This post was originally published on lessonly.com.
Technology is incredibly important to high-performing call center support teams. A variety of platforms and applications are essential to understand customers, provide efficient support, and enable agents for productivity.
As market competition heightens and product offerings rapidly grow, businesses in almost every industry must leverage customer service as a positive differentiator. The front line of differentiation is the call center.
Unfortunately, many companies select their inbound call center software and technology platforms with themselves in mind instead of their customers.
Forward-thinking organizations with the best customer service consider customer needs and interaction preferences first and foremost. Once identifying customer-centric methods, call centers must build their tech stacks to empower agents with the information they need to deliver superior customer service.
In order to provide incomparable service—and increase agent productivity—it’s time to evaluate the technology used in call centers. From call center software for small business to scalable software to grow a call center team, there’s a huge number of call center solutions that you can include in your team’s tech stack. Here’s our list of 8 contact center solutions every call center needs.
Customer experience platforms
What it is: Customer experience tools optimize a customer’s interactions with the call center. In its simplest form, Customer Experience Management (CEM) systems aim to exceed customer expectations by integrating real-time data from channels like live chat, email, and support calls with existing customer data. These tools provide insights and feedback from customers that call centers can analyze and used to drive increased customer loyalty and satisfaction.
Why it matters: With today’s complex and omnichannel customer journey, your call center’s customer experience has never been more important. Effective CEM systems such as Zendesk Explore, Qualtrics, and more capture customer experience feedback from all channel interactions—including your call center. CEM platforms give companies the power to track, oversee, organize, and guide the customer experience like never before. Analyzing this feedback identifies crucial gaps and areas of improvement that impact customer satisfaction and productivity for call centers.
“Gartner predicts that by 2018, more than 50 percent of organizations will implement significant business model changes in their efforts to improve customer experience.” – Nick Ingelbrecht, Research Director at Gartner, Inc.
What it is: This call center tool simplifies workflow for call center agents. Also known as call management systems, these phone solutions include call routing, monitoring, queuing, and recording. Most of these call center solutions also integrate with your current tech stack to create a fast and easy solution.
Why it matters: Customer satisfaction strongly depends on the ease of their interaction. How long did they have to wait on hold? Did they have to be transferred to a ton of different agents? Calling software, such as Aircall or NICE in Contact, equips every team to handle any level of interaction, without negatively impacting call center efficiency or customer satisfaction. These tools can also help you record and review interactions so you can coach reps for improved performance and better work.
Customer relationship management software
What it is: Not to be confused with a CEM, a customer relationship management (CRM) platform helps agents access information about each customer. Agents have access to the full scope of customer data, from personal contact information to service history, in one centralized hub.
Why it matters: In the call center, every interaction counts. Investing in a CRM equips your employees with the tools required to provide greater levels of customer satisfaction. CRM software—such as Salesforce—enables agents to access customer information in real time during calls. Nothing makes a customer happier than speedy service with correct information. With a great CRM, agents know exactly who they are dealing with and what products or services they use. This allows agents to quickly and effectively satisfy customer needs—and in turn, handle higher call volumes.
“CRM will be the single largest revenue area of spending in software by 2021.” – Gartner, Inc.
Help desk programs
What it is: Helpdesk programs are platforms for service management automation. This program collects all customer support requests—also known as support tickets, service requests, or trouble tickets—from a wide range of sources and manages them in one platform where they are logged, prioritized, and queued for completion by a call center agent.
Why it matters: Support ticket systems, allow agents to better assess and resolve the situation—or pass it onto the proper person in an effort to increase first call resolution. This automation gives agents the ability to process a large volume of requests without missing important issues. Ticketing systems like Zendesk offer a centralized system that enables call center leaders to track and measure how their team handles incidents, requests, and other calls. Helpdesk programs are an ideal tool for finding areas for improvement and strengthening both customer service and agent productivity.
“43% of customers say that first-call resolution is the most critical factor to call center support”. – The US Contact Center Decision-Makers’ Guide
What it is: Metrics and reporting are important for every call center. Cloud-based call center software provides real-time metrics including service level, number of calls in a queue, handle time, and more.
Why it matters: Ensuring your reps provide amazing support requires clear metrics. Unfortunately, a lot of team’s track and review unreliable or outdated numbers. Thorough reporting with call center tools like Five9 and Talkdesk help call center leaders identify common issues, analyze support coverage, and make strategic plans for the future.
“59% of call center managers respondents plan to invest in tools to help with advanced analytics in the next year.” — Deloitte
Support scheduling optimization tools
What it is: Support scheduling optimization tools, sometimes known as workforce optimization software (WFO), is a suite of tools that combines recording, quality management, and other technologies to schedule agents according to volume peaks and required skill sets to meet customer demands.
Why it matters: Every minute is important when it comes to customer service. Companies need to ensure that each agent’s time is being used efficiently. Support scheduling optimization tools, such as Shiftboard, use historical data to forecast the expected demand of the call center—and schedule agents accordingly. Support scheduling tools also ensure call centers have the right people—with the right qualifications—scheduled when they are needed to provide excellent customer service.
“Companies that use WFO software see year-over-year improvement in agent productivity; competitors not using WFO software see continual decreases.” – Aberdeen Group
Quality assurance software
What it is: Contact center quality assurance, which is called QA, is designed to help teams evaluate the performance of their customer service operations and reps.
Why it matters: Quality assurance software is a crucial contact center solution. It plays a huge part in improving both customer satisfaction and employee engagement. Call center managers and trainers use QA to assess rep performance, provide feedback and coaching, and increase productivity. Tools like MaestroQA and Talkdesk can also be integrated with other customer service tools for an in-depth look at call center performance and activity.
“In a 2018 survey, only 39% of customer service leaders stated that they have an optimized quality assurance process.”— Statista
Team learning software
What it is: Team learning software—often called a learning management system—is a platform that manages team training. Work knowledge and best practices for call center agents is everywhere—in documents, PowerPoints, and the heads of your call center team. Learning software captures this information and makes it available anytime and anywhere—from the initial call center training program to ongoing agent support. Team learning software empowers your call center agents with the knowledge and skills they need to deliver exceptional customer service.
Why it’s beneficial: Team learning software plays a pivotal role in your call center’s tech stack. Learning software like Lessonly by Seismic turns essential work information—such as how to use other tools in your tech stack—into a cell center guide that accelerates productivity. Online training software often increases team productivity and shortens response time by delivering content that agents need to do their job. Additionally, team learning software often integrates with other software in your tech stack for streamlined support training that positively impacts your agents—and your entire organization.
“80% of inbound customer service interactions still take place over the phone.” – Fonolo
There are plenty of tools that you could include in your call center’s tech stack. These examples aren’t “one size fits all” options—the best fit depends on your industry, call center size, and most of all, your customers’ preferences. You’ll want to thoroughly research and compare various call center software. Free demos and tours are both great ways to see the features and functionality of platforms.
Leveraging the right call center technologies—including relationship management platforms, optimization tools, and learning software—is key to empowering call center agents to do amazing work.
Add Lessonly by Seismic to your call center tech stack
Lessonly by Seismic’s modern call center training software is essential for any customer support tech stack. Want to see how your organization would benefit from Lessonly by Seismic? Get a demo today.