While setting up a call center can be challenging for a small business initially, it can pay significant dividends in customer satisfaction and organizational growth. However, the lack of awareness and the exorbitant prices of call center software prevents many SMEs from using them.
Investing in call center solutions allows you to expand your small-scale business, create lasting customer relationships and provide the competitive edge needed to flourish your business.
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In addition, call center solutions will enable you to analyze and improve your contact center’s performance and help you with revenue generation. However, since every call center is unique and various solutions are available to firms today, it can be challenging to pick the best one for your SME.
Through this blog, we’ll guide you on how you can choose the best call center software for your firm and the features you must consider. We would also be discussing how each feature would add to your business and what you can achieve through them. So without further ado, let’s look at how you can choose the best contact center solution for your small business.
How To Pick The Best Call Center Solution
Call centers serve a crucial purpose within an organization since they bring together three key growth aspects — People, Processes & Technology. Here, people take precedence over process and technology, forming the Golden Triangle or ‘PPT framework’ that allows a company to take giant strides.
Golden Triangle of Business Growth
Picking the right call optimisation center software requires understanding your SME’s people, processes, and technology. These are three crucial indicators about the kind of software you must use.
For instance, the type of customers (regional, national or international) and workforce you have (remote or in-house) indicate the solution and features your business needs. Similarly, understanding the processes that need improvement and the type of technology you need would help you select the right software for sustainable growth.
Besides the above, you must also consider whether you want to move to a cloud-call-center setting or stick to an in-house solution. Cloud contact center solutions are a rage among startups and SMEs since they are much cheaper than traditional software solutions, provide higher uptimes and better security.
Modern cloud solutions like Flowz allow you to collaborate with your team remotely and assist customers from anywhere in the world. Moreover, Flowz also safeguards confidential business data with vulnerability scans, malware scans, automated security checks, and suspicious login detection.
Any SME looking to invest in an outbound call center solution would be looking for high return-on-investment. Similarly, customer satisfaction and lower complaint rates are priorities for inbound contact centers. However, certain features are a must-have in all contact center solutions. We have described them below and categorized them based on the above growth areas.
10 Features To Look For In Call Center Software For Small Businesses
Let us first take a look at some essential features that would be helpful to your ‘people’, i.e., the agents working at your call center offices:
1. Omnichannel Support:
Just as brands can discover customers from multiple social media platforms, customers too can interact with brands on their social handles. Digital customer service through various channels has become necessary for most leading brands, enabling them to provide superior customer experience and support.
Customer convenience is penultimate today, and brands are leaving no stones unturned to ensure that customers/prospects can contact you at their preferred time and through their preferred channels.
Hence the call center optimisation software you choose must allow you to choose between various channels and communication styles. Flowz is an excellent example of an omnichannel call center software as it will enable your customers to enquire through calls, e-mails, and social channels effortlessly.
Modern call center optimisation software allows you to view all customer queries and concerns in a single place, which allows your agents to respond and assist them faster while making your customers/leads feel heard. It also does wonders for your brand image and improves consumer loyalty.
2. Intelligent Automation:
Automation can help you significantly reduce your workload, improve accuracy and simplify operations to a great extent. It allows call centers to delegate recurrent customer queries to the proper self-service channels, helping you save company time.
Certain new-age call center software like Flowz also provides a virtual assistant that handles your calls round the clock. Such tools unburden you of a huge chunk of customer interactions while empowering callers to help themselves.
Automation enables you to serve more individuals with fewer resources and can lead to more organized service and assistance. Today’s call center solutions can also help you automate workflows, configure agent assignment rules, record calls and analyze them for service improvement. They can also help you configure actions in different scenarios, allowing you to provide the best support to your clientele.
3. Workforce management & optimization:
Call centers often have to manage a large workforce and constantly evaluate their performance, skills, and quality, which requires significant investments and can often take a toll on your services. Workforce optimization can help train your agents better, improve resolutions quality, and boost productivity.
In addition, having an engaged and empowered workforce can cause a significant shift in their attitude, which positively affects your customers. For instance, Flowz allows users to monitor both their remote and on-premise agents through a dashboard. It also helps you assign dedicated agents to clients, ensuring convenience and efficiency.
Cloud contact centers can also optimize their workforce through features like speech analytics, call recording, performance tracking, and gamification. Such functionalities help you gain a fresh perspective on what your customer base wants and the kind of assistance your agents provide. The insights received from such processes also help fill gaps in agents’ performance and help them offer peerless omnichannel support to clients.
