Senior Writer: Urmi Shah
Do you know what your customers love?
They love talking on the phone with real humans.
It’s so simple, but it’s true: in today’s digital world, many customers still prefer to talk over the phone when reaching out to customer service. The immediacy and familiarity of a good old-fashioned call build trust between a customer and a customer service agent.
You want to give customers the best experience possible—you want them to be able to reach out to you and have their questions answered as quickly and efficiently as possible. But it’s challenging to do that when you’re not equipped with the right tools.
That’s precisely where the call center software comes in!
Call center software is essential for managing your team’s workload and ensuring every customer gets the best possible experience from your business. So let’s learn more about Software for call centers, their features, their benefits, and most importantly, how to pick the right one for your business.
What Is A Call Center Software?
Call center software is a set of programs designed to make it easy for call center agents to manage their calls, track their performance, and route calls as needed. It’s an essential part of any successful call center operation.
Contact center solutions allow you to run your call center operations more efficiently. And are required to perform various tasks, including
Customer Support – answering customer questions or resolving their issues.
Sales – introducing new products, providing product information, and upselling existing customers.
The best call center software allows you to automate these tasks so that agents can focus on the most critical parts of their jobs.
Why Do You Need A Call Center Software?
Call center software is responsible for handling customer inquiries, complaints, and sales inquiries. Furthermore, contact center solutions are also responsible for nurturing existing customers and closing new business deals.
Software for call centers is designed to help your team provide the best possible customer service experience. Contact center software can automate repetitive tasks, manage lead generation campaigns and sales opportunities, schedule employees’ time off, monitor phone calls, track customer behavior, and more.
Here are some of the most significant benefits of investing in software for call centers:
- Improved Customer Service: Call center software helps you track each customer interaction. This allows them to see which agents are providing high-quality customer service. And the ones who need additional training. It also allows them to see how long each call takes to adjust staffing levels.
- Better Data Management: Organizing your data into a centralized system makes it easier to access information. In addition, this will save you time researching or analyzing trends within your business that could affect future growth plans.
- Increased Efficiency: contact center software allows you to track every aspect of each customer interaction. For example, from the moment a customer calls in, all the way through until they hang up, you can see how long it took to get their order placed and shipped out. You can also track which departments they contacted, what time they called, and what part of the country they live in. This level of detail helps you to understand your customers better so that you can provide better service in the future.
- Easier Management: A call center management system does your hard work tracking each employee’s performance. It ensures that their skills are updated with new technology and training requirements. In addition, the software will automatically send emails reminding the agents about upcoming events before starting new projects or assignments.
- Better reporting: Call center software facilitates a better understanding of the customer experience. It allows you to measure key metrics such as average handle time or the number of abandoned calls—to optimize your service for maximum efficiency and effectiveness.
- Improved employee productivity: With calling center software, employees can easily access information about individual customers or groups of customers, allowing them to personalize their interactions accordingly. The result is happier customers who have a better experience overall with your company.
- Lower Costs: Call center software allows companies to lower costs by automating repetitive tasks, reducing phone bills, and improving efficiency. This can result in cost savings ranging from $5,000 to $20,000 per year for small businesses and up to $1 million per year for large enterprises with thousands of employees.
Before we delve into the details further, let’s take a step back and consider the most crucial features a calling center software needs.
What are the Must-Have Features for A Call Center Software?
While call-center software may seem complicated at first, it pays to have a call-center software that streamlines all your tasks with the right set of tools.
Whether you’re a small, mid-sized or larger business, you might require more or fewer call center software features. We have jotted down the top must-have features for contact center software to make the decision easier.
Omnichannel can be described as the ability to communicate with customers in multiple ways and provide a unified customer experience. This includes anything from social media and chat platforms to live phone calls, email, or even video calls. Omnichannel enables businesses to communicate with customers on the preferred channel, reaching a wider audience and improving the overall customer experience.
