Call Center Software Advancements

By Robin Wilding
Updated: April 19, 2011

Gone are the days of Gladys working a 4ft. switchboard; the call center world has become far more advanced thanks to the incredible ingenuity of software developers. The current array of call center software features available for call center agents and managers spans the gauntlet from call management to analytics, and includes all the tools necessary to build an effective and efficient call center.

The constantly changing myriad of features make staying up to date difficult for some call center managers, but luckily the core elements of call center software remain the same.

Core Call Center Software Features:

Interactive Voice Response (IVR)

Interactive voice response is the voice activated operator that we have all become accustomed to hearing when we call our bank, credit card company and online polling lines. Telemarketers have begun using automated attendants as well—great. But the benefit of modern call center software is that it has shrunk the technology significantly so that even small to medium sized businesses can use IVR.

Analytics

A Gartner study found that almost 70% of any company’s first customer contact is still via telephone, which is why analytic tools are critical within telephone software systems, in order to extract valuable information. Analytic tools like call recording can also help improve customer experiences, increase revenue and ensure legal compliance with service level agreements (SLAs). Via drill-down capabilities call center managers can identify individual problems on the most basic levels, process and analyze the data, and then work quickly to improve them.

Workforce Predictive and Real-Time Management

Effective call centers need software that help them reduce operational costs and generate revenue—which is where workforce management features come in. The ability to manage call routing via software allows you to properly determine which calls need to be routed to a live operator (more costly) and which can be handled via an IVR (low cost).

Workforce management tools will allow you to use the analytics tools to analyze call volume and then interpret that into forecasting resource requirements. Once resources are forecasted flexible schedules can be adjusted in real-time to adjust for any variance. The ability to forecast and adjust in real-time means call center managers can properly assign tasks to ensure call coverage.

Script and Call Flow Management

Since call centers focus on just a few simple tasks, the work can not only be automated where possible but also scripted. The ability to use call center software to script your conversations and provide the agents with prompts will ensure standardized service across the board. Typical scripts and call management tools will include data entry fields, drop down menu, calendar, objections, selection buttons, scripts, toolbars, queue status. Personalized stats and personalized environments. These will connect directly with your customer database or CRM tool to ensure that all the information is entered and recorded, based on the predefined scripts.
 

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