When we discuss features of call center software, we can't overlook the fact that customer service expectations are rising unabatedly. It's as if we're venturing into uncharted territory of customer demands – like trying to tame a herd of elusive unicorns.
To excel in this ever-evolving landscape, your call center software must possess remarkable features that not only elevate customer satisfaction but also differentiate it from the vast sea of mediocrity.
- Best call center software features to look for
- #1. Call center features for automatic call distribution
- #2. Call center features for self-service
- #3. Call center features for quality management
- #4. Call center features for reporting and analytics
- #5. Call center features for operations optimization
- #6. Call center features for customer interaction management
Best call center software features to look for
Now, without further ado, let's explore 22 remarkable call center features thoughtfully organized into six powerful functionalities to transform your call center into a legendary powerhouse of customer service.
#1. Call center features for automatic call distribution
Your call center software should be adept at automatic call distribution or call routing as it’s commonly called. With this functionality, your software auto-distributes inbound customer calls to available or specific agents or a waiting queue based on predefined criteria or AI logic. Automatic call distribution consists of four features.
Omnichannel call routing
Omnichannel call routing lies at the core of modern ACD systems, enabling agents to handle queries from diverse service channels like voice, social, chat and text. Social listening further boosts agent efficiency, identifying high-risk mentions and messages for prompt routing to the right agent, reducing negative customer experiences.
AI-based predictive behavioral routing
Predictive behavioral routing uses AI algorithms to match a customer with the most qualified agent based on personality, behavior and relevant experience. The algorithm analyzes customer interaction data like priority levels, account status, intent & history to assign the best agent equipped to meet & resolve customer demands quickly.
This reduces unsatisfactory conversations with the wrong agents, lowers average handling time and improves first-call resolution rates, ensuring better customer & agent satisfaction - renewing customer confidence.
As the name suggests, you can automatically dial customers’ phone numbers through an auto-dialer. When the customer picks up the call, the auto-dialer either plays a pre-recorded message or transfers the call to a live agent. Most outbound call center solutions offer various auto-dialers, such as preview dialers, progressive dialers, predictive dialers, etc.
An automatic callback is extremely useful for call centers that experience consistent high-volume spikes or outages. In addition, automatic callback allows customers to leave voicemail messages if they cannot stay on hold or request a callback and not lose their place in the queue.
Learn more: The A to Z of call management
#2. Call center features for self-service
A Harvard Business Review study show that 81% of customers look to resolve queries independently before opting to speak to a customer service representative.
With most customers prioritizing immediate response, self-service is a must-have solution, that should be available round the clock. Your call center software should be adept with these three self-service features.
Interactive voice response (IVR)
IVR allows customers to interact with a phone menu and guides them through various options to help them reach the right solution or an agent. This benefits the customers as they do not have to repeat themselves once they contact a customer service rep.
Moreover, the customers may find a solution for their issues at this step, which is relatively easy to navigate. In addition, IVR helps manage your support team’s call volumes and you do not have to connect calls manually.
💡Sprinklr pro tip: Use a call center solution that helps deflect conversations from IVR to lower-cost digital channels like chatbots and WhatsApp. With our advanced IVR solution, you can bring your cost per contact down to as low as $0.10 deflecting conversations to low-cost channels.
Call center software handles more than just inbound calls. For example, your customer service representatives or sales team may need to make outbound calls to provide proactive customer support, reach out to prospects and more.
If you run an outbound call center, ensure your call center software features include an automated dialer, number masking, scheduled callback, CRM integration, agentless auto-messaging and more.
AI-powered chat and messaging
Customer service chatbots have become an integral part of call center solutions and help improve customer experience by providing personalized experiences to your callers. Sophisticated chatbots can simulate human conversations and recognize human speech.
Through AI-powered chat and messaging, customers can change their passwords, schedule appointments or check their account balances without speaking to an agent. This helps lower your service costs while keeping up your customer satisfaction scores
Learn more: 7 reasons call centers can't resist chatbots
#3. Call center features for quality management
A call center software should ideally come with a full-featured quality monitoring solution. This helps create a seamless balance between agent empowerment and operational efficiency. Your call center quality management should be equipped with these four features.
Call and screen recording
Call recording can help improve customer satisfaction, train the support team and enhance contact center agent productivity. In addition, screen recording can help identify gaps and improve customer grievance resolution by noting what the agent experienced and how they handled the customer query.
Seamless integration with CRM
CTI, or computer-telephony integration, is one of the more effective call center CRM features that help identify a customer through their phone number. In addition, this feature provides context through CTI pop-ups by bringing up any previous interactions with the customer, during calls.
Your support team can offer more effective support by referencing past interactions with the customer. Moreover, the agent can analyze trends in product usage and take necessary action so that the customer will not have to reach out again about the same issue.
Most canned first response revolves around collecting customer information. However, call center software should be able to withstand malware attacks, prevent data breaches and have a long-term commitment to data privacy
Your contact center solution should come equipped with security features such as a robust firewall, advanced encryption, vulnerability management systems and intruder detection to protect the privacy and data of your customers.
