Looking for call center software to cork the building pressure from your customers? There are certain criteria that you should base your purchase decision on – let’s call them abilities.
The trick is making sure that these abilities justify the cost and effort you’ll invest into acquiring your call center software.
Let’s list these abilities before diving in:
- Automation capacity
- User friendliness
These are essentially the desirable qualities of all software, regardless of application. The difference is that your customer experience – and by extension, your success – hangs in the balance!
So let’s look at the detail of how each of these abilities make a difference in a modern call center.
1. Contact center software and automation
If you can carry out repetitive tasks quickly and easily, your company can save a lot of money and time.
People tend to assume that this saving comes from hiring fewer people. That’s… not strictly true. In some cases, more automation means fewer people. (Compare a modern car factory to the factories of the 1950s!)
But in the modern inbound call center, we tend to find the same number of people performing different tasks. Automation comes in handy when creating complex workflows that help customers. The role of the humans is to interact and build relationships. They can do this with far greater efficiency because they’re supported with automation.
2. Is your call center software adaptable?
Say your customer support requirements change down the line… will your call center software change to match your new needs?
Think of a recent industry change, like the move to cloud services. Keeping up with this has cost businesses a lot of money. Is the lesson ‘we should have predicted the cloud?’
The lesson is, ‘we should have kept our tools and services more flexible to a changing environment.’
That’s why No-Code platforms are decisively here to stay. Freed from coding, call centers are able to integrate whatever set of new tools is just around the corner.
3. User friendliness
Nothing hurts productivity like a cryptic user interface. It’s a sad sight when powerful and impressive software falls by the wayside due a tricky interface – but what can you do?
If your end users can’t get to grips with your software it ratchets up costs all over the business. Calls get longer, irritating customers. Staff get frustrated, and leave. And you? You get blamed!
These days, there’s no excuse for an interface you can’t get started with within minutes. Think of the learning curve like the face of a mountain. The steeper it is, the wearier you’ll be at the top.
Better to find a nice gentle slope to the peak…
4. Reliability of call center systems
Reliability has more to do with quality of deliverables than their availability. Since voice is a huge part of call center functionality, a reliable system has to optimize it even when the caller has a slow connection. Smart latency adjustments are a must.
Just as important is the stability of said call center software. It’s possible for even the best software to crash during usage; however, a firm (and contractual) level of downtime that’s good and low is a must.
It may go without saying, but you also don’t want bugs. It’s easy to see low-cost software as good for the business, until you realize it just doesn’t work.
Look for call center software with a proven track record and low downtime. In the end, any extra cost is easily offset against your peace of mind, and the quality of your services.
5. Systems should be integrable
Yes, integrable is a word.
It’s seldom the case that a single piece of software does everything your company needs. That’s why you need the ability to integrate your call center software with basically *any* other tool.
This is typically done via API integration, which the software vendor should be expert in. (If they’re not, beware!)
Among dozens of giant benefits, there’s this – no more data silos. Silos are one of the biggest problems that the call center faces, but with API integration you can update all information with a single action, in real time.
Finally, avoid call center software that changes too much, too fast. It may be tempting to scrap every broken process and start from the ground up.
I get the temptation. But the fact is, redesigning the way you work has to be an iterative process.
This may mean choosing technology that doesn’t 100% meet your wishlist. All I can tell you is: you alone know how important the items on that wishlist are. Is a 60% match good enough? 75%?
Figure out what’s non-negotiable and see what the vendors have for you. Crucially, make sure you’re not going to be completely in their pocket. Can you cut your losses and switch vendors if it doesn’t go to plan? Or are you locked in?
Tip: Don’t get locked in… leave that door wide open!
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