Call center businesses all over the world are catching on to the huge benefits available when they switch from their current on-premise or cloud call center environment to a fully-fledged UCaaS platform. With all telecom services (VoIP, business SMS, video, fax, email and more) combined into one system, efficiency is immediately increased.
However, apart from the generic advantages that come from an integrated UCaaS system (cost-savings, enhanced customer experience, enterprise-grade features, single point of contact, etc.) there are several specific ways in which a platform can be set up to improve call center functionality.
Whether you are considering your UCaaS options or have already signed up with a vendor, here are nine ways to optimize your call center functionality.
CTI Screen Pops
A Computer Telephony Integration (CTI) Screen Pop is an invaluable tool for your call center operatives. Integrated with your CRM, this function activates a pop-up whenever a customer from your database contacts your call center. The pop-up can be populated with whatever data you desire, giving your operative an instant personal connection with the customer.
CTI screen pops can be really useful for avoiding asking repetitive questions. If a customer’s issue was not resolved with their first call, the conversation can simply continue where it left off, no matter who fields the follow-up call.
Fine Tune Your IVR
Interactive Voice Response (IVR) is a fantastic time-saving technology, but tailoring the options to suit your specific business needs can improve your customer offering even further. The best UCaaS vendors offer a graphical interface whereby you can add and delete menus, assign extensions and carry out numerous other modifications using a simple tree structure and drag-and-drop method.
You can use this function to adapt to changing circumstances in the call center. By auditing your customers’ experiences with your IVR, you can ensure this technology becomes an asset rather than a hindrance to providing high quality customer support.
Integrate SQL with Your IVR
It’s no secret that people are becoming increasingly used to the self-service models of consumerism. And while things like Amazon’s completely self-service supermarkets offer a glimpse into the future of B2C interaction, self-service telecom offerings are less common.
However, some UCaaS vendors do enable call centers to integrate their dynamic databases with their IVR systems. This is particularly useful if a customer needs to complete a routine task. They can call in, go through an automated security system, access the IVR and receive a computer-mediated response to their query with no call center operative involvement at all.
Virtual Queue System
In a standard queue system, an Automatic Call Distributor (ACD) will allocate inbound calls to an available operative. But what happens when all agents are busy? Normally this leads to long wait times, high abandonment rates and frustrated customers.
With a virtual queue system, once a customer has reached the defined Expected Wait Time (EWT) threshold, the system intervenes to offer the customer the option to continue holding or to receive a call back as soon as an agent becomes available. This effectively holds their place in the queue, allowing them to shift their focus to other tasks.
Chat services, especially those incorporating artificial intelligence (bots), are expected to see significant growth this year. With end users becoming increasingly comfortable with communicating via SMS-based cell phone apps and social media messenger portals, the transition to using chat in order to resolve customer service issues is a relatively easy one.
With a chat service, customers can either be connected to an available operator right away, or they can be connected to a chatbot – it’s all dependent on whether the human touch or speed is the most important factor. Chatbots are ideal for when volume is low and queries tend to be easy to fix.
Enable Home Working
If you have avoided the trend towards employing home-based call center agents, now may be the time to reconsider. As detailed in the next section, UCaaS platforms are ideally suited to connecting agents based in different countries, or even agents working from their mobile devices.
Team Collaboration Software
UCaaS platforms are not only great for providing multi-channel access – including enterprise-grade collaboration – to end users, they can also facilitate inter-team collaboration.
Many vendors offer software with functions such as project tracking, file version control, screen share, file share, calendar integration, searchable history, tasking and real-time video conferencing for seamless workflows. This can usually all be managed through one simple, intuitive interface.
Web portals and synced mobile connectivity can make a significant difference to remote and geographically dispersed teams, who are now able to interact effortlessly.
Build Customized Apps
Most good UCaaS platforms now include an API which will facilitate compatibility with a wide range of popular enterprise-grade apps from companies such as Google, Microsoft and SalesForce.
Even better, some UCaaS platforms enable call centers to modify their existing apps to work with the platform or even build their own custom apps. This is where making a wise vendor choice is critical, as the level of customization available can differ widely between UCaaS services, requiring decision makers to carefully balance with feature needs with budget allotments.
Set Up and Optimize Reporting
Another powerful feature built into the best UCaaS platforms is user-friendly and comprehensive analytics. This enables real-time monitoring of call center function, which means agents can be deployed more efficiently. With a call center, the labor costs are always going to be the biggest bottom line expense, and performance monitoring can seriously reduce that expenditure.
Shamrock Partners with Best-in-Class UCaaS Vendors
UCaaS platforms offer many features that companies can benefit from, however with such a crowded marketplace, finding the best option for your telecom needs can be daunting. That’s where Shamrock Consulting Group comes in.
There are a host of significant advantages to pairing your own IT specialists with the UCaaS experts at Shamrock, one of the leading telecom RFP companies in the industry. Shamrock’s team is highly trained in helping companies successfully navigate the UCaaS marketplace. With over 300 successful RFP’s run on behalf of companies across a variety of different industries, Shamrock represents one of the most experienced telecom RFP consultants in the industry.
Shamrock will work with you identify your company’s unique UCaaS needs and carefully analyze your options to write a formal RFP guaranteed to procure the best service at the best possible price. Shamrock also provides full-scale support, guiding you along the entire process – from vendor selection to installation – to ensure that your call center is as highly functional and cost efficient as possible.