Did you know that omnichannel shoppers have a 30% higher lifetime value than those who shop using only one channel? (Google). Call center software that contains omnichannel functionality will allow you to create campaigns across multiple channels to reach a more significant number of customers.
In addition, an omnichannel system will allow your company’s agents to respond automatically to incoming calls by connecting directly to the customer’s social media account. It also allows you to access the exact personal information they have provided on the platform.
2. Call Routing
The features that make contact center systems great are all tied to the brand’s ability to connect with customers. This includes the software’s ability to route calls, which is an essential feature to consider if you’re looking for software for call centers.
Call routing in calling center software refers to how your calls are transferred from one agent to another. Keep in mind that this doesn’t just mean transferring calls between agents on the same floor or extension; call routing can also include automatic call distribution across different locations, departments within a company, and even different companies.
There are many ways to transfer calls, but some of the best products will handle complex transfers with minimal effort and be flexible enough to work with your individual business needs. For businesses to function properly, contact center software must be able to process transfers seamlessly—especially when it involves multiple parties or locations.
Many of today’s high-end call center solutions accommodate third-party integrations seamlessly, which helps businesses further streamline their processes. A good call center software solution will provide an intuitive interface that allows you and your employees to access and utilize information quickly.
3. CRM Integration
CRM integration is a must-have feature for call center software. It provides your agents with an efficient way to track activities, making it easier for them to identify trends and improve customer experience.
74% of respondents say that call center CRM software gives them better access to customer data, allowing for more personalized service.
Call center software is a powerful tool that allows you to manage customer interactions and multiple communication channels in one place. While this is useful on its own, it becomes even more so when it’s integrated with the rest of your business tools, such as CRM systems.
With the right call center CRM software, you can:
Track calls in real-time and see what works (and what doesn’t) by analyzing results in a single dashboard
Get instant access to contact information so you can quickly find the right person
Use automated dialing technology to save time when calling customers on the phone
Create custom campaigns based on specific data points (such as postcode or product purchased) and send them out via email or SMS text message;
4. Cloud-Based Calling
It’s no secret that cloud-based call center software is becoming an increasingly popular solution for call centers. It’s no wonder, as the cloud offers many advantages, including cost savings, scalability, and flexibility.
However, one of the most important benefits of using cloud-based call center software is its ability to make and receive calls from anywhere in the world using any device with an internet connection. This means that agents can use technology like smartphones and tablets to provide better customer service.
Cloud-based calling also allows organizations to use more advanced features like integrations with CRMs and reporting tools to drive results.
Here are some other ways cloud-based call center software can help your organization:
No upfront costs: Cloud-based call center telephone systems require no upfront investment — you only pay for what you use (monthly or annually). So there’s no need for expensive hardware or software that won’t be used thoroughly or quickly depreciate over time.
Scalability: A cloud-based call center management software is scalable and can grow with your needs — from a handful of agents to thousands across multiple locations with ease. And because it’s hosted on the provider’s infrastructure, you don’t need additional equipment.
Reporting in call center software allows you to see how your agents perform, identify trends and patterns, and measure your team’s effectiveness.
It is one of the most essential workforce management tools in contact center solutions. Without proper information, you won’t be able to see where your business is going or how it’s performing.
A good reporting feature will give you access to information such as
- How many calls have been answered and abandoned?
- How long are calls taking?
- What percentage of agents are reaching their productivity goals?
- How many times have customers been transferred?
6. Outgoing call
Outgoing calls in a calling center software are as important as incoming calls. Many customers prefer talking to a company representative before buying a product or service. The outgoing call feature enables call center agents to make outbound calls to potential customers and market the company’s products and services. It also helps them gather more information about the customer’s needs and requirements.
This feature is essential for any call center software since it allows agents to speak directly with customers. Without this feature, agents will have to transfer calls back and forth between themselves and their supervisors or managers. This can be time-consuming, especially if they need to consult with multiple people before they can offer a solution or answer customer questions. This also adds additional cost to each call by increasing the number of people involved.
