Working in a Call Center: How CCaaS Software Helps
Every consumer has had the experience of getting help from a customer service agent over the phone. But relatively few consumers have a clear idea of what actually goes on behind the scenes in a call center. Fewer still have actually worked in one or know what kind of technology is involved in running a call center. Call center workers rely heavily on cutting-edge technology that helps them shorten customer wait times, answer customer questions efficiently, and keep sensitive data secure. Here’s a look at what it’s like working in a call center, what kind of challenges call centers face, how technology helps solve these challenges, and what qualities call center managers look for in technological solutions.
What It’s Like Working in a Call Center
The primary task of call center workers is speaking with customers. Traditionally, call center staff works out of a central office location, but today, a growing number work remotely, often from home. Call center staff may be employees working directly for a company, or they may be contracted through an outsourcing firm. They may work full-time or part-time and may work any shift.
Call center duties fall into two main categories, explains staffing agency Masterson:
- Inbound call center agents answer incoming calls from customers. They may answer frequent customer questions, process sales transactions, assist with issues such as solving billing problems, handle customer complaints and help track customer relations in customer relationship management (CRM) software databases. Inbound call center agents are the front line of the call center in its relationship with the public, and they are the type of representative most consumers probably think of when they think of a call center.
- Outbound call center agents place outgoing calls to customers or prospects. They may do telemarketing, make sales calls, do fundraising, schedule appointments, convey appointment reminders, do market research, or conduct surveys to solicit customer feedback.
Many call center agents specialize in either inbound or outbound calling. Some may do both.
Daily Call Center Challenges
The daily tasks call center representatives face can be complicated by a number of typical challenges:
- Large call volume can overwhelm call center staff, creating long wait times for customers that raise tension levels
- Automating call processing can help ease the workload on staff and lower customer wait times, but it runs the risk of irritating customers who need human help and can’t reach a representative
- Maintaining customer records is fundamental for assisting customers, and may require keeping a very large database, which must be instantly accessible to call center representatives in order to deliver fast service
- Multiple support channels may keep records scattered throughout several different systems, such as phone, chat and email, requiring representatives on one channel to search for information collected through another channel, which can slow response time and frustrate customers who already gave the information
- Security risks are a major concern for call centers, as hackers target Internet-connected VoIP lines in search of sensitive personal and financial data
These issues make successfully running a call center that delivers high customer satisfaction levels a challenging task.
How Call Center as a Service (CCaaS) Helps Support Efficiency
To meet these challenges, call center managers leverage the cloud to deploy call center as a service (CCaaS) solutions that address the issues call centers face:
- Automated tools such as interactive voice response (IVR) help call centers manage high call volume by handling routine inquiries through AI-powered voice selection options, while forwarding calls that need human help to available representatives
- Smart omnichannel integration of automated and human support channels ensures that customers who need human help aren’t kept waiting, while also ensuring that representatives have information from all channels available for rapid service
- Security tools such as cloud-based security monitoring, encryption, and AI threat detection help keep sensitive data protected
These features make CCaaS platforms ideally suited to improve call center efficiency.
Finding the Right CCaaS Solution
Choosing the right call center solution means finding a provider with the right CCaaS features:
- IVR options to provide automated support to call center team members
- Skills-based routing to make sure customers who need human help get directed to the available representatives who best match their needs
- Queued callback allows customers the option of having an agent call them back to avoid long wait times
- Security compliance to meet industry standards, such as PCI payment standards and HIPAA medical standards
Look for these features when seeking a CCaaS solution for your call center.
Call centers rely on their technology to empower them to be as productive as possible. With 8x8's Virtual Contact Center you get world-class technology and everything your call center needs in one place. Call 1-866-879-8647 or fill out an online form to request a no-obligation quote from an 8x8 product specialist.