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12 essential call center tools for a more customer-centric process

A fully functional call center infrastructure is not that easy to establish. Of course, you want to be able to offer the best services to your customers. At the same time, you also want to provide the right resources to your call center agents.

Your agents should utilize high-end call center tools to maintain top-tier services. The ever-shifting tech innovations available today center on customer experience. This is why businesses must foster a customer-centric approach to their call center processes.

In this article, we will discuss 12 must-have call center tools to help with your day-to-day operations.

Call center tools: Inbound vs outbound call center

You must understand how different call center types function and what services they provide to determine which call center tools you need for your operations.

Call center operations can be divided into two categories – inbound and outbound call centers. Some call centers only focus on either one of them, while most call centers provide both.

An inbound call center is where agents receive incoming calls from customers. These customers phone in to either ask questions, report a problem, ask for assistance, or relay their concerns.

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Examples of inbound call center services include order and payment processing, technical support, and renewal or upgrade inquiries.

On the other hand, in an outbound call center, agents perform outgoing calls to reach out to customers. Sales agents are usually the ones that perform outbound calls to cold-call their target leads and sell products and services.

Other businesses also perform outbound calls for survey purposes, gathering specific information, and market research.

Examples of outbound call center services are telesales, telemarketing, lead generation, and appointment setting.

Call center tools Inbound vs outbound call center 
Call center tools: Inbound vs outbound call center

Using call center tools to improve customer-centricity

Although customer-centricity is crucial to every business, many call centers still fail to deliver excellent customer service. This is mainly because they give more focus to their business’s sales aspect than their actual patrons.

Whether you provide inbound, outbound, or hybrid contact center processes, increasing sales should start by putting your customers as your priority.

As per Statista, over 40% of US customers stopped doing business with certain brands due to bad customer service.

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Lousy customer service leads to frustrated customers. Thus, it will affect not only your customer satisfaction and retention but also your bottom line.

Transforming into a customer-centric call center may seem difficult, as modern-day customers have become more and more demanding. The key here is to be able to utilize the right call center tools that will help you cater to your customers smoothly and effectively.

Call center tools: What customer-centric approach means
Using call center tools to improve customer-centricity

12 crucial call center tools to achieve customer-centricity

Choosing the right call center tools to utilize may seem to be pretty daunting as there are tons of available technologies. To help you, we have outlined 12 call center tools to help you successfully transition into a customer-centric call center:

1. Call center software with third-party integrations

Customer centricity is about knowing and having a full grasp of your customers and being able to meet their needs.

Zendesk, Magento, and Salesforce are examples of call center software with two-way integrations. This means they can be integrated with your other business tools.

This kind of call center software gives your agents access to your customer’s previous interactions with your company. Be it previous tickets, inquiries, call logs, or issues already resolved.

This series of information is provided to your agents in real time while they communicate with the particular caller. It helps your agents understand the callers more and adjust their manner of delivering customer service accordingly.

2. Interactive voice response (IVR)

An interactive voice response (IVR) lets you record professional greetings for every call. From there, the calls will then be routed to the agents who can properly address their concerns and needs (e.g., tech support, customer support, multi-lingual agents, etc.)

When all your calls are routed to the most capable agent, it increases your chances of providing excellent customer service. More so, your agents can enrich their knowledge on how to solve your specific customers’ problems and meet their needs.

12 crucial call center tools to achieve customer-centricity
12 crucial call center tools to achieve customer-centricity

3. Automatic caller information pop-up

Aside from call routing, you also need an automatic caller information pop-up as one of your call center tools. This tool automatically displays a caller’s information on your agent’s browser at the start of every call.

This information often consists of the caller’s name, photo, company, address, email, phone number, and social media profiles (if applicable). It helps your agents give your callers a more accurate and personalized customer experience to your callers.

4. Call monitoring

Call monitoring is a beneficial tool for call center managers. This allows them to track and listen to their agents’ live calls without the customers and agents knowing it.

This tool is commonly used for training and quality assurance purposes. Through call monitoring, managers can pinpoint areas a specific agent should improve on to better serve their customers.

12 crucial call center tools to achieve customer-centricity

5. Call barging

Like call monitoring, call barging allows managers to listen to live calls without the agents and customers knowing it. Further, it lets managers talk to the customer and the agent if needed, especially if the caller asks for it.

6. Whisper coaching

Whisper coaching is also among call center tools that are vital for agent training. As the term implies, this tool enables managers to talk to and coach agents while on call without the caller knowing it.

This can also be used by managers to instruct experienced agents while they are dealing with difficult calls or irate customers.

7. Call recording

This is another one of our top call center tools, perfect for call center managers. While call center monitoring is good for listening to live calls, not all managers have enough time for it.

And that is why you also need to have a call recording tool. It gives your managers the ability to assess their agents’ performance through recorded calls. The call recording tool is also especially helpful if your agents work remotely.

Call center managers can listen to agents’ recorded calls at their convenience and give feedback to appropriate agents. This is a valuable tool, especially when providing continuous training and aiming for your agents to keep improving.

8. Call conferencing

Customers hate it when their call is put on hold for long periods. Instead of doing so, you can use a call conferencing tool to avoid having your customers wait while you transfer them to a different department or subject-matter expert.

Further, if a caller needs to talk to the supervisor, your agent can easily do it with call conferencing. Plus, it can also be used during training sessions. Trainees can listen to senior agents while on live calls and learn how to properly handle each call scenario firsthand. 

12 crucial call center tools to achieve customer-centricity

9. Real-time reporting

Real-time reporting tools give you immediate insights into your agents’ overall performance. It is also very useful if you want to track your daily call volumes or your agents’ total number of closed service tickets.

This tool can also help you determine current and upcoming trends, to which you can adjust your customer-centric approach.

10. Automatic call distributor (ACD)

An automatic call distributor (ACD) is an automated system used to automatically receive calls and distribute them to available agents.

An ACD is best used in large volumes of calls, distributing them properly to prevent agents from getting overwhelmed. At the same time, it increases customer experience and satisfaction since customers can connect to the next agent available quickly.

11. Predictive dialer

A predictive dialer is best used for call centers that are performing large volumes of outgoing calls. This relieves your agents from manually dialing customers’ numbers or looking for particular customer information on your database.

It helps free up more of your agents’ precious time and focus more on having in-depth conversations with callers. As such, it greatly helps your agents be more productive and focused on providing good customer service.

12 crucial call center tools to achieve customer-centricity

12. Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP)

A voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) lets your agents perform calls through a broadband internet connection instead of a phone line. It converts voice signals into digital signals, which allows agents to perform calls directly from their computers.

VoIP enables agents to perform customer service and support via the internet instead of phone lines.

Get access to the latest call center tools through outsourcing!

Setting up your call center team in-house takes more than the tools and equipment you will need.

It can be difficult to hire and train agents with limited resources. Especially with the towering expenses worldwide, it’s best to have an alternative way of setting up everything you need without extra costs.

Get ahead of your competitors by simply outsourcing your call center operations! With the right outsourcing partner, you can leverage top talents and the latest call center tools at a reasonable price.

No need to worry about how or where you can find the best call center tools to utilize for your operations.

You may browse our BPO Directory to help you look for the best outsourcing provider that suits your needs.

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Derek Gallimore has been in business for 20 years, outsourcing for over eight years, and has been living in Manila (the heart of global outsourcing) since 2014. Derek is the founder and CEO of Outsource Accelerator, and is regarded as a leading expert on all things outsourcing.