Not only do outgoing calls help reduce costs, but it also improves productivity by saving time to transfer calls between employees who are busy handling other clients’ queries.
IVR is an acronym for Interactive Voice Response. The IVR feature in contact center software allows your business to customize and direct customers to the appropriate department or person when they call you. You can also use IVR to gather information from your customers, such as their names and number, before connecting them with an agent.
The Benefits of IVR
Interactive voice response is a must-have feature for any call center software package because it provides many benefits:
Reduces Waiting Times: Callers can get their questions answered before they even have to wait on hold or speak to an operator. This helps keep your customer satisfaction rating high and reduces costs for your business.
Improved customer service: When you have an IVR, you can provide your customers with access to products or services that they may not be able to find elsewhere. For example, if your company has a large selection of travel packages, you can offer them over the phone instead of sending them via post or email.
Saves time: Having an IVR means you don’t have to spend time on the phone trying to sell something or explain something, which takes up a lot of time. Instead, the system will take care of this for you, so you must listen and respond appropriately.
Reduced costs: An IVR doesn’t cost anything extra because it’s already included in most business phone plans from VoIP providers like us at Vodacom Business. This means there’s no additional expense for using an IVR and, therefore, no extra cost!
8. Call Scripting
It allows you to create a script for your agents that can be used for all types of calls, and it will save you time by reducing the need for agents to memorize every possible scenario that could arise when talking to a customer.
Call scripting also makes sure that your agents are following best practices when they are communicating with customers. If you have experienced call center agents, they will already know what to say, but if you are hiring new agents or handling a high volume of calls, there may be some confusion about handling certain situations.
Some call centers use scripting to create their proprietary language among their employees. This is effective because it reduces training time and ensures that everyone knows what is expected of them during each customer interaction.
9. Escalation management
The term “escalation management” is a common phrase in the call center industry. It refers to a real-time software solution that enables agents to escalate calls.
When a customer calls your business and gets transferred to an agent who can’t answer their question, they may get frustrated and hang up the call. This can lead to bad reviews, negative feedback, and even lost sales. That’s why businesses need an escalation management system to handle escalated calls properly without losing any customers along the way!
You can provide customers with clear answers and solutions faster when you use escalation management. This improves your customer service and increases your team’s productivity.
Here are some reasons you need escalation management:
- It helps you handle difficult or complex issues without losing sight of the customer’s needs.
- It allows agents to provide accurate answers and solutions quickly, which reduces customer frustration and helps them resolve their problems faster.
- It enables your team to provide consistent service across multiple channels, including phone, email, and social media messaging platforms.
Top 9 Call Center Software For Your Business
CallHippo is a cloud-based VoIP phone system to meet today’s advanced communication needs. Available both as a web app and a mobile app, it lets sales, marketing, and support teams make and receive global calls. You can buy virtual phone numbers from more than 50 countries and add users to the same number. In addition, CallHippo allows businesses to make calls to receivers across the globe.
Businesses can set working hours on their CallHippo accounts to greet callers with a recorded message or custom music during non-working hours or when put on hold. Agents can also access the CallHippo app for Android to make and receive calls even when they’re not in the office or on the go.
To ensure that your business never misses a customer call, CallHippo offers you a scalable solution that can be accessed on a monthly subscription basis. In addition, this virtual phone system allows you to manage your call-routing rules and display time zones on your dialer before making an international call.
2. 2nd Number
2nd Number is a private low-cost app that provides international calling & texting by using your Wi-Fi or mobile data. With 2nd, you can get an extra phone number for yourself or someone else and uses it anywhere in the world to stay in contact with family, friends, or business partners.
Send unlimited text messages and make unlimited calls to 55+ countries. 2nd phone number is the easy way to have one personal and one business phone number on occasion.
