Inbound call center software is the most popular type of software used for call centers all around the world. Nonetheless, many people who don’t work in the call center industry do not understand the difference between inbound call center software and outbound or blended call center solutions. We tried our best to explain all aspects of inbound call center solutions in this short article, so hope you will enjoy reading it!
Inbound call center software meaning
Inbound call center software is a tool that is specifically designed and developed for servicing and handling inbound calls (incoming calls) and is the most popular kind of customer service software. In most cases, people consider inbound call center tools as tools that help to process incoming calls only, but in modern digital environments, an inbound call center is a customer service department that receives and handled inbound requests through absolutely distinct communication channels, including email messages, chatbots, live chats, messengers, and social media.
We all have experienced interactions with inbound call centers, at least those of us who have ever called customer support due to any reason. Inbound contact centers are multifunctional environments that not only process customer calls but collect data, provide different workforce management activities, organize quality assurance processes, manage customer experience, and provide proactive service. And yes, even inbound call centers can generate sales – you definitely know that besides outbound sales, there are inbound sales you can use as another channel to generate stable revenue.
What are the main components of an inbound call center?
As the inbound contact center is the whole customer service department, it may include different components and subdivisions, such as various specialized units (technical support, IT department, financial division, customer retention divisions, and so on), but there are two main components without which you will never be able to build a successful inbound call center and provide quality customer service. These two elements are inbound call center software and your employees, including call center agents, team leaders, and managers.
The organizational structure of an inbound call center may vary depending on what are the business goals, requirements, and even the size of the company matters. But there are three main positions that are necessary for any call center – call center managers, agents (or customer service reps), and finally team leaders (or supervisors).
Call center managers are “higher-management” specialists who are responsible for managing processes in the call center, achieving long-term business goals, developing improvement strategies, and resolving organizational issues, such as scale-up issues or hiring issues. Also, call center managers to decide what are the main priorities in call center work for both the nearest and long-term future.
Call center supervisors, or team leaders, are kind of “group leaders” who are responsible for a group of call center agents. Supervisors are responsible for successful onboarding and training of agents, they also monitor the working environment and solve any conflicts or problems which happen between team members. Supervisors also generate reports concerning the performance of agents and show these reports to the call center managers for review, and after that, come back to agents with feedback and guidelines. Supervisors are former agents in most cases, and this is one of the very few career opportunities for growth for call center agents.
Call center agents are the “lowest” position in a call center, but maybe, the most important on the other hand. Agents are those who directly service clients, provide assistance and answers to clients’ questions, fill down all customer information after each call, and also perform outbound calls for sales or lead generation purposes. Agents often suffer from low salaries, bad working conditions, and a lack of training and attention to their needs. Nonetheless, agents are those who truly make a difference in the call center industry, because they are the only ones who can make customers happy and resolve their problems.
Inbound call center software is a software tool that has to be capable enough to cover all your needs and requirements in all aspects of call center operations. This means call center software has to have enough features, which we will describe below.
What functions should inbound call center software have?
There are numerous features that modern inbound software may have, especially with the growing use of cloud technologies for call center software development. Anyhow, there are some must-have features you ought to consider before purchasing an inbound call center software tool.
Call monitoring – a feature that allows you to listen to customer calls in real-time mode, in three different varieties of monitoring, including hidden mode (neither agent nor client hears you), whisper (only agent hears you, it is a great feature to help agents deal with difficult customers), and barge-in mode (both rep and client hear you).
Call recording – all customer calls should be recorded for training purposes, or at least because there is a legal requirement to record calls in some states of the US and in some European countries.
Intelligent call routing system – clients hate being put into a call queue. This happens when you are getting more calls than you can process. How can smart routing deal with it? It can manage calls and direct them to agents based on different parameters, such as the priority of different types of calls, the skills of an agent, the agent occupancy rate, and so on. This reduces wait times and improves customer satisfaction.
IVR system – an interactive voice menu for providing self-service and gathering data about the nature of customer requests, helps to reduce unloading on inbound agents.
There are also many other important features, such as multichannel communication, chatbot integrations, call queueing, call center reporting and analytics, agent scheduling, remote work options, training features, internal communication tools, and so on, and so on. The main idea is to configure the features based on what you really need, not based on what some salesmen try to sell you.