Call center software can transform your office into an efficient and seamless customer service call center -- and your clients won't ever have to know if there are three or 300 customer service agents on the line. Effective call center solutions can direct incoming and outgoing calls based on your customer database. Call center software will help you:
1. Enhance customer service, as call center software gets your customers the answer they need more quickly.
2. Build customer satisfaction by cutting wait times with software call center solutions.
3. Reduce employment costs, using call center software to better allocate your agents' time.
4. Improve efficiency and productivity, for instance, making use of call center software predictive dialing features for sales prospecting.
5. Provide detailed reports on operational metrics.
Evaluate your call center software needsBefore you purchase call center software, research the features you need. Consider how many customer service requests you receive per month, where they come from -- phone, fax or e-mail -- how many employees you have handling them and how much money you have to spend.
Compare call center software vendorsWhen you have an idea of what you're looking for, it's time to approach potential vendors. They'll help you further define your needs and build customized call center solutions to meet them.
Consider in-house call centersIf you want to stay close to your clients, call centers based within your office are a smart idea. Consider call center solutions that you can run within your own network. Local solutions give you maximum control over every aspect of your customer service operations. However, they often require a larger investment in software, servers and staff.
Look at hosted call center softwareIf you're looking for a more affordable call center software setup, consider a hosted solution. Hosted solutions, also called virtual call centers, are housed off site on vendors' servers, where calls are routed to customer service agents' desktops, usually via the Internet. While they are both secure and reasonably priced, hosted solutions may be prone to outages when your Internet connection is down.
Consider VoIP call center solutionsPhone lines are a thing of the past. Call centers more and more are moving toward telephone systems that support VoIP. Because Voice-Over-Internet Protocol offers significant cost savings, budget-conscious businesses should definitely consider it. Most modern call center software supports it, and many solutions now require it.
Try call center software before you buy itBuying call center software isn't like purchasing an application at your local computer retailer. Buying call center software requires some serious thought and research. Don't just compare call center solutions to the features on your wish list, therefore; ask to see it in action, either via a live call center demo or a free call center trial.
- While call center software tends to be quite expensive, it can also save your company heaps of time and money in the long term. In the short term, though, be prepared to spend anywhere from $1,200 for a small, on-premise contact center system to as much as $25,000 in installation and set-up fees for a large office. Hosted call center solutions will cost between $50 and $300 per month, per user.
- Call center software isn't your only expense; in addition to software, you'll likely have to invest in a new phone system and new phone hardware.
- Before settling on a contact center solution, ask to interview existing customers; ask for at least three references and find out how happy those references are with their call centers. Be sure to ask about technical support and potential outages or failures.
- Hosted call center software is ideal for companies with fewer than 100 customer service agents; if you have a large staff of agents, on-premise call center solutions will be best.
- When selecting call center software, consider its reporting, routing and response features; flexibility and ease of use are key.