The Definitive Guide
to Call Center Management Software
Call center management software helps millions of businesses create intelligent campaigns to increase sales and promote better, faster customer service with virtual contact centers.
However, as you likely know, this supportive software was not available to the entrepreneurs and pioneers of the world’s first call centers, which of course were physical entities back then.
Limited by historic technologies, primitive call centers and their managers experienced problems related to speed, automation, and the division of labor that ultimately prevented their businesses from being as successful as they could have been.
As fate would have it, these challenges paved the way for the innovations that help automate today’s call centers which have since diverged into 3 distinctive types: outbound, inbound, and blended call centers.
After exploring these types of modern call centers, you will discover the 7 main benefits of call center management software that so many startups and small businesses are taking advantage of today. But first, a very brief overview on the evolution of call center technology will shed a light on how it has changed over the previous decades and reveal why it’s important to use call center management software for your own virtual contact center right now.
Here’s a hint: to enhance communication, and of course — to become more profitable.
Editor’s note: If you already know how to start a virtual call center, great! In a nutshell, you can use this definitive guide to quickly learn about the benefits of call center management software, what to expect when remotely managing a call center team, and how the software can be used to crank up your campaign speed and improve call center performance.
The Path to Modern Call Centers
- In the 1960’s, the first call centers used switchboards that relied on operators to manually secure two copper wires together in order to establish a connected phone call between two parties.
- In the 70’s, things sped up a bit as the role of a switchboard operator was effectively erased when computers enabled calls to be automatically distributed to the correct party electronically. That’s right. Things start going “digital.” Say it with me: dig-i-tal.
- In the 80’s, call centers started to embrace interactive voice response technology which allowed customers to interact with an automated attendant for quicker and accurate call transfers to the desired person’s extension.
- In the 90’s, the internet began to change how most people communicated and soon enough businesses like call centers took an exodus from the public switched telephone system and began transmitting voice communications as data through computers using Voice over Internet Protocol, or VoIP. As time rolled on, VoIP became increasingly popular (and still leads the call center industry as the best standard for handling communications).
- By the mid-2000’s, just a few years after the turn of a new century, cloud computing was introduced to the masses. This event was a huge game changer for the millions of small and medium-sized businesses who previously couldn’t afford the computing power needed to store and retrieve massive amounts of customer information and other important data.
Once it went mainstream, companies began to save massive amounts of money by outsourcing the management and storage of their business software, including call center software that’s used to power virtual call centers all over the world.
Universally acknowledged, working “in the cloud” truly opened the gates of innovation and prosperity for businesses that handle large volumes of information like call centers, giving them a fresh breath of life, and several new purposes and benefits.
In the year 2017, to this very day, developing cloud technologies continue providing businesses a cheaper, hosted call center solution which makes their work easier, more profitable, and strengthens the relationships between call center managers, their phone reps, and the customers they serve — no matter the type of call center used.
3 Types of Call Centers
Outbound Call Centers
An outbound call center is responsible for delivering only outgoing phone calls to leads or clients on the behalf of a business.
Typically employed for telemarketing purposes, some outbound call centers exist to schedule client appointments or collect payments, donations, customer survey information, and more.
As you might imagine, this type of call center is incredibly useful for businesses who need to make hundreds or thousands of calls per month. Due to the large volume of attempted calls made day in and day out, an outbound call center can be a huge cash cow for just about any business looking to ramp up sales.
Inbound Call Centers
On the other side of the spectrum, an inbound call center functions to receive only incoming calls on the behalf of a business.
Since most are now equipped with call center management software, every inbound call is ensured to be handled swiftly and professionally by phone reps using automatic call distribution, or an automated attendant.
Whether it’s to provide inside sales, customer care, or technical support, all businesses benefit from an inbound call center as it gives customers an accessible, direct channel for reaching a company.
Overall, an inbound call center will attract new leads, retain existing customers, and aid in sustaining a business’s operation.
Blended Call Centers
Relative to the industry and target market, a business may require just one type of call center, handling either outbound or inbound calls only. For some businesses, it can also make sense to divide the calls into two separate departments if the call center team is big enough.
However, small and medium-sized businesses generally handle a lighter stream of calls, so a single agent or small group of phone reps can act as a blended call center combining both outbound and inbound responsibilities.
To get the most productivity, your blended agents can perform outbound duties whenever they aren’t busy receiving inbound calls. For example, an insurance agent might hire someone to cold call targeted leads or reach out to existing customers to schedule appointments, but the same rep could also answer the phone whenever a call comes in.
Therefore, owning a blended call center is a smart strategy several businesses are taking to provide two services for the cost of one.
With that being said, any type of call center can only be successful, if it’s successfully managed.
The 7 Benefits of Call Center Management Software
Today, operating any modern outbound, inbound, or blended call center requires the necessary call center management software, like Parrot Contact Center. Although each type of call center benefits different businesses in different ways, they are still primarily used for the same reasons.
- Businesses Use Call Center Management Software to Save Money
A pleasant surprise for many startups and small business owners is that it barely costs them anything to start and manage a virtual call center, simply because the call center management software required to operate one is extremely more affordable than owning a full-blown call center made of brick and mortar.
