Call center champions have a huge platter of solutions to choose from. There are multiple solutions that can be segmented upon pricing or features. Now, obviously, you wouldn’t buy a solution that fits your budget but not your business. There are several questions that need to be asked before choosing the perfect call center software for your business.
Choosing the right solution isn’t only about the budget. The features of your chosen solution must deliver your business or else its another step in the wrong direction. Some questions to ponder upon would be:
- Is the routing to our suiting?
- Can we smoothen the transition to the new solution?
- What are the analytical aspects?
- Is it omnichannel-ready?
- Is it enabled for remote teams?
While you ask yourself these questions, make sure you also speak with your agents. Agents are the primary workforce in your call center. Alleviating their problems will solve half the operational friction. Undertaking a new software is a consequential task. The effects of it will impact your business for the years to come. Hence, it is better to tick all the boxes before you proceed.
Popular challenges at any modern-day call center
One cannot emphasis this fact enough that the customer space is constantly evolving. It is impossible to participate or contain this growth, if your contact center is not well equipped. There is change in needs, priorities and oncoming of renewed experiences. In other words, you don’t have to ditch your old process but improve and accommodate new ones.
Dealing with a stingy budget
There is no sorcery that can fix this. Call centers will always have a strict budget. On a definite budget, owners have to cover agent costs, training costs, infrastructural expenses and more. With so much already on the plate, call centers have to constantly expand and grow. In face of such challenges, it becomes difficult to come up with cost-efficient methods. Above all, the pandemic hasn’t been much merciful to anybody. The current economy, especially of the bootstrapped enterprises pushes the leadership and relevant stakeholders to seek funding or expand the budget for the bigger picture.
In such times, it is important to remember that you are not selling a product but an experience. Once you realize how essential it is to stick to that customer experience, you will find a way to overcome financial restrictions.
Roadblocks in the digital transformation
The pandemic has once again catalyzed the digital transformation in many industries. With shops getting shut and customers spending more time online, there is a looming pressure to serve digitally. While it’s one thing to be available online, it’s a whole different story to meet your customers where they are. You might already have emails and chatbots available. But if your customers are on social media, then your honeypot is leaking.
Customers want options, something that was not available offline. Quick math suggests that giving the customer what they want, is the right approach to do business. Hence, to keep up with this, many contact centers introduced new channels for customer service. While some channels remained agent-assisted, others were automated for workforce management.
Agent attrition and its repercussions
Call centers have always struggled to retain their agents. The environment is so dynamic and raw, that many people succumb to the pressure and quit. Reducing agent burnout and promoting a positive workspace, should be a priority for most call center leadership. Most agents quit their jobs because of:
- Less pay
- Mindless work
- Lack of growth
The result of agent turnover is not hiring new agents but disruptive operation and expensive hiring/training process. As times are changing, employees want more empowerment through technology, financial support and mindfulness. It doesn’t take much to establish a healthy work environment. Retaining employees is easier by focusing on the right technology, appropriate benefits, incentives and gamification.
While these remain the primary issue for the modern day contact centers, there are other struggles as well. Having a dependable call center software, reduces most of the issues that burdens your enterprise. Let’s see how some of the features help you address these issues, head-on!
Most useful call center features that can help you tackle your primary challenges
Technology is always there to assist you and support your mindset. It is upto you how you leverage each of these tools or features for the benefit of your niche and brand. To recognize which tools are a must-have for your team, identify which problems needs to be solved. Here are some of the features that you might want to go through!
1. Automatic Call Distributor:
ACDs are on the legacy units of a contact center solution. It is the solution that redirects the incoming customer calls to the right agent in a queue, based on pre-defined rules. It will always make sure that the call is routed to the most suitable agent to achieve first call resolution. ACDs can deliver different tones of customer experience.
– Skill-based routing: It is an ACD feature that allows the customer to meet the right agent to solve their problem. In this scenario, an agent is well within their comfort zone when helping the customer, allowing him or her to succeed easily. This reduces agent’s workload and increases their productivity.
– Omnichannel routing: We all know that omnichannel allows customers to select their preferred channels without any friction. Similarly, most top-level ACDs create a holistic experience but queuing all the customers from all the channels in one funnel. This means, the customer on chat or email when decides to choose to speak with an agent, they get added to the general queue immediately without much hassle. In most cases, the ACD connects the customer to the same agent they were communicating via email or chat. This allows to make way for omnichannel customer experience without compromising the digital experience.
