8 Contact Center Technologies You Need to Know About

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Contact centers are the heart of your customer experience strategy. In fact, contact center associates are your customer service front line as they are the ones who answer questions, resolve problems and build trust with your customers – on a daily basis.

However, customer expectations have changed over the decades. Gone are the days where a land-line phone system was all you needed to answer customer inquiries. Today’s customers expect communication choice when they interact with your business. They want options. Some may prefer to call by phone, but others may prefer interacting through an online chat or other method.

In order to empower your contact center associates with the resources they need to provide the best customer experience possible you’ll need to arm your team with modern contact center technologies.

There are a variety of Unified Communication as a Service (UCaaS) providers. Some of the best options bring together all of your business’s preferred communication channels together into a single, unified cloud-based system. A user-centric communication experience such as this will help to bridge the gap between in-office workers, remote employees and customers.

Here’s some of the most effective technologies that could make a difference for your contact center associates and all of your employees:

  1. Automatic Call Distributor
  2. Interactive Voice Response
  3. Webchat
  4. Omnichannel Routing
  5. Outbound Notifications
  6. Workforce Management Tools
  7. CRM Integration
  8. Knowledge Management

1. Automatic Call Distributor

An Automatic Call Distributor (ACD) is a contact center phone system designed to recognize, answer and route calls to associates available to help the customer. An ACD with intelligent routing enables a skills-based routing system that will direct customers into the queue of the associates with the most training on the topic selected by the customer.

In this manner, customers will have a better chance at a shorter wait time before speaking with an associate. Your contact center associates will also appreciate intelligent routing, as it promotes workflow efficiency.

2. Interactive Voice Response

To complement your ACD, you’ll also need Interactive Voice Response (IVR). This system interacts with callers and gathers the information needed to distribute the call, effectively. An IVR can also provide customers with self-serve information such as directions to a service location or checking the balance on their account.

An IVR system can also be configured as an outbound notification solution. This is used to place an outbound call to a customer (instead of waiting on hold) and connecting them to a contact center associate when one is available. In addition, many IVR systems have the ability to set up multilingual support to better serve your customers. 

3. Webchat 

Webchat has become an essential contact center technology and one that customers have come to expect from businesses. It’s a quick and easy way for customers to get the answers they need and boost their positive customer experience.

Helpful characteristics to look for in a webchat option are: 

  • Auto-detection of device type
  • Ability to collect data
  • A design that integrates with your website and has an intuitive user interface
  • Supportive of existing chat activation models
  • Previewing for other functions like waiting in queue
  • Interactive chat response (ICR) to serve visitors when live associates aren’t available

4. Omnichannel Routing 

In addition to ACD, your call center can integrate all channels available to customers — voice, email, social media, and chat. Omnichannel routing works the same way regardless of the communication type. This contact center technology enables you to streamline all customer interactions. It can boost productivity and ensure that your customers can conveniently contact you on their terms. 

5. Outbound Notifications 

You can use contact center technology for outbound notifications. These can be via voice, SMS, or email. These notifications can be customizable. Here are some examples: 

  • Appointment reminders
  • Reservation confirmations
  • Alerts for updates or outages for utility or ISPs (internet service providers)
  • Payment prompts or receipts
  • On the way messages
  • Promotions, offers and upselling campaigns 

It’s an easy way to notify customers proactively. It can also reduce appointment no-shows and past due payments. 

6. Workforce Management Tools 

Contact center supervisors need to ensure that they have proper staffing levels and that associates are delivering the best possible customer experience. Workforce management contact center tools that are designed to address this include: 

  • Schedule managers that integrate associate schedules and breaks, manage vacations and shift trades, monitor schedule adherence in real time, and generate reports.
  • Quality assurance and monitoring tools including call recording, live monitoring, whisper, and barge-in, associate chat log review and other evaluation criteria.
  • Reporting and performance data with real-time dashboards, detailed queue and agent statistics and custom options. These analytics also allow you to forecast the number of contact center associates you’ll need at peak times. 

7. CRM Integration 

The customer relationship management (CRM) platform used by your business is a treasure chest filled with customer information. If your CRM is connected to work in tandem with IVR, your contact center associates will be able to serve your customers more efficiently. When a current customer calls into your center, the associate answering the call will see the customer’s profile information pop up on their screen as the call connects. This provides the associate with the customer’s information directly on screen, instead of wasting precious time looking a customer’s information up on a separate system. 

8. Knowledge Management 

A knowledge library can give your contact center associates quick access to information that can assist in addressing the customer’s question or troubleshooting their problem. Materials such as diagnostic questions to ask or copies of user’s manuals in PDF format could give the necessary information the associate needs to quickly address the customer’s concern and provide a timely resolution. 

Upgrade Your Contact Center Technologies 

Looking to upgrade your contact center technology platform? Learn more about Elevate Managed Voice Services provided by Gordon Flesch Company. Download your free guide explaining how this cloud-based business communications platform goes wherever you go.

Or contact us to get a fresh perspective. Click the link below to schedule a free, no-obligation business technology needs assessment. 

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