Call Management

Learn how a robust call center solution like 8x8 could help you ace your call management

Workforce_Engagement_Management.png

Call Management

Learn how a robust call center solution like 8x8 could help you ace your call management

Workforce_Engagement_Management.png

Call Management

Learn how a robust call center solution like 8x8 could help you ace your call management

Workforce_Engagement_Management.png

Call Management

Learn how a robust call center solution like 8x8 could help you ace your call management

Workforce_Engagement_Management.png

Managing a busy call center can be hard work, especially if your business operation regularly experiences heavy call volumes. In order to keep your telephony lines running as smoothly as possible, you’ll need a robust call management protocol in place to handle all of those incoming calls effectively and efficiently.

Luckily, call center software makes managing business calls eminently more achievable, resulting in better outcomes both for customer service teams and their customers.

Today we’re going to be diving into the world of call center management systems head-on. We’ll be covering everything you need to know about the call management process including:

What is call management?

What is call management?

What is call management?

What is call management?

MaleCallCenterAgent.jpg

MaleCallCenterAgent.jpg

MaleCallCenterAgent.jpg

MaleCallCenterAgent.jpg

Call management refers to any process used to organize inbound and outbound calls within a call center. Call management practices vary widely; from very simple systems to elaborate, multi-tiered call routing and distribution strategies.

What is call management software?

Call management software is a type of call routing technology that organizes incoming calls and automatically routes them to the best (or most available) agent, team, or department based on a set of predetermined rules.

There are multiple different call distribution paths that businesses can choose from—more on this in just a minute. The best software, like that provided by 8x8, opens all these avenues to call centers.

What is the purpose of call management?

What is the purpose of call management?

What is the purpose of call management?

What is the purpose of call management?

The primary purpose of any call distribution setup is to route and distribute incoming calls more effectively. Many advanced call management systems also help organizations collate important data that can help improve business decisions and overall services.

There are many reasons why both small and large businesses might want to implement a call management system.

Use cases include:

The primary purpose of any call distribution setup is to route and distribute incoming calls more effectively. Many advanced call management systems also help organizations collate important data that can help improve business decisions and overall services.

There are many reasons why both small and large businesses might want to implement a call management system.

Use cases include:

The primary purpose of any call distribution setup is to route and distribute incoming calls more effectively. Many advanced call management systems also help organizations collate important data that can help improve business decisions and overall services.

There are many reasons why both small and large businesses might want to implement a call management system.

Use cases include:

The primary purpose of any call distribution setup is to route and distribute incoming calls more effectively. Many advanced call management systems also help organizations collate important data that can help improve business decisions and overall services.

There are many reasons why both small and large businesses might want to implement a call management system.

Use cases include:

A better appointment systemIf your business takes appointment bookings on the phone, a call management system will help you route incoming callers to the relevant sales/booking personnel.
Targeted data insightsA call management system can help you benefit from real-time and historic data insights that will give you a comprehensive view over your call center’s service levels and overall performance.
Nurturing loyal customersImproving call management efficiency and personalization results in better customer experiences all around. And that’s a recipe for more repeat customers.

How does a call management system work?

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female-contact-center-agent-using-voip-call-center-solutions.png

female-contact-center-agent-using-voip-call-center-solutions.png

female-contact-center-agent-using-voip-call-center-solutions.png

So, we know what a call management system is, but how exactly does it work? These systems are based on call distribution protocols. In other words, the software will route incoming calls through your business phone system according to your own pre-defined criteria (or rules). This is called intelligent routing.

Intelligent routing

This allows all incoming calls to be automatically and efficiently routed to the most qualified, available agent, resulting in a more personalized customer experience, better workflow management, channel alignment, and increased first-time resolutions.

8x8’s intelligent routing system helps organizations improve and expand their self-service options by making it easier to handle routine or repetitive customer inquiries and intelligently route calls based on the most qualified agent for faster, more effective call resolution.

For example, some teams will want calls to be routed based on agent availability, while others might prefer calls to be routed to agents based on specialist expertise or skill sets (this is called skills-based routing).

Let's dig a little deeper at the different types of call distribution methods:

  • Time-based
  • Skills-based
  • Round-robin
  • DNIS number-based
  • ANI-based
  • Caller-directed
  • Hunt groups

Time-based

Time-based routing routes calls based on when the call is made and your pre-set office hours. Any received calls outside of your business hours (or during holidays), will be routed to your preferred destination—whether that be voicemail, staff in different time zones, or automated self-help resources.

Skills-based

Skills-based routing is when incoming calls are directed to the member of staff with the necessary skills and expertise to assist that particular call query.

For example, somebody calling in for technical support will be routed to a support agent who is qualified to help them with their technical issue. This reduces time wasted and increases first call resolutions, resulting in more efficient workflows and increased customer satisfaction.

Round-robin

Round-robin routing works by distributing all incoming calls equally among agents. This avoids any one agent being burdened with an unattainable workload and (in the case of outbound calls) ensures that all sales reps have an equal volume of potential leads at their disposal.

