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10 Must-Have Call Center Tools to Provide Exceptional Customer Service
Nowadays, a call center is more than agents answering calls and solving customer problems. To have an effective and efficient call center that provides exceptional service, you need a complete suite of contact center tools or call center products that can help you monitor, improve, and maintain your customer service team’s performance. After all, in a competitive market, the exceptional customer service you offer could be what sets you apart from the competition.
But now the question is: What are these tools? Fortunately, we’re here to help and in this post, we’ll look at 10 must-have call center tools you should implement in your call center. 50% of customers believe that the customer service and support provided by most companies needs improvement.
1. Call Center Software
At the heart of your call center lies your call center software. As such, it’s a vital call center tool and forms the foundation on which your call center and its capabilities are built. Nowadays, you’ll likely implement a cloud-based contact center solution. When you do, you’ll enjoy several benefits, from significant cost savings to increased flexibility, enhanced security, and effortless setup.
When choosing the right call center software, it’s vital that the solution you choose integrates with the other systems and tools you use. This allows the seamless sharing of customer data across all platforms and, in turn, gives agents access to a history of customers’ previous interactions. As a result, they’ll understand customers better and adjust their approach to meet a customer’s needs and expectations. Also, remember that you’ll need other call center equipment like phones and headsets in addition to your call center software.
2. Help Desk Software
The modern consumer doesn’t want to spend ages on the phone to sort out product, service, or account-related issues. As a result, to provide exceptional customer service, it’s crucial that you provide your customers with other channels they can use to interact with your business. When you do, you’ll be able to deliver truly omnichannel customer support.
This allows your customers to contact your team through email, social media, chat, and more. The effect of this is that your customers will have their issues sorted out faster and easier. And because implementing other channels lessens the load on your agents, your customer service teams will be more effective and efficient.
3. Interactive Voice Response (IVR)
When operating a call center for your business, higher call volumes will lead to more strain on your agents, which, in turn, increase hold times. As such, your customer experience will suffer. Interactive Voice Response or IVR systems solve this problem.
These automated systems gather information about a customer’s problem or issue and then route that customer to the agent who will be best equipped to solve their problem or answer their questions. This has two main benefits. For one, your customers don’t have to wait in long call queues to get answers to their questions. Also, because calls are routed to the right agents, your customer service teams will be more efficient.
4. Predictive Dialers and Automatic Call Distribution (ACD)
For increased efficiency in your call center and to improve your customer support even further, it’s crucial that you use predictive dialers and automatic call distribution (ACD). Predictive dialers automate the process of dialing so that call center agents don’t have to.
In their most basic form, predictive dialers allow you to upload lists of numbers that the system will call. However, newer, more advanced systems use AI to predict the numbers that agents will call. Ultimately, predictive dialers save your agents a lot of time and make them more efficient.
Automatic call distribution systems, on the other hand, use the information they have about a caller to divert them to the right team within your business. In the process, these systems help your customer service agents cope with high call volumes.
5. CRM Software
It’s no secret that any business needs Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software. With call centers, this is even more so. Because CRM software helps you store and manage customer data, your call center agents will see all the relevant information about a customer when they take a call. As such, they’ll see the customer’s order history, when they last interacted with your business, and what problems they’ve experienced.
This gives them the context they need to adjust their approach to any specific customer. Ultimately, this allows them to provide the best customer service possible and not only meet but exceed your customers’ needs and expectations. Keep in mind, however, that to enjoy these benefits it’s crucial, as mentioned earlier, that your CRM integrates with your call center solution.
When you want to improve and maintain the quality of your customer service processes, it’s vital that you establish certain baseline metrics and consistently monitor your team’s performance against these key performance indicators. This is where analytics is an invaluable tool.
It gives you insights into how your team is performing against metrics like Average Handle Time, First Call Resolution (FCR), Transfer Rate, Average Hold Time, Average Time to Answer, call volumes, and more. In other words, it helps you monitor call center productivity and efficiency.
With these insights, you’ll be able to see where your team is performing well and where your processes might need more work. In turn, this enables you to implement the improvements necessary, and manage your agents to ensure that you deliver stellar customer support continuously and consistently.
7. Real-Time Reporting
In addition to analytics referred to earlier, real-time reporting can be a valuable tool to improve your customer service processes even further. This is simply because, instead of delivering after-the-fact assessments of how your team performed, real-time reporting gives you insights into your team’s performance as it happens.
This gives you the ability to manage your team’s performance on the fly, which, in turn, ensures exceptional customer service. For instance, when you have access to real-time information on call volumes, you’ll be able to spot trends and patterns in call volumes and adjust your resources to these trends, faster and easier. You’ll then manage the strain on your agents while keeping call queues manageable.
8. Call Conferencing
Let’s face it, customers prefer not to be transferred from one agent to another to have their problems solved. Call conferencing solves this problem because agents can invite other team members to join a call if they’re struggling with a particular problem. This means customers don’t have to be put on hold or transferred, which then has a positive effect on the customer experience.
Call conferencing also has a training benefit. Instead of listening to a recorded call or reading a transcript, call conferencing allows trainees to join a call and experience it as it happens. In this way, they experience first-hand how to deal with and solve customer problems.
9. Call Monitoring and Barging
To deliver exceptional customer service, it’s important that you not only implement quality assurance processes, but also train your call center agents well. This is where call monitoring and barging come in. Call monitoring allows you to monitor customer service calls without your agents or customers knowing. In this way, you can ensure that your agents deal with customers as they should, and you can use the calls you monitor as training opportunities.
Call barging, in turn, also gives you the ability to listen in on calls like call monitoring. However, it also gives you the ability to join the call if the agent struggles or when the customer asks to speak to a manager. Combined, these tools give you the ability to improve and maintain your customer service team’s performance.
10. Call Recording
As mentioned above, call monitoring and barging are very effective tools to give you deeper insights into how your customer service team is performing. The problem is that you or your supervisors don’t always have the time to sit in on calls to monitor agent performance. Here, the solution is call recording. It allows you to listen to calls at a time that’s most convenient to you.
Once you’ve listened to these calls, you can then give feedback to the specific agent. Call recording also has other benefits. For one, it helps you improve compliance by ensuring that your agents follow mandatory workflows when interacting with customers. In addition, it can also help you verify what was said during a call if there’s a dispute with a customer or an agent.
Did you know that 35% of customers want customer service agents to solve their problems in a single interaction?
In today’s competitive marketplace, you should ensure that you deliver exceptional customer service. It could be what sets you apart from the competition and helps you attract new customers and retain existing ones. To make this possible, you need the right set of call center tools. Hopefully, this post helped illustrate 10 must-have call center tools in more detail.
If you want to implement these tools in your business, start by considering ULTATEL’s Cloud Contact Center solution. It provides your business with a streamlined and comprehensive communications solution that allows you to communicate and engage with your customers, no matter what platform they choose.
Greg is the product marketer for ULTATEL. He develops and markets products that help people do their best work, and enables the businesses they work for grow their revenue.