The Most Common Call Center Software Features
Are you in the market for new call center software and not exactly sure which features you need? Are you confused about the difference between an IVR and an ACD? Are you curious about how much call center software has evolved since you bought your on-premise solution 10 years ago?
If you answered yes to any of those questions, this blog post is for you! This post lists the most common call center software features as well as a description of each. It will bring you one step closer to finally selecting the call center software solution and features that meet your business needs, or give you a little insight into how call center software has progressed over the years.
The following are the most common call center software features:
Call center software would be nothing without telephony. In short, telephony is telecommunications technology. It allows for two or more people to communicate and is the heart of call center software. Most call center software solutions provide their own telephony, or let customers bring their own.
Automatic call distributor (ACD)
ACDs perform many essential functions and are therefore considered the backbone of a call center. They are a telephony system that routes incoming calls to the most appropriate agent within a call center. ACDs also acquire usage data such as call volume, calls handled, call duration, wait time, etc. They also allow for managers to engage in call monitoring, call conferencing, call barging and whisper coaching. Thus, ACDs are essential for any call center.
Interactive voice response (IVR)
An IVR is an extremely common and helpful call center software feature. It is a telephony menu system that identifies, segments and routes callers to the most appropriate agent, department, waiting queue or pre-recorded message. In a typical IVR scenario, a caller first hears the IVR greeting and is then asked to choose from a series of prompts (e.g. “Press 1 for Sales, 2 for Support…”). The caller is then routed to the most appropriate team member or waiting queue based on their selection. Thus, IVRs are great for call centers that have unique teams or field different call types.
Skills-based routing functionality is essential for any call center that would like to optimize the service they provide their callers. Skills-based routing sends calls to specific agents, departments or teams based on customized rules. It works like this: 1) call center managers assign tags to their agents based on their department, unique skill-set, area of expertise, language, demographics, location or any other meaningful construct; 2) calls are routed to agents based on their assigned tags as well as the phone number the caller dialed to reach the company, the caller’s phone number, the caller’s IVR selection and the caller’s previous interactions with the company. Skills-based routing is an excellent way to ensure that callers are routed to the agent who is most qualified to meet their needs.
Call queues hold callers in a waiting queue when all agents are busy. Most call center software solutions will allow managers to configure unique call queues for each department, agent, team or tags assigned to agents for skills-based routing purposes. Agents who have access to metrics in their dashboards can view call queue statistics so they can make informed decisions based on real-time data. Thus, call queues are essential for any team seeking to optimize their performance.
Automatic screen pop
Automatic screen pop is a call center software feature that displays information about the caller automatically in the computer as the phone rings. This information can typically be customized to meet the call center’s needs, but by default displays the caller’s name, picture, phone number, address, email address, company, position within the company, phone number they dialed, etc. Automatic screen pop allows agents to provide a more personalized experience to their callers, even if it is the first time they have called their company.