Contact Center Technology

By Pha Lo
Updated: August 17, 2011

Contact centers serve as a critical point of the business process, handling customer queries and resolving issues that impact success. Over the years, the role of the call center has grown in both range and scale. To that end, technology must keep pace.

Here we look at some of the technology adding value to today’s contact center.

Phone systems:


When it comes to equipment, phone systems are the foundation for success in the contact center. These systems are responsible for routing hundreds or thousands of incoming calls to the right section or specific agent within the contact center. But phone technology doesn’t stop with simple call routing. In her book The Telecom Handbook: Understanding Telephone Systems & Services, author Jane Laino explains different features that impact the efficiency and success of the call center. These include intelligent call routing systems which recognize priority callers and provide even call distribution to agents in different groups, intelligent agent interaction, emergency call recording and intelligent queuing.

Equipment:

It’s not just phone systems that are at the center of technological innovations. Equipment such as phones, headsets, desks and chairs are also important for productivity and to provide quality service to callers. When working to upgrade technology, consider the equipment and hardware that compliment software and phone systems. Computers are also a critical technology asset available to every agent. Computers can be one of the most costly expenditures. At the same time, depending on the use of computers and computer technology integration with call handling, this piece of equipment can also be one of the best long-term investments for call centers.

Software:


At the head of the pack in the call center world, you’ll find the integrated center. In these contact centers, software serves multiple functions by allowing analysis of calls to determine cost-savings and to improve quality. Imagine culling information from data stored on a desktop or internal library system and matching it to the content of a call, reducing resolution time and improving customer satisfaction--that’s the integrated call center. Features beyond call routing include automated processes, such as information for callers about wait time, real-time statistics for supervisors, integrated voicemail, integration of information from internal computer systems right to the desktop and call routing to remote agents. From tracking metrics to helping make cost-cutting decisions, software plays an important role for call center management.

Whether a contact center is looking to start anew with equipment and technology or simply upgrade, it’s important to assess needs and invest in tools that will allow for long-term scalability and innovation.

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