities is extremely important to your business and agent confidence. Without scripting, you are purely relying on agents retaining all the information they learn within their onboarding time...which is highly unlikely. A platform with drag-and-drop scripting capabilities can revitalize your agents’ conversations with customers. With dynamic scripting you can see trouble areas within your inbound teams and adjust accordingly. Without scripting, or advanced scripting capabilities, you are leaving your agents at a serious disadvantage in every customer interaction.

6. CTI Screenpop

When the system routes a caller to an agent, it automatically populates the agent’s screen with the person’s contact information, purchasing history, calling history, and so on. The instant display of information allows your operator to provide more personalized and helpful customer support. A personalized customer experience is a proven way to help retain customers and create net promoters of your brand.

7. Skills-Based Routing

Working in conjunction with the ACD and the IVR, skills-based routing ensures that a call is routed to a specific agent based on information entered by the caller, thereby connecting the caller to someone who speaks a particular foreign language or with a specific area of expertise. This serves to improve efficiency, save time, cut down on call transfers and frustration, and provide excellent service. Busy call centers can really benefit from this feature since they are able to segment customer inquires based on priority and skill. You do not want your most qualified agents handling calls that can be handled by lower level staff.

8. Live Coaching/Whisper

An essential feature to ensure that agents are providing the best possible service, live coaching lets coaches/call center managers listen in to calls and, if necessary, coach agents through their calls. With this feature you can hear WHY your agents are struggling with certain inquiries. You can also utilize this functionality to barge in or coach agents through a tough inbound experience. This feature allows managers to access responsibility to agents and gives managers the ability to assert themselves into tough interactions to support team members.

9. LMS

An effective learning management system properly engages and trains new employees, helping to ensure they have the skills and knowledge needed to perform their jobs properly. A good LMS also serves to reduce employee turnover and increase efficiency. The onboarding experience is one that is often overlooked by contact center managers. Many take quick onboarding over the costs of likely high turnover. However, a system that rewards learning can be an integral part of successful. Ultimately, your agents should feel apart of your company after onboarding...not just someone servicing your business. A well received onboarding experience should be one of the focuses of your call center–especially if you are looking to reduce agent turnover.

10. Historical & Real Time Reporting

Call center managers must be able to collect and review data to see how call center operations are performing and to properly gauge employee and department performance. With historical or real time reporting, you can always see the metrics that matter most to your business when you need them.

By taking advantage of all these tools, call centers can continually improve their operations, providing helpful and efficient service. While many of these features may seem rudimentary, oftentimes the system you are using does not do these functionalities to the real extent that you need them. If you believe that your contact center is in need of a solution with these advanced capabilities then follow the link below!

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