Must-Have Call Center Technology to Add to Your Business in 2019
Providing call center agents with up-to-date technology helps them work more efficiently, and greater efficiency creates happy customers. New technology also enables customers to connect via multiple channels and take advantage of more self-service options — things that also make them happy. So, it is important to know about the latest technology and how it could improve the customer service process.
To get you started on the new year, here is a list of must-have call center technology for 2019.
Cloud Omni-Channel Platform
Voice is just one channel customers use to connect with call centers. They may use their mobile device or computer to email, text, chat, or come in through the “back door” via social media. In 2019, it will be critical to meet customers their way, on their schedule. They expect a seamless omni-channel experience, but they also expect an entirely personalized response.
Cloud-based platforms enable omni-channel conversations that move seamlessly among channels. So, if a customer emails, then calls or texts, the system (and the agent) can see their call history and personal information in real time. No repetition needed.
Cloud-based platforms also enable call centers to hire and manage more remote agents. Instead of struggling with a hopelessly constructed local labor pool, the best candidates are available, no matter where they are.
Workforce Management Software
Organization is critical in managing a call center, but there are a lot of moving parts. Call center workforce management software streamlines processes across the board. It captures and stores data in a single place, making all aspects of HR far simpler and faster, whether the workforce is physically located in a single facility or spread out remotely.
One of the toughest challenges for call center managers is scheduling. Software that automates this process saves serious time, improves accuracy, and improves forecasting of future staffing needs. Even without a comprehensive workforce management platform, scheduling software can be s significant plus.
Self-Service Assistance for Customers
Thanks to advances in artificial intelligence, IVR systems can now offer customers much wider — and more useful — options. In particular, customers can help themselves to product information, technical support, etc. that comes in the form of documents, videos, or virtual agents. This resolves a common problem — customers who need support but hesitate to call out of fear they will become entangled in the system instead of getting the help they need.
Advanced IVR can also connect customers with the right live agent faster and more accurately. This alleviates another major irritation, endless transfers.
This is one AI capability that facilitates greater responsiveness. Speech recognition enables the system to detect tone of voice as well as words, using that data to more accurately direct calls.
It takes deep data — and studying that data — to personalize and streamline customer interactions. It also takes deep data to monitor and improve call center and individual agent performance. The right technology captures all the information required and makes analysis easier.
Everyone is used to seeing chatbots now — your customers may not even realize the bot is not a live agent. But who cares? Chatbots add efficiencies for customers, relieve agents of mundane, repetitive tasks “even a machine could do,” and can forward customer histories along with calls when a live agent is required.
The key to successfully upgrading technology in 2019 is picking the best products for your call center. That requires three things:
Even the hottest new technology will go cold in a hurry if it is not relevant for your customers and agents. What challenge(s) will this technology help you solve?
Every department affected by new software should be involved in beta testing, to work out all the kinks before the platform goes live.
Train agents thoroughly, and keep training. That builds their skill and confidence and ensures customers will experience only the benefits of the new technology rather than enduring “growing pains” glitches.
The must-have technology for your organization depends on your specific business, customers, and goals. The smartest investments will make the greatest impact in the most ways.