Call center technologies
Choose technology that matches your business needs. You need to focus your technology choices around the information you need to capture. A generic list of contact centre technologies won’t really help you make an informed decision about what your new operation will need. Instead, using an outside-in approach to help you make informed technology choices that are relevant to your business goals.
Here are a handful of questions to take into consideration:
- What channels are your customers using?
- What knowledge do you need and where will it be stored?
- Do you need a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system to build a case for your individual customers?
- Will you need to offer a segmented service? If so, how will you route your calls?
Once you have decided what you need, you should also consider how all of your systems are going to work together and how they will form the user interface.
Core technologies we believe every new contact centre should have
- Agent Desktop - This is an intuitive tool that enables agents to communicate with customers. It allows the agent to make and transfer a call, put the customer on hold and also to terminate the call. These are the most basic features of an agent desktop.
- An ACD (Automatic Call Distributor) - This system is a communication system that contact centres employ to distribute contacts to certain individuals or specific groups of advisors. ACD helps in Easy IVR Integration, Skill-Based Routing, Support for Digital Channels, and Platform Consolidation.
- Predictive Dialler - Many diallers ‘watch’ what an agent is doing through talk and wrap activities and try to understand behaviour patterns that can then be used to predict when that agent will be free. This allows the dialler to pre-dial for an agent so that hopefully a live call will be waiting for them as they become free to take another call, or shortly thereafter.
- Cloud Solutions - Firstly, with cloud, the technology is browser-based. This means agents can access the system from wherever they may be. Secondly, providing the option to work from home means providing employees with much more flexibility over their working hours and life. This means greater satisfaction for the employee, which in turn can result in improved customer service.
- Workforce Management and Workforce Optimisation - Your WFM software will ideally allow you to calculate key metrics – like predicted call volumes, staffing requirements and Average Handling Time (AHT) at the push of a button, on a user-friendly dashboard. This dashboard should also allow you to monitor service levels, queue times and occupancy levels across different contact centre teams in real time.
- Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Systems - A Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system is a customer database which helps with contact management, sales management, and productivity. The primary goal of CRM systems is to integrate and automate sales, marketing, and customer support. Without a robust CRM system, customer details and interactions can get lost, calls are not followed up promptly and prioritising customers can be a matter of guesswork. A good CRM system will be integrated into your ACD, and when the customer calls and the number is recognised it will “screen pop” the customer’s details and previous history.