Next, we shall look at some features that improve your ‘processes’ and help streamline activities within your contact center. Here are a few must-have functionalities that can revolutionize your organizational processes:
4. Agent Management:
Agents are the lifeforce of any contact center, and well-trained agents can be a boon to any organization. Hence call center managers must have the right set of supervisory tools to manage and monitor their agents and processes, which can help them minimize the frequency of downtimes, optimize agent schedules based on process needs and reduce long hold times.
Agent management can be facilitated further by using features such as whisper coaching, call barging, silent monitoring, remote assistance, performance tracking, feedback analysis, and speech analysis. By recording inbound, outbound, and manual calls, and using them for monitoring or training agents, call center optimisation software help to improve the performance and quality of your contact center.
5. Intelligent Call Routing:
Inbound call centers often have to deal with high volumes of call or chat traffic, especially during peak hours, which can be hard to manage for SMEs having smaller support teams.
As a result of low agent availability, callers have to stay in long queues, and agents attending calls are under pressure to wrap up calls faster. Therefore, many leading call center solutions have a feature called Automatic Call Distribution (ACD), which allows call routing to specific agents or departments based on their availability and expertise.
Using a tool that provides omnichannel routing to distribute incoming calls evenly based on the type of query, you can significantly bring down call volumes while boosting the efficacy of the resolutions. For instance, you can have your agents grouped by the departments they serve or their expertise (e.g., billing, technical support, sales, etc. ).
In addition, the call routing feature can automatically route calls to the appropriate agent based on customers’ responses, feedback, and call history.
6. Real-time analytics & insights:
The call center solution you pick should also allow you to determine the outcome of your efforts. Additionally, it must guide you forward and help you detect inefficiencies in your processes. By bringing in more accountability and transparency, call center solutions can enlighten you about the changes required within your call center and guide you on the steps necessary for improvement.
Real-time reports and dashboards generated through analytics can help you catch the pulse of your business, create contingency plans, and honor service-level agreements. Additionally, such insights allow you to discover hidden patterns in consumer behavior and predict their preferences through sentiment analysis. Thus they help you create a predictive customer support model while supporting your business-critical decisions.
Now that we know about the features that improve your processes let us look at some of the ‘technical’ aspects you should consider while picking a call center software.
7. Comprehensive Solution:
While selecting a call center software, it is wise to pick up a solution that can fulfill all of your day-to-day business needs instead of investing in multiple tools that help you partially in your business. The option you choose must provide you with the necessary features that you would need daily, such as call recording, IVR, call monitoring, file sharing, etc.
8. Campaign and list management:
Call centers often have to handle multiple campaigns simultaneously and deal with numerous call lists for follow-ups. Each such campaign has a particular goal/objective and needs separate monitoring.
The success of a campaign relies on the kind of responses and conversions it gets. Cloud call center solutions like Flowz help you manage lists and campaigns easily through features such as auto-dialing and campaign manager to seep up follow-ups and keep campaigns on track.
Businesses work with multiple tools to meet their objectives, assist their customers, engage with them and collect their feedback. Therefore, the choice of your contact center software must ensure that information is gathered from multiple tools to reduce your efforts.
Besides the smooth transfer of customer information between teams, these solutions can also help you enhance your cross-team workflows.
With a call center tool that integrates with your current technology stack, you can automate multiple processes and add a layer of business intelligence to your operations.
For instance, if your agents can gain data instantly from your CRM tool, they can easily understand a customer’s journey through their interaction and sales history with your company. This helps them provide a more personalized experience to customers without switching between multiple applications.
If you are a small business just starting, you should be careful about the call center solution you choose. As your business expands, you can soon see that your existing answer is unable to match the growing need of your business. Therefore it is wise to ask your provider if the software you choose can scale with your expanding enterprise.
Leading call center solutions have multiple plans that suit the needs of small, medium, and large enterprises, allowing firms to add features as they progress. This will enable you to pay for only the features you use and saves you money.
Choosing a call center software for a small business is challenging. Not only are there limited options for affordable solutions, but the quality of features they offer can also vary greatly. Hence, finding the right mix of affordability, usability and features can be difficult.
Thankfully, solutions like Flowz provide seamless connectivity with a simple interface and affordable pricing. In addition, being a SaaS-based application, Flowz allows you to work remotely from anywhere in the world and manage your remorse and sticky agents effectively.
Having a reliable and versatile software solution that adds value to your business and improves customer relationships. However, for a small business, creating a lasting impression is crucial. Hence, you must choose a solution that can offer support via multiple channels and help you grow exponentially using your existing resources.
Joydeep Das has extensive experience with both technical and non-technical content. He has articles published in both local and international portals and has also worked as an Overseas Admissions Editor, assisting many meritorious students to get into Ivy League Universities. However, branding and promotional topics have remained his true love for over a decade.