What to consider when choosing call center software

May 29, 2018

In today’s ultra-competitive business environment, the recipe for success lies in the quality of your customer service: as customers grow more and more demanding, delivering the ultimate customer experience is the game changer for businesses everywhere.

As we all know, it’s in a call center where the majority of customer interactions take place. And as these days call centers are powered by state-of-the-art technology solutions, choosing a call center software is an essential and inevitable step for most businesses.

As technology advances at lightning speed, so do the call center software options available in the market. All you have to do is to find the one that is the most suitable for your business.

So, if you are looking for the perfect call center software for your business, let us help you make the right decision. We compiled a list of the most important factors you should consider when choosing a call center software.

In a nutshell, here are the factors you should consider when choosing a call center software solution for your business. In this article, we’ll discuss each of them in detail, giving you pro tips before you invest your money. Check them out now (and thank us later!).

1. Personal fit

2. Multichannel Communication

3. Security

4. Go Cloud!

5. Improved customer service

6. Training and support

7. Price

1. Personal fit

First things first: make sure your call center software is a personal fit for your business (yes, it is so important that we’ve put it in bold!). So, as a first step, you need to define your business’ needs before choosing a call center software.

Start by answering the following questions: what is your business’s core activity? How do you communicate with your customers? Does your call center handle inbound, outbound calls or both? Which communication channels do you rely on?

Many of the call center software options available on the market share some essential features, so you really need to consider which of those features are actually essential for your business. Therefore, always bear in mind that choosing the right call center software depends on the nature of your business.

For example, interactive voice response (IVR) will be one of the most important features for call centers typically handling inbound calls such as customer services and technical support.   

On the other hand, for an outbound call center, increased productivity and efficiency are the most important metrics. A predictive dialer speeds up outbound dialing rates a lot, so outbound call centers should definitely make it a priority to have this feature when choosing their call center software.

Furthermore, these days many call centers work with both inbound and outbound calls, and utilize call blending techniques to help with this. Call blending is a powerful call center software feature, since it allows a single agent to handle both inbound and outbound calls. If you want to read more about the benefits of call blending, just check out our article about it here.

2. Multichannel Communication

In our fast-moving world, customers often spend more time connecting via SMS, chat or email, than talking directly on their phones. As a result, it is no surprise that today’s modern call centers rely not only on telephony services, but also on a variety of communication channels, such as web chat, email and SMS. As such, the ability to deal with multiple communication channels has become ever more important for call centers.

Therefore, always consider which channels your call center uses for communication, and how important they are when trying to provide seamless operations at your business. By doing this, you’ll be able to decide between the call center software providers offering different multichannel communication features.

While all of the communication channels mentioned above are essential for the proper functioning of any call center, certain channels, depending on the nature of your business, will be more critical for its basic operation. If you need some help working out which are the most important channels for your business, just check out the pros and cons of different communication channels normally used by call centers here.

3. Security

As Cybercrime becomes an increasing danger, modern organizations are facing more security threats than ever before. Although the types of cyberattacks vary, one thing is for sure: organizations storing a huge amount of information – such as call centers – are becoming a major target for cyber criminals.

As if that wasn’t enough, don’t forget that GDPR, the new legislation introduced by the European Union, also came into effect on 25th May (if you’re still unsure whether your call center has prepared for the changes required by GDPR, check out our GDPR checklist for call centers).

So, always make sure the call center software you choose uses the latest security measures to keep your data safe and secure. It’s a prerequisite for any call center that values their customers’ privacy, and I’m sure you would want your customers to trust your business enough to give you their personal data.

Speaking of GDPR, it’s definitely a good idea to look for a call center software provider that is already compliant with the new legislation. In addition to GDPR requirements, there are also several additional data security certificates that will show that their holders take data privacy seriously. If, for example, the provider you are considering holds any ISO certifications, then your data will more than likely be safe with them. As we briefly mentioned in a previous article, VCC Live’s software complies with some of the strictest ISO certificates around, and is one of only 791 European companies in total who have received these certificates.