By cutting the costs and hindrances associated with owning a physical call center, businesses are able to save thousands of dollars every year.
In essence, the opportunity to save big stems from the fact that you don’t have to pay for office rent or supplies, or hire an IT team for installation or troubleshooting.
Neither must you pay for expensive telephone lines because call center management software uses VoIP phone service in lieu, and at a much cheaper rate than “plain old telephone service,” too.
The savings VoIP offers are typically achieved by partnering with a reputable call center technology company, like EVS7, who bundles their call center management software with VoIP service and unlimited calls for a low, monthly flat fee. Avoiding to pay per call or minute of talk time enables businesses to avoid overpaying for this type of service. It also eliminates the hassle of paying multiple companies to make one solution work, saving you even more money with your virtual call center. It’s a no-brainer, really.
- Businesses Use Call Center Management Software to Dramatically Increase Sales
Aside from the fact that virtual call centers save businesses money, they actually make more money, too. Here’s how one call center manager skyrocketed sales making 75,000 calls per week by tweaking dialing modes with the appropriate call center management software.
By enabling businesses to reach and chat with as many live answers as possible via multi-line predictive dialing, ratio dialing, and single-line progressive dialing, a phone rep’s total talk time can be maximized. When your entire call center team is rocking it like this, it’s easy to see how businesses can service more customers, yield more sales, and command higher returns on their investment. Which brings us to the next point.
When the sales are up, you can stash all the extra cash in your bank account, play around a bit and go on vacation, or put the money back into your business and hire another phone rep to make more sales. Luckily, call center management software makes it easy to add a new member to the team with just a few clicks of a mouse. If you’re doing a ton of cold calling, growing your call center team is one of the easiest ways to increase your monthly revenue. Why not do it?
If you’re serious about scaling your business to the next level with a virtual call center, you can. But remember: you need the required powerful software to make it happen. And it’s totally worth it (if you like making more, faster money, of course).
- Businesses Use Call Center Management Software to Organize Leads
If you’re like most productive people, you keep things organized: your home, car, financial documents, weekly tasks, diet regimens, etc. The entire reason you do this is because keeping everything in its right place and initiating tasks at the opportune time equates to higher productivity and provides for easier living. Simple enough.
For those who own or manage a call center, it’s equally as important to stay organized — especially when it comes to your leads. After all, these are the potential customers you depend on to generate new business.
When they’re organized, it makes your work more manageable, convenient, and gives businesses the secure feeling of knowing that their prospects’ information is safely stored and can be immediately retrieved for initial or additional contact. It also helps phone reps build better relationships with potential clients as they keep track of lead statuses and call results in order to take the next appropriate action — which in the end, makes customers happy and feel valued by the business. It’s the professional thing to do.
Perhaps an even more significant reason for organizing your leads properly is to ensure that each call is respectfully and appropriately made. Otherwise, a business that mistakenly calls the wrong people or outside of telemarketing hours risks heavy fines from litigation or damaging their brand’s reputation and trust with consumers for not properly managing and organizing their list of leads. Therefore, it’s important to protect your business. It’s your livelihood.
It’s exactly why businesses need call center management software.
- Businesses Use Call Center Management Software to Customize Campaigns
Organizing your leads is a great start to a successful telemarketing campaign, but not all campaigns are the same. Depending on what your goals are and what you wish to accomplish, you can customize your campaigns with call center management software to your liking.
For example, if you’re outbound calling a ton of B2C cold leads, it makes sense to customize your campaigns with ratio or predictive dialing so your agents spend very little downtime between receiving calls, thus maximizing their phone time and productivity.
On the other hand, if you’re doing B2B outbound or calling warm leads (which are easier to convert to sales), you’ll want to make certain a sales agent or appointment setter will be available to speak to them, so it makes sense to progressively dial one phone number at a time.
If you’re running a blended or inbound only campaign, you can customize the call routing so that your leads speak with specific agents based on availability, skill level, user group, and more.
The possibilities and autonomy you gain from call center management software are nearly endless and truly rewarding for business owners and startups looking to make that big jump in their careers.
- Businesses Use Call Center Management Software for Remote Control and Mobile Management
Call center management software puts your call center “in the cloud” so you can remotely control it from anywhere in the world. Even from a beach. Seriously. You only need a computer and a good internet connection to know what’s happening in your call center when working from a distance, as the cloud software keeps the whole team networked together.
As a manager, having remote control of your call center gives you more control of your life. In fact, one of the best things about call center management software is that it transforms you into a mobile manager so you’re able to enjoy some extra freedoms.
You have more options on how you want to run your business, like deciding how often and where you want to work, either from home or on-the-go. Mobile managers have more flexibility in their work schedule, too, since you aren’t required to be in any specific location to operate your call center.
With remote control, directly from your couch or your favorite coffee shop, you can launch smart campaigns for your team that create the perfect workflow for their success, and for your own personal life, too.
