Top Contact Center Software Requirements

Issac Thomas

December 26, 202310 min read

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A well-structured and efficient contact center is vital for providing exceptional customer service. Central to the success of a modern contact center is the right software that aligns with your organizational objectives, support goals and customer expectations. 

To make the best technology decision, CX leaders should thoroughly assess their current and future contact center software requirements.  

In this article, we have compiled a checklist of contact center software requirements that are non-negotiable and that can facilitate high agent productivity and business success. We will also list the factors that should govern your feature selection and purchase decision. 

Let’s get started. 

Understanding the significance of contact center software 

Contact center software solutions are engineered to enhance and streamline support-related communication between organizations and their customers. These versatile systems manage a spectrum of incoming and outgoing messages from customer touchpoints like phone, email, live chat, social media platforms, review forums, websites/apps and beyond. By offering a suite of features and capabilities, contact center software solutions deliver numerous benefits for customer service, such as: 

  • 24*7 customer support. It ensures round-the-clock customer support, enabling businesses to address customer queries, troubleshoot issues and perform essential tasks such as appointment setting, order updates and product information dissemination at any time of the day. 

  • Consumer insights. They produce a goldmine of consumer insights, empowering you to fine-tune service and make data-driven decisions. It's your window into customer needs. 

  • Seamless scalability. It allows you to meet changing customer demands and industry trends without service disruption. 

  • Business continuity. Cloud-based contact centers enable agents to work from anywhere, keeping operations smooth and seamless. 

  • Task automation and response personalization. With AI and automation in your contact center software, you can streamline tasks, offer intelligent responses and deliver personalized interactions for greater efficiency and customer satisfaction(CSAT)

  • Operational efficiency and cost-effectiveness. There are contact center software features like intelligent call routing and customer self-service that optimize resource allocation, ensuring that organizations can do more with fewer resources. 

  • Better sales and revenue generation. Through sophisticated analytics and customer data, the software facilitates personalized interactions, enabling agents to make targeted product recommendations.  

To leverage contact center software to its full potential, businesses need to align their customer service goals and their contact center software requirements. 

Top 10 contact center software requirements  

Recognizing the diverse needs of businesses across various industries, from omnichannel support to advanced analytics and beyond, we delve into the essential features that empower contact centers to thrive in today's competitive business environment, and we unveil the "Top 10 Contact Center Software Requirements." 

1. Omnichannel communication 

We all do "channel surfing" while watching TV, don’t we? Contact center software brings that idea to a whole new dimension. Handling multichannel is a must-have in contact center software because it's more than just switching between channels. It's about smoothly moving from phone discussions to live chat conversations, navigating the complex terrains of social media and exchanging messages in the world of SMS – all without losing the conversation context. 

Being omnipresent on all the customer touchpoints ensures round-the-clock availability and accessibility, which the modern customer expects from their preferred brands. However, omnichannel communication goes beyond ensuring omnichannel customer service.

What does that mean? 

Omnichannel customer service is a customer-centric approach to delivering seamless support experiences across multiple communication channels. 

For example, a customer tries to find an answer on the knowledge base but cannot, so they opt for an email response or go for a live agent reachable through chat or phone.  

At every touchpoint, the customer history is available to the support team and the customer need not repeat their issue, eliminating the need for redundant explanations. This makes for a pleasant, harmonious experience that boosts customer satisfaction and loyalty towards the brand.  
Contact center software deploys features like call routing, call deflection and omnichannel routing to provide an omnichannel customer experience

  • Call routing manages and routes incoming calls to ensure they reach the most appropriate agent or department, optimizing efficiency and enhancing customer satisfaction.  

  • Call deflection is a proactive strategy designed to minimize call volume by steering customers toward alternative channels or self-service options.  

    Omnichannel customer experience in Sprinklr Service

    An omnichannel contact center surpasses multichannel alternatives by offering seamless customer support. In scenarios where phone lines are busy, agents can effortlessly redirect waiting calls to channels like WhatsApp or Live Chat. In contrast, multichannel centers may leave customers waiting or force them to repeat their issues when switching channels. Learn more: Omnichannel contact center vs. Multichannel contact center   

💡 Pro tip: Find contact center software that deploys omnichannel routing as you can leverage it to integrate diverse channels, allowing customers to transition seamlessly between them while maintaining context. For example, a customer may initiate an inquiry through chat and later choose to continue the conversation via a voice call without repeating information. 

2. Customer interaction management 

Customer interactions feel tailormade because of contact center software integration with CRM systems. It empowers agents with customer data, history and preferences. 