Standard – $10/per month
Premium – $20/per month
Unlimited – $30/per month
8×8 is powering a communications revolution. They deliver innovative software, cloud-based communications, and business intelligence to businesses worldwide. The cloud communications platform is helping companies work smarter and faster by providing on-demand voice, video, chat and contact center services to their employees, all via one convenient user interface.
With 8×8, you can make the most of your business technology. They provide cloud-based communications solutions that empower your workers to connect anywhere, anytime—from desktops, mobile devices, and softphones via desktop sharing, video chat, and virtual conferencing to unified communications with email, voicemail, and instant messaging.
Small business phone system – $15 per/month (30-day trial)
Business phone system – $24 per/month
Advanced business phone system – $44 per/month
RingCentral offers business cloud communications and contact center solutions based on its powerful Message Video Phone™ (MVP™) global platform. RingCentral’s flexible, cost-effective platform empowers modern mobile and distributed workforces to communicate, collaborate, and connect via any mode, any device, and any location.
RingCentral is a cloud-based phone system that supports both desktop and mobile users. One unique feature it provides is “RingOut,” which enables you to call any phone number or internet-enabled computer with a single touch of your mouse or finger. Additionally, RingCentral has powerful call delegation and answering rules so you can be sure calls are routed to the right individual.
Essentials – Free Trial – 20 Users Per Month
Standard – $27.99/month/user
Premium – $34.99/month/user
Ultimate – $49.99/month/user
Nextiva is a simple, easy-to-use solution that helps you connect with more callers in less time and with fewer agents. In addition, you can use Nextiva to get features like IVR, automatic call routing, call forwarding, call recording, and call queuing.
Made with business owners (not tech wizards) in mind, Nextiva’s solutions are easy to set up and use. Businesses can scale up or down as needed, adding applications such as sales and service productivity tools anytime.
Nextiva also received recognition from its customers across multiple categories in the 2021 Gartner Peer Insights ‘Voice of the Customer: Unified Communications as a Service, Worldwide report.
Essential – $18.95/user/month
Professional – $22.95/user/month
Enterprise – $32.95/user/month
Ultimate – $57.95/user/month
Want to be more professional but still stay connected? Grasshopper is a phone system designed for entrepreneurs—available on desktop, mobile, and apps. It’s just like a traditional phone system, but there are no hardware costs. And the mobile and desktop apps allow you to communicate wherever business happens: in the office or home on your cell phone.
Grasshopper, the virtual phone system designed for entrepreneurs and small businesses, is simple and requires no hardware. You can it for business communication from wherever business happens—on your cell phone, in the office, or at home—with a robust set of features that include local number, toll-free, and vanity numbers; unlimited business calls and texts; voicemail transcription delivered to your email; unlimited extensions for each department or employee on your team; and custom greetings. The mobile apps are available for Android and iOS devices, as well as Macs and PCs.
Solo – $26 – per account, per month
Partner – $44 – per account, per month
Small Business – $80 – per account, per month
Aircall provides a cloud-based phone system for sales and support teams with 3+ users. It seamlessly integrates with the most popular CRM and Helpdesk tools, helping you communicate clearly and efficiently.
Admins can instantly add numbers from 100+ countries and scale their teams according to seasonality. Accessible by desktop and mobile apps, Aircall is trusted by over 7000 companies worldwide. Start a risk-free trial to see Aircall in action.
Aircall is a cloud-based call center platform that can help your support team transform customer experiences. The software has features such as skill-based routing and queue callback. The unique call whispering feature enables managers to advise teammates behind the scenes and help make an impact right at the point.
Additionally, Aircall has call center analytics so you can monitor the performance of your agents individually or as a team.
Essentials – $30/user
Professional – $50/user
Enterprise – Custom
JustCall is a cloud-based phone system that provides your sales and support teams with all the tools they need to make and respond to calls.
The system includes 100+ integrations with CRM & business tools, click-to-call from CRM; live in 70+ countries; SMS workflows & automation; 3 sales dialers to choose from; call queueing and forwarding, comprehensive analytics, conversation intelligence & much more.