Autodialer is a solution that just helps your internal process. This employee-centric solution will automatically call your client list, based on pre given data. It eradicates the need for manual dialing, relieving your agents from the boring, mindless task of dialing out numbers. Autodialer also weeds out dead leads or wrong numbers that doesn’t result in anything fruitful other than wasting your agent’s time. There are three kinds of autodialers, based on their calling preference: preview, progressive and predictive dialer.
The need to digital is higher than ever. However, it is not as easy as creating a page on social media. Crafting a digital experience needs tech-aid and strategy. When you offer a customer multiple channels online, you must keep the experience consistent and unified. It is important to see how your call center solution supports the idea of omnichannel customer service. In fact your customer is not looking out for omnichannel but a consistent experience in any manner they interact with the brand.
Through omnichannel integration, customers can connect with your brand on voice, email, SMS, social media, and WhatsApp as well. In fact, CZ-Omni goes the extra mile by diverting customers from lengthy queues to less crowded channels for a better digital experience. Our industry experts have realized that such features actually improve the front line efficiency. When agents can easily get all information at their finger tips, they work faster and better.
4. Visual IVR:
Visual IVR is one of the fancy features which is eventually going to be a norm. When the customers are clogged on the voice, you can onboard them to your digital channels and offer an efficient experience. In Visual IVR, the customer gets the interactive IVR menu on their smartphones. They can browse through self-service options or move to a less crowded channel like text chats or chatbots.
Visual IVRs, allow you to create an immersive experience for your customers. It reduces friction between channels and also expands your digital presence. Interestingly, Visual IVR can capture most of the information that the customer needs to provide, while waiting in the queue. So as soon as such the agent gets connected, she has the all the information required and the call time can be drastically reduced.
5. Call Back:
Customers just hate waiting in queues. While Visual IVR is one way to redirect them towards other channels, many customers might insist on speaking with agents. Even after waiting for minutes, if the customer’s problem is not resolved well, or anything goes wrong; the customer will perceive your brand negatively. To ensure that such things don’t happen, your IVR must have a call back feature.
In this feature, the customer waits in the queue for a small amount of time, after which the IVR prompts the customer to schedule a call back with an agent. This way the customer is assured that help is on the way without making them uncomfortably wait for it. Once an agent frees up, they can follow up with that customer immediately.
6. Sticky Agents:
Once a customer gets familiar with an agent, it is smarter to nourish that relationship. With the sticky agent feature, the database will identify which agent communicated to the customer earlier. Upon identifying that, it will try to connect with that particular agent to provide a more personalized and comfortable customer experience. Such thoughtful features actually makes your brand stand apart from the other fishes in the sea.
7. Omnichannel Forecasting:
In the face of shrinkage, you need a forecasting tool to ensure optimum service all the time. While chatbots or voicebots can relieve the pressure, human staff is always required. An omnichannel forecasting feature can estimate and ensure that enough, rightly skilled agents are available across all your channels, based on your employee schedule. It can predict the incoming volume for all your channels, including your digital, preparing you for the worst-case scenario.
8. Knowledgebase and Gamification:
It is imperative that in a knowledge industry, maintaining the knowledge repository is vital. While, it helps the team to learn and share on the products and services, it also serves as the bedrock for automation and self-service. Also some amount of gamification yields healthy competition to cover the knowledge base and contribute to the knowledge base by the team.
9. Personalized Dashboards and Analytics:
Every call center software will offer you some insights. However, the best contact center solution will offer you the insights that you need to see. As every business has its own unique needs, having a solution that allows you to configure your parameters and benchmarks, is the best way to go. With personalized no code dashboards, it is easier to identify progress or negative trends as per the business needs. With proper analytics, the senior management can derive insights which will help them to steer the business and ensure a better ROI from the business.
It is all fun and excitement as long as the leadership and the employees harness a customer-centric mindset. It is only then that the right call center solution will enable you to address all your problems. There is no doubt that contact centers are going to grow over the next decades, but it can be hard to keep up. Robust technologies will make your process become budget-friendly, customer-first, and efficient. Needless to say, proper resource management, training, and motivation can build the invincible contact center that you desire.