DNIS number-based

A DNIS number (or Dialed Number Identification Service number), is the single unique number that calls from different numbers can get routed to. For organizations with multiple phone numbers that customers can dial-in to (e.g., for different departments, products, or services), calls will be routed accordingly based on the DNIS number of the call.

ANI-based

An ANI number (or Automatic Number Identification number) is the phone number that a customer is dialing from. ANI-based routing cross-references incoming ANI numbers with a call center’s database of caller IDs, and routes individual callers according to predetermined parameters.

For example, your call management system can recognize if an incoming caller has an outstanding payment and route them to the most appropriate department accordingly.

Caller-directed

Caller-directed routing is when the incoming caller can choose which department they wish to speak to. Usually, this involves an interactive voice response (IVR) system which will greet callers with a custom greeting and guide them through various options using automated messaging.

Callers will be asked to use their voice or dial pad to select a specific number for particular departments. For example, a caller might be asked to “press one to speak to customer support” or “press two to speak to sales”. It is up to the caller to determine which selection to make based on their needs.

Hunt groups

Hunt groups are a kind of call distribution feature where calls are distributed to a group of people all with access to a single phone number. Customer calls are then re-routed, as needed, to one of multiple alternative phone lines.

Benefits of call management systems for your call center

Benefits of call management systems for your call center

Benefits of call management systems for your call center

Benefits of call management systems for your call center

By now, we’re pretty clued up about the workings of a call management system. You might already be thinking about all the benefits that these features and functionalities could bring to your business.

Implementing a robust management system for incoming calls in your call center comes with a whole host of benefits, including:

  • Reduced call abandonment
  • Optimum agent performance
  • Better customer experience
  • Lower costs

Let’s take a look at these advantages in more detail.

Reduced call abandonment

Call management systems help reduce lost calls and call abandonment rates by routing calls more efficiently based on real-time caller data. With callers spending less time in queues, and experiencing shorter overall wait times, they’ll be far less likely to abandon the call.

Optimum agent performance

Call management isn’t just about improving services for customers (although that’s certainly a big part of it). Call distribution software also helps improve agent performance. Thanks to intelligent, skills-based routing, agents can use their unique expertise to really get to the bottom of each incoming caller’s problems and provide the best possible service.

Plus, when callers are routed to the most appropriate agent, that means less downtime and increased overall agent efficiency. It’s a win-win!

Better customer experience

Call management automation helps businesses offer their customers the best possible experience every time they call in. Intelligent call routing means that inbound calls will always be routed to the most qualified, first-available agent.

This means that customer service becomes more efficient all around (shorter wait times, fewer call transfers, better outcomes). At the end of the day that does wonders for customer experience. Agents have the time to provide personalized service and really get to the bottom of each caller’s inquiry.

With 8x8 call and contact center software, businesses get a complete cloud contact center solution that will make it so much easier to connect and collaborate with agents, employees, and, of course, customers!

Lower costs

Finally, many people don’t realize this, but call management software can actually save you money. This is primarily because a good call distribution system is guaranteed to make call centers and their respective agents more efficient and productive each day.

When agents are freed up to handle more calls, it reduces overheads caused by poor service. As your operation becomes more efficient, you may find that you can achieve the same results with fewer overall staff. Plus, hosted services take on all the additional (and often costly) implementation and maintenance responsibilities, meaning you’ll cut costs that way, too. Hosted vendors also tend to operate using highly affordable monthly pricing plans.

Calls manager software features

Every tool is different, but there are some core features that most software vendors will offer. When shopping around for new call management software, make sure that your chosen vendor offers these essential features and functionalities:

  • ACD
  • Call recording and monitoring
  • IVR
  • Call queues
  • Call controls
  • CRM integration
  • Reporting

Not sure what all that means? Read on.

Automatic Call Distribution (ACD)

Automated call distribution (ACD) is a tool that automatically routes incoming callers to the most relevant service agent, team member, or department by distributing calls based on individualized criteria.

An ACD usually routes the longest waiting call in a call queue to the first available representative. On occasions when there is no call center representative available, the call will be placed back in the call queue. Some call management systems also offer priority-based call distribution in which callers are placed in the call queue based on caller priority.

With ACD routing from 8x8, you’ll be able to direct your customers to the best-qualified agent and handle every issue with optimum efficiency, resulting in a more streamlined customer experience!

Call recording and call monitoring

Call recording and call tracking features help call center managers record and monitor their teams’ performance over time. This is great for ensuring call quality remains high and can also be used to enhance the training and onboarding of new service representatives.

Interactive voice response

IVR systems are a must for any modern business. Today’s customers expect personalized services and that’s exactly what Interactive Voice Response is all about. An IVR system will interact with your callers and provide them with a menu of routing options to choose from, so they can be directed to the right agent for the job.

