Call Center Tools to Deliver Exceptional Customer Service
The productive work of a call center guarantees high conversion rates and excellent customer satisfaction. To deliver perfect service, a call center should have a number of useful features and meet the latest technological advances.
Various statistical platforms provide key facts about the performance and efficiency of call centers. In a nutshell, people still prefer to contact companies for product information today. Users like when there are several channels of communication, which speaks for implementing omnichannel contact centers. Consumers state that if they receive satisfactory phone assistance, they are more likely to make a purchase. Clients, meanwhile, continue to deal with inept phone representatives. Inside a call center, 87% of employees report a high degree of stress at work.
Call center tools and software features are created to cope with the challenges of any contact center routine. Effective work organization is a hard nut to crack. However, satisfied customers are grateful. Hence, for any call center, investing in valuable systems and technologies eventually pays off.
In this overview, we will focus on the most important and effective call center tools and systems that can boost the productivity of a call center and increase the profit of any organization. Also, we will include the names of software suppliers who are currently ranked among the most modern and deserving of attention on platforms such as Software Advice, g2, Capterra, and others.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Software
The CRM system allows agents to keep track of leads and manage all interactions with customers. It is a system that integrates with the phone system of the call center and helps store the data in one place and make it available to all the participants. Therefore, agents know the data about the person calling, and the caller does not have to repeat the request to each new agent.
Benefits of the CRM for support agents
- 24/7 availability
The CRM system routes inbound calls to available agents. Therefore, your call center can be available at any time. Plan for convenient work schedules for the staff, and everyone will be pleased.
- Team collaboration
CRM systems are cloud-based solutions. So, they provide the agents with an opportunity for remote work. The physical location of your agents is no longer relevant to providing exceptional services to callers.
- Performance assessment
CRM systems allow for call recordings, activity tracking, and sales reports. All those tools demonstrate the effectiveness of your employees’ efforts. Use the information to monitor the performance indicators and offer bonuses to motivate the agents.
- Centralized database
The data regarding all the inbound calls, hot and cold leads, customer retention, and other issues connected with interactions with clients is stored in one place. It is conveniently accessible from any place, and reports can be generated and distributed to stakeholders.
Popular CRM systems: Salesmate, Pipedrive, Freshworks, Bitrix24, and LeadSquared.
Automatic Call Distributor (ACD) Software
If your call center receives a large number of calls, it definitely needs ACD software. The software is designed to route the calls to agents with specific skills. The priority of calls is set automatically, and the clients do not have to wait a long time on hold. The calls are distributed depending on the conditions set.
Types of call distribution
- Rotary/circular call distribution: the calls are transferred one by one to each next agent.
- Linear/fixed order call distribution: the calls are always directed to the first agent. Only if this agent is busy, the call will go to the next one. The system is good if you have experienced employees who are capable of handling calls quickly and effectively.
- Simultaneous call distribution: the call is sent to all available agents at once. The agent who is the first to pick up handles the call.
- Uniform/talk-time call distribution: the call is assigned to the agent with the least amount of talk time. This approach ensures equal working time for the team members.
- Weighted/skills-based call distribution: distributing calls to agents with the highest rating. Agents are assessed in terms of their language proficiency, soft skills, expertise, response time, and other KPI metrics. The most professional agents receive the calls first.
- Time-based call distribution: the system transfers the calls to the agents only during their working hours. Calls are sent to voicemail during breaks or vacations.
Popular ACD software: RingCentral, Dialpad, Nextiva, Phonexa, MegaDialer.
Interactive Voice Response (IVR) Systems
The IVR system allows for automatic distribution of calls to departments of the company, voicemail, or other information callers wish to know. For example, IVR systems are successfully used in the banking sphere for the callers to know the balance, block the card, or make other common requests. For the convenience of callers, a well-designed IVR menu should also contain an option for live interaction with the agent.
Advantages of the IVR system
- Fast call routing
If the IVR menu is clearly formulated, callers will easily choose the appropriate option and get connected to the department or specialist they need in no time. The shorter the waiting time is, the happier the customers are. Besides, if your callers are satisfied with the phone assistance they get, they are more likely to order from you, increasing your sales.
- Even workload
When clients call with typical requests, that is a prerequisite for automating those calls. Implementing a virtual assistant relieves the workload and frees the team to take more challenging calls. The stress level is reduced, therefore, and your employees are more motivated to work.
- Customer satisfaction assessment
Ask your clients to share their feedback concerning the assistance they received on the phone. The IVR makes the process convenient for the callers. They only have to press the button on the phone to evaluate the agent’s work and competence. The data received from those assessment interactions can be further analyzed and used in more detailed customer surveys.
Consumers are content to handle their own requests. A virtual assistant can aid with account enquiries and bill payment details. It is quick and simple. Allow your target audience to assist themselves.
