Proactive customer service is necessary in today’s world to keep the customers happy and satisfied. It has been seen that companies with a more proactive contact center are able to draw in more customers over time due to the benefits and advantages they offer.
Customers expect businesses to be proactive and focused on understanding their needs and making the overall process easier and effortless for them.
While the phone is a great way to help customers, it can be challenging for growing businesses. So, what other options do we have to make the customer happy with the customer service? Well, there is a sophisticated technology designed specifically for contact center management known as contact center software or contact center platforms.
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But what are some of the best contact center software, what is the difference between multichannel and omnichannel contact center software, how do you manage your workforce, how do you assess call center performance, and how do you enhance call center productivity?
Let’s find the answers to all of these questions in this detailed blog about contact center management and contact center platforms.
5 Best Contact Center Software To Improve Performance
An effective contact center management software empowers you to offer the best possible customer service. It lets you provide self-service options, share custom messages, distribute calls automatically, and route the customer to the right department.
The best call center software even integrates with your daily apps, enabling you to streamline workflows and execute an omnichannel customer support strategy.
However, with hundreds of contact center platforms out there, choosing the right one can be a challenging endeavor. To make things easier for you, we’ve handpicked the 5 best contact center software in 2021.
Whether you’re a small business or a large corporation, all of these contact center workforce management software will help you meet your business objectives. So without much ado, let’s get started!
1) Genesys Customer Service Platform
Genesys is an all-in-one cloud-based contact center management software that lets you manage business calls, emails, chat, social media, messaging, self-service options and optimize the workforce via analytics.
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Plus, it converts calls, emails, chats, social comments, and instant messages into a seamless conversation, enabling you to personalize the customer service.
Its artificial intelligence (AI)-powered resource management feature helps you better forecast and schedule the workforce to meet the surge in call volumes better. In addition, its quality assurance and monitoring functionality help you measure productivity in your contact center, thus improving agent performance and helping you meet customers’ expectations.
Genesys Key Features:
- Interactive voice response (IVR)
- Automatic call distribution (ACD)
- Digital channels support (live chat, email, messaging, and social)
- Voice bots and chatbots
- Customer self-service
- Automated routing
- Employee performance management
Genesys Platform Support: Web-based, iOS, Android, Desktop
Genesys Is Ideal For: Medium Business, Enterprise
Genesys Integrations: Microsoft, Siemens, IBM, Cisco, Zendesk
2) CallHippo Contact Center Management Software
If you’re looking for powerful contact center software at a pocket-friendly price, look no further than CallHippo’s business phone system.
Trusted by more than 5000+ global brands, CallHippo enables you to set up your call center or contact center in less than three minutes. In addition, you can buy local and toll-free numbers from more than 50+ countries. This helps you build trust with native customers and encourage engagement.
Moreover, whether you want to manage inbound & outbound calls or internal calls (via conferencing), CallHippo has a personalized solution for you. Its power dialer feature allows you to automate the dialing process, thereby increasing your sales team’s productivity. It also has a global connect option that provides you the best time to call your customers in different countries.
CallHippo Key Features:
- Power dialer
- Automatic call distribution
- Smart switch
- Global connect
- Smart call forwarding
- Interactive Voice Response (IVR)
- Advanced Analytics
CallHippo Platform Support: Web-based, iOS, Android, Desktop
CallHippo Is Ideal For: Small Business, Medium Business, and Enterprise
CallHippo Integrations: Zoho, Slack, Zapier, Pipedrive, Intercom
3) Playvox Customer Service Software
Used by top brands like Nike, Fiverr, EA Sports, and Wish, Playvox is a quality assurance software-cum-contact center management software. It helps optimize agent efficiency at each stage and acts as a centralized hub for performance management.
You can view real-time KPIs by agents or create custom reports to identify loopholes in the system and improve your teams’ performance. In addition, its quality assurance system allows you to automate and improve the QA process for chat, support tickets, and text-based interactions.
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It also has a learning management system that helps you improve your agents’ efficiency and empower them to provide the best possible customer service.
Playvox Key Features:
- Quality assurance
- Learning management system
- Performance management and KPI tracking
- Customer feedback system
- Real-time coaching
- Schedule management and forecasting
Playvox Platform Support: Web-based, iOS, Android
Playvox Is Ideal For: Medium Business, and Enterprise
Playvox Integrations: Five9, Salesforce, Zendesk
4) Twilio Contact Center Management Software
Twilio is yet another cloud-based and one of the best contact center software that allows you to interact with customers on channels of their choice (text messages, emails, phone calls, and video). It also offers intelligent chatbots to handle common queries.
