6 Types of Innovative Call Centre Software You Need in 2023
Author: Simon Black | Date: 21/03/2023
In 2022, 59% of customers preferred to contact customer support via phone channels, up from 54% in 2020 — meanwhile, the popularity of email and mobile app channels decreased by 8% and 4% respectively.1
As they cope with high levels of demand, call centres face the additional challenges of adapting to constantly changing working environments and ensuring they are meeting core KPIs and QA standards.
Many call centres are still being hampered by outdated legacy systems, and do not have the business cases to justify new purchases. Meanwhile, those using modern software systems may find that their agents are struggling to use these tools effectively. Choosing the right software for your call centre is essential to ensuring agent satisfaction, driving efficiency, and supporting better customer experiences.
In this article, we’ll explore how call centre software can transform day-to-day operations and improve your contact centre’s growth opportunities. We’ll also describe what to look for when choosing a software, so that you can select a technology that suits your business needs.
Suggested reading: Check out our eBook, ‘Your Contact Centre Could Operate Better… A Lot Better’, to learn more about how you can solve the challenges plaguing your contact centre.
What is call centre software?
As any call centre specialist will know, ‘call centre software’ is a wide-ranging and complex term. It can refer to:
- Real-time guidance: agents are guided through inbound and outbound calls by process-driven software.
- Scripting: agents follow specific conversation patterns to ensure compliance and customer satisfaction is maintained.
- Translation: calls are translated to allow agents to understand their customers and vice versa.
- Omnichannel integration: customers can contact agents through a number of different channels.
- Analytics: the staple of call centre tech, analytics allows managers to gain insight into the performance and needs of their agents. These can be real-time and post-call.
- Analytics-driven agent assist: agents are assisted in real-time, as AI intelligently interprets and directs their conversation.
Real-time guidance, agent assist, and real-time speech analytics have been the driving force behind recent industry developments; these solutions are able to provide agents and managers with call insights in real-time, so optimising the feedback cycle and driving efficiency across call centre processes.
Why is call centre software useful?
Call centre software typically works by supporting agents and providing managers with actionable insights — helping to prevent common problems such as high agent churn and low customer satisfaction. Let’s consider these benefits in a bit more depth:
- Reducing agent churn: Call centres average a churn rate of about 26% per year, costing about £6000 per employee.2 With call centre software, agents are guided in real-time, reducing stress and burnout.
- Improving resolution times: The average customer support ticket resolution time is over three days.3 Call centre software aims to reduce this by providing agents with next best actions, increasing first contact resolutions dramatically.
- Meeting KPIs: Key performance indicators reflect on your call centre and its performance, providing potential stakeholders with information about the success of your operations. Analytics software can be employed to better understand and train agents.
- Maintaining quality assurance (QA): Like KPIs, quality assurance standards are important for maintaining compliance and industry reputation. Call centre software gives leaders the power to assess whether quality assurance is being met, and, if not, can point to where improvements should be made.
As the industry shifts towards ‘real time’ solutions, we will only see these benefits grow. Real-time technology, which is typically driven by AI, allows systems to recognise the sentiment, tone, and topic of a call, providing agents with the most effective next best actions.
Suggested reading: Read our eBook, ‘How Speech and Voice Analytics can Improve First Call Resolution’, to discover how call centre reporting software can improve business outcomes.
Types of call centre software
As we’ve mentioned, call centre software comes in many different shapes and forms. If you’re facing specific challenges within your call centre, there’s sure to be a piece of software out there that will fit your needs.
1. Real-time agent guidance
On a fundamental level, real-time guidance works by supporting agents through their customer interactions. When implemented correctly, agent guidance can:
- Reduce call centre staff turnover: Call centres are notorious for their high turnover rates; agent guidance empowers staff by reducing call-related stress and encouraging more positive interactions.
- Streamline post-call escalations: managers can be automatically alerted by the system if a call is at risk of escalation. This allows agents to remain focused on the task at hand, and ensures managers have a clear understanding of what KPIs are and aren’t being met.
- Ensure compliance: Real-time guidance allows managers to easily edit the key talking points and routes their agents follow. This helps to ensure that contact centre compliance requirements are met at all times.
2. Scripting tools
Scripting tools provide agents with next best actions according to predefined processes and conversation routes. Scripting can be considered a more traditional version of real-time agent guidance, and is widely used by contact centres around the world.
Some scripting solutions can reduce call handling times by up to 30% in comparison to traditional, paper-based scripting. A good scripting tool should offer:
- Unified Desktop: Scripting tools can consolidate disparate systems onto one page, allowing sales teams to focus more on their interaction and less on navigating technology.
- Social and email integration: Facebook, Twitter and email feeds can be linked to scripts so that customer experiences are consistent across all channels.
- Flexible and modular contracts: Contact centre optimisation software shouldn’t break the bank. A good scripting tool should offer contract flexibility, alongside cost-effective additions suited to each organisation’s needs.
Scripting isn’t the newest technology, but it is a great choice for companies wanting to move towards real-time guidance and software-driven agent support. It is also a highly cost-effective choice, allowing clients to overcome common call centre problems and significantly increase productivity at a low cost.