Standard – $24.00/ Month
Premium – $48.00/ Month
Custom – On Demand
9. Dialpad Talk
Dialpad Talk is a business phone system built entirely on the Google Cloud Platform. It provides mobility, flexibility, and security to more than 62,000+ of the world’s most innovative businesses.
Furthermore, Dialpad Talk includes native Voice Intelligence features like real-time transcription and post-call summaries with highlighted action items.
Additionally, this calling center software integrates directly with other business-critical cloud applications such as G Suite, Salesforce, and Zendesk for maximum productivity and end-user efficiency.
A cloud call center software is an outsourced call center managed remotely by a company using cloud software and hosted on the Internet. It's an increasingly popular option for businesses looking to outsource their customer service but doesn't need full-time agents (in which case, a traditional call center might be preferable). Companies can get started with as little as one agent and then scale up to meet their needs—paying only for the number of agents they need at any given time.
Call center platforms are a hosted solution that provides call center agents with various tools to run their service smoothly and efficiently. In addition, these platforms allow companies to manage their services in real-time, thus allowing monitoring of what is happening in the call center at all times.
There are different types of call center software out there, each one designed to be helpful in its way. The kind of software used depends significantly on the requirements of the business. For example, some call center software packages are cloud-based, while others might be budget-friendly. Still, others are very analytical and offer an array of services that may be very helpful in optimizing your business. The critical point to note is that every requirement has multiple options.
There is no one best CRM for call centers. The right call center CRM software for your needs must handle all the different customer interactions your team needs to manage. If you're a small business, you might be able to get away with using a free CRM, like Google's free customer relationship management software, or something more robust like Salesforce.com, which offers different tiers of service based on your company's needs. For larger companies, it's essential to have a solution that can handle all the different customer interactions your team will encounter—from online chat to social media support to phone calls and emails. If you don't have the resources to build out those capabilities, consider getting a solution from a company like FrontApp that has everything built in and ready for use.
VoIP, or Voice over Internet Protocol, turns voice signals into computer data and sends them over the internet. This method is used by many of the world's largest call centers. It's estimated that nearly 80% of all call centers use VoIP at some level. Because VoIP uses the internet to transmit its signals, it can be transmitted from anywhere on the planet—meaning that a business could hire an employee in India for 1/10th of what they'd pay for someone in California.
Several calling center software products are available on the market, but not all are compatible with all telephony equipment. Some products are designed to work with specific types of equipment, while others may only work with certain brands or models. To help you get started, we have jotted down steps to set up call center software.
- Choosing the right call center software for your business
- Integrating the call center software with other systems in your business
- Learning how to use the call center software and train your staff
The cost of call center software varies widely, depending on the features you want and how many people will use it. If you're looking for a simple way to manage your calls and schedule your employees, you can get started with a basic package that starts at around $10/month. However, if you're looking for more advanced features like AI-assisted call routing and real-time reporting, you might be looking at spending upwards of $500/month.
The primary purpose of contact center support solutions is to help a business streamline its customer service efforts. Providing a central hub for questions and complaints allows the company to easily track issues, assign them to the right people, and track resolution times. It also allows them to be more responsive to customers' needs by allowing them access to their account information anytime.
Contact centers are a great way to improve customer service but aren't one-size-fits-all. You need to choose a solution that works for your business, not just one that's popular. Here are some factors to consider, if you're looking for the right contact center solutions
- Flexibility: Can you integrate with other systems? Does it work with both mobile and desktop devices?
- Cost: How much does it cost? What is the licensing model, and how much are you paying per user?
- User experience: Does it provide a good customer experience for your customers and employees?
- Customer retention: Will this solution help keep customers happy and engaged enough to continue doing business with you?
CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management. It's a system that allows call centers to manage customer relationships by integrating sales, marketing, and service into one database. As a result, it helps the company better understand customers and provide them with more personalized service.