By bringing all your customer communications in one place, your team will be able to offer personalized service to every customer. In addition, you can automate routine tasks using Twilio’s AI, such as qualifying sales leads, scheduling appointments, rule-based call routing, and auto-respond using SMS, voice, chat, and WhatsApp from one platform.
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Its analytics dashboard gives agents complete visibility into their performance. Managers can also monitor each representatives’ performance and provide coaching accordingly.
Twilio Key Features:
- Speech recognition
- Embedded calling
- Global conferencing
- Masked calling
- Voice insights
- Dual-channel recording
- Recording transcriptions
Twilio Platform Support: Web-based
Twilio Is Ideal For: Medium Business, and Enterprise
Twilio Integrations: TwilioTMessaging, Voice, REST APIs, Webhooks
5) Vonage Omnichannel Contact Center Software
When it comes to incoming calls, you can connect them to the best available agent through skills-based routing or case-owner routing. Vonage contact center management platform helps your live agents find the best answers faster with artificial intelligence designed especially for contact centers.
( Source: vonage )
Its AI also enhances the self-service experience by engaging callers in a natural language. Moreover, Since Vonage equips virtual teams, contact centers, and branch offices with robust capabilities, productivity can be improved, and profitability maximized.
- Automatic call distribution
- Dialer capabilities
- Dynamic call routing
- Global call plan
- Dashboards and reporting
- Analytics integration
- Contact center coaching
- Screen recording
So, these are the 5 best contact center software options to consider while choosing one. However, we recommend that before making a final decision, make sure you thoroughly examine each of their functions, features, pricing plans, customer support, and other technical and non-technical aspects.
Moreover, you must examine whether the contact center management software you are going to purchase has omnichannel or multichannel support. We recommend that you opt for omnichannel contact center software since it provides lots of advantages. Let’s take a quick look at both of these software to understand them better.
Multichannel Contact Center Software Vs. Omnichannel Contact Center Software
The contact center platforms with multichannel support allow customers to reach out to the company in various ways. Besides, it also lets the company establish its presence on multiple platforms through multiple channels such as email, phone, social media platforms, etc.
However, the problem with the multichannel contact center software is that all of these channels are not linked to one another. As a result, the agent in charge of channel A– Facebook is unaware of what is happening at channel B– Email. This means there is a possibility that more than two agents will handle the same customer simultaneously, wasting resources and time.
Omnichannel contact center software overcomes the limitation of multichannel contact center management software. All of the platforms in omnichannel contact center software are integrated with one another and have a single platform where all of the data from each and every conversation are streamed to, collected, and made available to each of the agents involved in the process.
This will allow the agents to acquire real-time information about the cases and track their progress. Furthermore, because more than one agent will not be working on the same case, this will save time and effort.
Among the many advantages of omnichannel contact center software are improved customer retention, on-time resolution, a better understanding of customer queries, intelligent routing, increased customer satisfaction, and zero resources and time waste.
For all these concrete reasons, make sure you always choose omnichannel contact center management software to ensure that your valuable resources are not wasted and that your agents can use them to their best extent.
However, keep in mind that purchasing and deploying call center software is one thing, but utilizing it to its full potential is quite another. You must be familiar with the various call center KPIs and metrics, as well as the practices for measuring them.
In the following section, we’ll look at the 4 most common contact center management KPIs also referred to as the productivity formula in BPO, and how to measure them.
Top 4 Contact Center Metrics & Ways To Calculate Them
There are multiple contact center management metrics and ways of measuring call center performance. Again, the KPIs vary depending on the type of call center. For example, there are various KPIs for outbound call centers, inbound call centers, survey call centers, and marketing call centers.
However, there are several KPIs that are consistent across the board, such as First Call Resolution (FCR), Customer Satisfaction (CSAT), Idle Time, and Abandon Call Rate. We’ll take a quick look at each of these metrics and learn how to calculate them.
1) First Call Resolution (FCR)
It is a contact center management metric that tracks how many customer complaints are resolved on the first call. Therefore, it is essential that the FCR be as high as possible.
A higher FCR rate implies that contact center agents are well-trained, have an extensive understanding of their roles, and understand how to use contact center software. In contrast, the lower FCR indicates that agents lack necessary professional skills and that an agent training program is desperately needed.
How to Calculate the First Call Resolution Rate?– FCR can be calculated by counting the number of inquiries resolved by an agent on the first call in a specific time period.
