Why You Need Call Center Technology

For a number of generations, call centers ran on one concept – connecting customers to agents who worked for the company. While this may have been enough to satisfy those of an earlier generation, it is clear that such a process today would hinder productivity and keep too many people on hold to create a satisfactory experience.

In truth, call center technology helps take the call center of yesterday and update it with the tools and capabilities it needs to drive next-generation performance. While it may sound like a lot of buzz words, the truth is that your customers are demanding much more today from your interaction channels – are you able to meet those demands?

To meet the challenges that exist in business today, call center technology relies on three key elements of hardware, software and the network. The good news is that as we continue to move to more virtualized and hosted environments, the need for hardware is diminishing, while software is providing the tools necessary to get the job done.

For those who do still rely on servers to manage data, however, a data center is an important technology piece of the call center. Beyond data capture, you still need a way to connect your telephone system at large and your internal telephone system – unless you have an all-IP environment in which you rely on the VoIP call center to communicate. If VoIP is still off in the future, you likely have a PBX, which is built to connect to your IP network.

Call center technology that is delivered by the phone company may come with an offer of using the phone company’s hardware within the call center. This is an option to consider in an environment where IP-based telephony systems do not work well with traditional handsets and the implementation of Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) running on IP-based phones can provide greater value.

The software necessary for your call center technology can be much more complex these days than simply the hardware needs of the business. For instance, automatic call distribution is used as an effective way to manage calls and available agents; Interactive Voice Response – or IVR – is used to route calls before they reach the intended party; customer relationship management (CRM) is integrated into key databases within the organization to drive better sales revenue; and metrics and analytics as these tools help to identify strong and weak points in the overall call center staff.

Call center technology must also include the network as how information flows throughout the center and integrates into the overall organization is essential to your overall success. It is important to use call center technology to tie your back-office software to the telephone system and be sure your network matches anticipated capacity.

If you plan to move to a VoIP platform to manage all voice and data over the same portal, be sure you have the right call center technology in place to support this move and any subsequent challenges that result.  Remember that your first goal is to serve the customer well and if the call center technology you select does not meet this objective, it might not be the right investment.

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