Call handling software
So you have made the decision to offer a call handling service, now how do you actually deliver that? Are there different types of call-handling software? What is a call-handling system?
What type of software do I need?
So you want to offer customers a call-handling service and now you need to work on what call-handling software is best to deliver this. First of all, you need to work out what type of service you want to offer and then what type of call handling system you need to deliver it. There are a few factors that you should consider carefully depending on what your needs and expectations are.
If you’re looking for call center-type software you may already be supporting your customers through other communication channels. Channels such as email, live chat, or social media are all possible routes. Remember that any call center software should integrate with all your other channels so agents can accept data and be able to respond through various routes.
The idea of operating in a multi-channel approach is to create a seamless experience for each customer.
2. Call Routing
Do you need your customers to be connected directly to a specific individual, a team, or a department?
First of all spend a bit of time understanding your customer journey from when they are first connected. Too many ‘options’ and you end up irritating your customer which can lead to lost calls. Think about how you can connect them to the right person with the fewest clicks.
3. CRM Integration
Customers are fickle and don’t want to spend time repeating themselves over and over again. They want fast, effective, communication with an agent who should be knowledgeable in the topic they are responding to.
The use of CTI (computer-telephony integration) pop-ups can identify a customer through their phone number and can provide details of previous interactions. Explore how the CTI/CRM software link to each other and you will have a powerful tool for your agents.
4. Cloud-Based Calling
Cloud-based calling is also known as VOIP – or Voice over Internet Protocol. This means that the phone system runs through a hosted internet system instead of a dedicated analog phone line. Call centers operating on cloud-based networks will require a cloud-based calling system to match up with their online databases.
Any computer device can use cloud calling for voice communication and is typically less expensive than traditional phone lines or VoIP because it can be bundled with additional cloud services. Cloud calling is an inexpensive resource for most providers.
5. Outgoing Calls
If you need to make outgoing calls look at the software that offers automated dialing and or call-logging features. This will allow staff to capture data to ensure any CRMs are effectively updated and maintained.
Check the small print – what are you actually paying for? Does your plan include a monthly fee? Are you paying for each call, per minute? Are you having to pay for the supply of equipment?
7. Interactive Voice Response
We all know that customers don’t really like talking to automated systems, known as IVR (Interactive Voice Response), before reaching an agent, but they are useful for offering general information thereby releasing agents to talk to customers who need it. Always remember to try and keep the journey short and simple.
The best call center software should allow you to manage any support queries in a professional and timely manner. From the moment a customer calls with an issue, they should be able to move through the process and be immediately directed to the appropriate department. The software should also allow you the opportunity to offer discounts, or refunds, thereby heading off any escalation of the complaint.
Call handling software options
Now that you know what to look for when evaluating call center software, let’s take a look at some of the current options available.
Note – This is only a snapshot of what is currently on the market.
Zendesk Talk offers cloud-based call center software for businesses of every size. It allows automatic ticket creation allowing agents to take advantage of Zendesk’s slick help-desk features.
This software includes some top features including IVR (Interactive voice response), cloud-based calling (VOIP), call routing, and more. Additionally, the software offers features such as call queuing, live call monitoring, skill-based routing, and call whispering.
This is more aimed at larger call centers and has been designed to help teams deliver support in fast-paced environments. TalkDesk offers industry-specific security features, and everything needed to deliver a good customer experience.
A cloud-based phone system that supports both mobile and desktop users. There are features included which ensure that calls are routed to the correct team/individual.
LiveAgent’s call center solution is a suitable solution for small businesses that wish to offer phone support. This is one of the only options currently on offer that do not charge a per-minute usage fee.
Take a bit of time to work out how you intend to use your call-handling software. Go with a shopping list of your requirements. Think like a customer. Keep things short and simple. If you get it right first-time you will have happy agents and happy customers.
Can you think of anything else? Just drop us an email and we will have a look for you.