Nowadays most companies and government agencies will need a call center for their sales support or customer service department to handle the huge volume of their customers from general enquires on their product or services to technical support.
The main function of a call center is to receive or relay a large volume of requests via phone or email. It is usually classified as inbound or outbound call center which the inbound call center is usually operated and control by a company that manages the incoming sales support or information inquiries from customers. For outbound call centers, it is used mainly for telemarketing, charity donations, debt collection services and market research. Thus call center is easily defined as a location responsible for the mass handling of individual communications, which may include incoming telephone calls, letters, faxes, live support, social media, and email.
There are many variations of call center software that is available in the market which aids the management and the helpdesk agents to manage their call volumes. Below are some of the descriptions of software features that are commonly used by all call centers around the world.
telephony software is the necessity for all call centers which allows callers to communicate with the helpdesk agents. Call centers will have their software solutions for telephony services and they will engage a third party service provider to provide the service or purchase and install the system themselves for their call center.
Automatic call distributor (ACD)
Automatic call distributor is an important telephony system that performs many important functions in the call center. ACDs will route incoming calls to the most suitable agent in a call center depending on which options they choose during the IVR process. Other functions include gathering usage data such as the call volume, numbers of calls handled daily, duration of the calls, call waiting time and so on. ACDs allows managers or team leads to access valuable information as they can monitor the calls, retrieving call logs, call conferencing, call barging and coaching of their agents when necessary.
Interactive voice response (IVR)
IVR is a common and helpful feature in the call center software which is basically a telephony menu system that assists the call centers to identify, segments and routes the callers to the most suitable agents or department depending on which options the caller chooses. Most of the IVRs will have the pre-recorded message for the purpose greeting, holding the callers in the call queue, requesting for contact numbers for callbacks due to high call queue and announcing the operation hours of the call center.
Skills-based routing is an essential function for call centers to optimize the service to their callers. Its main purpose is to route the calls to the specific agents or departments according to the customized rules to run the operation. For example, call center managers will assign tasks to their individual team’s leads which in turn will break down and delegate the tasks by assigning tags to their team agents based on their skill sets, the area of expertise, language requirement, demographics and other related requirements. Once done, the specific calls will be routed to agents accordingly by the time the caller call in that is based on caller’s phone number, the IVR selection and the caller’s previous interactions with the company. Thus Skills-based routing is an efficient and effective method to ensure that callers are routed to the agent who is most qualified to meet their needs.
It is a common trend for companies to outsource their call center operations by hiring an external service provider that assist their client by managing the overall operations of the call centers such as recruiting of call agents, training, staffing as well as the daily operations of the call centers. Outsourcing the call center is definitely easier and cheaper than maintaining an entire in-house workforce of call center agents by the company itself.
Other advantages include better call quality as the management of the outsource call center need to maintain a high standard of customer service to their caller to avoid any penalties and even termination of the contract form their client. This in turn will reduce call abandonment, increase service level and customer satisfaction. Outsource call center is also cheaper to maintain as compared to in-house call centers and in events of the power outage or emergency in the office. The outsourced call center will not be affected and is able to handle the call center operation as usual.
Compared to the traditional on-premise call center, more and more companies are using cloud call center which is easier to maintain and more cost-effective than the latter. In Singapore, there’s a company call Converged Solutions that is the service provider for cloud call center since 2009.
Aside from Singapore, Converged Solutions has experience in providing call center solutions in Asia Pacific regions such as Malaysia, Hong Kong, Thailand, China, Philippines, Qatar, Sri Lanka and so on. With their extensive knowledge and client experience in setting up call centers, Converged Solutions is most suitable and reliable service provider to help companies in for outsourced call center.