Too many phones ringing continuously. Agents sitting in front of desktops, receiving calls back to back. Numerous other calls queuing up. And agents seem to be talking breathlessly.
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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 start screaming 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 centre software 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.
This is a challenge that is commonly faced by startup businesses that are looking to scale up. Setting up a call centre infrastructure can cost businesses several thousands of dollars. Investing this upfront with no guarantee of a sustainable demand often forces businesses to be risk-averse and consequently have lower support staff to handle growing call volumes.
Many businesses today choose to go with what is known as virtual receptionists. These are cloud-based services that offer ‘receptionists on demand’. This helps small businesses to scale their support staff numbers up or down depending on demand and seasonality. By reducing wait times, businesses improve customer experience and this helps with improved customer loyalty.
But in addition to this, a seamless call centre experience also depends on the robustness of your call centre software.
You must ensure that the call management system you’re going to install, comprises these 8 essential features listed below.
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.
2. Automatic call distribution (ACD)
Automatic call distribution ensures calls are automatically routed to the right agent thereby reducing the waiting time for customers. It is a prerequisite of every call centre as it helps in the systematic handling of customer calls.
When you set up a cloud-based call centre 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. 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 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 query. 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 right agents with the right skill set, customer issues are resolved quickly, which elevates customer satisfaction.
4. Call Recording
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 on all your business calls 24*7. Managing a call centre software while keeping both the agents and the customers happy is a tough task. Though, technology has now made it easy.
With the help of 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 waiting time for the customer as well as enhances customer experience.
7. CRM integration
Call centre 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, an 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 centre 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.
Analytical reports are significant when making staffing decisions, scheduling agents and evaluating the performance of individual agents, teams, departments and the call centre as a whole.
A call centre software not only needs well-spoken agents, but also an efficient call centre 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?
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