Your call center phone system is the backbone of your customer support operation. It gives your team the tools they need to keep customers happy with your company. How do you chose the right system? Let’s review.
Customer Support Phone Systems
Small business can thrive by supporting their customers well – but they can also lose their business if they don’t. Phone support is an essential aspect of supporting your customers. Both PBX and VoIP based phone systems offer the basics you need, but as the needs of business grow, it may become time to utilize a call center optimized system that can offer you higher levels of customer care more affordable. Consider these factors.
Call Distribution and Queues
When calls come to your customer support members, you want the calls to go to the people best able to handle them, and to minimize wait time. A queuing system that allows the first caller to get to the first available agent, and allows for you to set up rules to facilitate call routing. For example, you may have some team members handle calls from a particular geographic region.
You need a way for agents to report they’re not available to take calls when they’re away from their desk. This allows supervisors to instantly see how many agents are available at any given moment.
Metrics and Data
Hard data about your calls lets you know where you can improve. Your call center phone system should allow you to create reports based on specific metrics so you you’ll know:
- Which agents are excelling
- Call volumes
- Length of calls
- Number of calls sent to resolution
- How many agents you need during key hours of the day
This information will help you identify your best agents, and provide you with documentation in the event you need to let someone go due to poor call statistics.
The Ability to Monitor Calls and Barge-In
If you have full-time supervisors, then you’ll need them to have the ability to silently monitor calls and barge-in when necessary. On some systems these features are not available at all, and on others they’ll cost you extra.
Connectivity is Everything
If you currently utilize any kind of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system, then you’ll need to choose a call center phone system that can communicate with it. Whether you use a cloud-based CRM like Salesforce.com, Sugar, or Zoho, or an in-house CRM system like Act!, Microsoft Dynamics, or Microsoft Outlook, your phone system should work with your CRM.
However, not all integration is the same. You may want your agents to be able to click-to-dial calls right from your CRM, or for your CRM system to automatically pop-up a screen with your customer’s data every time they call. Choose a system that meets your expectations for CRM integration.
Don’t Turn Your Back on the Basics
As you focus on new technology, it’s easy to forget about the basics.
- Interactive Voice Response (IVR) capability: Also known as auto-attendants or voice prompt systems, this feature allows your callers to be easily directed to the person they need to speak with.
- Different greetings: The greeting a caller gets during business hours should be different than the greeting they get when your center is fully staffed.
- Call recording: There are many reasons you may want to record your calls – for training purposes, or to have a record of a call in the event of a difficult caller.
The Best Cloud Based System
We’ve compared the options and identified Nextiva as the best cloud-based option for call center phone systems. Other top choices include RingCentral, VocalCom, and ShoreTel Sky, but we’ve chosen Nextiva for several reasons:
- Their long list of tools like call routing and queuing
- The way their software interfaces with both CRM systems and MS-Outlook
- Their report running features