Some companies balance their platform well without new features getting in the way. Many others end up bloating their software with unnecessary features that don’t help agents succeed. If a feature isn’t integrated or designed properly it turns into more of a hindrance than a help.
No matter which features companies include in their pricing, there are certain contact center software features you must have in order to get ahead. Without the basics, it doesn’t matter how many bells and whistles a company can cram into their platform.
Which features should you check for when looking at the software provider you should choose?
1. Inbound and Outbound Capabilities
Choosing a software with combined inbound and outbound capabilities saves money and simplifies every job in your contact center. Every contact center software solution needs to provide both inbound and outbound capabilities. While many specialize in one or the other, they should at least provide each option.
Instead of purchasing two different software solutions, you consolidate your dialing into one. You should never pay for two separate products unless there is a feature on one that you must have. This also keeps agents focused on one dashboard rather than switching between programs. Their productivity skyrockets when they don’t have to navigate all over their computer.
Unifying inbound and outbound calls also centralizes monitoring and reporting. Managers don’t need to change locations in order to check the performance of each their inbound and outbound departments.
No matter how many other features are included, contact center software without the capability to both take and make calls is not a well-rounded solution.
2. Web Phone
An integrated web phone is another necessary contact center software feature. Programs without an integrated web phone require the use of an additional third-party software. This means more distractions for your agents.
Having a web phone located on an agent’s dashboard gives them the ability to maximize their productivity. The less time agents spend switching between windows, the more time they spend on the phone.
3. SMS Messaging
SMS messages are one of the most recent contact center software features to help agents stay in touch. Each customer prefers to be contacted a specific way; it dampens their customer experience when you can’t reach them on the channel they want.
Platforms with integrated SMS messaging capabilities give agents the ability to provide these quick touches to prospects and customers. SMS messaging allows for immediate interactions regarding appointment reminders and phone call follow-ups.
If a software does not include SMS, it is in your best interest to keep looking for one that does.
Agent monitoring helps managers oversee large numbers of agents all at once. For example, CallTools.com’s Live Agent Reporting allows managers to listen in on agent calls directly from the manager side of the platform. This removes the need to walk the aisles in order to observe agents. Instead, managers can assess agent performance from their office.
Depending on the software, monitoring provides an incredible amount of control over calls. Some programs give managers the ability to whisper directly to agents who are on a call. Simplify your training process by speaking to agents in the moment rather than after listening to a call recording.
Monitoring software with a barge in feature has the chance to save bad calls. If an agent performs poorly or a customer is inconsolable, having a manager take over could change the course of the call. The ability to barge into calls gives you every possible chance to save a prospect or customer.
Reporting is easily one of the most necessary contact center software features for every company. You must track call data including:
- Calls per agent
- Average call length
- Agent downtime
The individual statistics you track depend on which industry you’re in. Look through how each platform breaks down their reporting, which statistics it includes, and how it displays that data. You should take into consideration how you prefer to digest data. Do you prefer numerical charts in an Excel sheet or would you rather have a visual breakdown of call information?
Accurate and precise reporting capabilities help you assess both your daily statistics and how you measure up against your KPIs over the long term. Without detailed reporting, you won’t be able to track your company’s progress and ensure your agents meet their goals.
Selecting the Right Software
When looking for your next software solution, make sure your options include each of these features. While you choose any additional features based on individual company necessity, you should not be without the five listed above. Opt to go without them at your own risk. When you equip your contact center with the software features necessary for success, you empower agents, managers, and even yourself to keep performing their best.