Call Management Challenges Why does it happen? Obviously, besides others, the one phrase answer can be poor call management. Handling hundreds and thousands of callers at a time is no mean task. But this is what a call center is supposed to do, i.e. to handle growing call volume and keep customers satisfied that too with the minimum human resource consumption. Call center managers have to battle with maintaining service levels despite lower availability of manpower, shrinking budgets and soaring customer’s expectation. There is no short-cut or tricky ways, as bad experience can hit their business bottom-line and ROI without any advance note. Customers today are more powerful than ever before with the Internet and emergence of social media, and in such a scenario none can stop them from giving their verdict about your brand or client’s brand. Being an entrepreneur you can understand the gravity of such public disclosure. Hence, you or your call center mangers need to identify, quantify and prioritize operation using a reliable call management software or service.
Call Management: Basic Features The significance of Information Technology in alleviating call center operational challenges and maximizing the vendor’s productivity hardly needs an introduction today. An outsourcing client performs a critical and thorough analysis of a call center’s technology and ability before availing its services. Before taking a broad study it will be imperative here to highlight here the basic functionalities/features of a call management software or service. A few include:
a) Call Routing
It’s quite clear that calls coming for different queries need segregation and diversion to different departments or agents based on desk or agent skill and callers’ priorities.
b) Call Scripting
Though some vendors thwart the concept, and for good reasons as they want to give better experience to customers with an aim to provide human touch to their service. However, call scripting is required to some extent for better understanding of customers’ concern through probing, and enhance the delivery system.
c) Escalation Management
It’s of utmost importance in order to check customers’ attrition from a network. There should be a speedy escalation system to render faster resolution as and when required. And, fortunately, today’s call management solutions are competent in doing so.
d) IVR / Voice Recognition
This is a good way of diminishing the burden of agents, managers and owners, and allow customers to get the right information or reach the right desk.
e) Knowledge Base
By embracing call management with a knowledge base, vendors can help customers to find the right solution on their own.
f) Predictive Dialer
This evolved as a popular tool for the telemarketers (outbound call centers). They can keep their agents busy, drive sales and business ROI and make the maximum use of the customer-contact database available with them.
g) Quality Management
Call center manages can have a look at the quality parameters to make sure that their people are disseminating the right information to customers. They can audit and barge calls anywhere anytime.
h) Workforce Management
Managers can check the status of different agents, whether they are active or in not-ready state. This helps them to enhance the business productivity by keeping everyone busy.
Call Management: Transcending Barriers
A similar outlook was presented by Gartner in its consideration of call center infrastructure (CCI). Gartner CCI includes elements or components from telephony support and multichannel support both categories, as: (a) Telephony infrastructure, (b) Multimedia contact routing and prioritization engines with real-time and historical reporting; (c) IVR and voice portals for self-service applications, including speech-enabled self-service; (d) Outbound dialing/proactive contact; (e) Virtual routing applications for multi site and work-at-home scenarios; (f) Presence tools; (g) Tools for integration with CRM software; (h) Data mart and analytic systems; (i) Computer-telephony integration (CTI)/Web services interfaces; (j) Email response management; (k) Web chat; (l) Social media; (m) Live and prerecorded video; (n) Knowledge-based self-service; (o) Workforce management scheduling tools; (p)Session recording and quality monitoring, including speech analytics; (q) Workflow routing and management and (r) Mobile customer service applications.
From the above, you might have inferred one thing that today call management is not limited to voice calls. Instead it covers all sorts of call management spanning across different communication platform including non-voice. And, this comprehensive contact management (note the change from call to contact) is gaining more attention, and hence, adoption today by call center vendors. This new CCI model has got wide acceptance of customer and employee service and support centers, inbound and outbound telemarketing services, help desk services, government-operated support centers, and other types of structured communications operations.
Call Management: Shift from Software to Cloud
Cloud-based call management has evolved as an efficient and cost-effective platform to handle the broad spectrum of services or features mentioned above. It offers a unified communication platform to entertain multichannel communication i.e. voice and non-voice ones. Moreover, it easily syncs with available customer relationship management program, which can be easily utilized by agents or operators to stay more responsive to customers’ demand. However, the broad functionality doesn’t demand hefty IT investment. Call center owners don’t need to make any upfront technology investment, instead they can go with pay-as-you-go system offered by cloud-based call management service provider. Moreover, the flexible software-as-a- service model can withstand their changing needs. They can add/discard capabilities of the service, fine tune applications and turn customer care into a competitive weapon.
Adoption of cloud-based call management is on the rise, and contact centers are gradually moving from traditional telephony to cloud-managed system to gain rigor and agility in order to neutralize the challenges of rising technology ownership costs and operational expense and demanding customers and ensure better sustainability. Hope, you would tap in the latest technology of cloud to evolve your system and give better customer service to your customers or clients.