Call centers are busy operations that must handle numerous customer communications daily. Calls can range in nature, so when it comes to balancing efficiency with customer care, the right phone system is important.
The most basic feature critical for every call center is inbound call routing which uses automated technology to route calls, based on the purpose, to groups within the center or to a specific agent. Effective inbound call routing is by far one of the most important features of a top phone system. In her book The Telecom Handbook: Understanding Telephone Systems & Services, author Jane Laino says among other things, an intelligent call routing system should recognize priority callers and provide even call distribution to agents in a given group.
A top phone system should offer interactive features that allow agents to perform at peak levels. Laino highlights some of the key agent capabilities as: secure sign on/off access with password protection, automatic answer and release, emergency recording and supervisor alert. Interactive agent features allow agents and managers to seamlessly work behind the scenes to address any complicated call issues that may arise.
Additional features add to the efficiency and overall satisfaction of customer calls. Some of the features that go beyond call routing include intelligent queuing, which informs callers how long they will have to wait for the next available agent, call statistics for supervisors, voicemail, automated attendants and screen pops, which bring information relevant to a given call right to to an agent’s desktop. Other features include remote call routing that directs calls to agents in home offices or on the road.
A top phone system should also provide clear sound quality, customer support and reliable services. Integration, maintenance and scalability are also key as call centers must keep pace with growing demands volume and services.
Call center needs can vary widely so that it’s difficult to predict the cost of phone system for every call center. Assess your center’s needs and examine systems that provide desired features in your ideal price range. After comparing their features and prices, you should have a good idea of the effective price range of systems that suit your call center's requirements.
Whether a call center is large or small, implementing a top phone system is important for executing daily operations. When choosing the right system for a center, business buyers should assess current needs based on the features and scale required to address existing call volume. Additionally, long-term planning should factor in future scalability as call volume grows, next-generation technologies to ensure more reliable and efficient call resolutions and integration for voice, data and mobile.
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