Call center managers know that choosing effective software is key to success. With the right tools on board, including the right contact center software, you can increase agent happiness and productivity, while hitting your KPIs and running an efficient operation that scales with ease.
But how do you buy the call center software and choose from the countless options in a very competitive marketplace? For starters, today’s contact centers require flexible software that supports omnichannel integrations. Tools enhanced with artificial intelligence are a must these days, along with IVR capabilities, smart routing, real-time analytics, and immediate access to caller information and context for agents.
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Some features may come bundled with Call Center Software as a Service (CCaaS) packages. And if you need more incisive, effective tools you can add specialized, third-party software like Fonolo’s Voice Call-Backs, which eliminate hold-time for your callers.
To understand your software needs, you’ll need to conduct a full audit and ask yourself what problems you’re trying to solve. For a comprehensive overview of the topic, check out our most recent report on How to Buy Call Center Software. We’ll help you piece together the puzzle as we unpack the options: identifying game-changing features, discussing procurement, and shining a light on industry trendsetters who are breaking new ground.
Cloud vs. On-Premises Software
One of the first questions you’ll ask is where you should host your software. As the name suggests, the main difference between cloud and on-premises software is the location where the software lives. If your products are hosted on-premises, they are installed on your business’ own computers and servers. This requires IT support and ongoing maintenance from your tech support team. Cloud software is accessed through a web browser and hosted “in the cloud” or on your vendor’s server in a remote location.
There are pros and cons to both models, including cost, maintenance requirements, and flexibility. It’s important to understand what each option entails before you decide which works
DID YOU KNOW:
The Contact Center Software market size is expected to grow from US $35.2 billion in 2022 to US $93.7 billion by 2027
What is Omnichannel Functionality?
Put simply, software with omnichannel functionality lets your customers move seamlessly across all inbound channels including phone, chat, email, and social media, while their service journey is captured and shared with agents in real time. Integrated services mean callers don’t have to repeat their questions, re-explain why they’re calling or undergo multiple security checks throughout their customer service journey. (This is important! Up to 33% of callers say that repeating their information is their biggest customer service pain point.)
This means a customer’s question can be easily escalated from a text-based chat to a voice call without missing a beat. Fonolo’s Visual IVR helps achieve this by gathering information and offering customers a call-back at a convenient time. All the relevant customer history will follow the conversation, so the customer doesn’t have to repeat their information multiple times.
Omnichannel integration has quickly become the industry standard and is appreciated—and expected—by today’s customers.
What is Contact Center as a Service Software?
These robust software systems integrate many of the features and tools that all contact centers need. Usually cloud-based, these systems offer “software as a service”, which refers to a purchasing model where software is licensed on a subscription basis and remotely hosted, though many providers also offer on-premises solutions.
CCaaS tools and features:
- Interactive Voice Response (IVR) and Visual IVR allow customers to provide information before speaking to a live agent.
- AI-based customer sentiment analysis notices keywords like “late order” or “refund” to help direct calls.
- Automatic Call Distribution (ACD) routes the call to the correct agent.
- Voice Call-Backs allows the customer to schedule a convenient call-back if all agents are busy.
- Business software integration shows agents the customer’s entire service journey and helps them address their issues thoroughly.
- Analytics track KPIs to better understand customers’ needs, monitor efficiencies, and identify roadblocks.
- Workforce management tools (WFM) promote team productivity and help with smart scheduling, workload distribution, and trend forecasting.
Many of these features are also available as specialized software—like Fonolo’s Voice Call-Backs—offering enhanced functionality for better contact center solutions.
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