Names and descriptions of the software that can power your call center
Now that you have an understanding of the core components of a call center solution, and you know where the various types of call centers platforms live, let’s take a look at the individual call center software components and what they do.
Automatic call distributor (ACD)
An ACD manages and distributes the flow of incoming contacts and support requests based on things like caller ID and other business or routing rules. In a multichannel environment (where customers can access your support function from various different channels), the ACD comes with a universal queue that handles and distributes a combination of interactions.
Call recording captures audio and text-based interactions between customers/agents as well as agents/agents. In addition to recording interactions, the software also encrypts files for security purposes and intelligently stores them for easy playback. Call recording is important for tracking service levels, monitoring agent performance, and regulatory compliance.
Customer relationship management (CRM)
A CRM system tracks each customer’s relationship and interactions with your company. A full CRM suite tracks and end-to-end customer experience including all interactions with customer support, sales, marketing, social media, storefronts, branches, the back office, partners, etc. The more robust your CRM system, the better picture you’ll have of your customer.
Since a full CRM suite requires integration with a host of back-end enterprise services, most cloud contact center vendors offer plug-and-play integration with common CRM applications such as Salesforce.com. Vendors also support universal APIs to help customers integrate with legacy and proprietary CRM systems. Some also provide integration services.
Interactive voice response (IVR)
And IVR solution greets callers and captures customer data that is used to automate the handling of inbound and outbound calls. The information that’s collected gets routed to the CRM application and the ACD and is used to assist with call routing decisions.
Workforce Management (WFM)
Workforce management applications help contact centers optimize productivity for both agents and the organization. WFM solutions track customer demand, identify which agents can best handle it, and provide tools to manage unexpected changes in demand and or staffing dynamically.
Quality management (QM)
Quality management programs measure how well agents adhere to policies and procedures. They’re used in tandem with live-monitoring of calls, as well as reviewing recorded calls to measure agent performance. QM solutions measure quality and consistency of service delivery. They also capture customer insights, help identify trends, issues, and opportunities to improve agent productivity.
Speech analytics applications take phone conversations and convert them into data that can either be analyzed by call center managers or used to maintain compliance. These particular applications help organizations understand customer insights, discover why people call, and what customers think about a company and the quality of their experience.