Call Center Systems - A Brief Overview
Updated: Nov 28, 2020
Have you ever wondered how can you track your business calls? How can you evaluate your employees talking to your potential or existing clients? How can you provide a better customer service for the people who call into your organisation? Well, at some point, every business owner has these questions. Its a real pain point for entrepreneurs in deploying a call center system that will suit their business requirements and is user friendly at the same time as well.
In this post, we are going to discuss some of these call center pain points, provide suggestions for how a good call center system is supposed to work and also suggest some solutions as we go.
For any business organisation nowadays, having a good customer service is the difference between a happy or a sad customer. Good customer service results in a happy customer and a happy customer is a paying customer. To ensure the customers are always happy, you need to have a call center system that will support your business. You don't want your customers to be on hold forever when they call into your organization. You don't want to lose track of how many times the customer called or if anyone from your company followed up with them. All this should be handled seamlessly by the call center system thus providing you peace of mind.
Reporting is a critical part of a good call center system. Any system that you implement is useless if it can't generate the appropriate reports to analyse and improve the customer experience and measure the staff performance. Historical reports helps the business owners identify which areas to improve in their business. Hence these reports need to be accurate and readable at a glance for whoever is studying them.
Staff / Agents Evaluation
In any call center, the agent performance is key to ensuring its success. Agents are trained to be as efficient as possible in their given tasks and the call center telephony system should be able to provide data which shows their efficiency and performance. Typically, a supervisor is in place to manage the agents. Supervisors have some additional controls on the system through which they can ensure the agents' productivity. We will discuss more agent portal and supervisor portal in the solutions sections coming up down below.
Realtime monitoring of call center is essential for any business owner. Call centers are usuall active during off hours or on weekends when the owners are not in the office. The system should have the capability of allowing the owners to monitor the agents, the calls and report in realtime. This is also a must if agents are working remotely from home which is a frequent occurrence during COVID-19 related lockdowns.
Great Customer Service
First of all we will address the pain points discussed in the customer service section above. Proper customer service is ensured via a solid call routing strategy for any incoming calls. Example, a message that greets the caller and prompts them to select option 1 or 2 for their preferred language and then moving on to the options that will connect them to respective agents. Calls are usually routed to different Queues where the appropriate agent can talk to the client. To ensure call quality, calls are recorded to be analysed later as well. Below is a diagram of a basic call center system call flow:
Drilled Down Call Reports
As mentioned in the pain points, good reporting from a call center system is essential for all businesses. Reporting should be able to show details of how many calls went answered, unanswered or abandoned. These reports should also be filtered based on the time of the day, week, month or year to better analyse the performance of the call center. Below is an example of a reports layout:
Agents performance is simply ensuring that your staff is productive and tending to your customers effectively. Good agents performance are measured by identifying their login-logout patterns, break patterns, incentivise them to answer or make more calls depending on the type of business and so on. Some call center systems also support features where the supervisor can listen to agents in realtime, they can talk to the agents in realtime while they are on call with the customer (without the customer hearing the supervisor) and can also pick up the call directly if an agent is not able to solve the customer's problems. Below reports just shows some agents and supervisor functionality:
Modern call center systems are very effective in helping out the agents, supervisors and owners to work remotely. The business owner can view realtime stats, calls and overall performance from any location. This enables them to keep on top of what's happening in their business all the time without having to be present on-premise. Some call center systems like Grandstream™, Asterisk™ & 3CX™ have dedicated web based wallboards for live monitoring.
To sum up, we have discussed some pain points (of course there are many others) and some solutions to resolve these pain points in the post above. There are many systems out there that have many of the discussed solutions. As a business owner, you have to be selective and identify the pros and cons of each system before going with any one. It can create big problems for your organisation if you go with a system that doesn't suit your business needs.
At Express Tech, our preferred vendors for call center systems are Grandstream™, Asterisk™ and 3CX™. We recommend respective solutions that fits your business needs after thoroughly going over your requirements and budget.
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