For many companies finding the right inbound call center software solution is crucial to successfully meeting or exceeding the requirements of their service level agreements (SLA’s). The problem is that there are so many companies offering stand-alone and cloud based software that contact centers are hard pressed to find the most suitable one. Add to this the fact that there are many different call center software solution features, some of which may be beneficial while others may be useless depending on an inbound call center’s particular requirements. You can access info about call centers at this site.
Fielding inbound calls is never easy. The calls can come in trickles one moment, and surge the next. Some inbound calls require agents with sufficient product knowledge or certification is certain fields. For example, a client which operates a financial institution may require agents with educational background in business. That makes it essential for contact centers to find the right mix of features that makes running a complex inbound call center more manageable. The features which many inbound call centers opt for include:
Automatic Call Distribution (ACD): This is a feature almost all inbound call centers use. This feature allows the efficient and appropriate distribution of incoming calls. The company usually customizes or pre-programs call distribution rules which take into account the most appropriate agent, which agents are free, the client’s preferences and which department the call should be assigned to. ACD is usually designed to work with other call center software features such as call monitoring, IVR, reporting, etc.
Pre-Programmed Call Queues: This is a feature that allows for separate queues for each client, department, or specialized skill. Other parameters that can be regulated include the maximum size of each queue, the maximum length of waiting time in each queue, and when a callback prompt should be activated. Queues can also be customized to give head of the line privileges to VIP clients.
Interactive Voice Response (IVR): Interactive voice response systems can be used judiciously to pre-qualify incoming calls. You can obtain the identity of the client, the phone number he is using, the reason for his call, and if his concern needs special handling (does the client need an agent with special skills?, etc.).
Call Monitoring and Coaching: Some agents, especially new ones, may need help in fielding calls especially if they chance upon one from a difficult customer. With call monitoring, the supervisors and managers hear the call in real time and are able to either provide whisper coaching or to take over the call when necessary.
Real Time Data: It is important for agents and their supervisors alike to be aware of such data as the number of calls in the queue, the average time for each call, the average waiting time, and whenever the maximum wait time has been exceeded. Base on these data they can adjust the way calls are fielded to meet client requirements.
Historical Data: Supervisors and managers use historical data to determine service levels, individual and group performances, the effectiveness of particular promotions and campaigns, and whether SLA requirements are being met.
The number of features each contact center would need depends on their situation, usually defined by the SLA they signed with the client.