Call center software is the product that helps you handle your business phone conversations. Your phone teams can use your preferred call center software to make outgoing calls, handle incoming calls, track key call center metrics, perform workforce management, and load automated scripts for your phone team. Call center agents are your phone team members who use your call center software to engage with customers or prospects.
Phone remains a vital part of business communication channels. However, there are others channels as well such as live chat, emails, social media channels etc. which can be harnessed depending on your business objectives. You will need to choose one or more channels that will help you convert a cold prospect to a customer and continue cementing your relationship with an amazing after sales support.
You have to choose the right conversation channel depending on the urgency of the query, complexity of the query, nature of the query, and your target audience usually determine the channel to engage. Never push your customers to converse through channels not suitable for that particular conversation.
a) Your callers need urgent solutions to their needs
For example, someone calling up their travel agency to confirm the departure time needs an urgent resolution to a burning question. These are needs that ought to be fulfilled immediately to put your customer at ease. Phones are the best way to provide instant or urgent gratification
b) Your callers want your help to solve complications
For example, customer facing systems are quite effective in solving simple needs such as booking a room in this case. However, if there are multiple check-in, check-out dates, specific instructions or requests for the hotel management, phone conversations are the best way to convey this information. And no one understands the whims of a human better than another human
a) Your callers have a personal need
For example, someone calling a bank to block their stolen credit card will not want to share their card, bank account details over an email or chat. They want the reassuring voice of your call center personnel to assure them that the credit card has been blocked.
b) Your callers are not ‘tech-savvy’ or belong to a broad demographic group
For example, customer appliances, FMCG sectors cater to a wide range of people who might not be comfortable conversing through some or most of the standard communication channels. In such circumstances, phones become your best partner to take care of all the conversations for your entire target audience
UNDERSTANDING CALL CENTERS
Choose the right channels for communicating with your customers and then research on the best practices of setting up a call center, knowledge base or a contact center. No matter the size of your business, you will reap benefits by investing in a call center during your initial days to have personal conversations with your customers. If phones are one of the or primary channel of communication for your intended target audience, you will definitely need to setup a call center
A call center refers to a group of people who are responsible for handling all the telephonic conversations for your business. You can also choose to outsource the team of phone operators required to handle your calls. Call centers, also referred to as phone teams, can manage all contacts obtained through voice conversations and save all the conversations for future reference.
A contact center is a hub for all customer conversations across phone, email, chat or social media. The contact center team is usually centrally located and responsible for managing all the contacts that you have acquired through your conversations irrespective of the channel.
CALL CENTER SOFTWARE
Whether your choice is to go for a stand-alone call center software or a contact center software with an integrated call center, it is imperative to choose the right product to enhance your growth. The right products help you scale seamlessly, is light on your finances while fitting in with the vision of your company. For example, if your team works from home, while on vacation or even from a co-working space, you will need a virtual call center software. A virtual call center software helps you to manage your virtual team by providing options for your call center supervisors to continuously monitor your calls real-time. Features like call monitoring, call barging, and a real-time dashboard showcasing the live snapshot of conversations of your call center goes a long way in aiding your managers and supervisors in keeping an eye on your agents.
Depending on the nature of your work-force and the type of control over the hardware of your phone system, you can go for one of the two types - on-premise or cloud-hosted call center software.
On-premise phone systems are those where businesses are forced to install phone hardware or software in their local premises. On-premise phone systems typically refer to age-old landline phone systems with local routing servers installed in your office. The control over the phone system comes at the cost of having to purchase and maintain legacy hardware and software. Businesses have to balance the benefits against the locking of capital in purchasing these instances. On-premise phone systems also create issues in scaling your organization in multiple locations as well as increase risk of a single-point of failure.
Cloud-hosted call center software removes the need for businesses to purchase and maintain local phone related servers and other related hardware/software. Since your call center is cloud-hosted, you can scale seamlessly in multiple locations without a single point of failure for your call logs and recordings. You typically pay per user with access to your virtual cloud-hosted call center software.
To be called a cloud software, it is important to have the following characteristics
The call center software that satisfies the above conditions can be termed as a cloud call center software. You can also look for some extra capabilities such as
OUTBOUND VS INBOUND
Every call center software is built for a specific purpose and only if that purpose fits your business agenda, will your purchase be fruitful. Now, depending on the nature of your conversations with your customers, you will have to decide whether to sign up for an inbound call center software or an outbound one.
If your incoming versus outgoing call minutes is in the ratio of 70:30 or above, you will need an incoming or inbound heavy call center software. Incoming/Inbound call center software need to have extensive routing capabilities to handle all incoming call scenarios so as to help businesses experience success with their phone team. Most SaaS, B2B organizations, e-commerce portals run inbound call centers.
You are running an outbound call center when more than 70% of your calls are initiated by your call center team. This is usually the case in Banking, Financial, and Insurance sectors, where the number of prospects easily outnumber the number of call center agents available for initiating conversations. Your phone team requires a call center software capable of calling a large number of customers in a short period of time.
WHAT IS FRESHCALLER?
Freshcaller is a call center software using which you can purchase local and toll-free phone numbers in 50+ countries. Traditionally businesses have always been worried about the technical know-how required to implement these solutions. Not anymore - with Freshcaller, you can set up your business call center in two minutes. You can start with the $0 plan while being able to add unlimited team members and you can upgrade whenever based on the complexity of the phone system you need and your team size.
You do not have to invest in training sessions since the software is simple and easy to use. There are zero maintenance charges as there is no hardware involved in your call center solution. Freshcaller being a cloud-based call center software ensures that you do not have to download any software to start phone communication. It also means that your data will never be lost owing to local failures or natural disasters occurring at your office location. Rest assured, there will be no single point of failure for your call data.
Allow your callers to self-service their way to the right team or person who can solve their needs with customizable greetings
Proactively configure your call routing to ensure that zero calls are missed owing to unavailability of your team
Help your supervisor manage a geographically distributed phone team by setting up time-based routing rules
Mask your outgoing caller ID to ensure that your business appears local while running a truly global team
Supervise all your phone calls real-time with our live dashboard and barge if necessary to increase your First Call Resolution percentage
Enable call recordings to keep track of customer conversations as well as to analyze your communication effectiveness
“We previously handled phone calls by sharing one phone and it wasn’t scalable for a growing team. Now, my team members can answer calls with just a click from their laptops. Each call is linked to a call recording and call notes so that pertinent context is readily available for all support specialists.”
“Freshcaller has made our organization more efficient thanks to features like Call transfer, IVR and call queues. The ability to access the system from anywhere has allowed us to perform better. Tasks that normally get done the next day are now dealt with swiftly, thereby minimising any possible delay. Call recording feature has been excellent for our quality training as we now know clearly in which areas we have to focus”
“It is a simple to configure cloud PBX system. I found it easy to buy numbers from different countries and set up my business call center in minutes. There are call monitoring options for supervisors during call and we make it a point to listen to all the call recordings together to improve our communication. Call center is not technical anymore.”