Top Contact Center Tools to Evolve Your Call Center

Top Contact Center Tools to Evolve Your Call Center

Contact Center Tools to Evolve Your Call Center

Those annoying solicitation phone calls, apparently timed to coincide with your dinner, frequently come from rooms full of people wearing headsets and staring at your personal information on a computer screen. Across the room (or across the country) there might be another room full of headset equipped people answering phones to explain the company's products or services to prospective customers, maybe even taking orders. These operations became known as “call centers” simply because that's what they do, make and receive phone calls. The efficiency of standard equipment, operating procedures and scripts facilitated by suitable contact center software helps control costs and keep the customer interface consistent.

But it's been a while since telephones and direct mail have been the only, or even highest volume, form of communication between business and consumer. Assuring the messages, branding, positioning and promotions are all saying the right things is still important, and hugely more complex, when “talking” with customers involves email, texting, IM, social networks and review sites, in addition to phone calls and hard copy.

A contact center is the logical evolution of the call center. New technologies have given rise to new opportunities and, of course, new challenges. The opportunities are in additional channels to reach customers and prospects. The challenges are in resolving problems quickly, across various media, before they can become toxic, and effectively countering negative commentary. 

The right contact center platform can help your agents achieve minimal downtime when it comes to attending customers, while maximizing on data-driven insights for service that is intelligent as it is intuitive. Knowing which functionalities encompass modern contact centers can help your team analyze what it exclusively needs, so you can decide which contact center software to buy.

Some of the powerful capabilities of a fully configured contact center include:

Customer Profiling

A comprehensive profile of each and every customer, including all their contact paths (email, phone number, social media accounts, and more). Purchase and browsing history, personal interests and brand preferences enable a company's contact center to deliver the appropriate message, promotion or level of service to each individual. This is further leveraged by UCaaS solutions, which offer a bundled set of platforms that are readily integrated, for optimizing productivity among your agents as they attend to customers. 

Furthermore, assisting technologies such as conversational AI further boosts Customer Experience (CX), so that customers are provided precisely what they need, without excessive wait times. 

Seamless Integrations

The integration of all communication through multiple channels permits the call center to route each contact to the right resources anywhere in the company. Getting the needed expertise in contact with each customer or prospect increases revenue while controlling costs. On top of that, monitoring agent performance can shape training programs and improve customer satisfaction even further.

Business Intelligence

Bringing all the customer data together in one system helps marketers analyze information from a multitude of sources. More effective sales strategies can be created. The volume and types of traffic across various communication channels can be related to the revenue generated and the costs incurred. Return on Investment can be sliced and diced in any way the organization chooses, providing information which influences the operation of every aspect of the business. 

Today, modern BI solutions offer self-service capabilities which can give your team members the autonomy to configure and create custom reports, so that they don’t have to depend on IT staff every time a report needs to be created or tweaked.

Automations and AI

Artificial intelligence and machine learning have massively proliferated the digital landscape we are familiar with, and many applications are now being infused with automations to render increased productivity. From chatbots to personalized recommendations, programs are now being trained with big data to understand user behaviour, and subsequently offer results that are on par with user expectations. 

Apart from contact center systems, the same also goes for operational duties; with automatic reminders to other business units such as inventory and accounts, customer service teams are equipped to provide for customers beyond their core departments. A 360-degree feedback loop of this sort is conveniently made possible by AI-powered workflow automation - something that is crucial for today’s fast-paced business environments.

Flexible Deployment Options

As with many business services, contact centers can be built as self-contained systems within a company, portions sub-contracted, or the entire system handed over to specialist service providers and delivered through the cloud. In fact, hosted contact center platforms offer a variety of other benefits, such as the ability to forgo physical infrastructure and therefore save on costs. 

As numerous vendors offer subscriptions for a nominal fee (many of which also require no long-term commitment), businesses have the autonomy to try products before they decide on which one they ultimately wish to use. This is particularly beneficial for small businesses that need to test different contact center features, before they commit to a final software purchase.