2) Customer Satisfaction Rate (CSAT)
Another crucial indicator that gauges client pleasure is the customer satisfaction rate (CSAT). CSAT can be measured using multiple methods, including questionnaires, oral feedback, ratings, and reviews. A higher CSAT score shows that clients are satisfied with your products and services, while a lower number implies that they are not.
( Source: zendesk )
How to Calculate Customer Satisfaction?– Unlike other contact center management metrics, CSAT can be calculated in a variety of ways, such as through feedback surveys, using the best contact center software analytics, questionnaires, data analysis, and so on. Pick the approach that best fits your requirements.
3) Idle Time
Idle time is the amount of time that call center agents spend during work hours doing things that are unrelated to their jobs and do not benefit productivity in any manner. This does not imply that agents should constantly work while on the job. They can relax and take breaks, but only in accordance with business policy. Remember that too much downtime reduces productivity and performance.
How to Calculate Idle Time?– Determine how much time an agent spends on non-work-related tasks. This includes lunch, coffee breaks, and so on. Then, divide the result by the total number of working hours in a day.
4) Abandon Call Rate
When a caller–usually a customer–calls a contact center, it is expected that they will be answered as soon as possible and that their complaints will be addressed as quickly as possible to avoid future suffering. However, sometimes, due to high call volume or poor agent availability, agents do not receive calls, and callers are disconnected. These calls are referred to as abandon calls.
The abandon call rate should ideally be as low as possible. A higher call abandonment rate has an impact not just on the business but also on the reputation.
How To Calculate Abandon Call Rate?– The abandoned call rate is calculated by dividing the total number of abandoned calls by the total number of calls. Please keep in mind that any calls that are disconnected within the first 5 seconds of the call must be excluded from the calculation.
So these are the top 4 ways of measuring contact center performance. Ensure that you apply and monitor all of these metrics in your call center and make the necessary changes to your strategy based on the results. If needed.
However, in addition to these call center KPIs, there are several other best practices for contact center management that you must follow as well.
5 Best Practices For Effective Contact Center Management
The 5 best practices for effective contact center management are as follows. Let’s take a quick look at each of them.
1. Provide All The Necessary Training To Agents
The first step towards better contact center management is to provide essential training to existing as well as onboarding agents. The agents must be well-versed in the process as well as the product or service you are supplying.
You should also arrange a test after the training to determine how much they comprehended and whether or not the training needs to be revised. Moreover, whenever a new process or technology is introduced, you should provide training.
2. Leverage The Right Call Center Technologies
Along with training, invest in technologies such as contact center management software, productivity tools, etc. These tools will not only speed up the operation but will also improve the quality of the work. Moreover, the presence of advanced customer support technologies will give your team a sense of empowerment.
If you are looking for the best contact center software, we recommend CallHippo since it is suitable for call centers of all sizes and forms and comes with a range of advanced features and functionalities.
3. Set Realistic Targets & Plan An Effective Strategy
Setting goals is the next best contact center management practice that you must adopt. Yes, you should always set realistic goals and devise an effective strategy for each month or quarter.
You can set goals by reviewing the previous quarter’s output and consulting with team members. Above all, ensure that the goals are attainable and the approach is viable. Setting unrealistically high goals will only increase employee stress and negatively impact their performance.
4. Periodic Monitoring & Performance Analysis
After you’ve defined your goals, purchased the best contact center software, and trained your workers, it’s time to implement the strategy. Then, after a quarter or a month, assess performance using call center KPIs and metrics to determine whether you met or missed the target.
Also, investigate the causes and factors that contributed to the failures and address them as quickly as possible. To maximize the results, repeat this process every month or quarter.
5. Develop Agent-friendly Work Environment
Last but not least, you must always listen to your team members and cooperate with them. Don’t always act like the boss. This will create an imbalance in the workplace, and employees will feel like slaves.
On the other hand, if they are treated with respect and given appropriate perks, they will offer their best. You can even form a team to listen to employee complaints and resolve them as soon as possible. This will keep employees satisfied and productivity high.
So, these are the 5 best practices for contact center management that you must adhere to. We are optimistic that these practices will bring about positive change in the workplace and help you yield the best outcomes.
The Bottom Line: Technologies like contact center software are very much needed if you are running a small, medium, or large-scale call center. However, before choosing one, make sure you consider all of the factors mentioned above. Furthermore, ensure that you use all of the available call center KPIs to measure performance and that you employ the best contact center management practices to improve performance.