Choosing the right cloud call center

Original author: Robert Po
There are various forms of cloud call center. Some of them are clearly defined high-priced Call Center products . Others include a set of special features and do not exceed the cost of conventional cloud-based VoIP products. Some are focused on large companies with a call center as a structural unit and with a specific set of services. Others serve small companies that simply put a lot of their employees on their phones so they spend most of their time talking to customers. As you can see, choosing the right call center is far from easy.

Nevertheless, the effort is worth it. Call centers can provide companies with various ways to phone customers. And the number of such products based on cloud services is constantly growing, which makes them more affordable for small companies. Thus, using the appropriate set of cloud call center options, the company becomes more efficient and competitive.

Call center can be used in sales, processing both incoming and outgoing calls, as well as for the organization of various service departments. It provides several types of interrelated benefits, such as:

  • ensures that the call reaches the employee (call center operator) who is best equipped to handle it;
  • increases the efficiency of call processing by employees;
  • allows employees to interact more effectively with each other and provides great opportunities for solving various issues with customers;
  • Provides supervisors with comprehensive information on how employees process calls, and allows you to intervene in the conversation if necessary.

There is a set of call center features and functions that provide these benefits. Some of them are characteristic of the call center, while others are characteristic of applications. They include:

  • Answering machines that greet the caller with a pre-recorded message and give them the opportunity to make a choice of how to process their call either by pressing keys on the phone or using voice commands.
  • Automatic call distribution (ACD) automatically routes the call to the right employee or operator based on either the subscriber’s number (if it’s, say, a regular customer), or based on the choice and answers of the subscriber to the answering machine.
  • Intelligent call routing, which, using information about the call and some criteria, is guaranteed to transfer the call to the operator who is most prepared to answer the client's question. Criteria include the level of professional training of the operator (professionally oriented routing), the time zone in which the client is located, the history of the client's questions from his previous calls. Different priorities of different clients are also taken into account, based on factors such as the waiting time for an operator’s response and the potential benefits of interacting with this client.
  • Queue is a tool that prioritizes calls received by an answering machine, ACD, and as a result of intelligent routing.
  • Groups - enable the answering machine, ACD, router to transfer calls to teams, departments and other subsets of employees, grouped by professional characteristics.
  • Monitor - allows the supervisor to listen to the conversation, prompt the operator so that the caller does not hear this, and also intervene in the conversation if necessary.
  • Monitoring and documentation allows the supervisor to monitor the work of operators, the status of the queue, and to identify call center overloads. Monitoring usually provides real-time information in tabular or graphical form, and also documents the history of the call center for a certain period (hours, months, etc.).

Many suppliers provide one or another call center functionality, there are other differences in the delivered products. They include properties that increase the flexibility and usefulness of the product. A list of the most common and useful is given below:

  • Mobile access, which allows operators to answer business calls, including from mobile phones. This makes it easier to work remotely, say from home or from a branch, and also provides an opportunity for employees to be available to call on trips, trips. In some cases, these may be calls from customers, in others - from operators who need urgent help in resolving a client’s question or business issues.
  • Dashboard accessible via the Internet or in another way. Provides an on-screen interface that facilitates the user to perform many call processing operations. The user can, for example, click or drag the desired answer to a question, put the call on hold or transfer it to another operator or employee (also using Drag & Drop). The operator can also see the status of other operators, groups, the status of the queue. He can get information about the caller by dragging the call to the list of names, numbers and special icons. The dashboard can be downloaded by a PC, smartphone application, or web portal that provides similar functionality.
  • Integration with Unified Communications (Unified Communications - UC). This property provides operators with many ways to interact through the dashboard and other methods. The most popular instant messengers, chats, video calls and conferences.
  • Integration with CRM systems. Allows the operator to see the purchase history and other information about the calling customer. Customer information comes from a customer relationship management system (CRM), such as or SugarCRM, and call information comes from a cloud-based VoIP system. Information from CRM usually appears in a pop-up window when a call arrives and is based on information about the call (phone number, sections of the answering machine visited). The operator can also obtain information about the client manually by entering his identification data.

The addition of new communication methods makes VoIP a unified communication, and the addition of new communication methods to the call center turns it into a contact center. And this already allows the client, for example, to dial a question in the chat window on the company’s website or initiate a voice call by clicking on the link (the operator can answer either from a regular phone or from a phone connected via VoIP), or start a video call from his browser.

A wide range of solutions is presented on the market of cloud call centers; each customer can choose a configuration in accordance with his needs. It is also clear that when buying, it is important to focus primarily on the company's own needs, and not on the proposals of the supplier.

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