So, when an agent picks up a call or engages in a chat, they're not entering a dark room. They have eyes on the customer's history – previous interactions, past purchases, preferences and even that quirky note about their love for cat gifs.  

Imagine the delight when a customer feels recognized, not just as an account number but as an individual with a history. CRM integration is pivotal in contact center software to provide personalized experiences.  

3. Quality management 

Quality management is a necessity for delivering exceptional service. Quality management deploys contact center workforce optimization and agent performance analytics to optimize a contact center’s workforce and enhance agent engagement.  

Quality management in contact centers encompasses these modules: 

#1. Contact center workforce optimization (WFO) is a strategic approach to efficiently manage and maximize the performance of contact center agents. It establishes a balance between workforce and workload by forecasting, scheduling and performance measurement.   

Workforce management in Sprinklr Service

#2. Agent performance management is a crucial part of quality management, offering detailed analytics to assess individual agent performance and pinpoint areas for improvement. The aim is to guarantee high-quality customer service and quantify agent performance using contact center metrics and KPIs like CSAT scores, quality scores and call resolution rates.   

Agent performance management in Sprinklr Service

💡Pro tip: Choose a quality management solution with features like AI scoring and score breakdown. You can leverage it to score 100% of daily customer interactions on 30+ quality and compliance parameters such as opening/closing quality, intro, active listening and empathy.  

Quality assurance helps you with audit calibration and dispute resolution by aligning quality managers and empowering agents to dispute manual quality evaluations and reporting capabilities.

4. Agent coaching and training 

Contact center agent training is the dynamic process of preparing agents to adeptly handle customer inquiries and swiftly resolve issues. Contact center software highlights specific areas in which agents need to improve their performance. It is designed to help contact center managers and supervisors identify trends and patterns in agent behavior that may be impacting the customer experience. 

It derives customer satisfaction scores and quality scores of individual agents, broken down by skills. Once out, this information is leveraged to identify which skills are associated with higher levels of customer satisfaction and quality and which skills may need improvement.   

Agent training in Sprinklr Service

5. Self-service 

Contact center software’s self-service is a suite of support tools and systems designed to help customers resolve issues and access information independently. The information/queries could be related to a business's services, products or policies. The primary goal is to empower customers to perform routine tasks, such as troubleshooting, without the need for direct support from an agent. 

It is a must-have requirement in contact center software as it improves operational efficiency and controls costs by reducing the volume of incoming inquiries, allowing agents to focus on more complex issues that require human intervention.  

Reduce operational costs using self service in Sprinklr

In fact, it reduces overall customer service costs as chatting with a live agent costs $6-12 per interaction, whereas automated interactions cost a mere 25 cents. The self-serve suite consists of tools like interactive voice response (IVR), chatbots, knowledge base, virtual agents, FAQs and Tutorials 

6. Compliance and security 

One of the major challenges customer service teams face is maintaining customers' trust and adhering to compliance standards. While businesses want to scale their operations, they need to adhere to increasing regulations and stay in sync with the latest compliance regulations. 

According to KPMG, 55% of leading companies have incurred revenue losses due to regulatory fines or non-compliance.   

Compliance and security in Sprinklr Service

Maintaining contact center compliance and security is mandatory by law, especially in verticals like finance and government. It maintains security and privacy from data thefts, privacy breaches and other security compromises. It also creates a culture of due diligence, taking care of sensitive information involving your company and its customers.  

7. Generative AI 

In the era of AI, your contact center software should have access to the best AI technologies and tools available. It will help you improve your agent's efficiency and solve issues faster by fine-tuning responses for tone, relevance and accuracy. It will also guide agents to easily find answers in the knowledge base and automate summarizing and categorizing cases. 

💡Pro tip: Find contact center software that can seamlessly integrate with new AI offerings, ensuring you always have access to the latest and most advanced Generative AI technologies, such as Google Cloud’s Vertex AI and OpenAI, so that you future-proof your AI stack. Learn more 

8. Reporting and analytics 

Speech analytics and unified reporting are crucial components of contact center software as they are leveraged to understand customer interactions in detail and extract valuable insights. 

Speech analytics provides a nuanced understanding of customer interactions as it transcribes and analyzes spoken words during real-time and recorded customer-agent conversations, extracting valuable insights such as customer sentiments, recurring issues and opportunities for improvement.  

