It’s easier to fall behind in today’s competitive contact center environment than it is to get ahead. The rate at which technology is moving combined with the changing demands of consumers leaves little room for error.
If you’re an inbound contact center manager running a team that’s lacking some of the industry’s most essential software features, you’re instantly at a disadvantage. Luckily, it’s never too late to get your support center back on track. We’ve assembled a quick list of some of the most vital software for an inbound call center to achieve maximum success.
Automatic Call Distributor (ACD)
Wasting the time of an already annoyed customer is problematic. Routing them to an agent who isn’t even sure how to answer their question makes the experience that much worse. An ACD can streamline some of these issues, by sending callers to the appropriate agent who can best answer their query or address their concern. A good ACD will also work across multiple channels, like social media, chat, and email, to better utilize your expanded customer service options.
Interactive Voice Response (IVR)
Studies have shown that many customers— Millennials, in particular— want the ability to solve problems on their own. An intuitive IVR system will listen to inbound contact center callers and automatically provide assistance. An IVR can also reduce your agents’ call-load so they can focus on the customers who need the most direct attention. And if the IVR is unable to solve the consumer’s problem, it’ll transfer them to an agent who’s best suited to help.
Workforce Optimization is key for ensuring that your managers have the tools they need to
In order for your contact center to reach peak productivity, you must strategize staffing effectively. With a workforce management solution, you can do exactly that across all departments by creating schedules, tracking time-off requests, and more. This kind of tool makes the life of any manager easier by offering a stronger logistical grip on a customer interaction center.
Call Center Training
Good training is the foundation for any productive team, but it’s not something you can do once and forget. Integrating an ongoing training component into your software that utilizes a combination of multimedia and evaluations will keep your agents sharp while identifying the areas they can improve. This, in turn, can boost agent confidence, morale, and performance.
It’s true keeping thorough records of calls helps you stay in compliance with Payment Card Industry (PCI) and Data Security Standard (DSS). For those reasons alone, it’s essential your contact center record calls to avoid fines and other penalties. Call recording, however, is also a crucial method of maintaining the highest level of customer service while protecting the reputation of your agents and contact center. When an agent has a tough call, for instance, playing it back with tips on what to do better next time can be an effective form of coaching. When necessary, records of calls can also help settle disputes between consumers and agents.
As any call center manager knows, routing someone to the appropriate agent is just the beginning of the customer service journey. Equipping the agent with the right information about the consumer can be the difference between a satisfied customer and an irritated one. CRM integration ensures agents have as much information on each customer as possible via real-time screen pops that offer information like name, location, purchase history, etc. If a customer has already called twice in one day, for instance, the screen pops will let an agent know. CRM Integration, in turn, provides better, more accurate service to the customer.
Performance Reporting and Analytics
Gathering and reviewing data is crucial to understanding the day-to-day performance of your agents and call center at large. Since many managers don’t have the hours to pour through the minutia of numbers, a good analytics solution will not only collect critical data but also transfer it into charts and graphs to help you get a sense of productivity at a glance. Easily exportable data allows you to present it to others and make effective cases for improvement.
It’s worth noting that while an inbound call center can have all of the latest software tools, that won’t be enough to make it a successful operation. A strong support center must also be staffed with strong leadership and a collaborative team environment. Having the necessary software, however, can be the difference between a good team and a great one.