Advanced call center—technologies and best practices
Call center technology has seen huge advancements, particularly in the past few years. But if you want to put excellent customer service at the heart of your business, there’s always room for improvement.
With many “call centers” evolving to handle not just phone calls, but other methods of communication too, a different term was needed to describe this omnichannel service—that’s why we call them “contact center”. Whatever you call it, you’ll find that using the most advanced call center technologies brings huge benefits to your business.
Many companies think having a customer support center and back office that can take calls or emails would be enough, but it’s still worth investing in an advanced call center that has the tools and technologies to really enhance your company’s profile.
There are plenty of companies providing solutions for advanced call centers, so you need to know which gives you the most useful tools—and how to combine the best tech with the best practices.
What is an advanced call center?
An advanced call center is a customer-facing communications hub that uses the latest technology to deliver enhanced customer service and make life easier for the workforce. It’s primarily used for back-office support services providing help wherever they’re needed.
Apart from smart technology such as automatic call distribution (ACD) and interactive voice response (IVR), advanced call centers often include things like chatbots and cutting-edge analytics, using AI and machine learning.
When you hear the job title “call center agent”, you might think of a menial job. But advanced call centers actually employ highly skilled agents who demand good pay. Modern technology also allows call center representatives to work from home, giving them better work-life balance.
Here are some of the things an advanced call center can handle for you:
- Outbound calls
- Inbound calls
- Sales support
- Technical advice
- Fraud investigation
- Dispute management
Keep in mind, there are many more aspects in a business that can really use a contact center. Check out what you need for your business and tailor your contact center accordingly.
Why do you need an advanced call center?
Advanced call centers are able to maximize efficiency in their business services thanks to smart tools and automated systems. Technology reduces the time spent on mundane tasks and speeds up the resolution of customer issues. Back office support services providing quick, canned responses to your customers might turn them off in general, so it’s worth looking into how advanced call centers can benefit your business.
Improves the productivity of your customer service representatives
Speeding up processes and using the most intuitive tools help create a better work environment, which leads to happy customer service representatives. On top of reducing your staff turnover rate, this motivates agents to go above and beyond for customers.
Enhances customer experiences by giving them more communication options
In an advanced contact center, a wide range of channels (phone, video, SMS, social media) are made available to customers so they can choose how they want to communicate. Some solutions, like RingCentral, allow agents to handle a conversation across several channels for ultimate convenience.
Reduces workload for call center agents
Alongside smart call routing and auto-dialers, advanced call centers offer self-service options to reduce customer waiting time—and the automated systems are smart enough to know when the query should be escalated to a human customer service agent.
Streamlines business processes
A cloud-based, open-platform contact center solution (such as RingCentral) is more flexible and scalable than a traditional model, as it’s easier to bring new agents onboard and integrate with third-party tools.
Reduces costs and increases efficiency
In the long run, you’ll save money by migrating to the cloud and using technology to increase efficiency and productivity. This allows you to reward highly skilled agents with great pay and ensure motivation and loyalty.
What are advanced call center technologies?
Now that we’ve established how an advanced call center can help in providing solutions for your company, let’s take a look at the different technologies you can use to enhance your call center even further.
Some examples of advanced call center technologies for your business
- Cloud solutions
- Management and Analytics
As we mentioned, advanced information technology can improve the efficiency of your business—especially cloud-based technology. Cloud-based contact centers are more efficient than legacy PBX systems because it allows data to be accessed through different devices, making transitioning to remote or hybrid work much easier.
Another way to improve your business phone system is by using VoIP. VoIP uses the internet instead of phone lines to transmit data, making it more reliable than traditional phone systems. Its easy scalability and ability to integrate with other communication software can save you money in the long run.
Automating tools and processes will not only save you time and money, but also keep your customers happy. For example, omnichannel and skills-based routing diverts calls to the most suitable agent, while AI-powered chatbots and virtual agents use machine learning and natural language processing (NLP) to provide better automated assistance to customers.
Unified solutions like RingCentral also include advanced call forwarding so you won’t need to rely on your deskphone to deliver customer support. Predictive or auto-dialers are faster and more accurate than manually dialing a phone number, increasing talk time and reducing downtime for sales.
An omnichannel call center solution lets you manage all external and communication channels in one handy place. Customers will appreciate not being limited to only one communication channel when engaging with your company.
Management and Analytics
Call center and back office management are equally important, so look for technology that helps the operations manager optimize agent schedules and provide advanced training sessions. Don’t forget analytics—advanced call centers measure customer satisfaction, agent performance, and overall business success.
Advanced call center best practices to improve employee and customer experiences
Providing solutions and ensuring customer happiness are the major priorities of any call center, so treating every interaction with the same level of care is very important. Customers demand fast responses, especially on social media, and routing calls to the right agents will help them solve the problem immediately.
We’ve mentioned the importance of offering multiple channels of communication, both for customer service and for workplace collaboration. It can also help with gathering data for analytics. The more channels you have, the more data will be generated—analyzing agent performance and customer data is essential to ensuring you’re getting the right results.
Great agents need great training, and that goes double for advanced call centers. Every call center agent must be confident and knowledgeable about the brand and product, know when to escalate a query, and when it’s a good time to cross-sell. A training class should be fun. Gamification is a great way to keep agents engaged.
Good management is also vital. Be consistent, offer constructive feedback, and encourage dialogue. Don’t just focus on newbies—give ongoing support to current employees, and career advice to help them progress. Offer opportunities for promotion and pay raises, as low pay can affect agents’ motivation.
Equip your agents with the best tools for the job. For remote workers, ensure the technologies work from home as well as in the office. A cloud-based contact center solution like RingCentral is a great communications tool that’s designed to support remote working situations.
Finally, use automation and chatbots to your advantage. Use it to reduce your customer’s waiting times while gathering information about their issues and concerns. Intelligent routing can also help streamline the call distribution process, vastly improving both employee and customer experiences.
What is the best advanced call center solution?
Quality call center and back office management can really make or break your business. There are many providers out there, so do your research before you commit to a particular solution. Look at the reviews, not only from customers but also from former employees, to get insights into how the company operates.
Call us biased, but we think RingCentral is one of the best of the bunch. It combines cloud technology with unified communications to give you everything you need in an advanced call center—and it’s affordable, too.
It has built-in tools for communication, collaboration, and management, and you can integrate apps and tools your company already uses. For example, agents can talk to other agents and access your CRM system to view all customer contact information, with no toggling between apps.
It also has coaching and training tools that let you monitor and record calls, as well as advanced analytics with real-time reports and customizable dashboards. Other handy features include task management tools and office support services providing maximum efficiency.
RingCentral’s enhanced security gives you and your customers reassurance that their data is protected. It also promises 99.999% uptime SLA, so your agents can be online and available at all times.
In short, RingCentral ensures that your advanced call center is fully equipped to keep customers, agents, managers, and stakeholders happy.