Learn more: Comprehensive guide on customer interaction analytics  

Speech analytics in Sprinklr Service

Unified reporting consolidates data from various customer service channels and touchpoints into a centralized platform. It integrates data from diverse channels, such as voice calls, emails, chats and social media interactions, presenting a cohesive narrative of the customer journey

With a plethora of users like agents, supervisors and quality managers, reporting and analytics need to be dynamic to cater to the diverse needs of users. The user interface should adapt dynamically based on roles, ensuring a personalized experience for agents, supervisors, quality assurance teams and decision-makers.  

By tailoring the interface to each persona, the system optimizes usability, providing relevant data for informed decision-making and enhancing the overall efficiency of the contact center operations.  Read more: Understand the A to Z of contact center analytics 

9. Flexibility and scalability 

Find a Contact center as a service (CCaaS) platform to leverage cloud deployment as it is a must-have for unparalleled flexibility. By migrating operations to the cloud, organizations gain the agility to adapt swiftly to changing business needs. This flexibility is particularly crucial in handling fluctuating call volumes, seasonal demands, or unforeseen events.  

API integration is integral to building a flexible and scalable contact center ecosystem. APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) allow seamless communication between different software applications, enhancing the overall functionality of the contact center. 

10. Cost management 

Predictive cost analytics leverages historical data, real-time insights and forecasting models to enable accurate predictions of future expenses, helping organizations make informed decisions. This approach allows for better resource allocation, optimized staffing levels and cost-effectiveness without compromising service quality. 

User licensing is a key component of cost management that provides organizations with flexibility and control over their expenditures. By implementing user licensing models, contact centers can tailor their software usage to specific needs, aligning costs with actual usage patterns. This not only ensures that organizations pay for what they use but also allows for scalability and adaptability in response to changing operational requirements. 

How to prioritize contact center software requirements  

Deep dive into your current operations through rigorous analysis, which may involve crunching numbers, talking to your team and even observing how things work on the ground. Make a sheet of measurable goals and a vision for where you want to be.  

Craft a plan to bridge the gap between today and that future vision. Think about tasks, timelines, interim goals, who's doing what and how you're handling any changes along the way. To draft your contact center software requirements, apart from looking into your organization's requirements, you also need to look around and see what the current contact center trends are.  

Key factors to choose your contact center software When choosing contact center software, CX leaders must consider key factors to align with their organization's needs: 

  1. Purpose: Define the objectives and purpose behind the decision, such as sales, warranty claims, or loyalty programs, to determine essential applications and services. 

  2. Types: Consider inbound, outbound or omnichannel contact centers and assess the potential for outsourcing services. 

  3. Architecture: Decide between cloud-based or on-premises solutions based on corporate policies and expansion plans. 

  4. Channels: Evaluate how vendors support interaction channels, including voice, email, SMS, chat and video. 

  5. Agent flexibility: Assess agent workstyles, whether centralized, remote or hybrid and consider future remote work plans. 

  6. Management tools: Determine the need for specialized management and monitoring tools to measure performance, automate processes or provide business metrics. 

Once you get clarity on the six factors, compare contact center software options provided to you by different CCaaS vendors based on the requirements and choose the best CCaaS software for your business.  

Why Sprinklr Service is your best choice  

Consider these stats – 

  • 75% of consumers expect a consistent experience across every channel they choose to engage. 

  • 59% of consumers have higher expectations for customer service than they did a year ago. 

  • 80% of consumers say the experience a company provides is as important as its products and services. 

Customers expect consistent experiences and have higher expectations from businesses. If you want to keep up and score an A in customer service, you need to deploy Sprinklr Service. It is the first purpose-built Contact Center as a Service (CCaaS) scaling customer service across 30+ digital and traditional channels, including voice, self-service systems, AI bots and one unified view of the customer. 

Powered by an advanced AI engine on the Unified Customer Experience Management (Unified-CXM) platform, Sprinklr Service analyzes billions of customer interactions in real time across various channels to identify intent and sentiment and efficiently route customers to the right support. Apart from that, you get to: 

  • Analyze your most frequent customer queries using our advanced AI engine 

  • Streamline all customer service processes into a single window for maximum visibility to agents and supervisors alike. 

  • Help agents and support teams across the globe collaborate seamlessly on tickets and move them toward quicker resolutions. 

  • Ensure maximum security for customer data collected throughout the process 

  • Identify gaps in agent performance and suggest areas of improvement using detailed reports to increase individual productivity and overall team efficiency. 

These software requirements are essential for a modern contact center to deliver effective customer service, optimize operations and adapt to changing business needs. The power to construct a better world for your customers and agents lies within your grasp. But why take our word for it? Experience the magic yourself.  Take Sprinklr Service for a test drive, absolutely free, for the next 30 days. 

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