This feature lets you forecast contact volume across multiple channels and ensure that the right-skilled agents are staffed across all supported channels.
Learn more: Understand the basics of workforce management and how to leverage it
#4. Call center features for reporting and analytics
Your call center software solution should be adept at turning raw data into actionable insights. It is imperative to improve overall efficiency, evaluation, productivity and performance and you can keep a tap on all of it with these two features.
One of the more helpful call center software features, text analytics, allows you to digitally transcribe text-based conversations from customer surveys, SMS, IVR and emails. This helps identify patterns in customer behavior and customer experience trends.
Think about it, you can dive into massive piles of words and uncover what customers really think, what they like and what's trending. It's like turning chaos into clarity, just by analyzing loads of unstructured data.
To run a call center effectively, you need to monitor various metrics such as incoming call volume, call trends vis-a-vis the average time in queue, average call abandonment rate, first call resolutions and agent efficiency.
Reporting can help determine common issues plaguing customers, identify gaps in your support coverage and recognize potential training opportunities.
Point to note: Generating insights from unstructured data is expensive, time-consuming, and nearly impossible if you must sift through millions of data points and identify anomalies. You need to have powerful analytics and reporting in place to bring them together in well-structured reports that empower your team to make smarter business decisions.
#5. Call center features for operations optimization
Your call center software solution should offer seamless flexibility, customization and scalability. It keeps your customer service operations future. AI-based call center optimization tools help improve performance by continuously streamlining contact center processes. You can future-proof your customer service with these four features.
Top-of-the-line call center software allows you to escalate urgent customer support queries. Escalation management entails that the customer should be able to reach the appropriate agent at each step of the escalation process right from the moment the customer calls with an issue.
Moreover, your support team should be empowered to de-escalate issues by offering customers vouchers, refunds or discounts during that same call.
Ticket deflection helps optimize your operations and reduce your agents’ workload. This is done by directing callers to your knowledge base or FAQs section, where they can receive answers to their queries faster.
Ticket deflection helps you resolve queries even when your agents are offline giving them much-needed rest without compromising on customer service.
This feature allows you to set unique ringtones to notify your support team that a critical account is calling for assistance. You can set priority alerts for high-stakes clients who give you recurring revenue or to whom you have promised a certain level of service or SLA.
Through priority alerts, your support team knows when to be on the ball or reach out to their managers.
Cloud call centers use a cloud-based calling system that uses the Internet rather than a phone line to make calls. Also known as Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), cloud-based calling is comparatively cheaper to install and maintain than regular landlines since it does not require traditional hardware.
This helps eliminate maintenance and infrastructure costs usually associated with classic phone lines. Moreover, you get low tariff rates for international calls, which can be advantageous if you handle a high volume of such calls.
#6. Call center features for customer interaction management
Your call center software solution should be adept at giving customers personalized experiences that are more interactive and immediate. The ability to manage these interactions helps your business create better customer journeys and you can do it with these four features.
This feature allows you to put multiple calls on hold at a time when your agents are busy on other calls. If the hold time is too long, a queue callback can be arranged wherein the caller can be called back on their current phone number or stay on the line and wait for the agent.
Call queueing helps lower your average hold time, call transfers, and the time needed to resolve an issue.
Through call barging, a third person (typically a supervisor or manager) can enter a call between a customer and an agent without the call being transferred or ended. This feature can come in handy for training new agents.
In addition, call barging can be helpful in situations wherein the agent needs urgent access to technical expertise to resolve the issue. That’s why call barging is a critical call center software feature for large contact centers that require upskilling of customer service reps regularly.
In three-way calling, more than one agent can handle a call simultaneously. When a customer rep requires help on a technical issue and needs to bring in a technical support member to assist on the call, the agent can make use of three-way calling.
If your call center receives a high volume of calls that deal with related or similar issues, you require a solution that offers key inbound call center software features such as call scripting.
A call script allows you to detect certain keywords in customer conversations and offers troubleshooting instructions based on a standard answer. This feature works similarly to a chatbot.
In addition, you can also create standard scripts for specific scenarios, allowing your teams to speak in a consistent brand voice. Your agents can personalize their responses to suit their context and customer preferences.
Omnichannel communication integration
The omnichannel capability allows your support team to view and understand the history and context of prior interactions with a customer, irrespective of the channel in which the communication took place. Typically, this feature covers SMS, email, live chat or social media channels.
The primary benefit of omnichannel communication is that it helps provide a consistent customer experience and lowers friction in calls.
Imagine a world where all your customer connections come together under one roof — a lively mix of chats, calls and texts, creating a customer engagement extravaganza! Thanks to top-notch call center software, you'll masterfully juggle these diverse channels like a seasoned circus performer on a unicycle. Sounds, great? Right.
You can build this world for your customers and agents. Don't just believe our words, try Sprinklr Service for free for the next 90 days.