How to Use Call Center

Call Center is Great Addition Towards Your System

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Despite the increasing popularity of digital customer service channels, phone still tops the charts as the most used and preferred method for consumers to reach support teams of companies they engage with. Therefore, call center software industry continues to rapidly grow, with the global call center market expected to reach $481 billion by 2024, according to predictions by Global Industry Analysts, Inc. Below is a quick overview of how call center software operates and what it takes to work as a call center agent.

How Call Center Software Works

  • In case of incoming calls, the call center software system browses through the existing database to identify the caller.
  • If the entry of the caller is not present in the database, the software creates a new customer entry for future reference. 
  • If the caller’s entry is identified, the customer records are displayed to the agent who picks up the call, providing them with detailed information about the customer, including the history of previous interactions. 
  • According to the caller’s responses - if IVR is enabled - the call is placed in the appropriate customer support queue based on the mapping in the database.
  • When the call is added to the queue, the agents assigned to that queue can take over the call.
  • After accepting the call, the agent assists the customer by providing information or giving instructions. If needed, the agent may also get senior agents/ supervisors on the call for assistance, or escalate the call further.
  • Based on the customer’s final response, the agent marks the status of the ticket as ‘open’, ‘closed’, ‘resolved’ or ‘requires follow-up’ in the agent dashboard.
  • If the issue wasn’t resolved during the first call, the agents need to follow-up once they have more information or a solution to a customer’s problem.
  • If the ticket is marked as ‘closed’, the agent may request customer feedback through an automated call or email, that can further be used for improvements.
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Basic Call Center Software Features

Automatic Call Routing

Call routing - also known as an automatic call distributor or ACD - allows the call center software system to automatically route inbound calls to the most appropriate agents for faster and more efficient resolution of a caller’s issue.

Interactive Voice Response (IVR)

IVR allows callers to select from a pre-defined set of options by interacting with the system via keypad entries and/or spoken response, and enabling the system to direct them towards the right agents, a voicemail or a recorded message.

Call Recording

The call recording feature records and saves calls that can be played back later if agents need reference before reaching out to a customer, or whenever managers would like to check on the agent performance, or for call center management training.

Call Monitoring

Call monitoring allows managers or trainees to listen to live conversations, without the agent or customer knowing it, in order to monitor agent performance for quality assurance or new agent training purposes.

Internal Calls

The feature provides agents with an opportunity to conference in another agents whenever they need quick assistance with the customer’s issue, which enables easy team collaboration and helps to improve agent efficiency.

Predictive Dialer

Predictive dialer automatically calls a number of contacts that are usually picked for specific reasons at the same time before an agent becomes available and connects them to a waiting rep. The feature is typically used by outbound sales teams. 

Reporting

Reporting capabilities allow viewing call center metrics for certain defined time period – these often include inbound/ outbound call volume, missed calls, number of calls per agent, average call duration, abandonment rate, wait times, etc.

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Call Center Agent Duties & Responsibilities

Though duties and responsibilities of call center employees may vary across companies and depend on individual assignments, in general, call center agents are supposed to:

  • Answer inbound calls from customers and prospects / make outbound calls within a specific period of time.
  • Resolve the majority of calls on the first contact or escalate the call to an appropriate person with the right expertise and authority to solve an issue, if needed.
  • Provide quick and accurate answers, maintain professional tone and follow basic rules of customer service etiquette.
  • Ensure each customer is satisfied with an offered solution and doesn’t have additional questions or any other queries.
  • Log details of the call accurately into the call center software system for future reference.
  • Follow up with the customer, if their issue wasn’t resolved on the first contact and offer a solution.
  • Handle a certain number of calls (inbound or outbound, or both) per day to maintain high performance.

Top Call Center Agent Skills

Deep Product/ Service Knowledge 

Since call center agents are trusted to represent a company while interacting with customers, above everything else, they need to have a deep knowledge of the company’s products, services and policies which should be the foundation of any contact center training. It will enable them to provide quick, accurate and competent responses as well as maintain high FCR rates.

Effective Communication 

Effective communication is on top of almost any call center skills list, as the agents spend most of their working routine communicating with customers. That includes superior verbal communication skills, active listening, an ability to quickly and effectively get the message across, maintaining a professional communication style, an ability to use positive language and persuasive speaking skills. 

Organizational Skills

To be productive in the workplace, call center agents should be able to effectively keep track of customer requests and issues, and know how to best leverage all the available resources to address them. This makes strong organizational skills – including efficient planning, prioritization, task delegation, the right resource utilization and time-management – critical for call center agents.

Problem-solving

Problem-solving is among some of the most crucial customer service call center skills. That means being able to effectively address any issue a customer has with a company’s products or services, as well as handling difficult customer situations. Problem-solving abilities are also connected to a number of other skills such as analytical skills, creative thinking, adaptability and flexibility – all important for call center agents to remain efficient in every interaction. 

Empathy

An integral part of serving customers effectively is understanding their feelings about the situation, which makes empathy – an ability to step in the customer’s shoes - one of the must-have call center skills. A great call center agent must be compassionate and empathetic enough to soothe frustrated customers, and patient enough to guide them successfully in solving their problems.

Back to Academy list

Introduction

Theory

Soft Skills

Customer Appreciation

Customer Communication

Customer Feedback

Customer Service Department

Help Desk Software

Customer Service

Ticketing

Live Chat

Customer Portal

Call Center Software

Customer Service Reporting

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