We are all well-versed with the term ‘call center,’ but let’s get a better understanding of the concept. It is a central point for managing customer contacts and is often equipped with the high-tech software.
Having a call center software only helps route calls efficiently, reducing the wait time. But that’s not all! There are various other features that improve call support.
For instance: The speech recognition system not only allows text mining but also facilitates natural language processing for a superior quality.
If you’ve already judged it by its name, let me tell you its functionality is not limited to the outsourcing industry. Companies in various sectors have now started adopting best call center software to improve their operations.
Now you’d definitely want to know how you could use the software for your business. Well, you could use it to provide better customer support or you can also use it for marketing.
The platform can help you integrate and manage multiple channels like email, chat, phone, SMS messaging, social media and instant messaging.
It is difficult to understand features like predictive dialer, telephony integration, etc., for a layman like me. So then, how do we pick the best? Take a look:
1. Business need: Identify your business needs and requirements. For instance: Do you need the software mainly for customer support, generating leads or market research?
2. Type of call center software: Depending on the need of your business, you can choose to have the inbound or outbound software.
You can then select one of the four categories depending on the features and pricing:
• On-premise software
• Cloud-based software
• Hosted software
• Browser based software
3. Features: Now since you’re pretty clear with the business requirements and the kind of software you are looking for, let us understand the features.
• Features like IVR, voice recognition, custom message and music, number purchasing, screen pop-up, text-to-speech, call queues, call monitoring and call recording are some functions you should look for if you wish to use a call center software solutions for customer support.
• If you wish to use the software for market research, you can look for features like omnichannel support, cloud storage, real-time reporting, historical reporting and operating system.
• Predictive dialer, campaign and list management, DNC compliance, real-time reporting, agent scripting, web call back and data import, are some features you should look at if you wish to use the software for telemarketing.
4. Easy integration: Didn’t I just mention something about providing omnichannel support. It simply means ‘providing support to your customers through all the possible mediums in a way that will have a greater impact on customers.’
So make sure your new software has an omnichannel support, allowing you to integrate your communication channels.
5. User reviews: It is like asking for help. There are numerous software solutions available out there. So make it a point to take advice, from a friend or a user. Go through review before you choose one.
6. Pricing: Make it a point to compare the pricing offered by various software solutions. Now either you can buy software, rent it or simply install free software – the choice is yours. It is necessary to explore all the possibilities in advance.
7. Usability: Check if you could find software that offers the required feature and fits your pocket at the same time. Like I mentioned above, you could possibly get the finest call center software system – with all the required features, for free! All you need to do is explore.
8. Demo: After you’ve thought about all the above-mentioned factors, make sure you see a demo of the software to understand how it works. There are software solutions that offer free trials, so take a look at it without fail.
9. Training: Call center solutions are known for their user-friendly interface. Quite a few solutions will be self-explanatory and wouldn’t require much of your time.
But just in case you wish to get a thorough training; you can choose to pick a training solution to minimize the efforts put in by your human resource team.
You could also ask the software company to provide the same if required.
10. Support: Last but not the least, make sure the company provides technical support and gives you ample flexibility to add/remove employees.
You should be able to get good service from the company, even after you’re done with the set-up. After all, the world’s all about providing a good customer experience.
Yes, it’s that simple!
I am sure you’re considering using the call center management software for your business. If you are curious to know how it can intensify customer experience, it is time to scroll down and take a look at a fashion brand that explains it through.
In a competitive industry scenario, approximately 70 percent retailers are fast followers; whereas, around 5 percent are known to be the true innovators.
In an industry where exclusivity and uniqueness are two traits of a brand, we’re going to take a look at a leading fashion brand whose working pattern has a good mix of innovation and fast following, both at the same time.
As customers now become digital customers, the fashion industry is on the verge of its biggest evolution; due to which, brands need to revamp the whole customer experience concept.
This has compelled the brand to change the way it communicated with its customers and adapt ways that are preferred by its customers. The brand was now looking at ways that could help it plan the overall customer journey.
For instance: Initially, the fashion brand was more focused on the look and feel of apparel. The only way it would publicize was through print media (leaflets, brochures, and few in-store advertisements). But, what happens after purchase? Call support was the only medium for a customer to reach out for queries.
