Is the contact center software you’re currently using an outdated, inefficient and expensive communications system that is doing more harm than good? You’ve come to the right place. Your contact center is the lifeblood of your organization. This department is responsible for acquiring new customers, and keeping existing ones satisfied and coming back for more, so the task of finding the right software is crucial.
If you’ve spent any time at all searching for the right software for your contact center, you probably quickly realize there’s an overwhelming number of options available. Softwares vary from those with fairly low cost, but not enough contact center features to support your needs, and those with all the bells and whistles, but way more than you will use or want to pay for.
In order to discover the most relevant contact center features, the challenges that your contact center is currently facing have to be taken into consideration by asking questions like:
- How many channels does the contact center require?
- How easily can the contact center features integrate into the existing infrastructure?
- How important are reporting and analytics?
Contact Center Features List
Here are five contact center features that the ideal contact center solution will have:
1. Highly Scalable
Scalability can be very difficult — and expensive — without the right infrastructure. The customer service industry is constantly evolving and changing, which means the contact center features should be able to evolve with it. A contact center that runs in the cloud allows businesses to easily scale from hundreds to thousands of users at a moment’s notice. Adding and administering agents and queues is a simple and intuitive process.
2. Advanced Analytics
All the features on this list are crucial, but contact center analytics is the one element of the contact center features list that reveals the true impact of all the other tools in your operation. Advanced analytics tools offer real-time customizable displays and historical reports. “Snapshot” features deliver critical metrics over the user display panel. Some analytics tools to keep an eye out for are:
- True omni channel reporting. Digital channels are becoming the norm as technology continues to drive this market forward, but if you’re not careful, gathering and interpreting all the data that can now be collected from multiple disparate systems can be a headache. True omni channel reporting and analytics can give an overview of all the relevant information for managers to have a better understanding of overall call center performance.
- Customizable dashboards. A visual representation of data is a good way to spot trends and issues with a big picture view. However, depending on the user’s role in a contact center, it’s most helpful if you can monitor the KPIs that are most relevant to each unique user.
- Can Use Data for Cross Functional Teams Easily. The data collected by contact centers can be highly valuable to many teams in your organization outside of the contact center. This can give other departments the information they need to understand the customer’s experience to make decisions about marketing, sales, etc. This also works both ways. Data should also be easily shared from other departments to the agents in the contact center.
3. Easy Queue Monitoring
It’s impossible to respond to fluctuating call volumes when you have limited visibility into your call queue. An embedded browser-based Multi-Q Monitor allows managers to create multiple queue views. This handy feature can also showcase metrics like caller ID, call length times, and more.
4. Multiple Failover Options
The best contact center solutions come with up to nine levels of failover, so that different conditions can be established for incoming calls. With built-in failover protection, managers can rest assured knowing that incoming calls will always be answered.
5. Automatic Call Distributor (ACD)
In this competitive market, ACD is a must have when considering contact center features. An Automatic Call Distributor is the software component that organizes and routes calls to the correct queue or agent to address their query. Not all customers will require the same level of care in the contact center. Some callers need virtually no hand-holding, and may even prefer self service, while others need to be treated like royalty. Top-of-the-line contact center solutions make it easy to cater to customers of all types with caller ID routing, which can automatically transmit incoming calls to certain extensions or groups. This is very important for maintaining donor relations. Below are a few important features to that are often included with ACD:
- Omnichannel routing. Today, Omnichannel customer service characterizes the industry. More and more businesses are supporting customers by multiple support channels that the customer can move across easily all within the same exchange. Omnichannel routing is the ability to seamlessly switch between channels, i.e. phone call to chat or email to phone call, with the same support agent throughout the interaction. This facilitates a higher quality customer experience and ensures that you are staying up to date with current communications technology.
- Skills-based routing. Not all agents in a contact center have the same amount of experience and training. When a customer contacts an organization with an issue or questions, they want an answer as quickly as possible, but when the answers don’t come quickly enough it can put stress on the agent as well as the customer. Skill-based routing is the contact center feature that puts this issue to rest by evaluating the customer needs and routing to an agent that specializes in resolving their particular issues. This ensures the customer's inquiry will be addressed as quickly and accurately as possible, plus agents can rest knowing that they will be able to handle the calls they receive with confidence.
- IVR. Usually, Automatic Call Distributors have IVR (interactive voice portal) capabilities. IVR gives customers the ability to interact with an automated menu with prompts at the beginning of a phone call. This is what makes the above mentioned “Skills-based routing” possible. Using the information in the automated menu, customers give the system the data needed to ensure they are directed to an agent who can help quickly and efficiently. Being able to use their voice to indicate their needs instead of using a keypad also increases the likelihood that customers will stay on the phone long enough to reach an agent.
Learn more about Star2Star’s Contact Center and see how we can take your contact center to the next level.