- Extended business hours
With an implemented IVR menu, your clients can leave you messages even outside of working hours. Your business will not lose a single lead in this situation, and employees will enjoy convenient working hours.
Popular IVR software providers: Dialics, RingByName, Ringover, Talkdesk, Five9.
Call Recording Software
Recording calls allows for detailed examination of the calls, including searching for keywords, staff assessment, and other useful things. Some providers offer call recording along with the screen activity of the agents. Therefore, a deep analysis of the team’s performance is conducted.
Call recording pros for call centers
- Quality control over the team’s output
- Mentoring new staff based on actual client conversations
- Optimizing marketing strategies in response to client feedback
- Product updates influenced by the client’s ideas
Popular call recording software providers: Dialics, RingCentral, Bitrix24, Talkdesk, Zendesk.
Quality Assurance (QA) Software
Quality assurance should cover a wide range of issues in a call center. This software is able to improve the quality of phone services and the customer experience. With the help of QA tools, the KPI metrics of a call center are regularly monitored, the agents’ performance is improved, and all the processes are aimed at high effectiveness and productivity.
Possibilities of the QA software for call centers:
- Assessing productivity and identifying bottlenecks
- Finding areas for improvement
- Planning staff training
- Ranking the agents and recognizing the top performers
A powerful quality assurance tool not only highlights problem areas but also suggests solutions for team leads and managers. It is possible to boost the competence of the agents using QA software, which usually leads to large conversions and income for the firm.
Popular quality assurance software providers: Talkdesk, Nice CXone, Playvox, Medallia Agent Connect, Genesys Cloud CX.
Chat Support Software
Live chat is a handy tool for companies to encourage interaction with their customers. For many website visitors, it is a convenient and fast way to learn some details about the product, logistics, or latest updates. Live chats show that you care about your consumers, keep up with the latest trends, and are available to help at any moment. It is a simple approach to communicate with both new and returning visitors.
Live chats provide businesses with valuable information about the target market; they are capable of improving the bounce rate and decreasing the number of cart abandonments. Additionally, live charts help follow the customers’ behavior on the website and offer proactive support.
Benefits of live chats for call centers
- Decreasing the workload for the agents. Texting in chat is less stressful than a phone call.
- Easy access to previous messages enables agents to rapidly dig into the issue.
- Profound assistance is possible due to the possibility to share files, videos, and links with customers.
- Building rapport with clients is easier in a chat.
- Affordability of the software allows businesses of all sizes to enjoy the convenience of a live chat.
Popular chat support software providers: Zendesk, Salesforce, Avochato, LiveAgent, Nextiva.
Knowledge Management Software
Cloud-based technologies opened up wide opportunities for remote work, team extension, and cooperation between departments and customers. However, those technologies hold challenges for sharing important information. When there is too much information and it is not arranged properly, it is difficult to gain insights and use them for process improvement. Knowledge management systems are designed to cope with those challenges and enhance the performance of a call center. With such systems, agents have convenient access to valuable information at any time, which leads to better customer service.
Effective knowledge arrangement enables agents to improve such KPI metrics as average handle time, first-call resolution rate, abandonment rate, and others. Knowledge bases can be arranged in the form of decision trees, how-to guides, or AI bots that can be implemented.
Popular knowledge management software providers: Zendesk, Guru, Shelf, Salesforce, Bloomfire.
Social Media Management Tools
If a call center is just part of the business, then marketing and sales tools are also important for effective performance. Social media management systems make it possible to monitor advertising campaigns, delayed publication, and landing page performance from a single dashboard.
Reasons to implement a social media management tool
- It helps to create the image of a target audience and apply segmentation.
- It creates a convenient communication channel for the customers.
- It allows for differentiation between advertising campaigns.
- A/B testing can be used on landing pages to get insight into future web development.
- It contributes to a better online image of a business.
Popular social media management tool providers: eDesk, SproutSocial, Zoho Desk, Salesforce, Sparkcentral.
A call center is a sophisticated structure that requires clearly defined procedures, careful monitoring, and ongoing improvements. The productivity of a call center depends on a range of factors. Managers should keep an eye on performance indicators, as well as customer satisfaction levels and a general psychological environment within the team.
Call center tools are designed to assist managers and supervisors in their routines and to bring a call center to an effective and consistent work environment. There are tools that can boost the performance of any call center, such as CRM systems, call recording, and chat support. ACD and IVR software may be of interest for more mature and large enterprises. QA, social media, and knowledge management tools provide additional help to those organizations that choose to invest in development. Each tool is helpful; however, its effectiveness depends greatly on the initial aims and expectations. Providers of call center solutions also differ in the functionality offered and price range. Some of them, such as Zendesk or Salesforce, offer a whole bunch of programs for call and contact centers. Other solutions concentrate on more specific goals and suit isolated demands.
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