The brand now wanted to introduce omnichannel customer support and enhance the overall customer experience, to boost brand loyalty.
It now wanted to track the ‘repetitive buyers’ as well as the ‘new customers’, to improve its database. Furthermore, the brand wanted to use this database to send weekly mailers to their customers.
But the question was, how was the brand suppose to execute all this?
The company wanted a way that could help them monitor their database and keep it secure. They wanted to plan and run campaigns themselves, so necessary modifications could be done in time and they could get a verified feedback.
The company’s strategy officer asked his team to conduct a research as to how this would happen. Outsourcing the operation was not an option for sure, as it wasn’t in sync with their plan of action. On the other hand, a lot of pressure was being built due to the increasing customer base.
A team member soon came up with a suggestion. ‘If you can’t outsource the operation, how about onboarding the software solution?’ This seemed like an executable plan.
Now the question was, how were they going to choose from the numerous options available? They were all unfamiliar with the features.
All they knew was that they needed the software for customer support and customer engagement – which was a clear vision about their business requirement.
The brand was looking to provide customer support round the clock and resolve queries at a low turnaround time; for which, they took up various trials and demos. After 4-5 trials, they finally came across a software, that seemed to fit their plan.
• It was easy to integrate with social media, email, chat and other means of communication, providing omnichannel support.
• The software came handy with features like call routing, IVR, text-to-speech, voice recognition, call queues, custom message and music, screen pop-up, call monitoring, reporting, cloud storage, omnichannel support and call recording.
• It was a user-friendly one, where the company could easily add or remove any employee.
• Choosing this software was not only going to be useful from the customer point of view but also added flexibility for the company’s customer support team.
It was now easier for employees to look at call drop outs, monitor calls and improve employee training.
Now they’d chosen the software based on their requirements, so their next step was to onboard a team of experts to manage the job.
As they recruited their customer support team, the chief strategy offer was all set with the mapping of how things were supposed to work.
The onboarding process was complete and a team of 6 people was hired on an immediate basis, to start with. The team members were given suitable instructions based on their role and the team enforced it with all their enthusiasm.
• Now after every purchase, an automated email was sent to the customer thanking him/her for their purchase.
• Call drop out was tracked and reduced to a great extend.
• Customized offers were rolled out to customers, for their next purchase.
• 24*7 chat and call support was provided to customers, which in return resolved customer complaints and increase customer satisfaction.
• Digital mediums like social media, email, and chat were now brought into action; while call support was intensified.
• The call script was worked on and altered quite often to ensure that appropriate solutions were given to the customers.
After successful installation of the software and execution of this small-scale effort, the brand is now looking at implementing this plan to improve internal operations and sales.
The human resource team has also been instructed to look at increasing the team strength of its customer support department.
The software met brand requirements and facilitated a successful execution of its plan within 6 months. During this period, the customer support team was able to improve the quality of customer service and the overall process. Some areas that were improved considerably were:
• Maintaining customer relations and providing online support through email, chat, social media were never thought of earlier. The software facilitated channel integration and monitoring, all at one place.
• Additionally, the brand was now able to work on the database and customize offers as per customer preferences.
• With automation, of various operations, the company recorded a reduction in the cost by approximately 30 percent.
• Now looking for customer feedback’s was an effortless task, like never before. This in return increased customer engagement.
• The customer satisfaction index increased by 25 percent in just 6 months.
• The software transferred calls to the relevant executive, which helped resolved customer queries faster.
The management was now able to focus on strategic decisions and keep their apparel in sync with the latest trends in the fashion industry.
Customer feedback enabled the brand to look at aspects that were overlooked earlier. This in return contributed to customization and helped the brand come up with the apparel that was customized as per customer requirements.
The research team could now involve customers for ideas on their upcoming designs. A community was formed where brand and the customers could interact to understand customer preferences.
That’s not all! The brand is now planning to roll out a plan and consider using the software for telemarketing, research and more.
The company also wants to introduce the software solution for its back office and admin operations.
I am sure the story has captivated your interest and helped understand new avenues to magnify customer experience.
After all, choosing the best software solution for your business can be a dreadful task. But it doesn’t necessarily have to be that way.
All you have to do is to keep the 10 aforementioned steps in mind and take a plunge into the selection process. You’ll be sure to come out victorious!