How to Select the Right Contact Center Software

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The right contact center software (CSS) is a vital piece of the customer service process and can determine the success of a business.  Robust CSS solutions help to manage information, boost staff productivity, and improve all facets of customer service.

There are many types of contact centers so there is not a single CSS solution that will fit all companies; however, there are a number of questions that most companies should ask when comparing solutions.  The right call center software solution is user friendly.  Users should be able to create call queues, change call flows, or generate announcements with one or two clicks of a mouse.  The right solution should also provide real-time statistics for the agent.  By providing meaningful stats to agents at all times, along with rewards for achieving service objectives, companies build a better work environment for management and all staff.

The best contact center software for a company must be able to easily integrate with all other existing components in the workplace.  Business systems, such as customer resource management (CRM) software and larger enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, must be able to seamlessly converge with the chosen contact center software.  The ideal contact center application is built to open standards that allow IT staff to quickly and affordably customize the software package for added value and a faster return on investment (ROI).

Call distribution features should also be considered. Do you have one or multiple contact centers? Do you have teleworking agents? Is your business based completely on virtual call centers? Ensure you get the correct software for your contact center model.

An important feature that companies should require in their chosen contact center software is rich callback functionality.  In a fast-moving business world, clients are less likely to remain on hold for more than a few seconds.  Call back functionality that allows users to leave staff messages regarding their availability to receive a call back is highly desirable.  The best CSS systems also give callers the option of receiving a call back while still allowing them to maintain their position in the call queue.

An interactive voice response (IVR) system that can provide the caller relevant information from the company database or CRM system is another highly desirable feature to look for in a contact center solution.  Using that capability, the caller can get the information they need quickly with no extra work for the staff.  Since clients are often simply looking for day-to-day information that doesn’t require human intervention, this functionality is a win/win for both parties.

There are a number of ways calls can be routed in today’s contact centers.  Some calls should be noted as priority calls, while other calls are matched to agents on a geographic basis, by caller ID, or based on the IVR system used.  The best contact center software solutions can host all of these call routing situations and more.

If a small to medium-sized company is looking for a contact center software solution, care needs to be exercised that the chosen package is scalable so that it can grow as the company does. A hosted call center solution is one option. It should offer the very latest in contact center functionality, and the vendor should have a good track record of reinvesting in research and development to provide ongoing upgrades to the software functionality.

Since a company contact center is on the front-line of customer relations, finding the perfect contact center software solution can play a pivotal role in achieving many company strategic goals.

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