As the move to online and remote computing grows, the need for actual and potential customers with high-quality support services grows in tandem with it. Call Centres are often the answer.
What is a Call Centre?
A call centre is a centralized office or facility used for receiving and transmitting a large volume of telephone calls from customers or clients of a business or organization. Call centres are typically staffed with customer service representatives (CSRs) who are trained to handle customer inquiries, complaints, and requests.
Modern call centres use advanced technology such as VoIP, interactive voice response (IVR) systems, automatic call distribution (ACD), and customer relationship management (CRM) software to efficiently manage and route calls, track customer interactions, and provide a seamless customer experience.
Why Are They Important?
Call centres are typically the gateway to an organisation and as such define the customer’s view of it. It is important, therefore that they are efficient, meet the customer’s needs and are an easy-to-use and pleasant customer experience.
Characteristics of a Call Centre
Before looking at tools in detail, you must understand how different call centre types function and what services they provide to determine which call centre tools you need for your operations.
Call centre operations can be divided into inbound and outbound call centres. Some call centres focus on only one of them, while most call centres provide both.
An inbound call centre is where agents receive incoming calls from customers. These customers phone in to either ask questions, report a problem, ask for assistance, or relay their concerns.
On the other hand, in an outbound call centre, agents perform outgoing calls to reach out to customers. Sales agents usually perform outbound calls to cold-call their target leads and sell products and services.
Measuring their performance is an essential way to make sure that they maximise customer satisfaction, and choosing the best, and appropriate, tools is the way ahead. Here are 5 Top Tools to help achieve that goal.
Voice over IP (VoIP)
Most tools need VoIP protocols to operate successfully. VoIP also has significant cost benefits over a traditional PSTN landline.
Integrating your Call Centre Software with your CRM
Nothing gives a “feel-good” factor to a customer more than being addressed by name, and knowing that the agent has a detailed history of their past interactions.
Two key ingredients here:
Automatic Caller Information Pop-Up
Using incoming call information, usually the phone number, enables this tool to automatically display a customer profile on the agent’s screen. The caller can then be addressed by name.
Using a tool that integrates with your CRM or has inbuilt CRM functionality gives your agents access to your customer’s previous interactions with your company. That will include previous tickets, inquiries, call logs, or issues already resolved.
Interactive Voice Response (IVR)
We are all familiar with IVR. It’s the voice that greets us, and asks us to “Press 1 for Sales, 2 for Technical Support………………”. It can be much more than that.
When all your calls are routed to the most capable agent, it increases your chances of providing excellent customer service. More so, your agents can enrich their knowledge on how to solve your specific customers’ problems and meet their needs.
A more recent development of IVR is the ChatBot.
Call monitoring is a beneficial tool for call centre managers. This allows them to track and listen to their agents’ live calls without the customers and agents knowing it.
There are several managerial options with call monitoring, including:
Like call monitoring, call barging allows managers to listen to live calls without the agents and customers knowing it. Further, it lets managers talk to the customer and the agent if needed, especially if the caller asks for it.
Call coaching, sometimes called “Whisper Coaching” is also among call centre tools that are vital for agent training. As the term implies, this tool enables managers to talk to and coach agents while on call without the caller knowing it.
This can also be used by managers to support experienced agents while they are dealing with difficult calls or irate customers.
Some commentators consider this a top call centre tool, perfect for call centre managers. While call centre monitoring is good for listening to live calls, not all managers have enough time for it.
It gives your managers the ability to assess their agents’ performance. This is a valuable tool, especially when providing continuous training and aiming for your agents to keep improving through recorded calls. The call recording tool is also especially helpful if your agents work remotely.
A second benefit is that of protection against litigation.
An effective, efficient and customer focussed call centre is essential for all businesses today. It enhances business and brand reputation, and give a positive image to customers. Choosing the correct tools is essential.