For the daily functions of businesses small and large, call centers have existed for years as a system to save time, increase productivity and improve customer service. Depending on the size and needs of an organization, call management systems vary greatly in function, location and volume. Call centers can be set up in-house, or an enterprise may choose to outsource call center needs.
An inbound call center generally operates for customer service demands, information requests and technical aid. If the nature of the business is highly specialized, call center agents should be equipped with the skills necessary for answering questions related to the products and services. If an organization receives a high volume of information by telephone, call centers can also act to minimize the need of skilled manpower.
For promotional efforts, business development, and sales generation, an outbound call center can be employed. Agents working in this type of call center should have experience in telemarketing and sales as well as in customer service. Outgoing calls may be needed to spread the awareness of a cause in the not for profit sector, or to encourage local citizens to vote, in the political arena. For commercial use, outbound call centers may play a vital role in acquiring new customers and encouraging existing customers to make additional purchases.
No matter the business need, the right call center solution is out there for you. In recent years, many technological advancements and innovations in the call management industry have greatly improved the efficiency of both inbound call centers and outbound call centers. An offshoot of call centers, "contact centers," has emerged as a system of all-inclusive client interaction with the options of telephone communication, live chat, instant messaging, email and faxing.
Advanced functions that are now commonly used in inbound call centers work to filter callers based on need and direct them to the appropriate agent. This allows for faster solutions and less caller wait time. Similar systems work inversely for outbound call centers and match the relevant agent to specific sales leads. Below is an outline of the key features of an advanced call center that can have major impacts on your company"s productivity:Predictive Dialer
For maximum efficiency in an outbound call center, predictive dialer technology uses different algorithms to automatically place calls based on the predicted agent availability and the responses made by the called party. The predictive dialer mechanically filters out unanswered calls, busy signals, disconnected lines and any automated response systems.Call Tracking & Interactive Voice Response (IVR)
Call tracking can enable your call center to collect valuable data and metrics in order to better serve customers and improve future advertising and sales efforts. Interactive Voice Response (IVR) is an automated system that can identify the voice responses and keypad entries of callers. IVR technology is used to gather information from callers so they can be profiled and then directed to the suitable department and agent. For inbound call centers, much of the preliminary customer correspondence, such as membership verification, can be achieved automatically through IVR. This allows companies to maximize the productivity of skilled agents and in turn increase ROI. IVR systems can also help improve customer service for companies that have limited business hours or company representatives.Call Detail Record (CDR) Reporting
For continued improvement of your call center, Call Detail Record (CDR) Reporting pulls key metrics and creates readable reports that show agent performance statistics and other details including average call time and average wait time. The ability to create these reports allows call center managers to see where star agents work best and to identify opportunities for improvement.Real Time Telemetry
Real Time Telemetry is widely used in advanced call centers for real time monitoring of agent availability, calls in queue, inbound calls and outbound calls. Having this information instantly available means that any problems that arise can be identified immediately and resolved quickly. Real Time Telemetry assures a smooth-running call center.