4. Move to the cloud

Call center software solutions come in a number of forms, and there are many on-premise, hosted and cloud-based solutions available in the market. But, as for the last few years cloud computing has become the biggest thing in the tech world, we can definitely recommend you consider a cloud-based solution when choosing a call center software.

In fact, the latest platforms launched on the market are all cloud-based, and for good reason: with this new technology, physical hardware and telephones are no longer necessary, as cloud-based call center software can connect through the internet, meaning your call center agents can be located pretty much anywhere in the world.

In addition to this, cloud-based call center software solutions are affordable, easy to use and scalable.

On the other hand, on-premises solutions are not only extremely costly but have also proved to be not 100% safe. As we already talked about in a previous article, unexpected events and operational disruptions can occur anytime. For example, in the event of a fire, an on-premise solution may go down for hours, thus paralyzing your business operations, cloud-based software options, on the other hand, can offer a safe backup solution ensuring that your business stays safe from any system-threatening issues.

5. Improved customer service

When it comes to your business’ success, one thing is for sure: with great customer service, you can truly fuel growth.

State-of-the-art call center software solutions offer several features that help you improve your customer experience, so always make sure to look for the following features: a user-friendly interface, powerful analytics, call recordings, and surveys.

Software tools have the potential to let agents provide exceptional customer experience, so don’t make it difficult for them by purchasing a software that is not user-friendly. Always bear in mind that a software with a user-friendly interface empowers them to carry out their tasks more efficiently without easily getting frustrated.

Furthermore, as you run a call center, it’s pretty likely you collect a lot of data. But what’s the point of collecting and storing information, if you don’t use it to boost your business’ performance? Always look for a software solution that comes with powerful reporting and analytics features, allowing you to monitor your performance and analyze the data you need in order to constantly improve your services.

In addition, customer calls provide some of the most valuable feedback and consumer information for your call center. So, don’t miss out on the opportunity to record your calls and use the information and introduce improvements based on it. Plus, it’s a great way to train your agents.

6. Training and support

So, you finally found the ultimate personal fit for your business: it’s 100% secure, cloud-based, and allows you to communicate with your customers on multiple platforms while having powerful features that are suitable for your business. Although your work is almost done, there’s still one further factor you should consider when choosing a call center software: easy-to-understand training materials and training sessions.

In our opinion, it’s better to choose a company that provides on-premise or video training sessions for your business, as this is the fastest way to acquire the knowledge your team needs to become up-and-running.  

As Murphy’s Law says, anything that can go wrong will go wrong, especially in the event of an operational disruption or error, where you’ll have to act quickly. So, be prepared for such events, and always choose a provider that provides effective technical support so that you can quickly get back to normal operations.

In fact, some call center software providers will not only provide you with training sessions and technical support but also act as a consultancy offering you some of the most valuable industry knowledge around. For example, here at VCC Live, we provide dedicated account managers for our clients.

If you’re still unsure which of the call center software providers you shortlisted offer the best level of support, then go and check out some online reviews. As we already mentioned in a previous article, online reviews are powerful when life is so dominated by the internet.

+1: Price

It is no coincidence that price is an extra factor on our list. It’s natural that you’ll want to choose a call center software provider with the highest performance at the most reasonable price. Of course, it’s true that cost is essential for any call center, but don’t let it be the ultimate deciding factor. Thinking in the long-term, it’s better to invest more in a call center software that is the most suitable for your business, empowering you to provide better service for your customers.

+2: Going for big names

Of course it may happen that the decision within the team would be to play safe and that, in many cases, means picking one of the brands that are best known in your region. Following social proof as a factor influencing our decisions is not uncommon (and has its pros), although it is certainly worth subjecting it to a certain amount of self-reflection. Check out the following comparisons between brands that should be of help:

Wrap up

Choosing the right call center software solution for your business can be a real headache. But we are pretty confident that if you follow our guide, then you can be sure you’ll end up with a reliable software solution that will allow you to grow your business and provide top-notch customer experience.

Going for big names

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