Pro tip: A strong scripting solution should integrate seamlessly with legacy systems and hardware — listen to our voice analytics webinar to learn more about how to integrate all agent actions with your other systems.
3. Real-time translation
Some 76% of potential customers prefer to buy products in their native language, and 40% refuse to buy from websites in other languages: real-time translation can make a tangible impact on your sales and revenue.4
Countries with the highest potential online sales are the US (31.4%), China (11.3%), Japan (6.1%) and Germany (4.3%).5 By providing multilingual customer service, you open up your target market to a wider audience and increase the likelihood of successful sales.
Translation software also eliminates the cost of hiring translators, while ensuring quality assurance across multiple languages.
Pro tip: Explore Awaken Translate, an industry-leading translation software that translates chat and email messages in real time.
While phone calls are still the most popular way to communicate, customers also expect to be able to contact customer service across multiple platforms. To be competitive within the industry, your contact centre needs to operate across a range of social media channels.
Omnichannel software can also help to improve your clients’ brand image; some 69% of Facebook Messenger users say that the ability to communicate with brands builds confidence in the company.6 On top of these benefits, omnichannel can:
- Increase customer convenience: With all contact points available to agents, customers can make contact in their preferred method.
- Faster customer service: Agents can easily respond to customers by directing them to the appropriate online sources or answering their queries directly.
- Work in conjunction with AI: Omnichannel can employ conversational AI to reduce pressure on agents. AI works by intelligently understanding a customer’s incoming call query and sending them to the correct support page – or routing their call to an agent if necessary.
Before implementing an omnichannel approach, call centres should make sure they have the proper conversational analytics tools set up to assess agent performance and resolution times. Without these, agents could be stranded across multiple platforms, without sufficient guidance or monitoring.
5. Speech and text analytics
Speech and text analytics software, also known as post-call analytics, is key to improving a contact centre’s performance. By monitoring and capturing every call, email and message, you can gain insights into your contact centre’s performance and identify key areas for improvement.
93% of customers are more likely to make repeat purchases from organisations that offer excellent customer service – and using analytics software is one of the best ways to achieve this. Awaken’s speech analytics monitoring software, for example, has been shown to improve customer experiences by 49%.
Unlike random call monitoring methods, which often misrepresent agent performance, analytics give managers a holistic view of their call centre’s successes and areas for improvement. This ensures better contact centre quality monitoring, streamlined team training, and improved agent productivity. Using speech and text analytics, an organisation can:
- Track agent performances: Managers are able to easily track their agents’ performance and offer coaching as necessary.
- Reduce costs: With speech analytics tools in place, managers can more effectively monitor and improve their agents’ performance. This can reduce the costs associated with agent training and churn.
- Reinforce customer retention: With data-backed improvements in place, call centres will begin to see improvements in their FCRs, customer satisfaction and customer retention rates.
Many companies already run analytics and monitoring software, but regular reassessments will help keep things running smoothly. Strong analytics tools should have:
- User-friendly dashboards
- High transcription accuracy
- Seamless cross-channel integration
6. Real-time assist
Real-time assist is an innovative combination of AI-driven agent guidance and real-time speech analytics — a developing technology that could be available in as little as one year. Although real-time assist is not yet widely available, it is one of the most innovative and exciting areas of change in call centre technology.
With real-time assist, organisations can:
- Improve Customer Satisfaction: Using AI-driven sentiment analysis, real-time assist recognises when customers are feeling upset, guides agents accordingly, and improves overall call quality.
- Improve Efficiency: Calls can reach a resolution more quickly, with customer support teams getting real-time feedback on the progress of their call.
- Increase Profits: Real-time tools can inform agents of the correct moments to upsell, or offer a discount. This can be adjusted according to customisable AI rules.
- Ensure Compliance: Real-time tools recognise when contact centre compliance is at risk and can guide agents to stay within regulations.
Agent assist can be considered a more advanced version of agent guidance software, leading the way for more personalised, customer-oriented, and intelligent contact centres. Although agent assist isn’t necessary for most companies, it could be of value to those operating within low-regulation industries, who don’t need to stick to specific, compliance-driven scripts.
Pro tip: Preparing for the emergence of real-time assist is key for staying ahead of the competition, and implementing an available scripting or real-time agent guidance tool is a great place to start.
Drive customer satisfaction with innovative software solutions
Call centre software is in a state of constant innovation and change; compared to 10 or 20 years ago, call centres are in a much better position to understand customer needs and provide fast, data-based solutions.
Whether you choose to employ any of the above softwares or not, it’s essential to stay up-to-date with modern technology trends to ensure your services are meeting customer expectations and demand.
Awaken is a leading software provider offering a wide range of call and contact centre software solutions. Our translation, real-time agent guidance, analytics, and scripting software support and empower agents across the world, helping to drive customer satisfaction and call centre success.
Book a demo today to see how Awaken can help transform your call centre operations through improved compliance, optimised agent experiences, and seamless customer journeys.