If there is one department that every business needs to have, it is the call center. While most people think of call centers as places where customer service agents sit and receive calls, it is only one form of call center. Some companies can have separate call centers for sales and customer services whereas others like to merge them. Call centers can be used for bringing in new business by calling customers and promoting products. Furthermore, they are used for customer retention by providing solutions to the problems of the existing customers.
Unlike how things were in the past, call center technology is at the center of the customer experience today. Today, call centers are not just about people with telephones picking up calls and answering them while speaking as fast as they can. It is much more than that, thanks to call center technology. Let’s take a look at some cool technologies used in call centers and then delve into how they benefit businesses.
The Best Technologies for Call Centers
Talk about call center technology and the first thing that comes to mind is VoIP, full form voice over internet protocol. As the name suggests, this technology is a combination of hardware and software components that make it possible for voice to travel over internet lines. In the past, call centers used telephones that used PSTN technology i.e. Public Switched Telephone Network. With VoIP, call centers can do a lot of things they could not do in the past. For example, they can handle multiple calls or have a voice message converted into an email and sent to the concerned person.
Computer Telephony Integration
This call center technology is just VoIP in its best form. Today, call center agents can see a lot of information about the incoming call on their computers and take actions accordingly. For example, they can see the account information and past conversations of the customer while receiving the call. With a short glimpse at that information, the agent can prepare him/herself to tackle the customer accordingly.
Most of the employees might not even notice this call center technology at work because it works behind the curtain. It is the best companion of the agents who work in outbound call centers where they have to manually dial hundreds of numbers during their shift. The whole process can be tiring and less efficient. On the other hand, this tool automates the entire process. From the list of given numbers, it will make the call and connect the call to one of the agents on the floor once the customer is available.
IVR is short for interactive voice response and it happens to be a call center technology that people encounter the most. When you make a call to a company’s call center and hear a voice telling you about the options on the menu, your wait time, and other similar things, that’s the IVR. Today’s IVRs are only getting better and in addition to the presses on the keypad, they can accept voice commands as well. In many cases, IVRs guide customers in the right direction and help them have their issues resolved without even reaching a customer service agent.
Automatic call distributor is a valuable call center technology for the inbound setups. In an inbound call center, there has to be a set of rules that helps decide the system which call should go to which agent. In many call centers, they have ranking systems where the best performing agents have the best rankings and are picked by the system as the preferred choice to receive the call when they are available. Automatic call distributors do that efficiently and quickly.
How Call center technology Benefits Businesses
Call center technology is not just an expense. Instead it is an investment for business owners because the incorporation of modern technology into call centers helps businesses in many ways.
Reducing Call Wrap-up Times
One of the challenges for call centers is to end the calls as soon as possible. When agents have an understanding of the customers and their needs before even picking up the call, they can answer their question better and wrap up the call quickly. This helps slash the queue of other waiting customers faster too.
Reducing CSR Load
No matter how many customer service representatives a company hires, they can never be enough to deal with the spikes in calls on certain occasions. However, long queues mean long wait times, and that results in customers abandoning the calls. With IVR integration, companies can reduce the customer call hang-ups to a great degree and improve customer satisfaction as a result.
Improving Customer Experience
IVRs can talk to customers and guide them on a lot of things. They can help them pick packages and have their complaints registered without talking to customer support agents. As a result, customers don’t have to wait for too long on the phone. Furthermore, with customer’s information available to agents before picking up the call, they are able to provide customers with more personalized solutions. Eventually, customer experience improves as a whole.
Increasing Customer Retention and Conversion
When customer service agents pick more calls, they are able to satisfy more customers. As a result of that, these customers become loyal to the business and retention rate increases. Predictive dialer is a call center technology that saves agents from dialing customers who are not available. They connect agents with only the available customers. More customers on the phone during a shift means higher probability of conversion.
Today, businesses are focusing on improving customer experience, which is a broader concept than customer support or service. To do that, they have to use call center technology that helps them deliver the best to their customers. In addition to helping customers when they contact the business, these technologies also help collect data that allow businesses to shape up their marketing campaigns. However, every business owner has to believe in call center technology to improve the overall customer experience around the world. Those sticking to the conventional methods might just be frustrating their customers with long wait times and non-personalized assistance.