- Businesses Use Call Center Management Software to Hire Virtual Assistants
If necessary, or simply because you desire to, managers can also extend the mobile freedom to their call center team by letting them work from home as virtual assistants — and you probably should for at least 3 good reasons:
The first reason is simple. Virtual assistants are generally more affordable since they can be hired from other states and countries with different economies and pay rates. If you prefer to hire local virtual assistants, it’s still cheaper than paying them to work in-office because you’ll save money on supplies, computer equipment, and energy costs.
Secondly, hiring virtual assistants gives them an opportunity to work from the comfort of their own abode. This will make and keep your call center team extremely happy. Obviously, this a very good thing particularly for managers since happy employees tend to like their jobs, will generally make more sales, and also stay with the company for a longer period of time.
In turn, this diminishes the amount of time and money that managers must spend to hire and train new employees. Therefore, having a mobile, virtual workforce is a win-win for the whole call center team and for your business.
The third, and perhaps the better reason for hiring virtual assistants to work from home is that it’s completely safe and worry-free because call center management software displays their activity in real-time. It also equips managers with a few superpowers that enable them to remotely monitor, coach, and gain insightful reports about each member of their virtual call center team. How awesome is that?
- Businesses Use Call Center Management Software for Easy Monitoring, Coaching, and Insightful Reporting
Responsible managers know how important it is to have a strong call center team, as one weak link can break the entire chain, inadvertently placing your call center into a random tailspin. Luckily though, the right call center solution can fortify your team of agents to keep things intact, even if everyone is working remotely or you’re not in an office environment to keep a real eye on things.
As mentioned, managers now have the technology and ability to remotely monitor and coach their virtual agents using the appropriate call center management software. It makes supervision and tracking agent activity very easy to do.
From afar, managers can record calls, silently monitor their agents, or whisper coach if help is needed during a live call. Another cool feature is barging-in so managers can assist in closing a deal, handle escalated customer issues, or takeover calls completely if deemed necessary.
Managers also have remote access to advanced and real-time reports that display your call center’s campaign, agent, and user group performance. In just mere seconds, you’ll have access to important statistics, like the current day’s or previous week’s total outbound and inbound call ratio. You’ll know when your agents are working or sitting idle, the campaign they’re actively calling for, the duration of calls, and a lot of other insightful information, too. If your call center management software includes it, you’ll also know who the top members of your team are with a real-time daily leader board that tallies their successes and encourages more sales through a little friendly competition.
Savvy managers can then use these statistics and milestones to praise team members for their hard work. On the other hand, managers can also use reports to help pinpoint any limiting factors on the team or discover weak spots in their workflow to quickly improve call center performance.
How to Choose the Best Call Center Software for Your Business
To wrap up how businesses are using call center management software to automate campaigns and more easily manage their call center team, the important thing to remember is this:
While choosing the best call center management software is indeed important — finding the perfect company who provides these services and matches your budget is another factor to consider as well so that you’re guaranteed the most savings possible and a value that exceeds your dollars spent.
By choosing Parrot Contact Center, businesses can more easily supervise and remotely control their call center, phone reps, and unequivocally save themselves a fortune — and have the opportunity to make one, too.
The Best Call Center Management Software: Parrot Contact Center with Predictive Dialer
Parrot Contact Center is the best call center management software solution for helping small business call centers generate more sales and offer professionally-fast customer service.
When you campaign with Parrot, it’s like giving your phone reps a special sidekick to help them fly through call campaigns and make faster sales.
As Parrot’s algorithmic intelligence comes into play, it predicts a phone rep’s availability for handling subsequent, live outbound or inbound calls. This means any call center team powered by Parrot is guaranteed to reach more leads and customers in less time.
It also predicts the best moments to dial more or less aggressively, depending on the frequency of unanswered calls in your call list. Being stacked with such powerful features and more, Parrot maximizes agent productivity — with real-time and advanced reporting to prove it.
Parrot is intuitive and easy to use. This modern cloud-based creation includes two unique manager and agent web access portals so everyone with Parrot can enjoy defined user roles and levels of control. The whole team will especially love Parrot’s beautiful and simple design as it ensures easy campaign creation and helps agents stay focused on the customer during calls.
Parrot can accommodate any workflow with automatic call distribution, sending calls to the best agents based on phone availability or skill set. Calls may also be initially answered and transferred to specific users or user groups by using an automated attendant with interactive voice response technology.
Have a question about the software or require technical support? No problemo.
To have a successful start, EVS7 provides each Parrot customer with a Dedicated Customer Success Manager to assist with building your first campaign. EVS7 also keeps Parrot customers happy with free technical support. With such a large abundance of human intelligence support, managers retain peace of mind.
Thankfully, Parrot Contact Center offers call center managers everything they need to start growing their virtual call center, including unlimited VoIP calling to USA and Canada to keep your overall costs low. This also makes it easier to scale your business.
Best of all, Parrot thrives your call center by making it simple and fun to manage. With a whole library of manager controls, you’ll enjoy remote access, monitoring and coaching tools, and the ability to change campaign and agent settings on the fly with just your computer and an internet connection. All you need is the right call center management software to make owning a small business call center very profitable and all the worthwhile.
Soar your virtual call center to the cloud with Parrot Contact Center now!
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