Customer service is an integral part of any business. It is such an essential aspect of every modern-day business that not even a single company can afford the risk of neglecting customer experience in the first place.
As the world around us is forced to stay inside their homes, businesses are facing the challenge of providing uninterrupted customer services. Fortunately, technological advancements over the years are coming to their rescue.
Cloud technology and its applications in the communication sector offer the much-needed scalability, flexibility, and portability to businesses that they very much require for running their businesses from home.
The cloud eliminates all the IT hassles and allows companies to focus on growing their business and solely taking care of customer service operations. Cloud-based contact centers are there to facilitate seamless customer services by allowing your agents to work remotely from their homes.
Setting up a remote contact center involves multiple steps, i.e., from understanding your current working environment to figuring out what type of hardware and software you might require. Read this guide till the very end and you will come to know about what type of equipment you require for setting up a virtual or remote contact center.
1. Basic Hardware Requirements
Modern call centers work on cutting edge technologies which require personal computers to stay productive and manage customer service operations efficiently. Your agents will either require a desktop or laptop to work from home. Having a PC can significantly reduce the need for VoIP phones as your agents can utilize softphones for calling purposes.
To ensure HD call quality, your agents will require good quality headsets. For VoIP calls, wired headsets are recommended, as in the case of Bluetooth or wireless headphones, there are audio delays sometimes.
iii) Internet Connection
The first and foremost thing you need to check is whether your agents have good quality and stable internet connection at home or not. As VoIP requires internet for calling purposes, having a low bandwidth internet connection will affect customer service operations and the productivity of your agents.
2. Software Requirements
1. Call Logs and Analytics
You should be aware of what’s going on in your virtual contact center. With call logs and analytics features of cloud-based contact center software, you can visualize data such as the total number of incoming calls, missed calls, number of calls answered within service level, and so on. Above all, you get individual reports based on business phone numbers and agents of these metrics.
2. After Call Survey
One of the best ways to gauge the success of your agents is to conduct post call surveys with customers. The after-call survey is another handy feature that you may require to track your agents’ performance while they work from home.
3. Real-Time Call Monitoring
An intuitive dashboard for monitoring live calls is imperative where call center managers can see the total number of live calls, answered calls, idle agents, and other KPIs to keep track of what’s happening in their contact center.
Based on these real-time KPIs, you can manage call flow and efficiently manage your idle agents.
4. Predictive Dialers
Keep your agents productive and reduce their downtime by employing hosted predictive dialer software to ensure a steady flow of calls. Save your agents from the hassles of finding and dialing customers’ contacts.
With predictive dialing software, they can interact with more customers in less time as the software keeps on dialing customer numbers based on advanced algorithms designed to keep your agents productive and efficient.
The best part is that predictive dialers support integrations with CRM applications. Apart from that, they can also detect answering machines and redirect their calls to different destinations such as voicemails. Thus, protecting the valuable time of your agents by keeping them away from answering machines and busy tones.
5. Call Whisper
Call Whisper lets you hear the live conversations between your agents and customers. This feature of a cloud-based contact center software also serves as a useful training tool for agents as the customers can’t hear the voice of managers guiding their agents.
With Call Whisper, you can conduct regular training sessions even if your staff is working remotely. You can hear their conversations and guide them on how to close leads and provide top-notch customer support services.
6. Call Barge
Now, what if you want to take control of a live conversation between your agent and the customer? Call Barge feature is the answer as it lets you answer the ongoing calls by transferring it thus giving you the control of the situation wherever necessary. The transition is smooth, and your agent will have to inform the customer that, “my senior or manager will now be talking with you to better cater to your requirements.”
7. Call Recording
With this feature, you can record conversations between your agents and customers and save them securely on the cloud. You can access these call recordings anytime from your admin portal and use them for analysis and quality assurance purposes.
3. ACD Software
ACD stands for Automatic Call Distribution, which routes customers’ calls to the right agents based on various factors such as skills, availability, department, client requirements, etc.
It is typically incorporated with the hosted call center solutions and ensures that your remote agents receive customers’ calls, which they can handle and that to at an appropriate time.
ACD incorporates a digital receptionist or auto attendant phone system that automatically answers customers’ calls and provides a pre-recorded menu with options to perform different operations. Customers can then choose an appropriate option to get their queries resolved by the right agents.
4. CRM Software
When your agents are supposed to work from home, they can easily miss important details regarding client demographics – name, contact number, address, requirements, etc. Customer Relationship Management applications bridge this gap as they keep everyone on the same page in the lead nurturing phase.
If your company already uses CRMs, then you must adopt a remote contact center solution that offers integration with it. If not, then whether they are ready to provide custom integration with your CRM tool or not. The Real PBX remote work solutions offer integrations with the Zoho CRM, Salesforce, Pipedrive, and other popular CRMapps.
5. Communication & Team Collaboration Tools
It is essential for your team of agents to seamlessly communicate and collaborate to stay connected for the smooth functioning of your contact center operations. Do check out some must-have features such as audio/video conferencing, in-meeting chat, screen sharing, security, etc. before investing in any team collaboration tools. Choosing the right tool to empower your agents to work from home can define the success or failure of your remote contact center.
Working from home for a long duration can also affect your team’s mental health, and thus you need to keep them engaged. Watch this video to know the six simple steps to keep your agents productive during work from home.
Working remotely is the only chance we have got to fight against coronavirus and curb its spread. Fortunately, you can set up a virtual contact center with minimum hardware requirements and robust cloud-based communication solutions. In this article, you came to know about the equipments and software features you will require to make your work from home campaign a real success.
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