Call centers in the U.S. employ about 470,934 people, making them huge contributors to the American economy. The telemarketing industry, particularly call centers, is expected to grow tremendously in the next five years. This growth is despite the devastating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the economy.
Many industries across the country use call centers for specific operations. These operations include customer service, debt collection, tech support, and even marketing. However, for a call center to work seamlessly, it needs to have all the right call center tools.
Most people have a hard time putting together the right hardware and software when creating their call centers. Plus, with the plethora of tools and software available these days, it’s clear why this is so. If you’re having trouble picking the right tools for a call center, don’t worry, we’re here to help.
In today’s piece, we’ll be looking at the top call center tools that should be on your shopping list.
Starting with the most obvious one, any modern call center needs a computer or two to be functional. A computer provides you the interface to use call center software. A computer also helps you jot down notes and keep track of calls.
If you already have a computer, why don’t you use it, but what if it doesn’t cut it? Fortunately, you don’t lead the latest or most advanced computer to run a call center. In fact, a simple desktop PC should work just fine.
If you’re looking for a computer for your call center, the computer should at least have:
- Two GB RAM
- The latest Windows or MAC operating system
- A Pentium 4 or above CPU
- A monitor that is 15 inches or above
- 100 MB and above of ROM
- A stable internet connection
If you’re strapped for cash, you can consider buying a second-hand computer from a trusted seller. However, if you plan on installing a lot of software, you’ll have to find a more expensive software that can handle every software. Thankfully, you can choose to use lightweight software and save yourself some cash.
A Private Bank Exchange (PBX) Switch
A PBX switch is what connects your computers to internal and external networks. With a good PBX switch, managing all your call center tools is a walk in the park. Many call centers use these PBX switches to distribute calls to various agents.
What’s more, these PBX switches work with any phone, including VoIP and USB phones. This device is what allows computers in call centers to connect to the internet and VoIP providers. Without them, agents in call centers would sit idle all day waiting for their phones to ring.
Headsets improve efficiency in call centers because they allow the agents to multitask. With headsets, agents can manage calls, connect with dialing software, look up information, and talking to clients simultaneously. This is impossible if agents have to hold up their phones to their ears all the time.
Headsets also allow free movements of agents in the call center. That way, they can walk over to get some information or go for a bathroom break. Unrestricted movement helps improve productivity rather than sitting in one position for the entire day.
Software Call Center Tools
Hardware aside, the software is an integral part of any modern call center. When it comes to call center software, here are the main ones you should consider.
Interface Voice Response (IVR)
This is arguably the most important software tool in a call center. An IVR allows you to route specific calls to the respective agents. This saves you the trouble of hiring a secretary or making the agents route the calls themselves.
It also ensures that every client call gets to the right agent for assistance. This means zero calls fall through the cracks, and you get the most from the call center.
Browser-Based Call Center Software
Everyone knows cloud computing has been all the rage for the past decade unless you’ve been living under a rock. Cloud computing has revolutionized the way organizations work, including call centers. A cloud-based call center software ensures uniformity, continuity and is very simple to use.
The software guarantees superb call quality regardless of the call center’s and clients’ location. This makes for a seamless customer experience and increases collaboration between agents. If you’re looking for call center software, a cloud-based one is the way to go.
Real-Time Reporting Software
As the name connotes, real-time reporting is a type of software that generates reports in real-time. It also allows your agents to study real-time analytics for proper organization. These reporting tools can help you prepare for spikes in incoming calls and adjust accordingly.
Performance reports also let you know whether you should make any changes to your current arrangements or stick to them. It’s hard to understate the importance of a good reporting engine, so don’t skimp on yours.
Integrated Business Software
Integrated business software is also known as a business intelligence system. Integrated business software is the answer to when you need information about your business and clients in a snap. The business intelligence system lets you know who is calling and why they’re calling.
It also gives information on previous tickets, issues, and events in real-time. This piece of software makes for amazing customer service and also lessens the agents’ workload.
Call Recording Software
It’s imperative to record call center calls if you to improve the quality of service. Special call recording software works great for both remote and onsite agents. As a manager, you can listen to calls from all your agents and identify areas that need improvement.
Only the Best Call Center Tools
The information above is great for starting a call center, but there are a lot more call center tools you should consider buying. Remember, only settle for the best to get the best results. Also, a call center takes time to pick, but you’ll pick up the pace after a while.
For more informative reads, please read our other blogs.