The VoIP technology that makes business calls cheaper and easier also makes operating a call center easier and more productive than ever. VoIP represents a huge step up compared to old PBX systems. Calls are routed differently, which means less wait time and happier customers; calls can be routed anywhere, which makes it easier to have around-the-clock support; data is logged and integrated into popular database software. Using VoIP for your call center will not just save you time, it will make you money that you never knew you were losing.
When a call goes through to a call center, the call must be routed properly. Business VoIP providers give their subscribers at least one auto-attendant, better known as a phone tree, to route the call. Some auto-attendants have “IVR” or Interactive Voice Response, also called speech recognition. Older systems only had the option of hunting for an open phone line, and couldn’t make adjustments for skill, idle time, or customer importance. With IP, managers have sophisticated routing options. The call can go to the agent who has had the most idle time, either at the moment or throughout the day, so the workload is evenly distributed. Or, the call may be specially flagged, so, for example, one number can go to the same agent whenever possible. It’s even possible that if there are too many calls, and wait times are getting too long, a manager can pull agents from another call center entirely.
UCC software, such as the Fonality HUD, makes it easy for managers to get real time feedback about the calls. Just by looking at a computer screen, managers can see who an agent is on the phone with. A manager can “whisper” in to a call, overhearing a call directly, and helping the agent with chat boxes. If necessary, the manager can take over the call without putting the caller on hold. The entire conversation can also be recorded for later review and to help train other employees. The caller gets a better user experience, and is more likely to use your product or service.
With VoIP, calls are no longer tied down to a specific location. This opens up a world of possibilities. In addition to your traditional office setting, an agent might work out of their own home, or from the road using their own VoIP on the Go extension. There might be several call centers across geographic areas, with peak traffic times covered by multiple centers in different time zones. With the help of a feature called the “Busy Lamp Field” (BLF), a manager can tell exactly which extensions are available and which are busy.
VoIP also changes the very nature of the phone number itself. VoIP subscribers have a choice between having a toll-free number or having many phone numbers with local area codes that forward to the main office. Rather than needing several different phone lines, a VoIP line can handle multiple incoming or outbound calls. Nextiva’s NextOS 3.0 is optimized for this sort of approach. With NextOS, agents can sign in and out using an online portal, and managers can easily manage multiple, location-agnostic, call centers using the Nextiva Dashboard.
When you put together all the features of VoIP for your call center needs, you will know more about your callers, your agents, and the individual phone calls. You will be able to track what features of your product or service create the most confusion, and perhaps even fix it in the next version. Agents will spend less time idle and more time helping customers. All that added productivity adds up to more business, and more room for your business to grow.