A call center is a centralized location that performs the function of receiving inbound calls or making outbound calls. Call center agents provide responses to inquiries from a large volume of current and potential customers. They must complete a variety of sales processes and need a reliable infrastructure to support call center operations.
Multiple customers and fluctuating call volumes mean that call centers cannot rely solely on agents. Proper call center solutions enable frontline staff to perform their jobs more efficiently. All call and contact centers must be equipped with appropriate hardware, software and the network.
Typically, a call center is an open work area containing workstations with well-functioning computers, telephones and headsets as part of a larger network. The larger networks generally supply call centers with links to various computer networking systems. Efficient call centers require a well-integrated network system and properly functioning equipment in addition to competent call center agents.
Call Center Technology Solutions
There is a wide variety of technological elements that enable a call center to function properly, including hardware, software and networking integration solutions. In particular, call center technology encompasses specific software solutions, such as automatic call distribution, IVR systems, CRM management and analytics tools.
ACD (Automatic Call Distributor)
An ACD is a telephony system used for answering and routing incoming calls. One of the functions of an ACD is that it normally works with a Computer Telephony Integration (CTI) systems and an Interactive Voice Response (IVR) so that it can intelligently and appropriately route incoming calls to the most suitable agent. This process is the backbone of any call center, as it streamlines the overall communications process.
ACD systems have smooth and sound call routing capabilities, providing an immediate response. They also create a streamlined operating environment and increase agent productivity. This results in higher customer satisfaction levels and enhanced customer service delivery. In addition, well-integrated ACD systems offer efficient resource optimization and reduce overall call center costs.
Call centers typically use five different incoming call distribution methods. They include the following:
- Linear call distribution – Linear call distribution involves calls that get distributed to agents in a specific order. It is usually based on a pre-determined configuration and the process starts by utilizing the same agent each time.
- Circular call distribution – Circular call distribution consists of calls that are distributed to agents in a specific order. The order is based on a list or a configuration that has been pre-determined, beginning with the agent that is next up, following the very last agent to receive a call. This procedure continues as an ongoing loop, whereby once it reaches the end of the list, the process continues from the beginning of the list.
- Uniform call distribution – The uniform call distribution consists of calls that are directed to those agents who have been idle the longest.
- Simultaneous call distribution – Simultaneous call distributions are calls that alert all agents that are available at the same time, whereby, the agent who answers the call first is the one that handles the call.
- Weighted call distribution – The weighted call distribution are calls that get routed to agents that are available based on a configurable weighting method. The method involves predetermined percentages assigned to individual agents for particular sets of customer service skills.
IVR (Interactive Voice Response)
IVR stands for Interactive Voice Response, a software that allows computer systems to interact with humans. An IVR system is a telephony menu system that enables the identification, segmentation, and routing of various callers to the most suitable agent within a particular team.
IVR is simplistic yet effective. It significantly reduces the costs associated with managing and supporting customer inquiries. In addition, IVR systems increase call center efficiency and customer satisfaction levels.
IVR systems allow for the configuration of personalized IVR messages and prompts. Organizations can create customized pre-recorded IVR messages and automate their customer support efforts. Also, IVR softwares gather relevant data and important information about callers.
The benefits of utilizing an IVR system include increased first contact resolution, improved call center efficiency, higher levels of customer satisfaction and reduced operating costs.
CRM stands for Customer Relationships Management and is generally defined as a strategy for managing company’s relationships with existing and potential customers. CRM software on the other hand is a tool that processes large volumes of calls.
CRM can be used by managers, marketing experts and call center staff. It provides businesses with reliable and accurate information that can be used in the future. Additionally, it allows businesses to obtain data in order to make critical business decisions.
Analytics and Metrics Tools
Call center analytics include a number of tools related to multi-communication channels that serve to improve call center operations. The tools may include speech and text analytics, predictive analytics, self-service analytics, desktop analytics as well as cross-channel analytics.
Call center analytics primarily serve to identify issues in call center operations that may compromise customer service delivery. By identifying and dealing with these issues, companies can significantly increase their call center efficiency.
Contact Center Technology Solutions
Contact center solutions include call center technology as well as additional tools and softwares. Among other things, efficient contact centers require an e-mail response management system, web chat systems and TTY/TDD communications.
E-mail response management system offers support for a large number of incoming e-mails by blocking unwanted mail, routing relevant e-mails to available gents as well as sending automated replies and acknowledgements. Web chat systems also incorporated automated functions in addition to chat routing, session tracking, performance monitoring and other features.
The use of TTY/TDD softwares allows companies to comply with the law by providing services to individuals with hearing disabilities. Organizations are encouraged to offer a separate TTY phone number in addition to necessary agent training. The aim is to provide exceptional customer service and enhanced customer experience.
We offer customized technological solutions for your call and contact centers, depending on the size of your center and its call volume. Our company aims to integrate your ecommerce with the call center by using click-to-call and click-to-chat technologies on your website. We will also improve your existing technology and teach your staff how to properly use and maintain the call center systems.
The technological solutions we implement serve to assist your agents in delivering exceptional customer service and increase the overall efficiency of your organization.