Too many phones are rin+ging continuously. Agents sitting in front of desktops, receiving calls back to back. Numerous other calls queuing up. And agents seem to be talking breathlessly. a typical call center scene, isn’t it?
But what happens when agents are unable to handle so many calls at once, despite all their efforts?
Customers get angry for making them wait, and agents keep apologizing. Dissatisfied customers threaten them to give poor reviews and discontinue the services.
Finally, both the agents and the customers end the call with frustration.
Where and why did things go wrong?
Nobody was at fault. It was the system that created the chaos. Inappropriate call routing, missed customer calls, prolonged waiting time, and lack of complete customer information are some of the many reasons that infuriated customers. The call management system was extremely unorganized and poor.
The real challenge faced by call centers is to keep operations streamlined and make the process of handling calls efficient and smooth; such that neither the agents nor the customers end up getting furious.
So, before setting up a call center, you must ensure that the call management system you’re going to install, comprises these 8 essential features listed below.
9 features call center must have
1. Interactive Voice Response (IVR)
An Interactive Voice Response is the first voice customers hear right after contacting you. IVR helps you pick your customer calls instantly and be available 24*7. It interacts with your customers via DTMF keypad tones and gives your callers customized responses. In other words, an IVR acts as a virtual receptionist. It helps you greet your caller with a personalized welcome message, and communicate to your callers in their local language.
You can also convey messages through IVR if there is a long call queue, or there is an issue that needs to be resolved because of which the customer might have to wait. During holidays as well if a customer calls just convey through the IVR greeting that you will get back to them after the holiday season. It helps in giving a rich calling experience to your customers. Eventually, because of advanced calling services, your customers will start giving you brownie points for impeccable service.
Also, your customers can help themselves too if an issue does not need the assistance of an agent. As per the statistics, 43% of customers prefer call centers that provide bots to simplify customer service. So there is no way that you can leave IVR solution out of the picture when it comes to your call center.
2. Automatic call distribution (ACD)
Automatic call distribution ensures calls are automatically routed to the right agent thereby reducing the waiting time of customers. It is a prerequisite of every call center as it helps in the systematic handling of customer calls. When you set up a cloud-based call center solution, you can easily customize the sequence or criteria of routing customer calls. Later on, you can modify it as well depending upon the call volume or customer requirements. A few ways in which calls can be routed are, performance-based routing, location-based routing, routing calls to the idle system, least occupied routing, etc.
3. Skill-based Routing
Routing calls based on the skill-set of the agents is skill-based routing. To facilitate this, agents are categorized based on various skills viz. expertise, language, region, demographics, or others.IVR interacts with the callers to know their queries. Then, based on the input given by the caller, IVR routes the call to the most qualified agent who fulfills the needs of the caller.
When the calls are routed to the right agents with the right skill set, customer issues are resolved quickly, which elevates customer satisfaction.
4. Call Recording
The call recording feature records all your incoming and outgoing calls. It is a must to monitor the call quality as it enables you to hear your agents from a distance. Call recording helps you train new agents and set a benchmark for call quality. Also, if any dispute arises between a customer and an agent, call recording can help you resolve the issue easily while also serving concrete proofing.
5. Call Tracking and Monitoring
Call tracking keeps a track of all your business calls 24*7. Managing a call center while keeping both the agents and the customers happy is a tough task. Though, technology has now made it easy. With the help of the call tracking feature, you can track if all the calls are being answered, and monitor the performance of each individual agent. Now, agents are not under constant orders. They just know that they are being watched, and they’ll perform their best.
6. Live Call Transfer
This feature enables agents to transfer calls to another agent simply from their mobile phones, without disconnecting the call. Let’s say, if an agent is unable to solve an issue, he can transfer the call to his senior or someone from another department without disconnecting the customer’s call. This will help reduce the waiting time of the customer as well as enhance the customer experience.
7. CRM integration
Call center software that integrates with other CRM software like Pipedrive and salesforce, provides agents with a 360-degree view of the callers, which helps agents provide a personalized experience to the callers. Whenever anybody calls you on your business number, the agent can see all the information related to that customer or prospect. In addition to seeing call logs, the agent will have access to previous tickets, cases, events, notes, chat transcripts, and more. This information will help busy call center agents become more organized, efficient, and effective.
8. Analytical Reports
Analytical reports display call volume on different days, peak hours, number of calls missed and received, traffic coming from different regions, new and returning callers, and other important insights. These reports are significant when making staffing decisions, scheduling agents, and evaluating the performance of individual agents, teams, departments, and the call center as a whole.
9. Outbound call solution
The world is getting faster day by day. You can transfer money with one click, buy anything you want without having to go out, and whatnot. If we have our phones in our hands then we have the entire world at our fingertips. Then why do you want your agents to dial every number manually whenever they have to make an outbound call? Improve your call center’s functioning and productivity of your employees by getting outbound call solutions for your business.
It will not only handle your agent’s tedious tasks but also increase their productivity by increasing their on-call time. Furthermore, it will facilitate you in running a top-quality outbound call campaign.
The best part is yet to come. To incorporate all these features you do not need a physical infrastructure or a physical call center for that matter. You can build a virtual call center on the cloud and utilize the benefits of cloud telephony while working from a remote setting. Now save infrastructure costs while also leveling up your customer service.
A call center not only needs well-spoken agents, but also efficient call center software to support them. An efficient system would not only minimize their efforts but also boost their productivity and performance.
So, are you encouraging your agents to perform their best?