How SMBs Benefit from Call Center Features
How Small Businesses Benefit from Call Center Features, at a Fraction of the Price
What’s your feeling about Call Centers? Be aware, this is just about to change (for the better!), in the next 2 minutes. Just mentioning the phrase “call center”, people immediately think of these huge firms with hundreds of employees sitting in cubicles, sporting headsets. Even though call centers are perceived to be parts of large enterprises, small businesses can also benefit from the great features offered in these systems. Whether you need to increase your sales, enhance your customer service, or excel in your support performance, a powerful suite of call center features can help you achieve your business goals.
Implementing a call center system in a small business requires attention. From one side, there are providers that charge a high setup fee, set minimum monthly spending contracts, and require a minimum of dozens or hundreds of extensions. This type of business model focuses on high-value deals and target large corporations, no matter how much you use the system. From the other side, there are companies with a different business model that offer plans based on what small businesses could benefit from; company size.
Here at NUACOM, we like to call it “Pay as you Grow”. If you are a Small Business, you can benefit from these Top 10 call center features, at a fraction of Enterprise prices:
Automatic Call Distribution and IVR
Automatic Call Distribution(ACD) enhances your output as a small business. Incoming calls are directed to the ideal group of agents that are more conversant with your customer’s query. With ACD, you get the Interactive Voice Response function, commonly referred to as IVR, where the computer interacts with the caller over pre-recorded audio prompts. Some of the benefits that accompany ACD and IVR set up, include resource optimization, increase first-contact resolution and improved customer satisfaction.
Call Queues and Ring Strategy
For a small business, it is imperative that you avoid engaged lines. As a result, call queues are your safest bet. With these queues, incoming calls are placed in a virtual queue where the caller will be connected to your agents the moment they are available. You can also group your extensions, set a ring strategy to fairly distribute calls to employees, and assign priority levels per group member. This way, you have your sales agent dealing with calls that come in first and the sales manager backing them up when needed. The same strategy will work pretty well with any other department. But keep in mind, there is a very limited number of VoIP Providers that could group extensions and offer Ring Strategy.
Announcement on Hold and Call Back Request
In case you have a small team and a considerable number of incoming calls, to avoid compromising your customer experience, you may consider having in place two announcements: ‘on hold’ and ‘call back request’ function for your callers. This can be split into two strategies: on-hold messages for Sales groups and another for Customer Service groups.
- For Sales, the announcement will keep your customer informed on your service or any special offer. Keep it short, objective, and let them know that they will be connected in a matter of a few seconds/minutes.
- For Customer Service, this can be used to gain time and optimize the first-contact resolution by informing callers what document or information they need to have in hand during the call. If they cannot wait on the line, offer them an option to dial 1 for a call back request, that will send a notification to your team or managers.
Live Calls Wallboard
Live calls wallboards are effective in today’s business environment due to a couple of reasons. These boards are designed to give a live display of each extension and their performance during the day. This includes:
- The number of calls answered per employee and per group.
- The number of calls made per employee and per group.
- The number of calls abandoned.
- Time of the last call made and received per employee.
- Average customer waiting time
You are also able to see:
- Who is ready to assist clients,
- Which ones are currently on a call,
- Which ones are offline.
- Waiting time of customers in the queue.
For small businesses that deal with sales or support queries over the phone, this is a must-have feature.
Live Call Coaching
Plenty of SMBs are unable to deal with the challenge of developing new staff, during the onboarding process, into high performing individuals. Live call coaching assists you, your managers, and trainers to listen to live calls and review them with your new staff. This helps streamline the training process and give your new staff the ability to handle calls effectively.
3-Way Calling and Smart Call Transfer
There comes a time when you will have to deal with more than a single individual when communicating. These calls, known as three-way calling or a conference call, let you add a third party to an ongoing two-call. In case you offer a variety of support levels per product or location, your sales agent can transfer back to the Voice Menu (IVR) where it asks the customer to dial a number for the support level required.
In the event that a sales agent gets a call that was intended for support, the best approach would be transferring the call to the support group and not to a specific person in support. Also, in case there are different support levels per product or location, your sales agent can transfer the caller back to the Voice Menu (IVR) where it prompts the customer to dial a number for the support level required.
Call Analytics, Reports and Recordings
The records from all the analytics reports and recordings make it easy to strategize as a business. It is easy to analyze the peak time, the volume of calls per department and employee, number of missed/abandoned calls, average call duration and more. Perfect for checking KPI’s and improving team performance.
It is also easy to assess a particular agent’s approach and overall performance. With call recordings, you can easily pinpoint exactly what a customer asked, making it easy to keep records of queries. Furthermore, recordings let your staff review playbacks, at any time, to go over their conversation with customers. This ensures they are proceeding with their work, based on the customer’s needs.
Call rating is a feature that customers are asked to provide after their call with an agent. This is a true reflection of the customer’s opinion for the service received and it’s crucial to ensure that customer satisfaction is achieved. The satisfaction can be simple things like how a call was transferred or the tone and etiquette of an agent. Great ratings translate to great business!
This is simple. Number-name indicator works similarly to how the phonebook works but for business purposes. It informs the receiver of the caller’s name and if it’s a lead or customer on the other end in need of assistance.
You can also set it up to automatically pull all the caller’s information from your ERP, CRM or any database system, making the process flawless.
Computer Telephony Integration
CTI (Computer Telephony Integration) is a means of effectively connecting the telephony data with other apps needed in business for effective management. For example, the sales department can have all their information connected to a CRM, or the support team can have its calls connected to a ticketing system. It may seem too advanced for SMB but in fact, it is perfect for growing business. It allows you to make calls in the contact page of your CRM or Ticketing System as well as consolidates calls, emails, live chat and any other communication channel in one place.
To sum it all up, if you are a small or mid-sized business owner, all these enterprise-level features are available for you in the “Pay as you Grow” plan, which is perfect for enhancing teams. You are free to add and remove extensions at any time. Plus, if you are focused on growth, productivity, automation and customer experience, these features will empower your employees to perform better and achieve your business goals.
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March 26, 2020
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