Call queues

To prevent calls from going to voicemail or (even worse) greeting callers with a busy line or infinite phone rings, it’s important to place incoming callers in a call queue if there are no available agents. When lines are busy, good call management software will automatically place inbound callers in call queues, using real-time and historic data to interpret where callers should be placed.

Call controls

Call controls are one of the most fundamental features of any call management software. Call controls encompass call handling functionalities like hold, transfer, and mute. The best tools allow call center managers and agents to access all of these functions from one easy-to-use dashboard.

CRM integration

More advanced contact center software will typically be set up to accommodate a wide range of third-party app and software integrations.

Perhaps the most important of these is CRM telephony integration (or customer relationship management integration). By integrating your call center solution with a CRM, you’ll be able to access all the customer data and metrics stored up in your CRM software and use it to inform better call routing decisions.

The data from your CRM will define how your calls are routed based on unique algorithms that take into account information on each individual customer (e.g., customer interaction history, wait time, type of query).

8x8 CRM is a native application embedded within each agent’s interface. It helps consolidate all the tools and data from your systems into a single unified interface for them to use as they make and take calls throughout the day.

Real-time and historical reporting

The best call center software providers will offer both real-time and historical reporting based on targeted customer and employee performance data.

These features are essential if you want your contact center to make better, data-led decisions that drive seamless workflows and improved customer experiences. Reporting features help businesses access easy-to-digest performance management reports that provide insight into call volumes, call quality, handling times, and much more.

What to look for in call management software

What to look for in call management software

What to look for in call management software

What to look for in call management software

Ready to invest in new software for your contact center or business?

Great choice. Implementing call management software in your call center operations will help you improve service outcomes for your customers, increase agent efficiency, and will often save your business money in the long run.

What’s not to like?

Before you go out there and start comparing the best software providers, it’s important to make sure that you know exactly what you’re looking for.

There are many software providers out there, but not all of them will provide the same level of service or the same features and functionalities.

It’s important to look for a call management solution that meets your unique business needs. For example, consider what kind of business number you need (perhaps your business would benefit from a toll-free number, local number, or international number).

So, what should you be looking for?

We’ve put together a go-to checklist to help you out:

  1. Experience & reputation
  2. Reliability & accountability
  3. Exemplary customer service

Let’s look at each in a bit more detail:

1) Experience & reputation

First thing’s first, do plenty of research around each vendor. You want to vet your options to make sure that they’re experienced in your industry and they have a longstanding reputation for excellence. A great way to assess this is to look for customer testimonials, reviews, and referrals of the vendors’ products and services.

2) Reliability & accountability

When you implement hosted call management software for your call center, it’s the vendor who’ll be responsible for the provision, maintenance, and servicing of your software. So make sure that your chosen vendor has a track record for quality and accountability.

Ideally, you want to choose a service with a competitive Service Level Agreement (SLA). 8x8, for example, guarantees a platform-wide 99.999% uptime and call quality SLA for all users.

3) Exemplary customer service

Ensure that your service provider is going to be there when you need them. Look for a vendor that offers ample customer service across multiple platforms. Remember, your vendor is responsible for all maintenance issues, so if you’ve got an issue you’re going to want to be able to get in touch with a member of the service team quickly.

8x8 offers comprehensive technical support cover. Users can easily log a case online, chat, or call with a live call agent, or ask Otto, 8x8’s AI-powered virtual assistant.

Internal call management

So far, we’ve only talked about call management in the context of contact centers. However, call management can also be useful for internal communications. PBX systems allow for smooth call transfers and advanced call controls for streamlined internal collaborations. With the rise of cloud communications, internal call management can also be done through apps like 8x8 Work.

There are also dedicated call manager apps that you can use to access management options from your mobile device.

What is a call manager app?

A call manager app is a call management software that can be accessed from internet-enabled devices like mobile phones, laptops, softphones (virtual phones), and tablets. That means you’ll be able to manage your incoming business calls on any device, wherever you are. Perfect for small business owners who are always on the move.

What is call management on my Android phone?

Thanks to call manager apps, call management can be rolled out across all devices, including Android phones. Just by installing an app onto your Android phone, you’ll be able to start directing calls from the convenience of your very own smartphone.

8x8 Work is a mobile app for phone calls, video conferencing, SMS, and chat that organizations can use to manage their call flows and collaborate with other team members.

The app is ideal for those who want to work and connect with coworkers on the move. You’ll be able to answer and manage calls from anywhere simply by assigning receptionist capabilities to your 8x8 users.

Enhance your call management with 8x8

Enhance your call management with 8x8

Enhance your call management with 8x8

Enhance your call management with 8x8

Call management software is of mission-critical importance for contact centers. This is the technology that allows teams of all sizes to streamline call flows for optimum agent efficiency and productivity. At the end of the day, that results in better customer interactions, more successful calls, reduced call abandonment, and improved overall results.

With 8x8, you get access to integrated contact center software complete with common call management features like IVR, call routing, CRM integrations, and much, much, more. So, what are you waiting for?