Does My Business Need Call Center Software?
At Tele-Data Solutions, we’re passionate about helping companies solve business problems, and one of the main ways we do that is through call center technology. This software isn’t a perfect solution for every company, though. Whether or not it’s a good fit largely depends on the type of business you run and whether you deal with a considerable amount of inbound calls.
Do any of these problems sound familiar?
- Are you overwhelmed with managing inbound calls?
- Is your staff concerned about handling all incoming calls, as well as other responsibilities?
- Are you considering hiring additional staff to pick up the slack?
- Do you feel as if you’re missing revenue opportunities due to missed or mismanaged calls?
- Do your clients get frustrated when they call your business?
If so, then it might be time to consider call center software.
A New Way of Thinking about Call Center Software
In the past, the phrase “call center” has earned a bad reputation, but in reality, it’s nothing more than software that offers businesses real-time insight into what’s happening with their incoming and outgoing calls.
Today, it’s much more frequently referred to as “contact center technology.” This reflects the idea that customers contact businesses today not just by phone but through multiple media outlets, including e-mail, online chat boxes, web videos, social media platforms, and more. Any time you’re engaging with a customer and want to have measurable analytics around that interaction, contact center technology can help.
Call Center Terminology
If you’re new to call center software, the terminology can get a bit confusing. Here’s a quick overview of some important terms:
- Call center agent: a professional you employ to manage inbound calls from your clients
- Automatic call distribution (ACD): routing inbound calls to the right people or groups through the software functionality
- Contact center, or call center: a group of people responsible for a large quantity of usually time-sensitive inbound client calls
5 Advantages Call Center Software Has Over a Traditional Phone System
- Solve Problems—in Real Time
Customer service reports are useful, but they basically tell you what you did wrong after it’s too late to fix the issue. Contact center software gives you insight into what’s happening on the department, group, or agency level—in real time.
Say, for example, you have a customer who’s sitting on hold. You can set up this software to alert you or others on your team to this issue before it becomes a problem. You can make that call a priority before it becomes a lapse in customer service.
All these metrics are viewable through an easily readable dashboard.
- See the Metrics that Matter
Contact center software lets you see a variety of metrics, including the following:
- Inbound call activity.
- Outbound call activity.
- Missed calls.
- Calls answered.
- Longest wait time.
- Average wait time.
- Calls gone to voice mail.
- Calls abandoned.
According to what’s most important to your business, these metrics can then be color coded. If, for example, someone is waiting on hold for more than a minute, that call can turn red within the dashboard, meaning it’s now a priority that’s sent directly to an available team member or a manager who can answer the call immediately.
If a call was abandoned (the caller hung up without having reached a person or leaving a voice mail message), the software can automatically send an e-mail to a manager with the caller ID name and number. The manager then has the opportunity to follow up immediately with that customer.
The software also provides voice mail management, with escalating notifications about waiting voice mail messages. This helps ensure no voice mail falls through the cracks, even if an employee has called in sick or left for vacation.
With a call center software solution, you also get more intelligent call options. For example, if the wait time is longer than the customer wants to sit on hold, he or she can schedule a time for your company to call him or her back. This respects your customers’ time while still allowing their questions to be addressed.
Regular phone systems do not have this functionality, and these kinds of improvements to overall customer service can be huge differentiating factors between you and your competition. Small moments of “wow” customer service can be surprisingly easy to orchestrate, and they make very powerful positive impressions on your existing and potential customers.
At the end of every business day, these metrics can be e-mailed into a manager’s inbox, which allows for a high-level overview of these call-related issues, as well as continual improvement over time.
- Increase Revenue through Better Customer Service
Being able to effectively manage your calls allows you to schedule more appointments in a day and improve your customers’ overall satisfaction levels. It also means you never have to miss a call—or the revenue you might have generated from that conversation. By answering or directing all incoming calls, you maximize every opportunity to offer your product or service. All this leads to the potential to improve your bottom line.
You also don’t miss out on any future revenue potential due to upset or frustrated customers.
- Manage Unpredictable, Infrequent Peak Times
One of the hardest problems to navigate is when your company experiences influxes of calls, but those peak times aren’t predictable. Some companies simply hire more employees to handle these periods, but because the call influxes are infrequent and unpredictable, you end up paying employees for many more hours than they’re actually needed.
With call center software, you can see these periods of high call activity and manage them as they come up. Whether it’s because multiple people went to lunch at the same time or you just happen to have an abnormally high number of customers calling in simultaneously, you can see exactly how many people are on hold in that moment and then do something about it—without having to pay additional employees.
- Improve Training for New Employees
Call recording is made easy with call center software, and those recordings are both accessible and searchable. This tool can be invaluable when training new employees—not to mention settling customer disputes. Managers can also monitor calls with new employees and easily join the conversation, if help is necessary. Learn more about this feature here.
How to Get Call Center Software
If your business is interested in acquiring call center software, this can happen one of two ways:
- Replace your traditional phone system with a cloud-based VoIP solution that includes call center software. (This is the most practical for small businesses.)
- Keep your traditional phone system, and order cloud-based call center software. (This solution comes with several logistical risks and is more geared toward large businesses that can’t easily replace their complex existing phone system.)
It’s also important to note that this software is much more reasonably priced than it was even fifteen years ago. The widespread availability of VoIP phone solutions has made this technology, which used to be the exclusive domain of scaled businesses with in-house expertise and large budgets, feasible for small companies—even those with less than fifty employees.
Who’s a Good Candidate for Call Center Software?
Many businesses can benefit from this software, including the following:
- Medical offices
- Service trade organizations, such as HVAC or plumbing businesses
- Any business with an inside sales department
- Multisite companies that want to consolidate service departments and staffing
As a rule of thumb, if you employ four or more people to handle your inbound call load, you might want to consider investing in call center software.
If you would like an on-site call center assessment, please contact us today, and we can help you through this process.
By Vincent Finaldi
Vice-President, Tele-Data Solutions
E-mail: [email protected] | Direct Line: (908) 378-1218
What brings me satisfaction is meeting with New Jersey–based businesses and genuinely helping them solve communication and business problems. As someone who has lived in New Jersey my entire life, I love working and playing here. I live in Morristown with my wife, Lisa, and root for the New York Giants.